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SF/F Book Recommendations > Favorite hard to get hold of books

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message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 430 comments I went to quite a bit of effort to track down a copy of The Courier's New Bicycle which was tough as for reasons best known to themselves Harpercollins Aus only released this in australia and even ebooks are very difficult to get for it outside of australia.

Its a shame because it is a great book with broad appeal. I dont want everything set in LA or New York and I appreciate different perspecitives that people have across the globe. Also it is a book that I think many SF fans would love it has a compelling narrator, plenty of action, a good mix of familiar and fresh ideas and makes interesting explorations of issues such as gender and animal cruelty among other things whilst its at it. Only 50% through it and for all I know the rest of it stinks but from what I have read so far it is a book that most SF readers would love to read. I am not saying its perfect, it has aspects of it that I would like to be different but it is an excellent work that is needlessly hard for non australians to read. And it was only published in something like 2011.

Anyway - rant and review aside this got me thinking what are your favorite hard to get hold of books?

Part of me thinks this thread will end up annoying me as I will end up with loads more recommendations for books I will either never be able to get hold of, will drain my bank account or will take my ages of patient searching on ebay etc to acquire... But still give me all your recommendations please.

One small qualifier - not interested in books that have not been published recently but is 100 copies available for 1cent plus postage on amazon or for that matter books that are hard to get in print but are easy and quite affordable in ebook.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I consider books that are "hard" to get to be the ones I ain't got yet

:P

however, I'm considering buying a copy of A Sense of FAPA that contains a reprint of Ah, Sweet Idiocy by Jack Speer in it...it's a important document in SF fandom, Speer went on for over 100 pages giving fandom what for, and slandering a bunch of folks in the process...only about 150 copies of it were printed, on a memograph machine, the orginal 70 or more years ago, FAPA 50 years ago....asking price is over $100....many "fakes" are around, xeroxes of xeroxes and the like. I don't much care if I get a xerox or not, my issue is this: memograph ink fades over time, just take a look at all your old school papers from first grade your Mom saved. I don't want to pay over $100 for something that the words are so faded I can't read, and being it's a on-line thing, I doubt i'd get a refund if it is illegible...but I MUST read it......


message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2178 comments While I have sent books out of the country because of BookMooch, I drew the line at the Phillipines & Australia. The postage is crazy expensive. Sending a paperback to Japan or South Africa cost $5, $8 to Canada (much closer to me), but $13-17 in the south Pacific. I guess that's why we have trouble getting books. It's neat when publishers print them over here. I wish more did.

I recently finished my Donald Hamilton book collection. They're neither SF nor heroic fantasy, instead they're mostly westerns & spy thrillers, but they're very well written & hard to get since most were published in paperback & haven't been reissued in 40 or 50 years.


message 4: by Michele (new)

Michele | 274 comments Mermaid's Song by Alida Van Gores. Amazon shows one used at $72.48 and the rest are over $100.

I love this book, but I'm afraid to read my copy anymore in case it falls apart. The author died in '98, it's out of print, no idea if there will ever be an ebook version. I don't know if it sold many copies. But the 18 reviews on Amazon are all 5 star, mine included.


message 5: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 251 comments I'd love to read The Book on the Edge of Forever: An Enquiry into the Non-Appearance of Harlan Ellison's the Last Dangerous Visions, by Christopher Priest. It's not exactly hard to find but the price (currently $40 and that's the cheapest I've seen it) seems steep for 56 pages. Oh well, I'll probably cave in some day.


message 6: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 5 comments Just have patience and start hitting the big used book sales, garage sales and estate sales... the books will find you... If you can't wait there is always paying the crazy price for something online.


message 7: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) Michele wrote: "Mermaid's Song by Alida Van Gores. Amazon shows one used at $72.48 and the rest are over $100..."

ebook can be borrowed at OpenLibrary if that's of use.
https://openlibrary.org/works/OL81650...


message 8: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 430 comments Bryn - http://web.archive.org/web/2000090220...

This is a slightly different version of that same book and it is available free and legally online so you can read it online as I did, print it out or make it into an epub/ mobi file for your personal consumption.

It makes for interesting reading and I had thought it might be an interesting non-fiction discussion of the month for the group were we inclined to do such a thing.

My curiousity is aroused with Mermaids song - might need to either pester SFgateway into getting rights and releasing an ebook edition in the UK or try the open library thing (heard of but never really looked into before)

Never heard of Donald Hamilton though some of them are available on amazon as ebooks if I get the urge to check him out. Although I have enjoyed spy books I am rarely in the mood and spy/SF hybrid books tend to scratch that itch for me.

Be interested to see what other examples people come up with.


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2178 comments Kevin wrote: "Just have patience and start hitting the big used book sales, garage sales and estate sales... the books will find you... If you can't wait there is always paying the crazy price for something on..."

I have done this for years looking for books. I used to carry a printed list just for that purpose. It also helps to set up an automated Google search & to put them in your wish list on BookMooch & Paperbackswap.


message 10: by Michele (new)

Michele | 274 comments Bryn - thank you so much for that! I tried Open Library once before and had trouble getting it to work, but this time I got it. Nice to know I can read the book again without having to worry about my paperback falling to pieces.


message 11: by Bryn (last edited Jan 30, 2015 12:27PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) Michele, :) I'm still having trouble getting Open Library to fully function but I keep being led there for book access so worth the effort. I'll borrow the Mermaids in future.

Ben, thanks for 'The Last Deadloss Visions' online [altho it was Bryan who brought that one in]. The Dangerous Visions books were a big thing in my life and so I'd interested in it as a non-fiction group read.


message 12: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 430 comments oops sorry Bryn and Brian - thats the problem of not reading carefully enough.

I think all it takes for a good discussion is 3-4 people who are up for reading and discussing it.


message 13: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 251 comments Ben wrote: "Bryn - http://web.archive.org/web/2000090220...

This is a slightly different version of that same book and it is available free and legally online so you can read it online as I did, print it out or make it into an epub/ mobi file for your personal consumption.

It makes for interesting reading and I had thought it might be an interesting non-fiction discussion of the month for the group were we inclined to do such a thing."


Thanks a lot Ben, I've been wanting to read hat for a while but couldn't find it.
It is indeed really interesting. Also, even crazier than I thought.

In the end, everyone will write for LAST, and everyone will die.


message 14: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 430 comments If you are interested in Harlan there is a Coode Street podcast with him and Bill Schafer promoting a best of Ellison http://jonathanstrahan.podbean.com/e/...

In an ideal world journalism of this sort would be done by someone not personally impacted by Last Dangerous Visions although his impact was less than others as he took back the rights before he lost out too much. Still I think it is good that he wrote it because I find his writing entertaining, he approached it in a journalistic manner and no-one else seemed willing to come out against Ellison at the time.


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