Vol. 8 No. 3

June 2009

eI logo


e*I*44 (Vol. 8 No. 3) June 2009, is published and © 2009 by Earl Kemp. All rights reserved.
It is produced and distributed bi-monthly through http://efanzines.com by Bill Burns in an e-edition only.


Mystery Adventure, June 1936,” by Norman Saunders

Contents – eI44 – June 2009

Cover: “Mystery Adventure, June 1936,” by Norman Saunders

…Return to sender, address unknown….34 [eI letter column], by Earl Kemp

Norman Saunders, by David Saunders

Deep Throats and Long Dongs, by Earl Kemp

It Wasn’t All That Easy, by Robert Silverberg

Anthem Series Part VI Section One, by Earl Terry Kemp

LAPB: The Event, by Earl Terry Kemp

Back cover: “Robot Worship,” by Ditmar [Martin James Ditmar Jenssen]


There’s a game for every season—ice hockey, basketball, baseball, football. Life soon appears to be a game, and it isn’t. In games the object is to win, but in life the object is not to win. The object of the whole world is to preserve the game board and the pieces, and there is no such game.
        —Kurt Vonnegut


THIS ISSUE OF eI is for Tom Lesser, Rose Idlet, and the usual suspects who make up the annual Mission Hills (Los Angeles) Paperback Show and Sale.

In the strictly science fiction world, it is also in memory of J.G. Ballard, Jack Jardine, and Langley Searles..

#

As always, everything in this issue of eI beneath my byline is part of my in-progress rough-draft memoirs. As such, I would appreciate any corrections, revisions, extensions, anecdotes, photographs, jpegs, or what have you sent to me at earlkemp@citlink.net and thank you in advance for all your help.

Bill Burns is jefe around here. If it wasn’t for him, nothing would get done. He inspires activity. He deserves some really great rewards. It is a privilege and a pleasure to have him working with me to make eI whatever it is.

Other than Bill Burns, Dave Locke, and Robert Lichtman, these are the people who made this issue of eI possible: Robert E. Briney, Bruce Brenner, Jacques Hamon, Tony Jacobs, Earl Terry Kemp, Luis Ortiz, David Saunders, Norman Saunders, Robert Silverberg, and Daniel Zimmer.

ARTWORK: This issue of eI features original artwork by Ditmar, and recycled artwork by William Rotsler and Norman Saunders.

Of his back cover on this issue of eI, Ditmar says: “The graphic is titled “Robot Worship,” and it is subtitled “Bless me, Dragon! For I must sin.”


It’s hard work, it’s not pleasant -- just in solitude, writing. You can’t have anybody around. It’s a very lonesome business, and we’re social animals.
        —Kurt Vonnegut


…Return to sender, address unknown…. 34
The Official eI Letters to the Editor Column
Artwork recycled William Rotsler

By Earl Kemp

We get letters. Some parts of some of them are printable. Your letter of comment is most wanted via email to earlkemp@citlink.net or by snail mail to P.O. Box 6642, Kingman, AZ 86402-6642 and thank you.

Also, please note, I observe DNQs and make arbitrary and capricious deletions from these letters in order to remain on topic.

This is the official Letter Column of eI, and following are a few quotes from a few of those letters concerning the last issue of eI. All this in an effort to get you to write letters of comment to eI so you can look for them when they appear here.

Tuesday March 31, 2009:

Emil Reynolds:  Thanks without end for the tremendous job you did on this memorial to dad. I am blown away. I have asked my daughter-in-law to print up copies for my immediate family that I can inscribe to each of them. Its important that they keep his memory fresh and know the kind of man he really was. There could be no more fitting memorial.

Thursday April 9, 2009:

Mick Deckinger: eI43 is another outstanding, and scholarly issue.  I especially like your approach in focusing upon a secondary writer (Mack Reynolds) who never achieved highest echelon status but still offered a varied and provocative output.

He did right to steer clear of the Penitentes. In the early 1930’s, a documentary filmmaker named Roland C. Price traveled to Mexico, for the purpose of filming the secretive rites of the Penitentes. He got his footage and was lucky enough to escape with his life, although not without injury. This footage was then sold to a sleaze producer, who combined it with a fictional story, offering, among other forbidden delights, topless posing and a topless flogging. He then issued the film under the title Lash of the Penitentes in 1936. You can see excerpts from it on YouTube.

I’m grateful Robert Lichtman jogged my memory with his review of The Case of the Little Green Men. This was one of the earliest books I read, while still a high-schooler. I saw the vivid cover illustration, and had to check it out of the library. I remember feeling a pang of regret, when it turned out to be a grounded terrestrial mystery, rather than the sinister alien invasion tale I was expecting. But, so what? I would still jog along my school grounds, taking special care to display the cover to all I passed.

If there was one memorable statement in this issue, it would have to be the following from page 38: “…the town’s Monsignor, who was in New York interviewing boys on Times Square for summer jobs as his altar boy in San Miguel.”   Perfecto!!!

Friday April 17, 2009:

Lloyd Penney:  Thank you for eI43, and congratulations to you for the FAAn Award for Best Fanzine! Well deserved, and I hope you’ve got your plaque on your shelf. I’ve got mine, but it’s time to shed the laurels and get right back on the horse. With my unique mix of metaphors, here’s a loc.

Chris Garcia, get yourself a movie camera, strap it on your forehead, and take us on a tour of your warehouse in Milpitas. I can only imagine some of the computerish curios resting in that warehouse. Still need a Comptometer?

I have seen and read the various chapters of Rich Lynch’s book on fandom in the 60s, and I hope there will be more. I am pleased someone’s wanted to create such a book, but I am still hoping that others will add to it. I wish I could, but that’s outside of my era. Perhaps fandom needs to be reminded that this is still an on-going project, and their help is needed, not to mention their memories.

A great Mack Reynolds story…dealing with the devil always makes for a good tale. Sometimes, there’s a way out of the deal, and sometimes, the devil gets his due. And sometimes, as in this time, the devil got what he wanted long ago, and went along for the ride.

Those recipes from Mack Reynolds will be going into some recipe files, I can imagine. They look a step up from the usual hash brownies, but they sounds like they’re a treat to the eye, too. “May I sample one?” said your God-fearing aunt, and you’re torn between wanting to keep her status, or wanting to see what it would do to her. Auntie? Here, have two…

I think I would like to read The Expatriates, and see why Americans leave home. When Dubya was president, the number of Americans emigrating to Canada tripled to quadrupled, and more during the war in Iraq. One theme I keep hearing is that when you are forced to love your country, you don’t love it at all. The United States is also one of the few countries not to sign up with the World Court for War Crimes (not sure of the exact title) because the Dubya regime knew that after some of the atrocities perpetuated in the name of the American people, many of their senior government officials, perhaps even Bush himself, could be brought up on war crimes charges. As if American justice was a higher or different justice, as if the life of an American was worth far more than any other life. You can’t say it or write it any better than I could on page 28, Earl. You and Mack hit it on the head. Most people didn’t recognize America during the Dubya regime, and now that Obama is in charge, the old friend of the world is slowly returning.

Reynolds books on my shelf…Day After Tomorrow, Planetary Agent X, Rolltown, Satellite City, Space Visitor, Time Gladiator. Most are by Ace Books, some by Lancer and Priory Books. All of those are paperback…I looked for hardcover, and all I can say is that my collection is wide-ranging. I have a copy of the young adult Star Trek novel that Mack wrote for Whitman/Western Publishing called Mission to Horatius. (Ah, there it is on page 56. Nope, it’s not autographed. Emil reminds me that this was indeed the first Trek novel or novelization.) It was published in 1968. I guess you do what you have to do to keep the bank account keeping you afloat. If any of those Mack Reynolds stories were to resurface…

Great issue, and all tributes to Mack Reynolds are well deserved. As Fred Pohl said, perhaps the most underappreciated SF writer ever. There are some other people from that era I’d like to know more about…I saw Ted Cogswell mentioned a couple of times, and he’s a prime example.

Friday May 1, 2009:

Jonathan Jensen: I have been reading your ezine, great stuff, but makes me want to partake in certain things again, which I’m sure would not be a good thing.  Ya understand I take it.  The ezine is like reading Hunter Thompson and Jack Kerouac at the same time, great writhing.  You writing a book on your experiences I take it?

Wednesday June 3, 2009:

Robert Lichtman: I love Harry Bell’s cover painting on the April eI!  It gives the magazine a touch of class on top of the ongoing appeal that led to it being voted the number one fanzine in this spring’s FAAn award polling.  You and Bill are truly a winning combination.

I must confess somewhat shamefacedly that due to time constraints I haven’t yet read Mack’s “Burnt Toast and I sort of yawned my way through Malzberg’s reprinted introduction to the Reynolds’ “best of” collection.  But I warmed up reading Mack’s own “Introducing the Author” and my attention was on full as I made my leisurely way through Earl’s “Revisiting The Expatriates.”  I’ll confess that prior to reading it I knew little of Reynolds’ life other than his time spent living in Taos and learning his stfnal craft at the feet of Fredric Brown (which I mostly know through Brown’s widow Elizabeth’s “Oh , for the Life of an Author’s Wife” in Happy Ending, one of the Dennis McMillan series of Brown books reprinting all his work that escaped mainstream publication).  Earl’s article piqued my interest so much that I found and sent away for a copy of The Expatriates—it came yesterday and I look forward to learning first-hand more of Mack’s incredible life.  This will probably also lead me to some focused reading in my copy of PITFCS.

What more can I say about this issue?  It’s education and entertainment all in one.  That’s what I come away with after enjoying reminiscences of Reynolds by Price, Murray, LaDue, Sohler, Pohl, Swain—and of course Emil Reynolds and both Earl and Earl Terry.  It’s good to see my review of The Case of the Little Green Men in the mix, too, and I look forward to the availability of that delightful novel in future thanks to Earl’s and Dick Lupoff’s efforts.

Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.
        —Kurt Vonnegut


Norman Saunders and Some Writers

by David Saunders

Question: Did pulp illustrators get involved with the writer and the editor when they produced black & white interior story illustrations?

Answer: Usually the art editor would describe a scene to depict, not the writer. The writer might signify in his text that a particular scene would be a good one to illustrate, but the editor had the final say. Different pulp publishers worked differently.  Some editors would ask the illustrator to take home a copy of the selected passage of the text and return with a simple pencil sketch, but with another company, the editor would actually scribble a scene of stick figures and indicate the relevant elements. The artist might do a preliminary design during his visit. Some companies had less time and money than other. Then the pen and ink artist would draw up the approved scene. It was difficult to make changes to pen and ink, but if something was wrong, the artist had to paste a piece of paper on top of that section and redraw a new revision on top of it. In this way the interior black & white pen and ink drawings were supportive illustrations for stories, just like in published novels, or articles in The Saturday Evening Post. But... the covers were considered to have a different function by most pulp publishers, and that was strictly SALES PROMOTION. The stories were considered irrelevant to the cover artist’s task of extracting pocket change from newsstand browsers. Whatever it takes to make a sale was okay. The only editorial criteria was to maintain a general “LOOK” that was in keeping with the market identity of that magazine title, whatever it happened to be, for instance Fiction House was very concerned to get the greatest amount of pink thigh and bust onto every cover. Generally speaking, my father’s pulp publishers had no interest in suggesting any elements relating to the stories contained within the magazines other than the conventional subjects associated with the magazine’s theme. In fact it was very common for my father to show up with four or six finished covers to offer on speculation to a pulp publisher, who would often buy them all. It was a freelance relationship, so Dad had no idea where or when those covers might appear in print. On the other hand you can see many instances of other companies using covers that are very specific to their featured stories, such as Detective Fiction Weekly, but my father never worked for that magazine.

The illustration that my father and I posed for was published in the April 1969 issue of Man’s Story for an article entitled, "The Vietcong’s Passion Priestess of Death!” I am fourteen and Norm is sixty-one.

Question: Did Norman Saunders know many pulp fiction authors?

Answer: He did know many of them, but the only pulp writers I recall my father mentioning were Bruno Fischer and L. Ron Hubbard. He must have known more, but those are the only names I recall his mentioning. Generally speaking, my father would visit the pulp publisher’s offices only to drop off assignments or to pick up new assignments, so his weekly visits to the busy offices would only last a few minutes and there was no time to lounge around socializing. Dad had a lot of respect for the pulp writers but the funny thing was that almost ALL of the pulp writers dealt with the pulp publishers via the mail. They stayed home and wrote and mailed their stories back and forth for revisions. I understand there were multiple mail deliveries each day in those times. It was a very rare writer that actually showed up at the pulp publishers’ offices, so there was no routine elbow-rubbing going on between writers and artists in the pulps. The artists would each pop in briefly once a week or every two weeks to drop off a cover for approval and to show five or six “prelims” for consideration. The offices were very busy so there was almost no time to sit around. The artist would get the art editor’s reaction to the preliminary sketches and the payment checks were usually mailed, so the artist would leave the office within twenty minutes or less. So those few minutes were the only chance anyone would have to bump into a freelance artist at a pulp publisher’s office every week or two. The writers would very rarely show up. It would have been an occasion if a writer dropped by, but there was very little numerical chance of an artist happening to be there at that exact same time. The only exception would be those writers who worked on staff all day, such as editors and their assistants. I guess each publisher was different, so this account may only relate to my father’s circle of publishers, which were mostly Ace, Fiction House, Goodman, and Popular.

Dad knew several writers for the men’s adventure magazines, such as Mario Puzo and Norman Mailer.  He also knew some other writers, such as Allen Ginsburg, Gregory Corso, and the journalist Jimmy Breslin.

Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsburg

Gregory Corso was a beat poet. He went insane and was locked up in an asylum. I guess that was around 1964. Before the asylum was prepared to let him out they wanted him to provide them with a place of residence that might be wholesome and healthier than his previous residence in a Bowery flophouse. Allen Ginsburg was teaching at Columbia University, which was in our Harlem neighborhood. One of Ginsburg’s students lived on our block. That fellow was named, Benji Solomon. Benji volunteered to let Gregory Corso live at his apartment with him and his father. Allen Ginsburg was acting as Corso’s benevolent sponsor and official caretaker during his recovery period, so he came over to look at Benji’s apartment. He was not impressed by the fact that Benji’s Dad was never at home and that Benji was selling pot out of his apartment, so Ginsburg said he did not think the insane asylum administrators would be impressed at his apartment as a wholesome place to recover. So Benji suggested the warm and friendly Saunders home as an alternative. Ginsburg came over to our place and had dinner with us and everything went just great. Ginsburg was a wonderful person. He charmed us all. Our family meals were usually very stimulating discussions with our six family members and at least three more people always happened to drop by at dinnertime.  Dad had been a runaway when he was a kid and he had traveled with hoboes on the rails.  That was before World War One.  Dad had learned to cook Mulligan Stew by asking all the hoboes to contribute something nutritious to the kettle.  Norm had always loved cooking ever since, and he always made unpretentious hearty stews, served with plenty of wine and lively conversation. When Allen Ginsburg was having dinner with us everyone seemed to agree with him.  He had wise and articulate views on everything. He was brilliant. I met him seven times afterward from that time up until his death, and he was always an inspired thinker. During that first dinner together he spoke of Gregory Corso as a wonderful young man who was going through a rough period and would benefit form some tender loving care.  So Gregory Corso moved into our house and spent three months recovering from his mental breakdown. We housed and fed him for free. We were very poor, but we had always had a Bohemian open-door policy. More than a dozen people used our house to recuperate, dry out, or hide from the police during my childhood. Dad even performed a couple of emergency medical operations on people in our basement!  Eventually Gregory Corso got healthy enough to take off on his own and we gradually lost touch with him. My assessment of the “Beat” criteria is to suspend judgment and to accept the outcome of ones creativity as a noble expression of life’s flow, as opposed to having an obsessive need to control the outcome of our creativity. The idea being that we are all the vessels of our times if we just let our everyday reality manifest itself in our creative expressions. That viewpoint seems to have added a lot to our American voice, even if we no longer consider the beat criteria as central to our creative goals—somehow that idea has been assimilated.

Question: How did Norman Saunders know Norman Mailer?

Answer: I believe Norm knew Mailer from “the sweats” but I do not know if Mailer had previously written for pulps in the late forties or fifties. I think he worked for Ellery Queen and Playboy and Esquire. I heard that Mailer submitted stories to Weird Tales, but they never printed any of them. Anyway Dad knew him and I would wander into our kitchen at midnight and see the two Norms with their feet up on the table polishing off a full bottle of whiskey. Both were very red of nose and cheeks. He would crash face down on the sofa and be gone the next morning. Mailer was one of the most blustery and aggressive storytellers I ever met. Really a fun person. Norm and Norm really seemed to like each other. There was a lot of passionate mutual respect for each other even though I doubt if Mailer ever looked at any of Dad’s art or Dad ever read any of Mailer’s writing. They just felt a brotherhood of manly dispositions. Actually Dad never visited Mailer’s house so I guess it was Mailer who sought out my father’s company when he wanted a good drinking buddy to shoot off his mouth with until morning without any fuss! Dad was a generation older than Mailer, and yet they both served overseas in World War Two and both saw action. Mailer never got belligerent when he was drunk and that was something my Dad would not have tolerated. They just ranted about how fucked up the world was and how close to death we always are. Fun stuff like that.

QUESTION: When you were putting the Norman Saunders book together, were there any unusual things that happened, got in your way, delayed you? 

ANSWER: It took me thirty-seven years to assemble all of the information and images for the Norman Saunders book, but when everything was compiled, Dan Zimmer and I spent one month working together to digitally create the entire book on one gigantic super computer.  It was a fun and intense experience. We worked non-stop sixteen-hour days, seven days a week. It was very a creative process. When the book was finally complete Dan Zimmer and I were both extremely proud and extremely exhausted.  

QUESTION: What was the single most difficult image to locate?

ANSWER: It took a lot of time and money and dedication to acquire every image in the book. The hardest task was to maintain a consistently high quality of images, when there are so many valuable paintings in different private collections all over the world. The most practical and cost-effective solution was for me to travel everywhere with a large-format sheet-film camera with tripod and lights and shoot everything myself. 

QUESTION: Anything about the project surprise you?

The cover painting Norman Saunders did for Mystery Adventure Magazine, June 1936, illustrating Richard Tooker’s “Zenith Rand, Planet Vigilante” is gracing the cover of this issue of eI.

ANSWER: Dad and I had discussed our fantasy of making a coffee table book about his work every since 1972, when I had turned eighteen and he legally appointed me executor of his art estate.  By that time different fans were beginning to seek him out and to refer to him as “the legendary Norman Saunders.”  Dad had always considered himself to be an artist, but he had never met his “public” before. He was delighted to be signing autographs and receiving recognition after a lifetime behind the scenes, but Dad was disoriented by the fact that each fan who approached him was only aware of his work within the narrow context of their particular hobby.  He had never before thought of himself as narrowly as “the artist who painted the first Conan paperback.”  Dad’s fans had no knowledge of his overall career, and he realized there was no way anyone could even find out about his life’s work, because everything he made was for ephemeral pop culture, sold for pocket change at a newsstand, and thrown away with yesterday’s newspaper. Dad said, “My whole life’s work has long since turned into the dust of oblivion!”  Dad and I discussed the oddity that we were the only two people on earth who had an overall appreciation of his entire life’s work, thanks to the fact that he kept files of his published illustrations. That was when we realized that the goal of the Norman Saunders art book would be to bring all of his work together in one book, to create a reference work that would include each different fan-base and all of their isolated interests, such as science fiction, pin-ups, pulps, paperbacks, pre-code comic books, men’s adventure magazines, or trading cards. Even within those categories are dozens of isolated factions.  The long-term goal had been to compose the Norman Saunders book in a way that would bring together all of Norm’s separate fans into a larger community, unified by an appreciation for his work. That is why I dedicated the book to “inspiration." 

The biggest surprise for me on this project was that, despite my own intimate and encyclopedic knowledge of my father’s work, there was a slowly dawning realization as the book came into being that my father’s artistic accomplishment was even greater than I had ever understood.  My life’s dream to bring all of the best examples of Norm’s work together in one book for his many fans was finally coming true, but in the process I was also gaining an even greater appreciation of the full magnitude of his artistic achievement.  I turned to Dan Zimmer and said, “I can’t believe it!  I’m totally devoted to my father’s work, and yet when I see it all laid out like this I realize he is even better than I thought!”  I had never thought that would have been possible.

QUESTION: What is your favorite image in the book?

ANSWER: My personal favorite of my Dad’s pulp cover paintings appeared on the cover of Black Mask, July, 1949.  Dad put red paint on his actual hand and made this big red handprint, and then painted this great looking hard-boiled dame.  The detailed fingerprint file and the wispy smoke are all painted so nicely. It is a masterpiece of that genre.  

- - -
Portions of this were previously posted on PulpMags Yahoo group. Be sure to visit the David Saunders Museum at www.davidsaunders.biz .


I’m paranoid as an act of good citizenship, concerned about what the powerful people are up to. I suspect them of making money any way they can. It intrigues me that people want to be rich, and I try to imagine what they do when they are rich. 
        —Kurt Vonnegut, 1963


Deep Throats and Long Dongs
or
Pardon Me!

by Earl Kemp

I learned something new and exciting at this year’s Paperback Show and Sale in Mission Hills, CA. There was quite a buzz going around among the booksellers and buyers that a new title had suddenly appeared on the “most wanted” collector’s lists. And, it goes without saying that meant the value of that book jumped upward considerably, along with that sought-after status.

And it also goes without saying that it was a Greenleaf Classic title and I was the editor who put it all together.

That new “must have” title is GC323, Sex Rebel: Black (Memoirs of a Gash Gourmet), by “Bob Greene” (written by Frank Marshall Davis), and it was published in 1968 with a grabber cover by Harry Bremner. It also had a special introduction written just for the book by Dale Gordon, Ph.D., better known as the always-prolific Donald H. Gilmore, Ph.D. That we bothered to get this introduction indicates that the book was especially inflammatory at the time it was published, and scholarly introductions by Ph.D.s were legal backups just in case the book became actionable to any extent.

And when it was published, Barack Obama was seven years old. In 1971, when he was ten, he moved to Hawaii to live with his grandmother.

Davis became his substitute father and mentor.

Davis was an active Communist, an intellectual, a writer, a thinker, and had himself fathered five half-black children. Little wonder he identified so closely with Obama, and Obama with him. Davis was divorced in 1970. Davis, in his early career, lived and wrote in Chicago, on topics such as politics, music, literature, verse, and drama. He wrote many books and collections of poetry. In his later years, in Hawaii, he continued his writing as well as made numerous editorial contributions to the Honolulu Record.

There are even a few academic books analyzing and discussing the writings of Frank Marshall Davis.

#

At Greenleaf, over the years, we published many books about blacks…how they lived, thought, acted, and survived…how they interacted with whites and how they struggled. Some of those books were even highly illustrated and sought to disprove the penis-envy myth that black males were hung heavier than whites. Black sex was a popular subject to white readers during the free-love years of the 1960s and it was never our intention, at Greenleaf, to portray blacks in any negative fashion.

The only highly publicized black penis of significant size during those years belonged to Long Dong Silver, who could tie his in a knot around his thigh but, unfortunately, couldn’t perform worth a damn with it. There were numerous photo magazines of Silver doing his thing with his thing but none of them was published by Greenleaf.

#

This news about a relationship, however distant, between Greenleaf Classics and the current US President send my thoughts rushing backward in time to a foreign place. A place where intrigue lurked behind each shadow and lots of people in Washington, DC didn’t like the way the administration was running (perhaps ruining) things. Some of those people gravitated toward us, begging for help.

For some reason I never knew, the US feds didn’t like Greenleaf Classics or anyone who worked there. They kept us under constant intense surveillance including wiretaps, mail coverage, routinely following us wherever we went in the US, and outside the country. Because of their unusual and thorough interest in us, we fought back at every opportunity to do so.

In 1969 Richard Nixon was elected President. We didn’t like him and he didn’t like us either, and he went way out of his way to make that fact known to us, and put pressure on Greenleaf and its employees in every way possible to…to do what we could never figure out…but it had something to do with all the money we were making and their thought that most of that money should somehow be transferred over to them, either directly in cash or through the laughable catch-phrase of “campaign contributions.”

By 1970, thanks mostly to Nixon’s interference with President Johnson’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, and his attempts at sabotaging the commission through his representative Charles Keating who, a couple of years later, embezzled a fortune from Lincoln Federal Savings and Loan, we found ourselves in a position where we were routinely receiving clandestine messages from a number of extremely high placed “deep throat” persons in Washington, DC. They were alerting us to ongoing measures from within the Oval Office inside the White House aimed directly toward us and some very unusual, very illegal things being rushed into the works nationwide.

Those were heady times, to say the least. Beyond my imagination at that time, to such an extent that I doubted if much of it was real. After all, we were only book publishers. We weren’t even political activists. Some of us didn’t even vote, and we certainly had no connections with professional politicians or any interest in acquiring any such connections. In fact, we hated most of them…and they hated us in return.

Due especially from continuous input coming directly from the Commissioners of President Johnson’s search for truth about obscenity and pornography in the US, and the Commissioner’s increasing encouragement and suggestions, we decided to publish The Illustrated Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. Our mentors applauded our decision and furnished us with reams of data regarding their deliberations and hand delivered a copy of their final rough draft report to us…all way in advance of any public release of the same material. We proceeded with their material, their blessings and, I should say, direct heavy input from some of the Commissioners themselves.

All this was very secret and hush-hush, almost as good as an international spy movie. I had fantasies of being Bond…James Bond, or at least something psychedelic from Austin Powers and just a dash of Greenleaf’s own 0008. We had secret code names for various people and devious routings for communicating with each other either through mail or by telephone, with all of us keeping in mind that none of us, including the Commissioners, had access to a private telephone or mail addressed to us that wasn’t thoroughly mishandled before being finally, after long delays, delivered to us…cleverly resealed…sure it was!

As GP555, lavishly designed by Harry Bremner, we published our illustrated version of the Commission’s report in October 1970.

By 1971, Tricky Dickless Nixon’s White House Plumbers were in full operation, undertaking all manner of criminal activities at Nixon’s direct orders against any and all of Nixon’s supposed “enemies,” and guess who was high on his hit list…little old us.

Nixon ordered his criminal Attorney General John Mitchell to “get us at any cost.” Mitchell assigned that task to his underling William Rehnquist who took great delight in following all those illegal orders. In fact, he was rewarded for his success by Nixon’s appointing him to the US Supreme Court.

Most of the White House Plumbers, including Attorney General Mitchell, were eventually convicted of some of their crimes and sent to prison. Rehnquist became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Nixon’s hatchet man for the Commission, Charles Keating, was convicted of massive embezzlement and sent to prison. Go figure…?

Several Greenleaf employees were indicted for publishing GP555 and were tried and found guilty of “conspiracy to mail obscene matter” and sentenced to prison, concurrent with the White House Plumbers, who had to a certain extent followed Rehnquist’s orders to orchestrate our downfall. The criminals putting the “criminals” away. Go figure…?

All the Nixon White House gang were routinely tried, convicted, and sent to prison. They included Attorney General John Mitchell and his Oval Office plumbers. Only William Rehnquist escaped the fate of the rest of the gang. And as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, declined to recuse himself because of his having orchestrated our downfall and, despite his “conflict of interest,” actually wrote the Court’s majority opinion upholding our convictions. Go figure…?

William Hamling, publisher of Greenleaf Classics, and little old me…a lowly book editor…were sentenced to three years in federal detention but we were actually released after the then federal bad boy minimum of three months and one day.

Over the years, as Rehnquist deteriorated into a stumbling, fumbling drug addict, nodding through Supreme Court proceedings, a little bit of revenge was eventually received. Go figure…?

#

When Bill Clinton was President, and nearing the end of his terms in office, I thought it would be just about time for a presidential pardon for me. If that were ever to happen, it would most likely come from Bill Clinton. Toward that end, I asked my attorney how I should go about trying to cause such an overdue event.

He sent me a 50-page application blank to fill out, along with the added information that I would have to first buy either a congressman or a senator to actually front the effort for me. Buying either congressmen or senators was, of course, way out of my financial reach. Besides that, the application blank itself was so complex, so incredibly intrusive and far-reaching, that there was no way I could ever possibly fill it out. In fact, even a joint effort of the FBI, CIA, and Interpol, knowing all they knew about me, could never fill out that application for a pardon.

Then, when the list of persons that President Clinton did pardon was released, I was appalled at how many “real” major criminals were included, and I’ll bet anything that not a one of them filled out one of those applications, but they certainly could have purchased a number of congressmen, senators, or at least one president. Plus, knowing who they were and what types of criminals they were, I was delighted that I was not included among them, and remained pardon less for an impossible transgression against the First Amendment.

Nixon’s ordering my conviction and imprisonment felt much more like receiving the Presidential Medal of Honor from him than a permanent criminal record. And, indeed, over time the reactions of everyone that really mattered supported that belief, turning me into a hero I could never have been, making me much more than I could have ever made of myself. A proud and honorable thing.

#

It is now quite early in President Obama’s tenure, and he is struggling to get out from under the most horrendous things ever done to the citizens of this country by the people charged with protecting and serving them. George Bush’s evil legacy and terrorism and murders that will take many decades to pay for, much less overcome…and never be forgotten. The crimes the Bush/Cheney administration committed against the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights alone…their warrant less surveillance of US citizens…their torturing and imprisoning hundreds of people for undetermined numbers of years for unspecified reasons…their…well, the list of their crimes is endless…and all of them at taxpayers’  expense….

I can’t help wondering, though, if I could be lucky enough to turn up on President Obama’s pardon list on his last day of office.

He’s my kind of guy….

- - -
Cover scan courtesy Bruce Brenner Collection http://www.vintagepbks.com/ .


People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they’ll have good voice boxes in case there’s ever anything really meaningful to say.
        —Kurt Vonnegut


It Wasn’t All That Easy*

by Robert Silverberg

I’ve been a professional science fiction writer for something like 55 years now, have had so many books and stories published that I long ago lost count of how many there are, and never have any trouble finding publishers to pay me for what I write. To a modern-day would-be writer, all that sounds pretty enviable, right? How splendid to be Robert Silverberg, you must think! All he has to do is move his fingers over the keyboard and salable fiction comes tumbling out! Well, let me tell you: I was once a would-be writer just like you, who looked at famous professional writers like Theodore Sturgeon and Robert Sheckley and L. Sprague de Camp with the same sort of envy, thinking that they had somehow been born with an innate ability to write stories that any editor would want to publish, and merely had to sit down and start typing in order to produce something splendid. I was wrong about that, as I discovered when I got to know those writers later on. Nothing had been magically easy for them. They had struggled to break in, and then, having made the grade, they had struggled to stay there. So had all the other writers I idolized, the one exception being Robert A. Heinlein, who seems to have begun his career at full velocity and kept right on going for the next forty years. And I struggled plenty too. I know I did, because the other week, while looking for something else, I came upon a file folder full of ancient rejection slips, and I was reminded yet again of that anguished period in my middle and late teens when I wanted desperately to sell a story to a science fiction magazine, any magazine, and had everything I wrote sent back to me with a nasty little “sorry, can’t use it” note clipped to it.

Of course, I was only in my teens then. Not only hadn’t I mastered the skills that a professional storyteller needs to know, I didn’t know a whole lot about the world, either, and so the best I could hope to do was to recycle ideas that older writers had turned into stories, and do it not nearly as well as they had. If I had been 32 years old and worldly-wise, as Heinlein had been in 1939 when he wrote and sold his first sf story, I might have begun my career as effortlessly as Heinlein had. But I wasn’t 32, and I wasn’t Heinlein. (And even Heinlein got a story rejected once in a while, though such events were few and far between.) Instead I was 14 or thereabouts, and pretty wet behind the ears, when I began mailing stories to the science fiction editors of the day.

Photo by William Rotsler

They came back with amazing rapidity. I don’t seem to have kept the earliest rejection slips I got, which dated from early in 1949 and came from the premiere editor of the era, John W. Campbell, Jr., of what was then called Astounding Science Fiction and is now Analog. I remember them as crisp postcard-sized printed forms explaining that the story that had been submitted did not meet the magazine’s present needs, and perhaps they were signed with the distinctive bold scrawl that was Campbell’s signature, and why I didn’t keep them I have no idea. What looks like the oldest survivor in the file comes from Amazing Stories, the first sf magazine that I read regularly, and it must date from 1949, because it bears a Chicago address and at the end of that year Amazing moved to New York. It simply says, “Sorry overstocked,” written by hand and signed, “H. Browne, editor.” Overstocked, all right: what I didn’t know was that Amazing was completely staff-written and that Howard Browne, the editor, never read any unsolicited story. (Six years later I would become a member of Howard Browne’s New York staff and sell dozens of stories to Amazing, but not even in my dreams could I have expected that in 1949!)

Here’s another early one, from Fiction House, Inc., which published the grand old pulpy mag Planet Stories. It dates from April 1950, and was earned by my story “Where Alph, the Sacred River, Ran . . .” which I wrote that month and sold for $5, a year later, to a semi-pro magazine called The Avalonian. “Dear Contributor,” it begins. “We regret that your manuscript does not meet our editorial requirements. In general, we want well-plotted stories with emphasis on swift, colorful action. To get a clear idea of our specific needs we suggest that you read and analyze recent copies of the magazine.” Sure. But I had been reading and analyzing recent copies of the magazine, staring intently at every word. The problem was that I wasn’t capable of moving from analysis to creation, any more than the baseball fan who carefully analyzes the home-run swing of his favorite slugger is able to hit one out of the park himself.

But that Planet Stories rejection slip came with something special attached: a personal note from the magazine’s young editor, Jerome Bixby, to whom I had been writing letters about the stories in his magazine: “Right back at you with a bilious Fiction House rejection slip for your collection.” (And a bilious green it was, very unappealing.) “‘Where Alph, the Sacred River Ran . . .’ is one of the best fan jobs I’ve seen in a long time. Keep it up. . . you’re bound to connect sooner or later. Probably later, though, when your collection has grown some.”

I was thrilled. Before long, I sent Bixby another story, certain that he would accept it. But he had moved along to another magazine by then, and from his successor at Planet came a cruel postcard, not even a rejection slip, dated January 2, 1951: “We are holding your manuscript, ‘Introduction,’ for pickup or $.06 return postage.” Not even “does not fit our needs”!

Robert Silverberg at the 1982 Nebula Awards

Another from 1950, from the low and slow-paying Weird Tales, thanks me “for the privilege of reading your manuscript. Its return does not necessarily imply lack of merit, but means that it does not fit in with our needs.” Another from Amazing in Chicago — “Sorry overstocked,” again. It refers to a story called “Homeward Retreat,” of which I have not the slightest recollection. From Future Science Fiction’s Robert W. Lowndes, to whom I would sell a host of stories years later: “We are sorry that your manuscript is not for us, and that we could not return it with an individual letter. We realize that a cold, printed rejection slip does not tell you whether your submission approached our requirements — but we receive such a large volume of manuscripts every day that. . . .”

I didn’t give up hope. Not completely, anyway. Certainly I was downcast by these rejections — I have cited here only these few out of more than a dozen from 1949 and 1950 — but I was driven by that peculiar madness that afflicts young would-be writers, and I sent my stories out again and again. Bea Mahaffey of Other Worlds Science Stories sent me a form that included about thirty reasons for turning a story down (“Logic is faulty”. . . . “Science is inaccurate”.… “Too dull and factual. . . .”) The two items that were checked for my story were “Not convincingly written” and “Poorly plotted.” Well, I was only fifteen. But I urged myself to write more convincingly next time.

One of the pivotal rejection slips of my young life arrived in February 1951 from Morton Klass — the younger brother of Phil Klass, better known as the sf writer “William Tenn”— of Super Science Stories. (I’m not making that one up!) Addressing me as “Mr. Silverberg,” he said, “Sorry we have to return ‘Vanguard of Tomorrow, ’ but it doesn’t quite make our grade. Most of the trouble lies with the plot, which — as you probably know yourself — is one of the oldest in science fiction. Well, you say, why can’t somebody give an old plot a new twist? Heinlein took this plot and did it. Trouble is, we’re not all Heinleins — at least not every day.

“You’re young, but that can sometimes be an asset. Sf is always looking for a fresh viewpoint. Let’s say you go to high school. What would high school be like on Mars? Procyon? Another time-stream? Hit ’em with the stories no one is writing, and see what happens. Us, too. We’d be happy to see more of your work.”

I was, of course, disappointed to see “Vanguard of Tomorrow” come bouncing back — I had written it one sweltering week in September 1950, using a punchy, high-powered short-paragraph style that I borrowed from Clifford D. Simak, and I thought it was great stuff. (I still have the manuscript. It isn’t great stuff.) But Mort Klass’s encouraging letter sank in deeply, and just two years later I began a book for young readers on just the theme he suggested that became my first published novel, Revolt on Alpha C.

Published novels seemed infinitely far in my future back there in 1951, and 1952, too. From William Hamling’s Imagination came three printed rejection slips, and then a fourth with a scrawled note from Hamling in the margin: “Sorry, Bob, this doesn’t quite make it. But keep plugging!” I kept plugging. Eventually I would sell him dozens of stories. From H.L. Gold of Galaxy came a typed note dated May 8, 1953: “Sorry we can’t use ‘The Cure.’ However, we like your style and hope you’ll try us again.” (He likes my style? Really, or was that just boilerplate? Apparently he did. Further stories brought longer notes from Gold, some of them encouraging, some of them vitriolic, but all of them useful.) (“Aside from a tendency to be overexplicit in spots and repeat in dialogue something already stated in narrative, you’ve told your story well. Trouble is that you don’t have an ending.… !”) Gold beat me about the head and shoulders with many such notes, but eventually he beat me into shape and bought a goodly number of stories from me for his prestigious magazine, starting in 1956. (As soon as I got “The Cure” back from Gold I sent it to Sam Moskowitz of Hugo Gernsback’s Science Fiction Plus, who turned it down in June as “well-written, smooth & clever. Good dialogue. The ending is very weak, but some of the background is interesting. Too long for the extent of the ideas.” I have no idea today what that story was about.)

I’ve got a sheaf of others from the early 1950s: a two-inch file of them. The most significant of them came from the now-forgotten Peter Hamilton, editor of the now-forgotten Nebula Science Fiction, published in Scotland. I had sent him “Vanguard of Tomorrow,” and he returned it in April 1953 with a lengthy note telling me he was turning it down because “it is very complicated for nonfans (who make up the vast majority of my readers) and. . . it seems to pack no punch or realism.” But, he added, he was anxious to help young authors on the way up, and advised me “to do a spaceship-alien planet theme, keeping the plot simple and the writing taught [sic!] and send it to me again. I’ll do all I can to show you where you go wrong and suggest how to put it right, and I believe, with a little perseverance, you will make quite a promising writer.”

I took the advice to heart and wrote a 3,000-worder called “Gorgon Planet,” which Hamilton accepted in January 1954, paying me $12.60. It was my first sale of fiction to any professional sf magazine, and I was on my way. Before long I had sold stories to Bob Lowndes and Bill Hamling, and then, in 1955, to Howard Browne of Amazing and the formidable John W. Campbell of Astounding, and after that I would be able to sell just about any story I wrote.

But not always to the first editor I showed it to. Even after my career was launched, occasional rejection slips still showed up. (John Campbell, 1963: “Glad to hear from you again . . . but I’m afraid this one really isn’t a story.” Larry T. Shaw, same year: “I’m sure someone will buy it, but what we need is something more intellectually slanted and strongly plotted.” Damon Knight, 1969: “This one is ingenious, but I could not persuade myself that I cared what happened to either of the characters.” And so on, every now and then, especially after I began writing stories for the very hard to please Alice K. Turner of Playboy in 1981. She bought a lot from me, but she turned plenty down, too.)

Yes, I did get to have a long and rewarding career despite all those early rejections, and no, it wasn’t easy to get started, however it might look in hindsight. Many a time back in 1952 and 1953 I was just about ready to give up trying to sell my stories altogether, even as you sometimes are. For me that would have been a mistake. Perhaps it would be for you also. Some people, however keen their ambitions might be, simply will never learn the knack of writing stories people will want to read. If you have what it takes, though, you’ll keep right on jogging down that bumpy road until you get where you want to go.

- - -
*Excerpted from Robert Silverberg—Other Spaces, Other Times—A Life Spent in the Future, and printed with permission of Nonstop Press, Luis Ortiz, and Robert Silverberg.


Writers get to treat their mental illnesses every day.
        —Kurt Vonnegut


The Anthem Series: Part VI Section One

by Earl Terry Kemp

This is the sixth installment in the Anthem Series project. The first part, Fantasy Press, appeared in eI27 (August 2006) and eI28 (October 2006). The third part, including: Prime Press, Avalon Company, and Chamberlain Press, appeared in eI42 (February 2009). The fourth part, including: Shasta Publishers and Gorgon Press, appeared in eI33 (August 2007). The sixth part, including: Arkham House and Mycroft & Moran, appears in two sections…Section One in eI44 (June 2009) and Section Two will appear in eI45 (August 2009).

Interlude:

August Derleth
(from Destiny #6, Winter-Spring 1952)
Scan courtesy Earl Kemp Collection.

Who’s Who In Science Fiction
—prepared by Robert Briney
 [Reprinted from Destiny #6, Winter-Spring 1952]

Sidebar:
Robert E[dward] Briney

Noted U.S. sf fan, founding partner of Advent:Publishers, mathematician and computer expert.
[The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy (through 1968), Volume 1, Who’s Who and Works, A-L, by Donald H. Tuck, Advent: Publishers, Inc., 1974]

August Derleth, Writing Unlimited

August Derleth is well known to science fiction and fantasy fans in several capacities: as the author of some of the best supernatural and weird tales that have appeared in the various fantasy magazines; as founder and editorial director of Arkham House, the first publishing company to be devoted entirely to fantasy books; and as the biographer and literary executor of the late great H.P. Lovecraft. It should be no surprise to most aficionados that he is just as well known in any of a dozen other fields—regional literature (specifically Wisconsin, which is the subject of his monumental Sac Prairie Saga, a series of about fifty books designed to portray the economic and social life and history of a typical Wisconsin village from 1830 to 1950; approximately half of the projected fifty books have been published), poetry, historical novels, mysteries, essays, critical prose and reviews, and detective fiction (the Solar Pons stories, pastiches of Sherlock Holmes).

In fact, outside of western fiction and confession stories, it would be difficult to name a field in which he hasn’t written, and with marked success, for despite his incredible prolificity his work is seldom shallow or superficial. How he can find the time for the enormous amount of writing he does, besides his work in connection with the three publishing houses (Arkham House, Mycroft & Moran, and Stanton & Lee, all of Sauk City, Wisconsin), and his hobbies of fencing, swimming, hiking, chess, stamp collecting, and collecting comic strips, is as thorough a puzzle as any of the mysteries that ever confronted Judge Peck or Solar Pons.

Derleth was born February 24, 1909, in Sauk City, Wisconsin; took his B.A. at the University of Wisconsin in 1930. The following paragraphs reprinted from the Unicorn Mystery Book Club News for August 1951 gives an interesting picture of Derleth by the person who knows him best—August Derleth:

“My first published story was written in 1923 when I was fourteen years old, while I was recovering from the mumps. It was actually the eighteenth story I had written. That was the beginning; the end does not yet seem in sight.

“As for writing about myself, I find that difficult. I’m afraid I’m a genuine provincial. I live here at the edge of town (the Sac Prairie of my fiction) with a record library of 2,500, ranging from Bach to boogie (I do a respectably good jitter-bug myself), a mouthwatering mystery novel and supernatural story collection, a top-flight regional literature library, and a general library totaling 10,000 volumes, with the world’s largest collection of comics, ranging from 1894 to the present (the subject of a book in progress Comics in America, a history and analysis). I keep a finger in village government, local school affairs, and what have you?

“For a writer who needs time in which to write, I’m uncomfortably gregarious, and my house is invaded by young people of high school age out to dance, study, or read (I serve on a county juvenile delinquent committee and as parole officer in addition), and I am thus pretty well handicapped.

“And yet, I don’t know. One month two years or so ago I had to do thirty supernatural stories under my own and some pen names. Since I had a novel in progress, I couldn’t use the daytime for this: so I began usually about nine or nine-thirty p.m. and finished a story every night anywhere from midnight to two in the morning. Most of the time I was constantly beset by young people shooting questions out of a bull-session on the lounge in my study, or running in from the adjoining room wanting to know where Mesopotamia was or who Dollfuss was and the like. I managed my thirty stories in thirty evenings—under distinct pressure, I’d say.

“My attitude toward writing is complex. I have to write; I have no alternative—but I rather think I write only when I can’t find any excuse to get out of it. Obviously, I haven’t found many excuses. I do several books at a time and just recently, I finished a book of true crimes, Wisconsin Murders; a book of amatory verse, Psyche; an historical novel for young readers, and am at present working on two novels, both on social problems.”

ARTICLES AND ESSAYS BY AUGUST DERLETH
"Addenda to H.P.L.: A Memoir" Something About Cats 1949
"Lovecraft’s Sensitivity"
"Lovecraft’s Convervative"
"Arkham House: a Thumbnail History" The Fossile Oct. 1950
"Arkham House Faces its Eighth Year" Fantasy Fiction Field Dec. 8, 1945
"The Building of Arkham House" Fantasy Review June 1947
"David Keller: an Appreciation" Spearhead Sept. 1949
"Doomed by Curses That Last for Centuries" True Mystic Crimes March 1931
"Ghosts Who Return and Re-Enact Their Crimes" True Mystic Crimes March 1931
H.P.L.: A Memoir Argus Books 1945
"Horror Fiction" The Writer May 1945
Introductions:
Best Supernatural Stories by H.P.L. World Publishing Co. 1945
The Dunwich Horror and Other Weird Tales by H.P.L. Armed Services Edit. 1945
Green Tea & Other Ghost Stories by J.S. LeFanu Arkham House 1945
The Haunter of the Dark &
Other Tales of Horror by H.P.L. Gollancz (London) 1951
Out of Space and Time by Clark Ashton Smith Arkham House 1942
The Outsider and Others by H.P.L. Arkham House 1939
The Purcell Papers by J. Sheridan LeFanu Arkham House to be published
Something About Cats & Other Pieces by H.P.L. Arkham House 1949
Supernatural Horror in Literature by H.P.L. Abramson 1945
I’ve Seen the Living Dead of the Black Island True Mystic Crimes April 1931
Let’s Have a Ghost for Christmas McClurg’s Book News Dec. 1944
Lovecraft and Music Utopia May 1945
Lovecraft as a Formative Influence Marginalia 1944
A (HPL) Master of the Macabre Reading and Collecting Aug. 1937
My Favorite Forgotten Book: The Hill of Dreams Tomorrow June 1951
My Favorite Ghoul The Wisconsin Octopus Jan. 1947
Myths about Lovecraft The Lovecraft Collector May 1949
A Note about The Outsider Alchemist Dec. 1940
A Note on Arthur Machen Reading and Collecting Nov. 1947
Notes on Writing Fantasy The Chimerical Review June 1951
Recognition to Charles Williams Dallas Times Herald May 8, 1949
They Saw into the Future True Mystic Crimes April 1931
This Great Lover Won Women by Magic Powers True Mystic Crimes April 1931
The Weird Tales in English Since 1890 The Ghost May 1945
When the Night and the House Are Still Someone in the Dark (q.v.) 1941
Your Picture Can be Your Death Warrant True Mystic Crimes April 1931
ANTHOLOGIES EDITED, AND WITH INTRODUCTIONS BY AUGUST DERLETH
Beyond Time and Space (sf) Pellegrini and Cudahy 1950
Dark of the Moon (fantasy poems) Arkham House 1947
Far Boundaries (sf) Pellegrini and Cudahy 1951
The Night Side (weird) Rinehart and Company 1947
Night’s Yawning Peal (weird) Pellegrini and Cudahy 1952
The Other Side of the Moon (sf) Pellegrini and Cudahy 1949
The Outer Reaches (sf) Pellegrini and Cudahy 1951
Sleep No More (weird) Farrar and Rinehart 1944
The Sleeping and the Dead (weird) Pellegrini and Cudahy 1947
Strange Ports of Call (sf) Pellegrini and Cudahy 1948
What Dreams May Come (sf) (tentative title) Pellegrini and Cudahy 1952
Who Knocks? (weird) Rinehart and Company 1946
FANTASY POETRY BY AUGUST DERLETH
Bart Hinch Driftwind June 1943
Elegy: Providence in the Spring Hawk on the Wind 1938
Lois Malone Driftwind June 1943
Man and the Cosmos Wonder Stories April 1935
Man at the Window Wind in the Elms 1941
Mark of Man-Mark of Beast Wind in the Elms 1941
Omega Wonder Stories Nov. 1934
Only Deserted... The Phantagraph March 1937
The Pool in the Wood Arkham Sampler Win 1949
Providence: Two Gentlemen Meet at Midnight Arkham Sampler Aut 1948
The Shores of Night The Edge of Night 1945
Stranger in the Night Wind in the Elms 1941
Ted Birkett Driftwind June 1943
To a Spaceship Wonder Stories March 1934
Weldon House Rind of Earth 1942

[...a complete checklist of Mr. Derleth’s literary works (comprising some ten mimeographed pages) can be obtained from the publishers of Destiny. This list, which proved too long to be included in this issue of Destiny, has been sent free to all subscribers, and can be bought by the general public for 10¢ per copy...]

Sidebar:
August W[illiam] Derleth

(24 Feb 1909—4 July 1971)
U.S. author, editor, anthologist, and publisher. Born in Sauk City, Wisconsin, he started writing at the age of 13, had his first piece published at 15, and eventually had over 100 books published. Around 4,000 shorter pieces have appeared in some 400 different magazines in the U.S.A., England and elsewhere. His interest in stories of the supernatural was shown when, as a student at the U. of Wisconsin, he wrote his B.A. thesis on “The Weird Tale in English Since 1890.” In 1938 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to enable him to continue writing his Sac Prairie saga, comprising some 50 books of all types depicting the growth and development of the Sac Prairie country.  Other works included mystery novels, short story and poetry collections, a book on fiction writing, and many notable weird and science fiction anthologies. About 150 of his supernatural stories (many under pseudonyms) appeared in the late Weird Tales, including a number with Mark Schorer as co-author.

An ardent follower of H.P. Lovecraft, he was unable to persuade any existing publisher to bring out an omnibus volume of Lovecraft’s works, so in December 1939, he and Donald Wandrei formed Arkham House for that purpose. The result, The Outsider and Others, is now one of the most treasured items among fantasy collectors. Later Wandrei withdrew from the venture because of war service. Derleth then produced many titles until the early 1950s, when he slowed down to one or two titles per year. The press still continues with its books eagerly awaited by enthusiasts of the weird genre. Derleth was also Director of other imprints: Mycroft & Moran, and Stanton & Lee, specializing in detective and general fiction, respectively. Beginning with Winter 1948 he edited and published the magazine Arkham Sampler, featuring material slanted to enthusiasts of the weird. However, there was not enough support for it and it ceased with the eighth issue, Autumn 1949. The chap-book  Arkham House: The First 20 Years gives full details of every Arkham book for this period. Followers of H.P. Lovecraft owe Derleth a great debt for the number of this author’s works he has produced in hard covers; he also completed the novel The Lurker at the Threshold from fragments left by Lovecraft, as well as a number of short stories collected as The Survivor and Others. His own appreciation is H.P.L.: A Memoir.

In his own right Derleth was noted in the detective field for his series set around that master of deduction, Mr. Solar Pons. In the poetry field, he was editor of Hawk and Whippoorwill (two issues per year), which began in Spring 1960. A full bibliographic coverage of his books is 100 Books by August Derleth (Arkham, 1962).
[The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy (through 1968), Volume 1, Who’s Who and Works, A-L, by Donald H. Tuck, Advent: Publishers, Inc., 1974]

By Way of a Foreword:

Prepare for the coming of horror, of nightmares, and the dread that comes only at night. Among the pages of these titles, the reader will be face to face with every conceivable, and inconceivable, fear and anxiety possible. These are works not meant for the timid, or those easily scared.

The next bump on the door, the next knock on the closed window, will frighten you out of your wits, after you read these.

Be warned!

Don’t read another word. Don’t pick up any of these volumes, unless you are ready to pay the ultimate price….

Arkham House logo

Arkham House
The Early Years
1939—

Arkham House was founded in December 1939 to publish the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It was conceived in 1937 when the editors of Lovecraft’s The Outsider and Others failed to find a publisher. Advance orders for copies, at $3.50 apiece, were announced for sale on July 2, 1939, at the First World Science Fiction Convention in New York. The book proved so successful it started a business. August Derleth and Donald Wandrei were the principals, although Derleth managed the House almost as a one-man operation. This is one of the few publishers still going—in fact, stronger than ever.

August Derleth was a well-known and very successful writer when he began this imprint. But by 1946, his career as a writer was almost entirely over. His career was derailed in large part by the energy it took to keep Arkham House operational.  If this wasn’t enough for one person, in 1945 he introduced his two non-fantasy imprints—Mycroft & Moran and Stanton & Lee.

