Monday, January 13, 2014

Pipe Smoker: Frank Belknap Long

 Frank Belknap Long (1901 - 1994)

Born in New York City, as a boy Long was interested in natural history and "weird" fiction by the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, Ambrose Bierce, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.  As a teenager, he was active in the United Amateur Press Association as an amateur journalist.  He was pursuing the study of journalism in college but suffered a severe bout of appendicitis which rendered him hospitalized for a month and health complications resulting from a burst appendix brought him near death.  After recovering, he gave up on college to pursue a freelance writing career.

Long came to be a successful author of weird fiction, poetry, gothic romance, science fiction and other fiction genres as well as non-fiction.  He came to be one of the "Lovecraft Circle":  a friend and collaborator of Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

Frank Belknap Long goofing around with his friend, H.P. Lovecraft, above.

And a slightly more staid photo of Lovecraft and Long.  Unlike Lovecraft, Long lived a long (no wordplay intended) and productive life, with a bibliography that would be the envy of anyone.  He was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1978, the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1987, and the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award in 1977.  However, like Lovecraft, he died impoverished and was at first buried in a cemetery for indigents, until friends and colleagues put together enough money to have him reinterred in a family plot not far from where Lovecraft's grandparents were buried.

Players of the role-playing game Call of Cthulhu may know him best as the creator of the monstrous Hounds of Tindalos.

The Hounds of Tindalos at Too Much Horror Fiction
Summary Bibliography at isfdb

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