Hannes Bok

Hannes Bok, pseudonym for Wayne Francis Woodard (July 2, 1914 – April 11, 1964), was an American artist and illustrator, as well as an amateur astrologer and writer of fantasy fiction and poetry. He painted nearly 150 covers for various science fiction, fantasy, and detective fiction magazines, as well as contributing hundreds of black and white interior illustrations. Bok's work graced the pages of calendars and early fanzines, as well as dust jackets from specialty book publishers like Arkham House, Llewellyn, Shasta Publishers, and Fantasy Press. His paintings achieved a luminous quality through the use of an arduous glazing process, which was learned from his mentor, Maxfield Parrish. Bok shared one of the inaugural 1953 Hugo Awards for science fiction achievement (best Cover Artist).[2]

Today, Bok is best known for his cover art which appeared on various pulp and science fiction magazines, such as Weird Tales, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Other Worlds, Super Science Stories, Imagination, Fantasy Fiction, Planet Stories, If, Castle of Frankenstein and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Wayne Woodard
Hannes Bok
Hannes Bok
BornWayne Francis Woodard
July 2, 1914
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
DiedApril 11, 1964 (aged 49)
New York City, New York, United States
Pen nameHannes Bok
OccupationIllustrator, writer
NationalityAmerican
Period1939–1957 (SF magazine artist)[1]
GenreFantasy
Science fiction quarterly 1942sum
Bok's "complete novel" Starstone World was the cover story for the Summer 1942 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly. Starstone World has never been published in book form; it is believed that magazine text was cut for publication, and Bok's full-length manuscript has been lost.

Life and career

Cosmic Science-Fiction May 1941
Cover of the May 1941 issue of Cosmic Science-Fiction, by Bok.

Wayne Woodard (the name is sometimes mistakenly rendered as "Woodward") was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His parents divorced when he was five; and his father and stepmother, strict disciplinarians, discouraged his artistic efforts. Once he graduated high school, in Duluth, Minnesota, Bok cut off contact with his father and moved to Seattle to live with his mother. There he became active in SF fandom, including the publication and illustration of fanzines. It was in connection with these activities that he originated his pseudonym, first "Hans", then "Hannes", Bok. The pseudonym derives from Johann Sebastian Bach (whose name can be rendered both as "Johann S. Bach" and "Johannes Bach").

In 1937, Bok moved to Los Angeles, where he met Ray Bradbury. In 1938, he relocated to Seattle – where he worked for the W.P.A. and became acquainted with artists like Mark Tobey and Morris Graves. Late in 1939, Bok moved to New York City in order to be closer to the editors and magazines which would publish his work, and where he became a member of the influential Futurians science fiction fans.[3] Bok had corresponded with and had met Maxfield Parrish (ca. 1939?), and the influence of Parrish's art on Bok's is evident in his choice of subject matter, use of color, and application of glazes. Bok was also homosexual, according to friends Forrest J Ackerman and Emil Petaja; the erotic fantasy elements of his artwork, especially his male nude subjects, display homoerotic overtones unusual for the time.

Like his contemporary Virgil Finlay, Hannes Bok broke into commercial art and achieved initial career success as a Weird Tales artist – though he did so through one of the stranger events in the history of science fiction and fantasy. In the summer of 1939, Ray Bradbury carried samples of Bok's art eastward to introduce his friend's work to magazine editors at the first World Science Fiction Convention.[3] This was a bold move, since Bradbury was a neophyte with no connections to commercial art or the magazine industry; but it reflects the close ties within the fan and professional community. Bradbury was, at the time, a 19-year-old newspaper seller, and he borrowed funds for the trip from fellow science fiction fan Forrest J Ackerman. Bradbury succeeded; Farnsworth Wright, editor of Weird Tales, accepted Bok's art, which debuted in the December 1939 issue of Weird Tales. More than 50 issues of the magazine featured Bok's pen-and-ink work until March 1954. Bok also executed six color covers for Weird Tales between March 1940 and March 1942. Weird Tales also published five of Bok's stories and two of his poems between 1942 and 1951. Once he broke through into professional publications, Bok moved to New York City and lived there the rest of his life.

