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Arkham Sampler, The

Entry updated 4 December 2017. Tagged: Publication.

US "little" magazine, review size (9 x 6 in; about 230 x 150 mm), quarterly, eight issues, Winter 1948 to Autumn 1949, published by Arkham House, edited by August Derleth. An offshoot of Arkham House's book-publishing activities, Arkham Sampler was as much a literary review as a fantasy magazine, incorporating both essays and reviews as well as fiction, a small amount of which was reprinted from obscure sources. Amongst the original fiction, besides Derleth's own work, were stories by Robert Bloch, John Beynon Harris (see John Wyndham), David H Keller, and H Russell Wakefield. A celebrated reprint was H P Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (in Beyond the Wall of Sleep, coll 1943; Fall-Winter 1948; 1955). The Winter 1949 issue was devoted to sf, containing stories by Ray Bradbury, A E van Vogt and others, plus a symposium on a basic science-fiction library. At $1.00 Arkham Sampler was expensive, which may have contributed to the shortness of its life.

In 1967 Derleth tried again with The Arkham Collector, in booklet format, ten issues Summer 1967-Summer 1971, which mixed publishing news with some fiction, mostly fantasy and horror. It published the first and early works of Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley and James Wade, plus stories by Robert Aickman and Lin Carter.

In 1983 R Alain Everts resurrected The Arkham Sampler as a supplement to Etchings & Odysseys in small digest form (7 x 5 in; 178 x 127 mm) as 32-page chapbooks, on coated stock to carry photographs. Published by The Strange Company, Madison, Wisconsin. There were 12 issues, June 1983-Winter 1986. Its primary focus was material by and about H P Lovecraft, Robert E Howard and Clark Ashton Smith. [MA/MJE]


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