Sunday, August 29, 2010

Masters of Fantasy 2: August Derleth

Way back in 1984 the postman delivered a large envelope containing articles by Nic Howard -- articles on and about August Derleth. Also in that package was a short piece by Ramsey Campbell and many, many illustrations by Allen Koszowski. This was to be the basis for my first small press publication. In time, they were combined and published by the British Fantasy Society as Masters of Fantasy 2: August Derleth. It was a time-consuming, yet an interesting, educational and rewarding, experience: typing it out on an electric typewriter, correcting the typos, using sheets of Letraset to prepare the titles, and cow gum to paste it together.

The booklet contained the following by Nic Howard: "Derleth: An American Life in Literature" and "Dark Glory: Derleth's Achievements", plus a foreword, notes and bibliographical information. Ramsey Campbell's "Derleth As I Knew Him", the introduction, was excerpted from a longer piece. The booklet was just 24 pages in length (plus covers) and looks rather quaint when compared with today's proliferation of small press publications.

Masters of Fantasy 2 was the seventh in the BFS Booklet series. Its cover price was 50p ($1.50). Nowadays, can you buy anything worthy for a mere fifty pence?

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