BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

BEAR ALLEY BOOKS
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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Lee Child cover gallery

Killing Floor (Bantam, 1998)
Bantam 978-0553-50540-5, 1999
---- [30th imp.], 522pp, £7.99. Cover design by Henry Steadman

Die Trying (Bantam, 1999)
Bantam, 2000
Bantam 978-0553-50005-2, 2010, 557pp, £7.99. Cover design by Henry Steadman

Tripwire (Bantam, 1999)
Bantam 978-0553-81185-8, 2000.
---- [17th imp.], 540pp, £7.99. Cover design by Henry Steadman

The Visitor

Echo Burning (Bantam, 2001)
Bantam, 2002
Bantam 978-0553-50008-3, 2011, 572pp, £7.99. Cover design by Henry Steadman

Without Fail (Bantam, 2002)
Bantam 978-0553-81343-2, 2003.
---- [8th imp.] n.d., 555pp, £6.99. Cover design by Henry Steadman

Persuader (Bantam, 2003)
Bantam 0553-81344-7, 2004.
---- [4th imp.], n.d., 542pp, £6.99. Cover photo by National Geographic

The Enemy (Bantam, 2004)
Bantam 978-0553-81585-6, 2005.
---- [11th imp.], 558pp, £7.99. Cover design by Henry Steadman

One Shot (Bantam, 2005)
Bantam 978-0553-81586-3, 2006.
---- [4th imp.], 510pp, £6.99. Cover design by Henry Steadman
Bantam, 2011
as Jack Reacher: One Shot, Bantam 978-0857-50118-9, 2012, 494pp, £7.99. Cover: photo (MTI)

The Hard Way (Bantam, 2006)
Bantam 978-0553-81587-0, 2007, 522pp, £6.99. Cover design by Henry Steadman

Bad Luck and Trouble (Bantam, 2007)
Bantam 978-0553-81810-9, 2008, 527pp, £6.99. Cover design by Henry Steadman

Nothing to Lose (Bantam, 2008)
Bantam 978-0553-82441-4, 2009, 554pp, £7.99. Cover design by Stephen Mulcahey

Gone Tomorrow (Bantam, 2009)
Bantam 978-0553-82469-8, 2010, 556pp, £7.99. Cover design by Stephen Mulcahey

61 Hours (Bantam, 2010)
Bantam 978-0553-82556-5, 2010, 492pp, £7.99. Cover design by Stephen Mulcahey

Worth Dying For (Bantam, 2010)
Bantam 978-0553-82548-9, 2011, 533pp, £7.99. Cover design by Stephen Mulcahey

The Affair (Bantam, 2011)
Bantam 978-0533-82550-3, 2012, 541pp, £7.99. Cover design by Stephen Mulcahey

A Wanted Man (Bantam, 2012)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bill Wellings

Back on 8 November 2006, I penned a few sentences about Bill Wellings. At that time I knew nothing about William ('Bill') Wellings other than the fact that he scripted the comic strips "Nicky Nobody" (1954-62) and "Ginger & Co." (1960) for the weekly Swift and, presumably, also wrote their adventures for the Swift Annual. He was also the scriptwriter on "Cavendish Brown, M.D." for Eagle (1958-59).

Oddly enough, Nicky Nobody appeared in Swift Annual 3, but Bill Wellings wasn't listed as an author... however, one F. L. Wellings was listed that year and I suspect F. L. is related and might even be Florence Lydia Wellings (1910-1996), the only 'F. L.' I can trace in genealogical records.

Some further digging makes me now wonder whether Bill was William Ernest Welling, born in Walsall, Staffordshire, on 16 July 1907, who died in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in 1999. There's also a chance that Florence Lydia was his sister rather than (as I assumed back in 2006) his wife. Florence Lydia, born on 2 November 1910, had died in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, three years before. A Florence L. Wellings is recorded as born in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, in 4Q 1910.

Other than his comic strips, Wellings is credited with a single novel based on the Nicky Nobody character. It is probable that he is also the Bill Wellings credited with writing the "J.J." strip for the Sunday Express in 1962, drawn by Roy Dewar. If that is the case, it seems likely that Wellings was a freelance journalist who wrote comic strips on the side rather than a full-time comic scriptwriter.


Novels

Nicky Nobody and the Rocket Spies. London, Hulton Press, 1958.

