Discussion:
Seabury Quinn The Hardcover Collection Is it worth it?
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Andreas Decker
2005-03-08 16:37:12 UTC
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I am playing for some time with the idea to buy the complete Jules de
Grandin form the Battered Silicon Dispatch, those 3 hardcovers containing
the whole Quinn stories.

Of course the price of 250 USD is a bit steep.

Has anyone bought this edition and could give an assesment if they are worth
their money?

I have the complete Popular edition, which is not the same bookwise, ganted,
but still collects a third of Quinns tale I think.

Thanks
Lamont Cranston
2005-03-08 19:03:30 UTC
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The paperbacks didn't have *all* the stories?
Andreas Decker
2005-03-08 21:05:07 UTC
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According to the BSD website the three volumes contain 93 stories. Sadly
they donŽt have a title list.

The paperbacks contain 5 to 6 stories - I donŽt have them all here at home
so I canŽt say it correctly - and one is The DevilŽs Bride, which is a
novella publisehd in six installments.

AS far as I know there were 5 paperbacks from Popular.

So I guess the HC must have other stories. I hope. :-)
Post by Lamont Cranston
The paperbacks didn't have *all* the stories?
b***@robertweinberg.net
2005-03-08 22:53:03 UTC
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There were six Jules de Grandin paperbacks published by Popular Library
in the 1970's. Five were story collections, and the sixth was the
novel (250 pages), The Devil's Bride. The five collections reprinted
32 of the novelets in the series. With the novel, that makes 33 de
Grandin stories. All of the stories in the Arkham House hardcover, The
Phantom Fighter, were among the stories reprinted in the paperbacks.

Weird Tales published 93 de Grandin stories, mostly novelets and short
novels. The only novel was "The Devil's Bride." So the Battered
Silicon Dispatch set includes 60 stories that were not reprinted in the
paperback series. As the stories averaged well over 10,000 words each,
that means that even if you have the paperbacks, the books still
contain around 600,000 words of hard to find stuff that's not available
elsewhere.

bob w.
who edited the paperbacks & had some small hand in editing the
hardcovers as well.
Dr Hermes
2005-03-08 23:12:21 UTC
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I would like to point out that Bob also wrote afterwords to the Popular
Library paperbacks, with informative little essays about Seabury Quinn,
biographies of de Grandin and Trowbridge, the possible location of
Harrrisonville NJ, and so forth. There was also a useful "epitomized map
of Harrisonville ca. 1934".

I am bound to order the hardover collection at some point soon, but the
paperbacks from 1977 are a good introduction and way to sample the de
Grandin stories.

http://community.webtv.net/drhermes/ForbiddenKnowledge
a***@nospam.mac.com
2005-03-12 01:48:45 UTC
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I bought the Quinn hardcover set but haven't started reading it yet. I
also bought the Peter the Brazen collection and am about halfway through
it. The one thing it needed was proofreading. It was OCR scanned and
many w's became double u's, among numerous other typographical errors.

Can anyone say if the Quinn set suffers from the same typo problem?
Zoran Bekric
2005-03-09 02:13:37 UTC
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Post by Andreas Decker
According to the BSD website the three volumes contain 93 stories. Sadly
they donŽt have a title list.
You can find a full listing of the Jules de Grandin stories at:
<http://home.sprynet.com/~beb01/sf001.htm#jules>

There are indeed 93 of them, so this collection should contain them all.
Post by Andreas Decker
The paperbacks contain 5 to 6 stories - I donŽt have them all here at home
so I canŽt say it correctly - and one is The DevilŽs Bride, which is a
novella publisehd in six installments.
AS far as I know there were 5 paperbacks from Popular.
Six actually, containing a total of 34 stories:
1. The Adventures of Jules de Gardin (August 1976) 7 stories
2. The Casebook of Jules de Grandin (September 1976) 7 stories
3. The Skeleton Closet of Jules de Grandin (October 1976) 6 stories
4. The Devil's Bride (November 1976) 1 novel
5. The Hellfire Files of Jules de Grandin (December 1976) 6 stories
6. The Horror Chambers of Jules de Grandin (January 1977) 6 stories

I don't know if the BSD contains the map of Harrisonville (the setting
for most of the stories) or the portraits of de Grandin and Dr.
Trowbridge by Steve Fabian, but if it doesn't, it's probably worth
digging up one of the paperbacks just for those. I know when I was
reading the paperbacks, I'd keep turning back to the map to see just
where in town a particular area was located.

