Entry updated 28 April 2014. Tagged: Author, Editor.
(1888-1940) US editor and occasional author, uncle of David Wright O'Brien; he began to publish work of genre interest with "The Closing Hand" in Weird Tales – for March 1923, becoming editor of that magazine in November 1924 after #13, and continuing in the post until December 1939, at which point he had produced 177 issues. Under his guidance Weird Tales presented a unique mixture of horror stories, sf, occult fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery. More than anyone else, helped establish the reputations of Robert E Howard, H P Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, and (rather daringly) used the work of Margaret Brundage. In 1930 he began a companion magazine, Oriental Stories, featuring borderline-fantasy stories (many by regular Weird Tales contributors) in an exotic and largely imaginary Eastern setting. Oriental Stories became Magic Carpet in 1933 and ceased publication in 1934. Another project was a Pulp-magazine edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream; Wright was a Shakespeare enthusiast. He suffered from a form of Parkinson's disease which made it impossible for him even to write his name, except with a typewriter. Very soon after deteriorating health had forced him to leave Weird Tales he died. Wright's Weird Tales rivals John W Campbell Jr's Astounding Science Fiction in terms of the number of stories of lasting interest which it produced in its field. [MJE/MA]
born Santa Barbara, California: 29 July 1888
died Jackson Heights, New York: 12 June 1940
previous versions of this entry