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Pulp Fiction: The Bram Dijkstra Collection of Golden Age Pulp Magazines

Collection Description

Library Special Collections holds The Bram Dijkstra Collection of Golden Age Pulp Magazines: a magnificent collection of over 1,500 Pulp Magazines from the late 1920’s through the late 1950’s: THE GOLDEN AGE OF PULPS. Gifted in 2019 by Bram Dijkstra, Professor Emeritus of Literature and Culture at UCSD, it is a rich and varied collection in the finest state of preservation one will ever see. The magazines are in ‘as new’ condition, as if they had just come off the newsstands today.

The collection contains complete first editions - as they originally appeared in pulp publications - of books by Doc Smith, Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and many others (usually in 3 to 4 contiguous parts). Since original pulp printings of texts are often considerably different from the final published book versions, complete pulp printings are especially valuable for research.

This guide is a work in progress : the magazine titles listed alphabetically in the left navigation area will take you to thumbnail images of the Vol. & Issue numbers for that title held in the collection. In the future, the thumbnail images will link to full-size images revealing the illustrative beauty of the individual magazines.

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The magazines were collected for the amazing pictures and the wonderful cover illustrations by such talented creators as Norman Saunders, Virgil Finlay, Rafael De Soto and the preeminent British pulp fiction cover artist, Reginald Heade. This art and the pulp cover illustrations were the forerunners of the movie poster art of the 1950s.

Using pulp paper derived from wood-fiber, it was possible to mass-produce magazines thanks to the advent of new high-speed printing presses. Only the stunning four-color covers were printed on ‘art paper,’ which is where the artists thrived, their illustrations being much the main selling points for the magazines.

The collection includes largely science fiction pulps, comprising some of the most important and notorious subjects and titles in the genre:

Adventure;

  Amazing, Astonishing, Astounding, Startling, Strange and Thrilling Wonder Stories;

    Fantastic Mysteries, Adventures, Stories and Novels;

      Fantasy – Beyond and Forgotten;

        The Future; Imagination; Mystery; Other Worlds; Planet and Rocket Stories;

          Science and Stirring Super Science Adventure;

            Science Fiction: its Adventures and Fantastic Wonder Stories;

               Space; The Universe; The Unknown; The Weird; and Tomorrow.

Chief among these were the Amazing magazines, and Amazing's chief illustrator was Frank R. Paul, a European emigre who later illustrated Hugo Gernsback's Wonder Stories. Besides Paul, some of the very best illustrators of the science fiction pulps were the prolific Earle Bergey, the Hungarian Alexander Leydenfrost and Fred Anderson of Planet Stories, Howard V. Browne, German-born H.W. Wesso, Alex Schomburg and Frank Kelly Freas, the ‘Dean of Science Fiction Artists’ who later illustrated Alfred E. Neuman covers for Mad Magazine. The artists best known for the covers of Weird Tales over thirty-plus years were Margaret Brundage, with her sultry nudes, Virgil Finlay with his shining beauties captured by weird creatures, Hannes Bok's extraordinary architectural designs, and Lee Brown Coye's nightmarish black-and-white illustrated visions.

There have been many books devoted to the pulps, such as Frank M. Robinson's Pulp Culture and Peter Haining's beautifully illustrated The Classic Era of American Pulp Magazines. A most valuable study of pulp writers and their characters is the six-volume Yesterday's Faces by Robert Sampson and a useful checklist of issues is Bookery Fantasy's Ultimate Guide to the Pulps by Tim Cottrill. An excellent online source for a history of the pulps is History of US science fiction and fantasy magazines to 1950.

A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine

  • Issue dates: 1949 - 1950
  • Publisher: Popular Publications
  • Significance: After acquiring Famous Fantastic Mysteries and Fantastic Novels, Popular Publications decided to add another reprint magazine to their line-up. A. Merritt’s Fantasy Magazine was named for famous fantasy pulp writer Abraham Merritt, who had passed away in 1943. The magazine reprinted not only Merritt’s stories, but also stories and content by authors such as Frederick Faust, Jack Mann, and Robert Silverberg. However, the magazine only ran for one year and printed five issues. Historians believe that it was a risky move to name a magazine after an author who had passed away six year prior to publication. In addition, A Merritt’s may have had difficulties obtaining rights to reprinting Merritt’s stories, as they only ran three of his stories during the run of the magazine.
  • Content: 5 issues; reprints of fantasy and science fiction stories 

 

Argosy Weekly Combined With All-American Fiction Magazine

  • Issue dates: 1882 - 1978
  • Publisher: Frank Munsey (1882-1942), Popular Publications (1942-1978)
  • Significance: Argosy, later titled The Argosy, and Argosy All-Story Weekly, is the first American pulp magazine. Initially, the magazine was a weekly children's story-paper titled The Golden Argosy. In 1888 it was retitled Argosy, and began its shift toward pulp fiction. All American Fiction began publication in 1937 and was combined with Argosy in September 1938.
  • Content: 2500 issues in various incarnations; general adventure and fiction stories.

