Anyone know if Eli Colter ever wrote for Weird Tales?
Checking my handy-dandy index to Weird Tales, I see that Colter wrote twelve stories printed in WT. Most appeared between 1925 and 1929, with a straggler story showing up in November of 1939. Three were multi-part serials, so he had some pretty steady presence in the magazine for a while there in the twenties.
"...I must also commend Robert E. Howard for his new Conan story. Such a brave man as Conan may exist only in fiction, but, doggone it, we should have such men in our times. Maybe there wouldn't be any depression. Conan, like Jirel, is a dynamic character—what would happen should the two ever meet some day? Or maybe I'm crazy. I don't know, I don't care, but I'd do without all my other reading matter rather than give up WT. It takes me from the realms of harsh reality to enchanted gardens that no man can ever conceive other than in his mind. To descend the dizzying other-dimensional spiral with Jirel, to dash over mountain and stream with Conan, to escape the unnameable horrors of Clark Ashton Smith, and try to piece the uncanny taboos and Barbarian countries—that is something that can make me lose all sense of time and place and just live the stories. So all I can add is: long live WT and its writers of bizarre and unusual tales."
-- Gertrude Hemken, Weird Tales letter column, February 1935
I certainly hope you''ll succeed in your ambition to produce literature--& am sorry your environment is not sympathetic. If in any way possible, I'd advise that you look about for some means of subsistence other than writing--for when anyone depends on his pen for daily bread, the usual result is deterioration. He has to write tripe to please low-grade editors--& as time passes, the pattern gets so fixed that he can't produce anything else. Indeed, most lose even the desire to produce anything else ....
Thus [Seabury] Quinn, [Edmond] Hamilton, [E. Hoffman] Price, [Jack] Williamson, & so on--all brilliant chaps who could create splendidly if freed from external suggestions & obligations. This stifling of artistic sincerity & frustration of real literary creation is really a major tragedy--a fatal flaw in the system of commercial barbarism around us some are ironic enough to call 'civilisation.' Only occasionally do we come across a personality so intense that it can't be wholly crushed by commercialism.
-- H. P. Lovecraft to Robert Nelson 19 October, 1934
Interesting comments from HPL. Since WT was practically his only market, his reference to "low-grade editors" has to refer, in whole or part, to Farnsworth Wright. Lovecraft was certainly not the Lone Ranger when it came to a certain dislike of Wright. It was shared by many Weird Tales authors, including REH and Clark Ashton Smith.
Also nice to see HPL giving a shout-out to Hamilton and Williamson. Lovecraft had a dim view of Ed's work early on but came around. Williamson had got his break at WT in 1932 and was just starting his illustrious career.
Seabury Quinn was Weird Tales' most popular author. It can be argued that a lot of what he wrote was hackwork, but he could do quality in a pinch. One example is his novella, Roads, which saw print in the January 1938 Weird Tales (which actually went on sale in December 1937). I had low expectations when I read it, but I have to say this is one of the better Christmas stories I've read. It is definitely the best "Sword & Sorcery Christmas" tale I've ever read. Quinn seems to be channeling/paying homage to REH, who had been dead little over a year
It's considered a minor classic amongst WT aficionados and was the first illustrated book Arkham House ever published. If you can find it, check it out this Yuletide season.