Talk:Donald A. Wollheim

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Tolkien debacle[edit]

Guys, I seem to remember credible people telling me that Wollheim's thinking in the Tolkien debacle was -- he was unaware of the Houghton Mifflin editions until after the Fellowship came out. Since at the time any book not published in America within a year of its English publication entered the public domain here, he acted believing these books to be in the public domain and had one of those horrible 'oops' moments when Houghton Mifflin contacted the publisher. I do not believe in objectivity, and frankly admit to being biased in this matter, and most of my sources on this subject are either dead or explicitly not talking to me for reasons irrelevent here (Don D'Ammassa). Does anyone have information which would explicitly contradict this? What is on the article page is speculation as to his motives, I'm not -- given my biases -- about to challenge without more concrete evidence than I have. I think there should be more evidence or it should be dropped. --Jplatt39 18:06, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The consensus in the industry is that he knew there was no loophole (which was the courts' ruling, too) and just hoped to get away with it. The current version of the article is much more polite about his role than some of the earlier versions, which were less polite/forgiving and more denuncatory in tone. --Orange Mike 20:17, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't believe that any such consensus existed when this occurred and imputing criminal motive, as the earlier versions of this text did, without specific facts skates close to defamation. People played a lot more fast and loose with copyrights back in the 60's. The court case referenced here was almost 30 years after the fact. Beamdriver 00:29, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I'd have to check the fanzines of the era, but the people I know who were active back then seem to agree that he thought he'd get away with it, rather than he thought he was right. We're agreed, I see, that the current version is much safer and polite than the earlier versions. (The court case was 30 years after the fact because of "the law's delay"; but that's irrelevant to the question of the original act and motivation.) --Orange Mike 14:49, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Wollheim's legal claim has never been tested in court. The court ruling to which hostile amateurs keep referring was made under later, changed law. The changes (effected to meet treaty obligations) allowed some lost copyrights to be recovered. —SlamDiego←T 02:55, 22 June 2009 (UTC)


Also, I don't think he was conservative. There's certainly no evidence of conservativism on the page, while there is evidence against, in the fact that he was part of the Futurians and in his fighting against the censorship of books with homosexuality. -fourpoints

Huh? There's nothing in the article asserting that he was conservative. --Orange Mike 20:17, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Wolheim had different political views over the course of his life. —SlamDiego←T 21:22, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Health in later years[edit]

Should be something about his stroke (in late 88 or early 89?)... AnonMoos (talk) 19:50, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:DAW Books Logo.jpg[edit]

The image File:DAW Books Logo.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --05:30, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

This has been resolved. --Marc Kupper|talk 23:30, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Slow-rolling edit war[edit]

A dynamic I.P. in the 63.17.*.* range keeps trying to re-insert a callow and callous passage from a fanzine by the young Don Wollheim, with a rationale that it is revelatory about Wollheim's character. No reliable sources have discussed this quote, which makes its inclusion fall under WP:UNDUE; it seems to have been selected by the anonymous editor because it offends their own sensibilities, which seems to fall under WP:OR or even WP:SOAP. --Orange Mike | Talk 13:44, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

L. Sprague de Camp on Wollheim[edit]

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I own a copy of de Camp's Science-Fiction Handbook (the copy I read as a kid was discarded from my local public library many years ago). What the Wikipedia article omits is the fact this is a storehouse of information on pre-WWII Science Fiction history -- well, maybe gossip. This book has a section where de Camp mentions Wollheim as a young fan, stating Wollheim's Communist sympathies were due to the influence of one John B. Michel, how this led to conflicts with other SF fans (at one convention a resolution Michel introduced urging fans to work towards "a more unified world, a more Utopian existence" was defeated on the grounds that fans should keep their hobby separate from their politics), & that Wollheim & Michel eventually broke with other Futurians which involved suing them for libel over statements in a fanzine. Due to the color of these statements, I'm wondering whether this information might be unnecessarily disruptive were I to add it. (If no one responds to this, I'll assume that I have consent to add the material, people can then read what de Camp wrote, & we'll go from there.) -- llywrch (talk) 01:54, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

There are several other sources for this material, which I agree is worth including: The Futurians by Damon Knight; The Way the Future Was, by Frederik Pohl; and The Immortal Storm, by Sam Moskowitz. I don't have the Moskowitz but own and have read the other two; they would be excellent sources, and there are probably others. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 16:16, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Pohl's book has information about the early fan scene? It's been years since I read it, & I can recall only a few details from it: his father's lack of business savvy, how he took the sale of if & Galaxy, & his resolve to write a fixed number of pages every day. One of these days I'll have to go back & read his book. -- llywrch (talk) 20:33, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
There's definitely some material there; there's a chapter called "Boy Bolsheviks" which at a glance looks to be mostly about them. There are also bits of material in Knight and Pohl's pieces in Hell's Cartographers, which is a very good read if you haven't already run into it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:40, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
The Heinlein biography also mentions communists in the NY fan scene (as well as in 1930s pretty hard core socialist stuff that RAH was into at the time). (talk) 01:28, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not surprised: socialism/communism was quite the fad in intellectual circles in the 1930s. And people who wanted to be trendy were penalized in the 1950s during the Red Scare hysteria. -- llywrch (talk) 19:03, 15 November 2011 (UTC)


Daughter Betsy Wollheim took over DAW in 1985, is married to Peter Stampfel, and probably deserves her own article. might be a place to start in terms of references. - Jmabel | Talk 16:14, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Mass market, paperback original[edit]

We mention "mass market" in section 4, DAW Books. Somewhere we should link mass market paperback, probably in the preceding section re Ace Books. (or Avon?)

We should also mention and link paperback original where it is first appropriate. (Ace? not Avon, i infer from reading what we say here)

And perhaps the combination mass market paperback original. --P64 (talk) 16:43, 26 March 2013 (UTC)


second new section posted in one session

I created section 5, Recognition, comprising

  • brief reiteration of Silverberg's argument that leads sec 3, Wollheim as editor and publisher
  • the last two paragraphs of sec 4, DAW Books, which were tacked on there after "his death"
  • mention of "several special awards" with Locus ref

with hidden WP:COMMENT: including one at the 1975 World SF Convention and runner-up to Ian & Betty Ballantine at the 1975 World Fantasy Convention. This source lists four more during the 1980s. A laundry list is not appropriate but another editor may be able to choose wisely.

  • 2002 hall of fame induction with official ref

with hidden comment: apparently he was the third person inducted primarily for his work as editor or publisher, after the inaugural 1996 pair Hugo Gernsback and John W Campbell. This is a hidden comment because only apparent, not yet EVIDENT.

Someone may be able to cover what the comments indicate, using the same sources (not to mention doing better with other sources, of course).

--P64 (talk) 17:00, 26 March 2013 (UTC)