Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Book cover: "The Memory Bank"

  • Title: The Memory Bank
  • Cover blurb: "A science fiction novel of time and worlds to come"
  • Author: Wallace West (1900-1980)
  • Cover illustrator: Ralph Brillhart
  • Publisher: Airmont Books (in arrangement with Thomas Bouregy & Company)
  • Date of publication: 1962
  • Price: 35 cents
  • Pages: 127
  • Format: Paperback
  • Words and phrases appearing on the back-cover blurb: Catastrophe, Earth, mankind, galactic, Centaurus system, Memory Bank, immortality, custodian, most beautiful woman, Marian, Merek, non-depositor, danger, weaken, easy prey, ravishingly beautiful Barbarian girl Iskra, vital part, resolve, defy.
  • First sentence: "When I need your advice, Lieutenant Commander," cooed the admiral, "I shall send you a plascript!"
  • Number of Google hits for "plascript" before publishing this post: 198.
  • Last sentence: Ignoring the others in the halftrack, Merek showed her.
  • Should we ask what Merek showed her? No.
  • Random sentence from middle: He had a chance to look into those fathomless eyes under brows which slanted upward questioningly; the high cheek bones and the dimple which played at the left corner of those lovely lips.
  • Dear lord, that sentence: Indeed.
  • Notes: Where shall we begin? I think it's fair to call West, who was born in Kentucky at the turn of the century, a minor author within science-fiction. Most of his writing was short fiction, though he also wrote a handful of novels, including this one. On The Internet Speculative Fiction Database, his "author tags" include time travel, subliminal control, Pluto exploration, breeding protoplasm, and mad scientist. ... Cover illustrator Brillhart (1924-2007) did artwork for a few dozen covers during his career, including Asimov's The Caves of Steel and at least one Clifford D. Simak novel. According to his short 2007 obituary in The New York Times: "He was an honorably discharged Marine and retired commercial illustrator, he loved photography and carpentry work, and never truly knew how talented and special he was. Ralph requested no funeral and that his remains be cremated." ... Airmont Books was an imprint of Thomas Bouregy & Company and, apparently, per the Judging the Books blog, "all the Airmont Books were reprints of Bouregy’s own hardcovers, issued without any additional payment to the authors." So that kind of sucked for the writers. ... This obscure book also earned a mention on the long-lived John & Belle Have A Blog, in a 2003 post titled, appropriately, "Ask not for whom the admiral cooed."
  • One more random sentence: Still Iskra merely shrugged her lovely shoulders after each burst of the Franklin gun.
  • Keeping this book? Nope.

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