Friday, January 18, 2008

Aaron's Book of the Week :: The Thing That Made Love by David V. Reed

The Thing That Made LoveA first edition may be especially collectible because the book become a classic or because the author went on to have a distinguished career. And then there are the books that are collectors' items simply because they are too outrageous and absurd for any collector to resist. In the latter category, the Book of the Week is The Thing That Made Love by David V. Reed.

This is a first printing, paperback original, published in digest format by Uni-Book in 1951. The novel had previously appeared in the pulp magazine Mammoth Detective, but under the dull title The Metal Monster Murders. Uni-Book changed the title, added cover art of a woman in a torn shirt and lacy bra, all under the tag line "No woman could survive such harrowing ecstasy!", creating perhaps the single most exploitative edition of a science fiction mystery ever published.

David V. Reed was the pen-name of David Vern (born David Levine, but no relation to the David Levine featured in our August 31, 2006 Magazine of the Week ). He started out as a minor author for the science fiction pulps before going on to a bit more success in comic books, authoring a number of Batman comics. By coincidence, a David V. Reed story appears in one of my personal favorite pulp magazines, also with an outrageous cover, illustrating a story by the most successful pulp writer ever. You will see that magazine, and learn what a "BEM" is, next week.

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