Rare Books Collected by Author Robert Weinberg

Robert Weinberg

Rare Books

      Bob started collecting rare science fiction and fantasy books back in 1960 when he bought for $1.00 a copy of THE COMING OF CONAN by Robert E. Howard, published by Gnome Press, from an ad on the back of an issue of Fantastic Universe magazine. Soon after, Bob joined the SF Book Club and also started buying SF hardcovers from Pick-a-Book, an SF Book Club ran by Martin Greenberg, one of the co-founders of Gnome Press (no relationship to the prolific anthologist, Martin Harry Greenberg). Within a few years, Bob was making regular trips to New York City, where he bought hardcovers from Stephen's Book Service, the only store-front science fiction bookstore in the USA.

      Having collected hardcovers for over forty years, Bob's been able to assemble an impressive lineup of books ranging from the fairly common to the unbelievably scarce. Bob's owns over 4,500 hardcovers in the science fiction, fantasy and horror field. Included in the collection are complete sets of all the Arkham House books in fine condition, all the scarce Ballantine hardcovers from the 1950's, all of the signed Fantasy Press books, and many many others. Nearly 1,800 of those books are signed, with many of them inscribed to Bob from the authors. Over the past ten years, Bob has concentrated primarily on collecting 1930's and 1940's horror and fantasy books in dust jackets.

      Bob also collects paperbacks and has a huge number of them. Some science fiction and fantasy paperbacks (especially early ones from England, Canada and Australia) are among the rarest pocket books ever published and feature spectacular covers. Bob's always on the look-out for unusual paperbacks. He's especially interested in finding more of the Golden Amazon series published by Harlequin Books of Canada in the 1950's.

      Shown on this page are some of Bob's rarest books. These items are scarce!

