"dos-ŗ-dos" vs. "tÍte-bÍche"
The format for the ACE Doubles is a single volume has two texts bound
together where one text is rotated 180į relative to the other so that when
one text runs 'head-to-tail,' the other runs 'tail-to-head.' This type of
binding is properly termed tÍte-bÍche (from the French meaning "head-to-toe")
rather than the commonly applied term dos-ŗ-dos (from the French
meaning "back-to-back"). Books bound in the tÍte-bÍche
manner have no back cover, but instead have two front covers and a single
spine with two titles. This allows each story to have a separate cover,
with appropriate artwork. When a reader reaches the end of the text of one
of the stories, the next page is the (upside-down) final page of the other
work (or in the case of many ACE Doubles, advertisement material for
purchasing other ACE Doubles).
The dos-ŗ-dos format also binds two stories together, but the
orientation is not inverted as in the tÍte-bÍche format. Books
bound in the dos-ŗ-dos manner have two front covers but have also
have two spines. The orientation (back-to-back) places both stories in the
same upright format, but the front story is read 'left to right' while the
back story is read 'right to left.'
The format for the ACE Double in the D-, F-, M-, or early five-digit
letter number sequence was tÍte-bÍche. However, in the later
five-digit letter number sequence, the binding format changed to a binding
where the two separate books are bound together in a 'follow-the-leader'
format. This results in a book with a single cover and separate back
cover. Often there was only a single page between the end of the first
story and the beginning of the next where advertising was placed. In later
editions, this page was often not present and the next story started on
the page following the end of the first tale.
ACE Books used the tÍte-bÍche binding format as a marketing
technique, but the binding style has spread to other publishers for
various genres. In the following, a set of pages has been developed to
catalog these various excursions into this form of book design. When there
is an active NET site the link will take you to the appropriate URL.
However, as I have found in my research as a geologist, most times when
you think there should be a lot of information or study on a particular
topic, you generally find that little has been recorded or investigated.
Disclaimer: Although this might seem to be an attempt
at a rigorous study, it is just a way of getting a lot of my stuff
organized and cataloged - remember, this is s'posed to be fun. As
always, this page - along with the others of the ACE Image Library - are
continually being updated and reviewed. If you have comments,
corrections, or images and publishing information, please contact me at
IronWolf Engine Works. Thank you.
Probably the most recognized of the "tÍte-bÍche" imitators of ACE
Books was the TOR SF Doubles. Tom Doherty Associates, Inc. was founded by
Tom Doherty in 1980, in conjunction with Pinnacle Books. In 1986, during
the bankruptcy of Pinnacle Books, the imprint was sold to St. Martin's
Press. Note that some of these TOR Doubles are actually single cover
volumes with two stories like many of the later ACE Doubles (e.g.,
five digit series). The
ISFDB database (click on the link) provides publication data for the
TOR SF Doubles. The following data and images are put together from my
collection and sources.
In my search to find other examples of the tÍte-bÍche format
used by ACE Doubles, I expected to use the TOR Science Fiction Doubles
as another example. To my amazement, I found that TOR also published
Western genre fiction in this style (wow - just another weird and
wonderful thing that the NET has allowed me to explore - I am a true
research geek). So, in order to be as complete as possible, here are the
Western genre TOR Doubles that I have uncovered so far.
Please note that these follow the format of the single cover TOR SF
Double with an interesting stylistic format. All of the ones I have seen
use the revolver ( I think this is either a Remington-Rider percussion
revolver or a Remington Army Revolver, New Model, 1874) as a key part of
the cover art. These are single author volumes with both titles listed
on the cover.
Belmont Science Fiction
Belmont Books (Belmont Productions, Inc., 185 Madison Ave., New York,
NY) produced a number (I have a few) of double story volumes. They were
composed of a single cover (much like the later ACE Double five-digit
numerical series) and two stories. The numbering sequence is not
consistent nor is the way in which they advertised the double volume.
Please note that they published the doubles in Science Fiction, Mystery,
Western, and Gothic genres (quite a mix).
