The DMR blog has a new post, “The Sword and Sorcery Legacy of Donald A. Wollheim: Part One”, which seems likely to be followed by more. [Update: Part Two] It points to Wollheim’s editorship of The Avon Fantasy Reader, and thus his role in keeping sword & sorcery and weird fantasy available on the news-stands in a post-war era (1948-52) which increasingly seemed to have lost its taste for such things. Or perhaps Wollheim had cannily spotted that there was still a market demand for such tales, but that the market was no longer being served by other editors and magazines. Weird Tales was still around, just about, but was being run into the ground and would cease in 1954.

If you want to see what the title was like, Archive.org has what seems to be a complete collection of scans of Wollheim’s digest The Avon Fantasy Reader. A sampling of the issues there shows that the Reader wasn’t just sword & sorcery, and Wollheim widened his readership by covering a range of material. He often also slipped in some H.P. Lovecraft reprints, including both “Silver Key” stories and two ghost-written stories (“Yig” and “Eons”).

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