I have learned that Roger Luckhurst’s edition of H. P. Lovecraft’s The Classic Horror Stories (Oxford University Press) is now out. I have requested a copy from the publisher (I plan to review it in the Lovecraft Annual), but it has not come as yet. What has appeared is a review of it by one Jess Nevins—an author whom I have never heard of as a critic or scholar on Lovecraft or anyone else—in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, reprinted online in Salon.com (http://www.salon.com/2013/05/08/does_h_p_lovecraft_belong_in_the_canon_partner/). This review has more than a few remarks that are either bizarre, wrongheaded, or plainly false. To wit:
I am more interested in Luckhurst’s editorial work. Since I don’t have the book yet, I can only “peek” into it from the Amazon.com site. Here I find that Luckhurst did not in fact use my corrected texts, but went back to the pulp magazine texts and made a few “silent” corrections. What possible benefit could be served by this procedure? I have been generous in allowing others to use my texts—including Joyce Carol Oates (Tales of H. P. Lovecraft, 1997) and the Library of America (Tales, 2005), not to mention various foreign publishers going back to 1984. For anyone, at this late date, to resurect the butchered texts of At the Mountains of Madness and “The Shadow out of Time” from Astounding Stories is to commit an act of idiocy or insanity. And as to whether (in Nevins’s words) Luckhurst’s annotations are “exhaustive and informative”—I shall have to gauge how much he has borrowed from my own notes to the Penguin editions.
But to turn now to matters of much greater interest and import—my own activities and achievements:
I am happy to announce the completion of my anthology Searchers After Horror, prepared for Fedogan & Bremer. It has a distinguished list of contributors, as follows (listed alphabetically): Michael Aronovitz, Hannes Bok (a story written in 1939, supplied to me by Dwayne Olson), Ramsey Campbell, Gary Fry, Richard Gavin, Lois H. Gresh, John D. Haefele, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Nancy Kilpatrick, Nick Mamatas, W. H. Pugmire, Ann K. Schwader, Darrell Schweitzer, John Shirley, Brian Stableford, Simon Strantzas, Melanie Tem, Steve Rasnic Tem, Jonathan Thomas, and Donald Tyson. Although there are a few Lovecraftian specimens (including John Shirley’s piquant science fiction tale “At Home with Azathoth”), most of the stories are general weird specimens focusing broadly on the theme of the weirdness inherent in landscape, as embodied in the quotation from HPL’s “The Picture in the House” that serves as the basis of the title (“Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places”).
I have seen proofs of a new edition of my American Supernatural Tales (first published in Penguin Classics in 2007) that will soon appear in a six-book series, Penguin Horror, with Guillermo del Toro as general editor. This hardcover series will appear in September, and will also include a reissue of my edition of Lovecraft’s The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories (2001). I am not permitted to disseminate del Toro’s lengthy and fascinating series introduction, but I am gratified to see that he has some kind words about my own work as a scholar of Lovecraft and weird fiction.
It has come to my attention that some small presses in our field are tolerating and even encouraging the use of such bastardised forms as “alright” (i.e., “all right”). In my day, that would have brought out the ruler across the knuckles in no time. Indeed, I am sorry to report that I see a great many such ungainlinesses in books published in our field, and so I am prepared to offer my services to any small press as a freelance copyeditor. I will work cheap (perhaps a dollar per printed page)—not because I need the money, but because bringing some order to chaos and preserving the integrity of the English language are essential to my overall purpose in life.
My choir concert on May 11 was a rousing success, and I suspect that the one on the 18th will be even better. For those of you who may still wish to come, here are the details: http://www.nwchorale.org/concerts.htm. I understand that the larger-than-life Wilum Pugmire will be in the audience!