Throughout his life, Bok was deeply interested in astrology, as well as in the music of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, with whom Bok had a correspondence. (Bok's copy of Karl Ekman's Jean Sibelius: His Life and Personality [Knopf, 1938], for example, is annotated with Bok's comments and astrological charts.) As the years passed, Bok became prone to disagreements with editors over money and artistic issues; he grew reclusive and mystical, and preoccupied with the occult. He eked out a living, often in near poverty, until his death in 1964. He died, apparently of a heart attack (he "starved to death" according to Ackerman), at the age of 49.[4] ISFDB catalogs only a few 1956 interior illustrations after March 1954, his last for Weird Tales, and only two cover illustrations after January 1957.[1]

Bok as an author

As an author, Bok is best known for his novels The Sorcerer's Ship, originally published in the December 1942 issue of John W. Campell's fantasy magazine Unknown; and The Blue Flamingo/Beyond the Golden Stair. The Blue Flamingo first appeared in the January 1948 issue of Startling Stories. Bok later performed an extensive revision and expansion of this work, published posthumously as Beyond the Golden Stair (1970). Both novels have been re-issued in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. Bok also was allowed to complete two novellas left unfinished by A. Merritt at the time of his death in 1943. These were published as The Blue Pagoda (1946) and The Black Wheel (1947). (Bok's commitment to fantasy and science fiction had occurred in 1927 in connection with Merritt's The Moon Pool in Amazing Stories – one of those conversion experiences common among young SF fans.) Also published posthumously was a collection of Bok's poetry, Spinner of Silver and Thistle (1972).

Bok as an artist

Future Fantasy and Science Fiction October 1942
Bok's "Beauty" was the cover story for the October 1942 issue of Future, and Bok himself painted the cover illustration
Weird Tales March 1940
Bok's cover for the March 1940 Weird Tales, illustrating Clyde Irvine's "The Horror in the Glen"

Bok is better known for his art than for his fiction. His style could alternate between, or combine, lush romanticism and humorous grotesquery. His use of time-consuming glazing techniques for his paintings impeded his productivity and limited his output, and therefore his commercial success. He also spent time carving figures in wood and making masks in papier mache. In the 1950s he was able to do more book-jacket illustrations, which he found less irksome than magazine work; though he could never have abandoned the latter. His striking wraparound cover for the November 1963 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, illustrating Roger Zelazny's "A Rose for Ecclesiastes", was published in the last months of his life.

Bok and Ed Emshwiller shared one of the inaugural Hugo Awards for science fiction achievement in 1953, as the previous year's best "Cover Artist" (a tie); Virgil Finlay was recognized as the best "Interior Illustrator". Cover and interior illustration were not thereafter distinguished by the Hugo Award for Best Artist under various names.[2]

Bok and Emil Petaja

The science fiction and fantasy author Emil Petaja (1915–2000) was lifelong friend of Bok and collector of his work. After Bok's death, Petaja did as much as anyone to keep the artist's work before the public eye.

Bok and Petaja first met in the summer of 1936. According to Petaja, Bok and his friend Harold Taves were hitch-hiking from Seattle to New York City when they stopped off in Montana, USA, to see the aspiring writer. At first correspondents, Bok and Petaja soon became close friends. The two had much in common – including an interest in fantasy fiction, the Kalevala (the Finnish verse epic), and the music of Sibelius.

Petaja's first book, Brief Candle (1936), contained twelve poems by Petaja and twelve illustrations by Bok. Petaja printed this now rare chapbook by running-off copies on the mimeograph machines at Bozeman Campus, Montana State University, where he was a student in creative writing. According to Petaja, approximately 40 to 50 copies were printed with many "given to friends and well wishers."

Bok and Petaja's friendship continued in Los Angeles, where each had relocated in 1937. Throughout 1937 and 1938, Petaja and Bok shared an apartment, and together they attended fan meetings, haunted second-hand book and magazine shops, went to the movies, and helped each other with their poems and stories. They also immersed themselves in the primordial Los Angeles science fiction scene. Bok and Petaja befriended Ray Bradbury – then still a teenager – as well as Forrest J. Ackerman, Henry Kuttner and others.

Other worlds science stories 195105
1951 Bok illustration

In And Flights of Angels, Petaja recounts: "Perhaps when all is washed down over the dam, my major claim to fame will rest in the fact that it was I who got Hannes down to Los Angeles and I who dragged him, reluctantly, to the meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society. Where we met Ray Bradbury. . . . It was at Clifton's Cafeteria on Broadway. We couldn't afford to eat there, usually, but we took advantage of the free lime sherbet. In that fabled back room where so many of the s-f elite have sat around the long table chewing the fat, fanwize, Hannes first met Forrie Ackerman, Henry Kuttner, et al. But it was Ray Bradbury who took to Hannes instanter and proved to be such a rare and wonderful friend to him a little later on."

