Robert M. Price
(taken from Robert M. Price's homepage www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com)
Robert M. Price (born July 7, 1954) was born in Mississippi, lived in New Jersey for most of his life, and has recently resettled in North Carolina.
Robert Price discovered the works of H.P. Lovecraft in 1967. In 1978, he read the Necronomicon Press journal Lovecraft Studies and decided to submit an article, “Higher Criticism and the Necronomicon", which editor S.T. Joshi accepted.
In 1981, on a regional weekend horror convention at Roger Williams College in Rhode Island, called NeCon, the "Providence Pals", the gang who put together Necronomicon Press publications, including S.T. Joshi, publisher Marc Michaud, illustrator Jason Eckhardt, writers Don and Mollie Burleson, Peter Cannon, and fan editor and collector Ken Neilly, told me about the Esoteric Order of Dagon Amateur Press Association and suggested I join. All it required was cranking out a few pages of HPL-related material for the mailing list every three months. And so Crypt of Cthulhu was born! My mother, Mable Price, a retired typist and executive secretary, once a high school yearbook editor, joined me in what would become our greatest hobby. I soon discovered local stores, then regional dealers, would sell Crypt and that I could make some money off it. The mag was a bizarre miscegenation; half Lovecraft Studies rip-off, half humor magazine, a “pulp thriller and theological journal.”
I decided to send out free copies to some big names in the field of Lovecraft scholarship and latter-day Lovecraftian fiction. Before long, the letters pages became the equivalent of a modern computer message board where unknown fans could trade barbs with their favorite authors. And I was able to persuade a number of those authors to contribute fiction and articles to the mag. It was great! Inevitably I began penning my own horror stories, most of them Mythos pastiches.
Occasionally we ran all-fiction issues of Crypt of Cthulhu, and for these I lined up new material by the pros (Lin Carter, Gary Myers, Brian Lumley, Frank Belknap Long) as well as old manuscripts by Howard, Carl Jacobi, and others. Crypt functioned very much like the old fanzines contemporary with Lovecraft and his generation, like The Acolyte, Fantasy Magazine, and Phantagraph. Lin Carter took an active interest in Crypt, and before long a bunch of us New Jersey and New York fans had begun meeting every other Saturday at his Manhattan apartment for the New Kalem Club. Sometimes the ancient Frank Belknap Long would make his way across the city for the meetings. We basked.
These fiction issues, filled with Mythos collector’s items and rare obscurities, led directly to the next phase of my Lovecraftian involvement, editing fiction anthologies. It was 1990, and a bunch of us were shooting the breeze at Eileen MacNamara’s apartment during the Lovecraft Centennial conference hosted by Brown University. Phil Rahman, kingpin of Fedogan & Bremer publishers, invited me to put together a hardcover anthology of Mythos tales, and the eventual result was Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos, followed many years later by The New Lovecraft Circle and Acolytes of Cthulhu. Three years after this, Chaosium Publishers approached me with the idea of my compiling collections of Mythos stories to answer the needs of a younger generation of fans who had discovered Lovecraft through the medium of fantasy role-playing games. The new series would focus on a Mythos deity, a magic book, a major locale familiar to the fans from their role-playing and allow them to catch up with the source material. I did a dozen or so of these, and several more are awaiting publication from Chaosium even now. I branched out to other publishers, including Arkham House, for whom I put together Flowers from the Moon and Other Lunacies, a collection of rare early Robert Bloch pulp tales. Now I’m trying to finish out the series of topical collections with new publishers including Mythos Books, Die, Monster, Die! Books, Lindesfarne Press, and Hippocampus Press.
- [http"//www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com Robert M. Price on line]