Regards,

Zoran

________________________________________________________________________
"Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee,
and just as hard to sleep after."
-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh
John Pelan
2005-03-09 03:14:33 UTC
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On Tue, 8 Mar 2005 17:37:12 +0100, "Andreas Decker"
Post by Andreas Decker
I am playing for some time with the idea to buy the complete Jules de
Grandin form the Battered Silicon Dispatch, those 3 hardcovers containing
the whole Quinn stories.
Of course the price of 250 USD is a bit steep.
Has anyone bought this edition and could give an assesment if they are worth
their money?
I have the complete Popular edition, which is not the same bookwise, ganted,
but still collects a third of Quinns tale I think.
Thanks
Okay, here's the good, the bad, and the ugly from one of the first
twenty people to order the set:

The good: Even the splendid job that Bob Weinberg did editing the
paperbacks left out two-thirds of the stories. The BSD edition has
them all. As a matter of consideration, Quinn was very active in the
1920s and 1930s, with the bulk of de Grandin tales corresponding to
the most expensive issues of WEIRD TALES.

Keep in mind that the de Grandin tales all appeared a month or more
apart surrounded by a half-dozen or so other tales. Nothing will ruin
the series for you faster than sitting down to read one of these
weighty tomes in sequence. So, $250.00 for three massive hardcovers
isn't that bad.

The bad: Unless taken in small doses, the formulaic nature of the
de Grandin tales becomes overwhelming and irritating. More bad: BSD
is all about content and the niceties of presentation, packaging, and
shipping seem to have eluded them entirely. You are much better off
buying the books from a dealer that has QC'd the books than ordering
direct. My copies arrived loose in a box, rattling around and picking
up crushed corners. To say that I was less than impressed is an
understatement.

The ugly: If you are going to bother reproducing covers, use a quality
of reproduction that actually works. Further, if one does decide that
dustjackets on oversized books is something they want to do, I would
suggest that there are better materials than over-sized copy paper
held together with archival tape (at least I *hope* it's archival
tape). Essentially, the books are in dustjackets of shoddy paper,
taped together with absolutely hideous cover reproductions.

Would I buy this set again, yeah, in a heartbeat; I just wish that the
publisher would pay some degree of attention to presentation as well
as to the content. Sadly, these could have been real showpieces
without increasing the cost if a little commonsense had been used in
the book design...


Cheers,

John
b***@robertweinberg.net
2005-03-09 04:38:06 UTC
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John wrote--

I just wish that the
publisher would pay some degree of attention to presentation as well
as to the content. Sadly, these could have been real showpieces
without increasing the cost if a little commonsense had been used in
the book design...

-actually, the publisher has paid more attention to presentation on
books published since the de Grandin set. dustjackets on more recent
volumes such as The Compleat Adventures of Bill Brent are quite nicely
printed and produced.

The problem with the de Grandin set was that the printer Battered
Silicon uses was not equipped at the time with a large enough color
press to print the oversized jackets. There was no lack of commonsense
involved. It was merely an effort by Battered Silicon to provide
jackets that otherwise would not have been included at all. Despite
the assertion of not increasing the cost, at the time of publication
these jackets if printed by another printer would have significantly
raised the price of the set.

Anyone unhappy with the jackets is free to remove them from their set.


Please realize that George is a one-man operation and that publishing
is his hobby. He is a full time doctor. These books are done in very
small print runs, usually under a hundred copies, and everything from
the typesetting to layout to shipping is handled by him. And he does
pay royalties. These books might seem expensive, but if you calculate
how much reading material you are getting for the price, you will
realize that the price is much more reasonable than most people
realize.

bob w.
Andreas Decker
2005-03-09 08:22:15 UTC
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A big thanks to all of you!

