ACE SF A-Series Singles Image Library

The A letter-number series of ACE paperbacks were published from 1967 to 1968 and priced at 75. There are 30 numbers in this series. However, there is one oddball volume - ACE number A-130 is actually part of the K letter-number series and bears the A prefix because it was priced at 75. The other A letter-number series are located in the ACE Potpourri section, except for A-009 which is located in the ACE Western singles section.

A-003 BERNARD WOLFE Limbo (cover by Jack Gaughan; c.1952; 1966; 1st ACE printing)

BERNARD WOLFE (b. 1915; Yale graduate) was a psychologist and newsman (interesting combination). Although he has written a number of short stories, this is his only novel. Renamed "Limbo 90" (1953) when released in the UK.

A-004 J. R. R. TOLKIEN The Fellowship of the Ring (cover and title page illustration by Jack Gaughan; 1966; listed as "Complete & Unabridged")

Historical note: This printing is the reason why the Ballantine editions carried the statement that they were the only authorized editions. These three books made up the infamous pirated edition of the Lord of the Rings (LOTR). There is still considerable controversy surrounding the publication of this edition. At the time they were published, there was no paperback edition of LOTR. ACE apparently requested a license for publication of a paperback but never received a response from the publishers in the United States (U.S.), Houghton-Mifflin, or Great Britain, Allen & Unwin. ACE published an edition without permission and sold thousands of copies in the U.S. ACE apparently made some settlement with all involved, including Tolkien, but the details of this have never been clear. An authorized edition was published by Ballantine. The Ballantine editions carry an authorization statement by Tolkien on the cover. As a result of the controversy, the ACE paperbacks are collectible. Unfortunately, they were made from poor quality paper and will consequently turn to dust in the near future.

It appears that the story was slightly different than what I had previously found. 

From book description by The Other Change of Hobbit (El Cerrito, CA, U.S.A.) bookstore (thank you Bill for finding this)

"The Ace edition of The Lord of the Rings was published because the British publisher failed to print copies in the United States (the Houghton Mifflin hardbacks all say "Printed in Great Britain"). Because US copyright law required the printing of an edition in the US to secure copyright, the books were not covered by US copyright law. Don Wollheim of Ace noticed this and brought out an edition, perfectly legally. Tolkien had refused to allow any paperback editions to this point. Once Ace brought these out, Tolkien revised them for Ballantine who then published an "Authorized edition" in 1965. Eventually Tolkien and Wollheim reached an agreement, and royalties were paid. Tolkien's comment on "courtesy to living authors" on the Ballantine edition is an indication that he knew there was in fact nothing he could really do to stop Ace's publication. But think of this -- it's quite possible that there would have been no paperback edition in Tolkien's lifetime if Wollheim hadn't found that loophole."

Now, as a true geek researcher, I will have to ask: "Anyone have any source(s) for this set of comments?"  Let me know so I can check them out.  Thank you.   

A-005 J. R. R. TOLKIEN The Two Towers (cover by Jack Gaughan; 1966; listed as "Complete & Unabridged")

A-006 J. R. R. TOLKIEN The Return of the King (cover by Jack Gaughan; 1966; listed as "Complete & Unabridged")

Note: A-005 according to Peters (1966) is The Return of the King,  however you will see that my cover is listed as A-006.  According to Peters (1966) A-006 is The Two Towers. Holroyd (2003) has the same information as my listing.

See discussion concerning A-004 for A-005 and A-006.

A-008 JOHN MYERS MYERS Silverlock (cover by Jack Gaughan; c.1949; 1966; 1st ACE printing; listed as "Complete & Unabridged")

A-010 DONALD A. WOLLHEIM and TERRY CARR (eds.) The World's Best SF: 1967 (cover and interior title page illustrations by Jack Gaughan; 1967; 1st ACE printing and PBO)

Short story collection (12) including Michael Moorcock Behold the Man (winner of 1968 Nebula Award for Best Novella), Philip K. Dick We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, Frederik Pohl Day Million, Roger Zelazny The Keys to December (a personal favourite and Nebula Award nominee), and Brian W. Aldis Amen and Out.