My 193rd book, an omnibus of Ambrose Bierce’s writings in Centipede Press’s Masters of the Weird Tale series, has just appeared. It is a typically beautiful Centipede Press product, with superior illustrations by Jason C. Eckhardt and enclosed in a slipcase. I see that the list price is $195, but Centipede is offering it for $175 (http://www.centipedepress.com/masters/ambrosebierce.html). I have two spare copies that I am prepared to let go for $150 at the usual terms. Only 200 copies printed, so don’t delay!
I count this as my 193rd book—not my 190th, as I announced last time—because, as I was preparing my bibliography for publication as 200 Books by S. T. Joshi, I discovered that I had omitted three titles (all edited books) from my list! Incredible. With the help of my skilled webmaster, Greg Lowney, these titles have now been inserted into the bibliography on this site. The preparation of the bibliography for publication is proving a bit onerous, since I am attempting to supply tables of contents for all the books. This may prove unfeasible, as it will make the bibliography enormously large, so that I may have to trim the tables of contents when the bibliography is published.
My edition of George Sterling’s Complete Poetry (books nos. 194, 195, and 196) is apparently out, but I have not yet received copies. But I’m sure it looks splendid. Another thing I have not received is copies of the issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland containing the two articles I wrote for its Lovecraft issue. Increasingly vocal complaints to the powers-at-be at FMF have proved unavailing. I suspect I will not have anything to do with this outfit in the future.
An interview of me, conducted by Tea Krulos, has now been posted on the Innsmouth Free Press site (http://www.innsmouthfreepress.com/blog/?p=21360). I understand that this interview is part of a larger piece on Lovecraft and Arkham House that Mr. Krulos is preparing.
Responding to the pleas of Darrell Schweitzer, who is editing an anthology of original stories dealing with historical encounters with the Lovecraftian creatures (That Is Not Dead, to be published by PS Publishing), I recently dashed off an 8000-word story, “Incident at Ferney,” in which Voltaire has such an encounter. Quite frankly, the story is not much good, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Darrell rejects it; but it was an amusement to write. I now have about 33,000 words of short fiction to my credit (if that is the right word)—although that figure includes a dreadful novella, “The Recurring Doom,” which I wrote at the age of 17 and which I unwisely allowed Robert M. Price to embalm in The Acolytes of Cthulhu (2001). If the time comes when I assemble a volume of my short stories, I shall have to give serious consideration as to whether I wish to resurrect this piece of juvenile folly.
I recently wrote a brief piece on the history of Lovecraft’s emergence from obscurity to canonicity for Niels Hobbs, who I believe will print it in the program booklet for the NecronomiCon convention (August 23–25). I have also heard that Stephen Jones will reprint my section on Arthur Machen from Unutterable Horror for the program booklet of the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, England (October 31–November 3).
The first book in my Scarecrow Press series, Studies in Supernatural Literature, is apparently due to be published this month: Lovecraft and Influence, edited by Robert H. Waugh (https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780810891166). I fear the book is a tad expensive, since it is chiefly designed for libraries, but it is an outstanding volume that treats both influences on Lovecraft (Poe, Dunsany, the Munsey magazines, etc.) and Lovecraft’s influence on his successors (Frank Belknap Long, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King, etc.). Maybe there will be an affordable e-book that the more impecunious of us can read!
I am happy to report the publication of my 188th and 189th books, Nolan on Bradbury (a volume of writings—essays, stories, and poetry—by William F. Nolan on the late great master of fantasy and science fiction) and Dreams of Fear: Poetry of Terror and the Supernatural (an historical anthology of weird poetry, from Homer to Leigh Blackmore, which I have coedited by Steven J. Mariconda). Both are published by Hippocampus Press, and I am prepared to offer them for sale for $15 each on the usual terms (postage included for US customers; $10 extra per volume for postage to non-US customers). I am itching to see my 190th, 191st, and 192nd books—i.e., my long-awaited edition of George Sterling’s Complete Poetry—but this does not appear to be ready yet.
