Robert Bloch

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Robert Albert Bloch (April 5 1917September 23 1994) was a prolific Jewish-American writer.

Robert Bloch

Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and over twenty novels, usually crime fiction, science fiction, and perhaps most influentially horror fiction. He was a contributor to pulp magazines in his early career, and was also a prolific screenwriter. He was the recipient of the Hugo Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the World Fantasy Award. He served a term as President of the Mystery Writers of America.

Robert Bloch was also a major contributor to science fiction fanzines and fandom in general. In the 1940s, he created the humorous character Lefty Feep in a story for Fantastic Adventures.

He was a friend and correspondent of H.P. Lovecraft, and was the author of a number of stories that were set in, and which extended, the world of the Cthulhu Mythos. Bloch even appears, thinly disguised, as the character "Robert Blake" in Lovecraft's story The Haunter of the Dark, which is dedicated to him, the only Lovecraft tale so inscribed. In this story Lovecraft kills the Bloch character off, repaying a courtesy Bloch started with his tale "The Shambler from the Stars" in which the Lovecraft inspired figure dies. Bloch later wrote a third tale, picking up where The Haunter of the Dark finished.

He became most famous as the author of the novel Psycho, which was adapted — quite faithfully, but by Joseph Stefano rather than Bloch— into the film of the same name, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. His best-known work as a screenwriter is probably The Night Walker (1964), which he wrote for William Castle although he also penned several scripts for the original series of Star Trek.

Bloch also contributed to Harlan Ellison's science fiction anthology, Dangerous Visions. His story, "A Toy for Juliette" featured themes stemming from both the Marquis de Sade and Jack the Ripper. In fact, Ellison's own contribution to the anthology was a direct follow-up of Bloch's, and was titled "The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World". Aside from his immense output, he gained a reputation among fellow writers for his kindness, generosity and laughably atrocious puns.

Bloch was born in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to writing science fiction, he also worked in vaudeville and, along with Harold Gauer, helped to elect Carl Zeidler as mayor of Milwaukee in 1940.

His autobiography, entitled Once Around the Bloch (ISBN 0-312-85373-4), was published in 1993.

Robert Bloch died in 1994 and was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.

There is an essay on his work, with particular reference to the novels Psycho and The Scarf, in S.T. Joshi's book The Modern Weird Tale (2001). Joshi examines Bloch's literary relationship with Lovecraft in a further essay in The Evolution of the Weird Tale (2004).

In addition, Randall D. Larson has authored three reference books about Robert Bloch: The Robert Bloch Reader's Guide (1986, a literary analysis of Bloch's entire output through 1986), The Complete Robert Bloch (1986, an illustrated bibliography of Bloch's writing), and The Robert Bloch Companion (1986, collected interviews).

Books and Media


  • The Opener of the Way (1945) (collection)
  • The Scarf (1947, rev. 1966) (novel)
  • The Will to Kill (1954) (novel)
  • Psycho (1959) (novel)
  • The Dead Beat (1960) (novel)
  • Firebug (1961) (novel)
  • Atoms and Evil (1962) (collection)
  • House of the Hatchet (1965) (collection)
  • The Skull of the Marquis de Sade (1965) (collection)
  • Tales in a Jugular Vein (1965) (collection)
  • American Gothic (1974) (novel)
  • Strange Eons (1978) (a "Cthulhu Mythos" novel)
  • Such Stuff as Screams are Made Of (1979) (collection)
  • Psycho II (novel)
  • Psycho House (novel)
  • Midnight Pleasures (collection)


External resources

Original Wiki source: Wikipedia