Thursday, March 28, 2013

The House That HPL Built

 I've mentioned before how much I like books from Arkham House, the venerable publishing company established in 1939 by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei to preserve the work of writer H.P. Lovecraft in hardback. Over the years I have accumulated quite a few Arkham house volumes, and this week I got two more, one through my own efforts and one through the generosity of a friend.
   Goes like this. When I was reading S.T. Joshi's Lovecraft biography I AM PROVIDENCE, I noted a couple of things I wanted to look into. One was an earlier bio HOWARD PHILLIPS LOVECRAFT: DREAMER ON THE NIGHTSIDE by Lovecraft's friend Frank Belknap Long. I'd been aware of the book for some time but never picked up a copy, so I went online and found one in nice condition and got it on the way.
   The other thing I noticed in Joshi's book was that there was one of Lovecraft's favorite writers who I had never read, M.P. Shiel. Lovecraft had been particularly taken with Shiel's story, THE HOUSE OF SOUNDS, so I wanted to track that down. Enter coincidence, stage left.
   My pal Cliff had just picked up a collection of old SF, Fantasy and Horror which included several Arkham House volumes. One of these books was the 1975 Shiel collection XELUCHA. As it turned out, Cliff already owned that one, so he passed the 'dupe' along to me. Cliff's good that way. Like me, he likes to see books in the hands of people who will enjoy them. To make the coincidence even more cool, Cliff brought me the book the same day that the FBL bio came in, so I went home with two 'new' Arkham House books.
   I haven't had a chance to dip into either, but I have a long weekend coming up, so I should have time to do some reading. I'll let you know what I think.


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