Louise’s 50th Birthday List

Hi, Please click on this link  Lou 50th Birthday List to see Louise’s 50th Birthday list….

Please let me know via Twitter or Instagram @durdlesbooks or email info@durdlesbooks.com, or text to my phone, if there is particular item that you wish to take off the list, and I shall try and keep this list updated.  Obviously contact me if you need any advice or want to check anything with me. This obviously not a demands list and I have added a few items myself, it is purely to give some guidance. I am sure that if you have other ideas that are not on the list that Louise will delighted to receive them, after all she does love presents!

We both look forward to seeing you at her party

Cheers, Ian

Durdles Books Catalogue Now Available

Our new catalogue is now available.

This week we added 420 new listings to our website http://www.durdlesbooks.com/.  There are some great items, some rare, some perfect collectors items, some interesting, but mostly just great books for reading.

A selection of titles are presented in our 5th catalogue which can be downloaded by clicking on the catalogue image below

Download it and take a look, or simply visit our site and search for your favourite books and authors



Updating Firmware on Buffalo LS220D NAS stuck at “ Step 2/6 “ – READ THIS FIRST!

Updating Firmware on Buffalo LS220D NAS stuck at “ Step 2/6 “ – READ THIS FIRST!

Had to write a short post on the issues I had updating the firmware of the Buffalo LS220 series Network Attached Storage device.

You want to make some changes to the setup of your 1 month old Buffalo LS220D NAS unit.  You log on to the Admin page

So your NAS tells you there is a Firmware update, you foolishly decide that this is good idea – a real good idea! (even though you have enough IT experience to know firmware updates are scary and dangerous things, that make sane persons shriek in terror and run out of the building and catch a plane from the nearest airport to …. Well anywhere the kit does not need a firmware upgrade…)

But being an idiot (believe me I AM!) …..You Click OK to start the update, and then you enter the code that is displayed, and off the 6 part process starts.  However it gets to “Step 2/6” and just sits there the cute little cog rotates itself happily.  You smile gently to yourself and think “Cool, look a little cog letting me know we’re still firmware updating”.

Five minutes go by and you think OK this is taking a bit longer than I thought… ten minutes go by and you think well, this really should have progressed a bit… Fifteen minutes and you start to sweat a little… At twenty five minutes the panic really hits, still, we are not going to get too worried but we consider shutting down the NAS…At forty seven minutes visions of owning a data-free black “Brick” swim in your fevered nerve induced panic brain. Should I have started this earlier?  Has the process crashed?  Is my shiny new NAS broken?  Have I lost all my data?  Are people going to laugh at me in the street, ‘cos I could not manage to do a simple firmware update? What has gone wrong ?!?!?


Well, probably nothing that a few simple instructions issued by the MARVELOUS Buffalo software BEFORE the update starts could have easily avoided.   Why the points of preparation I provide for you here were not issued before the update begins makes my face look like this….



OK! Firstly, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TURN OFF YOUR NAS!   You may corrupt your firmware; it may restart OK, but might also be screwed… There are stories on forums that indicate that after restarting and the unit powering up OK, that the update simply resumes showing the dreaded “Step 2/6” and the cog still turning (“that’s my boy!”)  If you have turned it off, then at least do the points below first and then turn it back on

Don’t bother closing the NAS Admin web page this won’t help when you log in ….  Guess what pops up ….

So do these:


  • Disable your firewall…


  • Disable your anti-virus software ….


  • Investigate how your PC and NAS are connected. They MUST be in the same hub or switch.


In my case the PC was connected to my internet router, after doing items 1 and 2 above, the little cog was still turning on Step 2/6, I disconnected the CAT5 network lead from my router an plugged in to the same hub that the LS220D NAS unit was attached to – BINGO!



The update process almost immediately progressed to Step 3/6 (to the sound of the Mormon Tabernacle choir singing “Hallelujah!”).  The whole process then completed in a further 7 minutes.  I would therefore estimate that the process should only take about 10 minutes  under normal circumstances.


I do not know, but think that the process was being blocked by the internal firewall of the internet router.  It may well be that on other routers or network configurations this process would work fine, I do not know. Furthermore I do not intend to test my own theory, I am not a scientist, all I know is this fixed it for me.


Please do not ask me any questions on NAS units, firmware upgrades or failed units, I will not know the answer, use the forums instead they are far more reliable than me.


If this is of some use to someone then it is a good thing… a real good thing…










Bad Blog, Naughty Blog, Get in your basket….

We have been a bit quiet on the blog over the last few of months, although we have been very (and I mean VERY) busy in all sorts of ways so this is a mega blog post to catch up.

