Valuable vintage science fiction and fantasy paperbacks include such gems as The Princess of the Atom, The Illustrated Man, Behind the Flying Saucers, An Earth Man on Venus, The Adventures of Superman, Rebirth, Universe and The Shrinking Man. One sci-fi paperback is valued at over $850!
The modern American paperback debuted in 1939. Collectors love these old paperbacks, with science fiction and fantasy titles among the most valuable items in the field. Vintage science fiction and fantasy paperbacks offer top stories, great authors, wild promotional blurbs and outstanding cover art. Here are ten valuable science fiction and fantasy paperbacks that are sure to excite and amaze collectors. They are truly "out of this world."
The Princess of the Atom by Ray Cummings (Avon Fantasy Novel, 1950)
Ray Cummings' fantastic The Princess of the Atom was published as Avon Fantasy Novel #1 in 1950. Find this paperback in excellent condition or better and it's worth approximately $100.
The Princess of the Atom 1950 Avon Fantasy Novel #1 - Avon Books
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury (Bantam, 1952)
Ray Bradbury's celebrated The Illustrated Man was published as Batman #991 in 1952 with cover art by Charles Binger. A first edition paperback in top condition carries a value of $12-15.
The Illustrated Man 1952 Batman #991 - Bantam Books
Behind the Flying Saucers by Frank Scully (Popular Library, 1951)
Frank Scully's groundbreaking Behind the Flying Saucers was published as Popular Library #326 in 1951 with cover art by Earle K. Bergey. Behind the Flying Saucers is actually a nonfiction entry, with elements of speculative science fiction and fantasy thrown in as the author examines the UFO phenomenon. A copy in excellent condition is valued at $30-35.
An Earth Man on Venus by Ralph M. Farley (Avon, 1951)
An Earth Man on Venus a.k.a. The Radio Man was published as Avon #285 in 1951. What earth man wouldn't want to go into space with this sexy Venusian woman waiting in the wings? A stunning blonde, of course! Such was the outrageous paperback cover art of the day. An Earth Man on Venus paperback in top condition is valued at over $100.
An Earth Man on Venus 1951 Avon #285 - Avon Books
The Adventures of Superman by George Lowther (Armed Services Edition, 1942)
The Adventures of Superman was published as Armed Services Edition #656 in 1942. Armed Services Editions, a component of Random House, published and distributed free paperbacks to American servicemen during World War II. A The Adventures of Superman paperback – considered to be the rarest and most coveted title in the Armed Services Edition line – in near fine condition brought a top bid of $836.50 at auction.
The Adventures of Superman 1942 Armed Services Edition #656 - Heritage Auction Galleries
Rebirth by Thomas Calvert McClary (Bart House, 1944)
Thomas Calvert McClary's Rebirth was published as Bart House #6 in 1944. It is considered to be one of the first science fiction paperback novels. "When machinery ran wild – when order became chaos – bedlam uncontrolled. The greatest escape story of the decade," reads the cover blurb. A copy in excellent condition is valued at $30-35.
Universe by Robert A. Heinlein (Dell, 1951)
Robert A. Heinlein's Universe was published as #36 in the Dell Ten-Cent Series in 1951 with fantastic cover art by Robert Stanley. "Their world was a giant spaceship, its purpose and destination lost in centuries of drifting among the stars," reads the cover blurb. Find this paperback beauty in top condition and it's worth $65-100.
The Green Girl by Jack Williamson (Avon Fantasy Novel, 1950)
Jack Williamson's The Green Girl was published as Avon Fantasy Novel #2 in 1950, the final title in this short-lived specialty paperback series. A huge favorite with collectors, The Green Girl in top condition is valued at over $100.
The Green Girl 1950 Avon Fantasy Novel #2 - Avon Books
The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson (Gold Medal, 1956)
Richard Matheson's The Shrinking Man was published as an original Gold Medal #s577 paperback in 1956 with cover art by Mitchell Hooks. "The most powerful tale of horror you will ever read," trumpets the cover blurb. The novel later served as the basis for the 1957 film The Incredible Shrinking Man starring Grant Williams. A copy in top condition is valued at $20-30.
Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis (Avon, 1949)
C.S. Lewis' classic Out of the Silent Planet was published as Avon #195 in 1949 with cover art by Ann Cantor. It's valued at $35-50 in excellent condition.
Out of the Silent Planet 1949 Avon #195 - Avon Books
There are thousands of more collectible science fiction and fantasy paperbacks out there from the 1940s to the present day. You never know when or where that big find could come from a garage sale, flea market, thrift store or maybe even in the trash...
Top Paperback Image
- The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells 1948 Dell mapback #269 $30-50 - Dell