Saturday, June 19, 2010

Great Used Book Finds

I was very surprised when I ran across these titles at a neat local used bookstore. First I found a decent copy(there is some hightlighting inside) of Guy Debord's situationist masterwork The Society of the Spectacle.

I found an infamous pulp classic I have only read about. A winter 1947 quarterly issue of Amazing Stories featuring The Shaver Mystery. Richard Sharpe Shaver was essentially a mentally ill writer that believed his wild fortean yarns who was exploited by an opportunistic editor/publisher.

From Wikipedia:

Very little is known reliably about Shaver's early life. He claimed to have worked in a factory, where, in 1932, odd things began to occur. As Bruce Lanier Wright notes, Shaver "began to notice that one of the welding guns on his job site, 'by some freak of its coil's field atunements,' was allowing him to hear the thoughts of the men working around him. More frighteningly, he then received the telepathic record of a torture session conducted by malign entities in caverns deep within the earth." According to Barkun, Shaver offered inconsistent accounts of how he first learned of the hidden cavern world, but that the assembly line story was the "most common version." Shaver said he then quit his job, and became a hobo for a period.
Barkun writes that "Shaver was hospitalized briefly for psychiatric problems in 1934, but there does not appear to have been a clear diagnosis."Barkun notes that afterwards, Shaver's whereabouts and actions cannot be reliably traced until the early 1940s.

The magazine I got itself.

The June 1947 issue of Amazing Stories featuring the "Shaver Mystery" I wonder how much a good quality version of the one I have would be worth compared to a copy of this one.

This article on Devil's Tower caught my attention. Inspiration to Close Encounters of the Third Kind?

Shaver wrote of extremely advanced pre-historic races who had built cavern cities inside Earth before abandoning Earth for another planet due to damaging radiation from the Sun. Those ancients also abandoned some of their own offspring here, a minority of whom remained noble and human "Teros", while most degenerated over time into a population of mentally impaired sadists known as Deros—short for "detrimental robots." Shaver's "robots" were not mechanical constructs, but were robot-like due to their savage behavior.
These Deros still lived in the cave cities, according to Shaver, kidnapping surface-dwelling people by the thousands for meat or torture. With sophisticated "ray" machinery that the great ancient races had left behind, they spied on people and projected tormenting thoughts and voices into our minds (reminiscent of schizophrenia's "influencing machines" such as the Air loom). Deros could be blamed for nearly all misfortunes, from minor "accidental" injuries or illnesses to airplane crashes and catastrophic natural disasters. Women especially were singled out for brutal treatment, including rape, and Dash notes that "Sado-masochism was one of the prominent themes of Shaver's writings." Though generally confined to their caves, Shaver claimed that the Deros sometimes traveled by spaceships or rockets, and had dealings with equally evil extraterrestrial beings. Shaver claimed first-hand knowledge of the Deros and their caves, insisting he had been their prisoner for several years.

These bizaare "based on true events" stories about sadomasochistic subterranean evil e.t.'s are considered to be a major influence on UFO's,the paranormal,and the alien abduction phenomenon.

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