"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 front 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.
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.
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 Double.
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).
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!). They were 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
BT50244 HARLAN ELLISON Doomsman
(c.1958, 1967; 1972) bound with
LIN CARTER Thief of Thoth (c.1968; July 1972)
This appears to be a "make-up" volume using Thief of Thoth
(originally published in B50-809; 1968) and Doomsman
(originally published in B50-779; c. 1958, 1967). Thus, this
could be considered a "1st thus" publication.
BT50759 ROBERT BLOCH Ladies'
Day (c.1968; 1974) bound with
ROBERT BLOCH This Crowded Earth (c.1958, 1968; this
This reprints Belmont B60-080 (1968).
BT50787 JOHN BRUNNER The
Evil That Men Do bound
with LIN CARTER The
Purloined Planet (c.1969; March 1975)
Both of these stories are copyrighted for 1969 and reprints
Belmont B60-1010 (1969).
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; 1st thus)
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.
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 reprints.
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; March 2002) bound
with IAN MacDONALD Tendel^e'o's Story (c.2001; March 2002)
Binary 4. STEVEN BAXTER Reality
Dust (c.2000; 2003) bound with PAUL McAULEY Making
History (c.2001; 2003)
KEN MacLEOD Human Front (c. 2001; 2003) bound with ERIC
BROWN A Writer's Life (c.2001; 2003)
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."
HARD CASE CRIME
Hard 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
ROBERT BLOCH Shooting Star
(cover by Arthur Suydam; c. 1958) bound with Spiderweb
(cover by Larry Schwinger; c.1954; 1st HCC printing April
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 Other Stories).
HarperCollins UK (children's literature)
The HarperCollins 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 (June 2001)
Variants based on the classic
tales of "The Princess and the Pea" and "The Good and Bad
GAIL CARSON LEVINE Spinning Tales 2: Cinderellis and the Glass Hill
bound with Spinning Tales 2: Princess Sonora and the Long
Here is another publisher that I
always associate with the 1950's to 1960's soft-porn or
alternative life-style genre (i.e. "The Man From O.R.G.Y"), though
they did publish in the Mystery, Science Fiction, Horror, and
Gothic genres. But I did not know that they had double
format volumes (the things I find when you snoop in the deep, dark
corners of the publishing industry).
These Lancer Books Doubles are either
soft-porn/alternative life-style genre, science fiction, or
mysteries (that I have been able to find so far) with a single
cover (often with split artwork) and sometimes two stories by
different authors. If any AIL user has some of these, please
let me know.
HARRY WHITTINGTON Backwoods
Shack bound with
DOUG DUPERRAULT Spot-Light
On Sin (c.1954; nd)
DAY KEENE Bring Him Back
Dead bound with
DAY KEENE There Was A
Crooked Man (c.1963; nd)
as "2 for 1" and "Two Complete and Unabridged Novels."
DAMON KNIGHT World
Without Children bound
with The Earth
Quarter (1970; 1st edition and probably a PBO)
art cover and blurb changed to "Two Damon Knight Science Fiction
Novels" on spine.
Variants based on the classic
tales of "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty."
Another publisher that I did not know had double format
volumes. Every time 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 pseudonyms.
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 know.
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.
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
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
These Midwood Books Doubles are
soft-porn/alternative life-style genre with a single cover and two
stories by different authors. Note that some of these are listed as
"Illustrated." Hmmmm. If any AIL user has some of these, please
let me know.
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
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 World.
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 Eggleton.
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
I came across this series 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 18 H.
RIDER HAGGARD Allan
Quatermain bound with
H. RIDER HAGGARD King
Solomon's Mines (split artwork cover; 1953; listed
as "edited, but unexpurgated")
Royal Giant 18
Royal Giant 20 TALBOT MUNDY Full
Moon (c.1935) bound with CHARLES WILLEFORD High
Priest of California (split artwork cover; 1953;
Royal Giant 20
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."
