On an almost daily basis, I see SFF/weird fiction/pulp fans post links to Project Gutenberg. Occasionally, I point out that Roy Glashan’s website is a better place to check out for fans of pulp-style adventure. Regular readers of the DMR Blog who actually click on the hyperlinks may be familiar with Roy Glashan’s Library at freeread.com.au. We here at the DMR Blog promote Glashan’s website for a reason.
Roy is a somewhat shadowy figure. While it is obvious from perusing Project Gutenberg and Roy’s own Library website that he’s contributed to PG for quite a few years, little else is known about the man. One thing is apparent: Roy is a fan of the type of old-school, rip-roaring adventure that we here at the DMR Blog also love.
A look at Roy’s ISFDB entry provides the observation that his website “is the genre-centric adjunct of Project Gutenberg of Australia.” In addition, it reveals that RGL—his initials—only fired up his Library in 2014. The one and only entry for that year, the novel that RGL chose to inaugurate his website, was A. Merritt’s The Ship of Ishtar. To me, that says a lot about the man.
Nowhere else on the Net can so much concentrated quality pulp and proto-pulp coolness be found. That is a simple fact. One can flail around over at Project Gutenberg or some other site, but Roy delivers the goods. His site is also much better put together, more navigable and more attractively laid out than PG. I won’t call Roy’s taste “impeccable,” because that is a pretty high bar. I will say that I trust Glashan’s judgement over that of almost any other curator of similar material out on the Webz. Roy’s good taste and deep knowledge of the exotic adventure genre is obvious from the contents of his Library.
Roy Glashan’s Library features quite comprehensive free etexts of authors ranging from H. Rider Haggard and M.P. Shiel to Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft. I first read the fiction of Gordon MacCreagh while perusing RGL’s website. I could point to several other examples of Glashan providing me my first taste of the fiction of an author I had only heard of before.
A few instances to illustrate the depths of RGL’s treasure-trove should suffice. Not only does Roy host just about all of H. Rider Haggard’s fiction, he also provides HRH fans with an online version of Haggard’s rare autobiography. Talbot Mundy’s early “Dick Anthony of Arran” series is very hard to find online. Glashan has it. His Mundy non-fiction bibliography lists an interview with Lord Dunsany from 1920. Even my buddy, Dunsany scholar, Martin Andersson, didn’t know about that interview.
To sum it up, Roy Glashan’s Library is a badass place to stop by and browse. It’s curated by a man who knows what he’s doing and is easy to navigate. If all the facts I’ve presented above don’t nudge you into checking it out, you just might have a problem discerning Truth and Beauty when it stands directly before you. At Roy Glashan’s Library, adventure lies around every corner.