Pulpfest 2017


pulp group

July 2017-PULPFEST

The weekend of July 27-30 Lloyd Currey and I attended Pulpfest held in Cranberry, Pa, a northern suburb of Pittsburgh. A thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable low-key show. The dealer’s room was well represented with many interesting pulps, books, magazines and much more. One of the very nice things about the show was how relaxed it was, good conversations were held about collecting, pulps, books, etc. This show largely has “old-timers” on the dealer’s room floor, but the amount of knowledge available is vast, and most love to talk. You never know who may turn up at a show like this, Saturday afternoon Jim Steranko, veteran pulp collector, stopped by our table to chat and make a few purchases. In addition to the Windy City show, which we highly recommend, this show made for a very pleasant week-end. We purchased a number of interesting items that will be coming to our new arrivals sections soon.

Our next show for both Lloyd and myself will be the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair, held at the Hynes Convention center in Boston on November 10-12.


Windy City Con 2017

After a busy early part of the year exhibiting successfully at the California Antiquarian Book Fair and the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, Lloyd Currey and I exhibited together at the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention. The Windy City Con was held in Lombard, IL recently (April 21-23).

We were planning for a relaxing weekend as this is a relatively small show but the buyers are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Sales were robust and exceeded expectations. It was enjoyable meeting old and new customers and our tables remained busy throughout the show.

This show could easily become the premiere show for genre material. There are great selections of pulp magazines that run the gamut from reasonably priced material to rare and scarce issues. Dealers also bring a wide selection of books from reading copies to interesting and rare books that cover a wide range; science fiction, fantasy, horror and supernatural, mystery and detective, and other popular fiction. Also original artwork is available for purchase.

The convention is a casual affair during which fans and dealers conduct business and socialize most of the day and evening. A few seem to have no issues with closing down the bar. Each year a stunning art show is put on, there are auctions in the evening and a film program. The venue of the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center provides a comfortable atmosphere with a number of dining choices as well as plenty of nearby restaurants.

Doug Ellis, John Gunnison and their staff put on an enjoyableweekend. If you have an interest in this type of material, this is the show to come to.

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One of the most important twentieth century small publisher’s archives offered for sale in the last several decades is now being offered by my colleague L.W. Currey and myself. The core of the archive is correspondence, often extensive, from several hundred authors whose work Derleth published under his own imprints or in his highly important non-Arkham House anthologies published in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as manuscripts, mostly typewritten (including fair copies and carbons), submitted by Arkham House authors.

AH logo.1  Derleth crop Beyond the Wall Proof CAS photo Hodgson MS HPL photo


by contributor Boyd White

Recently cataloged by Lloyd Currey and John Knott, the David H. Rajchel Arkham House Archive is one of the most impressive and important collections of material related to fantastic fiction to ever be offered publicly for sale. Consisting of over 4,000 individual items, the 95-page calendar of the archive, available for download at L. W. Currey, Inc., is a virtual who’s who in fantasy, horror, and science fiction. David Rajchel purchased the materials in the archive over the years from April Derleth, August Derleth’s daughter, and in some cases, he prevented important documents in which the Wisconsin Historical Society took no interest from being recycled or thrown out.

August Derleth’s contributions to the field of weird fiction as an editor and publisher are well known. Derleth and his business partner, Donald Wandrei, preserved the legacy of H. P. Lovecraft with the publication of The Outsider and Others in 1939 and did the same for Robert E. Howard with Skull-Face and Others in 1946. In addition to publishing the first collections of short fiction by such luminaries as Ray Bradbury, and Fritz Leiber, Arkham House brought the work of William Hope Hodgson to an American audience with the publication of The House on the Borderland and Other Novels in 1945. Derleth’s practice of introducing writers of weird fiction from the UK to a broader audience continued throughout his career and included Marjorie Bowen, J. S. Le Fanu, Margery Lawrence, M. P. Shiel, and H. R. Wakefield.

Even a cursory glance at the items contained in the David H. Rajchel Arkham House Archive quickly demonstrates that Derleth’s influence extended well beyond Arkham House. His landmark science fiction and fantasy anthologies of the 1940s and 1950s, many published by Pellgrini and Cudhay, brought Derleth into contact with most of the major authors of fantastic fiction of his day, such as Charles Beaumont, Robert Bloch, Robert Heinlein, Henry Kuttner, Frederik Pohl, Clifford Simak, and Theodore Sturgeon. The archive also extensively documents Derleth’s work with the TV and film industry, including properties that Derleth developed for Revue Productions, including H. R. Wakefield’s “Farewell Performance” and William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki story “The Whistling Room.”

While no summary can do justice to the scope and depth of the archive, notable highlights include

  • R. Wakefield’s handwritten manuscript for “A Man’s Best Friend,” a story which would not see the light of day until the 2000 Ash-Tree Press collection Reunion at Dawn
  • 38 poems by Clark Ashton Smith, all typewritten, most signed with corrections in Smith’s own hand
  • Page proofs for H. P. Lovecraft’s Beyond the Wall of Sleep and Marginalia
  • Letters to Derleth from Robert Aickman, Marjorie Bowen, Ray Bradbury, Ramsey Campbell, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, L. P. Hartley, Fritz Leiber, Margery Lawrence, Walter de la Mare, John Metcalfe, and M. P. Shiel
  • Photographs of the members of the entire Weird Tales circle, including a snapshot of Robert E. Howard signed in pencil “R.E.H” on the back

Anyone interested in gaining more insight into Arkham House and August Derleth is strongly encouraged to visit L. W. Currey, Inc. to read Lloyd Currey’s introduction to the archive and to download the complete calendar of the archive. The archive is illustrated by a number of fascinating photographs of select material. We will not see its like again.