Vultures of the Void


Vultures of the Void
The October 2015 seminar in the book-collecting series organised jointly by the Institute of English Studies (London University) and the Rare Book Society was given by Philip Harbottle.

Born in 1941, as a child Philip Harbottle devoured the Daily Mirror’s comic strip adventures of Garth (unaware he was destined to script it five decades later!). Collecting and researching post-war British science fiction led to his publishing The Multi-Man (1968) a study of the noted pulp writer John Russell Fearn, and to editing the magazine Vision of Tomorrow in 1969. A contributor to many SF reference books, his own two-book sequence, Vultures of the Void (1992) and British Science Fiction Paperbacks and Magazines (1949-56) (Borgo, 1993) was an acclaimed study on post-war British science fiction. 

After taking early retirement he became a literary agent, representing the estates of Fearn and many other post-war writers, successfully restoring them to print. His latest non-fiction book is Vultures of the Void: the Legacy (2011). At the seminar he spoke about British science fiction publishing in the immediate post-war period, its legacy today for authors, publishers, collectors, and booksellers, and the ‘mushroom’ publishers of the period in general. 

The seminar took place on Tuesday 13th October 2015 at Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. The seminars are free and open to the public. There is no need to book and all are very welcome. 

The seminars are aimed at a broad audience including book-collectors, book-dealers, historians of all kinds, librarians, indeed at anyone with an interest in collecting any sort of text from the sixth-former to the retired professor. The atmosphere is informal, as are the presentations. They are held in the University of London’s Senate House and run from 6.00pm on the second Tuesday of each month.