So I was looking for something on my office bookshelves, and discovered I have two copies of Jerry Sohl’s novel Costigan’s Needle.Â Both are first printings of the first Bantam paperback edition, November 1953, 25 cents cover price, Bantam Book #1278.
(Yes, I know how I came to have two copies.Â No, it’s of no interest and I’m not going to explain it.)
It’s a pleasant little novel.Â I’ve always liked it.Â But I don’t need two copies.Â And the one I’m willing to part with, while still readable, is so beat up that I don’t think I can in good conscience sell it anywhere — it’s coming apart, with the front cover already detached and the interior in two large chunks and some pages loose.Â (All still there, though.)
So I decided to give it away as a prize, and am holding a contest.
Whoever writes me the best original limerick about 1950s SF gets the book.Â You have until I receive entries from twelve different people (multiple entries are allowed) or until my birthminute (12:56 a.m.
EDT, July 26th) to enter, whichever is later.
I’ll be posting announcements in various venues between now and July 25th, but you can enter immediately, in comments here or by e-mail.Â (Comments are moderated; if your entry doesn’t appear immediately, be patient.)
Limericks can be about specific works, but preference may be given to limericks discussing the SF field as a whole.Â “SF” can include fantasy and/or horror, but I’m mostly looking for science fiction.
“The fifties” are hereby defined as including everything from 1947 to 1965, should any entrant feel it necessary to go outside the years actually beginning with the digits 1, 9, and 5.Â References to anything outside those dates, however, may be grounds for disqualification, at the sole discretion of the judge (i.e., me).
While literary references are preferred, references to movies, TV, comic books, toys, and other aspects of popular culture are entirely acceptable.
The judge’s decision is final.Â The only guaranteed prize is the aforementioned copy of Costigan’s Needle, plus the padded envelope and the postage necessary to mail it to the winner.Â (Yes, I’ll spring
for international postage if necessary.Â No, I will not pay for any sort of non-postal delivery.)
Other prizes may be awarded should the whim strike me.Â Winner is responsible for any and all taxes and tariffs, though I wouldn’t think there would be any.
Other people may be consulted by the judge in determining the winner.
Entries must be original.Â Unacknowledged plagiarism will result in disqualification for all entries by that person.Â Â However, if you want to quote a suitable limerick by someone else, in addition to
entering, you’re free to do so without disqualifying yourself, so long as you clearly identify it as not being an entry.
Those are the rules at present, but I reserve the right to add restrictions should I think it necessary.
This is being done entirely for my own amusement, as a method of finding a new owner for this poor battered old book; there is no commercial purpose or hidden agenda.
Let the contest begin!