 

Amazing Stories Quarterly

  • Issue dates: 1928-1934
  • Publisher: Experimenter Publishing (1928-29; 1929-1930); Irving Trust (1929, one issue); Radio-Science Publications (no dates; somewhere between Fall 1930 and Spring 1931, but cannot verify); Teck Publishing (1931-1934)
  • Significance: Amazing Stories Quarterly was launched in 1928 by Hugo Gernsback as a companion to the first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, which was established two years prior.  A year later, Gernsback went bankrupt and lost control of Amazing Stories and Amazing Stories Quarterly.  The magazines were later sold to Teck Publications, and T. O’Connor Sloane took over as editor.  The first issue of Amazing Stories Quarterly contained a reprint of H.G Wells’ novel, “When the Sleeper Wakes,'' as well as original material.  The publication went on to include stories by writers including Edmond Hamilton, David H. Keller, S.P. Meek, R.F. Starzl, Stanton A. Coblentz, J. Schlossel, and Clare Winger Harris, who was one of the earliest women writers of science fiction.  Opinions differ on the quality of the fiction that was printed in the magazine.  According to science fiction historians Milton Wolf and Mike Ashley, Amazing Stories Quarterly published some of its best work when Sloane took over as editor.  It was during this time that the magazine published stories such as "Paradox", by Charles Cloukey, “The Bridge of Light,” by A. Hyatt Verrill, and “The Birth of a New Republic,” by Miles J. Breuer and Jack Williamson.  Others, including Everett Bleiler, disagreed, believing that the magazine produced few stories of acceptable quality.  The magazine began suffering from financial problems in 1932, and its quarterly schedule became irregular.  The last issue was dated Fall 1934.   
  • Content: 22 issues; one novel per issue; letter columns,editorial competitions, book reviews, science quizzes, and science news (under Gernsback) 

 

Astonishing Stories

  • Issue dates: 1940 - 1943
  • Publisher: Popular Publications, “Fictioneers” imprint
  • Significance: Despite having a low budget as part of the “Fictioneers” imprint of Popular Publications, Astonishing Stories was successful, in part because of the editorial assistant, Frederik Pohl’s membership in the Futarians, a group of young Science Fiction fans and aspiring writers. The magazine published stories by authors who would later become well-known, such as Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. War-time paper shortages led to the end of the publication in 1943.
  • Content: 16 issues; science fiction stories

 

Astounding Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1930 - present (now Analog Science Fiction and Fact)
  • Publisher: Clayton Publishing Co.(1930 - 1933) ;  Street & Smith (1933 - 1961)
  • Significance: Originally published as Astounding Stories, John Wood Cambell changed the name to Astounding Science Fiction in 1938 after he took over as editor to emphasize its focus on how science might really affect the future and to distance the magazine from its sensationalized pulp roots. Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Poul Anderson, and many other prominent authors have appeared in Astounding Science Fiction. It is the longest running continuously published magazine dedicated to science fiction. It has gone by the name Analog Science Fiction and Fact since 1960. 
  • Content: 942 issues; science fiction stories, letter section “Brass Tracks”

 

Astounding Stories

  • Issue dates: 1930 - 1938 (this title)
  • Publisher: Clayton Publishing Co.(1930 - 1933) ;  Street & Smith (1933 - 1961)
  • Significance: Astounding Stories was released by Clayton publishing Co. following the success of HUgo Gernsback’s Amazing Stories. Unlike Amazing Stories, Astounding leaned more towards the pulp side of science fiction. The magazine was cancelled in March 1933 due to the Great Depression, but relaunched by Street & Smith publishing in October of the same year. The magazine took on a new direction which combined the adventure of pulps with the scientific extrapolation found in Amazing Stories, as well as incorporated the social, political and introspective ideas of its authors. In 1938, John W. Campbell took over as editor from F. Orlin Tremaine, and changed the title to Astounding Science Fiction in hopes of further distancing the magazine from its pulp origins. 
  • Content: 942 issues ; science fiction stories, letter section “Brass Tracks”

