Discoveries in Fantasy is an anthology of fantasy short stories, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in March 1972 as the forty-third volume of its Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. It was the seventh such anthology assembled by Carter for the series.
The book collects seven tales by four neglected fantasy authors, Ernest Bramah, Donald Corley, Richard Garnett and Eden Phillpotts, with an overall introduction and notes by Carter. The cover illustrates a scene from one of the tales, Donald Corley's "The Bird with the Golden Beak".
|Discoveries in Fantasy|
Cover of the first edition.
|Author||Edited by Lin Carter|
|Cover artist||Peter Le Vasseur|
|Series||Ballantine Adult Fantasy series|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Double Phoenix|
|Followed by||Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy I|
The Ballantine Adult Fantasy series was an imprint of American publisher Ballantine Books. Launched in 1969 (presumably in response to the growing popularity of Tolkien's works), the series reissued a number of works of fantasy literature which were out of print or dispersed in back issues of pulp magazines (or otherwise not easily available in the United States), in cheap paperback form—including works by authors such as James Branch Cabell, Lord Dunsany, Ernest Bramah, Hope Mirrlees, and William Morris. The series lasted until 1974.
Envisioned by the husband-and-wife team of Ian and Betty Ballantine, and edited by Lin Carter, it featured cover art by illustrators such as Gervasio Gallardo, Robert LoGrippo, David McCall Johnston, and Bob Pepper. The agreement signed between the Ballantines and Carter on November 22, 1968 launched the project. In addition to the reprints comprising the bulk of the series, some new fantasy works were published as well as a number of original collections and anthologies put together by Carter, and Imaginary Worlds, his general history of the modern fantasy genre.The series was never considered a money-maker for Ballantine, although the re-issue of several of its titles both before and after the series' demise shows that a number of individual works were considered successful. The Ballantines supported the series as long as they remained the publishers of Ballantine Books, but with their sale of the company to Random House in 1973 support from the top was no longer forthcoming, and in 1974, with the end of the Ballantines' involvement in the company they had founded, the series was terminated.After the termination of the Adult Fantasy series, Ballantine continued to publish fantasy but concentrated primarily on new titles, with the older works it continued to issue being those with proven track records. In 1977, both its fantasy and science fiction lines were relaunched under the Del Rey Books imprint, under the editorship of Lester and Judy-Lynn del Rey. Carter continued his promotion of the fantasy genre in a new line of annual anthologies from DAW Books, The Year's Best Fantasy Stories, also beginning in 1975. Meanwhile, the series' lapsed mission of restoring classic works of fantasy to print had been taken up on a more limited basis by the Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Library, launched in 1973.Donald Corley
James Donald Corley (1886–1955) was an American author of short stories, illustrator and architect. He is chiefly remembered for his three self-illustrated books, which included a number of classic fantasy short stories.Lin Carter
Linwood Vrooman Carter (June 9, 1930 – February 7, 1988) was an American author of science fiction and fantasy, as well as an editor, poet and critic. He usually wrote as Lin Carter; known pseudonyms include H. P. Lowcraft (for an H. P. Lovecraft parody) and Grail Undwin. He is best known for his work in the 1970s as editor of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, which introduced readers to many overlooked classics of the fantasy genre.The Fifth Son of the Shoemaker
The Fifth Son of the Shoemaker is a book by Donald Corley, illustrated by the author. It was his best known work and his only novel, though according to Lin Carter it is actually "a volume of short stories under the guise of a novel." The book was first published in hardcover in New York by Robert M. McBride in September 1930.The Haunted Jester
The Haunted Jester is a collection of short stories by Donald Corley, illustrated by the author. Corley did not limit himself to one genre, but the primary distinction of the collection is its inclusion of a number of classic dark fantasies . It was first published in hardcover in New York by Robert M. McBride in September 1931. It was later reissued by Books for Libraries in 1970. One story from the collection, "The Bird with the Golden Beak", was included by Lin Carter in Discoveries in Fantasy (1972), for the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series.The House of Lost Identity
The House of Lost Identity is a collection of short stories by Donald Corley, illustrated by the author. Corley did not limit himself to one genre, but the primary distinction of the collection is its inclusion of a number of classic dark fantasies . It was first published in hardcover in New York by Robert M. McBride in May 1927, and had a number of reprintings; printings after the first include an introduction by James Branch Cabell. It was reissued in hardcover by Books for Libraries in 1971, and in hardcover and paperback by Wildside Press in February 2008. The first British edition was published by George G. Harrap and Co. in 1927. The book's importance in the history of fantasy literature was also recognized by the anthologization of two of its tales by Lin Carter in the 1970s; "The Song of the Tombelaine," in Discoveries in Fantasy (1972), for the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series, and "Figs" (under the alternate title of "The Book of Lullûme") in Realms of Wizardry (1976).
The collection was named after its initial story, "The House of Lost Identity."The Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales
The Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales is a collection of fantasy short stories by Richard Garnett, generally considered a classic in the genre. Its title notwithstanding, the collection "has nothing to do with the Norse gods—although it draws upon everything else, from Arabic legends and Chinese fairy tales to Roman history and Greek mythology." The title story actually concerns the release of Prometheus, upon the ultimate eclipse of Greek paganism by Christianity, from the torture to which he was sentenced by Zeus.The Wallet of Kai Lung
The Wallet of Kai Lung is a collection of fantasy stories by English writer Ernest Bramah, all but the last of which feature Kai Lung, an itinerant story-teller of ancient China. It was first published in hardcover in London by Grant Richards in 1900, and there have been numerous editions since. Its initial tale, "The Transmutation of Ling", was also issued by the same publisher as a separate chapbook in 1911. The collection's importance in the history of fantasy literature was recognized by the anthologization of two of its tales in the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series, edited by Lin Carter and published by Ballantine Books; "The Vision of Yin" in Discoveries in Fantasy (March, 1972), and "The Transmutation of Ling" in Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy Volume II (March, 1973).
Although the collection is presented in the fashion of a novel, with each of its component stories designated chapters, there is no overall plot aside from each of the first eight tales being presented as narratives told by Kai Lung at various points in his itinerant career. The final tale is represented as being from a manuscript left by its own separate first-person narrator, Kin Yen.