Much appreciated. I never really got burned when ordering on the net, but it
is a difference if you pay 2,50 on Ebay or 250 to a small press publisher
:-) Raises the stakes and makes one more careful.

It is true, those stories are best read in intervals. I mostly re-read them
after one of Doc HermesŽ reviews. But to think there are so many stories to
read ... sigh.

I like Quinn a lot, even if my language skills are apparently not good
enough to understand de Grandins curses. "Name of a blue man"? What blue
man? :-)

A word to the popular edition. I am in two minds about the covers. On the
one hand they refer to the content, on the other they are rather awful. Ah
well.

The map and Bob WeinbergŽs notes are great, though. Puts the stories into a
historical context, which always is a good thing.

So, thanks again and greetings from Germany.

A.Decker
Post by b***@robertweinberg.net
John wrote--
I just wish that the
publisher would pay some degree of attention to presentation as well
as to the content. Sadly, these could have been real showpieces
without increasing the cost if a little commonsense had been used in
the book design...
-actually, the publisher has paid more attention to presentation on
books published since the de Grandin set. dustjackets on more recent
volumes such as The Compleat Adventures of Bill Brent are quite nicely
printed and produced.
The problem with the de Grandin set was that the printer Battered
Silicon uses was not equipped at the time with a large enough color
press to print the oversized jackets. There was no lack of commonsense
involved. It was merely an effort by Battered Silicon to provide
jackets that otherwise would not have been included at all. Despite
the assertion of not increasing the cost, at the time of publication
these jackets if printed by another printer would have significantly
raised the price of the set.
Anyone unhappy with the jackets is free to remove them from their set.
Please realize that George is a one-man operation and that publishing
is his hobby. He is a full time doctor. These books are done in very
small print runs, usually under a hundred copies, and everything from
the typesetting to layout to shipping is handled by him. And he does
pay royalties. These books might seem expensive, but if you calculate
how much reading material you are getting for the price, you will
realize that the price is much more reasonable than most people
realize.
bob w.
John Pelan
2005-03-09 14:12:27 UTC
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On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 09:22:15 +0100, "Andreas Decker"
Post by Andreas Decker
A big thanks to all of you!
Much appreciated. I never really got burned when ordering on the net, but it
is a difference if you pay 2,50 on Ebay or 250 to a small press publisher
:-) Raises the stakes and makes one more careful.
It is true, those stories are best read in intervals. I mostly re-read them
after one of Doc Hermes´ reviews. But to think there are so many stories to
read ... sigh.
I like Quinn a lot, even if my language skills are apparently not good
enough to understand de Grandins curses. "Name of a blue man"? What blue
man? :-)
A word to the popular edition. I am in two minds about the covers. On the
one hand they refer to the content, on the other they are rather awful. Ah
well.
The map and Bob Weinberg´s notes are great, though. Puts the stories into a
historical context, which always is a good thing.
So, thanks again and greetings from Germany.
A.Decker
One last word from me on the subject, you might also order directly
from George, explain that the books are being shipped to Germany and
insist that they are carefully wrapped for protection. Postage is
going to be horrendous no matter what (these are weighty tomes) and
taking extra precautions is indicated.

Quinn never does explain who the little blue man is, but I've always
assumed that it isn't Papa Smurf...

Cheers,

John
Lamont Cranston
2005-03-09 19:21:08 UTC
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Isn't the BA-DA-BING Club located outside Harrisonville?
JohnJMiller
2005-03-09 22:14:14 UTC
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Anybody who's looking for the paperbacks, drop me a line. I've just
started selling a set on eBay, but would as soon sell to members of
this ng.

