By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
April Derleth, daughter of August Derleth, and co-owner and CEO of Arkham House, has died at the age of 56. The Derleths, and Arkham House, were crucial in preserving and disseminating the works of H.P. Lovecraft, who might have ended as an obscure reference in moldy issues of Weird Tales, instead of the cult figure of horror we know today.
Arkham House, founded in 1939 by August Derleth and Donal Wandrei, produced many volumes of weird fiction. Writers such as Ramsey Campbell and Brian Lumley first made appearances here. However, the publishing company expanded its focus beyond the weird after Derleth’s death.
April Derleth assumed the reins of the operation in 2002 and, according to Locus, “she sought to shift the house’s focus back to its original emphasis on classic weird fiction. Arkham House has announced that sales and unfulfilled orders will be temporarily suspended.”
The output of Arkham House had dwindled in recent years, though they seemed to be ramping up operations during the past year. When I last spoke to the folks at Arkham House, I heard they were working on releasing a volume of Greye La Spina (nowadays, a little-known writer whom I profiled last year) stories. I hope it comes to fruition.