Entry updated 21 August 2012. Tagged: Publication.
US Digest-size magazine published by Avon Books, edited by Donald A Wollheim, who considered it an anthology series [see his entry, therefore, for list of titles] although it resembled a magazine, as did a number of Avon's other publications at the time when the Pulps, pocketbooks and digests were all vying for position on the newsstands. Magazine bibliographers consider it a magazine; book bibliographers think of it as a series of books. The Avon Fantasy Reader sequence was primarily devoted to reprints, although it also contained 10 original stories, including "Defense" (1947 #4) by A E van Vogt and "The Random Quantity" (1947 #5) by Carl Jacobi. With Weird Tales as its chief source, it presented work by such authors as Robert E Howard, H P Lovecraft, C L Moore and Clark Ashton Smith. It was numbered rather than dated, and appeared irregularly: five in 1947; three per year 1948-1951; one in 1952. It was partnered by the Avon Science Fiction Reader sequence. When Wollheim left Avon in 1952, both runs were merged as Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader. Nearly two decades later, with George Ernsberger, Wollheim produced two anthologies drawn from the original series: The Avon Fantasy Reader (anth 1969) and The 2nd Avon Fantasy Reader (anth 1969). [JC/MJE/MA]
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