The movie edition tie-in hardcover of FRANKENSTEIN is rarely found in dust jacket. It is one of many horror movie hardcovers in Bob's collection.
Bride of Frankenstein
Even scarcer than FRANKENSTEIN is the British hardcover movie tie-in for THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. The U.S. edition has a different picture on the jacket.
The Girl in the Golden Atom
THE GIRL IN THE GOLDEN ATOM by Ray Cummings is incredibly scarce in dust jacket. Making this copy unique is the inscription inside from Cummings to Forrest J. Ackerman, who acted as Cumming's agent for many years.
Brigands of the Moon
BRIGANDS OF THE MOON by Ray Cummings has a stunning dust jacket by J. Allen St. John.
Sea Girl
The hardcover edition of Cummings' novel, THE SEA GIRL, used the same cover illustration by Robert A. Graef that had been painted for the story's serialization in ARGOSY magazine.
Mysteries of Asia
One of the Philip Allen fantasy-adventure hardcovers from the 1930's. This publisher printed a number of scarce titles that only appeared in England. Finding them in dust jacket is a challenge.
The Green Man of Kilsona
Another scarce Philip Allen hardcover, this book appeared in the USA in the 1950's as THE GREEN MAN OF GRAYPEC. This copy is unique as it's inscribed from the author to SF writer and editor, Donald Wollheim.
Silent White and Beautiful
Tod Robbins is one of the great forgotten writers of the pulps. His novel, THE TERRIBLE THREE was made into the movie, THE UNHOLY THREE, and his short story, "Spurs" was filmed as FREAKS. This collection of Robbins short stories is seldom encountered in dust jacket.
The Flying Legion
George Allan England was a famous pulp novelist, whose most popular work was DARKNESS & DAWN. His early novel, THE FLYING LEGION, featured a giant airplane filled with adventurers traveling to Mecca.
Dwellers in the Mirage
All of A. Merritt's novels are extremely scarce in dust jacket. Most fans agree that the cover art for DWELLERS IN THE MIRAGE is the best image used on any of his first editions.
The Girl in the Moon
The novelization of the famous German silent SF film, THE GIRL IN THE MOON, featured a stunning wrap-around jacket.
The novelization of the German silent film classic, METROPOLIS, also featured a spectacular wrap-around jacket.
I Found Cleopatra
I FOUND CLEOPATRA is a scarce Canadian paperback that reprints the Thomas P. Kelley serial from WEIRD TALES.
This British paperback reprints Edmond Hamilton's novel, "The Prisoner of Mars" from STARTLING STORIES, May 1939
The Monsters of Jontonheim
This British paperback is a scarce reprint of Hamilton's novel, "A Yank at Valhalla."
The Beasts from Beyond
This very rare British paperback reprints Manly Wade Wellman's science-fantasy novel, "Strangers on the Heights" from STARTLING STORIES. Not only was the title changed, but Wellman's first name was spelled wrong!
Golden Amazon
This Harlequin paperback from Canada is the first of a long series of Golden Amazon novels published in the 1940's and 1950's.
The Breathless Amazon
Another Golden Amazon novel from Harlequin Books in Canada.
King Kong
The movie edition tie-in hardcover of KING KONG features a spectacular jacket based on the movie. Copies of this book in dust jackets are incredibly rare.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth
THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH by H.P. Lovecraft was the only hardcover by HPL published during his lifetime. It features four illustrations by Frank Utpatel. Approximately 200 sets of the pages were run off, but the actual number of copies that were bound was probably much less.
Dian of the Lost Land
Dian of the Lost Land by Edison Marshall, another extremely rare book in dust jacket.
Burn, Witch, Burn
The scarce British movie edition of BURN, WITCH, BURN (retitled THE DEVIL DOLL) by A. Merritt, from the 1930's
H. Rider Haggard
An extremely hard-to-find H. Rider Haggard book
White Python
Mark Channing wrote lost race novels in the 1930's in the style of Talbot Mundy. This British first edition in jacket is especially collectible as it is inscribed by Channing on the date of publication
Winston Book
In the 1950's and 1960's, Winston Books published a series of SF novels aimed at teenagers, featuring great jacket art, usually by Alex Schomberg. All of the Winston titles in jacket are very collectible now as baby-boomers like Bob look to relive their childhood memories! These covers are one of Bob's favorites.
Winston Book
Another great Winston cover.
Winston Book
Another great Winston cover (and one of Bob's favorite novels as a teen!).
Winston Book - Bova
This Winston book was Ben Bova's first novel.
Canticle for Leibowitz
A Canticle for Leibowitz is one of the most honored books in SF. This copy of the first edition is special as it has a perfect copy of the incredibly scarce orange advertising promotional banner still on it.
The lead novel for the first issue of UNKNOWN, March 1939, was "Sinister Barrier" by Eric Frank Russell. It was published in the USA in hardcover after World War II in a much expanded edition by Fantasy Press. Much rarer is the British hardcover edition from 1943 which reprinted the magazine version. This book, very scarce in jacket, is also inscribed by Russell.
Perhaps the most desirable of all small press books, THE OUTSIDER by H.P. Lovecraft, the first book published by Arkham House.
Another highly collected Arkham House book, Robert E. Howard's collection, SKULLFACE & OTHERS
Jules Verne
A stunning first edition in English of a classic Jules Verne adventure.
Child of Storm
H. Ridger Haggard's CHILD OF STORM from 1913 in the very rare and hard to find dust jacket from that period, in near mint condition!
The Golden Blight
THE GOLDEN BLIGHT by George Allen England. One of his rarest hardcovers, this copy is the only one I've ever encountered in dust jacket.
The Phantom in the Rainbow
THE PHANTOM IN THE RAINBOW. Slater MacMaster's famous serial from Argosy was reprinted in hardcover, using the same cover art that oiriginally appeared on the serial.
King Cobra
KING COBRA. Another great Mark Channing adventure in India and Tibet, with a great dust jacket.
Poisoned Mountain
POISONED MOUNTAIN. Another great Channing cover!
Return of George Washington
The famous serial novel, "The Return of George Washington," from Argosy, reprinted in book form. Another very scarce item.
The Unholy Three
THE UNHOLY THREE by Tod Robbins, the movie edition of this famous novel in the extremely scarce photo dust jacket. Robbins, who is mostly forgotten now, was one of the great mystery/horror writers of the first quarter of the 20th century.
The Ghost Pirates
THE GHOST PIRATES by William Hope Hodgson - the very rare Britishfirst edition of one of the greatest ghost stories ever written.
Men of the Deep Waters
MEN OF DEEP WATERS by William Hope Hodgson - another British first edition, a rare short story collection by Hodgson.
The Boats of the Glen Carrig
THE BOATS OF THE GLEN CARRIG by William Hope Hodgson - a first edition of Hodgson's first book, inscribed by the author on date of publication!
The Lady of the Shroud
THE LADY OF THE SHROUD by Bram Stoker - an English first edition of this Stoker novel, inscribed by Stoker.

