Saturday, February 11, 2006

Lovecraftiana: Frank Belknap Long, Jr.

Much can be said about FBL, and there are several internet sites filled with information. He was a devoted friend to Lovecraft, who adored him. He became an icon to an early scienti-fiction audience when Bradbury and Asimov were but teenagers.

However, today's post is a personal discovery. In pursuit of arcane treasures, I've been looking through numerous old book shops. A few weeks ago, an aged copy of a Magnum Easy-Eye edition form 1971 struck me as strange. Chrispy usually passes by frilly goth books, but this The Witch Tree had an author "Lyda Belknap Long". Hmm, I think. I definitely recognize the ...Belknap Long, but who is Lyda. The book was selling for $1.00 so I dropped it in the overflowing cart and placed it in my even more overflowing library.

Today, I caught a copy of Survivor World by Frank Belknap Long, also for $1.00. Also by Magnum. Also published 1971. Hmm.

So, off to do some research and sure enough, Lyda was an alias for Frank. In fact, Lyda was Frank's wife.

To be honest, neither has much to do with the Mythos and after more than 40 years one suspects that Long grew tired by the 1970's of being in the shadow of Lovecraft. But he was loyal to the end, and even appeared at the centennial Lovecraft conference in Providence.

To find the incredible publishing record of Long see here .

Frank Belknap Long, Jr. (April 27, 1903 - January 3, 1994)

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