By 1948, Derleth had overextended himself. In July 1948, Sam Moskowitz introduced David Keller to Derleth, in order to consummate the proposed publication of one of his short story collections. Derleth mentioned how much financial trouble he was in, and Keller loaned him the money. Keller got published, Derleth got bailed out.

As late as 1970, Derleth still insisted that Arkham House had never been an economic success, and required all of his income to keep the operation going. Derleth died in July 1971, but the imprint he founded is still going strong.

[CAVEAT: In this segment two books on poetry were not reviewed, Dark of the Moon and A Hornbook for Witches. The contents are only noted.]

Arkham House: The Ephemera

Sample Arkham House Advertising Brochure from the mid 1960s

Sample Arkham House Order Form from the mid 1960s

A. 
Derleth, August (editor)
Advertising Brochure 1960s
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1960s
One sheet, double-sided. Ephemera.

***Sample advertising brochure published in the mid 1960s. ***On green paper ***“Last Call.” A descriptive list of Arkham House titles that were nearly sold out, including: Dreams and Fancies, H.P. Lovecraft; The Mask of Cthuhlu, August Derleth; The Feasting Dead, John Metcalfe; Tales From Underwood, David H. Keller; Roads, Seabury Quinn; Revelations in Black, Carl Jacobi; The Throne of Saturn, S. Fowler Wright; The Clock Strikes Twelve, H. Russell Wakefield; This Mortal Coil, Cynthia Asquinth. ***A rare item.

B. 
Derleth, August (editor)
Order Form 1960s
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1960s
One sheet, double-sided. Ephemera.

***Sample order form published in the mid 1960s. ***On goldenrod paper ***“Order Blank.” A list of 29 Arkham House books, prices, and directions for ordering direct from Arkham House. ***A rare item.

Arkham House: Titles

Scan courtesy Earl Terry Kemp Collection.

Astounding Stories, Vol. 16, No. 6, Issue 63, February 1936.
At the Mountains of Madness”
by H.P. Lovecraft
Cover art: Howard V. Brown

1. 
Lovecraft, H[oward] P[hillips] 
The Outsider, and Others,
Collected by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1939  xiv/553            $5.00
1,268 copies printed.
Jacket by Virgil Finlay. 100 to 200 counterfeit jackets printed by Gerry de la Ree.

This is the first book issued by Arkham House, and the first and best of the enormous Lovecraft collections. After “Howard Pillips Lovecraft: Outside,” by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, there are the following stories by Lovecraft. ***[a] “Dagon”(The Vagrant, November 1919),(Weird Tales, Vol. 2, No. 3, Issue 7, October 1923),(Weird Tales, Vol. 27, No. 1, Issue 145, January 1936),(Weird Tales, Vol. 44, No. 1, Issue 262, November 1951)&(Fantasy and Science Fiction, Vol. 17, No. 4, Issue 101, October 1959). During World War I, after escaping from a torpedoed vessel the narrator reaches a region of the Pacific where there has been an upheaval. He sees a great monolith covered with unknown writing, showing giant humanoid creatures worshipping a sea monster. The monster itself appears, and when the narrator is in the hospital, it comes again and takes him. It was Dagon, the fish-god of the Philistines. [b] “Polaris” (The Philosopher, December 1920), (The Fantasy Fan, February 1934)&(Weird Tales, Vol. 30, No. 6, Issue 167, December 1937). Memories of a previous incarnation in the lost polar land of Lomar, where, overcome by a baneful influence of Polaris, the narrator had failed to give the alarm against ancient Eskimo invaders. [c] “Celephanis” (The Rainbow, May 1922), (Marvel Tales, Vol. 1, No. 1, May 1934) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 34, No. 1, Issue 185, June-July 1939). A Dunsanean story, told in elaborately colorful prose, about the dream life of Kuranes, who tried by drugs and other means to regain his marvelous kingdom of Celaphais in dream-land. He achieves his desires at last, but persons in this world find the corpse of a tramp. [d] “Hypnos” (The National Amateur, May-July 1923), (Weird Tales, Vol. 4, No. 2, Issue 13, May-June-July 1924) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 30, No. 5, Issue 166, November 1937). Dream journeys beyond space and time, to other universes. The narrator and his associate finally penetrate beyond all though and entity to a barrier through which only the companion penetrates. But this proves disastrous, for cosmic laws have been violated, and supernatural punishment comes. When Corona Borealis arises in the spring, the narrator is left with his friend turned into a marble statue. [e] “The Cats of Ulthar” (The Tryout, November 1920), (Weird Tales, Vol. 7, No. 2, Issue 29, February 1926), (Weird Tales, Vol. 21, No. 2, Issue 110, February 1933) & (Fantastic Novels, Vol. 4, No. 5, Issue 23, January 1951). A fanciful irony, but with cruel overtones, about the punishment that overtook a wicked old man and his wife, who were cruel to cats. [f] “The Strange High House in the Mist” (Weird Tales, Vol. 18, No. 3, Issue 94, October 1931). A strange house high on a mountain near Kingsport, where there is an opening to worlds beyond our normal perceptions. [g] “The Statement of Randolph Carter” (The Vagrant, May 1920), (Weird Tales, Vol. 5, No. 2, Issue 17, February 1925), (Weird Tales, Vol. 30, No. 2, Issue 163, August 1937) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 10, July 1949). Randolph Carter and Harley Warren are students of magic and other dark arts. Warren descends one night into a crypt that he believes to be the entrance to subterranean realms unknown to men, and does not come back. Instead, a “hollow, gelatinous” voice says to Carter, over a phone wire that Harley had taken with him, “You fool, Warren is DEAD!” [h] “The Silver Key” (Weird Tales, Vol. 13, No. 1, Issue 64, January 1929) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 3, 1947). When Randolph Carter reached maturity, he lost the key to the gate of dreams, and thereby also access to strange and enchanted lands. But he regains the key and returns to his childhood. [i] “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” (Weird Tales, Vol. 24, No. 1, Issue 127, July 1934) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 17, June 1951). Written in collaboration with E. Hoffmann Price. A sequel to the preceding. ***After Carter disappears, his estate must be settled, despite belief by some of his necromantic friends that he is still living. In a final meeting to determine the status of his affairs, in New Orleans, a strange-appearing Hindu claims to have news of Carter, and brings papers in Carter’s handwriting. He then tells what had happened. Carter, after trials, had passed to the Ultimate, Yog-Sothoth, where he learned he was only a facet of an archetypal personality of infinite variety, whose ultimate archetype is Yog-Sothoth himself. Carter expressed a wish to experience the personality of Zkauba, a wizard of the planet Yaddith, but he became trapped in Yaddith, for he had been inadequately prepared for his experience. He must flee in space and time in Zkauba’s unwilling body, to reach Earth. It is then revealed in a very dramatic horror scene that the Hindu is really Carter-Zkauba, in a mask. ***A most remarkable story that suffers a little from the association with “The Silver Key,” that is entirely different in mood and implication. [j] “The Outsider” (Weird Tales, Vol. 7, No. 4, Issue 31, April 1926), (Weird Tales, Vol. 17, No. 4, Issue 91, June-July 1931), (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vol. 11, No. 5, Issue 64, June 1950), (Startling Mystery Stories, Vol. 3, No. 2, Issue 14, Winter 1969) & (Weird Worlds, No. 4, 1980).Experiences, told from the Outsider’s point of view, of a revenant, who arises from a grim dark land to the surface world, and there learns that he is a monstrous putrid corpse. ***A much better version of Bierce’s “Inhabitant of Carcosa.” [k] “The Music of Erich Zann” (The National Amateur, March 1922), (Weird Tales, Vol. 5, No. 5, Issue 20, May 1925), (Weird Tales, November 1934) & (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vol. 12, No. 3, Issue 68, March 1951).In a Parisian garret, Erich Zann, a half-mad musician, attains contact with the beings beyond this cosmos by his eldritch music. But one night the horrors come, and Zann’s attempt to play them away is unsuccessful. [l] “The Rats in the Walls” (Weird Tales, Vol. 3, No. 3, Issue 11, March 1924) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 15, No. 6, Issue 81, June 1930).Delapore, an American whose ancestor, De la Poer, left England after family murders, buys his ancestral home and renovates it. But night after night he has horrible dreams and hears spectral rats running up and down the walls. Finally, while exploring the basement, he and some antiquaries discover an entrance to a hidden world, beneath the home, within a hollow cliff nearby, where there are thousands of human skeletons and temples for slaughter and cannibalism. Delapore reverts to type. ***It might be interesting to note that De la Poer, the older form of the family name, is a rejected genealogical origin for the name Poe. [m] “Cool Air” (Tales of Magic and Mystery, Vol. 1, No. 4, March 1928), (Weird Tales, Vol. 34, No. 3, Issue 187, September 1939) & (Strange Tales, No. 2, 1946).A living dead man retains life only by cold sufficient to stop decomposition. [n] “He” (Weird Tales, Vol. 8, No. 3, Issue 36, September 1926) & (Weird Terror Tales, Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter 1969). An ancient New Yorker tells of strange dark magic in colonial days and offers visions of New York through the ages, including a Mongol super-civilization of the future. He is revealed to be an ancient wizard. A phantom monstrosity composed of Indians he had murdered comes for him. [o] “The Horror at Red Hook” (Weird Tales, Vol. 9, No. 1, Issue 40, January 1927), (Weird Tales, Vol. 44, No. 3, Issue 264, March 1952) & (Bizarre! Mystery Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, October 1965). A dabbler in black magic in a New York slum contacts Yezidees and is revived, when dead, by the magic of the physically present Astarte, a horrible tittering monstrosity. ***Excellent folklore, and one of Lovecraft’s best horror stories. [p] “The Temple” (Weird Tales, Vol. 6, No. 3, Issue 24, September 1925), (Weird Tales, Vol. 27, No. 2, Issue 146, February 1936) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 8, December 1948). A Prussian officer in a submarine finds that his enormities are punished by being like mermen. Perhaps they are drowned sailors? The final situation involves a lighted temple of sunken Atlantis, to which the officer is drawn by mental compulsion. [q] “Arthur Jermyn” (The Wolverine, March 1921 (+1) as “The White Ape: Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family”) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 25, No. 5, Issue 137, May 1935). One of the progenitors of a noble and gifted British family had married a white ape. [r] “The Picture in the House” (The National Amateur, July 1919), (Weird Tales, Vol. 3, No. 1, Issue 9, December 1923-January 1924) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 29, No. 3, Issue 158, March 1937). In a ruined New England house a tourist finds an old man who raves learnedly and disturbingly of cannibalism. The narrator leaves when he sees red stains seeping through the ceiling. ***Not properly fantastic. [s] “The Festival” (Weird Tales, Vol. 5, No. 1, Issue 16, January 1925) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 22, No. 4, Issue 118, October 1933). A traveler who is summoned by his ancestors in the haunted town of Kingsport, moves into the remote past. He descends with strange mute figures that purport to be relatives, into caverns hitherto unknown. [t] “The Terrible Old Man” (The Tryout, July 1921), (Weird Tales, Vol. 8, No. 2, Issue 35, August 1926) & (Etchings & Odysseys, No. 6, 1985). A retired pirate, who talks to a collection of pendulums in bottles, is selected as a suitable object for burglary. The corpses of the burglars are found not long after, horribly slashed by cutlasses. [u] “The Tomb” (The Vagrant, March 1922) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 7, No. 1, Issue 28, January 1926). A young man who sleeps near an ancient tomb becomes saturated with the personality of one of the dwellers in the tomb. [v] “The Shunned House” (Weird Tales, Vol. 30, No. 4, Issue 165, October 1937). An ancient house in Providence seems to be haunted by a force that drains life from those who live in it. After a detailed antiquarian investigation the narrator finds that an ancient warlock, buried in the cellar, still lives as a gigantic vampiric being. [w] “In the Vault” (The Tryout, November 1925) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 19, No. 4, Issue 100, April 1932). An undertaker, who disfigures corpses for economy’s sake, meets with the anger of the corpses. [x] “Pickman’s Model” (Weird Tales, Vol. 10, No. 4, Issue 49, October 1927), (Weird Tales, Vol. 28, No. 4, Issue 154, November 1936) & (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vol. 13, No. 1, Issue 72, December 1951). Pickman, an artistic genius, paints canvases of horror. It is discovered that he has painted ghouls, charnel scenes, and witches from life, and that his cellar in Boston’s ancient North End has contacts with strange realms best not mentioned. [y] “The Haunter of the Dark” (Weird Tales, Vol. 28, No. 5, Issue 155, December 1936). Robert Blake (a reference to Lovecraft’s much younger friend, Robert Bloch), a writer and painter of talent, investigates an ancient church that had once belonged to a disreputable religious group, the Starry Wisdom sect, which had claimed to offer its devotees access to other worlds. Blake unwittingly calls up the monstrosity that had been worshipped there, the Haunter of the Dark. [z] “The Dreams in the Witch-House” (Weird Tales, Vol. 22, No. 1, Issue 115, July 1933) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 1, No. 4, May 1964). A young student of higher mathematics discovers a link between ancient witchcraft and the most modern speculations on time and space. He becomes entangled with the witcheries of Keziah Mason, an ancient colonial witch, and her familiar. [aa] “The Thing on the Doorstep” (Weird Tales, Vol. 29, No. 1, Issue 156, January 1937). Asenath, a girl from an ancient witch-family, who is really, in soul, an ancient wizard who escapes death by transferring his personality from one body to another, marries, and tries to shift her soul to her husband’s body. But he rebels and kills her. Even though dead, however, she uses her power to draw his mind into her buried corpse. The decaying corpse comes to the narrator’s door to tell of the transfer. [bb] “The Nameless City” (The Wolverine, November 1921), (Fanciful Tales, Vol. 1, No. 1, Fall 1936), (Weird Tales, Vol. 32, No. 5, Issue 138, November 1938) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 4, March 1947). A ruined city in the Arabian Desert is inhabited by invisible monstrosities. [cc] “The Lurking Fear” (Home Brew, January 1923 (+3)), (Weird Tales, Vol. 11, No. 6, Issue 57, June 1928) & (Startling Mystery Stories, Vol. 1, No. 1, Summer 1966). An early story about the hateful Martense family which has devolved into underground cannibalistic monstrosities. [dd] “The Call of Cthulhu” (Weird Tales, Vol. 11, No. 2, Issue 53, February 1928). The ancient monster-god Cthulhu, who lies entombed in the sunken city of R’lyeh, is brought to the surface by a volcanic disturbance, and emerges from his crypt. The story is told through visions and paintings of a half-mad artist; the investigations of a professor interested in folklore; the narrative of a police-inspector in Louisiana, who had raided horrible ceremonies conducted by the worshippers of Cthulhu. And finally there is the story of the sailor who had been present when the land rose from the ocean and the tomb opened, releasing great Cthulhu. [ee] “The Colour Out of Space” (Amazing Stories, Vol. 2, No. 6, Issue 18, September 1927) & (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vol. 3, No. 4, Issue 16, October 1941). A meteorite falls near Arkham, and from egg-like globules in it an inexplicable form of life (which might be described as a living gas or a living color) emerges. The Color cancerously sucks life from the countryside. ***The story is told through the reactions of local farmers. [ff] “The Dunwich Horror” (Weird Tales, Vol. 13, No. 4, Issue 67, April 1929). At Dunwich, near Arkham, the degenerate Whateley family has long had contact with horrors from other spheres of existence. From one such contact is born Wilbur Whateley, only partly human, who studies black magic in order to open the Earth for an invasion by the outer horrors. [gg] “The Whisperer in Darkness” (Weird Tales, Vol. 18, No. 1, Issue 92, August 1931). One of the later attempts to transfer the Mythos from a philosophical to a material and rational frame of reference. ***A recluse in Vermont has proof that regions near him are used as a space station for miners from other planets and universes. The narrator, after many disturbing letters from the recluse, goes to Vermont, but is blandly informed that the invaders are benevolent, and take their friends, in immortal form, on tours of the cosmos. The visitor discovers, however, that he had been listening to a masked invader, disguised as a human. [hh] “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 3, Issue 203, January 1942 [abridged]), (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 3, May 1942 [abridged]) & (The Acolyte, Vol. 2, No. 2, Issue 6, Spring 1944 [first draft]). See separate listing. The version included in The Outsider is said to have slight textual variations from the separate publication. [ii] “The Shadow Out of Time” (Astounding Stories, Vol. 17, No. 4, Issue 67, June 1936) & (Fantastic Stories of Imagination, Vol. 11, No. 2, Issue 88, February 1962). A college professor recovering from an attack of seeming amnesia, attempts to uncover his life during the period which he does not remember. Strange consistent dreams finally indicate that his body had been possessed by a being from another time (a member of the Great Race), while his own identity had been drawn to the remote Triassic past, to write records for the universal histories of the Great Race. The Great Race are settlers from another world. Details are given of various forms of intelligent life who have successively ruled the Earth. There are the Great Race—enormous cone-shaped beings; intelligent fungi; and semi-material malignant beings who are imprisoned by the Great Race in sealed caverns in the Earth. Strange confirmation comes to the professor when ruins are discovered in Australia that bear resemblance to the places he had dreamed of. He undertakes investigations, and one night, alone, penetrates the ruins, to find himself in the familiar passages of the past. He evades the now-released semi-material monstrosities of the pits, and finds in the library, a manuscript written in his own hand. [jj] “At the Mountains of Madness” (Astounding Stories, Vol. 16, No. 6, Issue 63, February 1936, Vol. 17, No. 1, Issue 64, March 1936, & Vol. 17, No. 2, Issue 65, April 1936). A long novel of Antarctic exploration. The Miskatonic University expedition while exploring new regions of Antarctica discovers ancient ruins, far older than the glaciation that covers the continent. These ruins are liberally illustrated, in places, with scenes from the lives of barrel-shaped vegetable monstrosities that had once come from the stars to Earth, long before life began here. Several of the monstrosities, indeed, are found in fossil form, but the side-party of the expedition that had found them is destroyed under strange circumstances, as are the fossils. Later, after a plane flight over an enormous dead city, the narrator and his friend, while exploring a passage leading underground, encounter one of the beings responsible for the damage: a shuggoth, a giant protoplasmic creature like an amoeba. The shuggoths apparently had been created by the Old Ones as labor, but had rebelled, destroyed the Old Ones, but had mimicked their culture blindly. The story ends with a shuggoth chasing the narrator through the deserted corridors and tunnels. ***This is Lovecraft’s most ambitious story, and its success has long been in dispute. The majority opinion seems to be that it is lifeless, boring, and excessively long. It is true, of course, that “At the Mountains of Madness” requires more empathy from the reader than do the short stories, since much of the story is exposition, even though brilliant exposition, but despite slightly confusing shifts in the narrative point of view, the [to me] unsuccessful rationalization of the Mythos, and excessive length—the long descriptions of the ruins of the ancient city are among the most ominous passages in weird literature. It is a mistake to judge “At the Mountains of Madness” only as a thriller. Instead, one should view it as an erudite and brilliantly fantastic essay set in fictional form. [kk] “Supernatural Horror in Literature” (The Recluse, 1927), (The Fantasy Fan, Vol. 1, No. 2, October 1933 thru Vol. 2, No. 6, Issue 18, February 1935 (+17) [incomplete]) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 47, No. 2, Issue 2, Fall 1973 [abridged]). This is the first appearance of the final version of a long essay on weird horror in literature. It begins with a short examination of the psychology of weird horror, and moves through a discussion of national schools of supernatural fiction to the present. Despite brevity and a few minor errors of fact, it is still the best examination of the literature concerned. Here as in no other study the works discussed come to life; in fact Lovecraft animated his summaries so well that it is almost a flaw, for his summaries are often more suggestive than the original work. I must confess, however, that I do not agree with the theory of literature which seems to lie behind this work, a snippet theory which judges a book by the effectiveness of occasional scenes—ultimately a purely emotional theory of literature—and neglects considering a book as an artistic whole. But this difference in opinion need spoil no one’s pleasure in reading this brilliant essay. ***No paperback edition.

First edition dust jacket

Second edition “counterfeit” dust jacket created by Derleth

2. 
Derleth, August 
Someone in the Dark
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1941  335            $2.00
1,115 copies printed. 300 counterfeit editions bound by Derleth.
Jacket by Frank Utpatel.
Scarce second dust jacket variant passed off by Derleth as first dust jacket.

Short stories by one of modern fantasy’s most important figures, who has done excellent work as a writer, editor, and publisher. ***These short stories are arranged in groups according to their models, M.R. James, Mary Wilkins Freeman, and H.P. Lovecraft. ***[a] “Glory Hand” (Weird Tales, Vol. 29, No. 2, Issue 157, February 1937). Professor Harrick inherits a hand of glory together with a slip of paper with the following warning: “Let no evil wish cross his lips who owns me.” Inadvertently he wishes two of his colleagues dead. [b] “Compliments of Spectro” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 2, Issue 202, November 1941). Spectro is a fabulous avenger of crime, in the manner of Superman. When his creator, Aswell, is responsible for a suicide, Spectro handles the situation. [c] “A Gift for Uncle Herman” (Strange Stories, Vol. 2, No. 3, Issue 6, No. 6, December 1939). Murdered Uncle Herman, who was a powerful black magician, usurps the body of the nephew who murdered him. [d] “McGovern’s Obsession” (Weird Tales, Vol. 30, No. 3, Issue 164, September 1937). McGovern, upon moving to another house, produces automatic writing that accuses a doctor of murder. McGovern makes the error of telling the doctor what he knows. [e] “Three Gentlemen in Black” (Weird Tales, Vol. 32, No. 2, Issue 175, August 1938). Ghosts of murdered men. [f] “Muggridge’s Aunt” (Weird Tales, Vol. 25, No. 5, Issue 137, May 1935). Muggridge mistreated his old aunt, and upon her death her ghost takes revenge. [g] “Bramwell’s Guardian” (Weird Tales, Vol. 35, No. 2, Issue 192, March 1940). Bramwell finds a golden Druidic ring upon Salisbury Plain, near Stonehenge. He is warned supernaturally to return the ring, but he is stubborn. [h] “Holloper’s Gift” (First appearance.) Holliper, a bank embezzler, discovers that a blow upon the head has made him clairvoyant. But his gift does not protect him from the revenge of the man he murdered. [i] “Altimer’s Amulet” (Weird Tales, Vol. 35, No. 9, Issue 199, May 1941). When Altimer stole an amulet from Tibet, he cut the hands off a priest. A pair of separate yellow hands follows him. [j] “The Shuttered House” (Weird Tales, Vol. 29, No. 4, Issue 159, April 1937) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 1, February 1947). A house is haunted badly by the impressions of madness. [k] “The Sheraton Mirror” (Weird Tales, Vol. 20, No. 3, Issue 105, September 1932). An old woman commits suicide before a mirror, and wills the mirror to her hated relatives, who see her reflection upon the glass. [l] “The Wind From the River” (Weird Tales, Vol. 29, No. 5, Issue 160, May 1937). Murder masked as suicide is exposed supernaturally. [m] “The Telephone in the Library” (Weird Tales, Vol. 27, No. 6, Issue 150, June 1936). A dead man makes a phone call. [n] “The Panelled Room” (Westminster Magazine, September 1933) & (Leaves, No. 1, Summer 1937) A murder and a suicide had been committed in the paneled room. When the panels in the room begin to move, says local opinion, one should leave the house. [o] “The Return of Hastur” (Weird Tales,Vol. 33, No. 3, Issue 182, March 1939). In the manner of Lovecraft. ***Tuttle, the nephew of a dead magician, learns that his uncle had been expecting the return of Cthulhu, for the astronomical signs were proper. He learns later, that Hastur, instead, is drawing near, and that Hastur needs a human body. [p] “The Sandwin Compact” (Weird Tales, Vol. 35, No. 6, Issue 196, November 1940). In the manner of Lovecraft. ***The Sandwins had no visible income. It is revealed that they come, originally, from Innsmouth, and were in bond with entities from Outside: Hastur, Ithaqua, and Lloigor. Lloigor, a wind elemental, demands fulfillment of his compact. ***[j], [k], [n] are excellent, and as in later volumes those stories are more original than Mr. Derleth’s introduction, “When the Night and the House Are Still” would indicate. As in later volumes those stories in the manner of Lovecraft are the weakest. ***First U.S. paperback edition: Jove, M4738, 1978, 223 pp., pa $1.75.

Wonder Stories, Vol. 3, No. 2, Issue 26, July 1931
“The City of the Singing Flame”

by Clark Ashton Smith
Cover art: Frank R. Paul

3. 
Smith, Clark Ashton 
Out of Space and Time
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1942  xii/370            $3.00
1,054 copies printed.
Jacket by Hannes Bok.    

Short stories, with a brief introductory essay by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. ***[a] “The End of the Story” (Weird Tales, Vol. 15, No. 5, Issue 80, May 1930). Morand, a young law student, after reading an ancient manuscript, finds in the ruins of the Chateau of Faussesflammes a gateway to a fairy paradise, where he meets a lamia. [b] “A Rendezvous in Averoigne” (Weird Tales, Vol. 17, No. 3, Issue 90, April-May 1931), (Weird Tales, Vol. 33, No. 1, Issue 180, January 1939) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 6, No. 5, Issue 35, February 1971). Gerard and Fleurette meet a company of vampires. [c] “A Night in Malnéant”  (The Double Shadow and Other Fantasies, 1933) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 34, No. 3, Issue 187, September 1939). At all times the town of Malnéant prepares for the funeral of the Lady Mariel. ***A beautiful bit of horror symbolizing conscience. [d] “The City of the Singing Flame” (Wonder Stories, Vol. 3, No. 2, Issue 26, July 1931) & (Tales of Wonder, No. 10, Spring 1940 [combined version of “City of Singing Flame” and “Beyond the Singing Flame”]), (Startling Stories, Vol. 5, No. 1, Issue 13, January 1941) & (Famous Science Fiction, Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter 1966-1967). Dimensional doors lead to another world where there is a gigantic singing flame that is the entrance to a paradisiacal state of being. [e] “The Uncharted Isle” (Weird Tales, Vol. 16, No. 5, Issue 86, November 1930). A strange isle beneath an alien sky, where a hitherto unknown race perpetually sacrifices to a horrible living ape-god. [f] “The Second Interment” (Strange Tales, Vol. 3, No. 1, No. 7, January 1933). Premature burial told from the point of view of the buried person. [g] “The Double Shadow” (The Double Shadow and Other Fantasies, 1933) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 33, No. 2, Issue 181, February 1939). Somber and colorful narrative of witchcraft in an ancient land. An invocation is made by means of a tablet from the pre-human serpent people, and an uncontrollable force, which manifests itself as an extra shadow is evoked. Even death is no release from it. [h] “The Chain of Aforgomon” (Weird Tales, Vol. 26, No. 6, Issue 144, December 1935), (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 12, January 1950) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 47, No. 4, Issue 4, Summer 1974). Ages ago a cosmic sin was committed when an hour of the past was relived by magic. Time reeled from it, and the universe has not operated properly since. After long reincarnation the sinner is punished by being bound with the white-hot chain of Aforgomon, or Time. [i] “The Dark Eidolon” (Weird Tales, Vol. 25, No. 1, Issue 133, January 1935). Wizardry in Zothique in the future, as the sorcerer Namirrha seeks supernatural vengeance upon the king Zotulla, and works many marvels. [j] “The Last Eidolon” (First appearance) Nushain, who is summoned by the greatest of gods, is turned into an astrological symbol on the chart of the god. [k] “Sadastor” (Weird Tales, Vol. 16, No. 1, Issue 82, July 1930). Prose poem about death and a lamia. [l] “The Death of Ilalotha” (Weird Tales, Vol. 30, No. 3, Issue 164, September 1937). Her lover visits her demon-filled corpse in the tomb. [m] “The Return of the Sorceror” (Strange Tales, Vol. 1, No. 1, September 1931) & (Startling Mystery Stories, Vol. 2, No. 2, Issue 8, Spring 1968). A modern horror tale about vengeance from the grave. Animate portions of a dissected corpse seek revenge. [n] “The Testament of Athammaus” (Weird Tales, Vol. 20, No. 4, Issue 106, October 1932)& (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 6, No. 6, Issue 36, April 1971). A story of Commorion. A half-demon outlaw cannot be killed. It is easier to abandon the land. [o] “The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan” (Weird Tales, Vol. 19, No. 6, Issue 102, June 1932). A greedy money-lender is lured by rolling jewels, to a monstrosity in a cave. [p] “Ubbo-Sathla” (Weird Tales, Vol. 22, No. 1, Issue 115, July 1933) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 15, February 1951). A crystal from Hyperborea sends Tregardis to Ubbo-Sathla, the source and the end. [q] “The Monster of the Prophecy” (Weird Tales, Vol. 19, No. 1, Issue 97, January 1932) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 3, No. 4, Issue 16, Summer 1967). A poet is taken bodily to a planet near Antares, where he fulfills a prophecy. [r] “The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis” (Weird Tales, Vol. 19, No. 5, Issue 101, May 1932), (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 1, February 1947) & (Startling Mystery Stories, Vol. 3, No. 5, Issue 17, Fall 1970). A horror story set on Mars. The Martians have been dead for ages, but brain leeches, who eat out the brain and control the body still survive in the ruins. [s] “From the Crypts of Memory” and [t] “The Shadows” (Weird Tales, Vol. 15, No. 2, Issue 77, February 1930) Two short prose-poems, expressing moods. ***A collection of varying quality. There are many good stories within the genre of outlandish horror, as [g], [h], [j] but there are also several stories that are almost parodies of Smith’s method and manner, as [n], [o], [r]. ***First paperback edition: Out of Space and Time Volume I, Panther, 586-03966-X, 1974, 204 pp., and Out of Space and Time Volume II, Panther, 586-04110-9, 1974, 192 pp.

Weird Tales, Vol. 35, No. 9,
Issue 199, May 1941
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”
by H.P. Lovecraft
Cover art: Hannes Bok

4. 
Lovecraft, H[oward] P[hillips] 
Beyond the Wall of Sleep
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI 1943  xxix/458            $5.00
1,217 copies printed.
Jacket design by August Derleth; jacket is photos of Clark Ashton Smith sculptures of Lovecraftian creatures on black background.

An enormous volume of poetry, fiction, and essays by and about Lovecraft. ***There is an introduction by Donald Wandrei and August Derleth, entitled “By Way of Introduction.” ***Including, [a] “Autobiography: Some Facts on a Nonentity” A short autobiographical sketch. [b] “The Commonplace Book” A short list of notes, including suggestions for writing horror tales, lists of basic underlying horror, and so on. [c] “History and Chronology of the Necronomicon” (Rebel Press, Oakman, AL, 1938). A whimsical history of the famous mythical book so important to the Lovecraft mythos. ***H.P.L. traces its history from its composition by Abdul Alhazred (the mad Arab) of Sana’a in Arabia, circa 700 A.D., to the present. ***Originally composed as Al Azif (the sound of nocturnal insects supposed to be the howling of daemons) by Abdul Alhazred, circa A.D. 700. In A.D. 950 it was translated into Greek by Theodorus Philetas of Constantinople under the title Necronomicon. Two printing were made of the Latin translation made by Olaus Wormius in 1228, a fifteenth century German and seventeenth century Spanish. Only a few of each later printing are known to exist in various museums. The original lost to time. Rumors credit the preservation of a Greek text to the Salem family of Pickman. [d] “Ibid” The fanciful biography of Ibidus, perhaps the most versatile and prolific writer of all time. ***Several short prose sketches, mood pieces rather than stories: [e] “Memory” (Weird Tales, Vol. 39, No. 10, Issue 234, March 1947) & (Weird Tales (Canada), January 1948). An allegory of memory. [f] “What the Moon Brings” (The National Amateur, May 1923) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 4, No. 6, Issue 24, November 1968) The narrator hates and fears the Moon since he discovered that a reef in the sea was merely the forehead of an enormous image. [g] “Nyarlathotep” (The United Amateur, November 1920), (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 4, No. 6, Issue 24, November 1968), (The Arkham Collector, No. 6, Winter 1970) & (Etchings & Odysseys, No. 6, 1985). When Nyarlathotep came from Egypt to the lands of civilization, the narrator went to see him, and saw, at fist, chaos, but finally penetrated beyond phenomenality to the ultimate fear that lies behind all things. [h] “Ex Oblivione” (The United Amateur, March 1921, as by Ward Phillips) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 4, No. 6, Issue 24, November 1968). Life if an interruption of a better state of existence. ***[i] “The Tree” (The Tryout, October 1921) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 32, No. 2, Issue 175, August 1938). Two friends in ancient Greece are rivals for an artistic commission. One apparently murders the other, from whose tomb springs a tree that avenges the murder. [j] “The Other Gods” (The Fantasy Fan, November 1933), (True Supernatural Stories, Vol. A, No. 1, October 1934) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 32, No. 4, Issue 177, October 1938). In the manner of Dunsany. ***Atop the highest mountain of Earth dwell the gods of Earth. Barzai, whose knowledge is great enough to protect him against them, visits them, but discovers that they are protected by far higher gods. [k] “The Quest of Iranon” (The Galleon, July 1935) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 33, No. 3, Issue 182, March 1939). In the manner of Dunsany. ***Iranon is an inspired singer who wanders around agelessly, looking for his past. His madness preserves him until he learns that he is mad. [l] “The Doom That Came to Sarnath” (The Scot, June 1920), (Marvel Tales, Vol. 1, No. 4, March-April 1935), (Weird Tales, Vol. 31, No. 6, Issue 173, June 1938) & (Bizzare! Fantasy Tales, Vol. 1, No. 1, Fall 1970). A “mythical” explanation of the ruins of Sarnath (which is not an invention of Lovecraft, but is an archeological site in India.) Frogmen who had worshipped a strange idol had once inhabited the land, but had been slaughtered by invading humans. The frogmen are avenged. [m] “The White Ship” (The United Amateur, November 1919) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 9, No. 3, Issue 42, March 1927). In the manner of Dunsany. ***A white ship takes Basil Elton, keeper of the North Point Light, to the lands of Dream. But the ship is wrecked. ***Early horror story of varying quality. [n] “From Beyond” (The Fantasy Fan, Vol. 1, No. 10, June 1934) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 31, No. 2, Issue 169, February 1938). Crawford Tillinghast claims that the pineal gland is the great sense organ of the brain. He invents a machine that stimulates it, so that he is able to see life otherwise inaccessible. Horrible amoeboid monstrosities drive him mad. [o] “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” (Pine Cones, October 1919), (The Fantasy Fan, Vol. 2, No. 2, Issue 14, October 1934), (Weird Tales, Vol. 31, No. 3, Issue 170, March 1938) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 6, May 1948). Joe Slater is a hillbilly from the Catskills, but an invention that reads unconscious mental processes discovers that Slater’s soul is really an imprisoned cosmic being of light, as is the narrator’s. [p] “The Unnamable” [sic.] (Weird Tales, Vol. 6, No. 1, Issue 22, July 1925). Graves, inscriptions, and contact with the Unnamable against a background of New England and colonial lore. [q] “The Hound” (Weird Tales, Vol. 3, No. 2, Issue 10, February 1924) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 14, No. 3, Issue 72, September 1929). A pair of diabolists who raid graves for charnel curios open the grave of a ghoul and are punished. [r] “The Moon-Bog” (Weird Tales, Vol. 7, No. 6, Issue 33, June 1926). Tradition holds that an Irish bog was an encampment of Partholan’s invading army. The bog is drained, and ancient Greek supernaturalisms come to life. [s] “The Evil Clergyman” (Weird Tales, Vol. 33, No. 4, Issue 183, April 1939 as “The Wicked Clergyman”). The narrator is changed to the likeness of a wicked clergyman who worked black magic. Merely an unworked synopsis. [t] “Herbert West-Reanimator” (Home Brew, February 1922 thru July 1922) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 4, Issue 204, March 1942 (+6)). A series of juvenilia describing the activities of an experimenter who tries to revive the dead. The corpse escapes, and years later track down and carry off their reviver. ***[u] “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath” (Arkham Sampler, No. 1 thru No. 4, Winter thru Fall 1948 (+4)) ***A very long over-written dream-quest in the Dunsanean manner. Randolph Carter seeks childhood memories. *** A tale of the ancient Gods, of Cthulhu, and of a weird quest through the horrors of antiquity for a strange lost city, and what Randolph Carter found there. ***There are occasional moments of interest, but the story is mostly in a vein of whimsy that seems to this reader simply silly. ***Randolph Carter dreams three times of a majestic sunset city, but each time he is abruptly snatched away before he can see it up close. When he prays to the gods of dream to reveal the whereabouts of the phantasmal city, they do not answer. Undaunted, Carter resolves to go to Kadath, where the gods live, to beseech them in person. However, no one has ever been to Kadath and none even knows how to get there. In dream, Randolph Carter descends “the seventy steps to the cavern of flame” and speaks of his plan to the priests Nasht and Kaman-Thah, whose temple borders the Dreamlands. The priests warn Carter of the great danger of his quest. ***The quest begins: Carter enters the Enchanted Wood and meets the zoogs, a race of predatory and sentient rodents. For a novice, such an encounter could prove calamitous, but Carter is an experienced dreamer and so is knowledgeable of their language and customs. When Carter asks the zoogs about Kadath, they don’t know where it is; instead, they suggest that Carter go the town of Ulthar and find a wizened priest named Atal who is learned in the ways of the gods. In the cat-laden city of Ulthar, Carter visits Atal, who mentions a huge carving wrought on Ngranek’s hidden side that shows the features of the gods. Carter realizes that if he can go to Ngranek, examine the carving, and then find a place where mortals share those features—and are thus part-god—he must be near Kadath. ***Voyage to Oriab Isle: Carter goes to Dylath-Leen to secure passage to Oriab. Dylath-Leen is infamous for the black galleys that frequent its harbors. These galleys are steered by oarsmen who are never seen and crewed by turbaned men that trade curious-looking rubies for slaves and gold. Randolph Carter’s quest is interrupted when he is captured by the turbaned men and flown to the moon on one of their notorious black galleys. Once there, he learns that the turbaned men are slaves to the terrifying moon-beasts. A procession of moon-beasts and their slaves escort Carter across the moon to deliver him to the Crawling Chaos Nyarlathotep (one of the Other Gods who rule space, in contrast to the Great Ones, the gods of earth). He is saved by the cats of Ulthar, who slay his captors and return Carter to earth’s Dreamlands in the port of Dylath-Leen. Carter boards a ship sailing to Baharna, a great seaport on the isle of Oriab. On the way to Oriab and while he travels across the island riding a zebra, Carter hears dark whispers about the night-gaunts, though they are never properly described. Carter makes a treacherous climb across Ngranek and discovers the gigantic carving of the gods on its far side. He is surprised to see that the features match those of sailors who trade at the port of Celephaïs, but before he can act on this knowledge, he is snatched away by the night-gaunts and left to die in the Vale of Pnath in the underworld. Carter is rescued by friendly ghouls who agree to return him to the upper Dreamlands. They make their way to the terrible city of the gugs to reach the Tower of Koth, wherein a winding stairway leads to the surface. Finding the city asleep, Carter and the ghouls sneak past the snoring gugs and ascend the stairway to the Enchanted Wood. ***Journey to Celephaïs: Here Carter comes upon a gathering of zoogs and finds that they plan to make war on the cats of Ulthar. Not wanting to see his friends harmed, Carter warns the cats, enabling them to launch a surprise attack on the zoogs. After a brief skirmish, the zoogs are defeated. To abate further hostilities, the zoogs agree to a new treaty with the cats of Ulthar. Carter reaches the city of Thran and buys passage on a galleon to Celephaïs. While en route, Carter asks the sailors about the men who trade in Celephaïs—the ones he believes to be kin to the gods. He learns that they are from the cold, dark land of Inquanok or Inganok and that few people dare to travel there. In Celephaïs, Carter meets his old friend Kuranes, the king of the city. Kuranes is an old dreamer whom Carter knew in the waking world, but when he died, he became a permanent resident of the Dreamlands. Longing for home, he has dreamed parts of his kingdom to resemble his native Cornwall. Kuranes knows the pitfalls of the Dreamlands all too well and tries to dissuade Carter from his dangerous quest. Carter, however, will not be deterred. ***Trek into the Cold Waste: Under the pretense of wishing to work in its quarries, Carter boards a ship bound for Inganok, a nation built of onyx. The trip to Inganok takes three weeks, but as they draw near, Carter spots a strange granite island. When he inquires about the mysterious isle, the captain explains that it is the nameless rock, and it is best to not speak of it. That night, Carter hears strange howls from the nameless island. When Carter arrives at Inganok, he purchases a yak and heads northward, in the hope that past the onyx quarries he will find Kadath. Carter ascends a steep ridge beyond which nothing is visible but sky. At the summit, he looks out and gets a breathtaking view of a gargantuan quarry. Carter sets off toward this quarry, but his yak, spooked, abandons him. Carter is captured by a slant-eyed man, whom he believes is of the same ilk as the merchants of Dylath-Leen. The slant-eyed man summons a shantak-bird, which both ride over the Plateau of Leng, a vast tableland populated by Pan-like beings. Arriving at a monastery wherein dwells the dreaded High Priest Not to Be Described, Carter now suspects that the slant-eyed man is yet another conspirator of the forces that seek to thwart his quest. The slant-eyed man leads Carter through the monastery to a domed room with a circular well, which Carter speculates leads to the Vaults of Zin in the underworld. Herein, the high-priest, wearing a silken robe and a mask, is waiting. Carter learns that the Men of Leng are the same beings that conceal their horns under turbans and trade in Dylath-Leen. He also learns that the night-gaunts do not serve Nyarlathotep as is commonly supposed, but Nodens, and that even Earth’s Gods are afraid of them. It is never revealed to the reader who the highpriest in the silken mask is, but Carter recoils from him in such horror that it is possible that he is Nyarlathotep (The text suggests that the High-Priest is one of the Moon-Beasts). When the slant-eyed man is momentarily distracted, Carter pushes him into the well and escapes through the maze-like corridors. In pitch-black darkness, Carter wanders through the monastery, fearing he is being pursued by the High Priest Not to Be Described. At last reaching the outside, Carter realizes that he is in the ruins of ancient Sarkomand, which lies near the coast. Soon he encounters the ghouls that helped him earlier once more. The Men of Leng have taken them hostage on their ship, and they are to be taken to the nameless rock, revealed to be a moon-beast outpost. Carter summons the rest of the ghouls from the underworld and they take control of the galley. After releasing their kin, they sail on to the nameless rock and fight a pitched battle against the moon-beasts. Emerging victorious, and fearing the arrival of reinforcements, Carter and the ghouls return to Sarkomand. Once there, Carter obtains the services of a flock of night-gaunts to transport himself and the ghouls to the gods’ castle on Kadath. ***Conclusion: After an exhilarating flight, Carter arrives at last at the abode of the gods, but finds it empty. Finally a great procession arrives with much fanfare, led by a pharaoh-like man who explains to Carter that the gods of earth have seen the city of Carter’s dreams and decided to make it their home, and have thus abandoned Kadath. The gods walk no more in the ways of gods, and have become instead mere denizens of the jeweled city Carter had glimpsed in his dreams. The pharaoh commands Carter to find this city, so that the natural order might be restored. “It is not over unknown seas,” he says, “but back over well-known years that your quest must go; back to the bright strange things of infancy and the quick sun-drenched glimpses of magic that old scenes brought to wide young eyes. For know you, that your gold and marble city of wonder is only the sum of what you have seen and loved in youth.... These things you saw, Randolph Carter, when your nurse first wheeled you out in the springtime, and they will be the last things you will ever see with eyes of memory and of love.” This mysterious man then reveals his identity—he is Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos, the emissary of the Other Gods who dwell in the blackness of space. Nyarlathotep sends Carter on a great Inganok shantak-bird through space to the sunset city. Unfortunately, Carter realizes too late that the mocking Nyarlathotep has tricked him, and that instead he is being taken to the court of Azathoth at the center of the universe. At first believing he is doomed, Carter suddenly remembers that he is in a dream and saves himself by leaping from the great bird. Upon awakening, his thoughts turn toward New England, and he finds that he has found himself at last in his marvelous sunset city; no longer in the Dreamlands but in the waking world wandering New England and seeing yet again its beauty. ***Recommended. [v] “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” (Weird Tales, Vol. 35, No. 9 & No. 10, Issue 199 & 200, May 1941 & July 1941). A short novel. Joseph Curwen, an 18th century magician and sorcerer, settles in the New World. His experiments concern mostly eternal life and evocation of the dead. His agents search the world for remains of famous people, and Curwen resurrects them in his library. But his New England neighbors object to these practices, and kill him. Even records of him are destroyed. ***But a remote descendant of his, in the 20th century, Charles Dexter Ward, discovers ancient records, and finds Curwen’s sorcerous companions still practicing in Europe. He recapitulates Curwen’s experiments-and then something happens which it is best not to reveal. ***The story is told wholly from a 20th century basis, with the past reconstructed like a mystery. Unfortunately, the mystery setting detracts from rather than adds to the effect of the story, since the situation can be guessed from the beginning. ***A group of revisions which Lovecraft did for friends and associates. All were published under the name of the original author. Lovecraft’s share seems to have varied. [w] “The Crawling Chaos” by Elizabeth Berkeley. An opium vision of beyond the Earth; Earth disappears. [x] “The Green Meadow” by Elizabeth Berkeley. Vague and indefinite, something about a meteorite fragment, islands, and waterfalls. [y] “The Curse of Yig” (Weird Tales, Vol. 14, No. 5, Issue 74, November 1929), (Weird Tales, Vol. 33, No. 4, Issue 183, April 1939) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 14, July 1950), by Zealia Brown-Reed. Southwestern folklore. Walker Davis has ophidophobia, and his wife is terrified of the Indian snake-god, Yig. She kills Walker, thinking he is Yig, and her baby is a snake-like thing. [z] “The Horror in the Museum” (Weird Tales, Vol. 22, No. 1, Issue 115, July 1933),by Hazel Heald. The horrible god, Rhan-Tegoth, found in icy ruins in Alaska is moved to a wax museum. It had originally come from Yuggoth. If it dies, the Old Ones cannot come back. A madman performs human sacrifices to it. [aa] “Out of the Eons” (Weird Tales, Vol. 25, No. 4, Issue 136, April 1935) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 18, January 1952), by Hazel Heald. A mummy is found on an island suddenly raised from the Pacific floor. It is the mummy of Tyog, an ancient man who had planned to defy the god Ghatanothoa, whose glance normally petrifies. Tyog had a charm to protect him, but the charm had been stolen, and Tyog was petrified. In his eye is retained the image of the god he saw. Various cultists, protected and unprotected try to gain possession of the mummy in the museum. When the mummy is finally dissected, however, the doctors discover that its brain is still living. [bb] “The Mound” (Weird Tales, Vol. 35, No. 6, Issue 196, November 1940), by Zealia Brown-Reed. Perhaps the most ambitious of the revisions. It is much closer to Lovecraft’s manner than the other stories. It is a complex tales of a haunted mound in the South West, guarded by ghostly figures. The mound is the entrance to an underworld that is inhabited by extremely civilized people who retain gladiatorial sports. The story is mostly concerned with an early Spanish explorer who meets the people, attempts to escape, is killed, and reanimated to guard the mound. [cc] “The Diary of Alonzo Typer” (Weird Tales, Vol. 31, No. 2, Issue 169, February 1938), by William Lumley. A horrible monstrosity that lives in the Van Heyl family vault. ***[dd] “In the Walls of Eryx” (Weird Tales, Vol. 34, No. 4, Issue 188, October 1939) & (Avon Science-Fiction Reader, No. 3, January 1952), by Kenneth Sterling and H.P. Lovecraft. An Earthman is trapped by his own psychology in an invisible maze on Venus. [ee] “The Challenge from Beyond” (Fantasy Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 4, Issue 34, September 1935) & (Fantastic, Vol. 9, No. 5, Issue 67, May 1960). A round-robin story by C.L. Moore, A. Merritt, Howard P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Frank Belknap Long. Miss Moore began the story, and each of the succeeding authors added a few pages to the story, apparently at random, Lovecraft’s portion is the longest and most ambitious. ***It concerns a mysterious cube that draws Campbell’s mind to another planet, where he inhabits a strange body and eventually becomes a god. ***As might be expected from the mode of composition, the parts clash fearfully. ***Also included are “A Glossary” by Francis T. Laney; it is a listing and partial identification of persons and places of the Lovecraft mythos. “An Appreciation of H.P. Lovecraft” by W. Paul Cook. ***Beyond the Wall of Sleep is, of course, not as important a book as The Outsider, which has almost all of Lovecraft’s best work, but it is still certainly worth owning. [p], [q], [x] are good; of the “collaborations”, those with Hazel Heald and [dd] are by far the best. ***No paperback edition.


Astounding Stories, Vol. 13, No. 3, Issue 42, May 1934
The Blinding Shadows”

by Donald Wandrei
Cover art: Howard V. Brown

5. 
Wandrei, Donald 
The Eye and The Finger
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1944  xii/344            $3.00
1,617 copies printed.
Jacket by Howard Wandrei.

Short stories, mostly from Weird Tales. ***[a] “The Lady in Gray” (Weird Tales, Vol. 22, No. 6, Issue 120, December 1933). A dead sweetheart returns. A dream that blends with reality. [b] “The Eye and the Finger” (First appearance.) A living eye and a living finger, both detached, float about in the air and beckon to death. [c] “The Painted Mirror” (Esquire, May 1937) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 9, February 1949). An old mirror reflects a horrible desert scene. A boy is trapped in the mirror landscape, while the mirror person takes on the boy’s life. [d] “It Will Grow Upon You” (First appearance) A manikin grows upon the flesh of a Central American adventurer. [e] “The Tree-Men of M’Bwa” (Weird Tales, Vol. 19, No. 2, Issue 98, February 1932). In the Mountains of the Moon an ultra-dimensional monster from another world gathers men and grafts them upon trees. [f] “The Lives of Alfred Kramer” (Weird Tales, Vol. 20, No. 6, Issue 108, December 1932). A device to recall ancestral memories changes Kramer’s body until he dissolves into a puddle of primordial slime. [g] “The Monster from Nowhere” (First appearance) A Fortean story about a visitor from space who is amoeboid and hostile. [h] “The Witch-Makers” (Argosy Weekly, May 2, 1936), (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vol. 1, No. 1, September-October 1939) & (Super Science Stories (Canada), Vol. 1, No. 20, October 1945). Experimentally induced transfer of human personality into panther, eagle, and fish. ***African setting and adventure story narrative rather than supernatural horror. [i] “The Nerveless Man” (Astounding Stories, Vol. 13, No. 5, Issue 44, July 1934). A horror story about a drug that kills pain completely; the taker, however, goes mad. [j] “Black Fog” (Thrilling Wonder Stories, Vol. 9, No. 1, Issue 4, February 1937). A black fog comes to Earth and sterilizes all life except hybrids and very simple forms. [k] “The Blinding Shadows” (Astounding Stories, Vol. 13, No. 3, Issue 42, May 1934). A machine opens the way for fourth-dimensional creatures to take over New York. They appear as blinding shadows that dissolve men. [l] “A Scoemtost Divides” (Astounding Stories, Vol. 14, No. 1, Issue 46, September 1934). Mr. Weylith divides indefinitely in a scientific experiment into millions of tiny beings. [m] “Earth Minus” (Astounding Stories, Vol. 16, No. 1, Issue 58, September 1935). When matter is destroyed, a contagion spreads that eventually reduces all Earth to energy. [n] “Finality Unlimited” (Astounding Stories, Vol. 18, No. 1, Issue 70, September 1936). Controls for space, time, matter, intelligence, energy, life are isolated, and the experimenter passes through endless cycles of varying existences. [o] “The Crystal Bullet” (Weird Tales, Vol. 35, No. 8, Issue 198, March 1941). An abnormally cold device from another world is found by a farmer. Regionalistic treatment. [p] “A Fragment of a Dream” (First appearance) A search for Loma, in a shadowy dream landscape. [q] “The Woman at the Window” (Leaves, No. 2, Winter 1938) A mood piece about a woman, towers, ruins. [r] “The Messengers” (First appearance) A short sketch, based upon Lovecraft’s Dunsanean stories, about a man who searches and waits for the Messengers. [s] “The Pursuers” (First appearance) Like [r]. [t] “The Red Brain” (Weird Tales, Vol. 10, No. 4, Issue 49, October 1927), (Weird Tales, Vol. 27, No. 5, Issue 149, May 1936) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 48, No. 3, Issue 3, Fall 1981). A sketch of the far far future when the universe is threatened by cosmic dust, into which all things are falling. Hope rests in a series of giant brains upon the cooled star Antares; they are the last life in the universe. They place their hopes in the Red Brain, who has always been different from the others. ***His first published tale. [u] “On the Threshold of Eternity” (Leaves, No. 1, Summer 1937). A sequel to [t], describing the end of the universe. ***Some of these stories, as [e], [g], [k], [n], [t] present a mixture of science-fiction and weird horror motives that made them unusual in their day; they are still worth reading as good material horror stories and science-fiction thrillers. The volume as a whole, however, contains too much juvenilia. ***No paperback edition.


Weird Tales, Vol. 8, No. 3,
Issue 36, September 1926

Jumbee”

by Henry S. Whitehead
Cover art: E.M. Stevenson

6. 
Whitehead, Henry S[t. Clair] 
Jumbee and Other Uncanny Tales
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1944  xii/394            $3.00
1,559 copies printed.
Jacket by Charles Frank Wakefield.

Short stories by a member of the Lovecraft circle who had spent much of his life in the West Indies, and very capably rendered their folklore in fictional form. ***There is an introductory biographical sketch by R.H. Barlow. ***[a] “Jumbee” (Weird Tales, Vol. 8, No. 3, Issue 36, September 1926) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 31, No. 2, Issue 169, February 1938). Jumbee is the local variant of the word “zombie,” but denotes a supernatural being of a different sort. A jumbee is a corpse that stands upon air, without feet. ***There is also a weredog, which is almost the size of a lion. [b] “Cassius” (Strange Tales, Vol. 1, No. 2, November 1931) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 1, No. 5, September 1964). Brutus was a Negro in a West Indian household; he had a growth, an absorbed Siamese twin. When the growth is removed, it assumes a horrible sort of savage instinctive life, and terrorizes the vicinity. [c] “Black Tanchede” (Weird Tales, Vo. 13, No. 6, Issue 69, June 1929) A Negro rebel who was executed, cursed the brutality of the officials, and his severed hand remains upon the island, killing people. [d] “The Shadows” (Weird Tales, Vol. 10, No. 5, Issue 50, November 1927) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 14, July 1950). The narrator sees in his bedroom a spectral scene, which he cannot understand. Locally, he is unable to obtain information about Old Morris, but finally learns that he has seen Morris’s murder by a fish jumbee. [e] “Sweet Grass” (Weird Tales, Vol. 14, No. 1, Issue 70, July 1929). Cornelis, a white, scorns a native girl, and the girl and her mother work sex magic upon him, using dolls and his shirts. But his wife also knows some magic. [f] “The Black Beast” (Adventure, July 15, 1931) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 2, No. 6, Issue 12, Winter 1965). Based upon Seabrook’s Magic Island. ***One sort of [alleged] Voodoo ceremony involves sacrifice of a bull into which one of the participants of the sacrifice has placed his own soul. Such a ceremony takes a place, but not wholly successfully. [g] “Seven Turns a a Hangman’s Rope” (First appearance) One of the Macartneys goes bad, and becomes a pirate. His former woman comes to hate him, and paints his soul into a canvas as being eternally hanged. [h] “The Tree-Man” (Weird Tales, Vol. 17, No. 2, Issue 89, February-March 1931), (Leaves, No. 2, Winter 1938) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 45, No. 4, Issue 273, September 1953). A Negro is set aside as a brother to a tree, and must remain with it. The tree then confides weather and magical information to the man. There is a life-link, also, between the two. [i] “The Passing of a God” (Weird Tales, Vol. 17, No. 1, Issue 88, January 1931), (Weird Tales, Vol. 32, No. 6, Issue 179, December 1938) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 46, No. 3, Issue 278, July 1954). The natives temporarily worship humans upon whom the godhead happens to alight. In this case it is a living tumor within a man. When the tumor is removed, the natives pay no more attention to him. [j] “Mrs. Lorriquer” (Weird Tales, Vol. 19, No. 4, Issue 100, April 1932). She is possessed by the spirit of a dead French gambler. She is released by a sword dipped in holy water, which chops up the ectoplasmic ghost. The story is interesting, despite the absurd ending. [k] “Hill Drums” (Weird Tales, Vol. 17, No. 4, Issue 91, June-July 1931). A consul who is hated by the Negroes is driven away by hill magic, which takes over his will temporarily. [l] “The Projection of Armand Dubois” (Weird Tales, Vol. 8, No. 4, Issue 37, October 1926). An astral projection of a debt-bilking scamp tries to work magic on a woman who presses him for collection. [m] “The Lips” (First appearance) A slaver captain is bitten by one of the slaves he has kidnapped, and where he was bitten, a second mouth grows. He is finally drowned by supernatural means. [n] “The Fireplace” (Weird Tales, Vol. 5, No. 1, Issue 16, January 1925) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 25, No. 2, Issue 134, February 1935). A crime is revealed in a southern hotel by a ghost who charges the witness to avenge him; when he does not, the ghost takes matters into his own hands. ***Usually good ethnographic horror stories which succeed primarily because of the convincing background. ***No paperback edition.

First edition dust jacket

Second state dust jacket

7. 
Smith, Clark Ashton 
Lost Worlds
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1944  419            $3.00
2,043 copies printed.
Jacket is photo of carvings by Clark Ashton Smith of his own creatures and gods.

Short stories. ***[a] “The Tale of Satampra Zeiros” (Weird Tales, Vol. 18, No. 4, Issue 95, November 1931). Robbers looting the dead city of Commorion disturb the dread god Tsathoggua, and pay for their sacrifice. [b] “The Door to Saturn” (Strange Tales, Vol. 1, No. 3, January 1932) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 1, No. 6, November 1964). The magician Eibon escapes an inquisition by fleeing through a magic door to Saturn. [c] “The Seven Geases” (Weird Tales, Vol. 24, No. 4, Issue 130, October 1934) Ralibar Vooz the magistrate disturbs the solitude of the magician Ezdagor, who puts on him the geas, or compulsion, of visiting Tsathoggua as an offering. From Tsathoggua he is sent on, to various levels of substance, to the archetypes, and finally Abhoth, the ancestor of all uncleanliness. [d] “The Coming of the White Worm” (Stirring Science Stories, No. 2, April 1941) & (Uncanny Tales, No. 11, November 1941). Evagh the warlock comes into the power of the White Worm, who dwells on an iceberg. [e] “The Last Incantation” (Weird Tales, Vol. 15, No. 6, Issue 81, June 1930). Malygris the magician summons up the shadow of a woman, but discovers that he cannot restore his own youth. [f] “A Voyage to Sfanomoe” (Weird Tales, Vol. 18, No. 1, Issue 92, August 1931). Atlantean scientists flee to Venus, and are transformed into flowers by the nature of the planet. [g] “The Death of Malygris” (Weird Tales, Vol. 23, No. 4, Issue 124, April 1934). Malygris, who broods over Atlantis, seems to be dead. Rival magicians try to dethrone the dead magician, but are horribly unsuccessful. [h] “The Holiness of Asédarac” (Weird Tales, Vol. 22, No. 5, Issue 119, November 1933) & (Bizarre! Fantasy Tales, Vol. 1, No. 2, March 1971). A medieval bishop who is about to be unmasked as a sorcerer, sends Ambrose back into the past, to druidic sacrifice. [i] “The Beast of Averoigne” (Weird Tales, Vol. 21, No. 5, Issue 113, May 1933) & (Weird Terror, Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter 1969). A baleful demon possesses the Abbot Theophile, who becomes a werewolf. [j] “The Empire of the Necromancers” (Weird Tales, Vol. 20, No. 3, Issue 105, September 1932) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 7, September 1948). Two magicians create an empire of corpses, until two of the corpses, who retain too much consciousness, revolt and kill them. [k] “The Isle of the Torturers” (Weird Tales, Vol. 21, No. 3, Issue 111, March 1933). Uccastrog is inhabited by a very cruel people, who torment all visitors, both psychologically and physically. The King of Yoros, who is blown onto their island by a storm, is the last survivor of the silver plague, by virtue of a ring that imprisons the plague within him. Uccastrog is punished. [l] “Necromancy in Naat” (Weird Tales, Vol. 28, No. 1, Issue 151, July 1936). Yadar is saved from shipwreck by an animated corpse belonging to three magicians. [m] “Xeethra” (Weird Tales, Vol. 24, No. 6, Issue 132, December 1934). A goatherd chances upon the gardens of Thasaidon, and after eating some fruit “remembers” past incarnation as a king of Calyz. [n] “The Maze of Maal Dweb” (The Double Shadow and Other Fantasies, 1933) & (Weird Tales, October 1938). When Tiglari trespasses upon the lair of the magician Maal Dweb, he is turned into an ape with a human head. [o] “The Flower Women” (Weird Tales, Vol. 25, No. 5, Issue 137, May 1935) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 9, February 1949). Maal Dweb, the master wizard, is bored, and for adventure matches his wits against lizard sorcerers upon another planet. [p] “The Demon of the Flower” (Astounding Stories, Vol. 12, No. 4, Issue 37, December 1933). On the planet Lophai the Voorqual, a demonic flower, rules. Lunithi wishes to destroy the Voorqual, and with the aid of the Occlith, another demon, does so, but the Voorqual returns. ***Told in an elaborately overwritten style that might well serve as a parody of Smith’s stylistic experiments. [q] “The Plutonian Drug” (Amazing Stories, Vol. 9, No. 5, Issue 101, September 1934) & (Amazing Stories, Vol. 40, No. 4, Issue 419, February 1966). Dilation of horizons of time and space. [r] “The Planet of the Dead” (Weird Tales, Vol. 19, No. 3, Issue 99, March 1932) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 4, September 1947). Antarion leads double lives, poet on one world, antique dealer on another. [s] “The Gorgon” (Weird Tales, Vol. 19, No. 4, Issue 100, April 1932). Medusa. [t] “The Letter From Mohaun Los” (First appearance) A time machine, pursuit through time, and the future. [u] “The Light From Beyond” (Wonder Stories, Vol. 4, No. 11, Issue 47, April 1933). Extramundane beings maintain a cairn upon Earth. [v] “The Hunters From Beyond” (Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror, Vol. 2, No. 3, Issue 6, October 1932), (Strange Tales, No. 1, 1946), (A Book of Weird Tales, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1960) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 6, No. 2, Issue 32, May 1970). Cousin Cyprian’s art is inspired by actual contact with demons. [w] “The Treader of the Dust” (Weird Tales, Vol. 26, No. 2, Issue 140, August 1935). A visitor unwittingly summons Quachil Uttaus, the demon of ultimate corruption. ***[t] and [u], which are more or less science-fiction, are interesting, while [k] is perhaps outstanding among the weird stories. ***First paperback edition: Lost Worlds Volume I, Panther, 586-03964-3, 1974, 205 pp., and Lost Worlds Volume II, Panther, , 1975,  pp.


Weird Tales, Vol. 33, No. 1, Issue 180, January 1939
Medusa’s Coil”
by Zealia Brown Bishop
Cover art: Virgil Finlay

8. 
Lovecraft, H[oward] P[hillips] 
Marginalia
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1944  x/377            $3.00
2,035 copies printed.
Illustrated with photos and drawings by Lovecraft.
Jacket by Virgil Finlay.

A foreword by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. ***[a] “Imprisoned With the Pharaohs” (Weird Tales, Vol. 4, No. 2, Issue 13, May-June-July 1924) Ghost-written for Harry Houdini by Lovecraft. ***Horrible dreams in the Great Pyramid, dreams of strange subterranean life and monstrosities. ***Three stories revised by H.P.L. [b] “Medusa’s Coil” by Zealia Brown (Reed) Bishop. (Weird Tales, Vol. 33, No. 1, Issue 180, January 1939). Black magic and murder in the old South. A witch from France whose hair is alive. [c] “Winged Death” by Hazel Heald. (Weird Tales, Vol. 23, No. 3, Issue 123, March 1934). Notes by a madly vindictive Boer naturalist who murders an enemy by a carefully bred and disguised insect. But native folklore is true: the victim is incarnated in the insect responsible for death. [d] “The Man of Stone” by Hazel Heald. (Wonder Stories, Vol. 4, No. 5, Issue 41, October 1932). A chemical formula that changes organic life to stone. ***The first two of these revisions show very strongly Lovecraft’s manner; the third shows little. ***There are also several essays by Lovecraft:“Notes on the Writing of Weird Horror”; “Some Notes on Interplanetary Fiction”; “Lord Dunsany and His Work; Heritage or Modernish”; “Commonsense in Art Forms”; “Some Backgrounds of Fairyland”; “Some Causes of Self-Immolation”; “A Guide to Charleston, South Carolina”; “Observations on Several Parts of North America.” The first three deal with fantastic literature. The essay on Charleston is outstanding. ***Two juvenilia: [e] }The Beast in the Cave” (The Vagrant, June 1918) & (The Acolyte, Vol. 2, No. 1, Issue 5, Fall 1943). Explorations in Mammoth Cave and the discovery of a horribly bestial degenerate man. [f] “The Transition of Juan Romero” A Mexican story, a protective Hindu ring, and the transformation of Juan Romero into something indescribable. ***Prose fragments: [g] “Azathoth” (Leaves, No. 2, 1938 (+3)). [i]“The Descendant” [j] “The Very Old Folk” [k] “The Thing in the Moonlight” [l] “Two Comments” ***Essays and appreciations by friends of Lovecraft: “His Own Most Fantastic Creation” by Winfield Townley Scott. “Some Random Memories of H.P.L.” By Frank Belknap Long. “H.P. Lovecraft: An Appreciation” by T.O. Mabbott. “The Wind That is in the Grass: A Memoir of H.P. Lovecraft in Florida” by R.H. Barlow. “Lovecraft and Science” by Kenneth Sterling. “Lovecraft as a Formative Influence” by August Derleth. “The Dweller in Darkness” by Donald Wandrei. ***There are also poems to Lovecraft from Clark Ashton Smith, Henry Kuttner, Emil Petaja, Francis Flagg, Frank Belknap Long, August Derleth, Charles E. White, Richard Ely Morse. ***[a] is mildly interesting, but the remainder of the fiction is negligible. The essay on Charleston, however, is extremely good, and is worth the price of the book. ***No paperback edition.


Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 1,
Issue 201, September 1941
Beyond the Threshold”
by August Derleth
Cover art: Margaret Brundage

9. 
Derleth, August 
Something Near
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1945  274            $3.00
2,054 copies printed.
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Short stories, mostly reprinted from Weird Tales magazine. [a] “A Thin Gentleman with Gloves” (Weird Tales, Vol. 37, No. 2, Issue 214, November 1943) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 14, March 1944). Corbin Bellaman embezzles money from the testator of a black magician. The magician’s familiar was to have been released when the terms of the will were carried out. [b] “Mr. Ames’ Devil” (Fantastic Adventures, Vol. 4, No. 8, Issue 30, August 1942) & (Fantastic Adventures Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 2, Spring 1943). A humorous supernatural story. Sherwood Ames conjured up a little devil, but the exorcism would not work, since the devils were organized in a union. [c] “A Wig for Miss Devore” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 11, Issue 211, May 1943) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 11, September 1943). Sheila De Vore, a movie star, uses the authentic wig of a murderess in a motion picture, and wears it to saturate herself in the personality of the murderess. She does so too thoroughly, and goes about sacrificing her acquaintances with an Aztec knife. [d] “Mrs. Corter Makes Up Her Mind” (Fantastic Adventures, Vol. 4, No. 5, Issue 27, May 1942) & (Fantastic Adventures Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 1942). Doll magic and voodoo emanate from an unbombed house that stands in the midst of London’s blitz. [e] “Pacific 421” (Weird Tales, Vol. 38, No. 1, Issue 219, September 1944) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 1, January 1945). A phantom train passes by each Friday. Colley utilizes the phantom train to kill his unwanted stepfather, and discovers that his often proclaimed disbelief in the train is accepted by his neighbors, and he is caught. [f] “Headlines for Tod Shayne” (Fantastic Adventures, Vol. 4, No. 7, Issue 29, July 1942) & (Fantastic Adventures Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 1942). A publicity-mad actor lives in a house filled with the personality of a murderer. [g] “No Light for Uncle Henry” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 10, Issue 210, March 1943) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 10, July 1943). A murder that is revealed by a ghost in a haunted room. [h] “Lansing’s Luxury” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 6, Issue 206, July 1942) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 37, No. 1, November 1942). Lansing, a British real-estate speculator, is buying land for resale to a railroad. But one stumbling block appears: Elwyn Zamda, a strange old man who is rumored to have come from subterranean caverns. [i] “Carousel” (Fantastic Adventures, Vol. 7, No. 2, Issue 50, April 1945) & (Fantastic, Vol. 16, No. 1, Issue 135, September 1966). A little girl who is hated by her stepmother is protected supernaturally by a black man. [j] “Lady Macbeth of Pimley Square” (Weird Tales, Vol. 37, No. 6, Issue 218, July 1944) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 37, No. 6, November 1944). Mrs. Jenk’s astral self identifies itself with Lady Macbeth. [k] “Here, Daemos!” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 4, Issue 204, March 1942) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 4, July 1942). When the Rev. Mr. Webly opens the tomb of Nicholas Millham, he disregards a curse. Mr. Millham had as his familiar a large dog named Daemos. [l] “McElwin’s Glass” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 9, Issue 209, January 1943) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 9, May 1943). McElwin buys a telescope that shows the past and the future. It has one limitation; it shows only things connected with the person who holds it. The telescope shows McElwin the circumstances of his death, although he does not know it. [m] “An Elegy for Mr. Danielson” (Weird Tales, Vol. 22, No. 2, Issue 116, August 1933). When Mr. Danielson is dead, a stranger asks permission to play music at the dead man’s bier. Mr. Danielson comes to life for a few hours, goes to the bank, withdraws jewels, which he turns over to the stranger, and then lies down again. The elegy had been a Druid chant. [n] “The Satin Mask” (Weird Tales, Vol. 27, No. 1, Issue 145, January 1936). A Florentine satin mask causes the death of the person who wears it. [o] “Motive” (First appearance) A colloquy between a murderer and one who knows of the other’s crime. Not overtly supernatural, but with supernatural overtones. [p] “The Metronome” (Terror by Night, 1934) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 25, No. 2, Issue 134, February 1935) Memories and associations attracted to a metronome manifest themselves supernaturally. [q] “The Inverness Cape” (Weird Tales, Vol. 38, No. 3, Issue 221, January 1945) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 3, March 1945). Old Thaddeus Pierson collects relics of crime as a hobby. The cape is of Indian manufacture and is made of something more than cloth. The wearer first commits two murders, then suicide. [r] “The Thing that Walked on the Wind” (Strange Tales, Vol. 3, No. 1, Issue 7, January 1933) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 13, April 1950). In the Lovecraft manner. ***Ithaqua, a wind-walking elemental, carries sacrifices away into the sky, and hurls their corpses down. A wendigo. [s] “Beyond the Threshold” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 201, September 1941). Lovecraft manner. Heavily bolstered with cross-references to the Lovecraft canon, about peril from Beyond and a horrible painting that is not a painting. The grandfather of the narrator had summoned creatures from Beyond; Ithaqua had appeared and carried him off. [t] “Ithaqua” (Strange Stories, Vol. 5, No. 1, Issue 13, February 1941). Disappearances, incredibly old circles of stones, and something like a cloud of snow hovering over the circle. Shorter and not as leisurely as Lovecraft. [u] “The Dweller in Darkness” (Weird Tales, Vol. 38, No. 2, Issue 220, November 1944) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 4, July 1946). Lumberjacks stay away from Ricks Lake after having tried to use it once. Investigators hear strange sounds, and finally meet Nylarlathotep, the Mighty Messenger, who assumes human form and warns them away. But the investigators invoke a fire-being from Fomalhaut, Cthugha, who seals the area against Nyarlathotep. ***Many of the slightly regionalistic short stories with a moral background are excellent economical ghost stories. These include [e], [g], [h], [j], [p]; the stories in the manner of Lovecraft differ from their prototypes, among other respect, in dragging the rather vague “mythology” into concrete form, and thereby destroying its ability to suspend belief. ***No paperback edition.


Weird Tales, Vol. 28, No. 3, Issue 153, October 1936The Opener of the Way”
by Robert Bloch
Cover art: J. Allen St. John

10. 
Bloch, Robert [Albert] 
The Opener of the Way
Arkham House; Sauk City WI  1945  xi/309            $3.00
2,065 copies printed.
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Short stories, mostly from Weird Tales magazine. They range from stories derivative from Lovecraft and C.A. Smith to more original stories that present a combination of hardboiled directness and bizarre humor that is unusual in modern fantasy of that day. ***[a] “The Cloak” (Unknown, Vol. 1, No. 3, Issue 3, May 1939) & (From Unknown Worlds, 1948). A cloak makes the wearer a vampire. [b]“Beetles” (Weird Tales, Vol. 32, No. 6, Issue 179, December 1938), (American Fiction, No. 3, February 1945) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 52, No. 3, Issue 300, Spring 1991). A curse upon an Egyptian tomb causes vengeance by beetles. [c] “The Mannikin” (Weird Tales, Vol. 29, No. 4, Issue 159, April 1937) & (Strange Tales, No. 2, 1946). An undeveloped Siamese twin is a familiar demon. [d] “The Strange Flight of Richard Clayton” (Amazing Stories, Vol. 13, No. 3, Issue 136, March 1939), (Amazing Stories, Vol. 30, No. 4, Issue 305, April 1956) & (Science Fiction (Adventure) Classics, No. 8, Fall 1969). When Clayton starts on an interplanetary journey, his chronometer is smashed. He dies of old age in the rocket, but had been in it only a few weeks. [e] “Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 12, Issue 212, July 1943), (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 12, November 1943) & (Shock Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 2, July 1960). A modern horror classic about Jack the Ripper who renews his life by ritual sacrifices in modern Chicago. [f] “The Seal of the Satyr” (Strange Stories, Vol. 1, No. 3, Issue 3, June 1939 as by Tarleton Fiske) Talquist is turned into a pan. [g] “The Dark Demon” (Weird Tales, Vol. 28, No. 4, Issue 154, November 1936). Nyarlathotep of Smith-Lovecraft repute is incarnated in a transformed human body. [h]“The Faceless God” (Weird Tales, Vol. 27, No. 5, Issue 149, May 1936) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 2, No. 6, Issue 12, Winter 1965). Unscrupulous Dr. Carnoti violates the temple of the Faceless God and is chased and killed by the god itself. [i] “House of the Hatchet” (Weird Tales, Vol. 35, No. 7, Issue 197, January 1941) & (Startling Mystery Stories, Vol. 1, No. 1, Summer 1966). A modern hard-boiled story of a husband who murders his wife in a pretended haunted house, and creates a real ghost. [j] “The Opener of the Way” (Weird Tales, Vol. 28, No. 3, Issue 153, October 1936). In the sealed tomb one may not penetrate to the inner mysteries unless one’s spirit animates the statue of Anubis. [k] “Return to the Sabbath” (Weird Tales, Vol. 32, No. 1, Issue 174, July 1938). Karl Jorla is killed while trying to escape from devil-worshippers, but his ghost acts out a Hollywood movie scene. [l] “The Mandarin’s Canaries” (Weird Tales, Vol. 32, No. 3, Issue 176, September 1938). Mandarin Quong, an oriental fiend, feeds his victims to the canaries. [m] “Waxworks” (Weird Tales, Vol. 33, No. 1, Issue 180, January 1939). A statue of Salome has an evil fascination about it because the bones of a witch form its base. [n] “The Feast in the Abbey” (Weird Tales, Vol. 25, No. 1, Issue 133, January 1935) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 48, No. 2, Issue 2, Spring 1981). The Devil’s Monastery and cannibalism. [o] “Slaves of the Flames” (Weird Tales, Vol. 31, No. 6, Issue 173, June 1938) & (The Diversifier, Vol. 3, No. 4, Issue 20, May 1977). The Emperor Nero, who is still alive, receives grants of life from Melek Taos, the Yezidee demon, in exchange for judicious arson. Until he is betrayed by an imbecilic pyromaniac. [p] “The Shambler from the Stars” (Weird Tales, Vol. 26, No. 3, Issue 141, September 1935). A horror from the stars is unwittingly evoked. [q] “Mother of Serpents” (Weird Tales, Vol. 28, No. 5, Issue 155, December 1936) & (The Tome, No. 7, 1991). A voodoo tale set in the West Indies. A matricide uses his mother’s body fat to make a corpse-candle, but the candle strangles him. [r] “The Secret of Sebek” (Weird Tales, Vol. 30, No. 5, Issue 166, November 1937) & (American Fiction, No. 8, 1946). An Egyptian god appears in the flesh to avenge the desecration of his priest’s tomb. [s] “The Eyes of the Mummy” (Weird Tales, Vol. 31, No. 4, Issue 171, April 1938). Sequel to the preceding. Magical jewel-eyes exchange souls between a man and a mummy. [t] “One Way to Mars” (Weird Tales, Vol. 38, No. 6, Issue 224, July 1945) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 3, September 1945). D.T.’s with a little man who sells one-way tickets to Mars. ***A very uneven collection. Several of the recent stories are as good hard-boiled thrillers as have appeared in recent years, but the book is weighted down with too many juvenilia, which, even though they are brilliant juvenilia, should have been left in the magazines. ***First paperback edition: Panther, 586-04221-0, 1976, 172 pp., pa 60p.

Ballantine, first publication 1977, pa $2.25
Witch House by Evangeline Walton

11. 
Walton, Evangeline 
Witch House
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1945  200            $2.50
2,949 copies printed.
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

A smooth sophisticated horror tale, rather slow starting, but gradually building up to a good horror mood. ***A decadent family off the New England coast lives in an ancient house founded by a witch ancestor. Dr. Gaylord Carew, who is perhaps midway between a psychic detective and a psychiatrist, is called in to save a little girl who is pestered by poltergeistic activity. He steps into the midst of evil plots, of two brothers who are working black magic, in the old family tradition. Levitations, hallucinations, tulpas all perform their function but good wins out. ***One might protest against a too heavy occult background, including reincarnation—which is not really necessary—otherwise it is competent. ***Otherwise this is a fine and haunting novel of witchcraft. (First appearance.) ***First paperback edition: Ballantine, 1977, $2.25.

Dover first publication)
0-486-27795-X, 1993, 92 pp., pa

Includes: [b], [c], & [h]

12. 
Le Fanu, J[oseph] Sheridan 
Green Tea, and Other Ghost Stories
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1945  x/357            $3.00
2,026 copies printed.
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Short stories. ***[a] “Schalken the Painter” Rose Velderkaust, a Dutch girl, who is Schalken’s sweetheart, is betrothed by her greedy family to a dead man, for an enormous dowry, and she is carried away underground, to the land of the dead. [b] “Squire Toby’s Will” Quarreling brothers, one of whom haunts the other after death. [c] “Green Tea” (Weird Tales, Vol. 22, No. 1, Issue 115, July 1933) Dr. Hesselius, a German physician, probably the first psychic detective in literature, is consulted by Mr. Jenning, who is haunted by a hypostatized spirit of suicide, his organ of spiritual perception having been opened by green tea. ***It is curious to note that the title and concept behind the story are both derived from an early article in the Dublin University Magazine which links LeFanu’s work to the earlier Romanticists. [d] “Wicked Captain Walshawe” The Captain disturbs a corpse candle, and a curse is placed upon him: his ghost shall remain in the candle until the candle is used up. This happens fifty years later. [e] “Carmilla” A most excellent lesbian vampire story set in Transylvania. [f] “The Sexton’s Adventure” The sexton, who is a hard drinker, premises his wife, upon leaving home one evening, that he will not take a drop. “If I do, may the Devil take me!” The Devil almost does. [g] “Madam Crowl’s Ghost” It is told in easily comprehensible dialect. The ghost of old Madam Crowl returns to disclose the remains of a terrible crime. [h] “Sir Dominick’s Bargain” Sir Dominick sells his soul to the Devil, repents, and believes that he is safe when the appointed day passes by without supernatural visitors. But Sir Dominick forgot leap year. [i] “The Vision of Tom Chuff” Tom, a hard drinker, seems to die momentarily, and dreams that he is hunted along the countryside by the Black Dog and a gigantic figure with a huge sack. Tom is pardoned for a time, however, and stops drinking; but when he falls once more, meets the fate that had been shown him. [j] “Ultor De Lacy” While hiding among ruins during a revolution, the Irish De Lacy’s are overtaken by supernatural revenge for a crime committed by one of their ancestors. [k] “Dickon the Devil” The ghost of old Squire Bowes carries away Dickon. [l] “The House on Aungier Street” The ghost of a hanging judge tries, in the form of a rat, to hang visitors to the house. [m] “Mr. Justice Harbottle” A wicked hanging judge, probably based upon Judge Jeffreys, falsely causes his mistress’s husband to be imprisoned, and is summoned before a supernatural court, presided over by a terrible judge who is an enormously greater version of himself. He is sentenced and hanged. [n] “The Familiar” [“The Watcher”] Supernatural vengeance upon an ex-sea captain from the father of a girl he had wronged. Explained as partly delusion and partly manifestation. ***A very thrilling tale, in which the persistent pursuit of the Watcher, ever creeping closer, is one of the most convincing haunts in English literature.  ***This most recent collection of Le Fanu’s work is desirable as perhaps the most easily obtained selection. While “In a Glass Darkly” is usually to be found, in one edition or another, Mr. James’s collection and the earlier collections are almost impossible to obtain. (First appearance) ***No paperback edition. ***There is a Dover publication (0-486-27795-X, 1993, 92 pp.) paperback, but it only contains the title story and three others.

Panther first publication
586-03345-9, 1970
The Lurker at the Threshold
by H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth

13. 
Lovecraft, H[oward] P[hillips] and Derleth, August
The Lurker at the Threshold
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1945  196            $2.50
3,041 copies printed.
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Supernatural horror based upon the Cthulhu cycle and written in the manner of Lovecraft. The setting is near Arkham, Mass., with a detailed background of ancient and modern diabolism, and many cross-references to Lovecraft stories and settings. ***This novel is actually by Derleth; it was evoked by the short essay “The Round Tower” (1,200 words) and other notes (see Arkham Sampler, Spring 1948, p. 49). It deals with the familiar facets of the Cthulhu Mythos. ***Ambrose Dewart, an Englishman, comes into possession of the ancestral estate of his family in Billington’s Wood, near Dunwich, Massachusetts [A legendary town used by Lovecraft for settings]. On the land is an ancient house with a round window, through which, sometimes, strange landscapes may be seen. There is also an old sealed tower, and a circle of standing stones. Dewart spends some time investigating his ancestor, and finally pieces together information to show that Abijah Billington, his ancestor, together with a Wampanoag wizard named Quamis, had been engaged in magic ceremonies to invoke strange and horrible entities from beyond our cosmos, entities temporarily exiled from Earth, but always lurking about waiting for a point of entry. Strange noises and murders had plagued the countryside until Billington left for England, leaving instructions that his successors should not look through the round window, should not stop the brook which surrounds the tower, and should not open the tower. Dewart, of course, does not heed these warnings. ***The story point of view shifts to other characters, who reveal, gradually, that Dewart has been seized by an ancestral spirit, and is possessed, and that Quamis has come back to life. Dewart-Billington and Quamis once again invoke the ancient monstrosities. A final narrative tells of Dewart’s death, the banishment of the monstrosities, the destruction of the tower, with final explanations. The monster which had been coming through was Yog Sothoth, the Lurker at the Threshold. A cousin, Stephan Bates, witnesses Dewart’s transformation, and flees to Miskatonic University in Arkham, where he secures the aid of two men experienced in the abnormal. They succeed in destroying the transformed Dewart, and sealing the tower. ***The New England background is not entirely convincing, and the Lovecraft mood and method is not too successfully recaptured, but still a good weird thriller. (First appearance.) ***First paperback edition: Panther, 586-03345-9, 1970.

Astounding Stories, Vol. 18, No. 4, Issue 73, December 1936
The Flame Midget”
by Frank Belknap Long
Cover art: Howard V. Brown

14. 
Long, Frank Belknap 
The Hounds of Tindalos
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1946  316            $3.00
2,602 copies printed.
Jacket by Hannes Bok.

Weird short stories, mostly from Weird Tales and Unknown Magazine. ***[a] “A Visitor from Egypt” (Weird Tales, Vol. 16, No. 3, Issue 84, September 1930). Osiris, whose benevolent aspects have been greatly overestimated, comes to an American museum. [b] “The Refugees” (Unknown, Vol. 5, No. 5, Issue 29, February 1942) Little people from Ireland, during the war. [c] “Fisherman’s Luck” (Unknown, Vol. 3, No. 5, Issue 17, July 1940) & (Unknown (UK), Vol. 5, No. 5, March 1942). Hermes’s rod, used as a fishing pole, drags a girl and a severed head from the past. [d] “Death-Waters” (Weird Tales, Vol. 4, No. 4, Issue 15, December 1924) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 22, No. 3, Issue 117, September 1933). Negro vengeance by calling snakes. [e] “Grab Bags are Dangerous” (Unknown, Vol. 6, No. 1, Issue 31, June 1942) & (Unknown (UK), Vol. 6, No. 1, June 1942). A sack with a ghoul in it is used for a Santa Claus sack. [f] “The Elemental” (Unknown, Vol. 1, No. 5, Issue 5, July 1939). Possessed by an elemental, Wheeler can control races and fly. [g] “The Peeper” (Weird Tales, Vol. 37, No. 4, Issue 216, March 1944) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 15, July 1944). A literary man who debased his talents finds that his obituary has been written by the Peeper, star writer on the Other Side. [h] “Bridgehead” (Astounding Science Fiction, Vol. 33, No. 6, Issue 165, August 1944). Future people plan time-conquest, but one of the scouts drops his time-gun, which a 20th century couple find. They go back into the past and start the human race. [i] “Second Night Out” (First appearance) A sea horror that appears on the second night out. [j] “The Dark Beasts” (Marvel Tales, Vol. 1, No. 2, Issue 2, July-August 1934). A folkloristic story of the horrors that are kept off by the piping of the frogs. [k] “Census Taker” (Unknown, Vol. 5, No. 6, Issue 30, April 1942). Dreams in another world send a census-taker to Yonkers, but in the other world bachelordom is a crime, and Philip and Claire are almost imprisoned. [l] “The Ocean Leech” (Weird Tales, Vol. 5, No. 1, Issue 16, January 1925) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 29, No. 6, Issue 161, June 1937). A sea horror that sucks people dry. [m] “The Space-Eaters” (Weird Tales, Vol. 12, No. 1, Issue 58, July 1928) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 1, No. 2, November 1963). Strange creatures that eat brains but cannot face light. [n] “It Will Come to You” (Unknown, Vol. 6, No. 4, Issue 34, December 1942) & (Unknown (UK), Vol. 6, No. 4, February 1943). A block falls out of time so that things grow younger, until the Outsider put the block back. [o] “Come Into My Garden” (Fantastic Adventures, Vol. 9, No. 7, Issue 65, November 1947). Kendrick enters the garden of Proserpina when he almost dies. [p] “The Hounds of Tindalos” (Weird Tales, Vol. 13, No. 3, Issue 66, March 1929), (Weird Tales, Vol. 30, No. 1, Issue 162, July 1937) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 16, April 1951). A researcher goes back mentally through time until the Hounds, at the beginning of the universe, scent him. He plasters his room to avoid all angles, for the Hounds come through angles. [q] “Dark Vision” (Unknown, Vol. 1, No. 1, Issue 1, March 1939). An electrical accident, and the ability to read unconscious thoughts. [r] “The Flame Midget” (Astounding Stories of Super Science, Vol. 18, No. 4, Issue 73, December 1936). A visitor from another world is microscopically small, but very powerful. [s] “Golden Child” (First appearance) A child and a gadgeteering tramp reach Mars via a dimensional apparatus. They barely escape from sculpture-mad giraffe-kangaroo people. [t] “The Black Druid” (Weird Tales, Vol. 16, No. 1, Issue 82, July 1930). His coat almost turns an archeologist into a subhuman monstrosity. ***The horror tales from early Weird Tales, as [l], [m], [p] are among the best stories of physical horror; the other stories are of varying quality. [s] is amusing. ***First paperback edition: Belmont, L92-569, 1963, 173 pp., pa .50¢.

The London Mystery Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1,
Issue 1, December 1949

The Doll”
by Algernon Blackwood

15. 
Blackwood, Algernon [Henry] 
The Doll, and One Other
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1946  138            $1.50
3,490 copies printed.
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Two supernatural short stories. ***[a] “The Doll” (London Mystery, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1949). A living doll is the instrument of revenge upon Colonel Masters for crimes committed in the orient. Told through the personality of a Polish governess. [b] “The Trod” (London Mystery, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1950). The Trod is a path that the fairies take on the solstices. They call all kindred spirits to come along with them, to a fairyland that is continuous ecstasy to the spirit but death to the soul. ***Good stories, not up to Blackwood’s best earlier work, but remarkable as stories written by a man in his late seventies. ***No paperback edition.

Scan courtesy Earl Terry Kemp Collection.

Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vol. 5, No. 6, Issue 30, March 1944
“The Ghost Pirates” [abridged]
by William Hope Hodgson
Cover art: Lawrence

16. 
Hodgson, William Hope 
The House on the Borderland
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1946  xi/639            $5.00
3,024 copies printed.
(1st edition, Chapman & Hall; London  1908  xii+300)
Jacket by Hannes Bok.

***[a] “William Hope Hodgson: Master of the Weird and the Fantastic” n introductory essay by H.C. Koenig [B] “The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’” (Chapman & Hall; London, 1907) & (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vol. 6, No. 5, Issue 35, June 1945) Sea-fantasy, set in the 18th century. ***After shipwreck the boats of the Glen Carrig visit a strange muddy land with carnivorous trees and horrible monsters. Then, after another storm, a single boat reaches an island that is the focal point of a race of fish-like vampiric beings who live in the sea. They make their base upon a small island on the rim of the weed-sea, and discover a ship with living survivors. Escape from this land of horrors is finally provided by a built-over near-derelict, which has survived for years among enormous octopi and sea-vampires. Their efforts to free her are impaired by swarms of the monstrous, slug-like creatures, who attack the seamen with some measure of success. At length the trapped ship is released and sailed back to civilization. ***A fairly good weird adventure yarn reminiscent of Stevenson, but not up to the other Hodgsons. [C] “The House on the Borderland” (First appearance) A horror novel which penetrates into abysses of evil fortunately closed to most of us. ***Vacationers on the coast of Ireland come upon an area avoided by local villagers, which is completely saturated with the utmost cosmic evil. They find in the ruins of a garden the following manuscript. ***At one time there was a House there, which was the focal point for Outside manifestations, which could crawl up from the pit beneath it. In the House lived an aged recluse and his sister. The old man is first contacted by the forces of evil when he has a cosmic vision of times and spaces beyond our comprehension, in which he sees evil triumphant. Then, after rapport has been established with the mind of the old man, swine-like monstrosities from Outside try to break into the house and kill him. He fights them off, but after he experiences another cosmic vision, seeing the end of the universe, the recluse is overpowered by the Hog, a heightened spiritual potency of the swine-monsters, and the house falls into the pit. ***A very remarkable novel, with concepts so alien as to stagger the imagination. It is built around Hodgson’s key idea that depths and personalities of evil and horror surround our mercifully blind existence. This, in some ways, is the best of the Hodgson novels. [D] “The Ghost Pirates” (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vol. 5, No. 6, Issue 30, March 1944 [abridged]) & (Super Science Stories (Canada), Vol. 1, No. 13, August 1944 [abridged]). A sea-horror thriller. ***Jessop, as young sailor, is induced to join the Mortzestus, a ship planning a voyage from San Francisco. He learns that all but one of the old crewmembers had deserted ship in that port. The single remaining member of the old crew warns of horrors and evils of the ship. Away from port, the ship becomes a haunted ship pursued by ghostly pirates who rise out of the sea and board the ship. The vessel is isolated by the supernatural power of the pirates, so that it cannot be seen, and seems to run in a mist. Men are killed while beating and fighting against unseen phantoms, while the ship is seized by an unknown force which guides her course. Shadows from the sea—ghost pirates—swarm aboard, and all the crew, except the narrator, are killed by the pirates, mostly in circumstances of the utmost fear and horror.  Jessop escapes overboard to relate his tale. ***A very convincing nautical background and entirely convincing in its supernaturalism. One of the very best longer supernatural stories. [E] “The Night Land” (First appearance) An enormously long weird romantic thriller about the far distant future. ***Millions of years in the future, the sun has been dead for ages, and the entire human population of the Earth lives in two Redoubts, enormous pyramids which survive by tapping energy from the Earth, the earthfire. All around the pyramid, in perpetual darkness, except for earth flames, lurk the forces of evil, both incarnate and disincarnate. Some are titanic monstrosities that rage around the dead landscape, others are potent spiritual forces that continually endeavor to lure men from the pyramid. The hero is a psychic youth who works in the great observatory that guards the fortress against the perils of the dark outside. Suddenly, a message comes to the pyramid, apparently from humans who live in another pyramid, although the pyramids were founded so long before that no record or memory survives. The people of the second pyramid ask for help, for their source of earthfire is weakening, and they are threatened by the incursion of the evil powers. At first the officials of the great pyramid are skeptical of deception, for the powers of evil stop at nothing to draw men out beyond protection. But they are convinced at last that the appeals are genuine. Then, unexpectedly, without sanction of the authorities, an army of enthusiasts leaves the pyramid, but is horribly exterminated and absorbed by the forces of evil. Finally, it is decided that the youth himself may go, for being psychic and alone, he may win through to the other pyramid. He leaves the great pyramid and wanders through the darkness, meeting almost soul-shattering perils along the Road of Silent Ones and the Valley of Night Hounds. When he arrives at the Redoubt, he is in time to see it fall before the onslaughts of the monstrous creatures. The narrator finds the girl from the other pyramid, who is the sole survivor of the other colony. Together they make their way back through the horrors of the Night Land to the security of the Last Redoubt. ***This fantastic odyssey contains some of the most remarkable visionary concepts in imaginative literature. The passage through the dark and the battles with the forces of evil are staggering in conception. Yet the book is almost hopeless. For some unfathomable reason Hodgson saw fit to embody it in an 18th century framework, and wrote it in a poor imitation of dialect English, stressing a silly romance. (Perhaps someone should write an essay called “The Voluntary Straitjacket,” to discover why otherwise intelligent authors, like Hodgson and Machen, will go to enormous pains and trouble to spoil their work by clamping it into some ill-fitting preconceived form.) The result of the whole is not the greatest weird novel, as it might have been, but still a remarkable, if often annoying, work. ***There are abbreviated editions that should be avoided. [F] “Bibliography,” by A. Langley Searles. ***The title novel was considered by Lovecraft to be perhaps Hodgson’s greatest work. ***First paperback edition: Ace, D553, 1962, 159 pp., pa .35¢.

Scan courtesy Earl Terry Kemp Collection.

Weird Tales, Vol. 26, No. 5,
Issue 143, November 1935
“Shadows in Zamboula”
by Robert E. Howard
Cover art: Margaret Brundage

17. 
Howard, Robert E[rvin]
Skull-Face, and Others
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1946  x/474            $5.00
3,004 copies printed.
Jacket by Hannes Bok.

A posthumous collection, mostly from Weird Tales. It is prefaced by two excellent memoirs of Howard: “Robert Ervin Howard: A Memoriam” by H.P. Lovecraft, and “A Memory of R.E. Howard” by E. Hoffmann Price. ***The stories include [a] “Wolfshead” (Weird Tales, Vol. 7, No. 4, Issue 31, April 1926). A juvenilia about a werewolf in Africa. [b] “The Black Stone” (Weird Tales, Vol. 18, No. 4, Issue 95, November 1931) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 45, No. 5, Issue 274, November 1953). Hints of pre-human intelligences, monstrosities, the ancient past, and other dimensions. The Black Stone is a monolithic key to this expansion. ***Obviously written under the influence of Lovecraft, to whose literary circle Howard belonged. [c] “The Horror from the Mound” (Weird Tales, Vol. 19, No. 5, Issue 101, May 1932). An attempt to cross the vampire horror story with Southwestern regionalism and the cowboy story. [d] “The Cairn on the Headland” (Strange Tales, Vol. 3, No. 1, Issue 7, January 1933) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 7, September 1948). Celtic antiquities, and the evil god Odin, of the Norse, who is imprisoned in the Cairn. [e] “Black Canaan” (Weird Tales, Vol. 27, No. 6, Issue 150, June 1936). Highly written regionalism, of the swamp country, voodooism, and tangled relations between Whites and Negroes. An excellent raw and violent story, somewhat spoiled by hints of racial intolerance which occasionally appear in Howard’s work. [f] “The Fire of Asshurbanipal” (Weird Tales, Vol. 28, No. 5, Issue 155, December 1936). Arabian adventure, a fabulous jewel, and a supernatural monstrosity that guards the jewel. [g] “Skull-Face” (Weird Tales, Vol. 14, No. 4, 5 & 6, October 1929, November 1929 & December 1929) & (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vol. 14, No. 1, Issue 78, December 1952). A short novel, à la Fu Manchu, of opium, a revived mummy from Atlantis who wants world domination. ***All the exotic cults of the world unite under Kathulos, the mummy, against Scotland Yard. ***There are some interesting passages about evolution since Atlantis, but otherwise the work is obviously by an immature author. [h] “The Hyborian Age” (First appearance) An essay describing the history, geography, ethnography of the pre-glacial lands through which Conan the Cimmerian [see below] wandered. [i] “Worms of the Earth” (Weird Tales, Vol. 20, No. 5, Issue 107, November 1932), (Weird Tales, Vol. 34, No. 4, Issue 188, October 1939), (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vol. 14, No. 4, Issue 81, June 1953) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 4, No. 4, Issue 22, July 1968). Pictish Bran Mak Morn, who vowed vengeance against the Romans, uses the serpent people, who had been driven underground, and had there evolved away from mankind, as revenge. [j] “The Valley of the Worm” (Weird Tales, Vol. 23, No. 2, Issue 122, February 1934). A story of Indo-European migrations, long before history began. ***Niord Worm’s-Bane, a mighty hero, slew a horrible monstrosity that survived from a pre-human civilization. [k] “Skulls in the Stars” (Weird Tales, Vol. 13, No. 1, Issue 64, January 1929) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 2, No. 3, Issue 9, June 1965). Solomon Kane, Puritan adventurer, and the murderous ghost of a madman. [l] “Rattle of Bones” (Weird Tales, Vol. 13, No. 6, Issue 69, June 1929) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 2, No. 5, Issue 11, November 1965). Solomon Kane, a murder-inn in the Black Forest, and supernatural vengeance that saves him. [m] “The Hills of the Dead” (Weird Tales, Vol. 16, No. 2, Issue 83, August 1930). Kane in Africa, armed with a voodoo staff, purportedly the rod of Moses, battles a horde of vampires. [n] “Wings in the Night” (Weird Tales, Vol. 20, No. 1, Issue 103, July 1932). Kane, in Africa, stumbles upon a race of winged beings of incredible strength who prey on the local villages. [o] “The Shadow Kingdom” (Weird Tales, Vol. 14, No. 2, Issue 71, August 1929). A pre-glacial story. Kull, king of Valusia, discovers that pre-human serpent men plan to take over his kingdom by their hypnotic power. [p] “The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune” (Weird Tales, Vol. 14, No. 3, Issue 72, September 1929) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 2, April 1947). Kull is almost overcome by magical mirrors that steal his soul. [q] “Kings of the Night” (Weird Tales, Vol. 16, No. 5, Issue 86, November 1930) & (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 4, No. 3, Issue 21, May 1968). Kull is taken forward in time to aid Bran Mak Morn, the Pictish king, in his battle against Rome. [r] “The Phoenix of the Sword” (Weird Tales, Vol. 20, No. 6, Issue 108, December 1932). The first Conan story. Conan the barbarian is King of Aquilonia, while his neighbors and rebels plot against him. Supernatural forces let loose by Thoth the Stygian magician almost kill Conan, but the king is saved by the power of the long-dead sage, Epemitreus. [s] “The Scarlet Citidel” (Weird Tales, Vol. 21, No. 1, Issue 109, January 1933). Conan, King of Aquilonia, loses his kingdom to enemies who are aided by the black magic of the only half-human wizard, Tsotha. Conan wins through with the help of another magician. [t] “The Tower of the Elephant” (Weird Tales, Vol. 21, No. 3, Issue 111, March 1933). Conan as a young man. The Elephant Tower of Zamora, where a strange being from another planet has been tortured and imprisoned by the priest, Yara. Black magic. [u] “Rogues in the House” (Weird Tales, Vol. 23, No. 1, Issue 121, January 1934).Conan, before kingship, as a bravo against the Red Priest, Nabonidus. Magic and an unevolved ape-man. [v] “Shadows in Zamboula” (Weird Tales, Vol. 26, No. 5, Issue 143, November 1935). Conan in Zamboula, against the priest-magician Totrasmek, who worships Hanuman; and Baal-Pteor, the terrible strangler of Yota-Pong. ***Howard was the best practitioner of a small development of American weird fiction, a union of hardboiled thrills and highly romantic adventure in strange times and places. This enormous volume contains quite a few of his better stories, but it could be maintained that too much space is wasted on juvenilia which could easily have been replaced by better work. ***First paperback edition: Skullface Omnibus, Volume 1, Panther, 42202, 1976, and Skullface Omnibus, Volume II, Panther, 43748, 1976.

Weird Tales, Vol. 13, No. 3, Issue 66, March 1929
The People of Pan”
by Henry S. Whitehead
Cover art: C.C. Senf

18. 
Whitehead, Henry S[t. Clair]  
West India Lights
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1946  367            $3.00
3,037 copies printed.
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Short stories. ***[a] “Black Terror” (Weird Tales, Vol. 18, No. 3, Issue 94, October 1931). A young man doomed by voodoo is saved by Christianity. [b] “West India Lights” (First appearance.) A living painting contains the soul of a hanged pirate, who reveals treasure in exchange for release. [c] “Williamson” (Magazine of Horror, Vol. 3, No. 5, Issue 17, Fall 1967). A gruesome story of a man shunned instinctively by everyone; his father had been an ape. [d] “The Shut Room” (Weird Tales, Vol. 15, No. 4, Issue 79, April 1930). An inn haunted by a thieving poltergeist, who is the ghost of a highwayman who had died there long before. [e] “The Left Eye” (Weird Tales, Vol. 9, No. 6, Issue 45, June 1927). Divine revenge for a murder, via a giant spider. [f] “The Trap” (Strange Tales, Vol. 2, No. 1, Issue 4, March 1932), (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 6, May 1948) & (Weird Terror, Vol. 1, No. 3, Fall 1970). A mirror made by a Danish magician at the time of the Renaissance entraps souls. ***Reminiscent of Lovecraft. [g] “Tea Leaves” (Weird Tales, Vol. 4, No. 2, Issue 13, May-June-July 1924). Second-sight and tealeaves produce a fabulously valuable necklace. [h] “The Napier Limousine” (Strange Tales, Vol. 3, No. 1, Issue 7, January 1933). A phantom limousine delivers a psychic sleuth in time to prevent a murder and a suicide. [i] “The Ravel Pavane” (First appearance) A skillfully handled tale of reincarnation, ancestral memory, and music. ***Reminiscent of Faulkner’s “Lost Stradivarius” [j] “Sea Change” (Weird Tales, Vol. 5, No. 2, Issue 17, February 1925). A cretin loses an ancient fear and disorder through the sea. [k] “The People of Pan” (Weird Tales, Vol. 13, No. 3, Issue 66, March 1929). A lost-race of Greeks inhabit the interior of an island, but are destroyed by poisonous gases. [l] “The Chadbourne Episode” (Weird Tales, Vol. 21, No. 2, Issue 110, February 1933). Persian ghouls in America. Like E.L. White’s “Amina.” [m] “Scar Tissue” (Amazing Stories, Vol. 20, No. 4, Issue 204, July 1946) & (Amazing Stories, Vol. 41, No. 4, Issue 429, October 1967). Smith remembers a previous incarnation in Atlantis, and works out the balance in fate on his enemy, who is also reincarnated. [n] “…In Case of Disaster Only” (First appearance) A psychic warning via an unused ship’s bell. [o] “Bothon” (Amazing Stories, Vol. 20, No. 5, Issue 205, August 1946). Flashes of memory, of the life of a general in Atlantis, who managed to survive the destruction of Mu. [p] “The Great Circle” (Strange Tales, Vol. 2, No. 2, Issue 5, June 1932) & (Bizzare! Fantasy Tales, Vol. 1, No. 1, Fall 1970). A demigod of air has a contact with earth in the great circle in Yucatan, and Canevin and Wilkes fall into the power of the demigod, above the earth. The power of fire saves them. Very interesting; reminiscent of Blackwood. ***There is also an article, “Obi in the Caribbean.” ***Several of the stories, as [d], [i], [k], [p] are capably handled material-horror stories, but some of the others are obviously second-run. Mr. Whitehead is most convincing in a West Indian background. Recommended in part. ***His performance as the third of the great Weird Tales triumvirate (including H.P. Lovecraft and C.A. Smith) has never been challenged, and his performance in the pages of that magazine was never truly appreciate. ***No paperback edition.

