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Ian Covell on ‘Carl Dreadstone’

Posted by demonik on October 3, 2007

Like many people, I suspect, I was always under the delusion that Ramsey Campbell wrote all six of the ‘classic horror’ novelisations credited to ‘Carl Dreadstone’ and, later, on their UK publication, ‘ E. K. Leyton’, so I’m very grateful to Ian Covell for giving me permission to reproduce the following correspondence.

“The Universal Horror Library” series is interesting in about five ways –

(1) Ramsey Campbell says that it was commissioned by Star Books [W H Allen] although all the books first appeared from Berkley Medallion in the US.

Campbell: The Universal monster movie novels were commissioned by Piers Dudgeon of Star Books in London. The original idea was that I should write all six, but two werewolf novels would have been one too many, and since I can’t swim, I wouldn’t have been much use to the Creature from the Black Lagoon. At the time I didn’t know to suggest David Schow. We therefore needed a house name, and I originally suggested Carl Thunstone, but Manly Wade Wellman felt people might think it was hiding him. Dreadstone was the compromise. For the record-and no matter how many times I say this, I seem to need to repeat myself-I did not write The Mummy, The Werewolf of London or The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and even Piers can’t recall who did.

From scifi.com

(2) Campbell wrote 3 of the 6 books – acknowledged at Tartarus — and Walter (“The Day I Died”) Harris wrote 1 of the others; I don’t recall who wrote the other two

(3) Berkley published them in pairs – June, July, and August 1977 – all as by Carl Dreadstone. “Tandem-Universal” (it was on that cusp when Tandem was becoming Universal and then Star, and I can’t remember what stage they were at) published the first three in Oct, Nov and Dec 1978 as by Dreadstone.. and then stopped publishing them until 1980, when they brought them out by Star under the pseudonym “E K Leyton” – I have no idea why they changed the pseudonym, but I do know it has caused confusion all round.

(4) The UK editions (without the film covers and film stills of the US editions) do look crap alongside the US editions.

(5) I don’t think I ever knew about the hardcover omnibus of “The Mummy” and “The Werewolf of London”. I presume it preceded any of the UK paperback editions [I am not convinced it was ’77 *] but it is puzzling that they collected _those_ 2 novels, and not all 6.. especially since neither of them was by Campbell.. although he has been known to sign copies because of his introduction.

* Ian’s scepticism on this point is justified. On checking the book I found it was published in 1978, not 1977 like some feeb had originally speed-posted *blush*

Ian

UNIVERSAL HORROR LIBRARY
Berkley Medallion originals illustrated throughout with stills; introductions by Ramsey Campbell

Bride of Frankenstein, The
As by Carl Dreadstone [Ramsey Campbell] Berkley Medallion June 1977 (abr); Tandem-Universal 19 Oct 1978 (restored text)
0425034143 cover

The Mummy
As by Carl Dreadstone [??] Berkley Medallion June 1977; Tandem-Universal Nov 1978
0425034453

The Werewolf of London
As by Carl Dreadstone [Walter Harris] Berkley Medallion July 1977; Tandem-Universal Dec 1978
0425034135

The Creature from the Black Lagoon
As by Carl Dreadstone [Walter Harris] Berkley Medallion July 1977
As by E K Leyton [Walter Harris], Star 80
042503464X

Wolfman, The]
As by Carl Dreadstone [Ramsey Campbell] Berkley Medallion Aug 1977
As by E K Leyton [Ramsey Campbell] Star 80
0425034461

Dracula’s Daughter
As by Carl Dreadstone [Ramsey Campbell] Berkley Medallion Aug 1977
As by E K Leyton [Ramsey Campbell] Star 80
0425034631 cover

The Mummy & The Werewolf of London [Omn]
As by Carl Dreadstone [??] Allan Wingate hc 1978

..oops, forgot to mention, the “Ian Thorne” who did one novelisation of The Creature from the Black Lagoon is a pseudonym of the SF writer Julian May…

The hardcover is just weird – it’s not the first two or last two published. They aren’t both by Campbell (in fact, neither is) and they didn’t follow it up with the others. [Compile an Omnibus] out all 3 Campbell books, and you could have created a Collectors’ item. Limited library printing sounds right.

Crestwood House [US] had other novelisations done at roughly the same time (1977???)…

By Carl R. Green, William R. Sanford, Howard Schroeder
Black Cat
Black Friday
Bride of Frankenstein
Dracula’s Daughter
Ghost of Frankenstein
House of Fear
House of Seven Gables
Invisible Man, The
Mole People, The
Murders In The Rue Morgue, The
Phantom of the Opera, The
Raven, The
Revenge of the Creature, The
Tarantula
Werewolf of London

By Ian Thorne [really Julian May]
Blob, The
Creature From The Black Lagoon
Deadly Mantis
Dracula
Frankenstein
Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman
Godzilla
It Came From Outer Space
King Kong
Mad Scientists
Mummy, The
Wolf Man, The

…and Paul DiFilippo recently (2007?) wrote a sequel to the film called CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON: TIME’S BLACK LAGOON

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Posted in Carl Dreadstone, Creature From The Black Lagoon, E. K. Leyton, Mummy, werewolf | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

Carl Dreadstone – The Classic Library Of Horror Omnibus

Posted by demonik on August 30, 2007

Carl Dreadstone – The Classic Library Of Horror Omnibus (Allan Wingate, 1978)

 

Carl Dreadstone - The Mummy

Introduced by Ramsey Campbell

The Mummy and The Werewolf Of London – two of the greatest horror films ever made, have inspired the two spellbinding novels in this volume.

The Mummy takes the reader back to the mysterious and fascinating world of Ancient Egypt – what hideous crime had caused the Grand Priest Imhotep to be buried alive? Thirty centuries later the answer remained a mystery. Yet somehow his deadly scroll of Thoth retains its power, fatal to all who come into contact with it. Beautiful Helen Grosvenor was vulnerable but Muller, a man who understood the secrets of the ages, battled against them for her sake, so too did a young archaeologist who loved Helen and then finally there was the courtly yet forbidding Egyptian Ardath Bey, the role played by the master of horror, Boris Karloff, tinged with an ancient guilt.

werewolf of london

The Werewolf Of London [by Walter Harris]  tells of the savage curse which followed William Glendon from the snows of Tibet to the fogs of London. Once honoured as a distinguished scientist he now cowers in his laboratory, revolted by his own weird transformation but unable to control it. Every phase of the moon brought destruction nearer and none knew more fully than he how desperate the danger – or how impossible the cure.

See Ian Covell on the confusing history of the ‘Carl Dreadstone’/ ‘E. K. Leyton’ Classic Horror series here.

Posted in Carl Dreadstone, Film, Horror Fiction, Mummy, Ramsey Campbell, Walter Harris, werewolf | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »