THE POEMS AND STORIES OF FITZ-JAMES O'BRIEN. Collected and Edited, with a Sketch of the Author, by William Winter.
Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1881. Octavo, pp. [1-2: blank] [i-v] vi-viii [ix] x-xi [xii-xv] xvi-xxviii [xxix-xxxi] xxxii-lxii [1-3] 4-485 [486: blank] [487-488: blank leaf excised or pasted under rear endpaper], flyleaf at front, inserted frontispiece (portrait of the author) with tissue guard, three additional inserted plates, one with tissue guard, inserted facsimile, other illustrations in the text, original decorated green cloth, front and rear panels ruled in blind, spine panel stamped in gold and ruled in blind, brown coated endpapers. First edition. The author's posthumously published only book, collecting material first published in periodicals in the late 1850s and early 1860s. 994 copies of the 1530 printed were bound and the remaining sheets were junked three years after publication. O'Brien (1828-1862) was an important contributor to the type of fantasy tale exemplified by Poe and Bierce. His finest and best known story, "The Diamond Lens," is included in this collection. O'Brien's "importance rests on a handful of brilliantly original sf tales, which were influential not only on subsequent sf but also on the development of the short-story genre." - Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. . Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 1-33, 1-34 and 1-35; (1981) 1-132; (1987) 1-72; (1995) 1-72; and (2004) II-825. Ashley, Who's Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction, p. 140. Barron (ed), Fantasy Literature 2-134. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 1246. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1699. Clareson, The Emergence of American Science Fiction: 1880-1915, pp. 39-42. Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, p. 304. Survey of Modern Fantasy Literature IV, pp. 1657-61. Survey of Science Fiction Literature IV, pp. 1944-47. Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, p. 33. Bleiler (1978), p. 149. Reginald 10892. BAL 15183. Armorial bookplate of Richard H. Derby affixed to front paste-down, signature of Sarah C. Derby dated March 1881 on recto of front flyleaf. Cloth lightly rubbed at head and tail of spine panel and corner tips, otherwise a bright, near fine copy. The first printing of this book is uncommon, especially in this condition. (#95505).