 

 

Avon Fantasy Reader

  • Issue dates: 1947 - 1952
  • Publisher:  Avon 
  • Significance: Avon Fantasy Reader was a digest magazine which reprinted science fiction and fantasy literature by lesser-known authors at the time, such as Ray Bradbury, A. Merritt, H.P. Lovecraft, C.L. Moore, Murray Leinster, and William Hope Hodgson.  In 1951, Avon launched a sister title, Avon Science Fiction Reader, and two years later, both magazines merged two become Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader, which lasted for two issues before being canceled the same year.     
  • Content: 18 issues; reprints of science fiction and fantasy literature

 

 

Avon Science Fiction Reader

  • Issue dates: 1951 - 1952
  • Publisher: Avon
  • Significance: In 1951, Avon Science Fiction Reader was launched as a sister title to Avon Fantasy Reader, which featured reprints of science fiction literature. The magazine published three issues before being cancelled the following year.    
  • Content: 3 issues; reprints of science fiction stories

 

 

Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader

  • Issue dates: January 1953 - April 1953
  • Publisher: Avon
  • Significance: After Avon Fantasy Fiction Reader was cancelled in 1952, Avon merged both Fiction Reader and Avon Fantasy Fiction to become Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader in 1953. Unfortunately, the magazine only lasted two issues and was cancelled the same year.     
  • Content: 2 issues

Beyond Fantasy Fiction & Beyond Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1953 - 1955
  • Publisher: Galaxy Publishing Corporation
  • Significance: Between 1939 and 1940, publisher Louis Silberkleit launched three science fiction magazines, although they had ceased production by the end of World War II.  In 1950 and 1951, he revived two of the three publications (Future Fiction and Science Fiction Quarterly), and launched a new publication, Dynamic Science Fiction.  All were edited by Robert W. Lowndes.  Dynamic was a companion to another Lowndes publication, Future Science Fiction, and featured fiction and nonfiction, such as "The Duplicated Man" by Lowndes and James Blish, "The Possessed" by Arthur C. Clarke, and two long critical essays by James E. Gunn.   Dynamic was launched at the end of the pulp era, and although Future Science Fiction was converted to a digest format, Dynamic was canceled.  
  • Content: 10 issues; fantasy fiction literature, both novellas/novelettes and shorter stories

 

Captain Future, Man of Tomorrow / Captain Future, Wizard of Science

  • Issue dates: 1940 - 1944
  • Publisher: Better Publications
  • Significance: Every issue of Captain Future had a novel about Curt Newton, a super-scientist who lived on the moon and went by “Captain Future.” All but two of the novels were written by Edmond Hamilton. The magazine also included new and reprinted science fiction stories unrelated to the central character. The magazine had the subtitle Wizard of Science for the first four issues, with subsequent issues subtitled Man of tomorrow
  • Content: 17 issues; science fiction hero pulp

 

Comet: Stories of Time and Space

  • Issue dates: 1940 - 1941
  • Publisher: H-K Publications
  • Significance: Comet: Stories of Time and Space was a pulp magazine edited by F. Orlin Tremaine. Comet published stories by several well-known writers, including Robert Moore Williams and E.E. Smith. Tremaine paid one cent per word, which was higher than some of the competing magazines at the time, but H-K Publications was unable to sustain the publication, and it was cancelled after less than a year.      
  • Content: 5 issues; pulp fiction stories

 

Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine

  • Issue dates:  September 1953 - July 1954
  • Publisher: Star Publications
  • Significance: Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, edited by L.B. Cole, was a low budget Science Fiction magazine created by Star Publications, a Comic-book publisher, to test the market. Despite its small budget, the first two issues included work by Arthur C. Clark, Philip K. Dick, and Poul Anderson.
  • Content: 4 issues; science fiction and fantasy stories.

