Pulps Between Boards: Arkham House and Other Specialty Publishers
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A thread for all those specialty publishers who put the best of the pulps in hardcover.  The publishers kept classic pulp stories alive long after most copies of the disposable pulps had been lost.

Publishers like:

  • Arkham House
  • Gnome Press
  • Fantasy Press
  • Shasta Publishers
  • Fantasy Publishing (FPCI)
  • Prime Press
  • and more!
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Arkham House had a subsidiary imprint for weird detective stories, Mycroft & Moran, from the 40's to the 80's.  Most of its output was Solar Pons collections, August Derleth's Sherlock Holmes pastiche.  I've always had mixed feelings at best about Derleth's efforts to do Lovecraftian stories, but I think he was on much more solid ground with Solar Pons.  Their first volume under this imprint, from 1945,  was "In Re: Sherlock Holmes", subtitled "The Adventures of Solar Pons".  Apparently the title displeased the Doyle estate; reprints of the book from other publishers emphasize the subtitle.  The print run on this one was apparently 3,604 copies; although it's stated as 3000 in the back of the book.  This is the biggest discrepancy I've seen on an Arkham House publication between the stated in book and the actual number; although they almost never line up exactly:

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The M. P. Shiel is the last new book released by Arkham House under the Mycroft and Moran imprint.  Print run 4000 stated, 4036 actual.  They later released a Complete Solar Pons Omnibus.  The imprint was later leased to the Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, which has used it for a trio of books by Derleth, including The Final Adventures of Solar Pons.  Unlike the Arkham House books under the imprint, this has been reprinted.

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And let's not forget the original pulp hardback publisher -- Chelsea House.  These books appeared in the 1920s, and it is likely Chelsea House was a division of Street & Smith, since all of its authors published in pulps such as Western Story and Detective Story.  It published a lot of volumes, including writers such as Johnston McCulley and Carroll John Daly.

 

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35 minutes ago, RedFury said:

Very cool, Tim.  I don't know anything about these.  Is there a list anywhere of what they published?

It's very difficult to track down much of any information about this publisher.  Most books, especially in jacket, are pretty scarce.  Here's the back-cover listing of titles (from "Sucker Money", 1927)... but no idea how many titles were printed overall.

 

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Also... not everything may be a reprint, but if not, it seems like the author still went through Street & Smith.  A couple of my volumes claim "first time published", but I'm pretty sure the "White Rook" title is likely a compilation of two White Rook stories that appeared in Detective Story in 1918.

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6 minutes ago, jimjum12 said:

Where would one find "The Outsider and Others" and what would a nice, solid, but not perfect copy cost ? GOD BLESS....

-jimbo(a friend of jesus)(thumbsu

ABE dealers are asking $5000 - $10,000.  Since they are still in stock, one assumes it might be had for a bit less.

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29 minutes ago, RedFury said:

The three titles on the back cover were the next three published by AH, all in 1944.

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What an amazing copy of that particular book to own!

Since you posted the back cover ad, I figure I might as well jump in with this one advertising your book:

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This is from Marginalia, the last book advertised on The Eye and the Finger.  Arkham's 8th book, although it looks like all four books from 1944 came out around the same time going by the ads.  This is the third Lovecraft collection from Arkham. with 2035 copies printed.

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It is, as the ad suggests, a bit of a "loose ends" book.  The cover is by Virgil Finlay, taken from the illustration for "The Shunned House" in the October 1937 issue of Weird Tales.  It features the first appearance of the story "The Transition of Juan Romero", as well as some fragments that had only been published in fanzines or amateur magazines previously.  It also has a number of essays by or about Lovecraft, marking in many ways the beginning of  scholarship about Lovecraft.  My copy is price clipped but I still got a crazy good deal on the book:

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Edited by OtherEric
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Nice!  Have you read it yet?  I'm actually in the middle of reading Marginalia right now, and I have to say it's slow going.  It's aptly named and therefore I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but somehow I was expecting more.  lol   There is a LOT of material in this collection, but it consists of the leftovers that didn't fit in the first two collections.  Still, it is a good sampling of Lovecraft's revision and ghost-writing work, essays, juvenilia, and story fragments.  I haven't yet read the tributes and appreciations by friends and followers, and I hope those will be good.

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14 minutes ago, RedFury said:

Nice!  Have you read it yet?  I'm actually in the middle of reading Marginalia right now, and I have to say it's slow going.  It's aptly named and therefore I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but somehow I was expecting more.  lol   There is a LOT of material in this collection, but it consists of the leftovers that didn't fit in the first two collections.  Still, it is a good sampling of Lovecraft's revision and ghost-writing work, essays, juvenilia, and story fragments.  I haven't yet read the tributes and appreciations by friends and followers, and I hope those will be good.

I'm actually reading it right now; but just little bits mixed in with other stuff, like some Woolrich stories in ARGOSY and the Taschen EC history.  I'm trying to go through it cover-to-cover; but I've read the first four stories before so maybe I should just jump ahead to the essays.  Medusa's Coil is of at least slight interest because even in 1944 Derleth found the ending too racist and edited it.

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9 minutes ago, OtherEric said:

I'm actually reading it right now; but just little bits mixed in with other stuff, like some Woolrich stories in ARGOSY and the Taschen EC history.  I'm trying to go through it cover-to-cover; but I've read the first four stories before so maybe I should just jump ahead to the essays.  Medusa's Coil is of at least slight interest because even in 1944 Derleth found the ending too racist and edited it.

The first two essays about writing fiction I found interesting.  The Dunsany one smacked too much of adoration to me, but was still informative.  The others were of little interest to me and I just skimmed them. lol

I've seen that edit to the ending of "Medusa's Coil" attributed to Derleth elsewhere, but I don't think it's true.  I think he was either unaware of it or simply maintained it.  The edit appears when Weird Tales first published the story in Jan 1939, so I think it was probably Farnsworth Wright who made the change.

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