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Abramson, Ben

Entry updated 24 October 2018. Tagged: Author, Critic, Publisher.

(1898-1955) Lithuanian-born book dealer, book collector, agent, bibliographer, publisher and editor, in USA from early childhood. He established the Argus Book Shop in Chicago in 1920, transferring the business to New York, where he was active from 1944 to 1949. Although he does not seem to have been an active participant in early sf Fandom, his interest in the literature of the fantastic in general was initially demonstrated through a Bibliography of "several thousand pieces of scientific fiction", as described in the dust-jacket notes to J O Bailey's pioneering Pilgrims through Space and Time: Trends and Patterns in Scientific and Utopian Fiction (1947), which Abramson himself published through his small firm, Argus Books, Inc. As hinted, the volume itself contains Abramson's checklist, though cut in order to list only books cited in the text itself; this seems to be the only appearance in print of any part of Abramson's competent bibliography.

Earlier books published by The Argus Book Shop, Inc. include Christopher Morley's Old Loopy: A Love Letter for Chicago (1935 chap) and Passivity Program (1939 chap), and August Derleth's Of Books and Great Books (1940 chap), all being nonfiction pamphlets; as well as Metaphysical fiction by Ben Aronin. Under his own name, Abramson published the first edition of H P Lovecraft's Supernatural Horror in Literature (1945 chap) as well as Derleth's H.P.L.: A Memoir (1945). [JC]

Ben Abramson

born Lithuania: 1898

died Chicago, Illinois: 16 July 1955


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