Bob currently collects early British and American science fiction and fantasy novels and short story collections in dust jacket. These books are difficult to find and every one is a treasure in itself. One of the most popular horror anthology series of the 1930's were the "Not at Night" hardcovers published in England. Here's the entire set of eleven books, in dust jacket.

Not at Night 1

Not at Night #1

Not at Night 2

Not at Night #2

Not at Night 3

Not at Night #3

Not at Night 4

Not at Night #4

Not at Night 5

Not at Night #5

Not at Night 6

Not at Night #6

Not at Night 7

Not at Night #7

Not at Night 8

Not at Night #8

Not at Night 9

Not at Night #9

Not at Night 10

Not at Night #10

Not at Night 11

Not at Night #11

Bob also collects the Ward Locke editions of Edgar Wallace in dust jacket. Here are four of his favorite covers. He is always looking for more of these editions in very nice condition in very nice jackets if anyone has them for sale!

Green Rust       The Nine Bears       The Daffodil Mystery       The Dark Eyes of London      

Along with collecting rare science fiction, fantasy and horror books, Bob also collects books reprinted from the pulp magazines.

Hawk of the Wilderness
Hawk of the Wilderness by William Chester was originally serialized in Blue Book magazine. It's the first of four books dealing with Kioga of the Wilderness, a Tarzan-like hero living in a lost land near the Arctic circle.
Peter the Brazen
Peter the Brazen by Loring Brent features the adventures of a two-fisted American telegraph operator in China long before the Communists. Peter appeared in adventures in 1919-1920 in Argosy, then returned for a second series of adventures in Argosy in 1930-1935. The second series of his adventures are considered by many (including Bob) to be among the best pulp action stories ever written. This hardcover reprints Peter's earliest adventures and this copy is one of the few Bob has ever seen in a dust jacket.
Mirror of Dreams
Ganpat was the pen-name of a writer of high adventure stories taking place in India and Asia in the 1920's and 1930's. Mirror of Dreams is a lost race novel and has a spectacular dust jacket!
The Solomon Stories
John Solomon was a popular series character whose adventures were chronicled by pulpster, H. Bedford-Jones for the pages of Argosy magazine. The Solomon stories ran off and on for over twenty years as serials in the pulps. Six novels were published in hardcover in England under Bedford-Jones pen-name, Alan Hawkwood. All six are scarce in any edition, but are extremely rare in dust jacket. This is the only one Bob has in jacket in his collection.

Bob collects the science fiction and fantasy writings of H.G. Wells, who he considers to be the father of modern science fiction. While Bob has all of Wells' "scientific romances" in first edition hardcovers, they aren't very exciting to look at. Dust jackets were not put on books until the first decade of the 20th century, so most Wells' first editions were not published in jacket. Nor were they decorated with elaborate bindings.

However, in the late 1920's and early 1930's, Collins Books in England reissued many of Wells' classic novels and short story collections in a "Readers' Library" series with extremely colorful jackets. Bob collects this series and considers them among the most interesting editions of Wells' work published. Here are some examples from his collection.

The Sleeper Awakes       The Valley of Spiders       The Treasure in the Forest       The Invisible Man       The Food of the Gods      

The Truth About The Shunned House Hardcover


Robert Weinberg

     Perhaps the oddest book ever published by Arkham House was the 100 copy hardcover edition of The Shunned House. While the basic facts regarding the book are common knowledge, the actual inspiration for its hardcover publication have never been known. This short article hopefully will serve as an answer to that question which has plagued collectors for nearly 50 fifty years.

