Haffner Press Newsletter – October 19, 2016


 In This Issue: October 19, 2016 
  Hey everybody.
  A very somber newsletter this time around. In the world of entertainment, 2016 has seen far too many of our most talented performers leave us. Recently, several folks who played a large part with Haffner Press have passed away. We pay tribute to these gentlemen, and hope that you find time to learn more about these men and their contributions to the genre that we all love.
                                      —Stephen Haffner

•  David A. Kyle(1919 – 2016)
•  Robert Weinberg(1942- 2016)
•  Barry Levin(1946 – 2016)
•  Ed Gorman (1941 – 2016)

David A. Kyle (1919-2016)

Certainly not by his own choice, but David A. Kyle was the unofficial godfather of Haffner Press. Full details are found in this interview from 2002 HERE. Suffice to say, without David Kyle, you wouldn’t be reading this newsletter.
Kyle was one of the early SF fans in the 1930s, attended the first Worldcon in 1939, and was a member of the legendary group, The Futurians.
     Following service in World War II, Kyle managed a New York radio station. In 1948, with Martin Greenberg, Kyle founded Gnome Press in 1948, ultimately publishing published dozens of volumes of classic sf in hardcover for the first time. Gnome Press went under in 1962.
Kyle chaired the 14th World Science Fiction Convention (NyCon II), inspiring the fan catchphrase, “Dave Kyle says you can’t sit here.” He was created a Knight of The Order of Saint Fantony in 1961, and was awarded the Big Heart Award in 1973. Kyle was also Fan Guest of Honor at ConStellation, the 41st World Science Fiction Convention, in 1983.
     He wrote two pictorial histories of science fiction (A Pictorial History of Science Fiction and The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Ideas and Dreams) and three licensed novels set in the Lensman universe (The Dragon Lensman, Lensman from Rigel, and Z-Lensman).

     I last saw David at Readercon 2015 in Boston. He was admiring the ARC of MURDER DRAWS A CROWD by Fredric Brown. After a moment’s pause he looked up and said: “I used to play chess with him.”
     David Kyle
died at the age of 97 on September 18, 2016
Links: Obituary from File770
Wikipedia entry on David A. Kyle
Kyle’s Lensmen novels from Red Jacket Press
Some of Kyle’s writing from the fanzine MIMOSA

Robert Weinberg (1942-2016)

     Bob Weinberg, at one time or another, wore nearly every hat possible in science fiction: Author (novels, stories, comic books, and non-fiction), Editor, Publisher, Bookseller, Distributor, Collector, Art Dealer, Agent, and those are the ones that spring to mind.
     I first knew of Bob as the author of THE WEIRD TALES STORY (Fax, 1977), a beautiful book chock of full of the history of Weird Tales magazine.
While Bob had sold the inventory and mailing list of his and Phyllis’ (his wife) mail-order business WEINBERG BOOKS, he still maintained a tight connection with publishers, dealers, and fellow art collectors. His collection (books, magazines, original artwork) was one of the finest in the world.
At my first PulpCon in 1997, I aggressively bid for all six issues of Bob‘s fanzine, THE WEIRD TALES COLLECTOR. Armed with this, I began my quest for a complete file of Edmond Hamilton’s stories (as payback, I invited Bob to write the introduction to the
first volume of Collected Hamilton, THE METAL GIANTS AND OTHERS in 2009).
     One of my favorite memories of Bob was at PulpCon in 2004. The show was pretty much a bust for shopping until a new vendor set up right next to my table and began unboxing his wares. Well, a feeding frenzy broke out (this guy’s stuff was priced to MOVE!), and I spied Bob (bad legs and all) on all fours underneath this dealer‘s table a going through the merchandise. Lo and behold, he comes up for air holding a mint copy of Howard Browne’s A TASTE OF ASHES. Now, I had a copy of this, but not in jacket. IIRC, Bob snagged it for a mere $20. He immediately saw my disappointment. Hours later, the dealers’ room is closed and were all trooping to the hotel elevators. Bob and I cross paths and he says: “I’ll let you have the Browne book for $60.”  SOLD! 
     Bob Weinberg
died at the age of 70 on September 25, 2016

     I first encountered Barry Levin’s name via his classified advertisement in LOCUS magazine for BARRY R. LEVIN BOOKS in Santa Monica, California. In a pre-ebay era, Barry’s printed catalogues were full of wonders and rarities. When fortune smiled on me in 1996, I found myself with an all-expenses-paid three-day trip to San Francisco. With some finagling, I was able to stretch this into 3 days in SF and 5 days in Los Angeles for the same week as L.A. CON III, the 54th World Science Fiction Convention. While most business were shut for the Labor Day holiday, Barry’s store was open and we spent hours getting acquainted and looking over his inventory.
Barry was one of the first dealers to carry Haffner Press books, and I will never forget the day when he called placing an order. Suddenly, my little lark to make a book or two made that quantum leap from dream to reality.
My favorite “Barry-story” was his recalling his early days in bookselling and entertaining two local writers, Edmond Hamilton and Leigh Brackett. In the store, Barry had a copy of the Summer 1943 issue of CAPTAIN FUTURE. According Barry, Hamilton says that the artist (Earle K. Bergey) said: “You know, Ed, you have the face of a villain.” So, if you squint your eyes, you may imagine Hamilton pictured as the threatening bird-man. I’ll leave it to you if the defending woman isn’t a dead-ringer for a young Leigh Brackett.
Barry R. Levin died on September 14, 2016 at the age of 70.
The website for Barry Levin Books
Obituary for Barry Levin at FILE 770

Ed Gorman (1941-2016)

     Ed Gorman was a writer’s writer. He wrote in nearly every genre (mystery, crime, horror, western, comics, etc.) except science fiction, but he was a sf-fan of the first strip going back to his teenage years. Ed and I exchanged many, many emails about our mutual love of late-50s science fiction adventures by Edmond Hamilton, Leigh Brackett, John Brunner, etc.
he edited over 20 anthologies and co-founded MYSTERY SCENE magazine Robert Randisi in 1985. For more than ten years he blogged about upcoming books at his site: http://newimprovedgorman.blogspot.com and it was always and honor when he gave Haffner Press a shout-out.
     Ed Gorman wrote the introduction to our forthcoming omnibus, THE MICHAEL GRAY MYSTERIES by Henry Kuttner and Catherine L. Moore.

Life Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America
The International Horror Writers Award
Numerous nominations for the Edgar Award

Ed Gorman died on October 14, 2016 at the age of 74.

Ed Gorman’s entry on Wikipedia

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