Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Avon Fantasy Reader

US digest Anthology, 18 vols, quarterly, 1947-1952, published by Avon Publishing, New York; ed Donald A Wollheim.

AFR was the first regular paperback reprint fantasy anthology series, though its digest format has often caused it to be classified as a Magazine. Wollheim selected primarily from Weird Tales, emphasizing the works of H P Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, and working in tandem with August W Derleth at Arkham House to promote the best of WT's authors. Wollheim also reprinted stories from Strange Tales, Adventure and Blue Book, selecting fiction otherwise hard to find, but did not confine himself to the pulps, presenting a wide range of fiction from books, especially by UK authors like Algernon Blackwood, Lord Dunsany and William Hope Hodgson. Although AFR published sf, most of its content was Supernatural Fiction, plus some Slick Fantasy and Heroic Fantasy. The quality was high throughout.

AFR had a short-lived companion, Avon Science-Fiction Reader (3 issues, 1951-1952), which published some Science Fantasy. The two titles were subsequently merged to create a new, genuine magazine, Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader (2 issues January-April 1953, ed Sol Cohen), which included some Slick Fantasy and Horror. [MA]


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.