 

Dream World: Stories of Incredible Power

  • Issue dates: 1957
  • Publisher: Ziff-Davis Publishing Company
  • Significance: Edited by Paul W. Fairman (editor for Fantastic and Amazing Stories), Dream World was published following the success of the December 1955 and October 1956 issues of Fantastic, both of which ran stories of wish-fulfilment. Dream World used the same heading banners as Fantastic:  “A New Kind of Fiction” and “Stories of Incredible Power.” The magazine mostly printed stories from writers who regularly contributed to other Ziff-Davis publications, including  Harlan Ellison, Randall Garrett, Milton Lesser and Robert Silverberg. 
  • Content: 3 issues

 

Dynamic Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1952 - 1954
  • Publisher: Columbia Publications
  • Significance: Between 1939 and 1940, publisher Louis Silberkleit launched three science fiction magazines, although they had ceased production by the end of World War II.  In 1950 and 1951, he revived two of the three publications (Future Fiction and Science Fiction Quarterly), and launched a new publication, Dynamic Science Fiction. All were edited by Robert W. Lowndes. Dynamic was a companion to another Lowndes publication, Future Science Fiction, and featured fiction and nonfiction, such as "The Duplicated Man" by Lowndes and James Blish, "The Possessed" by Arthur C. Clarke, and two long critical essays by James E. Gunn. Dynamic was launched at the end of the pulp era, and although Future Science Fiction was converted to a digest format, Dynamic was canceled.  
  • Content: 6 issues; pulp magazine, fiction and nonfiction 

Famous Fantastic Mysteries

  • Issue dates: 1939 - 1953
  • Publisher: Frank Munsey Co (1939-1942); Popular Publications (1942-1953)
  • Significance: The main purpose of Famous Fantastic Mysteries was to reintroduce classic stories from the publishers copyrighted works that had appeared in other magazines published by Frank Munsey Co., including Argosy and All-Story Weekly. Fantastic Novels was created as a companion title for full length novels while reserving Famous Fantastic Mysteries for serials. The two magazines merged in 1941, and became separate publications again in 1948. Following the acquisition of the magazine by Popular Publications in 1942, FFM began to print a wider variety of science fiction. Through the reprinting of classic early Science Fiction, FFM inspired a new generation of writers, including Ray Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon, and others. 
  • Content: 81 issues; reprints of science fiction stories

 

Fantastic / Fantastic Science Fiction / Fantastic Stories of Imagination

  • Issue dates: 1952 - 1980
  • Publisher: Ziff-Davis
  • Significance: Fantastic began as a fantasy companion to Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures. Because sales were so good, Ziff-Davis decided to stop publication of one of their science fiction pulps, Fantastic Adventures in 1953. However, sales dropped after a few years and the editor, Howard Browne was forced to change the focus of Fantastic from fantasy to science fiction. In 1956 Paul W. Fairman took over as editor for both Fantastic and Amazing Stories. A year later Bernard Davis left Ziff-Davis publishing, and both pulps stagnated without him. Cele Goldsmith took over as editor in 1958 and brought new life to the magazines with her diverse tastes, which allowed for a variety of genres. During her reign, Ursula K. Le Guin, Thomas M. Disch, and Piers Anthony all had their first stories published in Fantastic. In 1965 Fantastic and Amazing Stories were bought by Ultimate Publishing, which in an effort to make the magazines as profitable as possible, only printed reprints, except for one new story per issue as requested by the new editor, Joseph Ross. Fantastic went through several ups and downs with different editors until it merged with Amazing at the end of 1980. Throughout its publication, Fantastic included a number of title and subtitle variations, including Fantastic Science Fiction (1955-58) and Fantastic Stories of Imagination (1960-1965).
  • Content: Fantasy and science fiction

 

Fantastic Adventures

  • Issue dates: 1939 - 1953
  • Publisher: Ziff-Davis
  • Significance: Science fiction had been published before the 1920s, but it did not become a separately marketed genre until the appearance of Amazing Stories in 1926. By the 1930s, the field was undergoing its first boom--Amazing Stories was eventually acquired by Ziff-Davies, who then launched Fantastic Adventures as a companion in 1939. Raymond Palmer, Fantastic Adventures’ first editor, aimed to create a publication that focused on fantasy fiction but was the literary equal of magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post. Fantastic Adventures focused on adventure stories and featured stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Nelson S. Bond, John Russell Fearn, August Derleth, Theodore Sturgeon, Lester del Rey, William Tenn and Walter M. Miller, John Jakes and Mack Reynolds. Ray Bradbury also sold a story to Fantastic Adventures, which was extremely successful for the publication. Fantastic Adventures quality in fiction improved in the 1950s when Howard Browne took over as editor, especially during the first two years of his tenure at the magazine. Eventually, Fantastic Adventures merged with the new digest magazine, Fantastic, in 1953.  
  • Content: 129 issues; adventure stories; illustrated back cover became a regular feature of the magazine

