The Paul Dobish Jr Collection of Arkham House Review Slips

If you recall my essay on Arkham House ephemera in Firsts: The Book Collector’s Magazine back in October 2002, I wrapped it up by mentioning that much other ephemera existed than just the stock lists and brochures I concentrated my attention on. August Derleth ordered Arkham House matchbooks to spread around — those must be more ephemeral than the ephemera!

And Paul Dobish Jr made a plea for recognition of the review slips that went out with review copies from Derleth’s various imprints. Yes, sure, those items are interesting, but I cut the Gordian Knot by saying that I would “regard the review slips as desirable extras in the actual review copies, parts of a book, like the dustjacket.”

I still think of the review slips that way, and Paul still wants collectors to know about them, so we cut a deal: I told him, Put together a list and I’ll put it up on the net. See if it stirs up any further info.

The main list below consists of items Paul has in his personal collection — like the legendary The Phil Mays Collection of Arkham House Ephemerae from 1985 consisted only of items Mays had assembled, and nothing more.

But I’m sure Paul would be interested in knowing of any items he doesn’t have to hand. I imagine, too, he’s open to buying any strays. I’ll forward the info.

Paul writes, “I suspect many others exist.”

And now, Paul Dobish Jr with an Intro:

I have been seeking the review slips/letters for a long time. I never found a significant “batch” of them. Nearly every example that I have is the result of a “one-off” purchase, usually accompanying a “regular” copy of the book, not one of the formal plastic comb-bound style advance/proof copies of the books, which often had a review slip affixed to them. 

For regular trade copies of the books that went out for review purposes, the slips were typically laid in or sometimes tipped-in to the front free endpaper. This list includes those loose slips as well as slips that I only have affixed to proofs of the books.

I have not distinguished nor annotated which slips are entirely printed and which had the book specifics — title, author, publication date, price — typed on review “blanks” of the period.

“Letter” means the generic type, pre-printed in multiples.  Not individualized correspondence, done only as a single copy. An example shown here comes with E. Hoffmann Price’s The Book of the Dead.

Sizes of the slips varied, but generally the slips were roughly from 3.5″ to 4″ wide x 4.5″ to 5″ tall — save that the Lellenberg, one of the last books to date released under the imprint of Arkham House, is a bit larger at roughly 4.25″ x 5.5″.

The later review slips and letters seem to have been done on white paper (again, the Lellenberg being an exception). As can be seen in the scans, at least some of the earlier slips were done on variously colored paper.

I do not know:

1. how many others exist

2. which was the first title to have one

3. which titles — if any — did not have one (although a few likely “suspects” come to mind).

As with advance/proof copies of the books themselves, generally speaking the slips from the 1970s/1980s seem to be the easiest to obtain. 

But all examples are scarce/rare.

I once passed on an example of ALWAYS COMES EVENING paired with the book at $1500.  (I asked, but the seller would not split up the pairing.)

And a collector once told me that he had a slip for HORNBOOK FOR WITCHES.  (How I wish that I had that one!)

NB: SELECTED LETTERS OF CLARK ASHTON SMITH and CAVE OF A THOUSAND TALES share a single physical review letter, of which I only have one copy.

NB: The two printings of SELECTED LETTERS [III] 1929-1931 each have
their own separate slip/letter.

No pretense of anything remotely like completeness is suggested.

I strongly suspect that most of the books published by Derleth “missing” from this list also had review slips/letters. 

Arkham House / M&M review slips/letters:

Bear: THE WIND FROM A BURNING WOMAN [NB: slip only on a comb-bound proof]


Bishop: BLOODED ON ARACHNE [NB: slip only on a comb-bound proof]

Bishop: ONE WINTER IN EDEN [slip]

Bishop: WHO MADE STEVIE CRYE? [slip]

Blaylock: LORD KELVIN’S MACHINE [slip]

Bloch: FLOWERS FROM THE MOON AND OTHER LUNACIES [letter]

Bond: THE FAR SIDE OF NOWHERE [letter]

Bond: NIGHTMARES AND DAYDREAMS [slip]

Bowen: KECKSIES AND OTHER TWILIGHT TALES [slip]

Brennan: STORIES OF DARKNESS AND DREAD [slip]

Campbell: ALONE WITH THE HORRORS [slip]

Campbell: THE HEIGHT OF THE SCREAM [slip]


Campbell: NEW TALES OF THE CTHULHU [NB: slip only on a comb-bound proof]

Cannon: LOVECRAFT REMEMBERED [slip]

Carter: DREAMS FROM R’LYEH [slip]

Case: THE THIRD GRAVE [slip]

Coppard: FEARFUL PLEASURES [slip]

Copper: FROM EVIL’S PILLOW [slip]

Copper: NECROPOLIS [first printing] [slip]

