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Numbered Books + 70 & 71 Series

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Lancer Books was established in 1961 by Irwin Stein and Walter Zacharius, who had originally published Infinity, Monsters and Things and Science Fiction Adventures magazines. Larry Shaw, who had worked at IF Magazine, was the editor. The company did a lot of things that were very innovative (or downright weird) during its 12-year history. They established Domino, which was an adults-only label, but interspersed some of the Domino book numbers with their Lancer line. Lancer Easy-Eye books provided one of the first large print formats in paperbacks (big print on small books -- sounds like an experiment that some e-book companies are touting now).

Also, for some odd reason, large blocks of book numbers lost their dashes (between the 73- or 74- and the rest of the number), only to have them reappear later in the print series as mysteriously as they had vanished. Ken Johnson, author of The Digest Index and Defunct Paperbacks, tries to shed some light on this strange phenomenon:

"As you surmised, Lancerís prefixes each represented a different price, but each prefix had its own numerical sequence.  Initially they all had different starting points, to avoid duplication, but after publishing over 1000 books, duplication became unavoidable.  The different starting points are why the dashes seem to be appearing and disappearing randomly; they disappear midway through each sequence.  By the way, Lancer also published a second porn imprint called Oracle Books and a romance line called Valentine Books."

After some legal trouble in the early 70's, the company went out of business, but struggled back into existence for a short time as Magnum Books, reprinting many of their original titles, including some Magnum Easy-Eye volumes. 

Notable Lancer books include the early works of Dean R. Koontz (several under pseudonyms), and a line of Robert E. Howard Conan the Barbarian books (with a bit of help by Sprague De Camp and Lin Carter).

After Lancer folded, Zacharius went on to publish Kensington Books. He also became a best-selling author.







The Lancer section was updated in August 2017