The ACE Doubles (and Singles): Image Library
The ACE SF Double had a 21 year life span and went through several numbering systems. In addition, the numbering system included single titles (either short novella length stories or longer, often abridged, stories that had originally been published in hardback) as well as the tête-bêche (back-to-back) volumes. The primary reference for anyone interested in the tête-bêche style of publication is James
A. Corrick (1991) Double Your
Pleasure: The ACE SF Double, Gryphon Books (Brooklyn; www.gryphonbooks.com).
Another reference available for the ACE doubles and singles
volumes (science fiction, fantasy and horror only!) is Harold R.
Peters (1996) Science Fiction,
Fantasy & Horror in the Ace Letter-Series Editions: A
Collector's Notebook, Silver Sun Press, P. O. Box 647
Grindstone, PA, 15442 (listed price $6.50). This 65 page spiral
bound volume is a listing of each letter series ACE single and
double volume with notation space for condition and edition. It
has an author index to correlate the singles and doubles
published. It is useful for the ACE singles - though I have found
a few discrepancies with my collection and this listing.
this time, I know of no publication and author/cover artist
references for the ACE western doubles or the ACE singles (see
previous paragraph) published during this time period. The ACE
mystery doubles have an out-of-print reference by Sheldon Jaffery
(1987) Double Trouble: A
Bibliographic Chronicle of Ace Mystery Doubles, Starmont
Popular Culture Series no. 11, Borgo Press. This is currently
available (for how long I do not know) through the Barnes and
Noble website at www.barnesandnoble.com in the library binding edition for about $30 (US). SHELDON JAFFERY, author of the Double Trouble bibliographic chronicle as well as FUTURE AND FANTASTIC WORLDS, SELECTED TALES OF GRIM
AND GRUE, and THE COLLECTOR'S INDEX TO WEIRD TALES, has recently passed away and the availability of this volume (in hardback or soft cover) is decreasing (check out your local interlibary loan officier and maybe they can help get you a copy).
Another interesting and useful reference for the ACE mystery collector or the pulp mystery enthusiast. Hardboiled America, The Lurid Years of Paperbacks by Geoffrey O'Brien. Published by Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York. 1981. 144pp. Paperback. Illustrated with some color cover images. Essentially a checklist for the "hardboiled" mystery genre for the time period from 1929 to 1958.
I have found a couple of other
(somewhat) useful volumes for the ACE collector or Science
For pseudonyms of authors in any of the
following pages use this site (AKA -
"also known as") as it is well-developed and highly
useful with a good reference section. In addition, a helpful
reader has suggested the following pseudonym resource:
PSEUDONYMS by Pat Hawk, available on CD from him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another source is THE
SCIENCE FICTION AND HEROIC FANTASY AUTHOR INDEX compiled by
Stuart W. Wells III (1978), published by Purple Unicorn Books
(Duluth, MN; out-of-print, softcover edition). This volume is
Author-based and provides information on titles, publishers
(mostly paperback) and reprints.
For cover art and artist, the best compendium I have found (at this time) is A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY ARTISTS by Robert Weinberg. Published by Greenwood Press, Westport, CT: copyright 1988. Contains biographical sketches of over 250 artists with bibliographical listings of their work. ("Working bibliographies," as noted by the author, "not the final word on the work of the illustrators included..." and "...Artwork not relating to Science Fiction is not included..." All the major --- and many minor --- artists in the field are covered from the Pulp Era period (PAUL, ST. JOHN, FINLAY, BOK, BERGEY, and BRUNDAGE) the SF Digests and the early paperbacks (POWERS, FREAS, McCAULEY, EMSH, and BELARSKI) and those from the 1960's and 1970's (KRENKEL, FRAZETTA, SCHOENHERR, and GAUGHAN) to the more modern artists (KELLY, ROWENA, MAITZ, BURNS, BARR, and the HILDEBRANDTS). Volume also contains several short articles addressing "Science Fiction Art : A Historical Overview" and "Science Fiction Art : What Still Exists." lastly, it contains a listing of the major awards garnered by the artists. However, there are NO illustrations in this volume (sorry). It is available from a number of used book sources (i.e., www.abebooks.com) for ~ $35 (US). Primarily a research volume, but a great source for any collector of SF and Fantasy art, particularly those interested in the early pulp magazines and paperbacks. (This volume and information was brought to my attention by Grover Deluca - and I immediately acquired a copy).