A-012 TERRY CARR (ed.) New Worlds of Fantasy (cover and interior illustrations by Kelly Freas; 1967; 1st ACE printing)

Short story collection including Terry Carr Introduction and Stanley Toothbrush, Roger Zelazny Divine Madness, John Brunner Break the Door of Hell, Jorge Luis Borges The Immortal, R. A. Lafferty Narrow Valley, Ray Russell Comet Wine, Katherine McLean The Other, Mildred Clingerman A Red Heart and Blue Roses, Thomas M. Disch The Squirrel Cage, Peter S. Beagle Come Lady Death, Curt Clark Nackles, J. G. Ballard The Lost Leonardo, Keith Roberts Timothy, Avram Davidson Basilisk, and Alfred Gillespie The Evil Eye.

This volume was also released under the title Step Outside Your Mind.

A-013 JAMES A. SCHMITZ The Witches of Karres (cover by Leo and Diane Dillon; c.1966, 1968; 1st ACE printing)

This is one of the ACE Science Fiction Specials (1st series).

A-015 DONALD A. WOLLHEIM and TERRY CARR (eds.) World's Best SF: 1968 (interior illustrations and title page by Jack Gaughan; 1968; 1st ACE printing and PBO; photo cover)

Contains Richard Wilson See Me Not, Samuel R Delany Driftglass ( a personal favourite and Nebula nominee), Colin Kapp Ambassador to Verdammt, R A Lafferty The Man Who Never Was, Isaac Asimov The Billard Ball, Robert Silverberg Hawksbill Station (later expanded to novel size; Hugo and Nebula Awards nominee), Thomas M Disch The Number You Have Reached, Roger Zelazny The Man Who Loved The Faiolli, Andrew J Offutt Population Implosion, Harlan Ellison I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream (winner of the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Short Story) , Ron Goulart The Sword Swallower (later expanded to novel size), Keith Roberts Coranda, R A Lafferty Thus We Frustrate Charlemagne, Larry Niven Handicap, Brian W Aldiss Full Sun, and D G Compton It's Smart To Have An English Address.

This collection of short stories was later reprinted under the titles World's Best Science Fiction. No. 1 and World's Best Science Fiction, Fourth Series (ACE 91356).

A-016 ALEXEI PANSHIN Rite of Passage (cover by Leo and Diane Dillon; 1968; 1st ACE printing and PBO)

1968 Nebula Award winner and one of the ACE Science Fiction Specials (1st series).

A-017 AVRAM DAVIDSON (ed.) The Best From Fantasy & Science Fiction, 14th Series (cover and interior illustration by Jack Gaughan; 1968; 1st ACE printing)

Short story collection including Avram Davidson Introduction, Jack Sharkey Trade-In, J. G. Ballard The Illuminated Man, Wilma Shore A Bulletin From the Trustees, Kit Reed Automatic Tiger, T. P. Caravan The Court of Tartary, Terry Carr Touchstone, Allen Kim Lang Thaw and Serve, Thomas M. Disch Nada, Ron Goulart Into the Shop, Roger Zelazny A Rose for Ecclesiastes (one of my personal favourites), Eric St. Clair Olsen and the Gull, Louis J. A. Adams Dark Conception, Alan E. Nourse The Compleat Consummators, S. S. Johnson The House By the Crab Apple Tree, Ron Webb The Girl With the Hundred Proof Eyes, and James Ransom Fred One.

A-019 PIERS ANTHONY (aka PIERS ANTHONY DILLINGHAM JACOB) and ROBERT E. MARGROFF The Ring (cover by Leo and Diane Dillon; 1968; 1st ACE printing and PBO)

This is one of the ACE Science Fiction Specials (1st series).

A-025 EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS The Outlaw of Torn (cover and title page illustration by Roy Krenkel Jr.; c.1914; November 1968; 1st ACE printing)

This is more a "sword and chivalry" novel than anything else - my rationale for also placing it in the ACE POTPOURRI section.

A-029 JAMES BLISH and NORMAN L. KNIGHT A Torrent of Faces (cover by Leo and Diane Dillon; 1968; 1st ACE printing)

This is one of the ACE Science Fiction Specials (1st series).

Last Update 08 August 2020