      "The Shunned House," a long horror novelette, was written by H.P. Lovecraft during the week of October 16-19, 1924. The house of the story was based in part on a real house in Providence, R.I. located at 135 Benefit Street. Lovecraft's aunt lived in the house in 1919-1920. The inspiration for the story was another house, one located in Elizabeth, New Jersey (not far from where Bob grew up, which may explain many things!) at the northeast corner of Bridge Street and Elizabeth Avenue. Of that house, Lovecraft wrote that it was a "hellish place where night-black deeds must have been done in the early seventeen-hundreds." In the same letter, he further explained "its image came up again with renewed vividness, finally causing me to write a new horror story with its scene in Providence and with the Babbit House as its basis."

     In 1928, Lovecraft's friend, and fellow small-press enthusiast, W. Paul Cook, proposed publishing "The Shunned House," as a 250 copy Recluse Press hardcover book. Lovecraft was agreeable and Cook printed the sheets of the book. It was poorly typeset and contained a short introduction by Frank Belknap Long. However, according to August Derleth, Cook was always out of funds to pay to bind the book, and he totally abandoned the project when he moved from Massachusetts to Vermont several years later. Cook gave the unbound sheets to Lovecraft. In 1936, eighteen year old Robert Barlow took it on himself to hand bind around a dozen sets of the sheets. One of the books was of course for Lovecraft. The others he sent out to some of Lovecraft's closest friends. The rest of the sheets remained unbound for the duration of Lovecraft's life. Lovecraft died on March 15, 1937. Submitted by his friends after his death, "The Shunned House" was finally published in the October 1937 issue of Weird Tales.

     Robert Barlow took possession of the unbound sheets after Lovecraft's death. He did nothing with them. On January 2, 1951, Barlow committed suicide in Azcapotzalco, Mexico, where he had been studying early Mexican history. According to Derleth, Barlow's friends in Mexico City sent the sheets to Derleth based on the two men's correspondence about Lovecraft. Derleth received approximately 150 sets of the unbound sheets.

     Derleth did nothing with the unbound sheets for the next few years. Then, in 1959, he began offering sets of the sheets for sale at $15.00 each. Despite the reasonable price, (most Arkham House books from the period were price at $3.50 - $4.00 each), not many of the sheets sold. In the 1960 catalog, Derleth advertised the sheets again. The ad read "THE SHUNNED HOUSE . Unbound sheets of the rare first, never published edition, done by Cook in 1928. Only a few sets remain for sale. For collectors only. $15.00."

     It was in late 1961 that long-time fantasy book collector, Sam Peeples wrote to his friend Derleth about buying a copy of The Shunned House. Peeples, however, didn't want unbound sheets which would need some sort of special box or slipcase for storage. Instead, he proposed to Derleth that when the next Arkham House book was bound, Derleth would have a set of the pages of the unpublished book trimmed and bound with the press' usual binding. Derleth agreed, telling Peeples by return mail, that the cost of the binding, complete with lettering on the spine of the volume, would cost an additional $10.

     Peeples' idea of binding the unbound sheets of The Shunned House in Arkham House binding obviously appealed to Derleth. In a letter to Peeples written later that year, he wrote:

"I'm glad to know that the bound copy of The Shunned House reached you in good order. I had it bound uniformly with other Arkham House books, and, since I had a few other copies, I had them all done at once."

     In the new books announcement for 1962 Arkham House, Derleth listed the volume thusly:

"Lovecraft collectors may like to know that we have bound the last remaining sets of the sheets of The Shunned House in a binding uniform with the binding of most of our books, under the Arkham House imprint, sans jacket of course, and these last copies will be sold at $17.50 a copy."

     According to Derleth, approximately 100 sets of the sheets were bound in hardcover. Within a year, the bound hardcover copies of The Shunned House were gone. By late 1962, the book was listed out of print. What hadn't sold as unbound sheets, sold fairly quickly (for an Arkham House book), in hardcover book format. Thus, it was an unusual request from a dedicated Arkham House collector that brought into existence the rarest of all Arkham House hardcovers.

