While out exploring a part of the city myself and my lady haven't been before, we discovered a second hand bookshop that seemed tailor made for us. While my girl went off in search of classics and thrillers, I was glued to the SF section waiting for something to leap out and grab me. Nothing did until my lady passed by and pointed out the bottom shelf of the section, and then went on her way again.
It was as though the heavens had opened as I looked down and my eyes fell upon a huge row of classic SF pulp magazines, all of which dated from over forty years ago. There were gorgeous and ancient copies of Astounding Science Fiction, Analog, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, If, venture and more. I swear I was almost shaking as I went through the row of printed delights.
I picked them up, examined each one carefully, and let out little shocked gasps as I realized I held in my hands the first printings of some of the greatest moments in Science Fiction history. The artwork was gaudy and painted, the titles tantalizing, the author names awe-inspiring. Asimov. Heinlein. Simak. Anderson. Clarke. Pohl, and many more.
I already have a sizeable collection of these pulp magazines from decades before my birth, but I can never have enough of them. sadly my budget today limited me to just three of the magazines, which were damn hard to choose. I went over to the counter and prepared to pay, and that's when I heard the voice.
"How much are those science fiction ones?"
I screamed silently. What?! They're all MINE, you heathen!!!
An assistant informed the man that they were all priced individually, and thus he began to rummage through the delights that ARE CLEARLY MINE, BUT WHICH I AM YET TO PURCHASE. I was horrified. How dare he go through those magazines? How dare he?! Surely he can't appreciate their majesty as much as I do. Oh yeah, I was on one. My girlfriend was beside me and saw the look of horror on my face. She's used to it, but it was when I actually let out a little growl that she nudged me.
"Hey," she said in a hushed tone.
"I heard that. Stop staring at him."
"But... they're mine!"
She sighed, and I realized how mad I sounded. The red haze only faded when the filthy animal that was touching the precious things left the shop empty handed. A small victory yes, but a victory nonetheless. Never come between me and pulps, for I will clearly make an odd noise and seem quite mad in public.