A very good reference
(well-indexed and written) on TV Tie-In volumes (some by ACE) is
by Kurt Peers (1999, 2nd edition) TV Tie-Ins: A Bibliography of American TV tie-in paperbacks. TV Books, NY, 364 pp. This
volume (paperback) is available from Bibliosession@mindspring.com. This is especially useful for shows such as The
Man From U.N.C.L.E. , The Prisoner, Marcus Welby, M.D., and others published by ACE Books.
The Science Fiction Collector:
a series of pamphlet/checklist volumes with articles,
letters and commentary. Available from several NET book search
engines at highly variable prices. The ones that I am using are
Science Fiction Collector. # 1. (Bibliography) # 1 Pandora's
Books published this index to Ace Books in 1976, covering the
period 1953-1968. From his personal collection, Grant Thiessen
prepared an index covering all Ace science fiction, fantasy and
horror books, during the period when Ace prefixed their book
numbers with a letter code to identify the price of the book. The
A- D- F- G- H- N- S- M- and K- series are included. All of the
Ace Doubles during this period are identified. This index also
includes many marginal works, and works in other fields by
authors associated with the science fiction field. With cover
Science Fiction Collector. # 2. (Bibliography) This issue includes
a few additions and errata to the Ace Books index published in
SFC #1, an appreciation and bibliography of Fredric Brown, and a
book review and bibliography of John Russell Fearn's Golden
Amazon series, as well as letters from subscribers, some
interesting observations, and early attempts (prior to any of the
paperback price guides), to identify the science fiction and
other fantastic literature published by Avon Fantasy Novels,
Bantam of L.A., Bart House, Bond-Charteris, Century,
Double-Action, Handi-Books, Harlequin, Hillman, Lion, Merit,
Permabooks, Prize, Thriller Novel Classics, and Toby Press. With
Science Fiction Collector. # 3. (Bibliography) # 3 Gene Marshall,
Carl F. Waedt and Paul C. Allen made contributions, which, when
combined, served to index the Robert A. W. Lowndes' Health
Knowledge Magazines of the 60's and 70's, which included Bizarre
Fantasy Tales, Famous Science Fiction, Magazine of Horror,
Startling Mystery Stories, Weird Terror Tales, and the
non-fantastic magazines Thrilling Western Magazine and World Wide
Adventure. Also included is a list of the issues announced but
never released. J. Grant Thiessen and Stuart W. Wells III
combined forces to produce a Galaxy Novels annotated index. With
Science Fiction Collector. # 4. (Bibliography, Adult). # 4
Kenneth R. Johnson contributed the major checklist this issue, a
first attempt to identify the books published in the adult
pornography fields which also qualified as science fiction,
fantasy, or horror. Ian Covell sent checklists of the works of
Kenneth Bulmer, Laurence James, and Angus Wells, authors who
often shared pen-names with each other and others. Ronald W.
Spitzer contributed a Vega Books SF checklist. A one-page Tarzan
story by Robert Buhr was complemented by a checklist of Tarzan
imitators, prepared by Grant Thiessen. Mr. Thiessen also
contributed a checklist of the 'Best of...' phenomena, a piece of
verse made up mostly of science fiction titles, and an index to
the Canadian magazine Super Science Stories, which continued
after the demise of its American namesake. Also included are
letters, a question box, reviews, and cover reproductions.
Article about Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Lastly, an other good source of information is
the defunct Books Are Everything
fanzine (1988 to 1995; available from your local inter-library
loan officer). I will (in the future) try and quote some of the
short articles and checklist that are found in this interesting
(sometimes wacky, sometimes off-the-wall) collection of short
articles, subscribers letters and interviews.
As I continue with this set of pages I will
add other reference information.
Last update: 29 January 2009
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