FIDDLE O' DREAMS AND MORE. London: Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., [1933]. Octavo, pp. [1-12] 13-286 [287] [288: blank] [note: first leaf is a blank] + 56-page publisher's catalogue dated "Autumn 1933" and 8-page "Hutchinson's Supplementary Autumn List 1933" inserted at rear, original raspberry cloth, spine panel stamped in black. First edition. A presentation copy, inscribed by Morrison to his wife on the recto of the first blank: "To my dear wife / Arthur Morrison / November 1933." A mixed collection of short fiction, "a mere gathering-up of potboilers" according to Morrison, mostly crime, fantasy and SF stories. "Mixed collection of fifteen stories originally published between 1902 and 1914 in various periodicals, including THE DAILY STANDARD UNION, LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE, and THE STRAND MAGAZINE. Several stories feature the humorous misadventures of Billy Blenkin, Snorkey Timms, and Dido Fox, burglars and conmen who are continually try to outfox one another. Other stories, such as 'Lies Unregistered' and 'A Professional Episode' are serious, ironic studies of individuals who live on the margins of society, including a hangman who worries about his family having to move if his neighbors ever learn of his actual profession. Four stories feature fantastic content. 'Fiddle O' Dreams' recounts how an aging widower is visited by Death in the form of a kindly roving fiddler whose music immerses the elderly man in comforting dreams of his youth. 'The Four-Want Way' is a ghost story about a crossroads haunted by the spirit of Derifal, a notorious robber who was eventually hanged for beating his mother to death. 'The Thing in the Upper Room' tells how Attwatter, a young, poor English painter, takes up residence in a haunted apartment in a Parisian boarding house and begins to suffer memory lapses whenever he becomes possessed by an evil entity that drives him to commit horrific murders. 'Myxomycetes' is a whimsical science fiction story, the kind of tale Robert Sheckley would write decades later, in which a group of swindlers running an investment scam called Commercial Syntheses, Unlimited, fund a scientist who successfully creates artificial life, a protozoa that spreads via spores that produce a blob-like jelly that consumes anything organic, including hair and clothes. While most of the tales in FIDDLE O' DREAMS are somewhat routine, these four stories are highly imaginative, particularly "The Thing in the Upper Room," which is an excellent supernatural horror story." - Boyd White. Bleiler (The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 613 mm) notes that this book is "very rare." Tuck (1978), pp. 319-320. Hubin (1994), p. 586. Wolff 4941. A fine copy. (#164538).

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Printing identification statement for this book:
"First published 1933" on copyright page.