51. Reprieve From Paradise


Possibly the single most obscure author to be published by Gnome, Harry Chandler Elliott (1906-1978) was a neuroanatomist trained in Canada who later taught at the School of Medicine at the University of Nebraska. He wrote only this one novel, and the sum total of his previous f&sf work comes to two short stories purchased by Horace Gold, one published in Galaxy, one in Beyond Science Fiction in 1954. His later production was equally small, a short story in each of 1959 and 1963. Most of his writing was high-level nonfiction about neuroanatomy.

Gnome Notes

The book was reviewed in all the major magazines of the day, though, and evidently sold sufficiently well for Greenberg to reissue it. This is not listed in any source I’m familiar with and I found the variant only by chance – exactly the kind of find I’m hoping to make less chancy with this site. Usually the first binding is far more easily available, and the teal binding seems to outnumber the tan, but both variants are easily findable for about the same price so determining which has priority is difficult.

Fortunately, the two colors used as so distinct that no additional information seems needed. The green is a kind of teal green, with some blue tones mixed in. I’m calling the other state tan solely because that’s the way it was described in the listing. Beige or light brown might do equally well.

When the variant was issued is also unknown. One possible clue is that the title was missing on the back panels of the books released in early 1957 but reappears later in the year only to disappear forever in mid-1958.


Anthony Boucher, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 1956
“[Elliott] proves himself a newcomer of great promise, who understands the Heinleinesque method of creating a civilization by detailed thinking-through of all its scientific and social implications.”

Floyd C. Gale, Galaxy Science Fiction, February 1956
“Our hero single-handedly overturns the whole shootin’ match, which is all right by me, but somehow he can’t stick to straightforward action and deliberation. Scattered throughout are enough parenthetical asides to make a script of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

Contents and original publication

• Chapters 1-27 (original to this volume).

Bibliographic information

Reprieve From Paradise, by H. Chandler Elliott, 1955, copyright registration 25Jul55, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 55-5465, title #51, back panel #29, 256 pages, $3.00. 4000 copies printed. Hardback. Jacket design by: Mel Hunter. First edition not stated. Manufactured in the U.S.A. by H. Wolff, New York. Back panel: 39 titles. Gnome Press address given as 80 East 11th St., New York 3.

          Variants, no known priority

1) Teal cloth, spine lettered in maroon.

2) Tan boards, spine lettered in black.


Reprieve From Paradise, jacket front, all variants
Reprieve From Paradise, jacket flaps, all variants
Reprieve From Paradise, teal cloth, maroon lettering, variant 1
Reprieve From Paradise, tan boards, black lettering, variant 2