Volume 1; No 1. (1923). Source: Galactic Central Publications (www.philsp.com)
y Weird Tales periodical   adventure   fantasy   horror   science fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 1923-1924; Latest issue indexed: 2011 1923-1924
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

A popular American pulp-fiction magazine, Weird Tales published the work of many important science-fiction, fantasy, and horror writers, among them a number of Australians. It's history is a convoluted one, however, being published by a number of different companies and in a variety of different forms. Founded in 1923 by J. C. Henneberger and J. M. Lansinger (Rural Publishing) ran into financial problems after only thirteen issues and closed down for several months before being revived by Henneberger under the auspices of a new company - the Popular Fiction Publishing Co. Under the editorship of Farnsworth Wright the magazine survived the great depression, flourishing under the same company until being sold to William J. Delaney in 1938.

Between 1938 and its second closure in September 1954 the magazine was published by Weird Tales Inc, a subsidiary of Short Stories Inc. During those 16 years, however, it managed only marginal success. Although the only regular magazine outlet for supernatural fiction its publisher pulled out of the business. The rights to the magazine were eventually acquired by Leo Margulies (Renown Publishing) who revived it in 1973.Only four pulp-sized issues were published by Margulies and editor Sam Mosowitz prior to the death of the Margulies in 1975. The rights to Weird Tales were bought by Robert E. Weinberg from Margulies's widow, and he eventually formed Weird Tales Limited to protect and license the name.

The fifth Weird Tales incarnation was published as paperback quarterly by Kensington Publishing (possibly though its Zebra imprint). Under editor by Lin Carter, who leased the rights from Weinberg, four issues were published (1981-1984) before it too was closed down. Weinberg then licensed the Weird Tales name to the Bellerophon Network, a publishing company owned by Brian Forbes. The magazine was poorly funded and distributed, however, and failed after only 2 issues.

The next company to publish Weird Tales was the Terminus Publishing Co of Pennsylvania, which acquired the rights in 1985. The initial editors were George H. Scithers, Darrell Schweitzer and John Gregory Betancourt. In 1994, four years after Betancourt left to focus on his newly established company Wildside Press, Weinberg refused to renew the licence with Terminus. This forced the company to published a retitled magazine, Worlds of Fantasy and Horror (with the numbering reverting back to Volume 1, No 1). After four issues the magazine lapsed, and it was not until 1998 that Scithers (by then the sole publisher) merged the magazine with publisher Warren Lapine (DNA Publications). Through Lapine's influence the licence was renewed and Weird Tales was revived in the summer of 1998 with issue #313. The new numbering system incorporated the four Worlds of Fantasy and Horror issues.

With Lapine as publisher and Scithers and Schweitzer as editors the magazine continued through until acquired by John Betancourt's Wildside Press in 2005. Bettancourt on-sold the magazine in 2012 to Nth Dimension Media, a New York City-based company owned by Marvin Kaye and John Harlacher.

Notes

  • Further Reference:
    • Mike Ashley, 'Weird Tales.' The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. Eds. John Clute and John Grant. (1997).
    • Weinberg, Robert. The Weird Tales Story (1977).
    • 'Weird Tales.' Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. (sighted 26/02/2013).
    • 'Weird Tales.' Wikipedia. (sighted 26/02/2012)


Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

The Curious Case of Roger Dard : Fandom, Censorship and Sex in the 1950s and 60s James Doig , Milan Smiljkovic , 2006 single work essay
— Appears in: Steam Engine Time , September no. 5 2006; (p. 24-29)
James Doig and Milan Smiljkovic discuss the adverse impact on the growth of science fiction in Australia of the Customs (Literature Censorship) Regulations 1937, and the Literature Censorship Board created under the regulations. Of special concern were the provisions that prohibited the importation of books and magazines that placed 'undue emphasis on horror' or which 'encouraged depravity'. A campaign in the early 1950s to overturn these provisions was led by Perth-based Roger Dard, an active member of fantasy fandom in Australia and overseas during the 1940s and 1950s.
But Not Ours, Alas Graham Stone , 2001 single work review
— Appears in: Notes on Australian Science Fiction 2001; (p. 152-153)

