Rediscovered: Richard L. Tierney Speaks

Just a few days ago I was mentioning my stint in 1975-76 in the Lovecraftian MinnCon group, centered in the Twin Cities — with Big Name Lovecraftians coming in from all over the country. Harry Morris Jr tooled up from Albuquerque from time to time. J. Vernon Shea and Ken Faig were at one weekend. Lew Cabos made an appearance, and I think E. P. Berglund did, too. David C. Smith for sure at one of the eldritch Octoberfests.

I think the gatherings got their impetus because John J. Koblas and Eric Carlson did the first (and only, under their tenure) issue of Etchings & Odysseys, a deluxe and happening HPL zine. Got everyone’s attention, and by force of personality Count Koblas summoned up the conclaves.

Jeez, The Count kind of talked me into actually moving to St. Paul for those two years (and with a second winter coming up, I desperately saved up my pazoors and retreated back to San Francisco by 1977). Dennis Rickard, compiler of The Fantastic Art of Clark Ashton Smith, did a similar stint, but had left before my arrival (I’d tie in with him back in California).

Star attractions were the presence of Weird Tales scribes Donald Wandrei in St. Paul, and Carl Jacobi in Minneapolis. They were the Big Name Weird Fiction Pros.

But we also had as a regular in the group Richard L. Tierney, who was getting some stuff into print. I did most of my hour-by-hour hanging out with RLT and Wandrei — and Joe West, an uber fan and funky primitive-style artist, one of my favorite people ever. I think Joe’s still alive, at 97 years of age — we used to trade letters pretty often, but if he doesn’t feel like writing these days, hey, I get it. 97 years. Man.

One of the great moments came about when Harry Morris, via his Silver Scarab Press, published the Tierney novel The Winds of Zarr and brought it up for a Halloween premiere for the group. (Later, when he was doing more and more artwork, I think Harry did the cover for RLT’s The House of the Toad.)

Good times.

And I’ll never forget when Tierney and I drove down in RLT’s VW bug for a party in Madison, Wisconsin, and J. Vernon Shea met us at the door and told Tierney he’d just read The Winds of Zamm.


I couldn’t tell if Shea was a little drunk or slightly goofy.

All of which is a by-the-way intro to the fact that an interview from 2006 with Tierney just went live over on the DMR blog — they’re saving it, for the moment, from being lost (just as the Wayback Machine kept something of Two-Gun Raconteur blog from disappearing into the abyss).

If you want to delve into RLT’s publishing history, surf on over.

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