"WELCOME TO THE WEIRD, WEIRD WEST!"
KING, Stephen. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. (West Kingston, Rhode Island): Donald M. Grant, (1982). Octavo, original russet cloth, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. $4800.
First trade edition, issued simultaneously with a signed limited edition, of the first book in King's epic Dark Tower series, a presentation/association copy from the collection of Richard "Dick" Fawcett, founder of the August Derleth Society, boldly inscribed by King on the half title in the year of publication, "For Dick, Welcome to the weird, weird west! Stephen King, 10/30/82," with five full-page color illustrations, color endpapers and vignettes by acclaimed fantasy artist Michael Whelan.
"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." When King typed those words on an old Underwood in 1970, he began a daring fantasy saga that would be 34 years in the completion. Gunslinger, the first book in his Dark Tower series, is "an impressive work of mythic magnitude that may turn out to be King's greatest literary achievement" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). The novel is "strange, scary and utterly gripping—the perfect start to an unforgettable journey… In Roland Deschain, the titular Gunslinger, there's a superb, violent, powerful and thoughtful protagonist—Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name by way of Robert Browning's poem, Childe Rolande to the Dark Tower Came" (Guardian). With illustrations by Whelan, a 14-time Hugo award winner whose art "stands up to any [the 20th] century has produced" (Village Voice). "First Edition" stated on copyright page. Issued simultaneously with a signed limited edition of 500 copies. Brooks A18. See Fantasy and Horror 6-194. This distinctive copy is inscribed by King to Richard "Dick" Fawcett, who founded the August Derleth Society upon discovering Derleth's book, Walden West, which Fawcett calls "the heartbeat of middle America preserved in amber" (Lachman, Heirs of Anthony Boucher, 69). Fawcett has also been the longtime editor and publisher of the society's popular and informative newsletter. Stephen King once wrote of Derleth, the prolific novelist who co-founded Arkham House: "August Derleth and Arkham House published what I regard as [weird fiction's] most important works in the period 1939-1950" (Haefele, August Derleth Redux, 44). King also honored Derleth in naming him, along with Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley and H.P. Lovecraft, as a dedicatee of King's 2014 work Revival, and The New York Times singled out Derleth as "the author of more than 100 books that King must have devoured as a boy and a seminal figure in the creation of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos horror genre." King has earned the British Fantasy Society's famed August Derleth Award for Best Novel for Cujo (1983), It (1982), Bag of Bones (1999) and Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (2005).
A splendid inscribed copy in fine condition.