Philip Jose Farmer's Basement
The Robert Bloch Books
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THE ROBERT BLOCK STORY
Neither Phil nor Bette Farmer can remember the exact year this occured, but they believe is was sometime in the early 1980's. Phil and Bette were visiting Bob and Ellie Bloch in California and the two authors were browsing through a rare book store. Phil noticed one of his own books on the shelf (he can't recall the title but I would venture a guess that it was TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO), and was astounded by the $700 asking price (a bargain these days).
Phil and Bob went up to the counter to ask the clerk why the book was so expensive. The lady, having no idea who she was addressing, looked at the book and then looked down her nose at Phil and explained that this book was an "association copy". It was not merely signed, but it was in fact inscribed to another science fiction author, Charlie Tanner, a personal friend of Philip Josť Farmer's. She then explained that an "association copy" was much more valuable than a signed copy or a book inscribed to just a fan.
Bob and Phil looked at each other, left the store, went straight to Bob's house and started inscribing books. They continued to inscribe and send books to each other for years after that.
Here then are a few of the books Phil has inscribed to him by Robert Bloch available for sale.
- THERE IS A SERPENT IN EDEN
paperback, Zebra Books, 1979 first printing
The condition of this book is only Fair as there are four small holes near the upper right hand corner, some small creases and edgewear and a large crease across the cover. The inscription is in blue felt tip pen, "Robert Block to Bette and Phil Farmer". There is a sticker on the inside of the front cover for the Molson-Stanton Associates Agency, Inc. - $100.00
- LADY'S DAY / THIS CROWDED EARTH
paperback, Belmont (double), 1968 first printing
The condition of this book is VG-. There is a reading crease and a light crease near the upper right hand corner. The inscription is in blue pen, "To Phil Farmer from his admirer, Robert Bloch". - $300.00
- THE STAR STALKER
paperback, Pyramid Books, 1968 first printing
The condition of this book is VG. There is a slight crease near the upper right hand corner and faint edge wear. The inscription is in blue pen, "For Phil and Bette Farmer from Ellie and Bob Bloch with much affection". - $300.00
- PSYCHO HOUSE
paperback, Tor Books, 1991 first paperback printing
The condition of this book is VG+. There is a light edge wear, mostly in the upper left hand corner. The inscription is in red felt tip pen, "For Philip Jose Farmer from his admiring colleague, Robert Bloch". - $300.00
hardcover, Tor Books, 1989 first printing
The condition of this book is NF/NF-. There is a light rubbing or smudging to the black dust jacket. The scan looks worse than it actually is. The inscription is in red felt tip pen, "To Philip Jose Farmer from his young admirer, Robert Bloch". - $300.00
There are another ten or so books that are not currently for sale, some of them with great inscriptions like; "To Robert Farmer from Philip Jose Bloch" and "To Bette and Phil Farmer, Peoria's answer to Beauty and the Beast". The most amazing one of all though, I have to believe, is the inscribed hardcover first edition of PSYCHO. The dust jacket on the book is very edgeworn (I don't have a scan), but the book bears the following inscription, "For Philip Jose Farmer, a gentleman, and a scholar - with best wishes to all three of you - and hopes that this example will be of help when you come to write your autobiography. Fondly, Robert Bloch 1967" So this book was given to Phil years before the incident in the bookstore related above. This book is not currently for sale, but offers over $3000 will be seriously considered.
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