Ahead of the curve, in the UK Dagon was the pre-internet entrypoint into what was then at the cutting edge of the literary weird (in its pages I first encountered Ligotti, Mark Samuels, D.F. Lewis, and a host of others). Sadly, last year Carl T. Ford, editor and publisher of Dagon, passed away.
As a result of Dagon, I sought out Wagner’s work, and managed to pick up a signed copy of Why Not You and I? during a visit ot Peterborough’s specialist bookshop ‘The House on the Borderlands’ at some point in the early 1990s:
Other of Wagner’s best work was informed by the pre-Lovecraft weird tradition, with ‘The River of Night’s Dreaming’ being an early addition to the now burdgeoning post-Chambers ‘King in Yellow’ literary mythology; the shade of Machen hangs over ‘.220 Swift’; sadly none of these appear in Why Not You and I?; neither does ‘Sticks’, Wagner’s British Fantasy Award-winning contribution to the Cthulhu mythos (and which supposedly inspired elements of both The Blair Witch Project and the first season of True Detective). All the more reason, then, to search out Wagner’s writing and appreciate a somewhat-forgotten master of the modern genre.