As I approach my 200th volume, I plan to issue a completely self-indulgent publication, 200 Books by S. T. Joshi, analogous to August Derleth’s 100 Books by August Derleth (Arkham House, 1962). I am hopeful that Derrick Hussey of Hippocampus Press will indulge me in this. The book will essentially be an expansion—with full tables of contents—of the bibliography on this website.
Actually, it seems that my 190th book may already be out: a large selection of Ambrose Bierce’s writings in Centipede Press’s Masters of the Weird Tale series (http://www.centipedepress.com/masters/ambrosebierce.html). I have, however, not received copies of this book—and may in fact not have any spare copies to offer. It also appears that Centipede has unofficially announced—by way of postings on Amazon.com—of a series that I have long wished to announce: the Library of Weird Fiction. This series will consist of relatively affordable (at least by comparison with the Masters of the Weird Tale series) hardcover volumes of classic horror authors. The first four authors are H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Algernon Blackwood, and William Hope Hodgson. Here is the Amazon listing for the Lovecraft volume: http://www.amazon.com/H-P-Lovecraft/dp/1613470487. It seems that all the books are scheduled to appear on December 17, although I imagine that they will be available earlier. I am hopeful that these books will be kept in print for as long as there is a demand for them.
Speaking of Centipede, I have a grotesque number of books coming out from them. Aside from those already mentioned, I have assembled omnibuses of the work of David Case, Fred Chappell, John Metcalfe, Sax Rohmer, Dennis Etchison, Robert W. Chambers, and J. Sheridan Le Fanu, and am working on omnibuses of E. F. Benson and Robert Aickman (assuming that Centipede can get permission from Aickman’s agents). This does not include the Weird Fiction Review or David J. Schow’s The Shaft, a novel whose reprinting I have facilitated by scanning the text. I do not know precisely when any of these titles will be out, but I imagine they will appear in the course of this year and next. Oh, yes—and don’t forget my huge anthology, A Mountain Walked: Great Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, due out this summer!
I am pleased to see the publication of Michael Paulkovich’s treatise No Meek Messiah: Christianity’s Lies, Laws and Legacy (http://www.amazon.com/No-Meek-Messiah-Christianitys-Legacy/dp/0988216116). I supplied a blurb for this book, which is one of the most comprehensive and devastating investigations of the fallacies of the Christian religion and its deleterious influence on world civilisation ever written. Don’t hesitate to pick it up!
On an altogether different note, I would like to announce two upcoming performances of my community choir, the Northwest Chorale, on May 11 and 18 at various venues in the Seattle area (http://www.nwchorale.org/concerts.htm). This concert is quite a departure from our usual fare, as we will be performing various Broadway show tunes and other non-sacred works. Indeed, I don’t believe there is a single work of sacred music in the lot. So if you’re in the vicinity, do come!
Here’s something very bizarre. A colleague has informed me that there is a printed book about me: Jesse Russell and Ronald Cohn’s S. T. Joshi (Miami: Book on Demand, 2013). I see on copy for sale on the Abebooks.com website: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=9882830450&searchurl=sts%3Dt%26tn%3Ds.%2Bt.%2Bjoshi. Yog-Sothoth Neblod Zin! I have no idea who Jesse Russell and Ronald Cohn are. This book seems to be a compendium of Wikipedia entries on me—although how there can be more than one is beyond my understanding. (While searching for this entry on Abebooks, I found several other books in which I am discussed—e.g., American Writers of Indian Descent—also consisting of my Wikipedia entry.)
I am happy to say that my edition of Clark Ashton Smith for Penguin Classics is nearly done. I just completed the introduction yesterday and have sent it to Scott Connors to make sure that there are no blunders in it. I readily acknowledge that Scott knows more about CAS’s life and work than I do. The book, which underwent some slight revision of contents in the process of compilation, contains 23 stories, 18 prose poems, and 57 poems, with introduction and notes. I like to think it presents the totality of CAS’s work to pretty good advantage.
