The Scan You've All Been Waiting For



Okay, folks, here it is. And you're right, it isn't just one scan. Bending the cover back for a scan would probably have decreased the value of my book by a couple hundred dollars. So, this is a composite of three scans, merged through PhotoShop. You are welcome to download and use the image as you see fit.

Junkie, one of the most valuable paperback originals in the U.S., was written for Ace Books in 1953 by William Burroughs under the pseudonym William Lee. It was Burroughs' first book. Narcotic Agent, by Maurice Helbrant, was a reprint. This was the intent of A.A. Wyn and Donald A. Wolheim, who ran Ace ... that each double-volume book be a combination of one PBO and one reprint.

Books about drug trafficking have always been highly collectible. "Two Books in One" is simply irresistible to collectors around the world.

The book was also "expurgated," meaning that it was heavily edited to meet the strict censorship standards of the period. But that was not because of the drug use; rather it was due to the book's references to homosexuality. Junkie (it was spelled Junky in the British Penguin editions), was semi-autobiographical -- Burroughs had at one time been a dope pusher in Greenwich Village. His writing had attracted the attention of Allen Ginsberg, and he was also urged to write fiction by his friend, Jack Kerouac.

The unexpurgated version of Junkie was finally published in 1977 by Penguin. Burroughs' companion piece to the book, Queer, was rejected by publishers due to its subject matter until 1985. His third novel, Naked Lunch, which was a "beat novel," also had trouble seeing print for several years.

One misconception exists about the Burroughs science fiction novella Blade Runner, a Movie. Actually, it had only one thing in common with Blade Runner, THE movie: its title. Ridley Scott bought the title from Burroughs to make the flick, which was released in 1982. (The screenplay, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, was based on a novel by Phillip K. Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)