"Besides introducing Hannes to Ray Bradbury, I take pride in the fact that this brief Los Angeles period of Bok's life was one of the most productive of his life. He produced a dozen color paintings based on Peer Gynt, as samples to show book publishers what he could do. He painted "The Mermaid" and several Enchanted City themes. He wrote scads of poetry. All of which does indicate that, for all his beefs, he was happy then. He might lash out cruelly about this or that, but nobody I have known had as great a capacity for enjoying and sensating all there was around him."

In 1967, three years after Bok's death, Petaja founded the Bokanalia Memorial Foundation. The foundation was set up "with the help and encouragement of Harold Taves of Seattle and Ray Bradbury of Los Angeles and the Golden Gate Futurians of San Francisco . . . . The avowed intention of Bokanalia is simply to keep the great imaginative art of Hannes Bok from slipping into oblivion, and to make new (better than pulp) prints available to his many admirers all over the world".

Between 1967 and 1970, Petaja published five portfolios of Bok's art. Those portfolios include Variations on Bok Theme, (black & white portfolio, 1967); The Famous Power Series, (black & white portfolio, with text by Bok, 1969); and A Memorial Portfolio, (color portfolio, with booklet with text by Petaja, 1970). Petaja also authored a commemorative volume, And Flights of Angels: The Life and Legend of Hannes Bok (Bokanalia Memorial Foundation, 1968). Along with brief contributions from Roger Zelazny, Jack Gaughan, Donald Wollheim and others, And Flights of Angels contains Petaja's long biographical essay on the artist, a checklist of Bok's published artwork and writings, and reproductions of a substantial number of the artist's drawings, prints and illustrations. Later, under the SISU imprint (and on behalf of the Bokanalia Foundation), Petaja published an illustrated volume of Bok's poetry, Spinner of Silver and Thistle (1972), as well as editing The Hannes Bok Memorial Showcase of Fantasy Art (1974).

Much of the Bok material included in the portfolios and books published and authored by Petaja came from Petaja's personal collection. Petaja owned at least a dozen paintings, as well as dozens of sketches, drawings, prints and three-dimensional objects. Among Petaja's most beloved possessions was the first sketch Bok ever drew for him, a piece from 1936 called "Gleef," which hung on the wall of Petaja's San Francisco home. Petaja also collected examples of Bok's published work – such as magazine covers, interior illustrations, dust jackets, book covers, and more. Additionally, Petaja amassed Bok manuscripts (both published and unpublished fiction and poetry), as well as letters, books, other printed matter and unique, one-of-a-kind objects.

References

  1. ^ a b Hannes Bok at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-11. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  2. ^ a b "Bok, Hannes" Archived 2012-10-16 at the Wayback Machine. The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Art Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  3. ^ a b "Hannes Bok: Futurian Artist in Chief". Frederik Pohl. The Way the Future Blogs. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  4. ^ "Hannes Bok, Part 2: The story with the unhappy ending". Frederik Pohl. The Way the Future Blogs. Retrieved 2013-04-11.

External links

7th World Science Fiction Convention

The 7th World Science Fiction Convention, also known as Cinvention, was held September 3–5. 1949, at the Hotel Metropole in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States.

The Guests of Honor were Lloyd A. Eshbach (pro) and Ted Carnell (fan). Don Ford carried out the duties of Chairman, but was officially Secretary-Treasurer; Charles R. Tanner had the honorary title of Chairman. Total attendance was approximately 190; noteworthy attendees included Forrest J. Ackerman, Hannes Bok, Lester del Rey. Vince Hamlin. Sam Moskowitz, Rog Phillips, Milton Rothman, "Doc" Smith, and George O. Smith.

9th World Science Fiction Convention

The 9th World Science Fiction Convention, also known as Nolacon I, was held 1–3 September 1951 at the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.

The chairman was Harry B. Moore.

The guest of honor was Fritz Leiber.

