L. Sprague de Camp’s copy of Fletcher Pratt’s SECRET AND URGENT: THE STORY OF CODES AND CIPHERS

Bill Lindblad of Alien Motives Books is donating L. Sprague de Camp’s copy of Fletcher Pratt’s Secret and Urgent: The Story of Codes and Ciphers. De Camp and Pratt were good friends and frequent collaborators, co-creating the Harold Shea series of alternate-dimension fantasies known as the Compleat Enchanter books and also the Gavagan’s Bar series of fantastic bar stories which were favorites in the Anthony Boucher-edited Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The book comes directly from the estate. Early in his writing career, de Camp inserted bookplates decorated with a coat of arms into his library; this book has one of the green bookplates. This is the 1942 reprint of the 1939 original book by Pratt. Pratt was well known for a variety of his writings. He collaborated with de Camp on some legendary fantasies; his other fantasy work was also critically appreciated, with The Blue Star becoming an early addition to the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series edited by Lin Carter; he wrote highly regarded naval histories for military historians; he produced an early naval wargame, earning him a standing reputation among wargamers; and he co-founded the Trapdoor Spiders, the New York writer’s club upon which Isaac Asimov’s Black Widower series of mysteries was based. The book is in near fine condition in a near fine jacket, with slight edgewear and minor curling to the bottom corners of the boards, and with chipping along the edges of the jacket at the spine and corners. The jacket has been placed in an archival Brodart protector.

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