(* The artwork is from Swift Annual 1962 (1961), drawn by Daphne Rowles. Nicky Nobody is © IPC Media.)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Comic Cuts - 21 November 2014

Let's begin with a few more details about the new book from Bear Alley Books. Frontline UK is an invasion story in which foreign forces attack and occupy Great Britain. Five months before Bill Savage started fighting back against the Volgs in 2000AD's "Invasion", the crew of a single Scorpion tank began their own war of resistance against the forces of the Yellow Crescent.

The book gathers together both series of the strip from the pages of Bullet, where it debuted in September 1976. The artwork was by the peerless Ian Kennedy, with later episodes by Argentinean artist Clemente Rezzonico, who made a fantastic job of continuing the strip and is today still cranking out fantastic artwork for Commando (his next book is due in December—cover immediately below).

I have been piecing together the introductory material over the past week. So far we have a general introduction, offering some insight into the history of the strip and its origins in the fond memories of a 1950s text story by a D. C. Thomson editor. We will also meet the people "behind the lines": author Bill Corderoy and artists Ian Kennedy and Clemente Rezzonico. There will hopefully also be a bonus strip, but I'll have more news of that next week. And, hopefully, by then we will also have an advance order page set up.

And then it'll be onto the next book... no rest for the wicked!

My ongoing battle with technology has become war of attrition that I'm losing—and losing heavily. Hopefully the Rule of Three applies here and I can now relax that the third thing has gone wrong. First it was an external hard drive that needed to be replaced, then the washing machine. Now it's our DVD player.

The damn thing has been acting up for months now. It would need to warm up for about ten minutes before you could get any use out of it. The drawer where you put the DVDs would jut out slightly when you tried to open it but never open fully. Every now and then it would open for no reason. Getting the menu to appear was a gamble; you had to try it at just the right time or the screen would go dark. Recording was a bit hit and miss.

Mel and I were thinking of getting a new player in the new year, maybe finding a good offer in the January sales. However, the machine must have overheard us and started acting more like a petulant child than ever before. Programmes watched through the tuner on the player began to stutter and freeze... run for a few seconds and freeze again... run for a few seconds and... you get the idea. Not all the time, of course. Randomly and usually just when you thought the machine was playing nicely and we were settled down for the evening in front of the TV.

Things came to a head this weekend when it pulled an all-new trick. Half-way through watching a programme, the player switched itself off. That was the final straw. On Sunday I ordered a shiny new blu-ray player with a variety of gizmos and gadgets that will hopefully improve our stress levels. At least as far as the time we spend relaxing in the presence of David Attenborough or Stephen Fry and his QI guests.

And, yes, this will be our first blu-ray  player. I'm always miles behind on tech. but I'm sure I can't be the only one. I don't have a mobile phone, for instance. I'm not a Luddite, but  I don't want a mobile phone. I sit next to a phone all day and escaping the phone is one of the reasons why I love getting out of the house. Similarly, there seemed no point to buying a hugely expensive blu-ray player when they first came out while I had a perfectly serviceable DVD player.

But enough of that. I know how you all worry, so I'll just say here that we got a good deal on the new player and it should be here by the weekend.

Random scannery. This will probably be the last week of our trawl through the work of Roger Hall as I've run out of reasonable scans. A couple of these took an awful lot of cleaning up to get into a fit state for presentation. As a bonus, we also have one of only two covers Hall did for Commando in 1965-66, since when "Battling Bradley" has been reprinted a couple of times. The version below is from the latest reprint (#4391, May 2011).

 
Next week remains an undiscovered place. It depends what I have time for over the weekend as I have nothing actually planned.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Commando issues 4759-4762

Commando issues on sale 20 November 2014

Commando No 4759 – Assault In The Alps
On the morning of the 28th of June 1914, two pistol shots fired in a Sarajevo street plunged the world into war.
   Four years later battles raged across the globe with some of the hardest fighting in the mountains between Italy and Austria. Lieutenant Roger Walton was sent to Italy as a liaison officer because someone in authority wanted to keep him away from the deadly trenches in France. They could have no idea that he was being sent to a far more lethal theatre of war.

