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The Unofficial Robert Bloch Website
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a question about Robert Bloch or his works? If so, feel free to email me.
- Where can I find Robert Bloch's books?
Did Robert Bloch write under any pseudonyms?
- I've listed a number of booksellers on the Links page here which should be of assistance in any search.
Are there any reference materials available on Robert Bloch?
- Yes. Early in his career, Bloch employed a number of pseudonyms (such as Tarleton Fiske) when he sold two or more stories for publication in the same issue of a pulp magazine. In addition, the book "The Todd Dossier," while actually written by Robert Bloch, was issued under the name Collier Young. Collier Young was a film producer who had secured a book deal for his planned film called "The Todd Dossier." The film never happened, and Bloch was shocked to find out that his book deal was structured so as to allow Young to place his name as the author of the book.
I like Bloch's books; who else might I like?
- In addition to the large number of interviews that Robert Bloch gave and the essays that were written about Bloch and his stories, the following items stand out as important references, and were instrumental in the preparation of this site.
- Once Around the Bloch, by Robert Bloch (Tor, 1993). Bloch's autobiography is critical to an understanding of Bloch's career, and is also quite entertaining. Bloch also wrote an autobiographical essay for "Contemporary Authors" (a multivolume reference tome available at most public and university libraries) in which he dealt with his influences as a writer. This essay may be found at 20 Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series 35.
- Starmont Reader's Guide 37 -- Robert Bloch, by Randall D. Larson (Starmont House, 1986) is a critical look at Bloch's fiction, focusing primarily on his novels.
- The Robert Bloch Companion: Collected Interviews 1969 - 1989, by Randall D. Larson (Starmont House, 1989) is a collection of interviews with Robert Bloch on a wide variety of subjects.
- The Complete Robert Bloch: A Comprehensive International Bibliography, by Randall D. Larson (Fandom Unlimted Enterprises, 1986), is the authoritative guide to all of Bloch's published works.
Randall D. Larson's three books about Robert Bloch and his works can now be ordered directly from Larson himself. Email him for details.
More to come soon!
- Fredric Brown. Brown published extensively in the science fiction,
horror, and mystery pulps. Some of his books are straightforward detective
fiction, but many are slyly witty, much like many of Bloch's works. Brown
is considered one of the masters of the short-short science fiction story.
Good places to start with Brown are his humorous SF novels "What Mad
Universe" and "Martians Go Home," as well as his more serious
SF novel "The Lights in the Sky are Stars." For mysteries, try
"The Far Cry," "The Screaming Mimi," and "The
Deep End." For short stories, you can't go wrong with the collections
"The Best of Fredric Brown" (with an intro by Bloch), "Star
Shine," and "Space on My Hands."
A list of Brown's works can be found here.
Good places to check out are the fan pages What
Mad Universe, Paradox
Lost, and the Thrilling Detective page on Brown.
- Harlan Ellison. Ellison prefers not to pigeonhole himself as
a writer of SF or fantastic literature. He is by most accounts one of this
nation's most interesting writers of short fiction. He has described himself
as a cross between Zorro and Jiminy Cricket, and is almost as well known
for his biting essays as he is for his fiction. Like Bloch, Ellison often
uses his craft as a tool of his social criticism. Ellison has never backed
down from a fight. Good places to start with Ellison are his short story
collections "I Have No Mouth and Must Scream," "Shatterday,"
and "Strange Wine." His essays on television ("The Glass
Teat" and "The Other Glass Teat") are definitely worth reading.
For more information, check out The
Harlan Ellison Webderland, and The
Islets of Langerhans. You can also read some of Ellison's stories online at Fictionwise.
- H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft was one of Bloch's formative influences;
much of Bloch's early fiction is patterned on Lovecraft's "Weird Tales"
stories. Lovecraft was the master of the weird fiction short story, with
a gift for creating whole mythologies (complete with historical and religious
trappings) as backdrops for his tales of death and madness. Lovecraft created
the Cthulhu Mythos, the Necronomicon, and the Re-Animator.
His best work includes the short stories "The Dunwich Horror,"
"The Call of Cthulhu," "At The Mountains of Madness,"
"The Shadow Over Innsmouth," "Pickman's Model," and
The H.P. Lovecraft Archive
is a terrific source of information on Lovecraft, and De
Web Mysteriis provides an good introduction to the mythos. Other
authors to try if Lovecraft appeals to you are August
Derleth, Clark Ashton
Smith, and Lord
- William Lindsay Gresham. Gresham is most famous for his novel
"Nightmare Alley" which details a carnival mentalist's rapid
rise in fame and his ultimate self-destruction. "Nightmare Alley"
was also made into an excellent film,
starring Tyrone Power. An excerpt from this book can be found here, and information on Gresham can be found here.
- Wilson Tucker. Tucker is primarily an sf and mystery writer. His more famous novels include "Year of the Quiet Sun" and "The Lincoln Hunters." Tucker's website can be found here.