Vintage Treasure Trove: Robert E. Howard

New to arrive in our vintage goodies this week is an impressive collection of Robert E. Howard publications: books, chapbooks, zines, fanzines, and more.

Robert E. Howard was an American pulp fiction author best known for creating the character Conan the Barbarian. In fact, he is widely regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery fantasy subgenre.

From the Robert E. Howard Wikipedia page:

In the pages of the Depression-era pulp magazine Weird Tales, Howard created Conan the Barbarian, a character whose cultural impact has been compared to such icons as Batman, Count Dracula, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, and Tarzan. With Conan and his other heroes, Howard created the genre now known as sword and sorcery, spawning many imitators and giving him a large influence in the fantasy field. Howard remains a highly read author, with his best works still reprinted.

Stop in and browse this selection while it lasts! You can also browse and buy at our online shop.


John Sandford’s latest: Extreme Prey

Sandford’s latest takes us on a romp through Southeast Iowa. Lucas Davenport – Sandford’s main character – is now a civilian having left employment as a police officer with the State of Minnesota.  Governor Henderson of Minnesota reaches out to Lucas to help solve a problem. Liberal Democrat Michela Bowden in Iowa is running for President and Henderson believes she will eventually select him as running mate. Henderson has caught wind of a threat on Bowden’s life and wants Lucas to get to the bottom of it.

Lucas drives down to Iowa and quickly finds out that he must adjust his approach to detecting since he is working in another state without a badge, weapon or the level authority and access to which he is accustomed. Lots of doors get slammed, both with civilians and with Iowa law enforcement. Never the less, he pokes around and learns of the existence of a group of local folks who are the collected disenfranchised from across the decades. Some had been involved in a bombing of a dairy in the 60’s, some were stripped of their farms through foreclosure during the 80’s, and some are conspiracy wingnuts, blaming Jews or the Government for everything that has gone wrong in their lives.

Lucas obtains a list of the 180 odd members of this alliance and he and others begin interviewing folks on the list. Bowden is adamant that she must make an official appearance at the Iowa State fair in Des Moines, if only for the press. With 100,000 daily attendees, this excursion promises to be a logistics nightmare for Bowden’s security, so the pressure is on for Lucas to uncover the details of the plot and the identity of the bad guys. Davenport gets on his Sherlock Holmes freek, eliminating the impossible to find a small group of could-have-done-its.

Marlys Purdy and her son are on the hot list and time is running short. The media walk at the State fair is just 24 hours away but Lucas is still ticking off possibles. Lucas finally locks on the Purdy’s and the venue, but still has no idea what is being planned.  We get a really great tour of the Iowa State Fair, including the animal barns and wiener schnitzel on-a-stick, but tensions run high as Lucas and the Iowa law enforcement community struggle to respond to an undefined threat and to protect Bowden come what may.

Classic Sandford. The story is compelling and regional, taking place around Cedar Rapids, and so is full of familiar place names (Marlys lives north of Pella). You’ll get no spoilers from me, but Davenport may get re-badged.  Did I want to keep reading? Yes, always. Great stuff.

John Sandford: Extreme Prey – $14.45

John Sandford at Book Shop Sioux Falls

Mystery/Adventure fiction at Book Shop Sioux Falls


Vintage Gamebooks: Endless Quest

Endless Quest TSR

We have a couple dozen mid-80s vintage gamebooks in the TSR Endless Quest series currently in stock!

These gamebooks involve making simple choices affecting the outcome of the story, similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure series. Most of the books in the Endless Quest series are based on Dungeons & Dragons (which TSR was also the producer of, before Wizards of the Coast).

Endless Quest TSR

These are $5.00 each and in near-perfect condition! Find them in our Vintage Sci Fi & Fantasy section at the front of the store.

Browse our online store for Sci Fi & Fantasy here.

Vintage Paperbacks: Aldous Huxley

Vintage Huxley

For all you fellow vintage paperback lovers out there, here’s something we don’t see every day: Huxley from the 1950s. Just look at those cover designs! These are all Bantam printings:

Crome Yellow (1959 printing, first published in 1921, Huxley’s first novel) – $5.00
Ape and Essence (1958 printing, first published in 1948) – $5.00
Brave New World (1955 printing, first published in 1932) – $5.00

Browse Aldous Huxley in our online store here.

Staff Recommendation: Love in the Time of Cholera

Staff Recommendation - Love in the Time of Cholera

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

If you’ve never read Márquez, do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in this modern classic ASAP! A love story that’s so much more than a love story, the most memorable idea that has stayed with me from this novel is a deeply comforting feeling that our lives are beautiful and valuable at every age.



Burial Rites: A thirty-second review

burial rites

Agnes Magnusdottir was the last person to be executed in Iceland, in 1828, convicted for her role in the murders of two men. Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent (Back Bay Books, 2014), imagines Agnes’s last months of life, housed with a farming family near the site of execution. As the story develops, we learn a lot about Agnes, what her life has been like, and about her role in the murders.
Brilliantly plotted, Burial Rites confounds our expectations and delivers fascinating, fully developed characters. Not your run of the mill who-done-it by any means, but a thoughtful, heart-rending account of life and death in Iceland in the 1820s.

$7.50 at The Book Shop



With a great new batch of steampunk novels in stock this week, we’ve put together a steampunk display in the front of the store! Authors include James P. Blaylock, Felix J. Palma, K. W. Jeter, David Barnett, and Lavie Tidhar.

Steampunk refers to a subgenre of science fiction and sometimes fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery (source: Wikipedia).

The following is an excerpt from Steampunk 101 on Abe Books:

In spite of its vintage feel, steampunk as a literary genre is relatively new, with roots that barely reach back to the ‘70’s and acquiring a name only as recently as 1987. But the seeds of steampunk can be traced back to the 19th century, when Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mary Shelley and others were writing about steampunk-ish themes, paving the way for a variety of modern incarnations.

Included in our display are related nonfiction books on steam trains, early aviation, Victorian scientists/inventors, and so on.

Our selection of steampunk novels are normally located in our Sci-Fi/Fantasy section.


What We’re Reading: Oryx and Crake


I’m currently reading Oryx and Crake and I’m completely hooked! This comes as no surprise, since I’m already a huge fan of Margaret Atwood.

Oryx and Crake is the first of her novels in the MaddAddam trilogy. I read the second novel, The Year of the Flood, a few months ago and I was eager to return to this strange-yet-familiar future. If you tend to think, as I do, that there’s no new, fresh, or surprising way left to do “dystopian future” anymore, Atwood just might prove you wrong.

Atwood is not for everyone’s tastes, but if you’re into masterfully-crafted literary fiction and also inclined to enjoy wildly imaginative (but believable, plausible?) science fiction, some of her novels may be the perfect blending of these areas for you – they are for me.

All of Margaret Atwood’s books are difficult to keep in stock here, but luckily we now have TWO copies of Oryx and Crake that have both arrived within a couple weeks of each other. Pick it up for $7.00 and read it along with me!

 – Sharon

New Arrivals: Vintage Science Fiction

This week we’ve added a large batch of paperbacks to our “Vintage Science Fiction/Fantasy” section!

There’s a great selection of authors represented in this batch, including quite a few Poul Anderson, Robert Heinlein, and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Stop by and browse in-store or take a look in our online shop!