Friday, December 16, 2011

Forgotten Books: Ghostly by Gaslight -- Edited by Sam Moskowitz & Alden H. Norton

Everybody loves a ghost story, and the Christmas season is traditionally a good time for them. So I've been perusing this little collection that contains a group of stories from the gaslight era, all but one of them written by people I'd never heard of. Even the editors can't tell us much about a couple of them, but don't let that discourage you. These are some creepy tales from a time when the ghost story was held in high regard. The general introduction and the introductions to each story are especially valuable if, like me, you're unfamiliar with most of the authors. If you're interested in this kind of thing, you can find lots of cheap copies on the 'Net.

4 comments:

  1. You've slightly scrambled the name of Alden H. Norton, the old honcho at Popular Publications, and Frederik Pohl and Damon Knight's boss at the pulp line (dunno if he stuck around into the Popular Library paperback days, but wouldn't be surprised...).

    And, of course, I'm not sure how far I'd trust any Moskowitz notes, anyway...but at least Norton had a good editorial sense!

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  2. Thanks, Todd. I must have been sleep-typing.

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  3. I remember Upward's name (it's memorable, and when that's one's name or preferred pseud, a story idea such as "The Man Who Lived Backward" seems almost inevitable), Frank Aubrey's and Violet Hunt's...I suspect you might've come across their work at some point along with that of this Guy guy, a Right "Ghee"...kind of a ringer here, but probably translated in just about the right time. Gee, indeed...I hadn't realized he'd died so young...43. Perhaps from syphilis. Fun all around.

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  4. "Who Knows" is one of the more memorable stories I have read.

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