Edgar Allan Poe
January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849
Poe was my God of Fiction. I used to love the horrible and the grotesque–much more than I do now–and can recall tales of murderers, spirits, reincarnations, metempsychoses, and every shudder-producing device known to literature!
H. P. Lovecraft
Poe Cottage, Fordham, New York
Frank Belknap Long, H. P. Lovecraft and James F. Morton
April 11, 1922
H. P. Lovecraft also visited the Poe Cottage on September 23, 1924. This time with Samuel Loveman.
Today’s entry at the Interesting Literature blog is Five Fascinating Facts about Edgar Allan Poe. Other sites to visit include The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore and The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe in Richmond, Virginia.
In those days, Lovecraft and Long frequently browsed among the outside stalls of second-hand book shops. Sometimes Lovecraft thought of a friend in connection with some particular book which came to his hand, and if it cost no more than fifteen cents or a quarter, he would buy it for presentation purposes.
A Memoir of Lovecraft by Rheinhart Kleiner
Photo: Howard Phillips Lovecraft and Frank Belknap Long, Jr. in 1931.
As part of its third anniversary issue (September, 1935), Fantasy Magazine commissioned two stories with the same title. One was to be written by science fiction writers (Stanley G. Weinbaum, Donald Wandrei, Edward E. Smith, Harl Vincent and Murray Leinster) and the other to be by authors in the weird genre (C.L. Moore, A. Merritt, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Frank Belknap Long).
The science fiction story starts out with more promise for me than the weird story. Just the character names–Thaddeus Crabb–now there’s a name for you. The other story starts out with the rather mundane name of George Campbell. Weinbaum begins the science fiction story hilariously with some over-the-top humor which was carried on by Wandrei’s pleasant humor. I enjoyed the humor.
My liking for the two stories even out with the third segments as Lovecraft took over the weird story and E. E. “Doc” Smith began the actual adventure in the science fiction story.
Ultimately, I can’t choose a favorite. Both were fun to discover how each author carried on the plot left for him. The science fiction story was more to my personal taste but the weird story packed more of a punch.