Pan Book of Horror Stories

Discussion in 'Horror' started by mortbury, Mar 29, 2008.

  1.  
    mortbury

    mortbury New Member

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    There were 30 volumes 1959-1989. The first 25 were edited by Herbert van Thal, and the last 5 by Clarence Paget.

    In 1990 Paget and Stephen Jones edited Dark Voices: The Best From The Pan Book of Horror. Stories were chosen by ‘big names’ in the horror field.

    Then Jones and David Sutton put together 5 more volumes of Dark Voices, subtitled The Pan Book of Horror. These contained mainly original material. Few of the contributors to DV had contributed to the original series.
  2.  
    Urien

    Urien New Member

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    I remember them, I read dozens when I was a kid. I loved them. Probably helped warp my mind. I used to read a similar (perhaps the same?) series of ghost stories too.

    Odd how little one can remember of all the books you read.

    Dark voices? I'll look out for them, I need a refresher course.

    I wonder what my parents thought as I ploughed my way through these books.
  3.  
    mortbury

    mortbury New Member

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    Pan did do a series of ghost books. Also Fontana did long running series of horror (17 volumes) and ghost (20) anthologies.
  4.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Back about 1982 or so, there was a bookstore downtown that had a huge selection of these. As they were about to change location, they had most of their stock on sale, including the Pan horror books and the Fontana books of horror and ghost stories (they didn't have any of the Pan ghost books). I managed to pick up what they had for about $25 U.S. which, at the time, was the majority of each set.

    Sadly, due to various reasons, I only got around to reading a handful of them at the time, and several years later the bulk of those went elsewhere during my divorce. I've not been able to find them for an affordable price since.:( But I do recall being impressed with the contents overall, and thinking what a very good introduction to a wide range of both classics and contemporary work in the field these were....

    On the Fontana books of ghost stories, I recall that the first several were edited by Robert Aickman, though I'd have to look up how far into the series that was....
  5.  
    mortbury

    mortbury New Member

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    Aickman edited the first 8 fontana ghost books. R. Chetwynd-Hayes then took over.

    Fawcett books published an edition of the first Pan Horror anthology in America with a totally different cover. And Berkley Medallion put out at least 5 volumes entitled Selections From The Pan Book Of Horror Stories.
  6.  
    Barney

    Barney New Member

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    I remember those Dark Voices series, I have probably got three of the original paperbacks yellowing on my shelves somewhere. They had very lurid cover art, and from what I remember the stories were quite pulpy, quick and dirty shockers! I will have to dig them out and re-read them, thanks for the reminder.
  7.  
    Lobolover

    Lobolover New Member

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    Could someone please relate what exactly are the "Pan horror books" ?
  8.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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  9.  
    Barney

    Barney New Member

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    What a great quote from Ramsey Campbell on the top of the first link;

    "I did like the first one when I was thirteen years old, but I thought the series became increasingly illiterate and disgusting and meritless"

    What a shame the series has died. It sounds a natural home for my "literary" efforts!
  10.  
    Urlik

    Urlik Noise Warrior

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    I'm sure that it was in a Pan anthology that I read the short story of The Fly
    I'll have to check later, I think I only have the one volume although I think I used to have 2 or 3, maybe more
  11.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    George Langelaan's "The Fly" (the one on which the movies have been based) was included in the second volume; there was also a story titled "The Fly" by one Dulcie Gray in the ninth....
  12.  
    Urlik

    Urlik Noise Warrior

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    yes it was George Langelaan's Fly in the 2nd volume (19th printing 1976)
    I also have the 15th volume printed in 1974. I don't know if this is a first edition as it only has the 1974 date in it, and as it is a paperback, I don't know if a hardback edition was published earlier that year or if there was such high demand that a second edition was printed in 1974

    I think it is time I gave them a reread anyway :D
  13.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't believe any of these saw print as hardbacks (at least, not originally)... I could be wrong, but I've certainly never heard of such....
  14.  
    Urlik

    Urlik Noise Warrior

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    looks like I may have a first edition then :D
    shame it's the 15th volume and not the 2nd as the 2nd has a great collection of classic writers; Wells, Stoker, Christie and Poe

    edit to add
    looking at the covers in the 2nd of your links, I think I have volumes 4 and 18 somewhere.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
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