DescriptionE[dward]. E. Smith. The History of Civilization. Reading, Pennsylvania: Fantasy Press, 1955. First edition, limited to seventy-five sets, of which this is number forty; each volume signed by Smith, first volume additionally inscribed by the author: "To my friend Richard C Spelman / Dear Dick!-- / I'm always glad to see your name on my list, and am particularly glad it's on this one-- that you are one of the stalwart to make this new (new to all fiction, I think) venture come into reality. / As ever - / Doc / (Edward E. Smith, PhD)." The William B. Ellern copy with his ink ownership signature and pencil annotation with his personal statement that this set was "used as source material for 'Triplanetary Agent,' 'New Lensman,' and 'Legion of the Gray Lensmen.'" Ellern has inscribed (in pen) and annotated (in pencil) the first two volumes only. Six octavo volumes, comprised of: Triplanetary, First Lensman, Galactic Patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensman and Children of the Lens. Publisher's grayish red cloth with leather shelf back, gilt lettering on spines, top edges stained grayish red, in original box with lid. Bindings lightly rubbed, with some wear to backstrips. Box edges worn and chipped and lid partially detached; faces lightly sunned. A near fine set with distinguished provenance.
William B. Ellern (b. 1933) is an American science fiction author and aviation engineer. In 1965, Ellern asked (and received) permission from E. E. Smith to extend the Lensman series of novels (this was published, first serially in 1975, then in book form in 1976 as New Lensman). He has also written other short stories based on the Smith novels (published serially): Moon Prospector, Legion of the Gray Lensman, and Triplanetary Agent. Ellern served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society until 2009.
Edward Elmer Smith was an American Science fiction writer, responsible for the Lensmen and Skylark series. Many consider him to be the "father of the space opera."
William B. Ellern is an American science fiction author, given permission by Edward E. Smith to extend the Lensman series. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society until 2009.
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