- Crawford, William L.
- (1911–1984)Semi-professional publisher in Everett, Pa. In the fall of 1933, Crawford proposed to start a nonpaying weird magazine, Unusual Stories. For this he commissioned HPL’s autobiographical sketch “Some Notes on a Nonentity,” although it never ran in the magazine. Although he accepted HPL’s “Celephais” and “The Doom That Came to Sarnath” for Unusual Stories,neither appeared there; instead, they appeared in Crawford’s Marvel Tales (May 1934 and March-April 1935, respectively). Around July 1934 HPL wrote “Some Notes on Interplanetary Fiction” for one of Crawford’s magazines, but the essay was published in the Californian(Winter 1935). In the spring of 1935 Crawford contemplated reviving the defunct Fantasy Fan,with HPL as editor; but the plan never materialized. He also thought of issuing either At the Mountains of Madnessor “The Shadow over Innsmouth” as a booklet, or both together in one volume; he considered submitting the latter story to Astounding Storiesafter hearing of the acceptance there of At the Mountains of Madnessand “The Shadow out of Time,” but it is not clear whether he did so. Then, in late 1935, he focused on the issuance of “The Shadow over Innsmouth” as a book. The project came to fruition in November 1936 (although the copy right page declares the date of publication as April 1936), but the book was so riddled with typographical errors that HPL insisted on an errata sheet (which, alas, was also faulty). The Shadow over Innsmouth,issued under the imprint of the Visionary Publishing Company, was the only book of HPL’s fiction to be published and distributed in his lifetime. Crawford printed 400 copies but bound only 200; the others were later destroyed. The book features a dust jacket and four interior illustrations by Frank Utpatel. Crawford wrote of the venture in “Lovecraft’s First Book” (in SR; rpt. LR).
An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz.