Tales from Gavagan's Bar

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Tales from Gavagan's Bar
Tales from gavagans bar twayne.jpg
Dust-jacket for Tales from Gavagan's Bar
Author L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
Illustrator Inga Pratt
Cover artist Inga Pratt
Country United States
Language English
Genre Fiction short stories
Publisher Twayne Publishers
Publication date
1953
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 228 pp
The "Gavagan's Bar" story "Ward of the Argonaut" was featured on the cover of the January 1959 issue of Fantastic Universe

Tales from Gavagan's Bar is a collection of short stories by science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, illustrated by the latter's wife Inga Pratt. It was first published in hardcover by Twayne Publishers in 1953; an expanded edition rearranging the contents and adding pieces not in the first was published in hardcover by Owlswick Press in June 1978. The original illustrations were retained in this edition. It was subsequently issued in paperback (without the illustrations) by Bantam Books in January 1980.[1][2] An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.[2][3][4] The collection has also been published in German.[2]

Most of the pieces were originally published between 1950 and 1954, twelve in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, three in Weird Tales, and eleven in the first edition of the collection; two additional tales subsequently appeared in Fantastic Universe in 1959, and one more, together with a new afterword, in the expanded edition of the collection in 1978.[5][2]

The Gavagan's Bar stories fall into the genre of barroom tall tales, though in this instance most of the tall tales turn out to be true, or at least possibly true. The authors patterned them after Lord Dunsany's "Jorkens" stories.[1][5]

Contents of the original edition[edit]

  • "Preface" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "The Gift of God" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, winter/spring 1950)
  • "Corpus Delectable" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "The Better Mousetrap" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, December 1950)
  • "Elephas Frumenti" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, winter/spring 1950)
  • "Beasts of Bourbon" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1951)
  • "The Love Nest" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "The Stone of the Sages" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "Where To, Please?" (first appeared in Weird Tales, September 1952)
  • "The Palimpsest of St. Augustine" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "More Than Skin Deep" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1951)
  • "No Forwarding Address" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "When the Night Wind Howls" (first appeared in Weird Tales, November 1951)
  • "My Brother's Keeper" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "A Dime Brings You Success" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "The Rape of the Lock" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1952)
  • "All That Glitters" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "Here, Putzi!" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "Gin Comes in Bottles" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "The Black Ball" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1952)
  • "The Green Thumb" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1953)
  • "Caveat Emptor" (first appeared in Weird Tales, March 1953)
  • "The Eve of St. John" (first appeared in the original edition, 1953)
  • "The Ancestral Amethyst" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1952)

Contents of the expanded edition[edit]

  • "Preface"
  • "Elephas Frumenti"
  • "The Ancestral Amethyst"
  • "Here, Putzi!"
  • "More Than Skin Deep"
  • "Beasts of Bourbon"
  • "The Gift of God"
  • "The Better Mousetrap"
  • "No Forwarding Address"
  • "The Untimely Toper" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 1953)
  • "The Eve of St. John"
  • "The Love Nest"
  • "The Stone of the Sages"
  • "Corpus Delectable"
  • "The Palimpsest of St. Augustine"
  • "Where To, Please?"
  • "Methought I Heard a Voice" (retitled from "When the Night Wind Howls")
  • "One Man's Meat" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September 1953)
  • "My Brother's Keeper"
  • "A Dime Brings You Success"
  • "Oh, Say! Can You See?" (first appeared in Fantastic Universe, January 1959 as "Ward of the Argonaut")
  • "The Rape of the Lock"
  • "Bell, Book, and Candle" (first appeared in Fantastic Universe, October 1959)
  • "All That Glitters"
  • "Gin Comes in Bottles"
  • "There'd Be Thousands in It" (first appeared in the expanded edition, June 1978)
  • "The Black Ball"
  • "The Green Thumb"
  • "Caveat Emptor"
  • "The Weissenbroch Spectacles" (first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1954)
  • "By and About" (afterword) (first appeared in the expanded edition, June 1978)

Continuations[edit]

According to de Camp, he and Pratt envisioned at least one more Gavagan's Bar story, about a vampire with a sweet tooth, which was never written due to Pratt's early death.[5]

While L. Sprague de Camp never continued the series on his own, an additional Gavagan's Bar story authored by Michael F. Flynn, "The Ensorcelled ATM", appeared in Harry Turtledove's 2005 tribute anthology honoring de Camp, The Enchanter Completed. It ties the series in with de Camp's later W. Wilson Newbury stories.

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewing the original edition for Galaxy, Groff Conklin described the stories as "completely enchanting -- wise, mad, fantastic, funny, warmly human and often very moving."[6] P. Schuyler Miller compared the stories to Lord Dunsany's "Jorkens" tales.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Laughlin, Charlotte; Daniel J. H. Levack (1983). De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood/Miller. pp. 94–95. 
  2. ^ a b c d Tales from Gavagan's Bar title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  3. ^ Orion Publishing Group's L. Sprague de Camp webpage
  4. ^ Amazon.com entry for e-book edition
  5. ^ a b c De Camp, L. Sprague. "By and About." in Tales from Gavagan's Bar [expanded edition], Philadelphia, Owlswick Press, 1978.
  6. ^ "Galaxy's 5 Star Shelf", Galaxy Science Fiction, June 1954, p.121
  7. ^ "The Reference Library", Astounding Science Fiction, August 1954, pp.151-52