Absolute Elsewhere

F61 (1961) Updated 3 October 1998


Adamski, George, FLYING SAUCERS FAREWELL, 1, 1961, Abelard-Schuman, HB. See BEHIND THE FLYING SAUCER MYSTERY, 1967 entry
ALTER-EGO, #1, March 1961, Comic fanzine. Cover art by Roy Thomas. Alter-Ego was published by Dr. Jerry Bails with help from Roy Thomas. Although there were a few other important fanzines published before or around the time of Alter-Ego, Jerry Bails is nevertheless largely credited for founding comic fandom, since he also started the adzine Comicollector (later Rocket's Blast Comic Collector) and the news-zine Comic Reader for the latest comic news. Both of these titles were some of the longest running fan publications in the history of fandom. -- Nick Yutko

Ballard, Charles M., THEY ALL DISCOVERED AMERICA, 1961, Doubleday, HB. Need copy and info.
Bloch, Robert, PSYCHO, 3, 1961, Fawcett, PB.  Movie (1960 entry) tie-in edition. This is probably the first time most people ever saw Bloch's novel, and the cover they remember (see Bloch, 1959 and 1960 entries). 

Camp, L. Sprague de, DRAGON OF THE ISHTAR GATE, THE, 1, 1961, Doubleday, HB. see 1968 entry.

CONNECTION, THE, Motion Picture, 1961, Clarke, Director: Shirley, From Jack Gelber's play.

Edwards, I. E. S., PYRAMIDS OF EGYPT, THE, 2, 1961, Penguin, PB. evised ed., This has become the standard survey on the subject, reflecting mainstream archaeological opinion on the pyramids. Edwards subscribes to the idea that the pyramids evolved through trial and error on the part of the builders. You will find no "fringe" or mystical ideas here, but it's a good purgative after a diet of pyramidology books.

Eliade, Mircea, SACRED AND THE PROFANE, THE, 2, 1961, Harper and Row, Trade. Eliade was a Romanian who became one of America's best known writers on comparative religion and the history of religion. This book was often used as an introduction to these subjects in the university world. Eliade's works became very popular on the intellectual scene in the 70's.
Farmer, Philip Jose, LOVERS, THE, 1961, Ballantine, PB. Originally published in STARTLING STORIES in 1952 (see 1952 entry).

Finney, Charles, G. THE CIRCUS OF DR. LAO, 2, 1961, Viking Compass, PB. See 1964 entry.

Furneaux, Rupert, WORLD'S GREATEST MYSTERIES, THE, 1961, Ace, PB.

Haggard, H. Rider, SHE, 1961, Lancer, PB.
Heinlein, Robert A., STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, l, 1961, Putnam, HB. The influence of Heinlein's best novel on the spirit of the 60's has become a cliche of literary criticism. Many have been puzzled by why the left-leaning youth movement could be so taken by a writer with such rightist/libertarian views. The assumption that the spirit of the 60's youth movements were leftist might be overstated. 

Heller, Joseph, CATCH-22, 1961, Simon and Schuster, HB. Heller's (obviously autobiographical) best seller differed from other World War II novels in its portrait of war as a hellish black comedy. There is something terribly prophetic about Yossarian's growing disillusionment with the war, and events that were to shortly unfold in Southeast Asia (See 1962 entry). 

THE HIDDEN WORLD, 1961,  Wisco (Ray Palmer, Pubs.), Magazine.  A testimonial: "I just dug up some of my old library, and am attaching an image of a real rarity: Vol. I, Num. 1 of The Hidden World, an early 1960's Ray Palmer opus devoted to the works and theories of my old pen pal, Richard S. Shaver. I haven't read any of this stuff in years, but it looks delightfully kooky! I have most of the other 15 volumes, too. I may scan some of the articles/stories for your enjoyment. I just re-read this utterly lunatic piece about how to make "pictures" of Dero by putting powdered laundry detergent on cardboard and then spraying it with a mixture of Pledge Furniture Polish, Drain-Flo, and Windex! According to Shaver, the Dero take control at some point, and magnetically direct the patterns that form into all sorts of groovy pictures which are somehow supposed to "prove" the existence of underground civilizations." ----- Billy Max Miller.


