Entry updated 2 April 2015. Tagged: Publisher.
US Small Press publishing primarily fantasy-related material and taking its name from Mirage, a successful 1960s Fanzine published by Jack L Chalker. Chalker began issuing books under the Mirage logo in 1961, beginning with his own The New H.P. Lovecraft Bibliography (1961 chap) and including A Figment of a Dream (1962 chap) by David H Keller. The Mirage Press took on a more formal existence in 1967, with new financing; later publications include The Conan Reader (coll 1968), a collection of essays by L Sprague de Camp drawn from the fanzine Amra (the dustjacket artwork was Berni Wrightson's first professional sale). De Camp and Amra's editor George Scithers subsequently edited two further volumes of Conan-related Sword-and-Sorcery material (see Robert E Howard) for Mirage: The Conan Swordbook (anth 1969) and The Conan Grimoire (anth 1972). Other Mirage books include Dragons and Nightmares (coll 1969) by Robert Bloch, poetry by De Camp, A Guide to Middle Earth (1971) by Robert Foster, H.G. Wells: Critic of Progress (1973) by Jack Williamson, and a variety of sf/fantasy reference books. There were around 20 Mirage books by 1975, at which point the business slowed to a near halt because its financial backer fell ill. Chalker's career as a novelist began at about this point, and Mirage has since been relatively inactive, though long-held projects – including an edition of The Harlan Ellison Hornbook (coll 1990) slipcased with Harlan Ellison's Movie (1990), both by Harlan Ellison, and Chalker's and Mark Owing's The Science-Fantasy Publishers (vastly exp 3rd edition 1991) – eventually appeared. [MJE/JC/PN]
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