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Oct 10

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It’s a Two-fer Tuesday – Early Del Rey Edition

Good Show Sir Comments:

#1. “The book is a joy … I give it two skulls” – Clown Daily News

#2. Eggstremely bad cover art

Published 1975, 1976

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 5.13 out of 10)
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33 Responses to “Early Del Rey”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    1: Thank heavens Stephen King beat his addictions and doesn’t need to see this anymore.

    2: “I’m arresting you on suspicion of being drunk in charge of a typewriter.”

  2. Ray P Says:

    #2 Alien meets The Naked Lunch. One can’t make a Del Rey without breaking a few eggs.

  3. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Today will be a day for eggceptionally bad puns.

  4. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @DeadSWBT—I guess the yolks on us.

  5. fred Says:

    #2 ‘The eagle…the dove…the turkey…the typewriter.’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds4dv4IS0PM

  6. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    1. I’ve seen some olive-coloured typewriters before, but that one is Oliver!

  7. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @BC: the admins started it! Don’t ova-look that.

  8. Anna T. Says:

    1. The clown demands writing, now, or you will become a member of his skull collection. Maybe this was the inspiration for “It” . . .

    2. I didn’t know that typewriters were egg-laying creatures! The things you learn on the Internet these days . . .

  9. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @DSWithBT— Now is the time for albumen to come to the aid of their country, so omletting you know not to eggscalate an already-cracked situation.

  10. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Not many people know that Lester Del Rey gave up a promising career as a circus clown to become an SF writer.
    (It proved impossible to combine the two jobs, as his clown colleagues considered Science Fiction to be utterly risible and a blot on any self-respecting clown’s reputation.)

  11. Ray P Says:

    Ashes to ashes
    Typewriters to monkeys
    We know Lester Del Rey
    Is a flunky
    Of the New York publishing world
    Reaching an all-time low

  12. Bibliomancer Says:

    1. It’s a Ballantine Book but not “A Del Rey Book”. I’m sad. No clown can cheer me up.

    2. Looks like Lester is hatching a new plot.

  13. JuanPaul Says:

    #1 “You think I’m some clown, here to amuse you? This is what happened to the last two authors who missed a deadline!”

    #2 I will never understand modernist cuisine

  14. Lillie Awesome Says:

    @DSwBT: I’m actually surprised and delighted by the relatively accurate and faithful rendering of that Oliver typewriter, down to the brand logo. It’s a little overly rectilinear, some of the logo details were omitted, and I have no idea what the toggle switch on the right by the space bar is all about, but on the whole, I award it a solid B grade.

    Olivers are, if you were wondering (and why would you be) marvelously odd to behold, ferociously heavy to move, and kind of dreary to actually type on.

  15. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Lillie A.—Haven’t found out what the toggle was actually used for, but apparently it was real. Maybe that gets it to a B+?

  16. Bibliomancer Says:

    @LA @BC – The toggle is to reverse the direction of the ribbon so you can reuse it once you get to the end of the spool.
    — Bibliomancer, typist to the gods

  17. Alexis Says:

    http://johnesimmons.com/Typewriter/Articles/Manualpdf/Oliver_Manual.pdf
    — Alexis, helper to the gods

  18. Lillie Awesome Says:

    @B. Chiclitz, @Bibliomancer, @Alexis, well done (one might even say, “good sh-” no, there isn’t time)!

    My OIiver is a #9, which as we can see, is squatter, curvier, and sans ribbon direction toggle.

    I hereby revise my grade to A- (because we’re still talking about a clown and skulls here, for pity’s sake).

    Incidentally, putting the ribbon toggle there seems like engineering an awful lot of failure- and breakage-prone distance and angles into the machine, if you ask me.

  19. GSS ex-noob Says:

    You know the art’s only moderately bad when the comments are almost all egg puns and technical specs of old typewriters.

    Nevertheless I wish to commend @THX for his #1 comment on #1 and @fred for his musical interlude.

    And to threaten Admin and Tag Wizard with the incoming batch of submissions I have for them. One of the dealers was heavy on the BAEN!explosion books. Would you prefer them in one email or in a series? There’s about a dozen.

    There was a self-published cover I would have loved to submit, but I couldn’t take a photo of it as the author was sitting right there and it would have been Most Awkward. It was maybe an 8.5 on the GSS scale.

  20. Tag Wizard Says:

    @GSSxn – GSS Admin has been busy lately at his gig mining Bitcoin at a Chinese server farm in the Taklamakan Desert. Email them to me at “iamtagwizard” at the gmail. Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped working email for replies.

  21. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @TW: A likely story! He’s either defecting to or enslaved by Chinese GSS!

  22. A.R.Yngve Says:

    OK, can we now agree on a crackdown on all the cheap egg jokes?

  23. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @AR: don’t be so shellfish.

  24. A.R.Yngve Says:

    All right, I’ll peel off.

  25. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @A.R.Y.—It’s not like you to scramble away so quickly; I’ve always thought you were more hard boiled.

  26. Bibliomancer Says:

    @BC – Hey go over easy on him. A.R. is a guy who always looks on the sunny side of life.

  27. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @B’Mancer—There you go again, always poaching my good lines.

  28. Bibliomancer Says:

    @BC – I’m be-deviled. I’m not shirr that’s correct!

  29. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Omelette it be, gents.

  30. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @DeadSWBT—Yolkay, good sir, I will huevos bye-bye to the whole thing.

  31. Bibliomancer Says:

    @DSWBT – Same here. I will ovoid making any more egg puns.

  32. Scott B Says:

    Shell we move on then…?

    @Lillie Awesome, I have to say your Oliver photo is fascinating. It’s like the clown car of typewriters — it doesn’t seem like full size paper would fit in there but I assume it does? And how does the attached pencil function? Is that just a holder to place your pencil in while typing, or does that arm swing down to write?

  33. Lillie Awesome Says:

    @Scott B: It does accept a standard 8 1/2″x11″ sheet of paper, which gives you a sense of just how massive a machine it is. The typebars come down from either side to strike the paper, and each key is capable of typing 3 characters; there are separate ‘SHIFT’ and ‘FIG’ keys that move the carriage toward and away from the typist (instead of up and down like typical typewriters) to allow for lowercase, uppercase, and special characters. The arm that holds the pencil does swing down to put the pencil to the paper, sort of like the tone arm on a record player. I have always assumed that it’s for accounting purposes; by either using the space key or turning the platen while the pencil is against the paper, you can make straight lines that I would think would be useful for creating a ledger.

    As a writing machine, it’s only so-so. For one thing, it doesn’t accept standard ribbon spools; you have to cut the ribbon out of a universal spool, attach it to a small wooden spindle with a C-shaped clip, then hand-wind it before putting it on the typewriter, which is always messy procedure. And the key action is about as ponderous as the appearance of the machine would suggest; 25-30 words per minute is a pretty blistering pace on it. And it’s so incredibly heavy that only the most robust desk will hold it. When I actually type, my go-to is a totally unglamourous 1970s Adler portable, or if I’m feeling fancy, a 1960s Smith Corona that types in cursive.

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