I am also nearing completion on my Original Atheists book for Prometheus. Only the introduction needs to be written. I have worked pretty hard on this book also, revising the public-domain translations of French authors (and producing one new translation—a chapter from Condillac’s Traité des systèmes), writing extensive explanatory notes to all the selections, and compiling a bibliography of further reading on all the authors. I hope to submit the book in a week or two to the publisher.
Edward Lin from Barron’s (or, more precisely, Barrons.com) has gotten in touch with me about an article he is preparing for the lifestyle insert of his magazine, focusing on “the relatively recent trend of small presses doing limited runs of deluxe editions of books.” I answered a few simple e-mail queries and hope they were helpful. I’ll let readers know when the article appears.
I have received proofs of the first book in my Studies in Supernatural Series from Scarecrow Press—Lovecraft and Influence, edited by Robert H. Waugh. I will be compiling the index, while Bob reads the actual proofs. The book looks good overall, although the publisher has instituted a rather peculiar method of preparing the index. I have now submitted two further books in the series—William F. Touponce’s Spectral Journeys (containing discussions of Lord Dunsany, H. P. Lovecraft, and Ray Bradbury) and my anthology of essays on Lord Dunsany, which shall probably be called simply Critical Essays on Lord Dunsany. I am also continuing work on the revised bibliography of Dunsany, getting significant help from Martin Andersson, Jason Sturner, and others.
I have heard that my anthology Dreams of Fear is now officially published by Hippocampus Press, but I have not received any copies as yet. My gifted coeditor, Steven J. Mariconda, has just submitted his expanded collection of essays on Lovecraft, H. P. Lovecraft: Art, Artifact, and Reality, a solid book of more than 100,000 words which we will release by the NecronomiCon.
My young quasi-protégé Clint Smith has now submitted the complete manuscript of his story collection, Ghouljaw and Other Stories—a solid volume of 14 shuddersome tales that I hope Hippocampus Press can publish next year. I have been impressed with Smith ever since I published his story “Benthos” in the first issue of the Weird Fiction Review (2010). I have also been working with James Robert Smith in assembling a collection of his stories, and he has now submitted a book that looks very good. I am also hoping that Hippocampus will issue Michael Aronovitz’s chilling short novel The Witch of the Wood.
Lots of other things in the works, but this should do for now!
I am happy to announce the publication of my edition of Edward Lucas White’s The Stuff of Dreams (Arcane Wisdom), a substantial volume of White’s weird stories, taken from The Song of the Sirens (1919) and Lukundoo (1927). I see that the list price of the book is $49.00 from the publisher, so I am prepared to offer it at $40 at my usual terms. Get ’em while they last!
Please note that I still have copies of the books I announced in my last few blogs:
I also have such an abundance of spare copies of my American Rationalist magazine that I am prepared to offer them at a substantial discount. I have available the issues of: July/August, September/October, and November/December 2011; January/February, March/April, May/June, September/October, and November/December 2012; and January/February and March/April 2013. (For some reason I cannot find copies of the July/August 2012 issue, but they are probably around here somewhere.) That makes a total of 10 separate issues. I can offer these at $2.00 per issue, on condition that readers buy at least 5 issues. Lemme know and I’ll send ’em out! They’re a riot, if only for my pungent “Stupidity Watch” column.
Not a great deal else to report. I continue to work hard on my Penguin edition of Clark Ashton Smith, and also on my next atheism book (The Original Atheists) for Prometheus Books. I am also toiling on the W. C. Morrow edition for Centipede Press. Centipede has now expressed an interest in a complete edition of the ghost stories of E. F. Benson, and also the complete “strange stories” of Robert Aickman. Both of these editions will likely go to two volumes. The Benson volume is a go, but the Aickman project will have to await the sanction of Aickman’s agents, and I am not at all certain that they will comply. But something must be done to get Aickman’s works more widely disseminated. These editions, of course, will be limited and expensive ones (they will be part of Centipede’s Masters of the Weird Tale series), but they are likely to be reprinted later in a more affordable series that I will announce in due course of time.
