If there is any publishing house that I can really get behind it is DAW Books. In the hoary years of the early 70’s (1972 to be exact) the first book in the companies printing history was printed, Spell of Witch World by Andre Norton, was a collection of short stories in her famous setting. The rest is history.
When I was a kid those yellow backed paperbacks were a fascination of mine. Now I buy them up where ever I can find them. I don’t want to think about how many I am up to now in my collection, well 433 of the first 1000 books or so. Now the company stopped making the yellow backs in 1984 but I still like them nonetheless. They represent an era of writing that is purely nostalgic to me.
When I think of just how many great series were published under the DAW banner you can’t help but stand back in awe of how much the company did to preserve and promote the SF and Fantasy genres. You had the likes of the Dray Prescott, Dumarest, Green Star Rising, Hooded Swan, Gondwana, Darkover, Elric Saga, Hawkmoon, Imaro, and just so many more.
You could spend an entire lifetime reading and rereading these great stories. Of course everybody knows that not ever single book is going to be a winner but, to be honest I haven’t come across a bad one yet. A couple have been dated and I was alright with that. I always seek to put myself in the mindset of the times the books were written. I have found it lends itself to greater enjoyment of what is being read.
So next time you find yourself wandering around your local used bookstore. I would suggest taking the time to find a couple of those yellow backed paperbacks, they stand out so you can’t miss them, and give a couple of them a try. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.