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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hannes Bok Illustrations, 1948


L Sprague De Camp, author, Wheels of If Shasta. Hannes Bok, Illustrator. 1948, with brilliant dustjacket art by Hannes Bok (Wayne Woodard).

From wikipedia:

Wayne Woodard (the name is sometimes mistakenly rendered as "Woodward") was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the first stop in a peripatetic youth. His parents divorced when he was five; and his father and stepmother, strict disciplinarians, discouraged his artistic efforts. Once he graduated high school, in Duluth, Minnesota, Bok cut off contact with his father and moved to Seattle to live with his mother. There he became active in SF fandom, including the publication and illustration of fanzines. It was in connection with these activities that he originated his pseudonym, first "Hans", then "Hannes", Bok. The pseudonym derives from Johann Sebastian Bach (whose name can be rendered both as "Johann S. Bach" and "Johannes Bach").

Henry Kuttner (1958)

Recently seen on the "ebayeum" (for about $85 starting bid). The seller states:

This is a copy of Henry Kuttner—A Memorial Symposium, edited and published by Karen Anderson in August 1958. It consists of 36 well-mimeographed pages, brad-bound in a stiff cardstock folder. Only about 100 copies were produced. This copy is in excellent condition.

Contributors to the symposium include Poul and Karen Anderson, Robert Bloch, Anthony Boucher, Ray Bradbury, Fritz Leiber, and Kuttner himself (a story reprinted from a 1948 fanzine and excerpts from a letter). Donald H. Tuck also contributed a bibliography of Kuttner’s work. There is artwork by Edd Cartier and John Grossman.

Henry Kuttner was born in Los Angeles, California in 1915. He sold his first story, “The Graveyard Rats,” to Weird Tales in early 1936. Kuttner was known for his literary prose and worked in close collaboration with his wife, C. L. Moore. They met through their association with the “Lovecraft Circle,” a group of writers and fans who corresponded with H. P. Lovecraft. Their work together spanned the 1940s and 1950s and most of it was credited to pseudonyms, mainly Lewis Padgett and Lawrence O’Donnell.

Kuttner wrote a number of stories in the ‘30s in the world of the Cthulhu Mythos, which was invented by Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and others. His work influenced quite a few other writers including Ray Bradbury, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Richard Matheson and Roger Zelazny. He died of a heart attack at age 42 in February 1958 (referred to in science-fiction fandom as “The Year of the Jackpot,” because it also saw the premature deaths of Cyril M. Kornbluth and Francis Towner Laney).

Proof: Sam Moskowitz Edited "Horror Times Ten"

Recent auction on ebay:

Edited and with an introduction by ALDEN H. NORTON
With special notes by Sam Moskowitz

Actually Ghost Edited by Sam Moskowitz
Signed by the real editor, Sam Moskowitz

New York. 1967. Berkley Books x1414. First edition Paperback original (PBO) anthology with "Berkley Medallion Edition, June 1967" stated on the copyright page. Standard size paperback, approximately 7" tall by 4 1/4" wide. 175 pages. 60 cent cover price.

Signed on the front endpaper, inscribed:

To Joel:
Another volume
I ghost edited
Sam Moskowitz

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rare Leo Margulies Book(1949)

Margulies was a powerful and influential editor for many decades. This book has a "Who's Who" of scietifiction writers spanning the end of Lovecraft's era to the start of the Hydrogen Bomb era.

Farnsworth Wright of 1904

A recent auction showed Wright's (probably) one and only amateur journalism publication. The seller stated:


Farnsworth Wright was a legendary figure in the history of Weird Tales, Pulpdom, and the fictional lives of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Clark Ashton Smith. Were it not for Farnsworth Wright, would the quality of Weird Tales have been as high as it was? Would the artistic freedom he allowed have been present? Would his editorial scrutinies and suggestions to writers that aided their writings have been suggested by other editors? Farnsworth Wright is nearly as major a figure as the writers he promoted!

Farnsworth Wright was only briefly associated with Amateur Journalism and his contributions are few. This is the only issue he ever published himself and is very very rare. I {the seller of item} have never seen another copy of this journal in nearly forty years of collecting and selling in this genre. This is a thin four page issue.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Star Rover 1946


STAR ROVER 1#6 NOV.DEC 1946 MIMEO FANZINE IN FINE SHAPE. F.Lee baldwin was a member of the LOVECRAFT CIRCLE. his stories are very hard to find . there is a EDGAR ALLEN POE Checklist and overall this is a beautiful example of early fanzine output lots of talent here.

The Fantastic Age"., ..John M. Stadter Jr
The Arkansas Time Traveler. Van H. Splawn
Dogmatica..... .......William Young
Forgotten Fantasies .... ...... . .Redd Boggs

A Checklist of Edgar Allen Poe. ....... Van H. Splawn
Island Bees....... F.Lee Ba1dwin

The Dwilla Trees Atlantis Lee
The Unwilling Visitor. . .Walter A. Coslet

Front Cover. ..... Arthur A. McCourt

Editorial Notes. ............ Van H. Splawn
Back Cover . . . . ("Montage from Metropolis")
Van H, Splawn ...

August Derleth, 1963


cover - Prosser
excerpt from the ODD ONE Annish,,,,.,,CIay Hamlin EDITORIAL.............................Phi1 Harrell
THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK..... ,.Marion Zimmer Bradley.
FILLER #97..............................Dean A. Grinnell
FANDOM EQUALS IDENTITY; ,........... ...Beety Kujawa
WISCONSIN DIARY ........................August Derleth
WHAT'S WRONG WITH_FANDOM? .............. .....Edward Wood
WHAT PRICE ENTERTAINMENT?. ..... ,..,,Michael Elm
THE WORLD OF TIM DUMONT .......... ..... Tim Dumont

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

World Horror Convention Progress Report 2

From the ebayeum: This copy of World Horror Convention Progress Report 2 was published by the World Horror Literary Society in 1990, updating the preparations for the February 28-March 3, 1991 convention. This report, sent to registered members of the first-ever world horror convention, features a front cover by Jill Bauman. Interior art by four other artists, with Maxwell and Mayer. The convention line-up included Writer Guest of Honor Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Artist Guest of Honor Jill Bauman and Grand Master Robert Bloch. It was to be held at the Nashville Hyatt Regency, but changed to the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza.