A long-stalled project that may eventually get published is my edition of the weird tales of D. H. Lawrence, which I prepared some time ago for Ash-Tree Press. Ash-Tree has suffered some difficulties in recent years, but I heard from Christopher Roden a while back that he may now wish to proceed with this volume as a print edition. Let’s hope for the best.
I have been notified by the Horror Writers Association that I will be moderating a panel on Lovecraft at the HWA convention in New Orleans this June. I have titled the panel “Lovecraft’s Eternal Fascination” and provided the following description: “H. P. Lovecraft’s tales has been disseminated in countless editions around the world; his essays, poetry, and letters have been published, and he is one of the few horror writers regarded as a canonical American author. What is it about Lovecraft’s stories that keeps them relevant in the 21st century? And who are some of the contemporary horror writers who are taking Lovecraftian motifs in new directions?” I hope this will be of interest to attendees.
I understand that such Hippocampus books as Nolan on Bradbury and my Dreams of Fear anthology are imminent. I’ll inform everyone when copies actually reach me. Steven J. Mariconda is working hard on finalising his collection of essays on Lovecraft, which will be out by the time of the NecronomiCon convention in August.
This blog won’t be a particularly extensive one, chiefly because not much has happened since my last one; but I did want to announce the arrival of a sheaf of wonderful new Hippocampus Press books, which I am now prepared to offer at slight discounts from the list price:
The other news of consequence is that I have conducted a podcast with a person who goes by the initials KMO, dealing with Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard. It is now available for listening: http://c-realm.com/podcasts/crealm/351-weird-tales-and-paltry-paychecks/. I believe there will be a separate, shorter podcast covering the issue of atheism, but this appears not to be up yet.
On Sunday, March 3, at 3 p.m. (PST), I will mosey on over to Wilum Pugmire’s house to hold some kind of discussion on the Lovecraft e-Zine. I am quite frankly not sure how exactly this is to be done, but I imagine I will catch on quickly enough.
I have at last received contracts from Penguin for my Penguin Classics edition of Clark Ashton Smith. I was a little alarmed to see that the due date is April 15 (I had thought it would be May 1), but I imagine I can make it. I have already plunged into the task of preparing the texts and writing annotations. I find that the landmark edition of CAS’s Collected Fantasies edited by Scott Connors and Ronald S. Hilger did not in fact annotate the stories beyond providing (very valuable) information on their genesis and publication history, so I guess I will be breaking a certain minimal amount of new ground here. But, like Dunsany, CAS’s work does not lend itself to the kind of exhaustive annotation that we find in Lovecraft’s work, since his tales do not contain the superabundance of historical, literary, and cultural references that are in HPL’s.
The Dunsany bibliography plugs along, and Martin Andersson is making remarkable discoveries of previously unknown appearances and previously unknown works—some of which may have appeared initially in newspapers in Singapore! We are still investigating this matter. Martin has also found an array of Dunsany’s stories in such London newspapers as the Daily Mail and (especially) the Evening News, some of which appear to be uncollected. More on this later!
I am awaiting the receipt of copies of several recent Hippocampus Press titles, among them Richard Gavin’s At Fear’s Altar, the paperback editions of my I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft and of the Complete Poetry and Translations of Clark Ashton Smith, and a few other titles; but none have come so far, so I cannot offer them to my readers for purchase. I did get copies of Dead Reckonings No. 12 (Fall 2012), containing a review and a column of mine. I also see that such books as my compilation Dreams of Fear: Poems of Terror and the Supernatural and my edition of George Sterling’s Complete Poetry are now on the website, but I do not believe these books are published yet.
