Rediscovered: Philip “Fungus” Fisher

For Autograph Hound Saturday our resident Autograph Hound Brian Leno trots out yet another signature from his not inconsiderable holdings. Brian says:

“Philip M. Fisher, Jr., is not a name that immediately comes to mind when collectors talk of the Munsey writers.

“Some pulp enthusiasts may feel his biggest claim to fame is his ‘Worlds Within Worlds’, but I’ll bait my hook for his short story ‘Fungus Isle,’ which appeared in Argosy All-Story Weekly October 27, 1923.

“With this story Fisher pretty much booked passage on the same ship with William Hope Hodgson, because his story owes plenty to Hodgson’s marvelous ‘A Voice in the Night.’

“While the Hodgson tale is undoubtedly a classic of horror fiction, Fisher’s take on the island-infected-with-fungus theme is not. Still, it’s a good try and it is reprinted in the Fisher collection Beyond the Pole and Other Weird Fantasies (2013).

“One story not reprinted in that anthology is ‘The Tusk of El Carnicero’ — the subject of the Fisher signed check, from my collection.

“This yarn appeared in the October 6, 1923 issue of Argosy All-Story Weekly under the title ‘The Tusk of the Butcher.’ El Carnicero translates from Spanish to the butcher, so this is obviously the same story, just undergoing a title change.

“Fisher is a rare autograph and, to me, desirable, for his Hodgson connection.

“It’s the only example I’ve ever seen — and I’ve looked.

“I’ll probably never hook a William Hope Hodgson signature, but if you like reading about fungus-infected humans, Fisher is a solid second place.”

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