 

Fantastic Novels / Fantastic Novels Magazine

  • Issue dates: 1940 - 1941, 1948 - 1951
  • Publisher: Frank Munsey Co (1940-1941); Popular Publications 1948 - 1951
  • Significance: Fantastic Novels, edited by Mary Gnaedinger, was published as a companion to Famous Fantastic Mysteries. Like its companion magazine, it published reprints from earlier decades including A. Merrit, George Allan England, and Victor Rousseau, and others. It was intended to have full length novels in contrast to the serials in Famous Fantastic Mysteries, but the two merged in 1941, in part because the latter was the preferred title, but possibly also due to problems caused by WWII. It once again became a separate title in 1948 under Popular Publications and ran for another 20 issues. 
  • Content: 5 issues under Munsey, 20 issues under Popular Publications; science fiction and fantasy pulp reprints

 

Fantastic Story Quarterly / Fantastic Story Magazine

  • Issue dates: 1950 - 1955
  • Publisher: Best Books, a subsidiary imprint of Standard Magazines
  • Significance: During the boom of the 1940s of science fiction magazines, Ned Pines of Beacon Publications was inspired to publish a new science fiction magazine, Fantastic Story Quarterly, to reprint stories from the early years of science fiction pulp magazines. Initially, the magazine was to carry no new fiction, but the policy later changed, and Fantastic Story Quarterly published one new story every issue. It published new works by Gordon R. Dickson, Walter M. Miller and Richard Matheson. The magazine became popular because it gave readers access to old favorite stories. The success led Standard Magazine to issue Wonder Story Annual and publish longer stories. In 1951, Fantastic Story Quarterly changed its name to Fantastic Story Magazine, but by this time, the magazine was starting to decline financially. In 1955, it merged with Startling Stories.   
  • Content: 23 issues; reprinted science pulp fiction and new science fiction stories; editorial page and letter column; illustrators whose work appeared in its pages included Virgil Finlay, Ed Emsh, and Earle Bergey

 

Fantastic Universe / Fantastic Universe Science Fiction / Fantastic Science Fact & Fiction Universe

  • Issue dates: 1953 - 1960
  • Publisher:  King-Size Publications (1953-1959); Great American Publications (1959 - 1960)
  • Significance: Fantastic Universe published its first issue in the middle of a science fiction publishing boom with a higher page count and higher price than its competitors, but with its fourth issue the price and page count were reduced. An unusual part of the Fantastic Universe was the inclusion of very short vignettes of fiction, often about the cover art, without credit. The main editors were Leo Margulies (1953-56) and Hans Stefan Santesson (1956-60). Under Stanesson, the magazine became known for printing many articles about UFOs. The magazine was significantly redesigned after its sale to Great American Publications in 1959 including a change in size, the alteration of the subtitle from “science fiction” to “science fact and fiction,”  the addition of more interior artwork, and a fan review column by Belle C. Dietz. Fantastic Universe published several significant stories, including Conan stories by L. Sprague de Camp, “The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick, and others. Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon, and others also appeared regularly in the magazine.       
  • Content: 69 issues; science fiction stories

 

Fantasy Book

  • Issue dates: 1947 - 1951
  • Publisher: Crawford's Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc . 
  • Significance: Fantasy Book was a science fiction magazine that was edited by William Crawford.  By the time the first issue was printed in 1947, Crawford’s distributor had gone out of business. Crawford tried selling the first 1,000 copies of the issue through subscriptions and dealers. In addition, he did not always have access to high-quality paper or the budget to purchase the artwork he wanted included in the magazine.  Fantasy Book changed to a digest size in its third issue and Crawford still did not have a reliable distributor by the fourth issue. The final issue was published in 1951. Despite the magazine’s troubles, Crawford was able to publish stories from well-known writers, such as Isaac Asimov, A. E. van Vogt, Robert Bloch, Frederik Pohl, Cordwainer Smith, and L. Ron Hubbard. Jack Gaughan, who would later become an award-winning science fiction artist, made his first professional sale by creating cover art for issue six. 
  • Content: 8 issues; science fiction stories

 

Fantasy Fiction / Fantasy Stories

  • Issue dates: 1950
  • Publisher: Magabooks, Inc.
  • Significance: The first issue of Fantasy Fiction was released May 1950, the second issue, which bore the title Fantasy Stories, was released November 1950, three months late. Fantasy Fiction mostly published reprints from general pulps of the 1930s and early 1940s, and offered prizes for reports of true fantastic experiences and haunted houses.       
  • Content: 2 issues ; general pulp reprints.