Magabook Doubles ("Science Fiction at its Best") were
similar to the Belmont Doubles with two stories by the same author and
using split artwork for the single cover. I believe they were
published by Galaxy Magazine (but different than the Galaxy Magazine
single story special editions). I only have one of these, but several
AIL users have submitted some of the other editions (Thank You!). If any
AIL user has further information on this series, please let me know.
Signet Books produced a number (I have a few) of double story volumes.
Like the Belmont Doubles, they were composed of a single cover and two
stories by the same author. Once again, the numbering sequence is not
consistent (although you can use the ISBN to track them) nor is the way
in which they advertised the double volume. Please note that they
published the doubles in Science Fiction, Mystery, Western,
and Gothic-Romance genres.
Gryphon (Books) Publications
are an imprint published by Gary Lovisi (PO Box 209, Brooklyn NY 11228)
and have a series of Double paperback volumes in the "tÍte-bÍche"
style. These volumes are in a variety of genres (e.g., science fiction,
fantasy, Sherlockian, contemporary hardboiled crime, classic pulp crime,
private eye stories, and others), have some interesting cover art, and
many would be considered to be "paperback originals."
DELL Books - "Binary Doubles"
From 1978 to 1980, Dell Books produced five books called "Binary
Stars." They were published with a single cover, not "tÍte-bÍche"
like the Ace Doubles, but like the later ACE five digit numerical
Probably the most famous of these stories was Vernor Vinge's True
Names. Other "Binary Star" components were written by Fritz
Leiber (Destiny Times Three), Norman Spinrad, Isidore Haiblum,
Stephen Spruill, F. Paul Wilson, George R. R. Martin, Joan D. Vinge,
Ron Goulart, and Gordon Eklund. A mixture of original printing and
Manor Books has only (so far) yielded three examples of a double
format volume. Interestingly the cover art is split (vertically) in the
first two volumes and appears as if it was stripped from two separate
covers and juxtaposed together (all before the advent of PHOTOSHOP
The"double format" book published by Bantam Books in the single cover
format are for the 1950's style men's mystery/adventure stories of Doc
Savage. The cover art is split (vertically) like the Manor Book
This volume is published "tÍte-bÍche" like the Ace Doubles.
I have not found out much about this publication and if any AIL users
has input, please drop me an email.
Capra No. 1. URSULA K. LeGUIN The
Visionary: The Life Story of Flicker of the Serpentine bound
with SCOTT R. SANDERS Wonders Hidden: Audubon’s Early Years
(both covers and interior art by Margaret Chodos; October 1984;
The Visionary was an excerpt from her novel Always
Coming Home. The Wonders Hidden title is not science
fiction, more like science wonder. There was also a hardbound edition
of this double.
Ballantine Double Phoenix
I have only found one "double" science fiction volume from
Ballantine Books. It was published with a single cover, not
"tÍte-bÍche" like the Ace Doubles, but like the later ACE
five digit numerical series.
02420 EDMUND COOPER The Firebird
bound with ROGER LANCELYN GREEN From The World's End (cover
by Gervasio Gallardo; November 1971; 1st thus)
The Introduction is by Lin Carter.
I remember saving my pennies and whatever allowance I was given to
buy books from the monthly Scholastic Books checklists when I was in
5th and 6th grade. But I do not remember this double volume. It
was published "tÍte-bÍche" like the Ace Doubles.
