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The Vampire Master
and Other Tales of Horror - Limited Edition
Introduction by Hugh B. Cave
Cover art by Jon Arfstrom
360 page Hardcover
Signed by Hugh B. Cave & Jon Arfstrom on an
illustrated limitation sheet
• THREE FROM THE TOMB, an
exclusive chapbook with original Jon Arfstrom artwork collecting:
• Introduction by Joseph Wrzos*
• "The Three From the Tomb"
• "The Man Who Returned"
• "The Avenger From Atlantis"
*Mr. Wrzos will be signing all copies!
• Facsimile of a 1933 brochure promoting Hollywood Radio
Attractions' adaptations of three (of a proposed fifty-two!) stories
from WEIRD TALES, including Hamilton's "The Three From the Tomb"
• Matching Black Arrestox cloth slipcase
Description - Special Contents:
Limited to 100 copies, this special edition
Vampire Master and Other Tales of Horror is signed by the
author of the
introduction, Hugh B. Cave (1910-2004) and artist Jon Arfstrom on an
limitation sheet and housed in a matching Black Arrestox cloth-covered
slipcase. This edition is also an extra special treat for
admirers of both Edmond Hamilton and Weird
Tales magazine: housed in the
slipcase is an eclusive chapbook, THREE FROM THE TOMB! Featuring three
additional Edmond Hamilton stories from Weird Tales (including the title
story which was once adapted for radio!), this chapbook is also signed
by Joseph Wrzos, who provides an insightful introduction to these
While primarily known
for his adventures of terrestrial doom and
interstellar peril, Edmond Hamilton also wrote a number of tales of
mystery and horror. The Vampire
Master and Other Tales of Horror collects nine stories from
magazines such as Strange Tales of
Mystery and Terror, Thrilling Mystery, and Weird Tales.
Hamilton's four tales of supernatural terror that appeared in Weird
Tales under the nom de plume Hugh Davidson. Two of these
feature the psychic detective, Dr. John Dale.
by Hugh B. Cave, recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime
Achievement, provides a personal glimpse at the bygone days of writing
for the pulp magazines.
Included as an
afterword is an essay by Hamilton reflecting on the halcyon days of
writing for Weird Tales.
"Dead Legs" (Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror,
Village" (Weird Tales,
(Weird Tales, Jan '33)
"The Vampire Master"
(Weird Tales, Oct, Nov, Dec
'33, Jan '34)
Earth Dwellers" (Thrilling Mystery, Apr '36)
"Beasts That Once
Were Men" (Thrilling Mystery, May '36)
House of the
Evil-Eye" (Weird Tales, June '36)
"Children of Terror"
(Thrilling Mystery, Sep '36)
the Ice" (Thrilling Mystery,
by Edmond Hamilton
today as a writer of Science
Fiction, Edmond Hamilton (1904-1977) possessed the pulp-trained ability
to work capably in many genres. Haffner Press has here gathered up nine
of Hamilton’s spookier tales, and the result is a night’s worth of
lively, old-fashioned, shivery reading well worth your investment.
(Haffner Press books are all compiled with craft and dedication,
producing handsome, collectible volumes.)
As befits the
rationalistic side of Hamilton, these tales are all
rather straightforward almost to the point of bluntness. No
Lovecraftian atmospherics here, no ornate Clark Ashton Smith language.
In this fashion, Hamilton can be seen as a forerunner of a kind of
streamlined Horror that was to burgeon during the second half of the
crisply arranged tale like “Dead Legs”—in which a
mobster engineers a horrifying transplant that backfires—still conveys
its full share of grim and gruesome thrills. The titular novel, a
little slow to get going, finally takes off in a macabre spectacle of
beheadings and stakings. A linked story, “The House of the Evil Eye,”
featuring the same protagonist, psychic detective Dr. John Dale, is
more compact, but less eerie. And even the rationalized tales like “The
Earth Dwellers” and “Beasts That Once Were Men” sustain their shocks
without supernatural intervention.
Hamilton was the kind
of all-around solid writer seldom seen these
days, and it’s a pleasure to have these gems brought back to light.”
Realms of Fantasy
"If I may be pardoned
for presuming to comment before I
have read all
of it, ‘The Vampire Master’ is deftly done, its treatment of the
vampire material unusual, showing the operation of a mind more strongly
logical than is usual in writers of the supernatural."
". . . effective
treatment of the vampire trope in the titular story
(which is actually a full-length novel!); originally ran
as a serial in Weird
and, as such, builds to a couple of
cliffhangers within the novel before reaching the shuddery climax. It's
not Carmilla or Dracula, but it holds up well
and is certainly better than much of the Anne Rice-inspired dreck with
mincing fops and angst-ridden poseurs sipping blood from cordial
glasses. Gerritt Geisert may not be as memorable as Dracula or some of
the long-running series characters today, but he is a convincing
villain. And Hamilton is a skillful enough author to make his demise
the result of careful planning rather than have his vampire doing
something so unbelievably stupid that the reader is left wondering how
he could possibly have survived all those years . . . a collection
that's a lot of fun and filled with "Cool Old Stuff" that you've likely
never run across . . . I'm certainly glad that Haffner Press saw fit to
gather these obscure pieces into book form.”
"A primal shaman
spinning fables of fear, fantasy, and
science in a time before genres were rigidly defined, Edmond Hamilton
crafted tales of cosmic space voyages and harried descents into
inner-space with intelligence and enthusiasm . . . Hamilton’s ideas
were as cosmic as his style was intimate. Keen observation and
concise imagery lend his stories believability . . . "Snake Man,” a
masterful exercise in suspense, is a ‘how to’ manual of how to use the
senses to evoke emotion. As our hero, an eccentric snake hunter
in the Florida swamps, tracks the monstrous reptile who leaves behind
chillingly wide tracks, we’re brought alongside him as a result of
Hamilton drowning us in sensory overload, depicting the sights, sounds,
feel, and taste of the humid air, the slime, the palpable feeling of
dread closing in . . . The collection is an admirable introduction to a
skillful if unpretentious storyteller whose direct approach to fear and
thrills are well suited to his brisk sentence structure and assessable
language. Good, scary fun!
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