Classic Covers: Ballantine Fantasy
Jun24

Classic Covers: Ballantine Fantasy

The decade of fantasy publishing kicked off by the runaway success of the The Lord of the Rings produced not only a flurry of reprints of classic fantasy, but also an entire crop of creative, iconic, and visionary cover designs. Ballantine Books launched its iconic Ballantine Adult Fantasy line on the strength of the fantasy boom, featuring cover art as wonderous as the contents of the books themselves. We’ve gathered together...

Read More
Ballantine Adult Fantasy: William Morris
Mar29

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: William Morris

One of the most significant figures in the cultural life of Victorian England, William Morris (1834-1896) was everything from a poet, translator, and writer of medievalist fantasy, to a political activist, printer, champion of building preservation, and a renowned innovator in textile manufacturing and interior design. When Lin Carter oversaw the Ballantine Adult Fantasy line (1969-74), he brought many of Morris’ out-of-print...

Read More
Ballantine Adult Fantasy: E.R. Eddison
Feb18

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: E.R. Eddison

The success of The Lord of the Rings in paperback led to a fantasy boom in publishing — and in particular a boom at Ballantine. In the wake of Tolkien’s success, they turned to fellow English fantasist E.R. Eddison for more fiction in a similar vein, re-publishing both his landmark 1922 novel The Worm Ouroboros, but also the three books in his 1930s Zimiamvian Trilogy. All four of these books were published before the...

Read More
Ballantine Adult Fantasy: The Lord of the Rings
Sep30

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: The Lord of the Rings

Strictly speaking, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings isn’t actually part of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, but it might be fair to say it’s the series’ very foundation. With a rather weird publishing history in the United States, Tolkien’s epic finally got an ‘authorized’ edition of three paperbacks from Ballantine in 1965, along with a reprint of The Hobbit. Already a hit, The Lord...

Read More
Ballantine Adult Fantasy: William Hope Hodgson
Aug03

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: William Hope Hodgson

William Hope Hodgson, godfather to cosmic horror and ghost detectives alike, had two books reprinted in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy line, The Boats of the Glen Carrig and The Night Land. The Night Land was published in two volumes because of its length — more controversially it received heavy editing from series editor Lin Carter to render Hodgson’s deliberately difficult prose more accessible. Both covers from Robert...

Read More
Ballantine Adult Fantasy: Lord Dunsany
Jul23

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: Lord Dunsany

Among the most reprinted authors in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy line was Lord Dunsany, the Anglo-Irish peer who was also a tremendously prolific short story writer and playwright. Dunsany’s sweeping elegies of imagined worlds were both reminiscent of classical myth and the dreaming aesthetic of the visionary fantasists and tellers of Weird Tales going back to Poe. Dunsany is cited as an influence by almost every major writer of...

Read More