At Play In The Fields Of The Lord Of Crazy Books
This year, since my standard DunDraCon schedule is thrown off by a Tiny Tank Meeting (which is why I'm typing this in Oakland), we hit Fields Bookstore (on Polk Street in San Francisco), pound for pound the finest occult bookshop in the English-incanting world, on the Tuesday after the cons rather than the Friday before.
And thereby, like the proverbial stinging butterfly, I got in under their guard and out for well under $100, primarily by only buying used books.
True, I had to pass up one or two new titles in the "Occult Nazis" section, but one was from Adventures Unlimited Press (which means I'll track it down at BookExpo) and one was but a wee Ariosophist pamphlet by Guido von List. Rather more difficult was turning down about seventy bucks worth of other discoveries -- a Nigel Pennick amphigory of subterranean constructions, a book on occult and ritual elements in British folk songs, and something fascinatingly called The Covert Enlightenment: Eighteenth-Century Counter-Culture and its Aftermath,
which wasn't about the actual C.XVIII counter-culture (the Great Awakening) but about Swedenborg and Mesmer, but still.
But I did get Graham Hancock's Underworld
("are these eerily smooth pieces of underwater basalt evidence of Atlantis, or of somebody not knowing an igneous rock when he sees it?"), Wasserman's Templars and Assassins: Militia of Heaven
(which at least has the virtue of originality with its general "hooray for sacred murder" vibe), two (count 'em) sequels to the Necronomicon
by the eerily bumptious 'Simon', an awesome looking opus of dressed-up Velikough-syrup entitled Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes
, a paperback reprint of W.R. Lethaby's 1892 Architecture, Mysticism, and Myth,
and a very classy hardback scholarly edition of John Dee's Limits of the British Empire.
All, I remind the court, used.
Perhaps still stunned with awe at my phat escapological skillz, the nice woman at the counter did not break my Princely incognito, although she did recognize luagha
and myself as associated with DunDracon rather than PantheaCon.
Then it was off to a virtuous reward at the Stinking Rose, where the garlic pesto has to be tasted to be believed.