Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Not at Night

UK Anthology series ed Christine Campbell Thomson (1897-1985) for Selwyn & Blount. It ran to 12 approximately annual vols, though subsequent paperback selections complicate the bibliography. The original series was Not at Night (anth 1925), More Not at Night (anth 1926), You'll Need a Night Light (anth 1927), Gruesome Cargoes (anth 1928), By Daylight Only (anth 1929), Switch on the Light (anth 1931), At Dead of Night (anth 1931), Grim Death (anth 1932), Keep on the Light (anth 1933), Terror By Night (anth 1934) and Nightmare By Daylight (anth 1936). The final volume was a retrospective selection, The Not at Night Omnibus (anth 1937). The first paperback selections, still ed Christine Campbell Thomson – not reprints of the original volumes – were Not at Night (anth 1960) and More Not at Night (anth 1961; vt Never at Night 1972). A third paperback selection was Still Not at Night (anth 1962; vt Only By Daylight 1972). A US selection from the series was Not at Night! (anth 1928 US) ed Herbert Asbury.

NAN initially selected heavily from Weird Tales – although Thomson focused on gruesome, physical Horror rather than supernatural or fantasy – but did give early UK appearances to Hugh B Cave, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, August W Derleth (who advised Thomson on some selections, and whose story "The Metronome" appeared in Terror By Night before its WT publication), Robert E Howard, David H Keller, Frank Belknap Long and H P Lovecraft. By #4 Thomson was selecting a greater deal of original material plus reprints selected from UK sources – especially Adventure-Story and Mystery-Story (> Hutchinson's Magazines) – although WT remained the source for over half the tales published in the series, so that NAN was more than once referred to as the UK edition of WT. Thomson published nine stories of her own (as Flavia Richardson) and a further nine by her husband, Oscar Cook (1888-1952), whose fictions reflected his background in the British East Indies. Most of these stories were commercial hackwork. Although NAN was popular, much of its content is routine and certainly not on a par with the parallel anthologies ed Cynthia Asquith and John Gawsworth. The series has been mined by later anthologists, especially by Herbert Van Thal for his Pan Book of Horror Stories series. [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.