Dale Nelson is a US fantasy fan and, in mundane life, an English teacher in a small Midwestern university. His fannish career began in late 1969 after his letters were published in Marvel Comics’ Chamber of Darkness #3 and Sub-Mariner #24 and #27; a fellow Oregonian named Mitch Scheele introduced him to fanzines. Nelson persuaded his friend Kurt Erichsen, resident in another Oregon town, to co-found a fanzine, Endeavor, which Nelson flogged to his high school friends. Nelson joined Mark Verheiden’s comics-oriented Apa-5, the legendary nursery of talents such as Frank Miller and Paul Chadwick, and then Paul Ritz’s fantasy-oriented apa Elanor. Later he joined Rosemary Pardoe’s apa The Everlasting Club, for devotees of the M. R. James ghost story tradition.
Nelson is a frequent contributor to Nancy Martsch’s long-lived Tolkien newsletter, Beyond Bree, and to CSL-- The Bulletin of the New York C. S. Lewis Society. One of his hobbyhorses is Tolkien’s imaginative indebtedness to H. Rider Haggard, and another is Lewis’s fascination with American science fiction pulps. Nelson’s Jamesian story “Lady Stanhope’s Manuscript” supplied the title for the initial offering of Barbara and Christopher Rodens’ Ash-Tree Press, and several of his stories have appeared in anthologies from Ray Russell’s Tartarus Press. Nelson believes that he coined the term “topographic romance,” which he hopes will catch on.