Thrift Treasures (The Bo Jackson Score)

I stopped by a Goodwill on the way home Monday and found something after 15 minutes. The store was a hot mess, but to me, this is where pickings are better; nobody knows what is going on there.

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This is the typical scene at this particular store. It is one of the worst ones for books. I rarely go in because they churn through so much (located next to a Burlington). So it was here I found an oldie but a goodie for those NFL fans of the late 1980s. Bo Jackson the duel threat phenom before he blew out his knee. IMG_9477.JPG

The only other thing I picked up was a first edition Stephen King book, Bag of Bones. There was nothing special about it other than I collect Stephen King Books. Unfortunately, since I collect all on memory now instead of stressing out with an inventory sheet, I found out I already had this book in first edition. On well, minus 99 cents unless I find someone else who likes him. IMG_9482.JPG

I combined this score with two other books I bought the previous weekend at a random quick stop. I found a pretty pristine copy of Sphere by Michael Crichton, a first edition, one of my favorite novels of all time (the movie was horrendous). I had found 4 BCE in the past, so this one stuck out to me from a quick scan. Can you see the difference? The real first edition has the reflective metallic details in the lettering. All I had to do was wipe off a few scuff marks (Like some random leaf or something in the O) and it looked like it came from the book launch. Believe it or not, a first edition Sphere runs around $45. All an all, another solid 1.99 purchase (a higher end thrift shop … grrr) IMG_9530.jpeg

The last book of my was a first edition of Legends. This is pretty much mandatory in every fantasy collector’s shelf. Just look at the authors. You’ve already seen Anne McCaffrey from my first autograph score. I have a Stephen King score from 12 years ago I can show if I ever hit a dry spell. IMG_9483.JPG

The back of the novel is just as loaded (with Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, Robert Silverberg, Ursula K Le Guin, and George R. R. Martin). As a huge fan of a bunch of these authors, getting a first edition of this was huge. The novel debuts “The Hedge Knight” which is the first side story he published, showing Dunk and Egg and their adventures. So far, I have yet to find a first edition of A Game of Thrones or A Clash of Kings, the only two books before this (I do have a first edition of Tuf Voyaging). It is funny to note he wrote a Dance with Dragons was forthcoming, instead of a Storm of Swords that came next. In any case, the novel is cool to have, notwithstanding it is worth $25-$30 despite being a $1 purchase at the thrift store.

As for the Bo Jackson Book? I did it again. Call me the autograph whisperer, but I seemed to have crafted a process to find autographed books at garage sales and thrift shops left and right.The Heisman winner still commands a fanbase and charges around $100 per autograph at conventions. On ebay, this book when signed goes between $39.99 and $60. So it was a pretty good score for 99 cents. Below is the picture of the autograph as I was standing in the middle of the shop looking like a fool.

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READ ABOUT MY ANNIE HALL SCORE

Book Review: A Game of Thrones

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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

The story is an uncompromising tale of history, lies, revenge, love, and betrayal. My paperback copy runs around 800 pages plus extra content on the great houses of Westeros. To me, this is storytelling at its finest and Martin knows how to write. The story is bold and rich in detail and is an example for all aspiring writers to emulate.  Having written the story in the early 90’s after a frustrating stint in Hollywood, Martin went back to New Mexico to write a story unhinged from budgets, actors, or producer’s opinion. He shelved a Sci-Fi story called Avalon, when the first Bran chapter emerged vividly in his mind.  For me, the chapter involving the dream is where Martin’s true genius shows. The central mystery of the story is hinged on the dream chapter, and twenty-years later it remains unanswered (though most subscribe to the R+L=J theory).

I believe if the same story was submitted by an unknown author today to agents and publishers, it would have a fair shot in the business of betting on “sure things” like celebrity autobiographies and TV personality cookbooks. I would estimate out of 100 agents, maybe 10 would respond back interested to see the full manuscript. (They don’t like prologues or they don’t doesn’t see where a YA love triangle is). Out of the 10 agents, probably 9 don’t offer representation for the straight-up incest at the beginning of the book, the dwarf banging prostitutes, throwing a kid out a window, a peasant kid getting murdered by the Hound, lots of exposition and backstory taking up half of every chapter, the POVs being more than 4, implied incest with Dany and her brother, and a 14 year old Dany getting raped by Drogo. Not to mention the honest Ned, the protagonist of the story, getting his head chopped off and Dany walking into fire to hatch dragons as the climax of the story leaving us with a cliffhanger end to the first book. The one agent would have a tough time selling it to a publisher, but I think they could get a deal done.

The unknown author might have to agree to cut it to 80,000 words, make it one POV character, preferably Dany, and have her sail to King’s Landing in the first third of the book, and discover she was really the long lost Targaryen as foreseen in the prophecy. Then maybe she is torn in a love triangle between the advances of Prince Drogo (maybe call him Prince Dirk to relate to the market better and make him 15 years old) and Prince Jon (but instead of a bastard who didn’t even know his damn mom, make him a simple peasant with a mysterious, yet noble lineage). Nice. I smell a sequel …

Fortunately for us, Martin was able to publish whatever he pleased at whatever pace he wanted. I look forward to reading the Winds of Winter when it comes out this year.

MY REVIEW OF THE GREATEST SCI-FI FANTASY NOVEL EVER WRITTEN