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In 1975, the young Lovecraft scholar Peter Cannon met the elderly Frank Belknap Long, one of H. P. Lovecraft’s closest friends. Over the next two decades, until Long’s death in 1994, Cannon himself became a close friend of Long, and in the memoir Long Memories he has painted an unforgettable portrait of the aging writer living an impoverished existence in New York City with his wife, Lyda. Cannon recounts how other members of the Lovecraft circle in the city, including S. T. Joshi, Robert M. Price, and Stefan Dziemianowicz, also encountered Long, and how some of them transported him and his wife to Providence, R.I., for their unexpected appearance at the H. P. Lovecraft Centennial Conference in 1990.
Cannon has written numerous other works relating to Long. Perhaps the most entertaining is the novella Pulptime, in which Sherlock Holmes recruits Lovecraft, Long, and other members of the Kalem Club to help him on a case that has brought the detective to New York in 1925. In other stories, such as “The Letters of Halpin Chalmers” and “The Hound of the Partidgevilles,” Cannon makes further riffs on Long’s work and also engages in his penchant for genial parody and satire.
This book gathers Cannon’s fictional and nonfictional writings about Frank Belknap Long, presenting an affectionate but critical portrait of a man whose long life was punctuated both with tragedy and with notable achievements in life and letters.