George Barr 1963

From ebay: The Pulp Era No. 61 July 1964 by Lynn A. Hickman (who had been publishing the newsletter 14 years by this point). It was focused on pulp fiction. The printing is nice and dark, clear and easy to read with some illustrations printed in a different color than the text. Front cover art by George Barr, back cover art by Rackham, interior illustrations by George Barr, Dave Prosser, Pat McLean, Mike Holsinger, Robert E. Gilbert, and Pat Scott.

The Difference Between Us by John Phillifent
Down Memory Bank Lane by Terry Jeeves
The Shadow by Dean Grennell

Gene Roddenberry H. S. Yearbook (1939)

Unknown if any of these images are of "Eugene Roddenberry", but it gives a feel of the youth he was surrounded by.

1939 Star Trek Gene Roddenberry High School Yearbook

Of Speical Note: Gene Roddenberry the creator of the science fiction super series and movies Star Trek appears with his Senior Class, and is also in Varsity Debate, Junto Club (President), Spanish Club, International Forum, and Authors Workshop.

Los Angeles California

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wandrei: Issues

Wandrei, Donald. TWO AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED (ALsS). Each one page, on onionskin paper, dated 12 May 1974 and 26 May 1974, to Kirby McCauley, his literary agent, both signed "Don.". The first letter recounts some of the author's health problems as well as those of fantasy author Carl Jacobi, whom he says he plans to go visit as soon as his neighbor Richard L. Tierney, another fantasy author, gets his car fixed - and Tierney hasn't been feeling that well either. Wandrei mentions of some business involving an anthology edited Isaac Asimov containing one of his stories and a royalty check received from Doubleday. The second letter mentions a court case to which Wandrei was a party, apparently involving copyright and contract matters (probably his suit against Arkham House). He urges Kirby to study up on copyright law to make himself a better agent, and closes with some more kvetching and commiserating over health problems. Both letters have old creases where folded for mailing, the first letter has a chip in the upper right margin not affecting content, else both very good to near fine. (#100305)

Wandrei, Donald. FACSIMILE [PHOTOCOPY] AUTOGRAPH NOTE SIGNED (ANS). 1/4 page, dated 27 April 1979, without salutation but enclosed in an envelope with Wandrei's holograph return address, addressed in his hand to T.E.D. Klein. A photocopy on sheet of legal-sized paper of a newspaper clipping annotated by Wandrei. The clipping, from the 21 April 1979 issue of THE DISPATCH, a St. Paul, Minnesota newspaper, is a review of Peter Straub's just-published GHOST STORY. Wandrei appears to be quite exercised by the review and the book itself, perhaps because one of the novel's characters, "a writer of ghost stories," is named Don Wanderley, an obvious nod to Wandrei from Straub, who named other characters in this novel after such figures as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry James. Wandrei says he has made efforts, unsuccessful so far, to track down the reviewer and closes with the rather ominous statement, "Inquiry has begun." This document, mailed to Klein, was apparently part of that inquiry, not addressed to any individual so that Wandrei could make multiple copies of it and send them to various associates. Wandrei was one of the cofounders, with August Derleth, of Arkham House. Klein is an author and editor of sf and fantasy. Old creases where folded for mailing, near fine. (#100304)

Stapledon to Moskowitz

Stapledon, William Olaf. AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED (ALS). 1 page, dated 30 March 1948, to "Dear Mr. [Sam] Moskowitz," signed "Olaf Stapledon," written on Waldorf-Astoria stationery. Declines an invitation to "the meeting and to dinner on Sunday next. Since arriving in this country, I have been desperately rushed, and indeed have not had a spare half hour to deal with my correspondence. It would have pleased me very much to accept, but unfortunately I have to be in Boston on that evening, to lecture, and must regretfully refuse ... I feel that my negligence is inexcusable, but really I have had an extremely busy few days, and am wondering whether I can survive the wild rush of American life until I leave for England by plane on Monday!" Stapledon spent eleven days in the U.S. where he participated in the Cultural and Scientific Congress for World Peace. "As the sole Western European admitted to the conference, he was not only in constant demand for interviews but had been asked to help open the proceedings with a speech at a black-tie dinner in the Waldorf's grand ballroom. A packed itinerary left him little time to take in what was happening, but the luxury of his surroundings amused and disgusted him. The hotel was 'full of extravagantly wealthy people,' Olaf told Agnes, and a microcosm of the whole 'air-conditioned civilization' of America" (Crossley, p. 371). For an account of Stapledon's visit to America, see Crossley. Olaf Stapledon: Speaking for the Future (1994), pp. 369-81. Faint mailing folds, else fine. Accompanied by the mailing envelope. (#96354)

