Don't Dream: The Collected Horror and Fantasy Fiction of Daniel Wandrei

Donald Wandrei, Author, Dennis E. Weiler, Editor, Philip Rahman, Editor
Donald Wandrei, Author, Dennis E. Weiler, Editor, Philip Rahman, Editor Fedogan & Bremer $29 (0p) ISBN 978-1-878252-27-2
Reviewed on: 07/31/1997
Release date: 08/01/1997
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After the death in 1987 of legendary pulp writer and publisher Wandrei, his editors at Fedogan & Bremer collected his SF in Colossus (1989). The author's dark fantasies and horror tales, 26 in all and inspired by Poe, Baudelaire and Lovecraft, appear in this volume, which also includes 12 lush prose poems from Wandrei's youth and his evocative critical essay, ""The Imaginative Element in Modern Literature."" Wandrei largely abandoned his own writing in 1940 in order to make Arkham House, which he co-founded with August Derleth, a home for quality fantasy for decades to come. (An endnote here by D.H. Olson attempts to untangle the lawsuit against Arkham House that dominated the last 14 years of Wandrei's life and that tarnished his literary reputation.) Today, the ""science"" of Wandrei's fiction appears hopelessly dated, and his formulas--wanderer's tales of nameless primordial terrors--stale. In a few of his nightmare landscapes, however, notably the time-regression story ""The Lives of Alfred Kramer"" and the shuddery ""Strange Harvest,"" Wandrei's ""wizard imagery""--his own term--counterpoints his richly chosen language to call up sleep-haunting specters, malignantly glowing jewels and the ashen undead. When his work was at its fearsome peak, Wandrei was very, very scary indeed. Illustrations. (Aug.)
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