"dos-ŗ-dos" vs. "tÍte-bÍche" formats

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.

TOR Books

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.

TOR SF Doubles

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.

TOR Western genre Doubles

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).

Belmont Doubles (all genres)


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.

Magabook Doubles

SIGNET Doubles

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.

Signet Doubles (all 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."

Gryphon Doubles (all genres)

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 series.

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.

Binary Doubles

Manor Books

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 software).

Manor Book Doubles

Bantam Books

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.

Bantam Doubles


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.

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.

Scholastic Books

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 Novels."

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 (May 1969).

Royal Giant

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 publisher.

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 thus)

Royal Giant 17 (back cover)

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 (back cover)

Royal Giant 20 TALBOT MUNDY Full Moon (c.1935) bound with CHARLES WILLEFORD High Priest of California (split artwork cover; 1953; 1st thus)

Royal 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; 1953)

Banner headline proclaims "Two Great Books Under One Cover."

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 cover; 1954)

Banner headline proclaims "Two of Mark Twain's Greatest Novels!"

Gollancz Books

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)

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 Sisters."

GAIL CARSON LEVINE Spinning Tales 2: Cinderellis and the Glass Hill bound with Spinning Tales 2: Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep (2001)

Variants based on the classic tales of "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty."


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 Dorchester Publishing.

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 Other Stories).


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 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 articles.

Subterranean Press

A small press that has been publishing double volumes in the "tÍte-bÍche" (hardbound) format.

Subterranean Doubles

Leisure Books

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 names.

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.

Leisure Doubles

Midwood Books

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.

Midwood Books Doubles

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.

Fiction House doubles

03 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).

Fiction House doubles - Mystery

Published 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.


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 Company (1978)

NELSON NYE Wild Horse Shorty bound with Blood of Kings (listed as "First Time in Paperback")

Blood of Kings is the sequel to Wild Horse Shorty.


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 Nufer (Negativeland).

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: 22 November 2014