Introduction
As a tribute to those who served during the years 1914-1918 — on the Home Front or at the Front Line — Commando has produced a series of stories of characters caught up in the tumult of the First World War. None of them are real people but we’d like to think that their experiences will not be a million miles from what actually happened to so many across the globe.
   Last time, we saw how the tank changed the face of the battlefield forever. This time we are in Italy where the terrain so dominated warfare that armies fought as they had since time immemorial — face-to-face.
   I hope you enjoy this and the other stories in the series as much as we have.—Calum Laird, Commando Editor

The series concludes in four weeks with Armistice! Commando No 4767

Story: George Low
Art: Keith Page
Cover: Ian Kennedy

Commando No 4760 – Vultures Over Malta
When Sir Francis Drake sailed into Cadiz harbour and attacked the Spanish fleet they said he had singed the King of Spain’s beard.
   Now meet Nick Corrigan, who sailed into an enemy-held harbour and burned the black whiskers off Hitler’s face. And all he had to do it with was the “Nelly”, a rusty old minesweeper.
   At least that’s what she looked like. Pound for pound, though, this vicious little tub was the most heavily-armed ship in the Royal Navy.

Introduction
I don’t want you to be misled by this cover so I’m telling you now that this ISN’T an air story. That, though, is the end of the bad news because this is a smashing (pun intended) naval story to rival any pirate yarn from any age. Add in a classic “stuffed shirt” as a second enemy and you have a classic.
   Sostres art I have commented on before, pointing out that his treatment of line and shading makes for as excellent night scenes as daylight ones. Once again he doesn’t disappoint.
   Ken Barr’s cover is the icing on the cake of this mini-classic. But that’s just my opinion, you can decide for yourself.—Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Story: McOwan
Art: Sostres
Cover: Ken Barr
Originally Commando No 130 (August 1964), re-issued as No 683 (October 1972)

Commando No 4761 – Battle-Carrier!
Near the end of the Second World War, Flight Lieutenant Frank Mason and his photo-reconnaissance Mosquito bomber were sent to the Aleutian Islands to assist the USAAF’s search for Japanese vessels.
   There Frank found himself in the middle of a desperate battle for survival against a fanatical group of Japanese who refused to accept that Emperor had surrendered. To make matters even worse, they were in charge of an absolute monster — a Yamato-class superbattleship that had been converted into an aircraft carrier…to make a fearsome BATTLECARRIER!

Story: Alan Hebden
Art: Carlos Pino
Cover: Carlos Pino

Commando No 4762 – Walrus To The Rescue
With complete disregard for himself and his navigator, Colin Hamble threw his Mosquito around the sky like a madman. His only thought was to ruthlessly kill his enemy.
   Well, the day came when he was given something a lot slower than a Mossie — a Walrus amphibian with a top speed of about 130mph. Colin soon found that saving lives needed a lot more guts and skill than taking them!

Introduction
Mention a Commando air story to someone and there’s a good chance they’ll describe aerial action involving sleek fighters like Spitfires, Me109s, Corsairs or Zeroes — and they’d be right to, of course.
   However, it’s good when a tale does something different, focussing on a lesser-known aircraft — like the Supermarine Walrus, for example. These trusty amphibian bi-planes were a sight for sore eyes for many a downed pilot — for they were used for vital RAF air-sea rescue missions, their brave crews saving many lives. Proving once again that Commando’s format has the scope to tell stories that can be a little less obvious than what might be expected.—Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Story: R.A. “Monty” Montague
Art: Mira
Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No 913 (February 1975), re-issued as No 2252 (February 1989)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

John Nunny

Born Alfred John Nunney in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in 1897. Nothing is known about his early life, but it is known that he served with the Machine Gun Corps, 9 London Rifles, during the First World War.

Nunney was already a commercial artist as early as 1923 around which time he was living at Lincoln's Inn, Holborn. He was married to Mignonette Ruby Gilham (1896-1982) in Medway, Kent, in 1924 and subsequently lived at 11 New Court, Carey Street, W.C.2 [fl.1927-33]. By the mid-1930s was living in New Maldon. His second marriage, to Joyce Eva Mary Miller (or Banfield) (1908-1974), took place in Surrey in 1939.

During his early career he would appear to have worked in advertising, including work for Johnnie Walker whisky in 1927. He also produced posters used to promote the war effort during the Second World War and, around 1947, a number of posters describing various aspects of education around the British Colonial Empire. He was represented by both W. Partridge and Rogers & Co. Contributed to Swift Annual and Bible Story.

Nunney, of 2 Sion Hill, Ramsgate, died 15 June 1966, leaving his estate of £7,000 to his widow. He was aged 68. Joyce Nunney died in Thanet, Kent, in 1974.

A number of posters by Nunney were sold at auction by Tennants Auctioneers in 2012.


