Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lovecraft's Legacy: 1945 (Acolyte)

Information provided by the seller: (Starting Bid $14.95) THE ACOLYTE #11, Summer 1945. Rare and very important fanzine, focussed on the LOVECRAFT CIRCLE, published by Francis Towner Laney and Samuel D. Russell. Contributing editors include Lovecraft correspondents Duane Rimel and F. Lee Baldwin. Of greatest Lovecraftian interest is an article, "Interlude with Lovecraft" by Stuart Morton Boland, which I do not think has ever been reprinted. Boland describes corresponding with Lovecraft while he (Boland) was investigating pre-Columbian archeology. Lovecraft asks about Mexican gods that might fit into his Mythos. August Derleth seems to have actually followed up on this. If Boland's claims can be verified, there's a nugget of a good scholarly article here. Also, "Criteria for Criticism" by Laney (who was one of the most intelligent and articulate fans of the period), "A Scientifictional History of the Future" by Elmer Perdue (which rather absurdly tries to work out the history of the future from pulp SF), a column by "Weaver Wright" (Forrest J. Ackerman). There is a letter from E. HOFFMANN PRICE which is of very great interest, because he describes his first-hand impressions of both ROBERT E. HOWARD and H.P. LOVECRAFT.
Alas, this is not one of the world's great copies. It is stable rather than good. It was brittle at the edges and has been repaired with non-yellowing tape to arrest chipping. The last page is particularly affected. At one point a chip reaches into the text and damages two words (which from context are obviously "of the"). Laney used poor quality paper, which doubtless makes this magazine even rarer, because few copies have survived. The pages are actually quite supple. This is good enough to xerox from, as long as you are careful not to crease it.

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