Total attendance was approximately 190. The at-the-door membership price was US$1, the same price charged from the 1st through the 12th Worldcon

Other pros attending included Robert Bloch, Fredric Brown, Judith Merril, E.E. Smith, L. Sprague de Camp, editor John W. Campbell and fantasy artist Hannes Bok, who did Nolacon's program book cover. Famous fans present included Sam Moskowitz, Wilson Tucker (aka Bob Tucker), Dave Kyle, Roger Sims, Terry Carr, and Lee Hoffman. The latter, editor of the very popular fanzine Quandry, whom everyone assumed was male, turned out to be a young woman, a ‘revelation’ which greatly startled even those who had corresponded with her.

Notable events included world premiere screenings of The Day The Earth Stood Still and When Worlds Collide, plus a continuous two-day-long party in Room 770 at the St. Charles Hotel that became legendary following the convention not only for its duration but for its high quality. Mike Glyer's long-running newszine File 770, named in commemoration of this party, has won the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine a number of times.Hugo Awards were not presented at this Worldcon as the awards were not proposed until the following year, 1952, with the first Hugos actually presented in 1953 at the 11th World Science Fiction Convention. However, in 2001 at the 59th World Science Fiction Convention held in Philadelphia, a set of Retro Hugo Awards were presented to honor work that would have been Hugo-eligible had the award existed in 1951. A "Certificate of Merit" was presented to representatives of The Day the Earth Stood Still by the Nolacon I chairman, and this was reported on Movietone News at the time.

A. Merritt

Abraham Grace Merritt (January 20, 1884 – August 21, 1943) – known by his byline, A. Merritt – was an American Sunday magazine editor and a writer of fantastic fiction.The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inducted him in 1999, its fourth class of two deceased and two living writers.

A Rose for Ecclesiastes

"A Rose for Ecclesiastes" is a science fiction short story by American author Roger Zelazny, first published in the November 1963 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction with a special wraparound cover painting by Hannes Bok. It was nominated for the 1964 Hugo Award for Short Fiction.

Beyond the Golden Stair

Beyond the Golden Stair is a fantasy novel written by American writer Hannes Bok. It was first published as the short story "The Blue Flamingo" in the January 1948 issue of the magazine Startling Stories; later the story was extensively revised and expanded by the author into novel form. The novel version was first published in book form (posthumously) in paperback by Ballantine Books as the twenty-third volume of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in November, 1970. The Ballantine edition includes an introduction by American author Lin Carter.

Cosmic Stories and Stirring Science Stories

Cosmic Stories (also known as Cosmic Science-Fiction) and Stirring Science Stories were two American pulp science fiction magazines that published a total of seven issues in 1941 and 1942. Both Cosmic and Stirring were edited by Donald A. Wollheim and launched by the same publisher, appearing in alternate months. Wollheim had no budget at all for fiction, so he solicited stories from his friends among the Futurians, a group of young science fiction fans including James Blish and C. M. Kornbluth. Isaac Asimov contributed a story, but later insisted on payment after hearing that F. Orlin Tremaine, the editor of the competing science fiction magazine Comet, was irate at the idea of a magazine that might "siphon readership from magazines that paid", and thought that authors who contributed should be blacklisted. Kornbluth was the most prolific contributor, under several pseudonyms; one of his stories, "Thirteen O'Clock", published under the pseudonym "Cecil Corwin", was very successful, and helped to make his reputation in the field. The magazines ceased publication in late 1941, but Wollheim was able to find a publisher for one further issue of Stirring Science Stories in March 1942 before war restrictions forced it to close again.

Other well-known writers who appeared in the two magazines included Damon Knight and David H. Keller. Knight's first published story, "Resilience", appeared in the February 1941 issue of Stirring Stories, but the story was ruined by a misprint in a crucial word in the first sentence. Keller was an established writer in the field, but Wollheim was aware that Keller occasionally donated material to fanzines, and was able to obtain a story from him. The quality of the artwork was variable; it included Elliot Dold's last artwork in the science fiction field, for the cover of the July 1941 issue of Cosmic Stories, and several covers and interior drawings by Hannes Bok, who later became a well-known artist in the field.

Dorothy McIlwraith

Dorothy Stevens McIlwraith (October 14, 1891 – August 23, 1976) was the third editor of Weird Tales, the pioneering pulp magazine that specialized in horror fiction and fantasy fiction. She also edited Short Stories magazine.