Counselman: HALF IN SHADOW [slip]

Derleth: HARRIGAN’S FILE [slip]

Derleth: IN RE: SHERLOCK HOLMES [slip]

Derleth: NEW HORIZONS: YESTERDAY’S PORTRAITS OF TOMORROW [slip]

Derleth: THE SOLAR PONS OMNIBUS [slip]

Derleth: WISCONSIN MURDERS [slip]

Durbin: DRAGONFLY [letter]

Grant: TALES FROM THE NIGHTSIDE [slip]

Harvey: THE CLEANSING [letter]

[Joshi, as editor] see under: Lovecraft MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS

Joshi: SIXTY YEARS OF ARKHAM HOUSE [letter]

Kessel: MEETING IN INFINITY [slip]


Kirk: WATCHERS AT THE STRAIT GATE [NB: slip only on a comb-bound proof]

Kress: THE ALIENS OF EARTH [slip]

Lawrence: NUMBER SEVEN QUEER STREET [slip]

Le Fanu: THE PURCELL PAPERS [slip]

Lellenberg: BAKER STREET IRREGULAR [slip]

Long: HOWARD PHILLIPS LOVECRAFT: DREAMER ON THE NIGHT SIDE [slip]

Long: IN MAYAN SPENDOR [slip]

Lovecraft: AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS [Corrected fifth printing] [slip]

Lovecraft: THE DUNWICH HORROR AND OTHERS [Corrected sixth printing] [NB: slip only on a comb-bound proof]

Lovecraft [edited by Joshi]: MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS [slip]

Lovecraft: SELECTED LETTERS [III] 1929-1931 [first printing] [slip]

Lovecraft: SELECTED LETTERS [III] 1929-1931 [second printing] [letter]

Lovecraft: SELECTED LETTERS [IV] 1932-1934 [slip]

Lovecraft: SELECTED LETTERS [V] 1934-1937 [slip]

Lovecraft: THE SHUTTERED ROOM & OTHER PIECES [slip]

Lovecraft: SOMETHING ABOUT CATS [slip]

Lovecraft / Derleth: THE SURVIVOR AND OTHERS [slip]

Lumley: BENEATH THE MOORS [slip]

Lupoff: LOVECRAFT’S BOOK [slip]

MacLeod: VOYAGES BY STARLIGHT [letter]

Malzberg: IN THE STONE HOUSE [letter]

Price: BOOK OF THE DEAD: FRIENDS OF YESERYEAR: FICTIONEERS & OTHERS [letter]

Ruber: ARKHAM’S MASTERS OF HORROR [letter]

Russ: THE ZANZIBAR CAT [slip]

Schultz/Conners: SELECTED LETTERS OF CLARK ASHTON SMITH [letter: NB:
this title combined with Thomas’ CAVE OF A THOUSAND
TALES: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HUGH B. CAVE]

Shea: POLYPHEMUS [slip]

Shepard: THE JAGUAR HUNTER [first printing] [slip]

Smith: THE BLACK BOOK [slip]

Smith: POEMS IN PROSE [slip]

Smith: A RENDEZVOUS IN AVEROIGNE [first printing] [slip]

Smith: SELECTED LETTERS OF CLARK ASHTON SMITH [NB: listed above under:
Schultz/Conners rather than under: Smith]

Smith: SELECTED POEMS [slip]

Smith: TALES OF SCIENCE AND SORCERY [slip]

Starrett: THE QUICK AND THE DEAD [slip]

Sterling: CRYSTAL EXPRESS [slip]

Swanwick: GRAVITY’S ANGELS [slip]

Thomas: CAVE OF A THOUSAND TALES: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HUGH B. CAVE
[letter: NB: this title combined with Schultz/Conners:
SELECTED LETTERS OF CLARK ASHTON SMITH]

Tiptree: TALES OF THE QUINTANA [NB: slip only on a comb-bound proof]

Turner: CTHULHU 2000 [slip]

Walter: IN THE MIST AND OTHER UNCANNY ENCOUNTERS [slip]

Wandrei: POEMS FOR MIDNIGHT [slip]

Wilson: THE MIND PARASITES [slip]

===

Addendum I: Stanton & Lee review slips:

Derleth: SAC PRAIRIE PEOPLE [slip]

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Addendum II: Additional Review slips:

This small list consists of additional slips/letters reported to exist — some I have seen images of:

Brennan: NIGHTMARE NEED [slip]

Drake: HORNBOOK FOR WITCHES [slip]

Howard: ALWAYS COMES EVENING [slip]

Lovecraft: DAGON: AND OTHER MACABRE TALES [1st printing] [slip]

Lovecraft: DAGON: AND OTHER MACABRE TALES [1986 printing] [slip, on a comb-bound proof]

Lovecraft: THE DARK BROTHERHOOD [slip]

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