Weird Tales editorial office, l. to r., unknown, Farnsworth Wright, Henry Kuttner, Robert Bloch
By the time of his death in 1940, Farnsworth Wright had become one of the most influential editors the field of the fantastic would ever see. Wright was born in 1888 on July, 29. I would argue his influence on science fiction, fantasy, and horror has been greater than any other editor, including John W. Campbell, Dorothy McIlwraith, Fred Pohl, Ray Palmer, or Hugo Gernsback.
Yes, I realize that last sentence could be controversial, especially the inclusion of Campbell and Gernsback. So be it. Farnsworth Wright edited Weird Tales during what is considered to be the magazine’s golden age. The authors he published have had a greater impact on the literature of the fantastic than those of any other editor at any time in history. Continue reading →
Well, sort of. Merritt’s birthday was actually yesterday, but classes started the day before yesterday. I was kinda busy.
Abraham Merritt was born on January 20, in Beverly, New Jersey. He died in 1943. Merritt was arguably the most highly regarded fantasy author of his day, with a fantasy magazine named for him after his death. He was an assistant editor and later editor of The American Weekly, a position which apparently left him little time to pursue his own writing. Even so, his work cast a long shadow over the field and his influence is still felt today, although most readers are probably unaware of that influence. Continue reading →
Today is Frank Belknap Long’s birthday. He was born on Arpil 27, 1901, for those of you who are reading this on a day other than when I posted it. Since it’s late, that’s probably most of you.
Long was a prolific writer of weird fiction, fantasy, science fiction, and Gothic romance. (Charles Rutledge discussed them on his blog a few years ago. Here’s an example.) He is probably best remembered today as one of the Lovecraft circle.
I’ve only read a small amount of his work. I’ve found him to be one of those writers who either hits with me and hits it out of the park or completely strikes out. (My wife was just watching a baseball game, so naturally you’re getting a sports analogy.
He was one of five authors (along with Lovecraft, Howard, Moore, and Merritt) of the round-robin story “The Challenge From Beyond”, which I discuss here. My favorite story of his that I’ve read is “The Houonds of Tindalos”. This is arguably Long’s most important work, at least in terms of influence. I’ve paid tribute to it in one of my unpublished sword and sorcery tales I hope to see in print one of these days.
I’ve got some writing to do tonight, so I’m going to have to wait until the weekend to read any of his work. I’ll do that when I’ve got a bit of time, along with reading some more Davidson.
One of the top practitioners of horror fiction in the latter half of the previous century is also one of the most frustrating. T. E. D. Klein has published very little after making a name for himself in the 1970s and 80s.
His first collection, Dark Gods, is a perfect example of what an author can accomplish in an understated manner. The four novellas in this volume are strong examples of that type of horror. Perfect reading for Halloween. Continue reading →