Silverberg to Moskowitz

Silverberg, Robert. SIX TYPED LETTERS SIGNED (TLsS), all to "Dear Sam" [Moskowitz], each about 1/2 page or less, dated: 8 October 1951; 11 February 1952; 14 December n.y.; 17 February 1962; 19 August 1963; 7 July 1968, all signed "Bob.". The letters cover a period of 17 years, starting in 1951, when Silverberg was 16 - and the editor/publisher of a fanzine, SPACESHIP. Moskowitz had written, ordering some back issues as well as a subscription. Silverberg informs him that some of the back issues are sold out and that he will credit this payment for those to extend his subscription. He thanks him for suggestions made about the publication. "I've been working on the artwork problem for quite some time - as well as various other format bugs. The current issue (#14) shows some of the changes which I've made, but the improvements probably won't show for a while... I'll appreciate your comments on the current issue when you get it, and I'd be happy if you'd care to contribute something for one of the future issues." A sign of the early literary activity of Silverberg, who would go on to become not only one of the most prolific sf authors of the postwar period, but one of the most highly-regarded. Writing in Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 1107, Brian Stableford says, "He remains one of the most imaginative and versatile writers ever to have been involved with sf. His productivity has seemed almost superhuman, and his abrupt metamorphosis from a writer of standardized pulp fiction into a prose artist was an accomplishment unparalleled within the field." The second letter, written four months later, from the same Brooklyn address, contains Silverberg's congratulatory comments on M's history of early fandom, THE IMMORTAL STORM, which had just been published. "I thought it a most impressive work, which will probably rank with the FANCYCLOPEDIA, the Kennedy reviews, and other similar works." He suggests that he bring it up to date, saying that he would "probably have a greater sale, since most everybody likes to find his name in a history." In response to an ad by Moskowitz (as a dealer) in STF Trader, the young Silverberg orders an old issue of FANTASY MAGAZINE and asks that it be packed carefully since the "Brooklyn post office gives the mail quite a buffeting." The third letter, its year undated but written sometime after 1956 (since it refers to a magazine story of that year) and with a return address of West End Avenue in New York, is brief, answering a bibliographic question that Moskowitz had evidently asked him. "The Robert Howard story was 'White Smoke Rolled' - DOUBLE ACTION WESTERN Dec. 1956. Not a bad yarn, and sort of a parallel-world fsy." In turn, he asks M (in his capacity as dealer, one imagines) if he has had "Any luck with the Brand book?," presumably referring to Max Brand, the prolific author of Westerns and other genre fiction. The fourth letter, dated 1962, mentions a recent move to Goodridge Avenue in New York and concerns payment for some books bought from Moskowitz, "...Olaf Stapledon at $29.40 and Philip Wylie at $35.28. Ted [Carnell] also notifies me of payment having been made on Shiel and Heard..." Carnell was a British editor, anthologist and literary agent, whose "contribution to UK sf was enormous." - Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 196. Carnell was apparently acting as some sort of agent between Silverberg and Moskowitz. The fifth letter, written about a year and a half later (August 1963), from the same address, is addressed to both Sam and his wife Chris. It refers to the brouhaha with Ted White. Silverberg notes that M's lawsuit against White is coming to trial in October and asks politely but firmly that he not be included among the New York fans that M plans to subpoena as witnesses. "I'm neutral. It's my considered opinion that both sides have merit, and also that both sides are at fault. I wish the whole thing had never blown up. Nothing I could say in court could conceivably help your case - or hurt it either. I ask out of friendship that you refrain from dragging me into it, and if you insist on calling me anyway, well, I'm afraid our friendship will be at an end." He notes that he is busy and doesn't want to lose productive time. "If I told you how much it would cost me to take a day off and testify, it would seem like bragging, so I'll simply point out that you're both professional people and can understand that nobody is going to reimburse me for any time I'm compelled to waste." The last letter, written in 1968, notes that his place on Goodridge Avenue had been damaged in a fire and that he is living temporarily in the Bronx. He mentions some books that he needs to replace, thanks him for the return of a borrowed book and mentions his review of Moskowitz's just-published anthology SCIENCE FICTION BY GASLIGHT. "I hope you'll forgive me for taking a few swipes at your prose style, which isn't getting more elfin with the years. The general tone of the review otherwise can best be summed up by quoting the final line: 'This is a splendid book - an item for the basic s-f shelf.' It sure is. What a fine job!" The lot of six letters provides a sketch of the changing connection between two of the key figures of American genre sf. The first three letters are typed on good-quality note paper, the third with a blue border; the next three are on cheap letter-size paper, browning with age. Sam Moskowitz was one of the pioneers of genre science-fiction scholarship, approaching the subject from historical and sociological as well as literary vantage points; editing anthologies, magazines and book reprint series; and championing the work of obscure authors as well as the genre itself. Though not always meticulous in his research or discerning in his taste, he took seriously a field of literature that academic critics ignored until much later, and blazed many of the trails that they smoothed out later. In saying that he made up in enthusiasm what he lacked in rigor, it could be argued that the former virtue was, at the time, the more needed one. Besides old creases where folded for mailing, the first letter has two faint triangles of offsetting from some other acidic paper at lower corners, the second has a 2 cm hole near the top, above the salutation; else the lot is in very good to fine condition. (#100297)

E Hoffman Price Letters

Price, E. Hoffmann. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 1 page, not dated [circa 1977], to "Dear Amanda" [Jessica Amanda Salmonson]. 34-line letter, enclosing his "tribute and farewell to my good friend Edmond Hamilton" (not present) and discussing mutual interests and Hoffmann's work in progress. "I am batting away at FRIENDS OF YESTERYEAR: FICTIONEERS & OTHERS, and have sent 160 page sample to an agent... I trust and hope that you received my first draft of the essay on THE ORIENTAL FANTASY STORY. If you like it, let me know and I'll edit and clean up for final draft..." Fine. (#96256)

Price, E[dgar] Hoffman. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 1 page, dated 2 January 1975, to "Dear Kirby" [McCauley], signed "Ed Price." On plain letter-size paper with his Redwood City, CA address typed at top. The single-spaced typing looks like that of an old Royal manual, clogged keys and all. Price apologizes for his lateness in answering McCauley's letter; explains he was visiting the ailing Edmond Hamilton and Leigh Brackett Hamilton. When he got home he had to do some astrological forecasts to make a little money to pay for unexpected house and car repairs. Says he's not surprised at McCauley's downbeat estimation of the commercial prospects of his SILVER SERPENT, a novel set in the Tang dynasty of China (published as THE DEVIL WIVES OF LI-FONG in 1979). "... Don't knock yourself out. I'd like a sale, yes, but I do not need a sale. In 1932, I did need sales, and I made them, and survived as a professional. Today, I've made virtually no sales -- and, happily, I do not need to sell. Lucky, what?" Then he launches into an attack on a recent publishing offer. "One of the fan blob 'limited' illiterates … made me a ridiculous offer. I told him to shove it -- if his outfit couldn't dig up the $1000 advance I said I'd settle for…" Adds that he might go east for an autographing party for FAR LANDS, OTHER DAYS, Carcosa's omnibus anthology of his "fantasy and adventure yarns," with "art work for the comic fans, and other illiterates!" Price was part of that generation of pulp fiction writers whose roots go back to the 1920s. He was on friendly terms with most of the others in that generation, including Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard. Many of his works had Oriental settings. He stopped writing for the pulps in the 1950s but resumed writing in the 1970s. Kirby McCauley was probably the most important literary agent of horror, fantasy and sf writers in the boom years of the 1970s and 1980s. Good content. Faint creases where folded for mailing, two tiny faint stains on blank verso, else fine. (#102663)

