Already having 11 domain names and being constantly bombarded with opportunities to buy new domain name extensions I can usually restrain myself from purchasing more but I have recently succumbed and bought two. One I couldn’t resist as it is simply my forename, then a full stop and then my surname (that and nothing else even though people find it hard to accept) ready for my world domination scheme. The second is that us PAN Book collectors/appreciators are often called PAN Fans and imply we are in a sort of club so when the extension club came up I went for panfans.club which is eventually working as a redirect.I mentioned last week being so near to getting the last title of the 2,391 know ones PAN published under their eclectic numbering system. Well I do have the one that looks just like it apart from not having the magic number X705 in the top right hand corner (it’s a 4th printing) I think I’ll have to count this as a half!
I’m sure I must be like a lot of people in watching for different items on eBay which 99.9% of the time gives very strange results but when it came up with ‘PAN Junior Crosswords Book 3’ I thought I’d found my holy grail. On clicking on the item it WAS the last title I needed BUT it wasn’t X705. It turned out to the later edition with the same cover but an ISBN. At 50p I bid on it anyway and I’ll use it as a place holder on the shelves until that day when I can actually replace it with the real thing.Going back to a past blog where I mentioned the amazing prices asked for copies of “Casino Royale” I see the one that has just ended on eBay failed to get any bids. This might be down to it being a second printing and with a starting price of £249.99 but then again on the up side they did offer free p&p. Another copy with 18 bids just went for £36.10 but didn’t say which printing while there is a second printing ‘buy it now’ on offer for £74.32.
Passing a pile of books outside a shop I noticed one was a PAN and surprisingly it credited the cover artist but not someone I’d heard of. Having now looked him up the only reference I can find is on “The Illustrated Gallery” website where they say
“Although a popular fantasy artist in the 1990s, almost nothing is known about David Bergen’s career. He was active in the 1970s, illustrating Sphere’s H. G. Wells’ reprints and the cover for SF Digest (1976), as well as books by Arthur C. Clarke and Samuel R. Delaney. Soon after, he could be found contributing covers to DAW Books in the USA. Bergen then seemed to disappear until 1990 when his work began appearing on various Pan fantasy and SF titles as well as the Puffin editions of Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series. He continued to produce covers until at least 1997 when his work again disappears from sight”
The cover I found was from 1980 so it looks like he was working for PAN earlier than 1990 but the challenge now is to see if I can contact him and find other examples of his work.
* UPDATE I think I’ve tracked him down to The Netherlands and an email has been sent, watch this space.
If you are reading this it means that the scheduled publication has worked. The reason I’ve done it is that I am currently on holiday exploring the coast of Dorset for a couple of weeks. On the day this is be published I should be at the premises of Henry Ling Printers, Dorchester, where I’m booked in for a guided tour with the Chairman. The PAN connection is that they printed the ‘Invisible Ink Puzzle Books’ which turned out to be a bit of a nightmare but Tony Kennett has promised to tell all. The reason I put ‘Happy Birthday’ as the title is that it is actually 30 years to the day yesterday, June 8th 1984, that the first invisible ink puzzle book ‘Ball Games’ by Tom Case was published.
After seeing a signed copy of Johnnie Johnsons ‘Full Circle’ with dust jacket appear on eBay several times I was waited until the price dropped again on relisting but someone bid on it. I wasn’t going to bother until I saw the name in the inscription and then decided I had to have – and pretend it was for me!
Whilst once again flicking through websites showing pages of book covers I spotted a familiar one but with an unfamiliar name at the top.
I already had the Piccolo Factbook version of ‘Space Flight’ along with the Rand McNally one from the States but I’d not come across Willowisp Press Inc (St. Petersburg Florida USA) before. The dates are respectively 1981, 1982 and 1984 and all printed by Graficas Reunidas SA, Madrid, Spain.