When I was in primary school there was a book club each term. A few weeks before the holidays were due to start the teacher would pass around a small catalogue of titles that they were currently selling. Due to it being a school promotion each book had about twenty or thirty percent off the retail price. You’d put a tick next to whatever you wanted to buy, go home and convince your parents to supply the money which would then be passed on during the next school day. At the start of the next term the library van would pull up outside and drop off a big box with the all the books in. There was your book (or indeed books depending on if your parents felt generous that day or not).
It was through this method that I discovered quite a few titles including the Fighting Fantasy series but there was one from that time that I actually rediscovered a few days ago stuck in a cardboard box from my house move six months ago.
I recall wanting this one as soon as I clapped eyes on it. It has a price of £3.99 on the inside cover and it must have been about £3.50 or so to me at the time. It’s a collection of some short science fiction stories alongside some excerpts from longer titles. There’s a section from War of the Worlds which was probably my first exposure to H.G Wells, there’s The Wind From The Sun by Arthur C Clarke and also How We Were Tracked By A Tripod by John Christopher. I’ve sat for a few nights now just reading over these stories and reminding myself how brilliant they are. I’m rewriting the book now trying my level best to get it somewhere near the level presented here.