Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Lovecraftiana: Donald A. Woldheim

Chrispy recently acquired a rare copy of Avon Science Fiction Reader # 3. [1] This copy has the HPL revisionist story In the Walls of Eryx with Kenneth Sterling. [2]

The fascinating part is Woldheim's introduction. [3]

"Although many of Lovecraft's weird epics may be described as science fiction in the manner in which he made his horrors credible, he never once laid a story on the surface of another world. This tale would seem to be the exception. Laid on the planet Venus and involving space-borne explorers it was originally drafted by Kenneth Sterling, at that time a student in Providencem Lovecraft's home city. Sterling persuaded Lovecraft to revise his short story and so thoroughly did the master do so, that the young author insisted that the tale should carry both by-lines. Thus do we have the one and only planet story to bear the signature of the master of the eerie lore. The young student of those days is incidentally now a full-fledged M.D. engaged in cancer research."

1 Avon Novels Inc. 1952 - a small Reader's Digest sized pulp of reprints of earlier decades.

2 Listed as copyrighted by Weird Tales 1939 and subsequently by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei 1943 and 1947.

3 p. 59. The story lies on pp. 59-80.

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