"A Traveler in Time" by August W. Derleth



"Children Accept many things adults will not accept,

since the world of a child is a constant revelation without

any need for knowledge of cause and effect."

-August W. Derleth-




This week's author for Free Reading is the subject of much debate, but only amongst the hard core Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror nerds.  August Derleth is consider by many to be on of the original Lovecraft fanboys.  After Lovecraft's death, Derleth continued writing Lovecraftian themed stories, and even used the mythose laid down by Lovecraft to write his own stories.  Despite Derleth being fairly prolific himself, he is and has always been known in the context of Lovecraft.  Unlike others like Robert Bloch, who made a name for himself despite being a disciple of Lovecraft's, as time progressed and the luster of Lovecraft darkened, Bloch emerged as a writer in his own right.  Derleth did write many other stories and wrote in other genres such as detective fiction, but never achieved the independent acclaim of Bloch.  One of the reasons for this is because he eventually founded Arkham House publisher and used that platform to keep the Lovecraft mythose alive.  Some Lovecraftian scholars assert that Derleth did this for cynical reasons, as a marketing ploy to sell his own works.  While it is true that Derleth completed some of Lovecraft's work and published it, many still accuse him of simply parroting it in his own.  One thing cannot be denied, Arkham House was responsible for providing hardback horror for markets that previously had to obtain such works from Europe.  One other blemish that some consider to be a moral failing of Derleth's was what was considered and "apologist" stance on Lovecraft's racist attitudes, though no one has ever ascribed any racist views to Derleth himself.  Below are links to two of Derleth's works.  You can read them and decide for yourself how much of his mentor's work he parroted.  Either way, I hope you enjoy them.


"A Traveler in Time"

"McIlvaine's Star"