First off, hanging my head in shame I had never heard of Herbert before. I blame it on growing up in St Andrews in the 1970's. In those days there was no internet, only three TV channels, and The St Andrews Citizen bookshop, was the only place you could buy books. A book shop that was just slightly bigger than my living room, so my exposure to the wonderful genre of horror was limited to what they stocked. They did well, every time I bought a book from them they would replace it with a different new book.
It was only in recent years that I became aware of all the great authors, collections and anthologies that had sadly passed me buy in my informative years. I'll admit that while I am a fan of horror I am in no ways an expert on it, I'll leave things like that to those in a much better place to do so. Johnny Mains is one of these people, his encyclopaedic knowledge and private collection of books and memorabilia is stunning. Seriously Johnny should lay on some catering and provide guided tours round his house. I et excited when I get a personalised book, this guy probably has the authors soul locked up in a mason jar in his cellar.
It's this love of the genre and his voracious quest to collect everything that is important to the genre that comes out in this book. This is clearly a love letter to firm favourite. Johnny is fully aware of the Herbert's place in the genre, and this book gives us mere mortals a window into the interesting and fascinating life of a genre great.
The book itself is composed of a biography of the man himself, photocopies of letters from Herbert, a check list that shows just how wide and far his influence on horror fiction spread, and some interviews that Johnny conduction with some of the authors whose work was published by Herbert in The Pan Book of Horror Stories. And finally a reprinting of Johnny's SFX article.
The book itself is a wonderful thing to behold with first class production values.
Do yourself a favour folks and grab yourself a copy from Screaming Dreams Press
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