I always thought the little blue man was the devil, but I could be
wrong.
Dr Hermes
2005-03-09 22:48:05 UTC
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Jules de Grandin's bizarre oaths:

Now, this is just off the top of my head, and a trip to the library
tomorrow would settle it, but as I recall, originally French people
would say oaths like "Sacre Dieu!" (Holy God) which they toned down to
"Sacre bleu!" to avoid impropriety. This is much like the way Americans
would say "Judas Priest!" instead of "Jesus Christ" or "Goshdarn"
instead of "Goddamn". (In fact, listening to my father as a kid, I
thought there was a word, "Jesusmaryandjoseph" that you said when
angered. Also, "damfino".)

I may be way off on this, but it sounds like "Little blue man" may have
originally been a religious oath watered down and then translated in
English.

http://community.webtv.net/drhermes/ForbiddenKnowledge
b***@robertweinberg.net
2005-03-12 04:44:30 UTC
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Each of the three hardcovers in the BSD contain the map of
Harrisonville as well as the portraits of de Grandin and Trowbridge.
The 1st volume contains a slightly rewritten version of the 6
introductions I wrote for the paperback series, the 3rd volume has an
intro by James Rockhill, and the 2nd volume has the real prize, an
introduction by Seabury Quinn Jr. about his father. Great stuff!

A word or two about the map and art. The original pictures of de
Grandin and Trowbridge were done for Weird Tales in the 1930's by
Virgil Finlay. In an article i published in the Weird Tales Collector
(my fanzine due to be reprinted someday by Wildside Press), Chet
Williamson points out that Finlay used the faces of two men used in a
pulp ad that appeared several years earlier. Easier than hiring
models! When the paperbacks were published, the Finlay artwork was not
available so Stephen Fabian did recreations of the Finlay pieces. So
the portraits came from ads, where changed by Finlay into dG and T, and
then were redone by Fabian via Finlay via ad. The pics in the
hardcovers i believe come from the Fabian reproductions.

The map was put together by me reading through the entire series of 93
stories twice, taking notes on locations when available. I also used
the research I did to write my article on the possible real location of
Harrisonville (which seemed to fit Elizabeth, NJ). I then sent my
rough sketch and notes to John Mayer, an artist friend of Karl Edward
Wagner, who had done some artwork for me for my booklet, WT50. John
designed and drew the map, and I paid him for the work, but he was not
credited in the paperbacks and the map was always assumed to be the
work of Stephen Fabian who was credited for the portraits. (Steve
never claimed it was his). So, I'm happy to correct the misconception
and mention what a great job done by John some 28 years ago!

as to the cover art by Vincent di Fate, I like much of Vincent's art
but I felt that the books would have sold better with more
action-oriented covers, based on one scene from one story per book.
And I really did not like the white backgrounds. but I had nothing to
do with selecting the cover art. oh well.

Bob W.
Zoran Bekric
2005-03-12 20:05:01 UTC
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Post by b***@robertweinberg.net
The map was put together by me reading through the entire series of 93
stories twice, taking notes on locations when available. I also used
the research I did to write my article on the possible real location of
Harrisonville (which seemed to fit Elizabeth, NJ). I then sent my
rough sketch and notes to John Mayer, an artist friend of Karl Edward
Wagner, who had done some artwork for me for my booklet, WT50. John
designed and drew the map, and I paid him for the work, but he was not
credited in the paperbacks and the map was always assumed to be the
work of Stephen Fabian who was credited for the portraits. (Steve
never claimed it was his). So, I'm happy to correct the misconception
and mention what a great job done by John some 28 years ago!
Thank you for this. I always wondered who put together the map of
Harrisonville. Nice to finally know the answer. Well done!

I must admit I was one of those who assumed that Steve Fabian was
responsible for the artwork. Is John Mayer given credit in the BSD
editions?

Whose idea was it to include a map? Not that I'm complaining, but it was
an unusual addition to include in the paperbacks. Usually you only get
maps of fantasy realms, like Howard's Hyborian Age or the like.

