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Gene DeWeese Papers

 Collection
Identifier: DG0267

Scope and Contents

The Gene DeWeese Papers contain typescripts, composition notes, printed material, and correspondence created and accumulated by Gene DeWeese between 1967 and 2002. DeWeese's papers were created from his composition of 38 published books and three pieces of short fiction and prose, his proposal for a novelette, and his rewriting of Probe, a Star Trek series novel written originally by Margaret Wander Bonanno. The material is organized into six series: books, short fiction and prose, proposed novelette, Ravenloft research material, rewrite for Probe, and de Grummond Children's Literature Collection.

The Books Series contains typescripts, composition notes, printed material, and correspondence for 38 published books created between 1967 and 2002. The papers are arranged alphabetically by title and the material for each book is arranged chronologically in order of creation when known. Following departmental custom, the processor has numbered each typescript and proof by order of creation (first, second, third, etc.). Furthermore, the volume for a folder of correspondence or composition notes usually is measured by the number of items, but for his later books, DeWeese sometimes saved his notes and letters electronically. He printed these files to paper before donating them to the de Grummond Collection. In these cases, the material is described as sequences of composition notes or correspondence and their volumes are measured by the number of pages in the printout.

The quantity of material for specific titles varies tremendously, from a single typescript to a huge assortment of notes, typescripts, proofs, and correspondence. The container listing offers detailed descriptions of the holdings for each title and information on the material's process of creation may be gleaned easily from the container listing for each book. However, some additional explanation is needed to understand the arrangement and description of the material for several books.

The Adventures of a Two-Minute Werewolf (1983) began as a short story for adult readers, but soon became a short story for children. It remained in this brief form through its first five typescripts until DeWeese began the process of expanding it into a book when working on the sixth typescript. He produced the first two chapters and a plan for the rest of the book in the seventh typescript and continued to develop the novel in subsequent drafts.

DeWeese originally proposed two novels as sequels to his first Star Trek series novel, Chain of Attack (1987). The first was proposed under the titles "Children of the Gate," "Face of the Destroyer," and "Mask of the Destroyer." The second bore the names "Beyond the Gates" and "The Final Nexus." David Stern, the editor of Star Trek books at Pocket Books, passed on the first novel, but encouraged DeWeese to incorporate portions of it into the second story, which he accepted. It was published in 1988 as The Final Nexus. The proposals for both novels are organized with the material for The Final Nexus.

Hour of the Cat, Gene DeWeese's Gothic suspense novel of 1980, appeared in a considerably different form while in its first two typescripts, although the drafts still contained portions of text that would appear in the final version. DeWeese revised the text greatly for the third typescript, adopting the final seventeen-chapter format.

Major Corby and the Unidentified Flapping Object (1979) originated in 1967 as a proposed science fiction novel for adults, co-written by DeWeese with Robert Coulson under their joint pseudonym, Thomas Stratton. It was varyingly titled "Alien Wind," "Robot God," "Hand Me That Jug of Xenophobia," and "Pass the Jug of Xenophobia." The typescripts, outlines, and notes for these manifestations are filed in folders 42/1-9, although their exact order of creation is very, very uncertain. The novel became a juvenile science fiction story with the fifth typescript. It again passed through several titles and finally began to resemble its final form with the tenth typescript. Apparently, Coulson left the project sometime after it became a children's book.

While working on the outline for Murder in the Blood in the early 1980s, DeWeese came up with two different ideas for the structure of his new novel. The first, here called Outline Version A, cast Del Warren, a local newspaper editor, as the story's protagonist and relied on a first-person narration. The second, here called Outline Version B, conceived the ultimate form of the novel with Sheriff Frank Decker in the lead role and the use of a third-person narrative. DeWeese began writing the first draft of the novel after settling on the latter storyline. After writing two typescripts of the book, he wrote a third that he called revision 1. The fourth through sixth typescripts comprised revision 2 and the seventh and eighth typescripts became revision 3. At least two more typescripts followed before the book's publication in 2002.

Nightmare Universe was an adaptation of Gates of the Universe that DeWeese made for the Amazing Stories series in 1985. He had written Gates of the Universe with Robert Coulson in 1975, but while it was a straightforward science fiction novel, DeWeese designed Nightmare Universe as a multiple choice book. It was composed of an introductory passage and twelve hierarchical segments. A diagram illustrating the organization of the segments is filed in folder 54/1.

The Short Fiction and Prose Series consists of typescripts, composition notes, and printed material for three pieces of short fiction and prose written by DeWeese between about 1976 and 1994. The series contains production material for "Von Kharkov," a short story written for Tales of Ravenloft (1994), an anthology in the Ravenloft fantasy series. The Short Fiction and Prose Series also includes photocopies of two prose articles: "Milwaukee heads for hyperspace," a description of a science fiction convention for The Milwaukee Journal in 1979; and "A Writer in Spite of Himself," a meditation on DeWeese's writing life for an unidentified periodical published sometime around 1976. The material in the series is arranged alphabetically by title and the material for each piece is arranged chronologically in order of creation when known.