 
 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Alan M. Streete (Sydney Street)

Alan M. Streete has an entry in The Author's and Writer's Who's Who which records his birth in Romsey, Hampshire, in 1911. He was educated at Ranelagh School, Athlone, and the Royal School, Cavan, both in Ireland. He also attended Trinity College, Dublin.

The entry records his marriage to Joan Gerada Marie Cavadino, which information reveals that Alan M. Streete was actually a pen-name for one Sydney Street. His birth, registered in Ringwood, Hamps., was on 26 January 1911 and he married in Edmonton, Middlesex, in 1934. A&WWW notes two sons: John A. Street, born in Edmonton in 1935 and Colin C. Streete (sic) born in Bromley. Kent, in 1945.

Sydney Street – born only a few weeks after the famous siege of Sidney Street in Stepney – became a schoolmaster and, based in Sydenham after the Second World War, founded the South London Writers Group, of which he was Honorary Secretary. He edited their journal, Streete Corner.

He contributed to John Hammerton's Second Great War, the New Book of Knowledge (War supplement), Sun, Sun, Sun, Mercury, Chamber's Journal, World Digest, Galaxy and other magazines. His interests were listed as tennis, swimming and fishing.

Street died in East Dorset in 1998.

Monday, November 17, 2014

James M. Small

I've always had a fascination for the post-war boom in writing when, despite the paper shortage, there seemed to be dozens of small magazines popping up all over the place to replace regular pre-war markets that had either folded or were stumbling on with reduced page counts. Perhaps the war itself, which resulted in the biggest upheaval in lives seen since the Great War, was partly responsible: young men, many of them away from home for the first time, might have picked up their pens and found comfort in writing – whether it was letters to their families or fiction.

During that post-war period, many new writers had brief writing careers and many of them are completely unknown.

James M. Small, for instance, had a small run of stories published by Gerald G. Swan in the period 1946-50.

Malorky's Lad (Boxing Shorts 2, Jun 1946)
Ghost Gun on the Prod (Hands Up Annual 1947, Nov 1946)
The Doctor Needs a Wife (Affinity, Jan 1947)
Gloves Off!(Scramble, Feb 1949)
Slippered Feet! (Scramble, Jun 1949)
The Fame of the Name (serial; Scramble, Dec 1949-2 Jan 1950)
Rosemary's Indian Prince (Romances, 3 Jun 1950)

Only one, "Ghost Gun on the Prod", was published by someone other than Swan, namely Western Book Distributors. A collecting pal of mine once owned a copy which may reveal the true name of the author, who had underlined the story on the table of contents and written his own name on the opening page of the story and on the reverse of the frontispiece.

His real name was Dennis Small and it would appear that he was a nurse. The information recorded in the book includes the fact that he attended Oxford University, from which he graduated with a BA, was an SRN and SEN (State Registered Nurse and State Enrolled Nurse) and served in the RAF. At the time the note was made, he was living at 25 North Road, Whitehall, Bristol.

Further digging through birth, death and marriage records turns up a possible suspect: Dennis Edward Small, born 19 September 1922, who died in Bristol in 1993. I can't say with any certainty that this is author Dennis Small, but he fits the bill.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Peter F Hamilton: Cover Gallery

Mindstar Rising
Pan Books 0330-32376-8, (Mar) 1993, 438pp, £4.99. Cover by Tom Stimpson
---- [18th imp.] 2006, 438pp, £7.99. Cover photo: Getty Images / des. blacksheep.co.uk
Pan Books 978-0330-53774-2, Oct 2011, £9.99. Cover by Steve Stone

A Quantum Murder
Pan Books 0330-33045-4, (Apr) 1994, 376pp, £4.99. Cover by Larry Rostant
---- [14th imp.] n.d., 376pp, £7.99. Cover by Jim Burns
---- [15th imp.] n.d., 376pp, £7.99. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan Books 978-0330-53775-9, Oct 2011, 387pp, £9.99. Cover by Steve Stone

The Nano Flower
Pan Books 0330-33044-6, (Feb) 1995, 566pp, £4.99. Cover by Larry Rostant
---- [6th imp.] n.d. [1999?], 566pp, £6.99. Cover by John Burns
Pan Books 978-0330-53781-0, Oct 2011, 598pp, £9.99. Cover by Steve Stone