Speaking of Richard Gavin, I have been told that his story “The Word Made Flesh” will be reprinted in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year. Wonderful news … and a well-deserved acknowledgment of Richard’s rising status in the field. Also, John Shirley’s “When Death Wakes Me from Myself” (from my Black Wings II) will be reprinted in Paula Guran’s The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror.
I don’t have much more to say about some of the media items I mentioned earlier. A person named Digby Rumsey is working on a documentary film about Lord Dunsany, and we hope to get together in England later this year for an interview. I will also give a podcast this Thursday (February 21) at noon (Eastern Time) on the C-Realm Podcast out of New York. This was set up by my neighbour, Jim Dempsey, who knows the person (who goes only by the initials KMO) who runs the podcast. I will also appear on the Lovecraft E-Zine, along with Wilum Pugmire, on March 3. This past weekend, when Jason & Sunni Brock and William F. Nolan were up here, we all trooped to Wilum’s house and record two separate YouTube videos: Jason and Bill talked about the unjustly forgotten film director Dan Curtis, and Wilum and I talked about my usual array of current projects.
I am now working in earnest in preparing an edition of W. C. Morrow’s weird tales for Centipede Press’s Masters of the Weird Tale series. I will be editing the volume in conjunction with Stefan Dziemianowicz. We will be using fairly liberal selection criteria for the book, including a number of non-supernatural tales of varying degrees of gruesomeness—a mode of writing in which Morrow excelled. I may even want to include one of his Civil War tales, “The Bloodhounds” (1879), which is incredibly grim and chilling—although I in fact already reprinted it in my anthology, Civil War Memories (2000).
I am also working diligently on another atheism-related book, now titled The Original Atheists: First Thoughts on Nonbelief. This will be for Prometheus Books, and will reprint selections of a wide array of eighteenth-century philosophers, from Voltaire to David Hume to James Madison. All great fun!
I have heard of interest from an Italian agent in securing the translation rights to Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural fiction, and from a Spanish publisher interested in the translation rights to Back Wings. Nothing definite on either of these matters yet.
Lots of things happening in this little corner of the world! First, I am pleased to announce that I have written some critical essays for the first time in ages. The first is an article on Lord Dunsany—“Christianity and Paganism in Two Dunsany Novels”—dealing with The Blessing of Pan (1927) and The Curse of the Wise Woman (1933). This article will be published in my anthology of essays on Lord Dunsany—Beyond the Fields We Know—to be published by Scarecrow Press. The book is due to the publisher in April.
The second critical article is one that I wrote years ago for a planned anthology of weird poetry by Ambrose Bierce, George Sterling, and Clark Ashton Smith. This article—“A Triumvirate of Fantastic Poets: Ambrose Bierce, George Sterling, and Clark Ashton Smith”—will appear in the Summer 2013 issue of Extrapolation. I can’t say that these two articles will augur a burst of new critical work on my part, but it was fun to write them.
Actually, I have undertaken an entire critical volume—Varieties of Crime Fiction—which will discuss as many as 12 authors in the mystery/suspense field: John Dickson Carr, Margery Allingham, Rex Stout, Margaret Millar, Patricia Highsmith, L. P. Davies, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, P. D. James, Sue Grafton, and Ruth Rendell. This will be a “lighter” critical work, nothing so weighty as my history of horror fiction. I wrote on Davies already in The Evolution of the Weird Tale (2004) and will probably simply reprint or adapt that piece. I have of course written a whole book on Carr, but will reread selected works for a new analysis. I am reading Margaret Millar right now and enjoying her work hugely.
I have received copies of the second printing (January 2013) of Maurice Level’s Tales of the Grand Guignol from Centipede Press. This one actually has a dust jacket (with cover art by David Ho), which the first printing lacked. The printing is limited to 300 copies, selling for $50. I have copies that I would be happy to part with for $40 at the usual rates. … Copies of The Dead Valley and Others (H. P. Lovecraft’s Favorite Horror Stories, Volume 2) are still available at $40.