Emil Petaja

Emil Petaja (12 April 1915 – 17 August 2000) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer whose career spanned seven decades. He was the author of 13 published novels, nearly 150 short stories, numerous poems, and a handful of books and articles on various subjects. Though he wrote science fiction, fantasy, horror stories, detective fiction, and poetry, Petaja considered his work part of an older tradition of "weird fiction." Petaja was also a small press publisher. In 1995, he was named the first ever Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction Writers of America.

Of Finnish descent, Petaja's best known works are a series of science fiction novels based on the Kalevala, the Finnish verse epic. Petaja's series brought him readers from around the world, while his particular mythological approach to science fiction has been discussed in scholarly publications and included in related anthologies.In a statement published in Contemporary Authors (Gale Research, 1984), Petaja commented, "My writing endeavors have mainly been to entertain, except for the factual material concerning Hannes Bok and fantasy art in general, which serves to indicate my enthusiasm for these subjects. My novels about the Finnish legendary epic Kalevala: The Land of Heroes spring from a lifelong interest in this fine poetic work. I own six translations of the Kalevala, as well as the work in the original. Both of my parents were Finnish."

Futuria Fantasia

Futuria Fantasia was an American science fiction fanzine created by Ray Bradbury in 1938, when he was 18 years old. Though only 4 issues of the fanzine were published, its list of contributors included Hannes Bok, Forrest J. Ackerman, Henry Kuttner, Damon Knight, and Robert A. Heinlein.

Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist

The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist is given each year for artists of works related to science fiction or fantasy released in the previous calendar year.The Professional Artist award has been given annually under several names since 1955, with the exception of 1957. The inaugural 1953 Hugo awards recognized "Best Interior Illustrator" and "Best Cover Artist" categories, awarded to Virgil Finlay and a tie between Hannes Bok and Ed Emshwiller, respectively. The Best Professional Artist award was simply named "Best Artist" in 1955 and 1956, was not awarded in 1957, and was named "Outstanding Artist" in 1958, finally changing to its current name the following year. Beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been awarded for 1939, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1951, and 1954, and in each case an award for professional artist was given.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The works on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. The awards in 1955 and 1958 did not include any recognition of runner-up artists, but since 1959 all six candidates have been recorded. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near Labor Day, and in a different city around the world each year.During the 69 nomination years, 79 artists have been nominated; 23 of these have won, including co-winners and Retro Hugos. Michael Whelan has received the most awards, with 13 wins out of 24 nominations. Frank Kelly Freas has 11 wins and 28 nominations, the most nominations of any artist. Other artists with large numbers of wins or nominations include Bob Eggleton with 8 wins out of 23 nominations, Virgil Finlay with 4 out of 13, Ed Emshwiller with 4 out of 9, and Don Maitz with 2 out of 17. David A. Cherry and Thomas Canty are tied for the most nominations without an award at 10 each.

Kinsmen of the Dragon

Kinsmen of the Dragon is a fantasy novel by author Stanley Mullen. It was published in 1951 by Shasta Publishers in an edition of 3,500 copies. The book had originally been announced by Mullen's own Gorgon Press. The superb jacket art was by Hannes Bok.

Realms of Wizardry

Realms of Wizardry: An Anthology of Adult Fantasy is an American anthology of fantasy stories, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in hardcover by Doubleday in December 1976 as the second of two such anthologies continuing a series of nine assembled by Carter for the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series.

The book collects sixteen tales and excerpts from novels by various fantasy authors, with an overall introduction and notes on the individual authors by Carter. The collection is a companion volume to Carter's earlier anthology Kingdoms of Sorcery (1976).

The Black Wheel

The Black Wheel is a fantasy novel by American writers A. Merritt and Hannes Bok. Merritt had completed the first seven chapters, roughly 20,000 words, before his death in 1943. Bok wrote the remainder of the novel, twenty chapters of more than 60,000 words, working from "a sketchy plot outline" left by Merritt. The story concerns the discovery of a centuries-old shipwreck, complete with the preserved bodies of its crew, and the consequences for the passengers and crew of the cruise ship that comes across it.

The Checklist of Fantastic Literature

The Checklist of Fantastic Literature is a bibliography of English science fiction, fantasy and weird books compiled and edited by Everett F. Bleiler with a preface by Melvin Korshak and a cover by Hannes Bok.

With a print run of 1,933 copies, it was the first book from Shasta Publishers. The bibliography is nearly complete and lists over 5,000 titles published prior to 1949. The books are listed by author and indexed by title. Willy Ley described it as "indispensable to librarians, book dealers, and especially antiquarians."