The Reality Dysfunction (Macmillan, 1996)
Pan Books 0-333-67563-0 (tpb), (Jun) 1996, £954pp, £9.99. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan Books 0330-34032-8 [Export only] £5.99.
---- [2nd imp.] (Feb) 1997, 1225pp, £7.99. Cover by Jim Burns
---- [28th imp.] n.d., 1225pp £8.99. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan 978-1447-20857-0, Dec 2012, £9.99. Cover by Steve Stone

The Neutronium Alchemist (Macmillan, 1997)
Macmillan 0333-72244-2 (tpb), (Mar) 1998, 999pp, £10.99. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan Books 0330-35143-5, 1998, 1273pp, £7.99. Cover by Jim Burns
---- [22nd imp.] n.d., 1273pp, £8.99. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan Books 978-1447-20858-7, Dec 2012, £9.99. Cover by Steve Stone

The Web: Lightstorm
Dolphin 1858-81550-9, 1998, 112pp.

The Naked God (Macmillan, 1999)
Macmillan 0333-72503-4 (tpb), (Apr) 2000, 1174pp, £10.99. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan Books 0330-35145-1, (Oct) 2000, 1256pp, £7.99. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan Books 978-1447-20859-4, Dec 2012, £8.99. Cover by Steve Stone

Fallen Dragon (Macmillan, 2001)
Pan Books 0330-48006-5, (Jul) 2002, 808pp, £7.99. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan Books [Xth imp.], Jan 2006, £9.99. Cover by Jim Burns

Misspent Youth (Macmillan, 2002)
Pan Books 0330-48022-7, (Jul) 2003, 439pp, £6.99. Cover by Blacksheep/Image State
Pan Books 978-1447-22408-2, Mar 2013, £9.99. Cover by Steve Stone

Pandora's Star (Macmillan, 2004)
Pan Books 0330-49331-0, (Mar) 2005, 1144pp, £8.99. Cover by Jim Burns
---- [7th imp.] n.d., 1143pp, £8.99. Cover by Jim Burns.
Pan Books 978-0330-51891-8, Sep 2010, £9.99. Cover by Steve Stone

Judas Unchained (Macmillan, 2005)
Pan Books 0330-49353-1, (May) 2006, ix+1235pp, £7.99. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan Books 978-0330-51890-1, Sep 2010, £9.99. Cover by Steve Stone

The Dreaming Void (Macmillan, 2007)
Pan Books 0330-44302-X, 2008, 795pp.
Pan Books 978-1447-20856-3, Sep 2012, £9.99. Cover by Steve Stone

The Temporal Void (Macmillan, 2008)
Pan Books 0330-44303-8, 2009, 745pp.
Pan Books 0330-50788-5, 2009, 745pp, £8.99. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan Books [Xth imp.] Sep 2012, £9.99. Cover by Steve Stone

The Evolutionary Void (Macmillan, 2010)
Pan Books 978-0330-44317-3, 2011, 725pp, £8.99. Cover by Steve Stone

Great North Road (Macmillan, 2012)
Pan 978-0330-52177-2, 2013, 1104pp, £9.99. Cover by Steve Stone

The Abyss Beyond Dreams (2014)

The Night Without Stars (TBA)

COLLECTIONS

Softlight Sins
Birmingham Science Fiction Group, 1997

Watching Trees Grow
PS Publishing 1902-88015-3, 2000.
[b/w Tendeleo's Story by Ian McDonald] Gollancz 0575-07305-5, 2002, 110+103pp.

A Second Chance at Eden (Macmillan, 1998)
Macmillan 0333-73853-5 (tpb), (Mar) 1999, ix+431pp, £10.99. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan Books 0330-35182-6, 1999, x+496pp, £6.99. Cover by Jim Burns
---- [3rd imp.] n.d., x+496pp, £6.99.
---- [7th imp.] n.d. (2004?), x+496pp, £7.99.
Pan 978-1447-22414-3, Sep 2013, £8.99. Cover by Steve Stone

Manhattan in Reverse (Macmillan, 2011)
Macmillan 978-0230-75031-9, 2011. [tpb]
Pan 978-0330-52220-5, May 2012, £7.99. Cover by Steve Stone

NON-FICTION

The Confederation Handbook (Macmillan, 2000)
Pan Books 0330-39614-5, (Oct) 2001, 231pp, £5.99. Cover by Jim Burns

KINDLE EDITIONS

Footvote (September 2011)
Cover by Steve Stone

The Demon Trap (September 2011)
Cover by Andrew Parkes