The two-volume anthology The Madness of Cthulhu is now finished—almost. I am waiting for one more story, probably from Amber Benson. The complete lineup of authors is: Kevin J. Anderson, Laird Barron, Erik & Greg Bear, Arthur C. Clarke, Jason C. Eckhardt, Alan Dean Foster, Cody Goodfellow, Heather Graham, Lois H. Gresh, Karen Haber, Mark Howard Jones, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Nancy Kilpatrick, J. C. Koch, Jonathan Maberry, William F. Nolan, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., Darrell Schweitzer, John Shirley, Michael Shea, Robert Silverberg, William Browning Spencer, Brian Stableford, Melanie Tem, Steve Rasnic Tem, Jonathan Thomas, K. M. Tonso, Harry Turtledove, and Donald Tyson. All the stories are original except those by Clarke (“At the Mountains of Murkiness”) and Silverberg (“Diana of the Hundred Breasts”).
Some more nebulous things going on, chiefly in the realm of media … a possible podcast about Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and related writers … a documentary film about Lord Dunsany … film rights to my Lovecraft biography. More on all these matters next time!
I am now happy to make a momentous announcement: The second revised edition of The Ancient Track: Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft will appear later this year…from Hippocampus Press! It will be a trade paperback edition of some 600 pages, and will contain a dozen or more newly discovered poems not included in the original edition. The notes and introduction have been thoroughly overhauled, and I believe this book will remain tolerably definitive for the foreseeable future. I was forced to withdraw the book from Night Shade Books because that publisher did not seem to express any notable interest in publishing it in the near future, and I did not wish to see the book (which was largely completed a year ago) sit idle for much longer. I am not sure exactly when Hippocampus will release it, but it could happen within the next few months.
I am also happy to see the appearance of Avatars of Wizardry, a book of poems inspired by George Sterling’s “A Wine of Wizardry” and Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Hashish-Eater,” edited by Charles Lovecraft. This has appeared from P’rea Press in Australia and—aside from a brief foreword by me—has scintillating original poems by Richard L. Tierney, Leigh Blackmore, Alan Gullette, Bruce Boston, Wade German, Kyla Lee Ward, Michael Fantina, and Earl Livings. It is a splendid little trade paperback volume and well worth ordering. See www.preapress.com.
Another book that I will be happy to see out in due course of time is Michael Aronovitz’s first published novel, Alice Walks, which will appear later this year from Centipede Press. I have just finished going over the proofs and have written a brief introduction. It is one of the most terrifying and compelling short novels written in recent decades, and surprisingly brings a freshness to the old-time “ghost story” that I did not think was possible. Michael is nothing if not prolific, and I understand that Jason V Brock’s Cycatrix Press is scheduled to publish a short story collection of Michael’s later this year. And Hippocampus Press is considering another short novel he has written. I met Michael briefly in Princeton, N.J., last year and hope to see him and his wife at the World Horror Convention this June.
Another of my most distinguished protégés, Jonathan Thomas, is preparing his third short story collection for publication with Hippocampus Press later this year. It is as yet untitled, but it will contain a number of his more recent stories, several of them unpublished. More details to follow as I know them!
A few more copies of my edition of The Dead Valley and Others (H. P. Lovecraft’s Favorite Horror Stories, Volume 2) (Arcane Wisdom, 2012) have just drifted in, so readers are welcome to purchase it at the terms announced before ($40 for US customers [which includes postage]; extra postage for overseas customers to be determined).
I have already completed assembling my Collected Essays on H. P. Lovecraft for Hippocampus Press, although it will not appear any earlier than 2014. The book stands at 256,723 words. Of course, it does not include absolutely everything I’ve ever written on Lovecraft, even among my critical essays. (Reviews are excluded, since most of these already appeared in Classics and Contemporaries.) There were some essays that I decided were simply too inferior, or outdated, to include. But I did include some introductions to editions of Lovecraft’s work—such as the introduction to In Defence of Dagon (1985), The Annotated Supernatural Horror in Literature (2000), Against Religion (2010), and Miscellaneous Writings (1995), which I understand is out of print from Arkham House. The onerous task of compiling the index remains.
