(1909-1971) US writer, editor and publisher who from his first publication of genre interest – "Bat's Belfry" (WT 1926) – was primarily involved as (a) an original creator of, (b) an editor of important early Anthologies and collections which publicized the attractions of, and (c) a publisher of the premier Small Press involved in the release of Horror fiction. He is as well known for his work in creating a posthumous career for H P Lovecraft as for any of his own publications, though he was remarkably prolific. In 1939 he co-founded Arkham House with Donald Wandrei, initially in order to publish Lovecraft; it is now the longest-surviving sf/fantasy/horror specialist press in the world. Little of AWD's own work is fantasy, though some of his short stories pastiche Lovecraft's Cthulhu-Mythos cycle. Short fiction of interest is assembled in Someone in the Dark (coll 1941), Something Near (coll 1945), Not Long for this World (coll 1948), The Mask of Cthulhu (coll 1958), The Trail of Cthulhu (coll 1962) and The Watchers out of Time and Others (coll 1974) – all Lovecraftian or constituting reworkings of Lovecraft material – Lonesome Places (coll 1962), Mr George and Other Odd Persons (coll 1963), Colonel Markesan and Less Pleasant People (coll 1966) – with Mark Schorer (1908-1977) – and Dwellers in Darkness (coll 1976). The Lurker at the Threshold (1945) is again Lovecraft-oriented. [JC]
further reading: August Derleth: A Bibliography (1983) by Alison M Wilson; SFE.
August William Derleth