So long and thanks for all the books!

My father plans to retire to Florida this year, St. Augustine to be exact. I'm quite thrilled for him and sad for me. Even when I was away at college, my family will never have been so far from me.

On the other hand, dad has worked his whole adult life, starting from the age of about 20, the year after I was born. 40+ years, non-stop work, my mom and he putting my brother and I through college. He's entitled to kick back and enjoy.

While I'm quite glad for him, and sad for me in general, I take petty pleasure that his house in Florida is small -- because he won't be able to bring his book collection with him. When I last spent a rainy after-school day counting, the collection numbered 2000 books. I was about 14 at the time.

This past weekend, my dad dropped off the first four boxes of his many, many box collection and together we sampled it. Here are just a few volumes I skimmed off the top:

Andre Norton's Star Guard ACE 2nd printing, 1961 $.40

Leigh Bracket's The Galactic Breed ACE 1st edition, long version, 1955 $.35

Cordwainer Smith's Space Lords Pyramid 1st edition, 1965

A $.40 ACE edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs The Land that Time Forgot While not a first edition or all that rare, my dad assures me he has the complete ACE printing of ERB.

Brian W. Aldiss, Vanguard from Alpha ACE, 1959. $.35

Poul Anderson, paperback edition of The High Crusade McFadden Books, 1964

A 1951 hard cover anthology of short stories titled The Outer Reaches by the likes of Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bardbury, L. Sprague de Camp, Henry Kuttner, Fritz Leiber, Murray Leinster, Frank Belknap Long, Fletcher Pratt, Clifford Simak, Clark Ashton Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, A.E. Van Vogt.. edited by August Derleth.

I found a few issues of iF, Galaxy, and Analog. Well and good. Then dad tells me the collections are complete. He's got the complete run of all three magazines.

And so much more. I've only begun picking through the treasures.

"Huh? What? Oh yeah. Sure. Have a good time in Florida, dad. See you."

And I return to my reading.


Lullabyes for Evil Overlords

I used to sing this to my daughter, when she was still too little to understand, and now for my infant son...

Lullabies for Evil Overlord
"Hush Small Descendant"
(to the tune of Hush Little Baby)

Hush small descendant, don't say a word
poppas going to buy you a mockingbird

and if that mockingbird don't sing
poppas going to buy you a diamond ring

and if that diamond ring don't shine
poppas going to buy you a diamond mine

and if that diamond mine don't produce
we'll hang all the mine slaves up with a noose

and if that makes them weep and pout
we'll flay their backs 'till their bones pop out

and if they still won't do what they should
we'll stack their corpses like kindling wood

and then we'll go get some new mine slaves
and make them work for all of their days

until you get the diamonds that shine
and then you'll be glad of poppa's old diamond mine

so hush