30382 JOHN MORRESSY The Drought on
Ziax II bound with 30382b JOHN
MORRESSY The Humans of Ziax II (1978)
I came across a reference to this in Roger Robinson's Beccon
Publications Collector's Checklist (1993; Essex, UK). Although
Robinson indicates that this publication (s'posedly unauthorized
printing) was named Flamingo, it is actually a Belmont-Tower release
(thanks Bill!). It was published with a single cover, not "tÍte-bÍche"
like the Ace Doubles, but like the later ACE five digit numerical
series. The banner header is "2 Complete Science Fiction
50787 JOHN BRUNNER The Evil That Men
Do bound with LIN CARTER The Purloined Planet
(c.1969; March 1975 - printing date)
Belmont originally published both of these stories in B60-1010
I came across this volume in Thomas L. Bonn's Undercover: An
Ilustrated History of the American Mass Market Paperbacks (1982;
Penguin Books). I will continue to get more information on this
Royal Giant 17 ANONYMOUS Adam
and Two Eves (listed as "complete and unexpurgated")
bound with DAOMA WINSTON The
Other Stranger (listed as "an original novel, never
before published;" split artwork cover; 1953; 1st
Royal Giant 17
Royal Giant 20 TALBOT MUNDY
Full Moon (c.1935) bound
with CHARLES WILLEFORD High
Priest of California (split artwork cover; 1953;
Giant 20 (back cover)
Royal Giant 22 JOHN JAKES Gonzaga's
Woman bound with TALBOT MUNDY Affair
in Araby (c.1934; split artwork cover by Walter Popp;
Banner headline proclaims "Two Great Books Under One Cover."
Split cover artwork.
Royal Giant 28. MARK TWAIN (aka
SAMUEL L. CLEMENS) The
Unnatural Son (original title: Pudd'nhead
Wilson) bound with A
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (split artwork
proclaims "Two of Mark Twain's Greatest Novels!"
This well known (and prolific) English publisher has also tried to
publish in the "tÍte-bÍche"format similar to ACE Books. I
gather (from an AIL user; thank you Ian) that a number of these were
in young adult (YA) literature as well as the few I have found in
science fiction (called, surprisingly enough, "Binary"
editions). More on these as I track them down.
PETER F. HAMILTON Watching Trees Grow (c. 2000; 2002) bound with
IAN MacDONALD Tendel^e'o's Story (c.2001; 2002)
Binary 4. STEVEN BAXTER Reality Dust
(c. 2000; 2003) bound with PAUL McAULEY Making History
KEN MacLEOD Human Front (c. 2001; 2003) bound with ERIC BROWN A
Writer's Life (c.2001; 2003)
Collins UK (children's literature)
The Collins UK volumes found so far are generally two satirical
fantasy novellas bound "tÍte-bÍche."
GAIL CARSON LEVINE Spinning Tales 1: The Fairy's Mistake bound with
Spinning Tales 1: The Princess Test (2001)
Variants based on the classic tales of "The Princess and the Pea"
and "The Good and Bad Sisters."
GAIL CARSON LEVINE Spinning Tales 2: Cinderellis and the Glass Hill
bound with Spinning Tales 2: Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep
Variants based on the classic tales of "Cinderella" and "Sleeping
HARD CASE CRIME
Case Crime is a modern publishing group that has a line of
pulp-style paperback crime novels, complete with cover art in the mode
of the classic ACE Doubles. One of these is in the tÍte-bÍche format.
Hard Case Crime was created by Charles Ardai and Max Phillips and
is published as a collaboration between Winterfall LLC and Dorchester
ROBERT BLOCH Shooting Star (cover
by Arthur Suydam; c. 1958) bound with Spiderweb (cover
by Larry Schwinger; c.1954; 1st HCC printing April 2008)
Spiderweb was originally published in ACE Double D-59
(1954) bound with David Alexander's The Corpse In My Bed.
Shooting Star was originally published in ACE Double
D-265 (1958) bound with Robert Bloch's Terror In The Night (and
NESFA (New England Science Fiction
Association) Press has produced two "tÍte-bÍche" (hardbound)
volumes. The first was done to commemorate Lee Hoffman and A. Bertram
Chandler's appearances as Fan Guest of Honor and Guest of Honor,
respectively, at Chicon IV, the fortieth world science fiction convention.
The cover art for the two covers was done by Frank Kelly Freas.
A. BERTRAM CHANDLER Up To The Sky In Ships and LEE HOFFMAN In
And Out Of Quandry (1982; 1st edition)
Up To The Sky In Ships contains seven short stories: Chance
Encounter, Haunt, Planet of Ill Repute, Drift,
Ghost, The New Dimension, and The Unharmonious
In And Out Of Quandry contains several articles and essays
on fannish topics including The Truth About Steam.
