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Another Fake in the News?

It has come to our attention that Black Hour Books’ publication of The Erotonomicon will more or less coincide with Penguin Press’s publication of a novel called The Night Ocean, by the Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast Paul La Farge, which makes reference to The Erotonomicon—but calls it a “fake,” which was supposedly authored by the Canadian science fiction fan L.C. Spinks (1922–). We couldn’t believe it. We didn’t believe it. You can read our interview with L.C. Spinks here. (2/9/17)

The Erotonomicon Is Here... Almost

We’re pleased to announce that the stars are, finally, right for the publication of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft’s intimate diary, The Erotonomicon, edited and with an introduction by L.C. Spinks, and with further notes by our friend, the late and lamented scholar C.M. Cartwright. The book is headed to the printer now, although due to the vicissitudes of trans-Pacific shipping, we don’t expect it to be in stores until next April. Contact us if you’d like to pre-order a copy. The Erotonomicon caused quite a sensation when it was originally published, in 1952. We wonder what will happen this time around. (10/7/16)

Plothounds

David George Plotkin fans, you have been writing in great numbers (north of six of you so far this month!) to ask when David George Plotkin: A Life in Letters will be back in print. We hear you! We’re working on it. If anyone knows how to convert Quark XPress 4.0 documents into a format readable by semi-modern computers (we have a 2008 iMac, running BBEdit), please email us and let us know. (8/12/16)

Beszélsz magyarul?

Black Hour Books is looking for a Hungarian translator. Familiarity with eighteenth-century Hungarian colloquialisms a plus. Contact us if you know somebody. (5/1/14)

In memoriam

C.M. Cartwright

It is with great regret that Black Hour Books notes the untimely death of H.P. Lovecraft scholar C.M. “Eddy” Cartwright. We got to know Eddy when he volunteered to prepare a new edition of Lovecraft’s erotic diary, The Erotonomicon, for us. Truth to tell, we were a little afraid of him. He was an extremely large man, and his hands were strangely callused; he spoke in an ursine growl, and referred to Lovecraft (1890–1937) as though the two of them were old friends... But when we got to know him a little better, we realized that few human beings (if any) are as benevolent as Eddy Cartwright was. He once got our car into a tight Brooklyn parking space by picking it up and carrying it sideways... Eddy’s scholarship was no less astounding. We only wish that he had translated his notes to The Erotonomicon into English (from his native Hungarian) before his untimely death, at the age of 52, from complications related to his hobby of small-appliance repair. He will be missed. (4/9/14)

In Which Things Work Out

We’re also pleased to announce that we did find a German publisher for My Life and Loves in Greenwich Village: The Bodenheim Remix. Christian Lux at Luxbooks is going to put out the translation, most likely in the summer of next year. We feel a strange sense of elation: as though fate were smiling, finally, on Black Hour’s strange project. We feel as though our hour has come. (1/15/13)

A Decision Is Reached

We’re going to do it. After a contentious editorial meeting, the Editorial Board of Black Hour Books has decided to bring H.P. Lovecraft’s erotic diary, The Erotonomicon, back into print. We are, of course, mindful of what happened the last time around. But times have changed—haven’t they? We certainly hope so. We have recruited the renowned Lovecraft scholar C.M. Cartwright to pen a new introduction, and notes to the notes which L.C. Spinks scrupulously compiled for the 1951 edition of The Erotonomicon. We expect to have something for you by Valentine’s Day, 2014. Mwah. (1/12/13)

A Discovery

If you know us, you know that we haunt bookstores. Why cultivate living authors, is our thinking, when we can have our pick of the dead ones? (Apologies to our living friends! Pearl G. Fabula, you know we love you.) In general, when we visit a new city, we are drawn to the gloomiest-looking used bookstore, and, once inside it, to the least well-illuminated row of overcrowded shelves. Well. We were in Frankfurt am Main for the book fair, hoping to land a foreign publisher for My Life and Loves in Greenwich Village: The Bodenheim Remix, but we were rebuffed at every turn. (How could you add Bodenheim’s notes to a book which was supposedly by Bodenheim, was the tenor of the questions that we were met with; so of course we started talking Plotkin, and lost the foreign publishers right away.)

Discouraged, we hopped on a train to Leipzig, where we happened to know someone. Our friend Piero (a professor of economics, who is writing a very interesting chronological study of Homer's Odyssey) showed us the town. And sure enough, before many hours had passed, we found ourselves in the gloomy eastern suburb of Plagwitz, rummaging around in the Fremdsprachen section of a secondhand bookshop which had, we guessed, been the beneficiary of many a purge in the DDR era. To our amazement, among massive volumes by Lenin and Ivan Yefremov, we found a slim blue clothbound book, its title stamped in gold on the cover: The Erotonomicon. It was the original Black Hour edition of H.P. Lovecraft’s erotic diary, the entire printing of which had supposedly been destroyed. Our trip, we thought, had not been in vain.

We sent Piero back to his wife and two charming children, and sat down in the store to read it. And ... we don’t know what to do. We had never suspected H.P. Lovecraft of such things. We understand now why the book caused such trouble when it was originally published. But at the same time, we can’t help finding The Erotonomicon fascinating, and also, we can’t help thinking: Isn’t our mission to bring such works to light? We bought the book. It is on our desk now. And we feel strangely uneasy about the whole thing. (10/31/12)