Roland E. Bounds Science fiction paperback book collection

Biographical and Historical Notes

Roland E. Bounds (1953 - 2002) attended Concord High School in Wilmington, Delaware, and obtained a B.S. in geology from the University of Delaware in 1975. He pursued graduate studies in mineralogy and applied geology at the University of Delaware and Oklahoma State University. By vocation and avocation, he was a collector.

He began collecting rocks at age six, and as an adult became a noted mineral collector and dealer with business partner Eric Meier in Broken Back Minerals. Bounds was a senior research technician with the Delaware Geological Survey, located in Newark, Delaware. He regularly submitted articles to First State Geology and was a longtime editor of Geogram, the newsletter of the Delaware Mineralogical Association. Bounds was also active in the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Friends of Mineralogy. Bounds was equally known as a collector of science fiction, an interest he developed at age thirteen when he "discovered the large amount of material being published but not available in either the local county or school libraries." Bounds concentrated on collecting vintage (pre-1965) paperbacks and pulp magazines (pre-1953). Thematically, he developed an interest in "the way technological advances have been predicted and the ways that authors of various times have viewed society and its problems." He also collected with an interest in book and magazine cover art and illustration of science fiction and fantasy. When he was a graduate student at the University of Delaware, he twice won (in 1983 and 1984) first prize in the student book collecting contest sponsored by the University of Delaware Library Associates. His science fiction collection was included in a 1991 exhibition at the University of Delaware Library, Delaware Collects, and the 2006 Special Collections exhibition From Verne to Vonnegut.


Delaware Collects: checklist of an exhibition in the Hugh M. Morris Library, compiled by Max Yela. Newark, Del.: University of Delaware Library, 1991.

Ace Doubles (and Singles Library). Retrieved December 21, 2006 from

The Tor Books FAQ. Retrieved December 21, 2006 from

Scope and Contents

The Roland E. Bounds Paperback Science Fiction Book Collection consists of nearly seven thousand science fiction paperbacks published between 1890 and 2002 assembled by the Delaware collector Roland Bounds. Also included within this collection are numerous fantasy and a few horror and classic novels that do not fit the science fiction genre.

Edition highlights of the collection include Ace Doubles, Armed Services Inc., early editions of Pocket Books, and Avon Books. Also of interest are large runs of early character series such as The Avenger, Conan, Doc Savage, Perry Rhodan, and later series such as Death Lands and Outlanders.

Nearly all of the paperbacks in the collection feature striking cover art or text illustrations created by some of the most famous illustrators in science fiction. Vincent Di Fate, Frank Frazetta, Frank Freas, Michael Whelan, and many other celebrated or less well known illustrators are represented in the collection. Like the authors themselves, these illustrators are important to the genre; they give a visual outline to the strange, wonder-provoking worlds of science fiction and are significant contributors to the "popular culture" of the genre. Many collectors seek these pulp paperbacks for the cover art and illustration only.