Middle Earth Weekend

Over the weekend of 11-12 May, we had a single stall at the Tolkien Middle Earth Festival. Despite some typical English weekend weather, the event was well attended and had a great vibe. The visitors were obviously having a super time, and as usual the organisation was spot on.  The weekend has a lot of Tolkien orientated activities, including readings and displays, but there is so much more to enjoy, including wargaming tables, role playing games (more on RPGs later), traditional crafts, fletching, wood carving, and so on.  It really is a brilliant weekend and it would be great to see you there next year.  To check the details for next year take a look at the organisers website http://www.middleearthweekend.org.uk/

We really like doing shows and had a great time with all the visitors, and saw a lot of people we knew, including friends from the Birmingham Science Fiction Group. We had a couple of days of good laughs and interesting conversations, and sold plenty of books (which is always nice).  Slightly less enjoyable was me slamming the van door on my own knee early on the first day, resulting in more hobbling, than “hobbiting”. On Sunday a walking stick was required to get around, that’ll teach me not to slam van doors on my knees – we learn something new every day!

Durdles Books at Middle Earth Weekend

Durdles Books at Middle Earth Weekend

UPDATE:  It is a shame but it looks, as though the Middle Earth Weekend 2014 may not take place as the committee is unable to find enough volunteers for the committee positions. Don’t quote me on this as far as I know there has not been any final decision yet

ANOTHER UPDATE: Yeah the 2014 Middle Earth Weekend will NOT go ahead.  However the good news published on Middle-Earth News (http://middleearthnews.com/2014/01/25/middle-earth-weekend-is-saved/) is that Bob Hawtin has stepped in to the breach, that is organising a massive event, to run the Middle Earth Weekend 2015.  Well done Bob! Durdles Books look forward to further news as it develops and occupying a number of dealers tables at this great event.

Iain Banks RIP

Iain Banks

Iain Banks

Iain Banks , what can we say that has not already been said? What can we say that alleviates the grief of those who knew and loved him? What can we say that adequately expresses the loss of the great talent that he was?  Nothing.

May he rest in peace, and may his work stand as testament to the man he was. Our heartfelt condolences to his family.

Consider Phlebas

Consider Phlebas

I recently read Consider Phlebas and thoroughly enjoyed it.


One major and happy reason for the bad blog keeping, is that my partner and I got married.  WOW! If you have recently organised a wedding you will understand why there has been so little blogging. If you have not …. then my advice is, write your blog posts in advance! Who knew there were so many things to be done and considered…

The Happy Couple, and still happy!

The Happy Couple, and still happy!

Our wedding day was fabulous, in the truest sense of the word. It went off perfectly, and our families and friends we all so wonderful, and we looked stunning, and the longest first dance in history went down well too! We definitely needed the honeymoon, and so we had a super lazy time at a little quiet resort on Majorca. Bliss!

Porto Pollenca, Beautiful Honeymoon destination

Porto Pollenca, Beautiful Honeymoon destination

Listed Books

So, what else have we been up to? Well, buying more books, and as you can see on www.durdlesbooks.com adding to our inventory.  We have recently uploaded some more science fiction and fantasy books, including some signed and lots of first editions.

We have also uploaded a stack of role playing books, mostly Warhammer and Warhhammer 40000. Also, there are some uncommon hardback RPG titles.

Check this link http://www.durdlesbooks.com/?page=shop/browse&category_id=47 for our full selection of RPG titles.


Warhammer Armies

Warhammer Armies

Warhammer RPG

Warhammer RPG

Starship Troopers RPG A Scarce edition

Starship Troopers RPG A Scarce edition

Some other highlights from the recent uploads are signed books by John Le Carre and Terry Brooks.  Bernard Cornwall’s Second Sharpe book, Sharpe’s Gold first edition in solid collectible condition.

Shape's Gold 1st UK edition

Shape’s Gold 1st UK edition

Multiple titles from Philippa Gregory, Kate Mosse, and Stephen King.

More Books

Another large tranche of books is currently being catalogued for uploading in the very near future. This a quality selection of books from our large regular stock and includes a few really good gems and some very interesting items.  I will post again when these are up and available.

LonCon 3 – London 14th-18th August 2014


Durdles Books is also fully paid up for LonCon 3, and will have a big presence.  LonCon is the 72nd Worldcon, (World Science Fiction Convention) and will be held at ExCeL in London’s Docklands from Thursday 14th to Monday 18th August 2014.  Details: http://www.loncon3.org/ We are very much looking forward to this and are already gently preparing.  It will be a major event, and we know a lot our friends and previous customers will be there. Cannot wait!


 Andromeda 2 – Birmingham 20th September 2014

Other convention news: we are booked for three tables at the Andromeda 2 con, which is going to be held In Digbeth, Birmingham on Saturday 20th September 2014 from 9:30am to 22:00pm with the Dealer’s Room open at 09:00am.

For further details see : http://terror-tree.co.uk/andromeda-tw/

Again, well done to Teresa for getting and keeping this one flying…. Great to have a con in Birmingham.


So we have had some great times in the last few months and loads of brilliant things to look forward to….. and we’ll try to fit in some more blogging!



Durdles Books at Middle Earth Weekend 11-12th May 2013

This weekend Durdles Books will be at the Middle Earth Tolkien Festival at Sarehole Mill, in Hall Green. We will be there in the craft tent with our books.

The festival runs from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. There will be the following activities

Archery • Barrel Racing • Children’s Activity Tent • Climbing Wall • Competitions • Craft Tent • Drama • Guided Walks • Music • Poetry • Re-enac…tments • Storytelling • Tolkien Tent • Wildman of the Woods. The whole day is family friendly with lots to see and do.

This year there will also be a celebration milling and baking within the newly refurbished Sarehole Mill, the basis for Tolkien’s mill in ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’, the mill is worth a visit on its own.

Normally there is some reenactment, quite a few wizards and hobbits walking about, also this year there will be a dragon parade, on Sunday (probably the best weather day).

Entrance is free.
Car parking is £2.
There maybe charges for some of the activities within the event.

The event is at Sarehole Mill,
Cole Bank Road,
Hall Green,
B13 0BD

(on the number 11 bus route)
Hall Green Station is a 12 minute walk away
Parking is opposite the event field.


We hope to see old and new customers there!


Jolly Japes with PKD


Book dealing throws up some interesting oddities from time to time.  I recently listed such a book on my sales site www.durdlesbooks.com, the book is a modern hardback published in 1978, and is a slim volume with 158 pages.

 The book in question is The Man Who Japed, which is a science fiction novel written by Philip K. Dick.  The reason it is an oddity is that although the book was first published in 1956, the 1978 edition was the first hardback edition published.  It also had a very low print run, making it pretty scarce today.


The Man Who Japed Hardback edition

Philip K (Kindred) Dick born December 16, 1928 was an American science fiction writer who is probably best known for writing the books that have provided the basis for some great science fiction movies of the last 30 years or so, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report and Paycheck, amongst others.  Dick, although award winning and respected by the SF community, never really benefitted financially from his works during his lifetime.

His early works, such as The Man Who Japed, feature sociological and political themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations and authoritarian governments.  Dick was a very complex (some would say mentally fragile) man and this is reflected in his later works such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS.  In his later life he suffered periods of drug abuse, paranoia and schizophrenia, he also had transcendental experiences.  These factors influenced his work, and I can certainly recommend A Scanner Darkly not only as a good novel but also as an example of these influences on his later work.

The Man Who Japed is set in the year 2114, a hundred and fifty years after a devastating twentieth century limited nuclear war. This provides the conditions for a morally strict totalitarian regime to hold power.  Many of our natural freedoms  are curbed or legislated against, however, a thriving black market exists, where one can purchase the Decameron, James Joyce’s Ulysses, Chablis wine and pulp fiction detective novels from the twentieth century, albeit at vastly inflated prices. The story concerns the central character Allen Purcell, and his natural non-conformity within this society.  The “Japes” of the title are examples of his actions/reactions against the society in which he lives.

The copy I have for sale is one for the collectors of SF hardbacks or Philip K Dick, it is in excellent condition, with the dust jacket and book immaculate.  The pages have tanned (turned a light brown colour) which is normal for this title and is due to the poor quality of the printing paper.  Have a look at it on my site here.  

Philip K Dick died March 2, 1982, aged 53, only four months before the release of the film Blade Runner that was based on his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? He would have, no doubt, become more generally known had he lived to see the full release.  However, Dick saw the opening 20 minutes of footage prior to his death and he was extremely impressed.  He was quoted as saying, “It was my own interior world. They caught it perfectly.”

An interesting personal side note to The Man Who Japed, is that the first printing was issued in paperback by Ace in their double format in 1956.  It was twinned with the novel The Space Born by one of my favourite writers E. C. Tubb.  I have collected Tubb’s work for most of my reading life, and have a pretty complete collection of his bibliography.  Looks like I have some more blog post writing to be done in the near future…..

The Man Who Japed Ace Double Editon
Space Born Ace Double Editon

Thanks for reading, let us know via email or comment your favourite Philip K. Dick novel or E.C. Tubb books that you have read.  Please revisit this blog again soon, or have a look at our books for sale on our sales site www.durdlesbooks.com

Cheers, Ian.


Ravi Shankar 7 April 1920- 11 December 2012 RIP

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Ravi Shankar, sitar maestro and composer at the age of 92. We saw Ravi Shankar in 2011 at Birmingham Symphony Hall, it was one of the most jaw dropping musical events we have attended – simply brilliant. Ravi, a gentle slightly frail man alternatively caressing and thrashing the sitar with gusto and creating, with his fellow musicians, an all-enveloping sound. We will never forget that evening, and wish to extend our sympathies to those who knew, cared and worked with him, over the years.