I CHING, Wilhelm, Translation: Richard, 1,1961, Princeton University Press/Bollingen, HB. 2nd Ed. (See 1967 entry).

James, E. O., MYTH AND RITUAL IN THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST, 1961, Barnes and Noble, HB. entry
Miller, Henry, TROPIC OF CANCER, 1, 1961, Grove Press, HB. First published by Obelisk Press, Paris, in 1934. 

"I am living at Villa Borghese. There is not a crumb of dirt anywhere, nor a chair misplaced. We are all alone here and we are dead."

Miller, Henry, TROPIC OF CANCER, 2, 1961, Grove Press, PB. This is the blue edged Black Cat Book that everybody read.
 Miller, Henry, TROPIC OF CAPRICORN, 1, 1961, Grove Press, 1961, HB. Second of Miller's "Tropic Trilogy," first published by Obelisk (Olympia) Press (Paris) in 1939. Adventures working for the TransDemonic Telegraph Co, whom we have all worked for from time to time.

Moorcock, Michael, SCIENCE FANTASY, 1961, British science fiction magazine. First appearance of Elric of Melniborne. More info. needed. Moorcock would become one of the most prolific writers in science fiction and fantasy during the 60's and 70's. In the process he created one of the largest concepts in the history of literature: "The Eternal Champion" stories and novels. The Eternal Champion is a hero (often an anti-hero) who is reincarnated down through history, and on various planes of existence, following some cosmic plan. The stories utilized ideas reworked from Eastern mysticism, especially Hindu theology. Moorcock is one of the major movers in the "New Wave" movement in science fiction, sometimes known as "soft" science fiction. Moorcock was very much at the front end of many trends under discussion here.
Mumford, Lewis, CITY IN HISTORY, THE, 1961, Harcourt Brace, HB. Mumford is one of America's premier social philosophers (among other things). In 1934, Mumford began a series of volumes dubbed TECHNICS and CIVILIZATION. But sometime in the 50's, Mumford rethought his original technological optimism, and began to rewrite the entire series from a new viewpoint. THE CITY IN HISTORY replaces or supersedes THE CULTURE OF CITIES (1938). Mumford was perhaps the first thinker to realize that the history of technology is the most important aspect of civilization. He also saw a danger in man becoming part of a mass human machine, "the mega-machine". Mumford, like Toynbee and Spengler, was a visionary historian who constantly had the future firmly in view. Mumford's writing had, within the social sciences, profound effects on intellectual thought in the 60's and the 70's.


Murphy, Gardner, CHALLENGE OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, 1, 1961, Harper and Row, HB. entry.

Murray, Margaret Alice, WITCH CULT IN WESTERN EUROPE, THE, 1, 1961, Oxford University Press, Trade. Reprint of 1921 title. Entry

Newland, Constance (Thelma Moss), MY SELF AND I, 1961, Coward McCann, HB.

Oldenbourg, Zoe, MASSACRE AT MONTSEGUR: A HISTORY OF THE ALBIGENSIAN CRUSADE, 1961, Pantheon Books, HB. Translation of 1959 French title. PB? Ballantine?

Oldenbourg, Zoe, DESTINY OF FIRE, 1, 1961, Pantheon Books, HB. Translation of 1960 French Title. See 1965 entry.

Rand, Ayn, FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL, 1, 1961, Random House, HB. See below.

Rand, Ayn, FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL, 2, 1961, Signet, PB. This is probably the best book to read sampling Rand's ideas. The title essay is a good solid piece of "objectivism" to chew on. There are also relevant excerpts from WE THE LIVING, ANTHEM, and THE FOUNTAINHEAD. It might be best to skip right over all that, and go right into the hard stuff -- excerpts from ATLAS SHRUGGED (1959 entry), which is the core of Rand's thought. The heart of this is a long speech "This is John Galt Speaking," which really says it all. This and its companion volume THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS (1965 entry) show Rand at the height of her powers, and appeared during the period when "objectivism" was growing into a kind of non-religious cult.

Rees, Alwyn and Rees, Brinley, CELTIC HERITAGE, 1, 1961, Thames and Hudson/ British ed., HB. See 1976 entry.

