Penguin Galaxy | Illustrated Collector’s Guide

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Penguin Galaxy Collector's Guide

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About the Penguin 'Galaxy' series

In October 2016, Penguin released six of their greatest masterworks of science fiction and fantasy, with bright, bold “bare boards” naked hardcover designs. The series was curated by crowd favourite Neil Gaiman, and each volume opens with his introductory series essay on the charm and value of science fiction.

Penguin Galaxy books in a row sm

The series includes many of my own favourites, particularly Stranger in a Strange Land and The Once and Future King. It’s nice to see these in sturdy volumes for a change, but sadly the binding is glued, which does leave open a question regarding their longevity. And also interesting to note that the spine titles on these editions run from bottom to top (normal for most European languages except English), so they may appear “upside-down” in an English-language shelf. Size-wise, they are similar to large paperback, with dimensions around 8.5″ high, 5.8″ deep. The most popular seller has been The Once and Future King, probably because it appeals to both fantasy and children’s fiction markets.

A dazzling jewel-box Lucite box-set was also briefly made available, but it was produced in very limited numbers and it sold out soon after publication. However most of the individual titles are still in print. The covers are designed by Spanish artist Alex Trochut, and the titles are printed straight onto the books’ boards in stylized, embossed gold leaf type – with distinctive type-art for each cover, and a cute individualised symbol on the back.

List of books in the Penguin Galaxy series

2001: A Space Odyssey 
by Arthur C Clarke

About the book: A space-opera spanning from the dawn of man to humanity reaching the stars.

→ Where to buy: Book Depository or Amazon.

Neuromancer by William Gibson

About the book: One of the best-known works in the cyberpunk genre and the first novel to win the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award.

→ Where to buy: Book Depository or Amazon.

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

About the book: A human raised on Mars, Michael Valentine Smith arrives on Earth for the first time, and as he struggles to understand humanity, his own psionic powers make him a messiah figure.

→ Where to buy: Book Depository or Amazon.

→ Currently OOP. Check availability at Abes.

Dune by Frank Herbert

About the book: The epic story of Paul Atreides, who will become the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, whose sands are the only source of a powerful drug called “the spice.” 

(Fun fact: the title spells “DUNE” no matter which way up you look at it!)

→ Where to buy: Book Depository or Amazon.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

About the book: A lone human emissary goes on mission to Winter, an unknown alien world whose inhabitants can choose—and change—their gender.

→ Where to buy: Book Depository or Amazon.

The Once and Future King by T.H. White

About the book: A delightful retelling of the saga of King Arthur. It follows Arthur from his youth, through the disillusioning early years of his reign, to maturity when his vision of the Round Table develops into the search for the Holy Grail, and finally to his weary old age. 

→ Where to buy: Book Depository or Amazon 

→ Currently OOP. Check availability at Abes.

The Penguin Galaxy Boxed Set

Complete set. All 6 volumes presented in a lucite case. Out of print.

→ Check availability: Amazon or Abe books (OOP)  [Rare]

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