Here is an obituary of his life and work.

The clip here is from Sidney, Australia 2011, from the same concert tour that we saw in Birmingham, so gives an slight flavor of the evening that we had.

If you want to listen to more Ravi Shankar playing, I can suggest the albums that he did with the virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin as a great starting point. Shankar wrote the violin parts for Yehudi in the Indian style and the collaboration is a fine example of two masters of their instruments creating something even greater than parts. If you wish to hear a more traditional Indian sound with lazy gentle sitar, or fast climatic sitar do not know what you are looking for then think ragas – you will see on some track listings Afternoon Raga slower gentle piece, or Evening Raga mostly faster – I know, for those who know (Rasikas), that this is overly simplistic, but works for me.

For regualr readers I am very much hoping that the next post on this blog should be SF or book related, rather than an obituary to a someone who has inspired or touched us with their life and work.

Sir Patrick Moore 4 March 1923 – 9 December 2012 RIP

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Patrick Moore astronomer, television presenter and writer.  Sir Patrick was an inspiration to many people, and an entertaining presenter to many more. We will miss him from the Sky at Night very much, and wish to extend our sympathies to those who knew, cared and worked with him, over the years.   

Sir Patrick Moore obituary

Patrick Moore: gentleman, astronomer and master of the universe remembered by Brian May




 Well it is a week since we came back from Novacon42 in Nottingham.  We had a great time meeting with old friends and meeting lots of new friends too. 

 The hotel made a great venue for the con, with very good facilities, including Black Sheep ale on tap in the bar!  We were located in the dealer room, which was generally pretty busy.  We had many very interesting conversations with our customers regarding both the books we were selling and general aspects of science fiction and book collecting.  As this was our first con and we are a start-up, it was also good to meet other booksellers such as Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage and Brian from Porcupine Books. I found our conversations to be particularly enlightening with regard to selling at cons.


We spent a couple of frantic hours setting up.  After we had finished we stepped back and admired our work.  It was then that an unexpected, and most surprising, thing hit us…. What great stock we have and how great it looked.  When you sell on the internet, 99% of the time your stock is boxed or shelved, so we had never seen our stock displayed as you would with a bricks and mortar business.  It was a real pleasure to see row upon row of excellent quality books, in terms of both condition and the depth of established authors.


Durdles Books tables at Novacon42

Our tables at Novacon42 with some great books for sale.

Dealer room at Novacon42



During the course of the conference we were introduced to a number of people whom I had wanted to meet for a long time.  We were introduced to Rog Peyton who ran Andromeda Books, a very well -known and respected Science Fiction bookshop in Birmingham.  Over the weekend we spent a lot of time with Rog and very much enjoyed his company, and stories about book selling and fandom.  Rog is on the committee of the Birmingham Science Fiction Group who organised Novacon42. 


We also met artist David Hardy, a man whose work I have admired for a long time.  David produces beautiful space art which has graced the covers of many magazines and book covers, some of which, no doubt, you will have in your own collections.  He has illustrated books by Sir Patrick Moore, and has published a number of books of his art.  Hardyware: The Art of David A Hardy, is an excellent collection of his work. He also compiled and wrote Visions of Space: Artists Journey Through the Cosmos, featuring the art of 72 leading space artists going back to 1874. More recently David has released Aurora: A Child of Two Worlds, a revised updated edition of his first novel.  I recommend that you visit David’s site AstroArt to see his work and marvel.


David was also responsible for one of the highlights at Novacon42; the official launch and premiere of the Road to the Stars DVD.  The film was originally made in 1957 by a Russian film director Pavel Klushantsev, and there has never been an English version until David decided that there should be. He replaced the narration with English captions, and had sound-track mastered using specially-written music by The Light Dreams Music.

We later met the talented guy behind The Light Dreams, Alex Storer. Alex creates electronic music, and cites his influences as Jarre, Mike Oldfield, and Numan amongst others.  If you like soundscapes or electronic music you will enjoy his output.  I have subsequently found out that Alex also runs a John Foxx fan site, called Quiet City .  If like me, you like John Foxx’s music then you’ll get some idea where Alex is on the musical spectrum.  Not only is Alex creative in music, he is also a super artist and a number of his works were displayed in the art room at Novacon. You can listen to his music and see his art at his website http://thelightdream.net/ His John Foxx fan site can also be found here… http://www.quietcity.co.uk/ 

For us, Novacon was a very enjoyable and successful weekend.  As you can see we met some very interesting people, and enjoyed the experience of our first con…  oh yeah,  we also sold some books too!  We must thank the BSFG for their excellent organisation of the con, and also John Peters, for his advice and help over the whole weekend.  We are very much looking forward to being at next year’s conference, roll on November!

Please leave comments if you were at Novacon42 , we would enjoy hearing your experiences….Cheers!