Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lovecraft's Legacy: 1940 - One of A Kind Ephemera

This is a remarkable find. A promotional card mailed by the Visionary Publishing Company of Cleveland Ohio upon the release of their series of fantasy novels. This card promoted The Titan by P. Schuyler Miller (which appears never to have been released as it was later published in 1952) and the first edition of The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft.

The card states that Innsmouth is ". . . a first edition you will treasure all your life. Only four hundred copies have been been (sic) printed and most are already distributed. Your copy will be mailed iwthin 24 hours after your order arrives. It is on heavy book paper, bound in black cloth stamped in silver." No mention is made of the dust wrapper, which was apparently printed after the book was published. A total of 200 copies of this book were rumoured to have been destroyed.

This card was sent to Arthur Saha, a science fiction notable who later edited anthologies and worked with Donald Waldheim (Ebay seller means Wolheim). The card was sent to Saha at his address in Hibbing, but was misaddressed to Michigan instead of Minnesota. The card was sent in January 1940 (although the book was noted to be published in 1936), and Saha was only 17 years old at the time. According to Wikipedia, Saha coined the term Trekkie.

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