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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ferdinand Feghoot: Ephemera & Anecdotes (II)

The information below comes from the seller:

Reginald Bretnor's original copy of his contract with Pulphouse for their publication of THE COLLECTED FEGHOOT, along with a letter from the publisher, both stapled together with a Receipt for Certified Mail from the U.S. Post Office dated May 19, 1992 and originating in Eugene, Oregon. The letter is typewritten on Pulphouse's letter stationary, dated May 7, 1992, and signed simply "Mark." The contract is signed doubly signed and dated: 1) "Aug. 10 1991 Reginald Bretnor" on one side and 2) "5/7/92 Dean Wesley Smith dba Pulphouse Publishing" on the other. The letter purports to be further accompanied by signature sheets, with instructions as to how they should be signed and returned. The contract presents all the nitty gritty details, including a $2000 advance on 6% royalties (sorry if I spoiled the ending....)
These documents were from the estate of the famous science fiction writer, who in addition to having had many fine works published in his own name had also written fiction under his birth-name Alfred Reginald Kahn and also had plays and poems published under the nom de plume Gren Grobis. His "Through Time & Space with Ferdinand Feghoot" adventures he credited to Grendel Briarton, an anagram of his legal name, having officially dropped his first name, promoted his middle name, and made substitution of his Father's surname with his Mother's maiden name.
The Feghoot episodes were first published in 1956 by the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, which would publish over half of the ultimate total of 112, the remainder being serialized in Venture, Asimov's, Amazing, and Pulphouse magazines. Four anthologies would be produced, each containing the entire Feghoot chronicle up to the time of publication. Pulphouse's THE COLLECTED FEGHOOT was the last of these, published shortly before the author's death in 1992.


Reginald Bretnoraka Grendel Briarton, Gren Briarton, Gren Grobis, Alfred Reginald Kahn (1911-1992)
In the world of professional science fiction writers Reginald Bretnor was a respected elder statesman, and also one of the first authors ever to write a scholarly text ABOUT science ficiton (Modern Science Fiction: Its Meaning and Its Future, 1953)
A key and founding member of the Institute for Twenty First Century Studies -- headed by Theodore Cogswell who served as the Institute's secretary and editor of its proceedings (PITFCS) -- Bretnor was also one of this important journal's major contributors. The group, consisting of a veritable Who's Who in Science Fiction (then between 100 and 125 strong), would disband around 1963, only to regroup and expand under the banner of the SFWA, the Science Fiction Writer's of America (the folks who present the 'Nebula Awards.') Naturally, Reg was a founding member of the SFWA as well, and for decades was a regular fixture at major and minor science fiction and fantasy conventions, especially on the west coast.
Reg is perhaps best remembered for his humorous stories, best exemplified in his Papa Schimmelhorn stories and the pseudonymously penned Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot. Ferdinand Feghoot outlived his creator by at least a decade, and apparently he also knew ♫ the way to San José ♫, having been the "Fictional Guest of Honor" at the 2002 World Science Fiction Convention, ConJosé.


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