Searight, Richard F[ranklyn]
- (1902–1975)Pulp writer from Michigan and correspondent of HPL. With Norman E.Hammerstrom, Searight wrote “The Brain in the Jar” ( WT,November 1924), but it was not until the 1930s that he decided to resume the writing of weird and science fiction. At the suggestion of WT editor Farnsworth Wright, whom he visited in the summer of 1933, Searight wrote to HPL asking about the possibility of revising some of his tales. HPL declined, feeling that the “occasional shortcomings” of Searight’s tales “are matters of subject-matter rather than of technique” (letter to Searight, August 31, 1933), but he continued to advise Searight in literary matters. In early 1934 Searight wrote “The Sealed Casket” ( WT,March 1935), for which he created the Eltdown Shards, which HPL cited in “The Shadow out of Time” and “The Challenge from Beyond.” HPL had no hand in revising the tale, and he altered only one word of the epigraph (purporting to be from the Eltdown Shards) that was intended to preface the story but was not published in the WT version. (HPL quoted the epigraph in a letter to Clark Ashton Smith [c. March 1935; SL5.112], leading some to believe that he wrote it.) Searight published a few pieces in Wonder Storiesand other pulps but never succeeded in making a full-time career of writing. His historical novel Wild Empire,written in the late 1930s and early 1940s, was published in 1994. Necronomicon Press has issued two collections of his tales: The Brain in the Jar and Others(1992) and The Sealed Casket and Others(1996). HPL’s Letters to Richard F.Searight also appeared in 1992 from Necronomicon Press. All three volumes have sensitive and informative introductions by Searight’s son, Franklyn Searight (b. 1935).
An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz.