Sunday, January 07, 2007

Avon Fantasy Reader

In the generation after Lovecraft's Death, many pulps exploited the fascination of HPL's writing. The Arkham service man editions perked interest, and then onward to the lurid covers of the Avon Fantasy editions brought in more readers to the Mythos writers.

Here is a collection of images of the 18 editions of Avon Fantasy Reader by Donald Wolheim. Details of the issues follows - as much as Chrispy has been able to find. More text below.

Avon Fantasy Reader was published by Avon Book Company and edited by Donald A. Wollheim. This title appeared from 1947 until 1952, and mainly featured reprints, especially from Weird Tales. The list of authors are a Who’s Who of fantasy including the Mythos gang. H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Ray Bradbury, William Hope Hodgson, A. Merritt, C. L. Moore, Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, and countless others.

Each issue was in digest format, with 128-130 pages, depending on pagination. Here is a list of contents, as best as Chrispy can reconstitute. {I have a few issues}

Avon Fantasy Reader #1, February 1947, cover price 35¢, a vintage digest-sized science-fiction-&-fantasy magazine edited by Donald A. Wollheim. Contributors include A. Merritt, H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, John Collier, Stephen Grendeon, H.G. Wells, Frank Owen, C.L. Moore, and Donald A. Wollheim. Cover art is uncredited.

#2: Robert E. Howard, David H. Keller, S. Fowler Wright.

#3 Wollheim, Donald A. (Editor), A. Merritt, H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, C.L. Moore, John Collier, Frank Owen, Stephen Grendon, Donald A. Wollheim (contributors). Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 3, 1947.

#4 Wollheim, Donald A. (Editor), Thomas Burke, P. Schuyler, Lord Dunsany, Ray Bradbury, Clark Ashton Smith, Nelson Bond, M.R. James, A.E. Van Vogt(contributors). Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 4, 1947.

#5 Wollheim, Donald A. (Editor), C.L. Moore, Robert Bloch, Frank Owen, Carl Jacobi, Clare Winger harris, W.F. Harvey, Robert W. Chambers, C. M. Kornbluth, and Stephen Vincent Benet (contributors). Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 5, 1947.

#6 Wollheim, Donald A. (Editor), A. Merritt, H.P. Lovecraft, Jack Williamson, Henry S. Whitehead, Edmond Hamilton, Frank R. Stockton, Thorp McClusky, Joseph E. Kelleam, and David H. Keller (contributors). Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 6, 1947.

#7 Wollheim, Donald A. (Editor), Sax Rohmer, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Lord Dunsany, C. L. Moore, Frank Belknap Long, Fritz Leiber, JR, Frank Gruber, A. Merritt, and Donald A. Wollheim(contributors). Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 7, 1947.

#8: H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Ray Bradbury, Algernon Blackwood.

#9: Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Leiber, Otis Adelbert Kline, William Hope Hodgson. (September 1948 ?) "The Curse of a Thousand Kisses is the favorite tale of the author of Fu Manchu -- an astonishing account of sorcery in ancient and modern Egypt." -- Inside cover

#10 Wollheim, Donald A. (Editor), Robert E. Howard, Bassett Morgan, H. P. Lovecraft, Malcolm Jameson, Donald A. Wollheim, Francis Flagg, Miles J. Breuer, and Amelia Reynolds Long (contributors). Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 10

#11: Ray Bradbury, Seabury Quinn, Frank Owen, Nelson S. Bond.

#12: Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Manly Wade Wellman, Sax Rohmer. "In the Valley of the Sorceress by Sax Rohmer: A modern explorer violated the tomb of an Egyptian queen and learned an unforgettable midnight lesson." -- Inside cover

#13 Wollheim, Donald A. (Editor), F. B. Long, R. Cummings, D. Wandrei, S. P. Wright, C. W. Diffin, A. Derleth, B. Grimshaw, J. Long, S. F. Wright, M. E. Counselman, C. Simak, C. Jacobi and A. R. Wetjen (contributors). Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 13, 1950.

#14 Wollheim, Donald A. (Editor), Ray Bradbury, David H. Keller, James F. Dwyer, Ray Cummings, Henry S. Whitehead, Zealia B. Bishop, Clive G. B. Jackson, Robert E. Howard, Allison V. Harding, and Irvin Ashkenazy (contributors). Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 14, 1950

#15 Wollheim, Donald A. (Editor), Stanley G. Weinbaum, Bassett Morgan, P. Schuyler Miller, Maurice Baring, Miles J. Breuer, Gilbert Wright, C. M Kornbluth, Donald A Wollheim, John Martin Leahy, mary E. Counselman, and Clark Ashton Smith(contributors). Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 15, 1950.

#16: Robert Bloch, Frank B. Long, Francis Flagg, Donald Wandrei, Greye La Spina.

#17. Wollheim, Donald A. (Editor), Nictzin Dyalhis, Ray Bradbury, G. K. Chesterton, Anthony Boucher, Wallace West, Nelson Bond, Frank Owen, William Hope Hodgson, H.P. Lovecraft, and E. Hoffmann Price (contributors). Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 17

#18 Wollheim, Donald A. (Editor), Robert E. Howard, Dale Clark, Hugh B. Cave, James Francis Dwyer, Gelett Burgess, Hazel Heald, W.H. Hodgson, Edward Lucas White, and Algernon Blackwood (contributors). Avon Fantasy Reader, No. 18

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