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Wessells, Henry

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Editor.

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(1960-    ) US antiquarian bookseller, editor, small press publisher and author who began to publish sf outside the genre with "Virtual Wisdom" for Exquisite Corpse in 1992, a literary journal edited by Andrei Codrescu, and within the genre with "From This Swamp" in The Starry Wisdom (anth 1994) edited by D M Mitchell. In 1993, he encountered the work of Avram Davidson and began to compile bibliographical information relating to Davidson, whom Wessells never met. His lists grew into the Avram Davidson website and an associated electronic newsletter, The Nutmeg Point District Mail, as well as a series of chapbooks, comprising the Publications of the Avram Davidson Society. With Grania Davis, he has co-edited several volumes of Davidson's writings. His collection of short stories, Another Green World (coll 2003), displays a fascination with the book as artefact and with the capacity of fiction to embody critical response inextricable from story; Extended Range; Or, the Accession Label (2015 chap) is a fantasy tale.

From 1996 to 1999, Wessells worked for AB Bookman's Weekly, the only period when he was a prolific writer. Since 1998 he has contributed regularly to The New York Review of Science Fiction. A Conversation Larger Than the Universe: Readings in Science Fiction and the Fantastic (coll 2018) arranges NYRSF and other material into a knowledgeable conspectus of Fantastika as a whole; some eccentricities in the selection of books to discuss come from the book's additional function as a guide to an exhibition of volumes from his own collection, held at The Grolier Club, New York, in 2018. His Small Press imprint, Temporary Culture, has published original works of sf and critical monographs on the literature of the fantastic.

Wessells is a competent hand bookbinder whose fine press bindings include Puck Aleshire's Abecedary (2000 chap) by Michael Swanwick, Endless Things (2007) by John Crowley, Forever Peace. To Stop War (graph 2008) by Joe Haldeman and Judith Clute and The Ugly Chickens (2010 chap) by Howard Waldrop; he has a propensity for forming small, almost imaginary literary societies. [HW]

Henry Wessells

born Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania: 14 May 1960



works as editor


Publications of the Avram Davidson Society

Works by Avram Davidson


previous versions of this entry

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