Encyclopedia > Donald A. Wollheim

  Article Content

Donald A. Wollheim

Donald Allen Wollheim (October 1, 1914 - November 2, 1990)

Science fiction writer (under pseudonyms, including David Grinnell), editor and publisher.

A member of the Futurians, he was one of the leading influences on the development science fiction and science fiction fandom in the 20th century.

He began editing Ace Books[?]' science fiction line in the late 1950s and initiated the Ace Doubles series which consisted of pairs of books, ususally by different authors, bound back-to-back, with two "front" covers. Because these paired books had to fit a fixed total page-length, one or both were usually heavily abridged to fit, and Wollheim often made many other editorial alterations and title changes - as witness the many differences between Poul Anderson's Ace novel War of the Wing-Men and its definitive revised edition, The Man Who Counts. He seems to have made a number of changes solely to suit his own conservative politics.

It was Wollheim who, in 1965, exploited a loophole in international copyright law to publish an unauthorized Ace edition of The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. Wollheim was probably aware that Ace would face legal action over the issue but gambled that sales of the "pirate" edition would make sufficient profit to offset any legal losses. In any case, the débacle brought Ace into the limelight.

He also founded DAW Books[?] in 1971, which can claim to be the first specialist science fiction and fantasy fiction publishing house. In later years his conservatism seems to have mellowed; when his distributors, New American Library[?], threatened to withhold distribution of Thomas Burnett Swann[?]'s Biblical fantasy How are the Mighty Fallen (1974) because of its homosexual content, Wollheim fought vigorously against their decision.

External links:

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Battle Creek, Michigan

... 3.04. In the city the population is spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who are 65 years of ...

This page was created in 88.6 ms