The second volume was to commemorate Bob Shaw (Toastmaster) and Terry
Carr (Fan goH) for the 1986 World Science Fiction Convention
(ConFederation). The cover art for the two covers was done by Bob
TERRY CARR Between Two Worlds and BOB SHAW Messages Found In An Oxygen
Bottle (August 1986; 1st edition)
Between Two Worlds contains an introduction and 6 stories
and fannish articles.
Messages Found In An Oxygen Bottle contains 9 fannish
A small press that has been publishing double volumes in the "tÍte-bÍche"
Another publisher that I did not know had double format volumes.
Everytime I think of Leisure Books, I think of the 1950's soft-porn
genre that Robert Silverberg (and others) wrote for under a variety of
These Leisure Doubles are westerns with a single cover and two
stories by the same author. I will have to do a bit of work to figure
out this series and if any AIL user has some of these, please let me
Here is a publisher that I always associate with the 1950's to 1960's
soft-porn or alternative life-style genre. I did not know that they had
double format volumes (shows that my reading direction might not be as
varied as I hoped it was).
These Midwood Books Doubles are soft-porn/alternative life-style
genre with a single cover and two stories by the different author. Note
that some of these are listed as "Illustrated." Hmmmm. If any AIL
user has some of these, please let me know.
Wing Publishing Company
Oh, the books I find while snooping through junk stores. Wing Publishing
Company produced pulp volumes under "Fiction House." These magazines (7"
by 10") were headlined as "Two Complete Science-Adventure Books"
with split artwork covers and some interesting authors. I am not
completely certain if they are abridged (I only have three of these), but
will look into this as I have time.
Published quarterly. T. T. Scott listed as president, Jerome Bixby as
editor, and Malcolm Reiss as general manager. From my copies, it appears
that the split artwork was often by two different artist.
October 2013: I have come across another "double"
publication that ascribed to "Fiction House Publication," but whose
publishing date is 1939! These magazines (7" by 10") were
headlined as "Two Complete Detective
Books" with split artwork covers similar to the 1950's SF
volumes discussed above. I am not completely certain if they are
abridged (I only have one of these), but will look into this as I have
quarterly by Real Adventures Pub. Co., New York, NY. I will put
the link for this volume here until I can determine if this
publication has any connection with the "Fiction House" group
published by Wing Publishing Company. If any AIL user has
information on this "double" publication series, please contact me.
GEORGE DEAN Murder Makes A
Merry Widow bound with ANTHONY MORTON Blue
Mask (01 January 1939; listed as volume 1, number 1)
both of these stories have previously been published (noted on cover)
and this suggests that these might be abridged editions. Abridged
editions were pretty common in the reprint business prior to the
1960's and this is why many of the ACE volumes are either designated
"complete and unabridged" or "abridged." The inside
cover has a "blurb" for each story and the back
cover advertises two other 'detective' magazines (probably
published by the same company).
Zebra (publisher) appears to cover the
western, fantasy, romance, historical non-fiction, adventure and/or
thriller and regency romance genres in single volume format. The
Zebra Doubles are westerns with a single cover and two stories by the
same author. The heading is "Zebra Double-Barreled Western" with
"Two Complete Novels" or "2 Full-Length Western Novels in 1."
NELSON NYE A
Bullet For Billy The Kid bound with Tough
NELSON NYE Wild Horse Shorty bound with
Blood of Kings (listed as "First Time in Paperback")
of Kings is the sequel to Wild
And now for something completely different! Soultheft
Records is from Seattle (P.O. Box 20154, Seattle, WA 98102) and, in
addition to vinyl and compact disc recordings ranging from industrial to
aetherial to dub to jazz, has produced a 'tribute' volume in the ACE
Double "tÍte-bÍche" paperback format. Two original stories by Doug
STRB-002 DOUG NUFER The River Boys bound
with The Mudflat Men (2006; 1st
printing and PBO)
Cover art by David Laskey.
More to come!
Last update: 07 October 2013