Looks like Autograph Hound Super-Sunday keeps the theme of Writers for the Pulp Adventure going.
I got in a note from frequent Hound Dog Kevin Cook, commenting on Brian Leno posts from a couple of weekends ago. “More great posts on the authors whom Robert E. Howard admired from reading Adventure. Has Brian ever seen an Arthur O. Friel autograph? He would be the third Adventure favorite of Howard’s along with Harold Lamb and Talbot Mundy.
“I have Friel’s Adventure novels in hardcover first editions with dust jackets,” Kevin notes, “but I have never seen a signed copy of any of them offered for sale; must be a tough autograph to obtain.”
So, what do you think? Would the Uber Autograph Hound Brian Leno have a John Hancock from Friel to round out his Two-Gun Bob Adventure Trilogy, or not?
The unsealed evidence is above.
“Arthur O. Friel is one writer I remember very fondly. I had been reading Robert E. Howard, through the Lancer editions, for a few years. At the end of one of his introductions, if I remember correctly, L. Sprague de Camp had placed Donald M. Grant’s mailing address for those interested in more Howard.
“I immediately wrote and started ordering everything I could. One of those books was the Centaur Press ‘Time-Lost’ edition of Friel’s The Pathless Trail.
“I was hooked and had trouble waiting until the next promised title, Tiger River, appeared.
“But the back of the ‘Time-Lost’ books swore we’d get a third Friel book, The King of No Man’s Land. Alas, the Centaur edition never appeared.
“Many years later I picked up a hardcover copy, along with a few others by Arthur O. Friel, through eBay — which is a blessing and an addiction.
“Friel is one of those writers who steer the reader into a new direction, and I soon found myself pouring over Colonel Percy Fawcett and his true-life Amazon adventures. Howard took me to Friel and Friel to Fawcett and that opened up completely new avenues for reading and learning.
“Good writers like that are rare.
“And rare is what this signature of Friel is.
“I’ve only seen one other example, although I’ve heard of the fan lucky enough to spear a copy of Friel’s own true-life Amazon adventure, The River of Seven Stars, that is signed and inscribed.
“It doesn’t seem that Friel would be that rare. He lived a long life, had many books published in hardcover. A popular writer.
“Someone, somewhere, has to have signed copies of Friel’s books stored away, just waiting to see the light.
“But the pulp collectors are all getting older and, it’s a sad thing, sooner or later death comes even for bookmen.
“When death does come calling we’re all going to have to board the raft that’ll take us down our own river to the next life, if there is any after this.
“Hopefully I’ll still be around to put in a bid on any signed Friels before my own toes are sticking straight up.
“The Afterlife better have one huge library.”