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The Outsider and Others is a collection of stories by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. It was released in 1939 and was the first book published by Arkham House. 1,268 copies were printed.[1] It went out of print early in 1944[2] and has never been reprinted.

The Outsider and Others
Outsider and others.jpg
Dust-jacket illustration by Virgil Finlay.
AuthorH. P. Lovecraft
Cover artistVirgil Finlay
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
GenreFantasy, horror, science fiction
Published1939 (Arkham House)
Media typePrint (hardback)
Pages533

The volume takes its name from the Lovecraft short story "The Outsider"; The Outsider and Other Stories was Lovecraft's preferred title for a short story collection considered, but never issued, by Farnsworth Wright.[1] The stories for this volume were selected by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. The dust jacket art was a montage of drawings by Virgil Finlay for Weird Tales magazine, of which only one or two had originally illustrated Lovecraft stories.

E. F. Bleiler describes the collection's publication as "the beginning of serious specialist publishing of fantastic fiction in America".[3]

Contents

GenesisEdit

In late 1937, the death of Howard Phillips Lovecraft prompted his two friends, August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, to gather a collection of Lovecraft's best weird fiction from the pulp magazines into a memorial volume. After several attempts to place the omnibus volume with major hardcover publishers without any success, the two men realised that no publisher would be willing to take a chance with the collection. Derleth and Wandrei decided to form their own company, Arkham House (its name based on a town featured in many of Lovecraft's stories) with the expressed purpose of publishing all of Lovecraft's writings in hardcover. The omnibus volume was scheduled as the first offering from Arkham House, with a price of $5.00, while advance orders were accepted at $3.50 each. Even at that bargain price, only 150 orders were received for The Outsider and Others before its appearance in 1939.

The Outsider was printed by the George Banta Co. of Wisconsin, in an edition of 1268 copies. The book was over 550 pages long, with small print, and featured a jacket by noted fantasy artist Virgil Finlay. The omnibus sold slowly but steadily.

ContentsEdit

ReceptionEdit

E. F. Bleiler called Outsider "a major book in the history of American supernatural fiction", saying Lovecraft's writing "reveals a vivid imagination, a remarkable ability at the creation of mythic thought, an excellent command of scholarly detail, and many of the indescribable characteristics of a powerful mind at work.[3] Thrilling Wonder Stories hailed the collection as "a magnificent tribute to the brilliance of H. P. Lovecraft" and declared it "a milestone in fantasy literature, equal almost in importance to the collected tales of Edgar Allan Poe.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Joshi, S.T. (1999). Sixty Years of Arkham House: A History and Bibliography. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House. pp. 21–22. ISBN 0-87054-176-5.
  2. ^ Futurian War Digest, April 1944, quoted in Ansible 321, April 2013
  3. ^ a b E. F. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, Kent State University Press, 1983. p. 320-22
  4. ^ Eldon Heath, "Scientibook Review", Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1940, p.126. Reviewer Heath, however, is identified by some sources as a pseudonym of Arkham publisher August Derleth.

SourcesEdit

  • Jaffery, Sheldon (1989). The Arkham House Companion. Mercer Island, WA: Starmont House, Inc. pp. 1–2. ISBN 1-55742-005-X.
  • Chalker, Jack L.; Mark Owings (1998). The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998. Westminster, MD and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd. p. 26.
  • Nielsen, Leon (2004). Arkham House Books: A Collector's Guide. Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 46–47. ISBN 0-7864-1785-4.