Browne Popular Culture Library

PCL MS-18: Karl Edward Wagner Collection

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series Description | Inventory


Karl Edward Wagner is best known as a writer of fantasy and horror and also as an editor for anthologies in these genres. The collection reflects both aspects of his work. This material was donated by Gary Hoppenstand in December 2010 and forms part of the Gary Hoppenstand Adventure Fiction Collection. The collection has no restrictions placed upon its’ use for scholarly purposes. Researchers are responsible for securing copyright permission when duplicating any unpublished or published works included in the collection.


Karl  Edward Wagner was born in 1945 in Knoxville, TN. He graduated from Kenyon College with a history degree in 1967. He then attended the medical program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He briefly practiced as a psychiatrist, but then turned to writing as a career. He first published “Darkness Weaves with Many Shades” in 1978 and then went on to publish and edit close to 40 books.

He edited three volumes of Robert E. Howard’s original stories (delighting purists by restoring the texts to their original published form). He set some of his own work in Howard’s universe,  creating his own pre-historical hero Kane. He also wrote contemporary horror stories.

He edited many horror and fantasy anthologies. In 1980 he took over editing The Year’s Best Horror Stories. Through his editorial work, he helped redefine the modern horror short story. He died in 1994 from  a combination of a tick bite and alcoholism.

The finding aid was prepared by Nancy Down in July 2011.

Scope and Content

The Wagner collection consists of the edited manuscripts for Why Not You and I? and for The Year’s Best Horror Stories:  XXVII  and  XX. Also included are the correspondences from the contributors to The Year’s Best Horror Stories: XXII (the last anthology published in the series). Typescript s of More Sinned Against and “Midnight Train to Providence” (a review of H. R. Lovecraft’s “He”) form part of the collection. The Karl Edward Wagner Miscellanea includes photocopies of his column from Fantasy Newsletter (1980-1987) and various other writings by or about the author.


Box 1
Why Not You and I?©1987
1Edited manuscript pp. [1]-60 
2Edited manuscript pp. 61-120
3Edited manuscript pp. 121-180
4Edited manuscript pp. 181-240
5Edited manuscript pp. 241-299
The Year’s Best Horror Stories: XXVII©1989
6Edited manuscript pp. [1]-50 
7Edited manuscript 51-100
8Edited manuscript 101-150
9Edited manuscript pp.151-200
10Edited manuscript pp.201-267
The Year’s Best Horror Stories: XX©1992
11Edited manuscript pp. [1]-47 
12Edited manuscript pp. 48-100
13Edited manuscript pp.101-149
14Edited manuscript pp. 150-190
15Edited manuscript pp.191-236
16“Midnight Train to Providence”[n.d.]
17“Karl Edward Wagner's More Sinned Against”©1984
 Scream/Press Revue[n.d.]
Box 2
14 letters from Karl Edward Wagner1973-1983
2DAW Books contract and author permission forms[n.d.]
3handwritten “But Is It Horrific?”[1994]
4Gregory Nicoll[n.d.]
5Ted Klein
6Adam Meyer
7 Joey Froehlich 
8Dennis Etchison
9Chet Williamson
10Ramsey Campbell
11Wayne Allen Sallee
12Sean Dolittle
13Francis A. McMahan
14Paul  Pinn
15Robert Devereaux
16Mark McLaughlin
17Joel Lane
18Scott Thomas
19Kim Newman
20Del Stone Jr.
21Lillian Csernica
22Deidra Cox
23Conrad Williams
24Nina Kiriki Hoffman
25Simon Clark
26Charles M. Saplak
27Jeffrey Thomas
28Des Lewis
29Nancy Kilpatrick
30David Langford
31Lisa Tuttle
32Kim Antieau
33Nicholas Royle
34Terry Lamsley
Karl Edward Wagner’s Miscellanea (spiral bound photocopies)

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