I understand that Pete Crowther of PS Publishing will be issuing separate booklets of Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and “The Dreams in the Witch House.” I will be writing brief introductions to each of these works, and I have also provided Pete with my corrected texts.
Hippocampus Press is already gearing up for the NecronomiCon convention in Providence (August 23–25) by contemplating the issuance of a number of books relating to Lovecraft. Aside from the second edition of The Ancient Track, we are working on a book by David Goudsward, H. P. Lovecraft in the Merrimack Valley, which details Lovecraft’s explorations in the area around Haverhill, Newburyport, and environs and his use of it in his fiction. There is much new information about Lovecraft’s relations with Charles W. (“Tryout”) Smith, Myrta Alice Little, and other matters. Steven J. Mariconda is working on an expanded edition of his collected essays on Lovecraft, which should include some exciting new pieces—especially about the topographical setting of “The Colour out of Space” and on some background elements in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
Lots of other things in the pipeline! Next time I hope to have some further word on the status of my two-volume anthology, The Madness of Cthulhu, now nearly finished.
I was tremendously gratified by my readers’ response to the announcement of the publication of Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural Fiction, and I regret not being able to supply more customers with copies. I only had 6 to sell, and they seem to have been snapped up minutes after my last blog was posted. I hope others can trouble themselves to order either from the publisher or from some US dealers who may carry the book. My understanding is the Mark Ziesing and Subterranean Press will carry a limited number of copies, which will at least allow customers to avoid heavy air-mail shipping charges from England.
As a feeble recompense, I can announce that I have an abundant number of copies of my newest book, H. L. Mencken’s Bluebeard’s Goat and Other Stories (Dufour Editions, 2012). This trade paperback (list price $16.95) has a substantial number of stories by Mencken, many of them never reprinted. One of them—“The Window of Horrors” (Smart Set, September 1917)—is actually a horror story, although I reprinted this earlier in my anthology Great Tales of Terror (Dover, 2002). I can offer copies of Bluebeard’s Goat for $10 at the usual terms (i.e., postage included for US customers).
I see that a listing for my edition of George Sterling’s complete poetry has now appeared on the Hippocampus Press website: http://www.hippocampuspress.com/mythos-and-other-authors/poetry/george-sterling-complete-poetry?zenid=190d480e9f65adbc6636c6b0051fe618. This does not mean that the book is out, however: I believe we are still waiting for a foreword by Kevin Starr. Nevertheless, the book is imminent, and I expect it to appear within the first two months of the year. I doubt, however, that I will have very many copies for sale.
Stefan Dziemianowicz has written a nice review of my Black Wings II in the January 2013 issue of Locus. Stefan is also engaging in the unenviable task of reading through the entirety of Unutterable Horror for a review that will probably appear in the March issue.
I have begun work on an omnibus of Robert W. Chambers’s weird tales for Centipede Press’s Masters of the Weird Tale series. The volume will probably differ somewhat from my earlier Chambers omnibus, The Yellow Sign and Other Stories (Chaosium, 2000), at least to the degree that it will include the late novel The Slayer of Souls (1920). That will make it a very big book indeed, and I will probably have to cut some other material to make room for it.
I am fulfilling my threat—er, promise—to assemble my collected essays on Lovecraft, to be published by Hippocampus Press no earlier than 2014. It will include the complete contents of Selected Papers on Lovecraft (1989) and Primal Sources (2003), the Lovecraft-related articles in The Evolution of the Weird Tale (2004), and much else that has never been reprinted. The book will be distressingly large, but will probably not extend to two volumes. I will be including a number of my introductions to various editions of Lovecraft’s work, including the general introduction and section introductions to Miscellaneous Writings (1995), which I believe is now out of print.