Friday, January 11, 2008

A Lovecraft Story in Science Fiction Reader No 3

I don't particularly collect pristine antiquarian items because I like to handle and read and study them. I'd not want to do that for valuable collectables or museum pieces. I was a bit changrined, because I wrote to a very nice library recently asking some research questions (which I would have gladly paid) and offered some scans of my items that they apparently didn't have. Nothing. Nada. No response. *sigh* I chalked it up to my small letter being of no consequnce to some busy, prestigious librarian and this school in the North East.

Anyway, I digress. Here are some scans of a 1952 pulp 'zine of reprints. I think the scans show how the paper has darkened, though it was probably pretty beige when it was fresh off the presses. It is kind of eerie to think that it's 56 years old - older than I am. Heh, I'm starting to get a bit frayed around the edges too these days come to think of it. More below ... first enjoy the pix.

OK, I found some neat stuff on the net about this magazine and its origins. There are a lot of collectors and many now have blogs on magazines such as these. Kudos to all of them, and YOU who are fans. I know many of you have your own blogs, and you post to other forums, so you know how much effort it is to scan something in, do the research, write it coherently and I appreciate that you forgive my frequent, bleary-eyed, midnight and early A.M. typos.

I really got this one for the Hannes Bok story and the Frank Belknap Long Story. The bonus is the story about ants. I'm a huge fan of Dr. E. O. Wilson and have his books - a scientist who has spent his life studying ants. A highlight of my life was to listen to him lecture one time.

The original Avon Fantasy Reader series ran eighteen issues ostensibly published monthly but in actuality it came out irregularly. In 1952 Wollheim began a companion publication, the Avon Science Fiction Reader which focused on sf reprints. It ran only three issues before Wollheim left Avon for Ace Books and both series were abandoned by Avon.

1952 Issue #3 – January ($0.35, 128pp, Pub: Avon Novels Inc.;New York,
cvr artist: Earle Bergey)
(1934) The Robot Empire ["The Vapor Death"] by Frank Belknap Long (short story)
(1949) P.N. 40 ["Love in the Year 93 E.E."] by S. Fowler Wright (novella)
(1927) The Master Ants by Francis Flagg (novella)
(1939) In the Walls of Eryx by Kenneth Sterling & H. P. Lovecraft (novella)
(1937) The Black Stone Statue by Mary Elizabeth Counselman (short story)
(1930) The Planet of Dread by R. F. Starzl (short story)
(1942) The Alien Vibration by Hannes Bok (short story)
(1945) The Ultimate Paradox by Thorp McClusky

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