Penguin first publication)
1946, 168 pp., pa 1/-
“Adam and Eve and Pinch Me”
by A.E. Coppard

19. 
Coppard, A[lfred] E[dgar] 
Fearful Pleasures
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1946  xiii/301            $3.00
4,033 copies printed.
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Short stories collected from previous volumes by Mr. Coppard. Most are wonderful exquisite fables that are based on a private folklore of the author’s that cannot be summarized. ***Including [a] “Clorinda Walks in Heaven” Clorinda dies, and in heaven meets all the men to whom she has been married in previous incarnations, each of whom gives her a scarf. But she finds by far the most sympathy with a male who is an embodiment of her unrealized desires as a spinster. She returns to Earth, and with her experience behind her, never marries. [b] “Adam and Eve and Pinch Me” (Golden Cockerel Press, Berkshire, 1921) & (Night Cry, Vol. 1, No. 4, Winter 1985). Experiences in a strange state of being that takes the narrator several years into the future, where he watches his unborn son playing. [c] “The Elixir of Youth” Tom Toole, in Ireland seeks with the pure faith of simplemindedness the elixir of youth. He gets it from a fairy and disappears. [d] “Simple Simon” A scholar gives Simon a cow skin wallet full of black sins. [e] “Old Martin” The last person buried in a graveyard must serve all the previous ghosts until it is relieved by a newcomer. Martin’s niece dies, and must serve Ephraim Stinch, who is a bestial drunkard; and the cemetery seems to be filled. [f] “The Bogie Man” Sheila steals a little box and thereby falls under the power of a droll named Shiloh, who wishes her to take a gift from him so that he may have her. [g] “Polly Morgan” Aunt Agatha violates the wish of a dead man by putting flowers on his grave, and when the vines rustle, his amorous ghost comes. Poll betrays the ghost, who has his revenge. [h] “The Gollan” Of enormous strength, but little will, the Gollan must obey the commands of all who see him. So he becomes invisible when awake, but this, too, is a disadvantage, for he can see no one. [i] “The Post Office and the Serpent” The great serpent has been bound until the day before the Day of Judgment, when it will emerge and ravage the land. It emerges from its pool, and asks the traveler if this is the “day before the last day.” [j] “Crotty Shinkwin” Inniskalogue, a beautiful island off shore, is not inhabited, but has a bad reputation. When Crotty and a friend near it in a boat, their anchor overturns the island, and they find it fairly settled, and upon it Shinkwin’s wife’s grave. [k] “Ahoy, Sailor Boy!” A sailor’s pickup is a ghost; when her clothes are off, there is nothing there. [l] “Gone Away” Lavenham, traveling in France with his wife, friend, and car, finds that all have disappeared without a trace, and so does he. [m] “Rocky and the Bailiff” Rocky uses magic to find a cure for the cattle plague. [n] “Ale Celestial” Barnaby Barne is given a recipe for wonderful ale by a troll, but when he tries to adulterate it, it tastes foul to others though excellent to him; and when he returns to the original recipe, the ale tastes foul to him, even though good to others. [o] “The Fair Young Willowy Tree” Conversations with a telegraph post. [p] “Father Raven” The last day comes suddenly when Father Raven is with his pastoral flock, and all march toward heaven. At the gates, Raven is asked whether he will vouch for his parishioners, even to pledging his soul. He does. The flock is entered on his pledge, but Raven himself is denied admittance for his easy disregard of truth. [q] “The Drum” Little Kinsella meets a giant, Hippy Hackbones, and tries to steal a princess from him. [r] “Cheese” Eddy Errick, who tricks a Gypsy out of a recipe for wonderful cheese, is used like a rat by Gypsy magic. He eventually lands in the past. [s] “The Homeless One” Judas in a madhouse? [t] “The Kisstruck Bogie” A vulgar ghost, invisible, but audible. ***The British edition omits [b], and substitutes a non-fantastic story. ***Except as noted, there are no magazine appearances for any of these short stories. ***No paperback edition.

Ballantine first publication
531, 1961, 159 pp., pa .35¢
“The Clock Strikes Twelve”
by H. Russell Wakefield
Cover art: Richard Powers

20. 
Wakefield, H[erbert] Russell 
The Clock Strikes Twelve;
Tales of the Supernatural
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1946 xi/248            $3.00
4,040 copies printed.
First edition, Jenkins; London  1939 271 7/6)
[fourteen stories, excluding [o], [p], [q], and [r]]
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Short stories including [a] “Into Outer Darkness” A viciously haunted house. [b] “The Alley” An ancient house drives its inhabitants into insanity when they see a crime being reenacted by ghosts. [c] “Jay Walkers” Many auto accidents on a certain road are caused by jay-walking ghosts. [d] “Ingredient X” A house is haunted by a repetitious suicide. [e] “I Recognized the Voice” A murder and a psychic. [f] “Nimbo and Nobby’s Farewell Performance” A murder, and a ventriloquist’s dummy who assumes life and betrays the ventriloquist. [g] “Not Quite Cricket” A wandering author hears a local ghost story built around a cricket match. It seems local folklore, but the author recognizes it as plagiarism from a story he had written. [h] “In Collaboration” A plagiarist is forced to confess and commit suicide by a ghost. [i] “A Stitch in Time” Premonitory dreams and Dunne’s theory of time. [j] “Lucky’s Grove” An excellent story about a Christmas tree which is brought in from a place known as Lucky’s Grove. It unlooses a flood of horror. ***Lucky is Loki. [k] “Red Feathers” [l] “Happy Ending?” A man believes himself insane, but learns that he is merely experiencing the mental state of a suicide nearby. [m] “The First Sheaf” Folkloristic horror in England, with a nature cult and human sacrifices to Something. [n] “Masrur” A cat’s ghost. [o] “A Fishing Story” A pool in Ireland, where no one fishes. It has a bad name. It seems that there is a skeleton in it which drags people in. ***Actually a murder story told by indirection. [p] “Used Car” A used car from Chicago carries distinctive effluvia, physical and psychic, of a familiar Chicago pasttime. [q] “Death of a Poacher” Sir Willoughby Mantlet shoots a were-hyena in Africa. He is haunted to death. [r] “Knock, Knock, Who’s There?” When Sam is out in his boat, he hears beneath him signals that indicate a submarine is trapped. He becomes a hero. But there was no rational way in which he could have heard the signals. ***Excellent stories, of which [b], [j], [m], [o] are among the best traditional ghost stories in recent literature. ***First paperback edition: Ballantine, 531, 1961, 159 pp., pa .35¢ [twelve stories, excluding: [g], [i], [k], [n], [o], and [r]]

Scan courtesy Earl Terry Kemp Collection.

Astounding Science Fiction, Vol. 26, No. 1, Issue 118, September 1940
“Slan”
by A.E. van Vogt
Cover art: Hubert Rogers

21. van Vogt, A[lfred] E[lton] 
Slan
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1946  216            $2.50
4,051 copies printed.
Jacket by Robert Hubbell.

A science fiction thriller. (Astounding Science Fiction, Vol. 26, No. 1 thru No. 4, Issue 118, 119, 120, & 121, September 1940, October 1940, November 1940 & December 1940) & (Fantastic Story Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 1, Issue 10, Summer 1952 [abridged]). ***A new mutation has arisen in man: the Slans. They are superior to Homo sapiens physically and mentally, and also have telepathic powers, which use as sensory organs tendrils that are mixed in with head hair. The Slans are hated, of course, by the inferior humans, and, despite their abilities, are almost exterminated. At the time of this book a few individual Slans still survive, but they are hunted down like rats. Meanwhile a third group of man has arisen, unknown to both humans and most of the true Slans. These are tendrilless Slans, who hate the true Slans as much as do the humans. ***Jommy Cross, the son of a true Slan who invented a secret disintegrating ray just before his death, is born into this world, and tries to bring about peace among the three groups. There is much adventure, simple and super-scientific, before Jommy achieves his task. Cross recognizes millions of these tendriless Slans living with humans, who are unaware of their existence. Their underground has produced interplanetary travel, and established civilization on other planets. But they are hostile to True Slans. Cross rescues Kathleen Layton, a true Slan who is the closely observed ward of human leaders. She is killed, and Cross is forced to flee into space. Returning, he enters the grand palace of the Earth to learn that human leaders are True Slans, and that Kathleen Layton has been restored to life. ***Few novels of the future have been so popular with readers of Astounding Science-Fiction, as A.E. van Vogt’s memorable story of mutants in a time far hence. SLAN was written early in 1940 and published later in that same year; its impact was such that within a comparatively short time, the four issues of the magazine containing “Slan” were collector’s items, and all but unobtainable at fantastic prices. This Arkham House edition represents the first appearance of Slan in book form. This is usually considered a classic of modern science fiction, but I prefer many of van Vogt’s other works to it. ***First paperback edition: Dell, 686, 1953, 223 pp., pa .25¢.

James Barrie, second edition
1951, 255 pp.
“What Dreams May Come”
by Cynthia Asquith
Cover art: Philip Gough
[Omits two stories, includes one]

22. 
Asquith, Cynthia [Lady] [Pseudo. of Charteris, Mary Evelyn] 
This Mortal Coil
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1947  245            $3.00
2,609 copies printed.
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Short stories by an excellent anthologist. ***Including [a] “In a Nut Shell” Repeated patterns in fate. A very shallow woman is responsible for the death of her husband, by spilling his medicine when he has a heart attack. Later, motivated by bad dreams, presumably originating from her dead husband, she sleepwalks and destroys medicine for her sick son. [b] “The White Moth” (Weird Tales, Vol. 21, No. 4, Issue 112, April 1933). A dead poet’s mind reaches out to possess a stupid girl periodically. Wonderful poetry is written in this fashion. [c] “The Corner Shop” Cf. Asquith’s GHOST BOOK, where it is printed under the pseudonym, C. L. Ray. [d] “God Grante That She Lye Stille” A hysterical woman is periodically possessed by her witch ancestress. Sinister atmosphere comes from an old house with a nearby churchyard. [e] “The Playfellow” A ghost playmate, and repeated patterns in fate that cause another child to be burned to death. [f] “The Nurse Never Told” Premonitions, patterns in fate, about a surgeon and his patient, whose destinies are strangely intertwined. [g] “The First Night” A dead actor-playwright takes his place on the stage to break a long-standing jinx in the theatre. The ghost is a better actor than the living person. [h] “The Follower” A woman is haunted by a very ugly person who appears at critical moments. It is death. ***Excellent literate supernatural stories, feminine and graceful, although occasional ventures into stream-of-consciousness technique and shifts of thought disturb the narrative thread and arouse some slight suspicion. ***First paperback edition: Four Square Books, 1283, 1965, 158 pp., pa 3/6.

First edition dust jacket  

Reprint dust jacket

23. 
Derleth, August (editor)
Dark of the Moon:
Poems of Fantasy and the Macabre
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1947  xvi/418            $3.00
2,634 copies printed.
Original jacket a photo by August Derleth and is blue with lettering by Frank Utpatel.
Reprint jacket has gold lettering by Gary Gore, with updated back jacket ad.

Poetry. ***Not reviewed. ***A pioneering anthology of weird poetry from the Middle Ages to the present, arranged chronologically. ***Including [a] “Introduction” by August Derleth. [b] “The Two Corbies,” “A Lyke-Wake Dirge,” William and Marjorie,” “The Wee Wee Man,” “The Wife of Usher’s Hell,” “Fair Elanor” by William Blake. [c] “Address to the Devil,” “Tam O’Shanter,” “Death and Doctor Hornbook” by Robert Burns. [d]“Kilmeny” by James Hogg. [e] “The Eve of St. John” by Sir Walter Scott. [f] “Kubla Kahn, Phantom” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. [g] “The Lake of the Dismal Swamp” by Thomas Moore. [h] “The Hand of Glory” by Richard Harris Barham. [i] “The Erl King” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. [j] “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by John Keats. [k] “The Haunted House,” “The Dream of Eugene Aram,” “Pompey’s Ghost,” “The Ghost” by Thomas Hood. [l] “The Phantom-Wooer,” “The Ghosts’ Moonshine” by Thomas Lovell Beddoes. [m] “The Phantom Ship,” “The Legend of Rabbi Ben Levi,” “The Ghosts” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. [n] ”The Raven,” “Dream-Land,” “Ulalume” by Edgar Allan Poe. [o] “Rizpah” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. [p] “A Lowland Witch Ballad” by William Bell Scott. [q] “The Legend of the Glaive” by J. Sheridan LeFanu. [r] “The Weird Lady,” “The Sands of Dee” by Charles Kingsley. [s] “Keith of Ravelston” by Sidney Thompson Dobell. [t] “The Witch Bride,” “The Fairies” by William Allingham. [u] “The Flying Dutchman” by Charles Godfrey Leland. [v] “The Lost Steamship,” “The Three Gannets,” “The Demon of the Gibbet” by Fitz-James O’Brien. [w] “Sister Helen” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. [x] “The City of Dreadful Night” by James Thompson. [y] “The Wind” by William Morris. [z] “The Highwayman’s Ghost” by Richard Garnett. [aa] “The Ballad of Judas Iscariot” by Robert Buchanan. [bb] “Goblin’s Market,” “The Ghost’s Petition” by Christina Rossetti. [cc] “The Song of the Ghost” by A.P. Graves. [dd] “A Glimpse of Pan,” “The Witch of Erkmurden” by James Whitcomb Riley. [ee] “A Windy Night,” “Roads,” “An April Ghost,” “Bitters” by Lizette Woodworth Reese. [ff] “The True Lover” by A.E. Housman. [gg] “Lazarus” by Jose Asuncion Silva. [hh] “All Soul’s Night,” “The Fair Little Maiden,” “The Fetch,” “The Fairy Thorn-Tree” by Dora Sigerson Shorter. [ii] “Luke Havergal” by Edwin Arlington Robinson. [jj] “The Superstitous Ghost” by Arthur Guiterman. [kk] “The Listeners,” “The Little Green Orchard,” “The Ghost” by Walter de la Mare. [ll] “A Dracula of the Hills,” “The Paper in the Gate-Legged Table,” “Haunted” by Amy Lowell. [mm] “The Witch of Coos” by Robert Frost. [nn] “The Little Dead Child” by Josephine Daskam Bacor. [oo] “Dave Lilly” by Joyce Kilmer. [pp] “The Sorceress of the Moon” by William Rose Benet. [qq] “221B.” “Changeling,” “Visitation,” “Legend,” “Gooseflesh,” “Extraordinary Visit,” “Sea Story” by Vincent Starrett. [rr] “Lomesome Water,” “Old Christmas” by Roy Heltch. [ss] “Psychopompos,” “Fungi from Yuggoth” (The Book,” “Recognition,” “Homecoming,” “The Lamp,” “Zaman’s Hill,” “The Port,” “The Courtyard,” “The Pigeon-Flyers,” “The Well,” “The Howler,” “Hesperia,” Star-Winds,” “Antarktos,” “The Window,” “A Memory,” “The Gardens of Yin,” “The Bells,” “Night-Giants,” “Nyarlathotep,” “Azathoth,” “Mirage,” “The Canal,” “St. Toad’s,” “The Familiars,” “The Elder Pharos,” “Expectancy,” “Nostlagia,” Background,” “The Dweller,” “Alienation,” “Harbour Whistles,” “Recpature,” “Evening Star,” “Continuity”), The Messenger,” “The Ancient Track” by H.P. Lovecraft. [tt] “The Warning” by Robert P. Tristam Coffin. [uu] “The Eldritch Darkm Warning,” “The Hashish-Eater,” “Nightmare,” “Outlanders,” “Nyctalops,” “Shadows,” “The Envoys,” “Fantasie d’Antan,” “In thessaly,” “Resurrection” by Clark Ashton Smith. [vv] “The Owls” by Timeus Gaylord. [ww] “The Orchard Ghost” by Mark Van Doren. [xx] “Werewolf” by Arthur Inman. [yy] “Metropolitan Nightmare,” “Nightmare Number Three” by Stephen Vincent Benet. [zz] “The Goblin Tower,” “In Mayan Splendor,” “Sonnet,” “A Knight of La Mancha,” “On Reading Arthur Machen,” “The Abmoniable Snow Men,” “The Horror on Dagoth Wold” by Frank Belknap Long. [aaa] “Just Then the Door” by Merrill Moore. [bbb] “Forgetful Hour,” “The Spectre’s Tale,” “The Haunted Stairs” by Yetza Gillespie. [ccc] “The Snake,” “The Dreamer in the Desert” by Francis Flagg. [ddd] “Strange,” “Forest God,” “Tree Woman,” “The Wolves of Egremont” by Dorothy Quick. [eee] “The Harp of Alfred,” “Futility,” “The Singer in the Mist,” “Solomon Kane’s Homecoming,” “Moon Mockery,” “The King and the Oak,” “Recompense,” “Always Comes Evening,” “The Ghost Kings,” “The Last Hour,” “Which Will Scarcely be Understood,” “Lines Written in the Realization that I Must Die” by Robert E. Howard. [fff] “Sonnets of the Midnight Hours” (“After Sleep,” “Purple,” “The Hungry Flowers,” “The Eye,” “The Torturers,” “The Statues,” “The Old Companions,” “The Head,” “In the Attic,” “The Cocoon,” “The Metal God, “The Little Creature,” “The Pool,” “The Prey,” “The Rack,” “Escape,” “Capture, “In the Pit,” “The Bell,” “The Ultimate Vision”) by Donald Wandrei. [ggg] “Weldon House,” “Lois Malone,” “Ted Birkett,” “Bart Hinch,” “The Shores of Night,”
“Man at the Window,” “Stranger in the Night,” “Mark of Man-Mark of Beast” by August Derleth. [hhh] “Sonnet of the Unsleeping Dead” by Anthony Boucher. [iii] “Fox Hunters of Hell” by Byron Herbert Reece. [jjj] “Dreams of Yith” by Duane W. Rimal. [kkk] “Nostalgia,” “Echidna” by Mary Elizabeth Cocnealman. [lll] “Changeling,” “Wood Wife,” “In the Shadows,” “The Path Through the Marsh,” “The Tenants,” “All Saints Eve,” “The Ballad of the Japperwock,” “Heard on the Roof at Midnight” by Leah Bodine Drake. [mmm] “Wayfarers,” “Two Hunters” by Harvey Wagner Flink. [nnn] “Star Gazer,” “Death at Sea,” “The Goats of Juan Fernandez” by Coleman Rosenberger. ***No paperback edition.

Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 11,
Issue 211, May 1943

The Crowd”
by Ray Bradbury
Cover art: Margaret Brundage

24. 
Bradbury, Ray[mond Douglas] 
Dark Carnival
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1947  313            $3.00
3,112 copies printed.
Jacket by Robert Burrows.

Brilliantly original and unusual weird short stories. In most cases, as in Mr. Bradbury’s other work, the excellences are such as cannot be summarized very well. ***[a] “The Homecoming” (Mademoiselle, October 1946), (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 3, June 1947) & (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vol. 14, No. 1, Issue 78, December 1952). The reactions of a normal child in a family of supernatural monsters, who act and behave toward each other as do normal people, and occasionally feel very sad at the child’s (relative) abnormality. ***A gem. [b] “Skeleton” (Weird Tales, Vol. 39, No. 1, Issue 225, September 1945), (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 3, November 1945) & (Shock Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 3, September 1960). Harris discovers that a skeleton is hiding within him, and calls in Mr. Munigant, who eats bones, and rids him of the unwelcome intruder. [c] “The Jar” (Weird Tales, Vol. 38, No. 2, Issue 220, November 1944). Fantasy by implication, in white cracker reactions to a fetus in a jar. [d] “The Lake” (Weird Tales, Vol. 37, No. 5, Issue 217, May 1944), (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 37, No. 5, September 1944) & (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Vol. 3, No. 1, February 1967). A child, long drowned, comes out of the lake. [e] “The Maiden” A fragment. The guillotine, seen erotically. [f] “The Smiling People” (Weird Tales, Vol. 39, No. 5, Issue 229, May 1946), (Weird Tales (Canada, Vol. 38, No. 4, July 1946) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 47, No. 2, Issue 2, Fall 1973). A madman makes his unfriendly relatives smile—by cutting their throats. [g] “The Emissary” (Shock Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 2, July 1960) & (Weird Worlds, No. 6, 1980). A most horrible tale of a bedridden boy and his dog who brings things to him from the outside world; and a revenant. [h] “The Traveler”(Weird Tales, Vol. 39, No. 4, Issue 228, March 1946) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 4, May 1946). Cecy, the clairvoyant member of the Elliott family of [a], rids the family of a traitor. [i] “The Small Assassin” (Dime Mystery, November 1946) & (Suspense, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1951). A baby, ripped from the paradise of the womb, might harbor thoughts of revenge. [j] “The Crowd” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 11, Issue 211, May 1943), (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 11, September 1943), (The Mysterious Traveler, No. 5, 1952) & (Shock Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, May 1960). The same persons always appear at accidents, too rapidly for normal modes of travel. [k] “Reunion” (Weird Tales, Vol. 37, No. 4, Issue 216, March 1944), (Weird Tales (Canada, Vol. 36, No. 15, July 1944) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 49, No. 1, Issue 1, Fall 1984). A lonely boy, and ghosts, in worn clothing, in the attic. [l] “The Handler” (Weird Tales, Vol. 39, No. 9, Issue 233, January 1947), (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 4, March 1947), (Copy, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1950), (Satellite, Vol. 3, No. 4, Issue 16, March 1959) & (Whispers from Beyond, No. 1, 1972). Mr. Benedict, an undertaker with a perverted sense of humor, plays practical jokes upon his corpses, until the corpses rise. [m] “The Coffin” A marvelous coffin-trap that takes care of everything. [n] “Interim” (Weird Tales, Vol. 39, No. 11, Issue 236, July 1947) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 4, September 1947). Childbirth in a coffin underground. [o]“Jack-in-the-Box” (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 17, June 1951). A child reared indoors, taught that the outside is horrible, with predatory automobiles, finally escapes. [p] “The Scythe” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 12, Issue 212, July 1943) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 12, November 1943). A field of grain represents all mankind. A reaper cuts those stalks that are ripe, and deaths follow. But when the present reaper is forced to cut down his own family, he goes berserk, cuts the whole field, and wars result. [q] “Let’s Play ‘Poison’” (Weird Tales, Vol. 39, No. 8, Issue 232, November 1946) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 4, January 1947). Child vengeance, in which Bradbury’s often expressed theme of childhood as a time of strange and terrible power, is worked out. [r] “Uncle Einar” (Weird Worlds, No. 8, 1981). A flying man, of the Elliott family of [a] and [h], is grounded, until his son finds a solution. [s] “The Wind” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 10, Issue 210, March 1943), (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 10, July 1943), (The Mysterious Traveler, Vol. 1, No. 1, November 1951) & (The Diversifier, Vol. 3, No. 5, Issue 21, July 1977). The sum of all souls, it pursues Allin, breaking down his defenses, and finally absorbing him. [t] “The Night” (Weird Tales, Vol. 39, No. 6, Issue 230, July 1946), (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 4, September 1946), (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Vol. 4, No. 6, January 1968) & (Starwind, Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring 1976). Reactions of a child to the horrors of night and a brother who comes home late. [u] “There was an Old Woman” (Weird Tales, Vol. 37, No. 6, Issue 218, July 1944) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 37, No. 6, November 1944). Aunt Tildy considers death unreasonable, and outwits death. [v] “The Dead Man” (Weird Tales, Vol. 38, No. 6, Issue 224, July 1945), (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 3, September 1945) & (Whispers from Beyond, No. 1, 1972). He walks about, but is still dead. [w] “The Man Upstairs” (Harper’s, March 1947) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 4, September 1947) Mr. Koberman, who cannot touch silver and works at night, presents a strange spectacle when young Douglas dissects him. He is a vampire. [x] “The Night Sets” A solipsist universe, built to fool one man. [y]“Cistern” A little girl, morbidly attracted to the people who live in a cistern, beneath the water. [z] “The Next in Line” Tourists in Mexico, and a native cemetery, where those who do not pay rent are dug up as mummies. A wife has premonitions of death. An excellent crime story. ***The British edition lacks stories [k], [m], [n], [o], [p], and [x]. ***An excellent collection of the finest American horror stories since Poe. ***First paperback edition: as The October Country, Ballantine, F139, 1955, 276 pp., pa .50¢ [nineteen stories, excluding: [e], [f], [h], [k], [l], [m], [n], [q], [t], [v], and [x]]

Weird Tales, Vol. 21, No. 4,
Issue 112, April 1933

Revelations in Black”
by Carl Jacobi
Cover art: J. Allen St. John

25. 
Jacobi, Carl [Richard] 
Revelations in Black
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1947  272            $3.00
3,082 copies printed.
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Short stories. ***[a] “Revelations in Black” (Weird Tales, Vol. 21, No. 4, Issue 112, April 1933). A vampire story, in which the vampire is encountered through a madman’s book. ***Well-handled and different from the usual vampire story. [b] “Phantom Brass” Survival after death; a dead man’s warning saves a train. [c] “The Cane” (Weird Tales, Vol. 23, No. 4, Issue 124, April 1934). It is made from a death-tree, and carries out vengeance against the enemies of its former owner. [d] “The Coach on the Ring” A strangely archaic-sounding story about a curse, whereby a wicked German noble, Hensdorf, is doomed to ride 200 years. A ring is the token of the curse. The narrator sees the curse end and the ring turn blank. [e] “The Kite” Tibetan magic reflects the ebb and fall of life, as punishment for profaning a shrine. [f] “Canal” (Startling Stories, Vol. 10, No. 3, Issue 30, Spring 1944) & (Starwind, Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring 1976). ***Science fiction. ***Mars is eternally split in two by a space-warp. A criminal wanders along the great canal in search of a rare drug and discovers the reason for the space-warp. [g] “The Satanic Piano”(Weird Tales, Vol. 23, No. 5, Issue 125, May 1934). It plays the music in the player’s mind. [h] “The Last Drive” (Weird Tales, Vol. 21, No. 6, Issue 114, June 1933). A dead speed maniac, whose corpse is being transported, grabs the wheel of a truck. [i] “The Spectral Pistol” It was made to shoot werewolves, and has power of its own. [j] “Sagasta’s Last” (Strange Stories, Vol. 2, No. 1, Issue 4, August 1939). A telescope made from Yezidee sand shows psychic phenomena, including the revenge of a dead woman, whose dead hands strangle the man who injured her. [k] “The Tomb from Beyond” (Wonder Stories, Vol. 5, No. 4, Issue 52, November 1933). An excellent horror story about a tomb lifted from the sunken city of Dras in the East Indies. It is the focal point for a monster from another dimension. [l] “The Digging at Pistol Key” (Weird Tales, Vol. 39, No. 11, Issue 236, July 1947) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 4, September 1947). Voodoo revenge for murder. [m] “Moss Island” (Amazing Stories Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 1, Issue 17, Winter 1932) & (Amazing Stories, Vol. 40, No. 4, Issue 419, February 1966). A plant substance like a hormone causes fantastic growth and leaves the island covered with a growth sky-high. [n] “Carnaby’s Fish” (Weird Tales, Vol. 38, No. 6, Issue 224, July 1945) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 38, No. 3, September 1945). Mermen, loreleis, and inhuman monsters. [o] “The King and the Knave” A deck of ancient magical cards traps an adulterer in a game with fate. [p] “Cosmic Teletype” (Thrilling Wonder Stories, Vol. 12, No. 2, Issue 14, October 1938). It offers communication with another planet and almost leads to world conquest. [q] “A Pair of Swords” (Weird Tales, Vol. 22, No. 2, Issue 116, August 1933). Ghosts duel. [r] “A Study in Darkness” A rat-god’s image is activated and attacks people, until defeated by the power of light. [s] “Mive” (Minnesota Quarterly, Fall 1928) & (Weird Tales, Vol. 19, No. 1, Issue 97, January 1932) A swamp with giant carnivorous butterflies and a vision of a civilization destroyed by the butterflies. ***This contest-winning story introduced Jacobi to readers of Weird Tales (January 1932). [t] “Writing on the Wall” A doodler’s designs show contact with minds from beyond the solar system who plot to steal Earth’s atmosphere. [u] “The Face in the Wind” (Weird Tales, Vol. 27, No. 4, Issue 148, April 1936). An excellent horror tale about harpies who assume human shape and are warded off by a sacred wall. ***Many of the stories are excellent, but not all are at the same level. Mr. Jacobi’s forte is not science fiction. [a], [k], [m], [s], [u] are recommended as intense and original stories. ***First U.S. paperback edition: Jove, Y4744, 1978, 318 pp., pa $1.95.