The only other place I'm aware of where fictional towns used in
horror/weird fantasy stories have been mapped out is in the series of
supplements for Chaosium's "Call of Cthulhu" roleplaying game -- "Arkham
Unveiled" (1990), "Return to Dunwich" (1991), "Kingsport, the City in
the Mists" (1991), "Tales of the Miskatonic Valley" (1991) and "Escape
from Innsmouth" (1992, revised 1997). Those were good too, but the
Harrisonville map pre-dated them by a good fifteen years. That makes it
pretty innovative -- unless there are earlier maps of fictional
towns/cities I'm unaware of.

Regards,

Zoran

________________________________________________________________________
"Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee,
and just as hard to sleep after."
-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Bruce Y
2005-03-13 01:40:44 UTC
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Post by Zoran Bekric
Harrisonville map pre-dated them by a good fifteen years. That makes it
pretty innovative -- unless there are earlier maps of fictional
towns/cities I'm unaware of.
-
Back in the 50's, or earlier, Dell issued a series of mysteries called
"Mapbacks". They had a map of the crime scene or of the local geography.
j***@gmail.com
2017-02-21 14:26:13 UTC
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Night Shade is doing the Complete Jules De Grandin in a multi volume set.

:)

John Pelan
2005-03-09 14:07:51 UTC
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Post by b***@robertweinberg.net
John wrote--
I just wish that the
publisher would pay some degree of attention to presentation as well
as to the content. Sadly, these could have been real showpieces
without increasing the cost if a little commonsense had been used in
the book design...
-actually, the publisher has paid more attention to presentation on
books published since the de Grandin set. dustjackets on more recent
volumes such as The Compleat Adventures of Bill Brent are quite nicely
printed and produced.
And that's a *good* thing! ;-)
Post by b***@robertweinberg.net
The problem with the de Grandin set was that the printer Battered
Silicon uses was not equipped at the time with a large enough color
press to print the oversized jackets. There was no lack of commonsense
involved. It was merely an effort by Battered Silicon to provide
jackets that otherwise would not have been included at all. Despite
the assertion of not increasing the cost, at the time of publication
these jackets if printed by another printer would have significantly
raised the price of the set.
Maybe I'm being unduly harsh, maybe not. Let me first say I like
George, I've helped him on projects and expect to do so in the future.

Asking your printer if they can do the kind of project that you have
in mind is displaying "commonsense". As to my assertion, I submit that
George could have used a genuine leather binding (like Night Shade did
with the Wellman set) at a cost only slightly higher than the cloth
binding and produced a very attractive set of books.
Post by b***@robertweinberg.net
Anyone unhappy with the jackets is free to remove them from their set.
Blasphemy. ;-)
Post by b***@robertweinberg.net
Please realize that George is a one-man operation and that publishing
is his hobby. He is a full time doctor. These books are done in very
small print runs, usually under a hundred copies, and everything from
the typesetting to layout to shipping is handled by him. And he does
pay royalties. These books might seem expensive, but if you calculate
how much reading material you are getting for the price, you will
realize that the price is much more reasonable than most people
realize.
bob w.
As I said, they are a good value by any calculation. I will not
apologize for nor excuse George's careless shipping methods. Let's
see, as an example; I ordered books from you on at least a bi-monthly
basis for the better part of a decade and I think *once* had a book
damaged (and it was a paperback I added to the order as a reading copy
to make the discount total). In twenty years, we've had two books
damaged in shipping and neither was our fault. There's simply no
excuse for just dumping a $250.00 set of books in a box without any
protection whatsoever. To me, that's just inexcusable. Hopefully that
has been corrrected as I know that Jim Rockhill, Mike Chomko, and I
all gave George plenty of grief over the subject.

I'd love to see BSD succeed, George is willing to take on projects
that even I in my most Quixotic moments wouldn't touch. He's mentioned
plans to publish all of Arthur Morrison's detective tales at some
point, a terrific idea, but that's a book that might sell 200 copies
(over time). I know he wants to do the complete Seabury Quinn at some
point; a project that is simply staggering... I hope these projects
come to fruition, but I worry that ignoring some of the basics like
careful shipping of expensive books will decrease what is, by
definition a pretty small market to start with.

Cheers,

John
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