— Review of Weird Tales 1923-1924 periodical (9 issues)
Discusses the influence of the the USA science fiction periodical, Weird Tales, q.v.
But Not Ours, Alas Graham Stone , 2001 single work review
— Appears in: Notes on Australian Science Fiction 2001; (p. 152-153)

— Review of Weird Tales 1923-1924 periodical (9 issues)
Discusses the influence of the the USA science fiction periodical, Weird Tales, q.v.
The Curious Case of Roger Dard : Fandom, Censorship and Sex in the 1950s and 60s James Doig , Milan Smiljkovic , 2006 single work essay
— Appears in: Steam Engine Time , September no. 5 2006; (p. 24-29)
James Doig and Milan Smiljkovic discuss the adverse impact on the growth of science fiction in Australia of the Customs (Literature Censorship) Regulations 1937, and the Literature Censorship Board created under the regulations. Of special concern were the provisions that prohibited the importation of books and magazines that placed 'undue emphasis on horror' or which 'encouraged depravity'. A campaign in the early 1950s to overturn these provisions was led by Perth-based Roger Dard, an active member of fantasy fandom in Australia and overseas during the 1940s and 1950s.

PeriodicalNewspaper Details

Subtitle:
'The Unique Magazine', vol. 1, issue 1 (Mar. 1923) to vol. 20, issue 5 (Nov. 1932), and intermittently thereafter; 'The Magazine of the Bizarre and Unusual', vol. 27, issue 1 (Jan. 1936) and vol. 29, issue 6 (June 1937); 'A Magazine of Bizarre and Unusual Stories', vol. 27, issue 3 (Mar. 1936); 'The Strangest Stories Ever Told', vol. 30, issue 2 (Aug. 1937); 'Strange and Fascinating Fiction', vol. 33, issue 1 (Jan. 1939).
Frequency:
Monthly, vol. 1, issue 1 (Mar. 1923) to vol. 34, issue 6 (Dec. 1939); bi-monthly, vol. 35, issue 1 (Jan. 1940) to vol. 46, issue 4 (Sep. 1954). See note below for details of breaks in this publishing pattern.
Range:
Vol. 1, issue 1 (Mar. 1923) - vol. 46, issue 4 (Sep. 1954): 279 issues.
Price:
25 cents, vol. 1, issue 1 (Mar. 1923) to vol. 34, issue 2 (Aug. 1939); 15 cents, vol. 34, issue 3 (Sep. 1939) to vol. 39, issue 11 (Jul. 1947); 20 cents, vol. 39, issue 12 (Sep. 1947) to vol. 41, issue 3 (Mar. 1949); 25 cents, vol. 41, issue 4 (May 1949) to vol. 45, issue 3 (Jul. 1953); 35 cents, vol. 45, issue 4 (Sep. 1953) to vol. 46, issue 4 (Sep. 1954). The double, anniversary edition (vol. 4, issue 2, May/Jul. 1924) was priced at 50 cents.
Graphics:
From 1933, the cover artist was Margaret Brundage (a former fashion designer and illustrator), the first and only female cover artist for a pulp magazine. Her work is stylised and explicitly erotic, with a strong focus on bondage and discipline.
Note:
Though the first 34 volumes of Weird Tales appeared on a monthly release schedule, there were occasional, irregular breaks to the pattern. Vol. 2, issue 1 (Jul./Aug. 1923) and vol. 4, issue 2 (May/Jul. 1924) were both two-month combined issues: the latter was labelled an 'anniversary edition' and sold for twice the usual price. There was a brief hiatus in the magazine's appearance during August, September, and October 1924. In 1931, there was a brief period of publishing two-month combined issues: vol. 17, issue 2 (Feb./Mar. 1931), vol. 17, issue 3 (Apr./May 1931), and vol. 17, issue 4 (Jun./Jul. 1931). Vol. 28, issue 2 (Aug./Sep. 1936) was also a two-month combined issue. No issue at all appeared in July 1939.
Last amended 26 Feb 2013 13:32:16
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