28 December 2011

Masters of Fantasy #2

My first attempt at producing a small press chapbook came in 1984 when the postman delivered a large envelope containing articles by Nic Howard about August Derleth, creator of Arkham House and an author in his own right. Also contained within that package was a piece by Ramsey Campbell plus dozens of illustrations by Allen Koszowski. This was to be the basis for my first publication for the British Fantasy Society.

Over several weeks I typed up and collated the articles and artwork, which was duly published as the BFS’ Masters of Fantasy 2: August Derleth. Producing the chapbook was time-consuming; and yet it was educational, intriguing and rewarding. In those days I had to use an electric typewriter, sheets of Letraset for the titles, and cow gum to paste it together. No DTP.

The booklet contained the following by Nic Howard: "Derleth: An American Life in Literature", "Dark Glory: Derleth's Achievements", and a foreword, notes and bibliographical information. Ramsey Campbell's "Derleth as I Knew Him", the introduction, was excerpted from a longer article. The booklet was just 24 pages in length (plus covers) and looks rather quaint when compared with today's proliferation of small press publications.

Masters of Fantasy 2 was the seventh in the ongoing BFS Booklet series. Its cover price was 50p ($1.50). Nowadays, can you buy anything worthy for a mere fifty pence? 
After Masters of Fantasy 2 I found myself ensnared by the bug and I edited / produced for the BFS several titles, including the Newsletter, Fantasy Bookshelf, Chills and Dark Horizons

This post, slightly revised for this blog, was initially published on the Alchemy Press website..

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