Montag, 8. April 2013

RIP Basil Copper. Another Master has crossed over

I just found out that „Basil Copper“ passed  away 4 days ago. He was 89 years old. Mr. Copper is most well-known for his horror stories and 52 “Mike Faraday” detective mystery novels.
What many fans don’t realize is that he was also a journalist and newspaper editor for a large part of his professional life.  Sadly, Mr. Copper isn’t as well-known as he deserves in the United States. Most of his novels and collections have been printed in America were released by the specialty publishers “Arkham house” and “Fedogan &Bremer”.  To my knowledge, “The Great White Space” was his only mass market horror paperback released in America. Pinnacle did publish some of his pastiches of August Derleth’s Sherlock Holmes pastiche, Solar Pons.

I first discovered Mr. Copper at the end of the 1970s when I came across a copy of his "Arkham House" collection "From Evil's Pillow" at the public library in Newark Ohio.. I endned up reading it in one sitting. That's how deeply it drew me in. These is simple, old fashioned horror stories that get under your skin before you even know what is happening. Stateside, Mr. Copper’s greatest success was having his famous short story “Camera Obscura” be filmed as a segment of Rod Serling’s old television show “Night Gallery”.
I always enjoyed Mr. Copper’s short stories even when I wasn’t the biggest fan of his novels. I own both of  the  Arkham House collections ,“From Evil’s Pillow” and “And Afterward, the Dark”. These are two top notch collections which contain two of my all-time favorite stories, “The Grey House” and “The Gossips”.
Mr. Copper told his tales in a very straightforward and non-decorative style.  The same could also be said of his stories. He seemed to concentrate his talents on telling good stories without any pretentious “Hey! Look at me! I’m writing!” trappings.  And even though he wrote in an unadorned style, he could evoke an enormously powerful sense of place and atmosphere. I have honestly no idea how correct his description of Sicily is in his novelette “The Gossips” is. I just know that one of my dreams is to go there one day simply based of how he has brought the island to life for me.
I honestly don’t know why he didn’t obtain greater success in the states, which is a terrible shame, considering the rare combination of quality and quantity he produced in his lifetime.
So here’s a toast to your Shade Mr. Copper!
Thank you for enriching my life with your stories!

Take care and thanks for stopping by.


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