Thursday, March 24, 2011
The Horrors, The Horrors
You've heard me go on and on about the writing of Karl Edward Wagner, creator of the hero/villain Kane and writer of countless horror stories. Wagner was also a tireless champion of the horror genre and he became editor of DAW Books' annual Year's Best Horror anthologies beginning with volume 8. I had a couple of those volumes and had been meaning to track them all down (Wagner edited volumes VIII through XXII) but they proved hard to come by and unexpectedly expensive, and whenever they popped up on Ebay, they tended to get bid out of the range I was willing to pay pretty quickly.
Anyway, I had mentioned several times at my weekly Mexican dinner with friends and fellow pop culture fans that I was hunting the series. Last night, one of that crew, Jim Moore, better known to horror aficionados as writer James A. Moore, author of Deeper, Serenity Falls and many other horror novels, gave me an almost complete collection of The Year's Best Horror stories, not only the Wagner volumes but those edited by Gerald W. Page and Richard Davis. To say I was surprised would be an large understatement.
The books had belonged to Jim's late wife, Bonnie, who passed away last year and she had gotten several of them signed by Karl Edward Wagner and some of the writers showcased in the books at various conventions over the years. I asked Jim if he was sure he wanted me to take them since they had apparently been very dear to his wife and he told me he would prefer they go to someone who would really appreciate them rather than sit stored in a box.
I certainly do appreciate them. I sat up late last night, paging through the contents. Everybody who was anybody in horror circles is there. Stephen King. Robert Bloch. Ramsey Campbell. Brian Lumley. Tanith Lee. Joe R. Lansdale. Dennis Etchison. Harlan Ellison. Richard Matheson. Kim Newman. You get the idea. I have a lot of reading ahead of me.
The set was only short four volumes of the 22, so I'll track the others down soon enough. So thanks again, Jim. The books have a good home.