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May 31, 2007

Science Fiction Book Club to close

The Science Fiction Book Club is to close (via Warren Ellis). I am not certain why I find the news so sad; it is not as if I had been a customer for about twenty-five years. Still, I would not part with those shelves of valueless first-Book Club editions...

On Monday, Publishers Weekly reported that Bookspan, acquired just six weeks ago by Bertelsmann, will cut 280 positions and close some of its book clubs, which include Book-of-the-Month, Doubleday and The Literary Guild. It looks as if the 54-year-old Science Fiction Book Club, which offers a selection of graphic novels and comic novelizations, will be among the casualties.

Dark Blogules Update: Angie Schultz shares some SFBC memories; I expect many Flea-readers will empathize.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at May 31, 2007 06:53 AM


I still have a whack of SFBC editions of books. I found the selection iffy at best and I always ended up buying books I didn't want to fulfil my obligations. I wonder if the Military book club will still be running.. I keep planing on joining it.

Posted by: Gorthos [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 09:24 AM

What I remember best with all those deals was the mad rush of selecting x-books for a dollar. I also loved the first big shipment... The worst was yet another automatic selection of the month arriving because I had forgot to say no thanks in time.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 09:37 AM

Exactly ha ha ha!... I still have about three books I ordered in 1988 and never read..

Cannot remember how many I had to return unopened to get the credit back because I was late sending in the "No I dont want this monthly offer" card.

Posted by: Gorthos [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 10:10 AM

I see that the SFBC is no longer on the pulldowns

Posted by: Gorthos [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 10:12 AM

Sheesh.. see what you did Flea.. I ended up re-joining the military book club.. I am such an impulse shopper:

Sea of Gray
by Tom Chaffin

Panzer Tactics
by Wolfgang Schneider

The End of Barbary Terror
by Frederick C. Leiner

Elite Forces Handbook of Escape & Evasion
by Will Fowler

Posted by: Gorthos [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 11:47 AM

That "Elite Forces Handbook of Escape & Evasion" is exactly the sort of thing I pick up when I am not paying full price. There is nothing like having improbable reference books around the house.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 11:51 AM

Oprah ruined book clubs. If if she really didn't, I'm blaming it on her.

Posted by: agent bedhead [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 04:52 PM

My blithering on this theme here. I well remember the excitement that came with getting books (which, I point out, were rare in our neck of the woods) through the mail. Ooh!

I took a look at the SFBC's current offerings and was surprised to find some of them pretty darn interesting. The SFBC special edition Down These Dark Spaceways was well-regarded, as I recall.

Through my book collection you can trace the long degradation of the hardback book, from leather to leather-like cloth to cloth-like cloth to cloth-like paper to crap-like paper. And at each point the Book Club editions fortold the new horror that was to come.

Posted by: Angie Schultz [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 1, 2007 01:14 AM

My wife decries my plethora of improbable reference books.. Tree identification, SAS survival guides, edible flora, ninja tactics..

But who will she turn to when the apocalypse comes to build a shelter, find food, plan armoured assaults on entrenched enemy units and fight off zombies I ask.. thats right.. moi.

Posted by: Gorthos [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2007 10:06 AM

I have decided to take up dentistry in the Aftermath. Nobody is going to want that job.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2007 10:09 AM

Dentist eh.. Excellent plan.. Working via the barter system ,you could do root canals for a pig and a goat (and mayhap a farmers daughter)..

I shall, when the smoke clears and the zombies have starved, choose a form of Management COnsultancy position.. you know, the sneaky wyrm like guy that wispers in the ears of would be warlords.. then snivels away to a corner to eat steak, fondle the slavegirls and watch the show.

Posted by: Gorthos [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2007 11:33 PM