Monday, June 14, 2010

Arkham House

I am delighted to see that MythosCon now has over 100 attending members, with more to come as I've heard of others who want to attend. One of the planned panels is on THE ARKHAM SAMPLER AND THE ARKHAM COLLECTOR. Arkham House now has two editors, George Vanderburg and Robert Weinburg (at last, another editor at Arkham House who loves Lovecraft!). One of the projects listed as forthcoming is a reprinting of the old Arkham Sampler, and I am so looking forward to it. On this panel at MythosCon the panel will be made up of some of the writers not yet -dead-yet-dreaming who had work published in The Arkham Collector: Walter C. DeBill, Ramsey Campbell, Gary Myers, and many others.

Another new book forthcoming from Arkham House will be by Lois M. Gresh, and she will be attending MythosCon as well. I am really excited about the new activity of this house. I got hooked on reading weird fiction when I was a Mormon missionary in Northern Ireland. I was a huge horror film fan, but my superiors wouldn't allow me to go to cinema to watch Hammer Films (although I did on the sly). One of my pen-pals was Robert Bloch, and so I began to buy Bob's novels and any anthology in which he had a story--many of which were edited by Peter Haining and found in the wee 2nd hand bookshops in Ireland. This is how I was introduced to Derleth, Lumley, Smith, Howard, Jacobi and so many others, the core of those Masters who write for Weird Tales and were a part of the Lovecraft Circle of writers. Thus, when I returned from my mission and began to publish a Lovecraft fanzine, somehow I heard about Arkham House, and I got their four editions of Lovecraft's Works and Derleth's original edition of Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos -- and there was something very special about Arkham House books, they had a kind of mystique, a magical charm. I loved everything about them, and it was (when I began seriously to pen weird fiction) my little fantasy that someday I would write a story for a modern Arkham House anthology.

So you can imagine my intense delight and excitement when one of the editors of the new Arkham House rang me up (from Wisconsin!) and asked if I'd be interested in submitting poetry for a forthcoming revised/expanded edition of DARK OF THE MOON, the magnificent poetry anthology that Derleth publish'd in 1947! I have a cycle of 33 sonnets in my book Sesqua Valley & other Haunts, but most of those poems fail to please me now. Looking over them, I found some few that I still thought well of, some that needed major revision. Then I wrote two brand new sonnets. I called this new wee sequence of nine sonnets "Chants of Passion & Doom," and we shall see if any of them meet with editorial approval at Arkham House. I just read one of the new sonnets on my MrWilum channel. Gawd, how cool it would be, to have my work in an anthology of poetry from Arkham House. But even if, for any reason, the poems don't find favor, at least I have a new edition of weird poetry to look forward to -- and they are rare!

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