Scan courtesy Earl Terry Kemp Collection  

Unknown Worlds, Vol. 5, No. 3, Issue 27, October 1941
“Smoke Ghost”
by Fritz Leiber

26. 
Leiber, Fritz [Reuter], Jr. 
Night’s Black Agents
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1947  x/237            $3.00
3,084 copies printed.
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Science fiction and horror stories. The supernatural stories are mostly based upon the concept that our modern culture will develop its own sort of supernatural beings, not conventional ghosts. ***[a] “Smoke Ghost” (aka “The Thing on the Roof,” Unknown, Vol. 5, No. 3, Issue 27, October 1941). A sooty being that is the incarnation of the city’s ugliness and viciousness. [b] “The Automatic Pistol” (Weird Tales, Vol. 35, No. 3, Issue 193, May 1940) & (Unearth, Vol. 2, No. 4, Issue 8, Winter 1979). A pistol that is treasured by a gangster shoots down the gangster’s murderer. [c] “The Inheritance” The nephew of a dead policeman who had secretly been a psychopathic murderer experiences some of the horrible crimes that his uncle had committed and was planning to commit. [d] “The Hill and the Hole” (Unknown, Vol. 6, No. 2, Issue 32, August 1942) & (Unknown (UK), Vol. 6, No. 4, February 1943). A ghost story not too far removed from the tradition of M.R. James. ***What appears to be an ordinary hill to a surveyor is revealed to a psychic little girl as a depression inhabited by living skeletons. [e] “The Dreams of Albert Moreland” (The Acolyte, Vol. 3, No. 2, Issue 10, Spring 1945) & (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 7, September 1948) A professional chess player dreams of a fantastically complex game, far beyond chess, which he plays nightly with some unknown entity. When he makes an error, he disappears. [f] “The Hound” (Weird Tales, Vol. 36, No. 8, Issue 208, November 1942) & (Weird Tales (Canada), Vol. 36, No. 8, March 1943). A modernized werewolf story. [g] “Diary in the Snow” The diary of a science-fiction author who is trying to write a story while alien monsters invade the Earth through his mind. [h] “The Man who Never Grew Young” (Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 9, February 1949) & (Twilight Zone, Vol. 1, No. 12, March 1982). After World War III time moves backwards, and people are born from graves. [i] “Adept’s Gambit” (Fantastic Stories of Imagination, Vol. 13, No. 5, Issue 115, May 1964). Fantasy in the Hellenistic Near East. The mood is magic of the anything-goes sort. ***When Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, two soldiers of fortune, are in Tyre, a curse is put on them: every woman they kiss will turn into a pig or snail, respectively for each. They find life unbearable, and seek out Ningauble of the Seven Eyes for information about breaking the curse. They start then on an adventurous quest for an unknown adept, whom they meet and kill by destroying his life-token. Other elements include necromancy, interlinked personalities etc. [j] “The Sunken Land” (Unknown, Vol. 5, No. 5, Issue 29, February 1942) & (Unknown (UK), Vol. 5, No. 5, March 1942). A supernatural novel that combines the adventure technique of the previous story with Lovecraftian motives. ***Fafhrd is shanghaied on board Lavas Laerk’s ship, which is on the way to raid the sunken land of Simorgya. When they reach Simorgya, which has just risen from the sea, Lavas Laerk unwittingly releases a swarm of pre-human monstrosities, and Fafhrd barely escapes to the Gray Mouser’s rescuing boat. ***[a], [d], [e], [h] are very good, easily among the best modern American horror tales. ***First paperback edition: Ballantine, U508K, 1961, 143 pp., pa .35¢.

Barker Dragon Books first publication
D40, 1959, 192 pp., pa 2/6
“The Travelling Grave” by L.P. Hartley

27. 
Hartley, L(eslie) P(oles) 
The Travelling Grave,
and Other Stories
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1948  235            $3.00
2,047 copies printed.
Jacket by Frank Utpatel.

Intricately suggestive short stories from two earlier volumes, Night Fears (1924) and The Killing Bottle (1932). ***Including [a] “A Visitor From Down Under” A vengeful revenant. A familiar theme, but handled with new understanding and brilliance. [b] “Podolo” A dark uncanny story of a horrible monster that lurks on the island of Podolo. [c] “Three, or Four, for Dinner” A modern version of the Don Juan motif. ***Brash English travelers invite a dead man to dinner, and he accepts. [d] “The Travelling Grave” A puzzling tour-de-force about an automatic coffin that digs its way into the floor. [e] “Feet Foremost” Lady Elinor haunts Low Threshold Hall, and kills anyone who invites her into the Hall. ***An excellent treatment of a conventional theme. [f] “The Cotillon” A revenant comes to a ball to confront the girl who teased him. [g] “A Change of Ownership” A ghost story. Revenge when the murderer tries to take over the ghost’s property. [h] “The Thought” Henry Greenstream is pursued by cosmic vengeance, which finally catches up with him. [i] “Conrad and the Dragon” A cynically ironic fairytale of a princess who was a dragon. [j] “The Island” A horror murder story with insinuations of return of the dead. [l] “The Killing Bottle” Horror, madness, murder, and vision that saves. ***Excellent suggestion and adumbration, for the most part, although occasionally we might appreciate a little more directness. Mr. Hartley is also unusual in mingling grim humor with his horror. ***First paperback edition: Barker Dragon Books, D40, 1959, 192 pp., pa 2/6 [nine stories, excluding: [c], [f], and [j]]

28. 
Wandrei, Donald 
The Web of Easter Island
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1948  191            $3.00
3,068 copies printed.
Jacket by Audrey Johnson.

A short novel composed of very diverse ingredients: a basis of Lovecraft mythology and narrative method; passages of lurid sex; and van Vogt-like science fiction. ***Originally titled “Dead Titans, Waken.” ***As in the Lovecraft mythos, Earth was once inhabited by tremendously potent beings [the Titans] who now dwell outside in exile, awaiting a time to return. When the stars are in the proper position, they have a chance to recover their ancient domain-if no one interferes. In England, not too far from Stonehenge, is the Vadia, an incalculably old road that leads to a prehistoric “cemetery.” There, in a mysterious time-crypt that captures trespassing humans, is to be found the Keeper of the Seal, which manages to emerge when the Time is near. It is in the form of a little stone image. The image is found, and is removed. Calamities attend all who touch it. A British amateur archeologist and occultist tracks down the image, and finally chances upon Easter Island when the moment comes. He provides the resistance necessary to prevent the conquest by the Titans, but is cast into the far future by the energy of the event. There he interferes once again, and it seems that he will travel down time, each occasion preventing the return of the entities from outside. ***Not up to the standard of some of Mr. Wandrei’s short stories. (First appearance.) ***First paperback edition: Consul, HS1035, 1961, 174 pp., pa 2/6.

Jarrolds first edition
1948, 176 pp., pa 9/6
“The Fourth Book of Jorkens” by Lord Dunsany

29. 
Dunsany, Lord [Pseudo. of Plunkett, Edward John Morton Drax]
The Fourth Book of Jorkens
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI  1948  194            $3.00
3,118 copies printed.
First edition, Jarrolds; London  1948  176 9/6)
Jacket by Ronald Clyne.

Short stories, mostly tall-tales concerning Jorkens. ***Including [a]”Making Fine Weather”  Irony about a scientist who made a storm. [b] “Mgamu” African witchcraft and magic. [c] “The Haunting of Halahanstown” Mrs. O’Rooney, Halahanstown. [d] “The Pale Green Image” It causes its new owner to kill its former owner. [e] “Jorkens Leaves Prison” A catapult made from a naturally elastic tree. [f] “The Warning” A madman worries whether machines are acquiring reason and personality. [g] “The Sacred City of Karkovlitz” [h] “Jorkens Practices Medicine and Magic” [i] “Jorton’s Disease” Jarton created a disease from his imagination, and fell the first victim to it. [j] “On the Other Side of the Sun” [k] “The Rebuff” Communication with Mars by enormous lighted patterns. [l] “Jorken’s Ride” [m] “The Secret of the Sphinx” Once a century the sphinx assumes human form and tells why she smiles. [n] “The Khamseen” [o] “The Expulsion” A sequel to “The Club Secretary.” A secretary is expelled when it is discovered that he had written only half a line; without the secretary’s knowledge, Rogers had written the other half years before. [p] “The Welcome” [q] “By Command of the Pharaoh” Jorkens removes an Egyptian soul-boat from its site, and the ghost of the Pharaoh tries to kill him. [r] “A Cricket Problem” [s] “A Life’s Work” [t] “The Ingratiating Smile” [u] “The Last Bull” [v] “The Strange Drug of Doctor Caber” The drug changes a man’s odor so that his own dog does not recognize him. [w] “A Deal with the Devil” A clerk sells his soul for the ability to recognize horse-race winners. [x] “Strategy at the Billiards Club” Jorkens explains the craters on the moon: a once great civilization destroyed by atomic warfare. [y] “Jorkens in Witch Wood” A small wood, which is beneath a witch’s curse; persons wandering in it after dark become lost. [z] “Lost” An old pundit gives a man a spell for returning to the past. He goes back, and is clapped into a lunatic asylum. [aa] “The English Magnifico” [bb] “The Cleverness of Doctor Caber” Caber has an invention for counteracting gravity. [cc] “Fairy Gold” A leprechaun and his pot of gold. [dd] “A Royal Dinner” [ee] “A Fight with Knives” [ff] “Out West” [gg] “In a Dim Room” ***Some excellent tales that are the equal of earlier stories in the series. ***First paperback edition: Jarrolds, nd, pa np.

Scan courtesy Earl Terry Kemp Collection  

Weird Tales, Vol. 31, No. 1,
Issue 168, January 1938

“Roads” by Seabury Quinn
Cover art: Margaret Brundage

30. 
Quinn, Seabury [Grandin] 
Roads
Arkham House; Sauk City, WI 1948  110            $2.00
2,337 copies printed.
Illustrated and jacket by Virgil Finlay.

A long short story by one of the more prolific authors in old Weird Tales (Vol. 31, No. 1, Issue 168, January 1938). ***It is the story of Claus, a Northern mercenary and gladiator in Jerusalem, around the beginning of the Christian era. Claus saves the life of the infant Jesus, and later is kind to Jesus upon the cross, whereupon he is given eternal life (as long as his duty is necessary) and serves Jesus. As he moves up through the centuries, he becomes Santa Claus. ***This reader prefers some of Mr. Quinn’s occult detective stories. ***No paperback edition.

- - -
Science fiction prozine cover scans Courtesy Jacques Hamon Collection http://www.collectorshowcase.fr

To be concluded in eI45, August 2009.


And what is literature, Rabo, but an insider’s newsletters about affairs relating to molecules, of no importance to anything in the Universe but a few molecules who have the disease called “thought.”
        —Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard


The Big Show

by Earl Terry Kemp

We were almost ready for the Big Show, my father and I, all we had to do was drop his dog off at the kennel, and we were off. Excitement had been mounting all week as the days had ticked off until it was finally Saturday, and tomorrow, March 29, we would be attending the Paperback Collectors Show & Sale in Mission Hills (Los Angeles), California.

For those that do not know, this is an annual event hosted by mega collector Tom Lesser, and Rose Idlet of Black Ace Books. It is always well attended by a crowd of regulars. In this small group of like-minded individuals it is very easy to develop close ties. Half the fun of going to this show is seeing, visiting, hanging out, and, of course, eating, with old friends.

Dog downloaded.

Gas.

We are well and truly on our way. Finally…

It is about ten in the morning as we speed down the freeway. It is not too hot, yet, but it gets warmer as we hit the desert floor on our journey from Arizona through the Mohave Desert. At the most remote part, furthest from any civilization, we stop to drop off our good friend, Carlos. We have arranged to return to that same spot at high noon on Monday, and get in touch with him once more.

I glance back over my shoulder as we spin dust and sand in the air going down the road, all I can see is his serape and sombrero, and a faint wisp of smoke from his pipe. All is well.

Uneventful miles later, we reach the normal congestion that is the Los Angeles freeway system. Painful memories of long commutes, hours spent in traffic, flash back almost overwhelming me with the delight that I now live so far from any real point of civilization that weeks can go by without seeing anyone, even a distant car.

Oh well, it is still worth the moments of undeniable terror, after all, we are in the big city headed for the Big Show, all is still well…

We check in, it is just after noon, confusion begins. First with the room arrangements, no big deal. Next, the expected crowds of familiar faces are obviously not there. We consult, deciding maybe a late lunch will help materialize our old friends.

A long, very tasty lunch turns into a leisurely afternoon of killing time. Hours pass. Even the novelty of a television with over fifty channels, a few in English, wears thin. So, another sandwich, not wanting to spoil the expected usual dinner.

Evening comes. We are getting a bit worried. No old friends. No notes at the Front Desk. Finally, a clue, the phone in our room is not working. A wire dangles behind it disconnected, the plug-in socket on the wall, non-existent.

An annoying room change is required. Settled in again. Now it is getting late. We have been receiving relayed phone updates from our friend, Robert Speray, since late afternoon. None of the times set have been met. Night is creeping into the room. My father lives on farm time, up with the sun, and to bed when it sets. It is too early for me.

I spend some time watching a fascinating program. Some local bar is plugging videos from various contests featuring girls doing unmentionable things. However, it is the advertisement offering home delivery for Medicinal Marijuana that catches my eye. As I hastily write down the number, I wonder if they have a doctor doing the delivery, so he can write prescriptions for the sick and needy.

In the Police State of Arizona, even thinking about such things is outlawed. The punishment is hard labor in a work camp, wearing an ill-fitting pink jumpsuit, and forced to eat spoiled green bologna. Arizona is an enlightened state of being.

No time to pursue this thought. There is a knock on the door, at long last, it is Speray. I am saved from an eight o’clock bedtime. He immediately convinces both of us that our attendance at Tom Lesser’s annual exhibitor-payback Saturday Party Before the Big Show is mandatory.

We are both pushovers and follow Speray out the door.

Tom and his wife throw a lovely party for the show retailers, filled with fans and writers. Making my rounds through the crowded hallways, I spot my father standing with Dick Lupoff. He waves me over showing me Lupoff’s latest book. It is Fox B. Holden’s The Time Armada, with Introductions by my father and Lupoff. A very impressive looking book, a wonderful homage to an old-time science fiction writer who Lupoff knew.

One thing leads to another and Lupoff and I are shortly deep in a discussion about Sam Moskowitz’ The Immortal Storm, Jack Speer, and Chicago fandom of William Hamling’s era.

Basically it is a discussion about young fifteen-year-old fan projects becoming professional ones, and all stemming from the first appearance of the “Silver Fox” Holden in Hamling’s Imagination, as now reprinted by Lupoff’s Surinam Turtle Press.

Another high point, aside from the walls at the Lesser residence covered by original paperback cover paintings by famous icons of pulpdom. One fan had brought three pen sketches done by Roy Krenkel of Burroughs’ fame. All such artwork was a pleasure to behold.

Time flew by, meeting and renewing old acquaintances, much later we all stumbled back to the motel with a rosy and toasty glow, ready for the challenges of the morrow.

Peter S. Beagle with June and Len Moffatt.

We are up early the next morning, and practically first at the buffet style breakfast. This is good, it gives us time to eat before chatting with friends over coffee. We are delighted when fandom’s cutest couple, Len and June Moffatt, join us. Soon fantasy writer, Michael Kurland and his wife, Linda, become a part of our small morning group.

I ask Michael about the circumstances that led him to posthumously finish some of H. Beam Piper’s work (H. Beam Piper: First Cycle). He gives me a fascinating answer, detailing how much was his original contribution.

Over coffee, I listen to Len and June give an impressive listing of some of their current projects, such as a parody of Sherlock Holmes in verse. This interests Michael Kurland enough to want to continue the discussion after the Big Show. So, talk starts projects, which become bigger and more elaborate. This is one of the best things about attending the Big Show.

Time flies during the press of conversation, the show had begun. I retrieve my stuff, books for signing, want list, and camera.

How to describe the Big Show? Words fail, so look at the pictures.

Ron Blum, Kayo Books, San Francisco, with fabulous illustrations.

It is crowded with people slowly edging down packed aisles alongside of tables stacked with hardbound books, paperbacks, pulps, and artwork. Everything is truly wonderful. I want everything I see, from the signed first edition of Robert Heinlein’s The Green Hills of Earth, to the Bob Bonfils illustrations at Ron Blum’s table. Any idea of using my want list has fallen to the wayside, it is too busy and there is too much to see to waste time on a detailed search of any kind. So, I wander around, just trying to take it all in.

William F. Nolan, after signing my book, with Tom Lesser.

Across the room, I see William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run). He is one of the writer’s I really wanted to see. I take out my copy of Max Brand: The Man and His Works (edited by Darrell Richardson, FPCI, 1952), racing over to Nolan. Panting, I hold the book up shyly. He smiles. He recognizes it with some small delight, telling me that yes, it does contain his very first work. Even more, he writes all this as he signs my copy.

I am truly in collectors’ heaven.

After using my elbows to press through the crowd, I have made my first circuit. It is time to visit with my father, Earl Kemp, as he takes up the high chair to pontificate and sign sleazebooks.

Porn writer, Jerry Murray, was supposed to have come, but at the last minute canceled out due to illness.

Old time family friend, Frank Robinson, was also on the list, and once more he did not show. Talking with Tom Lesser, I mention the rumor that someone is circulating a petition asking that Frank no longer offer to attend this event only to cancel at the last minute year-after-year. Tom smiles.

(Left) Beebo Brinker Chronicles postcard signed by creator, Ann Bannon.
(Right) Ann Bannon and Earl Kemp…the second cutest couple at the show.

All is not lost, sitting next to my father is the beautiful Ann Bannon. Ann’s writing has had a resurgence in recent years. The adventures of her main character, Beebo Brinker, have been made into an off-Broadway play and now are headed for the big screen.

Wandering on, I spot Karen Anderson with her confidante, Michelle Pincus, from LASFS. I corner Peter S. Beagle and he signs my book, an anthology containing his short story, “Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros,” which he tells me is his favorite.

Sitting next to Beagle is writer Mel Gilden. For those who do not know Mel’s work, take the time. He does that very hard thing, humor. So, while he signs Surfing Samurai Robots for me, he tells me an engaging story about the person it is dedicated to. It just so happens that Ms. Laurie, Woman of Mystery, is standing nearby. Mel points to Barbara Hambly, tells me to have the tall woman she is talking to sign my book as well. It turns out that Laurie is Laurie Perry, editor for Hambly.

Small world…

The morning session is nearly done, lunch beckons.

Lynn Monroe, dealer, signing his article in my copy of Sin-A-Rama.

Mel Gilden signing Surfing Samurai Robots.

I drop off my gear in the room, trotting back to collect my father and the rest of the gang. Sidestep: I catch Larry Niven alone, there I am, trying my best to captivate one of my favorite writers. Next I bump into one of the more fascinating, and mysterious, attendees, Jeffery Marathon Charles. I have to ask what he is doing with George Clayton Johnson (Logan’s Run), and he tells me.

Now, I have known Clayton almost all of my life. He is one of the few older fans or writers that I have known that have gone out of their way to greet me at all times. A life-long friendship has developed between us due to this.  It appears that the mysterious Jeffery Marathon Charles is filming a documentary about our mutual friend. I can hardly wait to see it…

Jeffery Marathon Charles (left) filming George Clayton Johnson (right).

I managed to take one more photo before lunch, of the irascible David Gerrold (“The Trouble with Tribbles”), always a favorite.

Lunch was fabulous, so I really should not complain, but, well, you see, it’s like this. It took too long. Really my own fault, but, well, like I missed both Harry Turtledove and more importantly, Charles Nuetzel. I have been wanting to see Nuetzel since he wrote an article about his father, the artist, for my father’s eZine. Next year…

At about this time, the usual annual changes and challenges had descended on the Big Show. Fred Pohl did not attend. Let me tell you, this was a severe loss, even if expected. Ray Bradbury cancelled at the last minute. Need I say more.

Louis Charbonneau, with granddaughter.

David Gerrold

Once again, Tom Lesser managed to pull several magic tricks, foremost was when he materialized Jerry Pournelle.

After chatting with Jerry, I swung around to the other signing room, and caught old-time, long-time, science fiction writer, Louis Charbonneau. His appearance at the Big Show was really a major feather in Lesser’s cap.

Not wanting to stand in another long line, waiting for Niven  (the longest line at the event), I had wandered around a bit, buying a few books off my want list. The Big Show was starting to wind down, bargains, negotiations…deals were being readily made. So, I made a few. And as chance, or luck, would have it, ran into Larry Niven again, all alone, so he signed and signed, and posed for several photos. Great man.

Prof. Rob Latham, Eaton Collection liaison, offers a course in science fiction studies leading to a Ph.D. degree at UCRiverside. Rob dropped by to visit with my father by pre-arrangement. Also, Mike Buckner, one of my ex-brother-in-laws, long out of the picture. Mike, it turns out, has become quite a fan, purchasing stacks of Greenleaf Classics (most with my father as the cover model for paintings done by Bob Bonfils), and chatting up dealers and other collectors.

Mark Schirmeister with Earl Kemp, Rob Latham, and Mike Buckner. Quite a distinguished lot!

While Mike, my father, and I renewed old acquaintance, we watched the Big Show come to a close. Like phantoms in the dark, all wisps of smoke and fog, first the crowd and then the displays disappeared, leaving not even a piece of paper behind.

It was over, the Big Show. I can hardly wait for next year.

Even though the Big Show was over, the event was just getting into full swing. After blowing off the Big Top, the Tribe meets over dinner, drinks, and smoke, to discuss the event. Arrangements are made during our deliberations to bring stray members back into the fold. Visits to hermits, with gifts, and piles of paintings to be signed, are planned.

After a fine, tasty meal of Chinese, the Tribe, consisting of some seven members, made their way to the specified suite for the SerCon After Hours Main Event. This is an annual event, sponsored by the Illuminati, a resident Los Angeles sub-group closely affiliated with all such fannish events. Membership is not at all exclusive, new members are constantly being sought, encouraged, and enrolled.

The Refreshment Committee procured a dozen bottles of top-shelf wine, and much more beer. More than enough for all, including several stragglers who missed dinner, still making their displays disappear, but having finally found their way to the SerCon.

The Medicinal Marijuana Committee had been busy all day as usual. Doctor appointments had been made, kept, and prescriptions obtained. A special envoy had made the long and arduous journey across town to the all-night bar and nude strip joint to obtain the now legal medicine that is a requirement for some of the more sick and demented members of the Tribe.

The appearance of a local magazine, La Jemm (Los Angeles Journal for Education on Medical Marijuana), kicked off the political focus group with a panel discussion about the relative merits of quality, quantity, and price. The 140-page, locally published magazine contains everything that an interested buyer needs. Possession of this magazine in the Police State of Arizona is probably forbidden and will result in a deep body cavity search. The magazine, as well as all such discussion, was a breath of fresh air, filled with the dense, thick, tasty, and very heady, smoke of freedom.

The cover photo of the April 2009 issue is of President Obama.

After sampling various wares, among them Strawberry Cough, which deserved its name, all members of the political action group were in agreement that it is high time the President legalize, and so stop the unnecessary violence on all of our borders.

The next order of business went to the Wine Tasting panel. Business broke down in chaos as members vacillated between wanting more, and more wine and beer, before making any choice known.

As the hours passed, and the din of conversation became louder, some concerns were voiced after midnight about addressing the regular pounding coming through the walls and ceiling. All attending members voted to ignore such unsolicited forms of communication.

With the wee hours of morning approaching, much esoteric information about many forgotten tomes was exchanged between attending members. Bottle after bottle was emptied and finally, through a dense purple haze of Strawberry Cough, the SerCon was officially closed after 3 am.

Some members needed repeated reminding of this as the revolving door never seemed to close.

Richard Lupoff and Earl Kemp, incurable romantics.

But at long last, night ended, and weary and hung-over, we made it to the motel’s buffet breakfast. While waiting for last-minute deals to be consummated, I had a wonderful chat with Michael Kurland and his wife, Linda, who it turns out is an attorney.  It seems we all share an interest in stories about our inept and incompetent members of Law Enforcement.

Sadly, all things must end, we waved goodbye to our friends and drove off into the hell that is the Los Angeles freeway system. Not soon enough we were free of the bump-and-crash style of driving that is practiced in that city and found ourselves almost alone heading out into the deep desert.

Out on the floor of the wind-swept sandy reaches we found our old friend, Carlos, again. Right on time, he had been waiting, sure in the knowledge that we would bring him a little treat.

Much later the last of the Strawberry Cough was gone. The memory of the smoke still lingers, even now, with the fine time my father and I had at the Big Show.

In spite of a very shaky beginning, the Big Show was a colossal success. The best one yet. I could tell. My father still had a big grin on his face, long after we downloaded the dog and turned off the engine.


This is what I find most encouraging about the writing trades: They allow mediocre people who are patient and industrious to revise their stupidity, to edit themselves into something like intelligence. They also allow lunatics to seem saner than sane.
        —Kurt Vonnegut


“Robot Worship,” by Ditmar [Martin James Ditmar Jenssen]

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