Perry Rhodan USA

Now I'm going to make you cry. For nearly twenty years I kept five (5) complete editions of PR, numerous German, French, Japanese and British copies of the book, a box of original convention programs, German posters signed by the authors, a stack of single page, glossy copies of the US cover art and many other trinkets.
Having no Ackermansion, and before the invention of ebay, I couldn't even give the material away and most of it had been infested with bugs from being stored in the garage.
As I was then moving into a condo, I had no storage area and had to commit the sacrilege of putting them out in the trash. I've seen various prices on PR novels, but I can only imagine what five (5) complete sets, many autographed, would go for today! So, I'm having to rely on my memory for the following rather than upon source materials.

As I recall as my science fiction guests we had A.E. van Vogt (I'm sure Van was there), and I also had Gordon R. Dickson and Ben Bova (both of whom were frequent guests at my other, later conventions). We also had a bevy of production persons including John Waxman and Pat LoBrutto from Ace Books (John was in charge of publicity for the series in the U.S. and Pat was the editor assigned to PR at Ace). Donald A. Wollheim of Ace might have been there, been he might have already left to found his own publishing company, DAW books. In any event the other science fiction authors contributed mightily to the convention and it was my hope that they would introduce the attendees to other science fiction (in addition to PR, of course).

There was some discussion of Isaac Asimov coming as a guest, but getting Isaac out of NYC was a chore in itself. In any event, I don't believe Isaac made it. Still, the crowd was interested in the future of PR.

Now, many of you don't know this, but the circulation numbers for PR were based on magazine-like calculations, rather than traditional book publication numbers. A magazine is presumed to be read by 2.5 to 3 people. So the readership of PR, often touted to be 100,000, was probably closer to 40,000. But still, that's a lot of books to be sold, especially at the rate that PR was coming out. PR volumes often covered a shelf and a half at bookstores. This leads, ultimately, to the demise of PR in the US, for Pabel Verlag and Ace just couldn't make the numbers work for them as far as profits were concerned.

But that is a story for another day, and PR continued to be published for a long time and I had started work on RhoCon II to be held in New York. But, again, that is a story for another time. In the meantime, a few hundred people in Washington, D.C. were having a great adventure.

RhoCon-1 Intro

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