Price, E[dgar] Hoffman. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS), with handwritten postscript in green ink vertically along left margin. 1 page, dated 21 August 1975, to "Dear Kirby" [McCauley], signed "E. H. P." On plain letter-size paper with his Redwood City, CA address rubber-stamped at top. The single-spaced typing looks like that of an old Royal manual, clogged keys and all. Price opens with news that Oswald Train has accepted "my Seabury Quinn sketch, introduction to ALIEN FLESH... He wondered whether I had any fantasy material." The remainder of the letter is largely devoted to Price's SILVER SERPENT, a fantasy novel set in the Tang dynasty, which McCauley was trying to sell. He discusses marketing and his sources for the novel: a libretto from the Pekin Opera Company; a Chinese novel translated by an associate of Price's; the performance of another Chinese opera, "White and Green," in San Francisco's Chinatown; and sundry bits of Chinese folklore. He compares his making a modern Western novel out of these raw materials to the process by which Bram Stoker made a modern novel out of bits of medieval vampire lore. The SILVER SERPENT was published as THE DEVIL WIVES OF LI-FONG (New York: Ballantine, 1979). Price was part of that generation of pulp fiction writers whose roots go back to the 1920s. He was on friendly terms with most of the others in that generation, including Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard. Many of his works had Oriental settings. He stopped writing for the pulps in the 1950s but resumed writing in the 1970s. Kirby McCauley was probably the most important literary agent of horror, fantasy and sf writers in the boom years of the 1970s and 1980s. Good content. Faint creases where folded for mailing, fine. (#102664)

Price, E[dgar] Hoffman. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 1 page, dated 21 March 1977, to "Dear Kirby" [McCauley], signed "E. H. P." On plain letter-size paper with his Redwood City, CA address rubber-stamped at top. The single-spaced typing looks like that of an old Royal manual, clogged keys and all. Price announces that he has just signed a contract with the Scott Meredith Literary Agency for FRIENDS OF YESTERYEAR, his reminiscence of the pulp fiction days, then devotes the remainder of the letter to the sale of SILVER SERPENT, his Tang Dynasty fantasy novel. He asks McCauley to take the manuscript "out of circulation as soon as possible" and return it to him unless "you have talked ether to Oswald Train, or Lester del Rey" (it would appear that Price is quitting McCauley). Price adds that, before Meredith mailed him the contract for FRIENDS, Lester del Rey asked to see SILVER SERPENT. This happened during a visit with Leigh Brackett Hamilton, whose husband Edmond Hamilton had recently died. Del Rey called, and, when Leigh put Price on the phone to talk with him, the subject of the SILVER SERPENT came up. Del Rey urged Price to submit the manuscript to him, despite Ballantine's earlier rejection of it. "Forget that bounce by Ballantine. I've got a new policy." (The book was, in fact, brought out by Del Rey/Ballantine in 1979 as THE DEVIL WIVES OF LI-FONG.) A interesting look at the informal way that book deals sometimes come about. Price was part of that generation of pulp fiction writers whose roots go back to the 1920s. He was on friendly terms with most of the others in that generation, including Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard. Many of his works had Oriental settings. He stopped writing for the pulps in the 1950s but resumed writing in the 1970s. Kirby McCauley was probably the most important literary agent of horror, fantasy and sf writers in the boom years of the 1970s and 1980s. Good content. Faint crease where folded for mailing, several faint corner creases, fine. (#102665)

George Pal to Moskowitz

Pal, George. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 1/2 page, dated 9 April 1969, to "Dear Sam" [Moskowitz], signed "George." On MGM letterhead stationery with Pal's home address and telephone number penciled in at top. A short note to accompany a check. "So that you don't call me pischer, I'm enclosing my check in the amount of $2.50 which you so kindly laid out for my airport tax in Rio." ("Pischer" is Yiddish for a bumpkin.) Pal also writes that he had tried to reach Moskowitz on a recent visit to New York but couldn't; that he had enjoyed meeting him and "your charming Mrs." and hoped to meet them again soon. Pal was a Hungarian-born film producer whose "Destination Moon" (1950) "initiated the sf film boom of the 1950s." - Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 904. Pal went on to produce and in some cases direct a half-dozen other sf films in the 1950s and 1960s. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, with MGM logo and handwritten note (on front), "I'd photocopy the check for your records." Faint creases where folded for mailing, two staple holes at top left corner, fine, as is the envelope. (#100294)

McIlwraith to Derleth on Bradbury

McIlwraith, Dorothy. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 1/2 page on WEIRD TALES letterhead, signed "Mac", dated 10 January 1945, to "Dear August" [August Derleth]. Thanks Derleth for his letter of January 2, and responds to his comments about a recent issue of WEIRD TALES. She promises to avoid a "consistently flippant" tone; says she's gratified that "you agree with us that [Ray] Bradbury is a good addition to the list"; observes that WEIRD TALES readers "write us very much more frequently than those of SHORT STORIES." Assures Derleth that his "friendship for the magazine is one of out most valued assets... ." Arkham House in 1945 was ramping up its production, issuing six titles that year, on its way towards becoming the dominant specialty press publisher of supernatural fiction. McIlwraith was the third editor at WEIRD TALES, overseeing issues from May 1940 through September 1954, a period of decline, admittedly, after the magazine's heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. The letter documents a connection between the most important periodical and book markets for weird fiction in the mid-century period. Faint fold creases short closed tear in left margin, near fine overall. (#116742)

A Merritt Letters

LW Currey

Merritt, A[braham]. ELEVEN TYPED LETTERS SIGNED (TLsS) to T. Everett Harre, mostly short and to the point, dealing with editorial matters involving one or the other or both men, written over a period from 1916 to 1941, mostly after 1935. Plus one TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS) to Harre from Jim Niles, a colleague of Merritt's. A revealing look at Merritt as he went about his day job as newspaper editor for a major national weekly. Merritt's newspaper career began when he was 18 as a cub reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He wound up as assistant editor, then editor, of THE AMERICAN WEEKLY, a sensationalistic Sunday supplement for the Hearst newspapers. It had a circulation of about 7,500,000 copies while Merritt worked there, a hugely successful figure for that time (or this), which was touted on the paper's letterhead as the "Greatest Circulation in the World." His writing style in these brief business letters is breezy, slangy and hard as nails, the voice of the typical American newspaperman of this period, when the city newspaper was a glamorous thing, mythologized in countless Hollywood movies. (Among other heroes who worked for a newspaper in this period was Clark Kent.) In his spare time, Merritt managed to write and publish half a dozen novels that won him a reputation as "the greatest fantasy writer of modern times" (Bleiler, Supernatural Fiction Writers, p. 836). Since then, "in the fields of science fiction and fantasy there is probably no other great reputation of the past that has suffered as much as that of A. Merritt" (ibid.). Harre also worked as a journalist off and on, in between writing a handful of novels (including two that were listed in the first edition of the Bleiler Checklist, but omitted from the second; one of them is listed in Reginald). He is perhaps best known in genre studies as the editor of an anthology, BEWARE AFTER DARK! (1929), that included Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu," only the second of his stories to be published in a hardcover book. Harre appears in these letters to be a bit obtuse about the kind of publication Merritt was editing, failing on at least two occasions to observe basic guidelines about length, style and deadline. For Merritt to be as patient with him as he appears in these letters (at the same time that he enforced strict rules about the content of the paper) says something complimentary about his basic humanity as well as his editorial finesse. The letters have usual fold creases and some light rumpling, but, except 24 May 1916 letter which has marginal loss at upper left corner, all are in very good to fine condition. A detailed calendar is available upon request. (#111986)

TWO TYPED LETTERS SIGNED (TLsS). Two letters, 2 pages and 1 page respectively, dated 11 May 1941 and 29 August 1941, both to Roy V. Hunt. Two letters (approximately 650 words) on THE AMERICAN WEEKLY stationery, to Roy V. Hunt, a Colorado science fiction fan and small press publisher, concerning a project to reprint Merritt's novel THE METAL MONSTER in book form, and other topics. The first letter includes a lengthy account of the effect of the death of Morrill Goddard, "my illustrious predecessor and trainer," upon Merritt's earlier decision to not renew his contract with The American Weekly and "devote most of my time to writing." Next Merritt comments favorably on the contents of the two issues of Earl Singleton's fanzine NEPENTHE (December 1940; Spring 1941). Robert A. W. Lowndes, "a real poet," John B. Michel "has a fine dissecting room flavor." If Singleton "can only keep it up, he's got something." Regarding THE METAL MONSTER project, Merritt states "it can be done and judging from the number of letters Argosy and myself and others receive it would have a market... I'd like to see [Virgil] Finlay do some of the illustrations... Merritt's second letter is devoted to THE METAL MONSTER project, amateur magazines, and reader's opinions of his work: "I think what you say about my books is absolutely true. I know there are a lot of people who don't like them but - so what? Those who do, like yourself, are sufficient reward." Nice content. Both letters are signed "Abe Merritt," the second, boldly signed in pencil, has several penciled corrections and amendments in Merritt's hand. Faint mailing creases, fine. (#96255)

TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 1 page, dated 16 March 1943, to Mrs. Roy V. Hunt. Letter (approximately 100 words) on American Weekly letterhead, to the wife of Roy V. Hunt, a Colorado science fiction fan and small press publisher, concerning the publication of his book STORY BEHIND THE STORY, privately printed by THE AMERICAN WEEKLY, apparently to promote the magazine to potential advertisers. Merritt has sent Hunt one of his "few" remaining copies. According to Merritt, 10,000 copies of the book were printed and they "were going to print 5,00 more, but the paper situation will probably stop this. Otherwise, I would have sent him another one, but I just haven't got it." Faint creases where once folded for mailing, else fine. (#96254)

Leiber/Moskowitz: 1963

From LW Currey:

Leiber, Fritz. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 2 pages, dated 7 December 1963, to "Dear Sam" [Moskowitz], signed, "Congrats! Fritz." Accompanied by the original envelope with a handwritten postscript on the back side. Written in response to an article on Leiber that Moskowitz wrote (with Leiber's cooperation) for the December issue of AMAZING STORIES. Leiber congratulates Moskowitz on "a good job of compacting a lot of diverse material." He praises his balanced treatment of the various stages of L's career and says, in the case of one topic at least, that "you may see deeper into my motives than I do." He offers some factual corrections of a few "tiny" matters, pointing out that his famous short story "Smoke Ghost" was rejected by WEIRD TALES before it was accepted by UNKNOWN; that his mother's British ancestry did not stop her from belonging to the Daughters of the American Revolution; and that he could not "recall living in a boarding house, theatrical or otherwise." Moskowitz made the point in his article that Leiber had not read WEIRD TALES regularly when he was growing up and suggests as a reason that L's "seeking rational explanations interfered with my enjoyment of such tales." All Leiber remembers is that he found the WT stories "too frightening and -- oddly -- too depressing!" and adds that he may have been "repelled by the element of fatalism in practically all supernatural horror fiction." And the adults in his household did not approve of such reading material. Stepping back, Leiber writes, "it's certainly odd to be on the inside of the story this time (the story being your profile, I the protagonist) and peer out of my cage in space-time, as it were, and see the author - you - describing what I do ..." He ponders the impossibility of a biographer's reproduction of the "exact truth" of the "welter of minutia" that constitutes a person's life. Leiber closes with some remarks about his alcoholism and membership in AA, subjects that were suppressed by the editors of AMAZING STORIES. A frank and revealing document that blends inward - and outward - looking speculation by and about one of the major post-WWII authors of fantasy and sf. Typed with narrow margins on a half-sheet of letter-size paper arranged in portrait mode, with name and address penciled in at top as an afterthought, and with an ink emendation (itself emended in pencil) near the end of the letter. Leiber wrote a postscript on the back side of the envelope, mentioning that he was working on a new novel, THE RED-HEADED NIGHTMARE, whose "gimmick" is "photonic booms." Accompanied by a carbon of short letter from Moskowitz to Leiber, dated 17 June 1964, saying that he has just ghost-edited an anthology for Leo Margulies in which he used Leiber's "Spider Mansion," and that he will be sending him $25 and a copy of the book (titled WEIRD TALES). Sam Moskowitz was one of the pioneers of genre science-fiction scholarship, approaching the subject from historical and sociological as well as literary vantage points; editing anthologies, magazines and book reprint series; and championing the work of obscure authors as well as the genre itself. Though not always meticulous in his research or discerning in his taste, he took seriously a field of literature that academic critics ignored until much later, and blazed many of the trails that they smoothed out later. In saying that he made up in enthusiasm what he lacked in rigor, it could be argued that the former virtue was, at the time, the more needed one. Leiber's letter has two faint creases where folded for mailing and is near fine, as is envelope; the Moskowitz letter, on pulpy browning paper, has some light carbon smudges, but is otherwise near fine. (#100292)

More Heinlein

From LW Currey

Heinlein, Robert A[nson]. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 3 pages, dated 15 January 1947, to William J. Holt, "Inside Information" Office, The Saturday Evening Post, signed "Robert A. Heinlein.". A fine and very amusing letter in response to Holt's letter to Heinlein dated 7 January 1947 [carbon included] noting "a rather surprising coincidence in the list of contributors to the February 8th Post. There were two writers making their first appearance, yourself and Vida Jameson. In the letter that Miss Jameson wrote to the magazine she had crossed out the 'Heinlein' letterhead but used the same address as yours. Sounds like there might be an interesting story for Inside Information there - if so we'd like to know about it." In his lengthy, informative and humorous reply, Heinlein writes that Vida Jameson, the daughter of the late Malcolm Jameson, is not one of his pen names, and "in truth, Miss Jameson and I are not even collaborators... The fact behind the coincidence is that two of the several writers whom my wife coaches, to wit, myself and Vida, happened to hit the Post at about the same time and at a time when Vida is living with us because of the well-known housing shortage. It's a darn good thing, incidentally, that my first sale to the Post antedated Vida's by a couple of weeks, or I would have gone into a permanent decline. I've been a professional writer for a good many years; Vida has been one for a matter of weeks - and made her first sale to the top magazine market. I am delighted that the kid sold to the Post, but, if, after plugging away for years, I had been beaten out in attaining this market, even by a matter of days, by a youngster and a beginner, I would have blown my top. I might even have taken a job... Don't get upset if you find that other writers claim 8777 as a mailing address... It is the western headquarters of the Manana Literary Society... In the course of the past year the house has sheltered a total of nine writers... Most are scattered by now and we are down to one house guest, a record for this course; but... quite a few of them still get mail here." 95 lines; approximately 1100 words. Good content. The 8 February 1947 issue of THE SATURDAY EVENING POST printed Heinlein's "The Green Hills of Earth," his first story to be published in the "slicks." Heinlein published no fiction in the years 1943-1946, "but in 1947 he expanded his career - and the potential reach of genre sf as a marketable literature - in two new directions: he sold a number of short stories to THE SATURDAY EVENING POST and other "slick" magazines; and he published - with Scribner's, a highly respectable mainstream firm - the first U.S. juvenile sf novel to reflect the new levels of characterization, style and scientific plausibility now expected in the field. ROCKET SHIP GALILEO (1947) is not an outstanding work... but it was the first in a series that represents the most important contribution any single writer has made to children's sf." - Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 555. Faint mailing folds, else fine. Accompanied by letters and letter carbons of others, including Heinlein's agent, Lurton Blassingame," regarding POST publicity and acquiring copies of the 8 February issue of the magazine. (#96353)

Heinlein, Robert A[nson]. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS), one page, dated 15 July 1978, on his letter-size Santa Cruz County stationery, to "Dear Mr. Presser" (John Anthony Presser), signed "All good wishes, Robert A. Heinlein.". Heinlein dominated "hard" science fiction in the mid-twentieth century as no other figure did. The identity of Heinlein's correspondent is unknown (he lived in Visalia, in California's Central Valley, about 200 miles from Santa Cruz). A meaty letter attacking certain literary critical attitudes -- mainly that a writer's biography can be adequately inferred from his or her work -- and asserting that a "competent fiction writer" should be capable of creating and identifying with any kind of character. He blasts Alexei Panshin's 1968 study of his own work, HEINLEIN IN DIMENSION, the first book-length study of RAH, on these same grounds -- but also because, in effect, Panshin was not biographical (not to mention deferential) enough. "I did not want to read HEINLEIN IN DIMENSION because I have no wish to have a man who does not know me and who is considerably less than half my age tell me who I am, what I think, and what my evaluations are." The "intentional fallacy" that Heinlein endorses here (that the meaning of a work is owned and controlled by its author) is a common one among both the naive and the sophisticated. One characteristic of Heinlein's work that has been noted is its propensity for containing dualisms -- a propensity of which this letter is a good example. Old mailing folds, fine condition, with original envelope (a little smudged and stained). (#128340)

Robert Heinlein: 1957

Heinlein, Robert A[nson]. TWO TYPED LETTERS SIGNED (TLsS). Each 1 page, dated 25 March 1957 and 24 October 1957, both to Reginald Bretnor, both signed "Bob" and a Typed Post Card, dated 2 March 1957, to "Dear Mr. Bretnor," signed "Bob Heinlein," letters and post card on Heinlein's Colorado Springs, Colorado letterhead. The post card is most likely Heinlein's earliest direct contact with Bretnor. Heinlein expects to be in San Francisco in November and wishes to make Bretnor's acquaintance. "In a talk I recently made in Chicago I made extensive use of your symposium on science fiction and especially of your contribution. I acknowledged it at the time and the published version will also contain acknowledgment but I now want to thank you personally for your invaluable aid." The two letters discuss and firm up the San Francisco visit: "I am looking forward to meeting you at last - and also hope to find ways to meet others among our colleagues in the Bay Area ..." Both letters contain amusing remarks about cats. Faint mailing folds, else fine. The envelopes for the letters are present. (#96331)

More Sam Moskowitz

From LW Currey:

Gunn, James. TWO TYPED LETTERS SIGNED (TLsS) AND ONE TYPED NOTE SIGNED (TNS), to Sam Moskowitz, the first,1 page, dated 23 January 1989, on note paper, the second, 1/2 page, dated 23 May, 1989, the third, 1/2 page, dated 30 May 1989, on a postcard, all signed "Jim." Accompanied by a photocopy or computer printout copy of unsigned two-page letter from Gunn to Robert A. Collins, dated 27 December 1988. Two groups of letters, the first touched off by an unfavorable review of Gunn's THE NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION (1988) by Rob Latham published in SFRA NEWSLETTER. Gunn forwards a copy of a letter he sent to SFRA's editor, Robert A. Collins, complaining, not so much about the original negative review as his subsequent treatment after sending in a letter of reply to the review. Gunn points out to Collins that the problem with replying to reviews is that, by the time the author has laboriously refuted the reviewer's points in a subsequent issue of the periodical, the readers have lost interest, and, in any event,the reviewer is always given the last word. Gunn also objects to reviews that don't admit the necessarily subjective nature of that work and regrets that reviewing is not subjected to the same degree of scrutiny as scholarship: "...the problem with Latham's review ... was that it accepted as a matter of faith that truth was available and that Latham was the sole possessor of it." Gunn also takes issue with Latham's criticism of an inclusion in the encyclopedia of an article by Poul Anderson as an example (presumably) of clubbiness or lack of academic rigor. "Everyone who would rather read an entry in an encyclopedia by Poul Anderson on 'Alien Worlds' than one by Rob Latham (or another critic) that includes 'metaphorical uses,' please raise your hand." Gunn's cover letter to Moskowitz, thanks him for copying Gunn on his own correspondence with Collins and lamenting that "so much time, energy, and space is being wasted on nonproductive issues.... I am beginning to realize the truth of the old saying: Don't get into a disagreement with a person who buys ink by the barrel." He expresses puzzlement at the "extremity of passions" swirling around the issue, given the history of Collins' friendly relations with him and stated admiration of his work. This note has a handwritten postscript noting that "Mark Hassler has written a good review for EXTRAPOLATION in which he gets into the reviewing issue." The second part of the correspondence comprises three items, of which the first is a half-page letter from Gunn to Moskowitz, asking for suggestions that would help him with a planned lecture on the subject of "The Future of Libraries and Libraries of the Future." Gunn lists a dozen or so novels and stories that he plans to discuss and asks SM if he can think of any "major uses" of the motif that he has omitted. The second item is a carbon of SM's 1 1/2 page reply, listing and summarizing five items that use the motif of fantastic libraries, written by David H. Keller, Eric Frank Russell, A. E. van Vogt and H. P. Lovecraft. SM goes on to commiserate with Gunn over the pneumonia he had mentioned he was recovering from, gives him some doctorly admonishments to rest up and kvetches about his own ailments. The final item is a postcard from Gunn to SM thanking him for the reading suggestions and good wishes. The first group offers a sharp picture of the infighting in the world of sf and fandom. The second group presents a valuable little bibliography of a motif that should be of special interest to book readers, libraries. Gunn taught English at the University of Kansas, where he was born and raised, and published both fiction and nonfiction in the sf field, starting in the 1950s. Sam Moskowitz was one of the pioneers of genre science-fiction scholarship, approaching the subject from historical and sociological as well as literary vantage points; editing anthologies, magazines and book reprint series; and championing the work of obscure authors as well as the genre itself. Though not always meticulous in his research or discerning in his taste, he took seriously a field of literature that academic critics ignored until much later, and blazed many of the trails that they smoothed out later. In saying that he made up in enthusiasm what he lacked in rigor, it could be argued that the former virtue was, at the time, the more needed one. The first two items have faint creases where folded for mailing and old staple holes; the two other letters have some faint creasing at upper right corners and the SM letter has some carbon smudges, but all are near fine; the postcard is fine. (#100287)

Gunn, James. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 1/2 page, dated 5 June 1972, to "Dear Sam" [Moskowitz], signed, "Jim." On The University of Kansas letterhead. Gunn asks for help from Moskowitz on a history of science fiction he is preparing for Prentice-Hall (ALTERNATE WORLDS: THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION [1975]). He wants photographs of material belonging to SM and asks that SM give him a quote on what these would cost to prepare. Gunn taught English at the University of Kansas, where he was born and raised, and published both fiction and nonfiction in the sf field, starting in the 1950s. Accompanied by carbon of SM's reply, TLS, 1 1/2 pages on letter-sized pulpy paper, brown with age, with very short tear in margin of each sheet. SM politely tells Gunn that he is too busy to help him with his request and that, furthermore, he is at work on a similar project himself, so that helping Gunn would present a conflict of interests. SM marvels at the sudden surge in publishers' interest in the history of science fiction, enumerating all the current and in-progress projects of which he is aware, not neglecting to blow his own horn as a pioneer in the field. The letter has one or two emendations and a handwritten postscript. Interesting as a document of the period when science fiction was gaining academic respectability. Faint crease near bottom, else fine. (#100286)

A Harlan Ellison/Sam Moskowitz Letter

From LW Currey

Ellison, Harlan. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 1 page, dated 3 November [19]68, to "Dear Sam" [Moskowitz], signed "Harlan Ellison." On Ellison's 3484 Coy Drive, Sherman Oaks letterhead. Ellison chafes Moskowitz sarcastically for not sending him a copy of the 30th anniversary issue of the fanzine DIFFERENT, in which he apparently issued a manifesto critical of Ellison and certain trends he disliked in science fiction. He reminds Moskowitz that they've known each other 17 years, then predicts that Moskowitz's cause is doomed and "can only aid and abet the revolution in speculative fiction.... The louder you squeal, the quicker the changes will be wrought." Ellison goes on to castigate him for misquoting him and offers to give him as many "inflammatory" quotes as he likes if he just asks for them directly. "In short, what I'm saying, Sam my man, is this: you want a Holy War? Then get it on, baby, get it on." Ellison was "...the most controversial and among the finest of those writers associated with sf whose careers began in the 1950s. He was born and raised in Ohio, attending Ohio State University for 18 months before being asked to leave, one of the reasons for his dismissal being rudeness to a creative-writing professor who told him he had no talent." - Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, p. 376. Two faint creases where folded for mailing, 7 mm closed tear in right margin, else fine. (#100282)

Derleth: Letters

Currently for sale at LW Currey:

Derleth, August. THREE TYPED LETTERS SIGNED (TLsS). Each 1 page, dated 15 July 1963, 24 July 1963 and 3 August 1963, to "Dear Kirby McCauley" or "Dear Mr. McCauley," signed "August Derleth." On executive-size Arkham House stationery with Utpatel illustration at top. . These letters mainly constitute one half of a running argument between Derleth and McCauley about a civil rights issue involving a man in an exclusively white neighborhood who sold his house to a black, thereby breaking an agreement to not do so. McCauley apparently sided with the neighbors. Derleth's position seems a little squishier. On the one hand, he writes, "I don't happen to be prejudiced," but elsewhere in the same letter, writes, "I think we can't doubt that the Negro is racially inferior; that is, he will probably not always stay that way, but as at present the race is generally inferior to the white. This may be due to evolutionary as well as socially and economically important factors." Elsewhere he writes that "Catholics aren't supposed to think, only do what the clergy directs." A revealing look at racial attitudes circa 1963. The letters also deal in passing with minor Arkham House business matters, Derleth's writings, and McCauley's search for Henry Whitehead letters. Kirby McCauley was probably the most important literary agent of horror, fantasy and sf writers in the boom years of the 1970s and 1980s. Faint creases where folded for mailing, fine. Excellent content. (#102368)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

4SJ and Vincent Price



August Derleth in Sept 1936 Scribner's

[Derleth to HPL, 3 August 1936]

I went off on a four day vacation last weekend, beginning Wednesday, and returned home on Saturday evening to find a stack of letterssufficiently high to keep me busy most of Sunday and part of this morning, before the mails for today start coming. I also found the New Republic, issue 5 now out, is using my poem, Evenings at Wisconsin, and that the August issue of Scribner's announced fiction by Augus Derleth in its September issue, which means that they are using The Old Lady Turns the Other Cheek, since that is the only one htye have left, though they have another under consideration now

[HPL to Derleth, 22 August 1936] ...Congratulations on Scribners and New Republic contributions.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back From Seeing Dracula (1931)

Wow, it was great to sit in the Louisville Palace and experience Dracula on the big screen. Someone behind me said aloud, "This place looks like the places our grandparents would have seen this movie." And so true.

The film was not pristine, but probably resembled the print that the audience in 1931 would have seen. Many would not have seen an oppossum or an armadillo and would have been revolted. Others, like those of us in the audience who rcognized the critters, snickered a bit, or wondered if Dracula imported them?

Browning, of course, grew up in and around Louisville, and was very familiar with 'possums.

All in all, an enjoyable $5 ticket.

I scanned in parts of the brochure, which is also cool.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bloch, Matheson, Gernsback (1953)

THE JOURNAL OF SCIENCE FICTION #4 (1953) 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, 80 pages. Very Fine condition. Article by Robert Bloch on Richard Matheson. Test of a science fiction convention speech given by Hugo Gernsback. Eight pages of photos taken of the 1952 World Science Fiction Convention (30 photos, mostly of well known science fiction authors). 3 page bibliography of non-fiction articles about Science Fiction and where they appeared. 1952 Science Fiction magazine index.

1932 Lee Brown Coye Illustrations

by Lee Brown Coye; Designed by Leo Kaplan
Cortland, New York: Privately published, 1932.
First edition, first printing.
One of 350 copies printed.
Thin Octavo, 50 pp.
Lee Brown Coye's first book is an illustrated adaptation of an old East Indian folk tale with many of Coye's imaginative black-and-white illustrations.

Derleth to Wandrei - autograph

SELECTED POEMS by August Derleth
Prairie City, Illinois: The Press of James A. Decker, 1944.
First edition, first printing

Front free endsheet has been SIGNED, dated (1945) and inscribed by Derleth to his Arkham partner, Donald Wandrei. // Fine in a fine dust jacket; jacket design by Ronald Clyne. // Derleth culled the best of his five collections published between 1938 and 1942 for this volume; with an introduction by Edgar Lee Masters. "His book has the music of wind over Wisconsin and the beauty of an April plum petal."--Jesse Stuart.

Ray Bradbury Year Book (Reproduction)

Semi-Annual: Summer 1938
Sixty Anniversary Edition

Los Angeles: Los Angeles High School, 1938
First printing
Original blue embossed cloth
SIGNED by Ray Bradbury and dated July, 18, 2008
Ray Bradbury's high school senior annual

His senior class portrait is perceptively labelled: "RAY DOUGLAS BRADBURY--Likes to write stories. Admired as a Thespian. Headed for literary distinction" Additionally, there are two more photographs of Bradbury in the book showing his membership in the Drama Club and the Poetry Club. Usual student inscriptions of the period to a classmate, else near fine. A RARE book and one of the earliest items to refer to Bradbury as a writer!


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