August Derleth reviewed and praised The Outsider And Others (which he edited) under a pseudonym

May 3, 2016
Filed under: News 

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In my constant researches for the Public Domain PDF Page I’ve just come across this seemingly heretofore unknown factoid about August Derleth:

He reviewed, and praised, his own book under a pseudonym.

Here is the review from page 126 of Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1940:

Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1940 - Page 126 - August Derleth reviews his own book

The name “Eldon Heath” is an obscure pseudonym for Derleth, who used several, it turns up only two entries on ISFDB.org, one for the review above, and the other for a story entitled “Joliper’s Gift” (published in Strange Stories, April 1940).

Note in the original publication of “Joliper’s Gift” that Heath is author of “The Missing, A Visit From The Stars, Etc.”

Joliper's Gift by Eldon Heath - from Strange Stories, April 1940

I could find no evidence that such stories as “The Missing” of “A Visit From The Stars” were ever published.

Yet, in combing through the copyright records, under “DERLETH, AUGUST. – 1940” I came across this renewal claim:

“R413659. Joliper’s gift. (In Strange stories, Apr. 1940) © 1Feb40”

In the review of his book Derleth calls himself ‘a popular writer in his own right’ and gives himself a deserving “big hand” for the “perfect job” he has done.

Using pseudonyms in pulps was a very common practice, but I’ve never before seen an author reviewing his own book under a pseudonym.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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