Rohmer, Sax (Arthur Sarsfield Ward), INSIDIOUS DOCTOR. FU MANCHU, THE, 1961, Pyramid, PB. Original British title: THE MYSTERY OF DOCTOR. FU MANCHU, 1913 Pyramid revived the Fu Manchu series and kept the titles in print throughout the 60's and 70's until its corporate metamorphosis into Jove Books. Fu Manchu is the archetypal super villain of the comics and the pulps. The heroes, Wayland-Smith and Do. Petrie, are a Holmesian pair who hinder, but never stop, the villain at every turn. Rohmer has taken some critical flak over the years for creating the "yellow peril" oriental stereotype. He deserves some of the flak. Just for the record, Fu Manchu's first name is not "Insidious." Pyramid also published some of Rohmer's occult novels during the 60's (see 1966 entries, and also MASTER OF KUNG FU, 1973 entry).

Ropp, Robert de, DRUGS AND THE MIND, 2, 1961, Grove Press, HB. This is an early popular work on "psychedelic" drugs. De Ropp moved away from drugs as a "consciousness expanding" tool, and became one of the earlier movers in the "human potential" movement (see 1968 entry). This was an essential volume in the hippie library.

Sanderson, Ivan T., ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN: LEGEND COME TO LIFE, 1, 1961, Chilton (Philadelphia, PA), HB. See 1968 entry.
Scholem, G. G., MAJOR TRENDS IN JEWISH MYSTICISM, 1961, Schocken Books, Trade. Reprint of a 1941 title. Scholem was for many years the grand old man of scholarship on the Kabballah. For years this book was one of the few available to the general reader (outside the Hebrew language). It remains the best summary of Scholem's studies on the history of the development of mysticism in Judaism. There was a lively revival in Kabballah and Scholem in the late 60's and early 70's sparked by Herbert Weiner's popular 9 MYSTICS (See 1969 entry).

Schweitzer, Albert, QUEST OF THE HISTORICAL JESUS, THE, 2, 1961, Macmillan, Trade. See also 1968 entry. Entry

Seznec, Jean, SURVIVAL OF THE PAGAN GODS, 2. 1961, Harper and Row, Trade. Entry

Spence, Lewis, OUTLINES OF MYTHOLOGY, THE, 1961, Fawcett, PB. Reprint of 1944 title.
Sturgeon, Theodore, SOME OF YOUR BLOOD, 1, 1961, Ballantine, PB.   Psychologists and detectives unravel a disturbed young man's psychotic addiction to blood. A taboo breaking book because of the protagonists attraction to women  in their menstrual cycle (something that was not much discussed in popular  fiction in those days).

THE SUBTERRANEANS, Motion Picture, 1961. Based on Jack Kerouac's  autobiographical novel about an interracial love affair, the film had no black female lead.  Well, that gives you an idea how things were going to go.  Despite the attentions of a big studio (MGM), a couple decent scriptwriters,  and a large budget, the movie was extermely bad. Even today it misses being silly enough to be considered high camp. Now if American International had made it, it would have been bad and proud of it.  Just like there were no really good movies about the later hippies, so there was never a really good movie about the Beats, either.  And no further Kerouac movies. 


Treece, Henry, JASON, 1961, Random House, HB. Need Copy and info. PB?

Waite, Arthur Edward, HOLY GRAIL, THE, 1961, University Books, HB. Reprint of 1933 title, THE HOLY GRAIL. Waite's massive (624 pages) tome is probably the closest thing to a clear exposition of his own personal Christian/mystical beliefs that is in print. And there are a lot of works by Waite. It is the culmination of his long mystical career. It is a nice source book on the problems of the Grail, but like all Waite's writings, hardly light reading!!

Watts, Alan, PSYCHOTHERAPY EAST AND WEST, 1, 1961, Pantheon Books, HB. Watts was one of the great popularizers of Eastern ideas, especially Zen, during the "Beat Generation" of the 50's. This is one of his best and most popular tracts. It is an example of a genre best called "perhaps the East has a better answer" books. The real impact came later with the various paperback editions of this book.

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