Royal Giant 25 THEOPHILE GAUTIER Mademoselle
De Maupin bound with
VOLTAIRE Candide (split
artwork cover; nd; listed as "complete
Banner headline proclaims "Two Great Classics Under One
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!"
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)
Cover art by Stanley Skardinski. I
believe that this could be considered a PBO as well as 1st edition
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.
STARK HOUSE Books
Stark House Books (Eureka, California)
issued a series of double novels as the Stark House Mystery Classics.
Note that these are often labelled "Stark
House Crime Classics"
or "Stark House Noir Classics."
The Stark House doubles have a single cover and two stories by the
same author. This is what I have been able to find at this time,
but will continue to add as I acquire them.
Anatomy Of A Killer bound
with A Shroud For
Jesso (2008; 1st thus)
WILLIAMS Nothing In Her
Way bound with River
by Rick Ollerman.
(aka Robert A.
Silverberg) Lust Queen
bound with Lust
Victim (cover by Mark Shepard; July 2014; 1st edition
Duo: Introduction by Robert Silverberg. Includes a Bibliography
section after the two novels.
Queen (1961) was originally published by Midnight
Reader. It was republished under the title The
Decadent by Reed Nightstand Books in 1974.
was originally published by Midnight Reader under the title No
Robert Silverberg is a revision of My
Life As A Pornographer and Those
Good Old Soft-Core Days.
Death's Sweet Song bound
with Whom Gods
by Cullen Gallagher.
G. H. OTIS
Bourbon Street bound
with Hot Cargo
(cover by James Avati; c. 1953;
2020; 1st thus)
published (separately) by Lion Books in 1953. New introduction by Gary
Lovisi (Paperback Parade magazine owner, writer, and editor).
A small press that has been publishing double volumes in the "tÍte-bÍche"
These magazines had a banner
proclaiming "Two Great Books Under One Cover," split artwork
covers and different artists. Digest-sized paperback published by
Universal Publishing & Distributing Corporation. The inside back
cover often advertised other volumes in this series and called them
"Uni-Book Giants." I am not completely certain if some of them are
abridged, but will look into
this as I have time.
Universal Giant G-1
HARRY WHITTINGTON Prime
Sucker bound with
IDABEL WILLIAMS The Hussy
(split artwork cover; 1952; 1st printing and PBO; listed as "complete
Universal Giant G-1
Universal Giant G-4
STEVE HARRAGAN Dope Doll
bound with STEVE HARRAGAN Bigamy
Kiss (split artwork cover; 1953; 1st printing)
Universal Giant G-5
DAVID WILLIAMS Bulls, Blood
and Passion bound with FRITZ LEIBER The
Sinful Ones (split artwork cover; 1953; 1st
Universal Giant G-5 (back
cover) and spine. Note that this
copy is signed by Fritz Leiber.
Universal Giant G-7
JON HARTT Savage Mistress
ELSIE DEAN Concubine
(split artwork cover
Universal Giant G-7
Universal Giant G-8
VALERIE TAYLOR The Lusty
Land bound with
CURTIS LUCAS Forbidden
Fruit (split artwork cover;
1953; 1st printing)
Universal Giant G-11
TALBOT MUNDY The Queen's
Warrant (1st American printing) bound
with HUMPHREY COBB Paths
Of Glory (split artwork
cover; 1953; 1st printing)
Universal Giant G-11 (back
cover) and spine.
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
have now obtained the complete run of 11 issues - 05 December 2013),
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 (sometimes with two
different artists) 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 time. (I have now
obtained a number of these issues and it appears that a couple of
these stories are PBO - 21 November 2014).
House doubles - Mystery
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.
December 2017: Still more "Fiction House
Publication"publications. I have found some "double"
publication addressing the "Western" genre. These magazines
(7" by 10") were headlined as "Two
Western Action Books" with split artwork covers (sometimes
with two different artists) similar to the 1950's SF and mystery
volumes discussed above.
House doubles - Western
If any AIL
user has information on this "double" publication series, please
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 (June 1978; listed as "First Time in Paperback")
of Kings is the sequel to Wild
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: 17 September 2021