The Proposed Novelette Series consists of a sequence of e-mail messages sent by Gene DeWeese to Mary Kirchoff, the editor of his Ravenloft series books, and to others concerning a proposed novelette about the character of Azalin for the Ravenloft series. The novelette, which was intended to explain away inconsistencies regarding Azalin's life that had emerged between the Ravenloft game and DeWeese's Lord of the Necropolis, was never written. The messages date from August 1998. An account of the whole episode written by Gene DeWeese is also included in the file.

The Ravenloft Research Material Series includes page proofs, manuals, maps, cards, and other items for the Ravenloft fantasy role-playing game produced between 1990 and 1995. TSR Inc., the creators of Ravenloft, sent this material to DeWeese to introduce him to the nature of the game and serve as research material for his short story "Von Kharkov" in Tales of Ravenloft (1994) and his two novels, King of the Dead (1996) and Lord of the Necropolis (1997).

The Rewrite forProbeSeries contains typescripts, composition notes, printed material, letters received, and a microcassette for Gene DeWeese's rewriting of Probe, a Star Trek series novel written originally by Margaret Wander Bonanno. Apparently dissatisfied with Bonanno's original work, Paramount Pictures-the controlling interest for all things Star Trek-asked J.M. Dillard to supply a rewrite, which she did. Dillard left the project when it requested yet more revisions. Paramount then passed on the page proofs for Dillard's version and its own suggestions to Gene DeWeese, who suggested making another almost complete rewrite that would restore some of Bonanno's original material. The company agreed and awarded DeWeese a contract to revise the novel. The material dates from 1991 and 1992 and is arranged chronologically in order of creation when known.

The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection Series consists of six letters sent by Gene DeWeese to the collection between 1979 and 1999. The letters were selected and photocopied from the correspondence file of the de Grummond Collection because they provide information on the origins of several of DeWeese's books. They are arranged chronologically.

Dates

  • 1967-2002

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Eugene DeWeese was born in Rochester, Indiana, on January 31, 1934, to Thomas Jacob and Alfreda (Henning) DeWeese. He wrote several articles for the local newspaper while in high school and published stories in amateur science fiction magazines. DeWeese earned an associate degree in electronics from Valparaiso Technical Institute in 1953. He worked for General Motors' Delco Electronics Division as a technician in Kokomo, Indiana (1954-1959) and as a technical writer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1959-1974). He married Beverly Amers, a librarian, in 1955.

DeWeese's first professional novels, The Invisibility Affair and The Mind-Twisters Affair (both 1967), were contributions to the Man from U.N.C.L.E. series written with Robert Coulson under the pseudonym Thomas Stratton. DeWeese went on to write more than 40 works of both adult and juvenile fiction drawing on themes of science fiction; Gothic mystery, romance, and suspense; fantasy; the occult; horror; and adventure. He started working as a freelance writer in 1974, and wrote novels for the Star Trek, Ravenloft, Zodiac Gothic, Birthstone Gothic, Dinotopia, Amazing Stories, and Lost in Space series. He wrote nine Gothic novels under the penname Jean DeWeese and produced Ginger's Wish, a contemporary romance novel, with Connie Kugi using the joint pseudonym Victoria Thomas. DeWeese also wrote books on technology and folk art.

Gene DeWeese passed away in March of 2012.

Sources:

Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series, ed. Deborah A. Straub (Detroit: Gale Research, 1988), 24:150-151.

Extent

24.75 Cubic Feet (84 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

The Gene DeWeese Papers contain typescripts, composition notes, printed material, and correspondence created and accumulated by Gene DeWeese between 1967 and 2002. DeWeese's papers were created from his composition of 38 published books and three pieces of short fiction and prose, his proposal for a novelette, and his rewriting of Probe, a Star Trek series novel written originally by Margaret Wander Bonanno. DeWeese wrote more than 40 works of both adult and juvenile fiction drawing on themes of science fiction; Gothic mystery, romance, and suspense; fantasy; the occult; horror; and adventure.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries by Gene DeWeese between 1979 and 2002.

Related Materials

The Robert and Juanita Coulson Papers (DG1232) contain material concerning novels that Gene DeWeese wrote with Robert Coulson.

Separated Materials

Oversize material is kept in box 84.
Title
Gene DeWeese Papers
Status
In Progress
Author
Hans Rasmussen
Date
2003-05
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English
Sponsor
This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the de Grummond Childrens Literature Collection Repository

Contact:
118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001
601.266.4345