Centaur Press

Centaur Press, later renamed Centaur Books, was a New York-based small publisher active from the late 1960s through 1981. The press was founded by Charles M. Collins and Donald M. Grant. It was primarily a paperback publisher, though one of its more successful titles was reissued in hardcover. It was notable for reviving pulp adventure and fantasy works of the early twentieth century for its "Time-Lost Series."

Authors whose works were returned to print by Centaur Press include Robert E. Howard, Arthur O. Friel, J. Allan Dunn, Alfred H. Bill, Jean d'Esme, Darrel Crombie, Arthur D. Howden Smith, Talbot Mundy, E. Charles Vivian, Will Garth, H. Warner Munn, and William Hope Hodgson. In the sole anthology it issued, the press also premiered a couple new works, one by Crombie and one by contemporary author Lin Carter. In later years it also published longer works by contemporary authors, including Carter, Galad Elflandsson, and Robb Walsh. Its books featured cover art by Jeff Jones, Robert Bruce Acheson, Virgil Finlay, Frank Brunner, David Ireland, Stephen Fabian, Randy Broecker, and David Wenzel.

Centaur's output was small, generally on the order of one to three books a year. Its publications featured thicker and less acidic paper than that utilized by most paperback houses.

Centaur Press
FounderCharles M. Collins and Donald M. Grant
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationNew York, New York
ImprintsTime-Lost Series

Bibliography of books published

Asterisked titles were issued in the publisher's "Time-Lost" series.

General references

  • ISFDB entry for Centaur Press
  • ISFDB entry for Centaur Books
  • Chalker, Jack L.; Mark Owings (1998). The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998. Westminster, MD and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd. pp. 152–154.
1853 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1853 in the United Kingdom.

1858 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1858 in the United Kingdom.

1859 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1859 in the United Kingdom.

1866 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1866 in the United Kingdom.

1874 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1874 in the United Kingdom.

1879 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1879 in the United Kingdom.

1952 in Scotland

Events from the year 1952 in Scotland.

Alfred H. Bill

Alfred Hoyt Bill (1879–1964) was an American writer. His non-fiction mostly dealt with American history while his fiction (some of it aimed at children) was set in different periods of British and French history.

One of his later works of fiction, The Wolf in the Garden, was republished by Centaur Press in 1972.

Archimede-class submarine

The Archimede class were a group of submarines built for the Italian Navy in the early 1930s. The boats fought in the Spanish Civil War (under nationalist flag) and in World War II. Under Spanish colors, these boats were known as the General Mola class, and remained in service until 1959.

Coleridge's notebooks

Coleridge's notebooks, of which seventy-two have survived, contain a huge assortment of memoranda set down by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge from 1794 until shortly before his death in 1834. Coleridge's biographer Richard Holmes summarised the range of material covered as "travels, reading, dreams, nature studies, self-confession and self-analysis, philosophical theories, friendships, sexual fantasies, lecture notes, observations of his children, literary schemes, brewing recipes, opium addiction, horrors, puns, prayers." Some of this vast storehouse of material found its way into Coleridge's published works, and it is also believed to have directly influenced Wordsworth's poems. The notebooks have been described as "unique in the annals of Romantic autobiography", and as "perhaps the unacknowledged prose masterpiece of the age".

Donald M. Grant

Donald Metcalf Grant (April 3, 1927 – August 19, 2009) was an American publisher.

Frank Avray Wilson

Frank Avray Wilson (3 May 1914 – 1 January 2009) was a British artist and author.

He was one of the first British artists to use Tachist or action painting techniques.

James Broughton

James Broughton (November 10, 1913 – May 17, 1999) was an American poet and poetic filmmaker. He was part of the San Francisco Renaissance, a precursor to the Beat poets. He was an early bard of the Radical Faeries, as well as a member of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, serving the community as Sister Sermonetta.

