Collector's Lot was an afternoon magazine programme showing off viewers collections, and part of this particular programme dealt with the pulp science fiction book collection of a Mr Philip Harbottle, a leading authority on pulp science fiction, and a name I recognised from the days when I used to subscribe to the excellent Comic's Journal magazine.
The books in question were written by prolific British author John Russell Fearn, who wrote under several pseudonyms, in particular Vargo Statten and Volsted Gridban.
Programme presenter, Debbie Thrower interviews Philip who, although he was lucky enough to correspond with Fearn, sadly never met the man. who at the time lived in Blackpool and died in 1960.
He did, however meet, and became a family friend with John Russell Fearn's wife, who, in time decided to hand over the publishing rights to her late husband's stories to Philip, who soon set to work keeping the author's name alive.
Philip revealed he had been a fan of Fearn since reading Scion's, A Thing of the Past (by Volsted Gridban) . He went on to say the author covered pretty much every aspect of science fiction in his writings.
Philip mentions cloning in the book, The Multi- Man, artificial satellites prior to Sputnik in , 'The New Satellite' and in The Genial Dinosaur, Fearn pre-empts Jurassic Park..
After a huge amount of detective work, and working out that John Russell Fearn had used around sixty pseudonyms, Philip found out the real name of the author, and set about collecting all of Fearn's books.
Philip even wrote a biography and bibliography on John Russell Fearn and his many pseudonyms aptly titled 'The Multi-Man.
Artist, Ron Turner is briefly mentioned as being the main illustrator of the original books, and also some (at that time) of some newly published editions.