1 H. P. Lovecraft, Selected Letters Vol. I, p. 357 (as quoted in Wikipedia, The Shunned House, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shunned_House#_note-1
2 Ibid
3 Derleth, August, "Letter to Sam Peeples," November 2, 1961
4 ibid
5 New Books from Arkham House: Coming in 1961
6 Peeples, Sam, "Letter to August Derleth," August 1961
7 Derleth, August, "Letter to Sam Peeples," August 16, 1961
8 Derleth, August, "Letter to Sam Peeples," November 2, 1961
9 New Books from Arkham House: Coming in 1962

The Shunned House
The title page for The Shunned House. This is taken from the unbound sheets which are a good deal bigger than the trimmed book size.
First page of the Preface to The Shunned House by Frank Belknap Long.
Preface (final page)
Final page to the Preface of the Shunned House.
Arkham House Flyers
Arkham House flyers which mention The Shunned House.

The Creeps Series


Robert Weinberg

     The other great hardcover horror anthology series of the 1930's (along with the Not at Night series) was the Creeps Library published by Philip Allan Publishers of London. These inexpensively produced volumes were edited by horror writer, Charles Birkin, though he was never credited as the editor on any of the books. At first, the Creeps series primarily published reprints, but later on, the volumes published original stories as well. The Creeps series consisted of fourteen anthologies and one triple-decker reprint volume. The books were extremely popular and featured some incredibly colorful jackets.

     A number of horror story collections and novels published during the 1920's and 1930's by Philip Allan were advertised on the dust jackets of the Creeps anthologies and are considered part of the series, though it is not clear if these books were edited by Birkin or not. Like most collectors, Bob considers the Creeps series to consist of all the anthologies, single author collections, and weird and fantastic novels published by Philip Allan.

     While Bob owns the entire Creeps library, he only has nine of the books in dust jacket. Finding these books in jacket is extremely difficult, and usually they only available at astronomical prices. Bob is always interested in hearing from people who own Creeps books in jacket.

     The following is a list of the entire Creeps series and is followed by pictures of those books Bob has in dust jacket. (also check above since several jackets are displayed in the main listing).


CREEPS (1932)
SHIVERS (1933)
HORRORS (1933)
PANICS (1934)
QUAKES (1933)
An omnibus of three earlier anthologies:
     1.	CREEPS 
     2.	SHIVERS 
     3.	SHUDDERS 
TERRORS (1933)
THRILLS (1935)


THE DEATH-MASK & Other Ghost Stories by Mrs. Henrietta D. Everett (1920) - (published before the CREEPS series began, but contains stories in the same style)

WHO WANTS A GREEN BOTTLE? & Other Uneasy Tales by Tod Robbins (1926) - (published before the CREEPS series began, but contains stories in the same style)

THE STRANGE PAPERS OF DR BLAYRE by Christopher Blayre (1932)

DEVIL'S DRUMS by Vivian Meik (1933)

THE MASTER OF MURDER by Tod Robbins (1933)

MYSTERIES OF ASIA by Achmed Abdullah (1934)

TALES OF THE GROTESQUE: Uneasy Tales by L. A. Lewis (1934).

THE AIR DEVIL by Barrington Beverley (1934)

THE THREE FREAKS by Tod Robbins (1934)

VEILS OF FEAR by Vivian Meik (1934)

DEVIL OF THE DEPTHS by Jack McLaren (1935)

VAMPIRES OVERHEAD by Alan Hyder (1935)

THE THREE FREAKS (retitled reprint of THE UNHOLY THREE) by Tod Robbins (1935)

THE SPACE RAIDERS by Barrington Beverley (1936)

THE HORROR ON THE ASTEROID & Other Tales of Planetary Horror by Edmond Hamilton (1936)

THE UNDYING MONSTER (reprint edition) by Jessie Douglas Kerruish (1936)

THE GREEN MAN OF KILSONA by Festus Pragnell (1937)

Creeps Series
The Creeps Series
Powers of Darkness
Powers of Darkness
Veils of Fear
Veils of Fear
The Air Devil
The Air Devil
Tales of the Grotesque
Tales of the
Vampires Overhead
Vampires Overhead
The Space Raiders
The Space Raiders
The Famous Creeps Series
The Famous "Creeps" Series

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