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Price, E Hoffmann

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1898-1988) US author whose career lasted 64 years. He served in World War One, graduated West Point in 1923, and began to publish weird fiction – the genre for which he is remembered – with "Triangle with Variations" for Droll Stories in June 1924. By the time he stopped writing for the Pulp magazines in the 1950s he had published hundreds of stories in dozens of outlets, sometimes as Hamlin Daly, and often drawing upon Oriental and near-Eastern experiences for his backgrounds. His best known story from this period is probably "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" (July 1934 Weird Tales) with H P Lovecraft, a personal friend. Some of his early work was later assembled in Strange Gateways (coll 1967) and Far Lands, Other Days (coll 1975).

In his retirement Price became annoyed at being remembered only as one of the "Lovecraft Circle", and in 1979 he resumed writing. In his final decade he wrote a Western, two fantasies – The Devil Wives of Li-Fong (1979) and The Jade Enchantress (1982) – and the loose Operation sequence of sf novels: Operation Misfit (1980), Operation Longlife (1983), in which Price expressed a loathing of doctors and argued for the individual's right to die, Operation Exile (1986) and Operation Isis (1987). The sequence is set in a Dystopian future: it warns about Marxism and comments on the weakness and decadence of the US Government; the heroes are always competent, the plots often chaotic. Since he claimed to be writing novels of ideas, it should be mentioned that Price was an astrologer, a Theosophist (see Theosophy), a practising Buddhist and a conservative Republican, and ideas from those fields do indeed percolate through his work. Price may be remembered primarily for his vivid biographical sketches of his friends Robert E Howard, Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, posthumously collected as Book of the Dead (coll 2001). A late mystery remains unpublished. In 1984 he received the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement. [RB]

see also: Small Presses and Limited Editions.

Edgar Hoffmann Trooper Price

born Fowler, California: 3 July 1898

died Redwood City, California: 18 June 1988

works (selected)



individual titles

  • Satans of Saturn (Vancleave, Mississippi: Ramble House/Surinam Turtle Press, 2012) with Otis Adelbert Kline [coll: pb/Allen Koszowski]


  • Strange Gateways (Sauk City, Wisconsin: Arkham House, 1967) [coll: hb/Lee Brown Coye]
  • Far Lands, Other Days (Los Angeles, California: Carcosa, 1975) [coll: edited by Karl Edward Wagner: hb/George Evans]



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