Saturday, October 30, 2010

Random Musings

I've been working, recently, on getting the list of books in my library published to this blog for people to browse. When I exported them from my old web site, the format got messed up, and so I've had to go through them line by line and remove excess line breaks and that sort of thing. Tedious.
Doing this really brings back a lot of old memories, and raises old questions, as well. I saw a notation that my copy of Azazel, by Isaac Asimov, had been loaned out to someone named Suzanne at Industrial Indemnity. My wife hasn't worked for II for at least fourteen or fifteen years ago, so I have no idea what this woman's last name would be, no idea how to reach her, and no memory of how or why I loaned it out in the first place. I can only assume that we had her and her SO over for dinner, showed them the library, and she must have been an Asimov fan who'd never read that particular book. Anyway, Suzanne, if you (or anyone who knows Suzanne) read this, please bring my book back!
Every so often, in the course of building the library, I went through "kicks" where I bought everything I could find by a particular author, read it all, shelved the books, and promptly forgot about the author until now. What in the heck was the series "Harry Borg and Gus the Lizard Man" all about? I remain clueless. The wonderful thing about maintaining a collection like mine is that if I really care enough to find out, I can grab the books off the shelves and revisit old friends.
There were a couple of times when I thought, "Wow, this is a major SF author. How can I only have a handful of their stuff?" Maybe budget considerations took over. I know that some of the more recent, current authors I'm really enjoying I've just borrowed from the library, because my bookstore bills were unbelievable five or six years ago, and after the company I worked for crashed and burned and I was out of work for two years, I just couldn't sustain my normal acquisition levels. I still had to feed the monkey on my back, but I had to rely on the kindness of strangers.David Drake and Jack McDevitt really stand out in this area.
And Michael Moorcock. This is where it all began, more than thirty years ago. My friend, Larry, and I were reading the Elric of Melnibone series and neither of us could afford to buy them all (at a price of $1.25 each), so we began swapping books back and forth and got the idea that the whole series should be kept in one place. He took them for a while, and eventually we combined our collections. It's been a cooperative venture ever since. From a seed of about a dozen books...
I see Star Trek: The Motion Picture tie-in paperback, and it reminds me of something. I went seriously out of touch with reality for a while when I was working incredible hours working in and managing restaurants. I never got to see the movie when it first came out. In about 1984, I was working in a restaurant in Oxnard CA and there was a waiter who was a huge Trekkie. He mentions something about the movie, and I tell him I've never seen it or the sequels, so he invites my wife and I over to his place to watch them on VHs. As the movie is in the opening fifteen minutes or so, Kirk and co are on a shuttle to the dry dock where the Enterprise is being readied for its mission. As they come around the ship, I see "NCC 1701" on the hull, and I just tear up, like upon being reunited with a long lost friend.
Some titles just stand out. Interstellar Pig? Servants of the Wankh?


redhead said...

you already know I'm very jealous of your library.

anyways. . .

Interstellar Pig?

if that is what I think it is, that was one of my favorite books when I was a kid!! haven't thought about it in years!

Jon said...

My old friend, Law, who began the collection with me 35 years or so ago, has finally moved to Boise. He and I were sitting in a couple of chairs in the library yesterday, just gazing at the collection, free associating about various books in the collection, quoting from them, having a fantastic time.
Interstellar Pig is by William Sleator, published in 1986.

Unknown said...

I know this is old but had to post. My grandfather Ward Hawkins wrote the books about Harry Borg and Gus. I remember reading them way back then and all I can remember them being about is an alternate universe that Harry found when drunk. Of course I was in 6th or 7th grade when they came out and sci fi wasn't really my thing at the time. I do still have the first book on a shelf though. But think I prefer the stuff he wrote for tv.