The Hounds of Tindalos (book)

The Hounds of Tindalos is a collection of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories by American writer Frank Belknap Long. It was released in 1946 and was the author's third book. It was published by Arkham House in an edition of 2,602 copies with cover art by Hannes Bok. A British hardcover was issued by Museum Press in 1950. Belmont Books reprinted The Hounds of Tindalos in two paperback volumes, The Hounds of Tindalos (1963) and The Dark Beasts (1964), omitting three stories; Panther Books issued a complete two-volume British paperback edition as The Hounds of Tindalos (1975) and The Black Druid (1975).The 1975 Doubleday collection The Early Long may be considered as crucially supplemental to the Arkham House volume, since while it comprises only seventeen of the twenty-one stories in the Arkham House book, it adds "an excellent introduction and head notes" written by Long. (The 1978 paperback edition of The Early Long was retitled The Hounds of Tindalos.)

The Sorcerer's Ship

The Sorcerer's Ship is a fantasy novel by Hannes Bok. It was first published in the December 1942 issue of the magazine Unknown, and was first published in book form in paperback by Ballantine Books as the ninth volume of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in December 1969. The Ballantine edition includes an introduction by Lin Carter. The novel has also been published in translation in Polish and Russian. Like much of Bok's fiction, it is the story of a traveler "from our world who found [himself] in colourful, magic lands that are far more attractive than our own".

The Year's Best Fantasy Stories

The Year's Best Fantasy Stories is a anthology of fantasy stories, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by DAW Books in 1975. Despite the anthology's title, it actually gathers together pieces originally published during a two-year period, 1973 and 1974.The book collects eleven novelettes and short stories by various fantasy authors deemed by the editor the best to be published during the period represented, together with an introductory survey of the year in fantasy, an essay on the year's best fantasy books, and introductory notes to the individual stories by the editor. The pieces include posthumously published works (the stories by Howard and Bok), and a "posthumous collaboration" (the story by Smith and Carter).

Weird Tales (anthology series)

Weird Tales was a series of paperback anthologies, a revival of the classic fantasy and horror magazine of the same title, published by Zebra Books from 1980 to 1983 under the editorship of Lin Carter. It was issued more or less annually, though the first two volumes were issued simultaneously and there was a year’s gap between the third and fourth. It was preceded and succeeded by versions of the title in standard magazine form.

Each volume featured thirteen or fourteen novelettes, short stories and poems, including both new works by various fantasy authors and reprints from authors associated with the original Weird Tales, together with an editorial and introductory notes to the individual pieces by the editor. Authors whose works were featured included Robert Aickman, James Anderson, Robert H. Barlow, Robert Bloch, Hannes Bok, Ray Bradbury, Joseph Payne Brennan, Diane and John Brizzolara, Ramsey Campbell, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, August Derleth, Nictzin Dyalhis, Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, Robert E. Howard, Carl Jacobi, David H. Keller, Marc Laidlaw, Tanith Lee, Frank Belknap Long, Jr., H. P. Lovecraft, Robert A. W. Lowndes, Brian Lumley, Gary Myers, R. Faraday Nelson, Frank Owen, Gerald W. Page, Seabury Quinn, Anthony M. Rud, Charles Sheffield, Clark Ashton Smith, Stuart H. Stock, Steve Rasnic Tem, Evangeline Walton, Donald Wandrei, and Manly Wade Wellman, as well as Carter himself.

Carter habitually padded out the volumes he edited with a few his own works, whether written singly or in collaboration (the latter generally "posthumous collaborations" with Clark Ashton Smith in which he wrote stories on the basis of unused titles or story ideas from Smith’s notebooks).

Weird Tales 1

Weird Tales #1 is an anthology edited by Lin Carter, the first in his paperback revival of the classic fantasy and horror magazine Weird Tales. It is also numbered vol. 48, no. 1 (Spring 1981) in continuation of the numbering of the original magazine. The anthology was first published in paperback by American publisher Zebra Books in December 1980, and reprinted in 1983.

The book collects fourteen novelettes, short stories and poems by various fantasy authors, including both new works by various fantasy authors and reprints from authors associated with the original Weird Tales, together with an editorial and introductory notes to the individual pieces by the editor. The pieces include a "posthumous collaboration" (the story by Smith and Carter).

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