Jon Wynne-Tyson

Jon Wynne-Tyson (born 6 July 1924) is a British author, publisher, activist and pacifist who founded Centaur Press in 1954. He ran Centaur Press from his home in Sussex and is a distinguished independent publisher. Centaur Press was a full-time independent publishing company until it was sold in 1998. The output from Centaur Press ranged from small stories illustrated by his first wife Joan Stanton to the substantial hardback series Centaur Classics, which included such titles as Leland's five volume Itinerary in England and Wales, Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch, and Burns' Commonplace Book.The company expanded into humane education releasing titles on topics such as vegetarianism, animal rights and related philosophy. The firm also published works of fiction (So Say Banana Bird), classical literature and philosophy (The Myths of Plato) and poetry. At one time Wynne-Tyson held the title of "King of Redonda", a literary title referencing a small island. He has written 14 books in total, including books about vegetarianism and animal rights. His most recent book, published by Michael Russel Publishing Ltd, is an autobiography entitled Finding the Words: A Publishing Life and focuses on his life in publishing. His autobiography also describes the relationship between his mother Esmé Wynne-Tyson and her close friend Noël Coward.

Kermit Sheets

Louis Kermit Sheets (14 August 1915 – 6 April 2006) was an actor, director, playwright and an artistic partner with poet James Broughton.

Protea piscina

Protea piscina, commonly known as the Visgat sugarbush, is a shrub of the family Proteaceae that is native to South Africa.

Richard D. Ryder

Richard Hood Jack Dudley Ryder (born 1940) is a British writer, psychologist, and animal rights advocate.

Ryder became known in the 1970s as a member of the Oxford Group, a group of intellectuals loosely centred on the University of Oxford who began to speak out against animal use, in particular factory farming and animal research. He was working at the time as a clinical psychologist at the Warneford Hospital in Oxford, and had himself been involved in animal research in the United Kingdom and United States.In 1970, he coined the term speciesism to describe the exclusion of nonhuman animals from the protections available to human beings. In 1977 he became chairman of the RSPCA Council, serving until 1979, and helped to organize the first academic animal rights conference, held in August 1977 at Trinity College, Cambridge. The conference produced a "Declaration against Speciesism", signed by 150 people.Ryder is the author of a number of books about animal research, animal rights, and morality in politics, including Victims of Science (1975), Animal Revolution (1989), and Painism: A Modern Morality (2001).

Solomon Kane

Solomon Kane is a fictional character created by the pulp-era writer Robert E. Howard. A late 16th–early 17th century Puritan, Solomon Kane is a somber-looking man who wanders the world with no apparent goal other than to vanquish evil in all its forms. His adventures, published mostly in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, often take him from Europe to the jungles of Africa and back.

Howard described him as a tall, sombre and gloomy man of pale skin, gaunt face and cold eyes, all of it shadowed by a slouch hat. He is dressed entirely in black and his weaponry usually consists of a rapier, a dirk, and a brace of flintlock pistols. During one of his later adventures his friend N'Longa, an African shaman, gave him a juju staff that served as a protection against evil but could easily be wielded as a weapon. It is revealed in another story, "The Footfalls Within", that this is the mythical Staff of Solomon, a talisman older than the Earth and unimaginably powerful, much more so than even N'Longa knew. In the same adventure with N'Longa, Kane is seen using a musket as well.

When Weird Tales published the story "Red Nails", featuring Conan the Barbarian, the editors introduced it as a tale of "a barbarian adventurer named Conan, remarkable for his sheer force of valor and brute strength. Its author, Robert E. Howard, is already a favorite with the readers of this magazine for his stories of Solomon Kane, the dour English Puritan and redresser of wrongs".

Swordsmen and Supermen

Swordsmen and Supermen is an anonymously edited anthology of fantasy stories by Robert E. Howard and others, with a cover by Virgil Finlay. It was first published in paperback by Centaur Press in February 1972. The anonymous editor has been identified by bibliographers Jack L. Chalker and Mark Owings and by critic Roger C. Schlobin as the publisher, Donald M. Grant.The book collects five novelettes and short stories by various fantasy authors, with a general introductory note and introductory notes on the authors and stories prefacing each story. The stories are "swashbuckling fantastic yarns" both from the pulp era of the 1920s and 1930s and the period in which the book was published.

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