 

Fantasy Magazine / Fantasy Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1953
  • Publisher: Future Publications, New York
  • Significance: The first issue of Fantasy Magazine was published February 1953. The title was changed to Fantasy Fiction for subsequent issues following threats of legal action from Ziff-Davis which claimed the title was too similar to their magazine Fantastic.  Some of the notable contributors to Fantasy Fiction were Robert E. Howard, Lester Del Rey, Poul Anderson, and others. All the covers were designed by Hannes Bok. Lester Del Rey was the editor for all our issues, but used the name “House Name” Cameron Hall for the fourth. 
  • Content: 4 issues ; Fantasy stories

 

 

Fate Magazine

  • Issue dates: 1948 - present
  • Publisher: Clark Publishing Company (1948); Llewellyn Publications (1988); Galde Press, Inc. (2001)
  • Significance:  Fate, co-founded in 1948 by Raymond A. Palmer and Curtis Fuller, is the longest-running magazine devoted to paranormal phenomena. Its first issue featured an article about a UFO encounter, which immediately brought the magazine national recognition. It is promoted as “the world’s leading magazine of the paranormal” and publishes expert opinions and personal experiences relating to UFOs, ghosts and hauntings, psychic abilities, alternative medicines, life after death, divination methods, mental telepathy, archaeology, cryptozoology and other paranormal topics.  Fate features serious research and investigation in its articles and has debunked claims on certain subjects, such as The Bermuda Triangle, Atlantis, and the Amityville Horror. Fate is still in publication today.
  • Content: 735 (?) issues (as of June 2020); retro cover art; paranormal stories

 

Forgotten Fantasy

  • Issue dates: 1970 - 1971; reprinted by the Borgo Press imprint of Wildside Press in 2007
  • Publisher: Nectar Press
  • Significance: Forgotten Fantasy: Classics of Science Fiction and Fantasy was a digest-sized fantasy and science fiction magazine. The publication specialized in reprinting neglected classics of “speculative fiction” from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Forgotten Fantasy published short stories, longer works of fiction, nonfiction, and poems.  Some notable writers published by the magazine included Voltaire, Nathaniel Hawthorne, E. Douglas Fawcett, Arthur Conan Doyle, Goethe, and William Morris. The magazine became the precursor to the Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Library, a book reprint series which continued Forgotten Fantasy’s mission of reviving fantasy classics.  
  • Content: 5 issues; fantasy and science fiction stories

 

Future Combined with Science Fiction / Future Fantasy and Science Fiction / Science Fiction Stories

  • Issue dates: 1943
  • Publisher: Columbia Publications
  • Significance: Future Fiction and Science Fiction were originally separate magazines, but merged in 1941 to become Future combined with Science Fiction, because the publisher, Louis Silberkeit, was dissatisfied with editor Charles Hornig. Robert A. Lownes had already taken over as editor of Future Fiction, so remained editor for the new combined magazine. In October 1942 the magazine changed its name to Future Fantasy and Science Fiction, and again to Science Fiction Stories in April 1943 for its final 2 issues. The magazine ceased publication due to wartime paper shortages. Also See Future Fiction and Science Fiction.
  • Content: 11 issues

 

Future Fiction / Future Combined with Science Fiction Stories / Future Science Fiction Stories / Future Science Fiction

  • ‚ÄčIssue dates: 1939 - 1941, 1950 - 1960
  • Publisher: Blue Ribbon Magazines (1939 - 1940); Double Action Magazines (March 1940); Columbia Publications (1940-43, 1950-1960)
  • Significance: Future Fiction began as a companion to Science Fiction, the two were combined to become Future combined with Science Fiction in 1941. Initially edited by Charles D. Hornig, Robert A. Lowndes took over in 1941 and remained editor until the end of the magazine. Lowndes included stories by other “futurians” including James Blish, C.M. Kornbluth, and Donald A. Wollheim. The magazine also had some of the earliest covers by Hannes Bok. The title of the magazine was changed to Future Fantasy and Science Fiction in October 1942, and to Science Fiction Stories in April 1943. After ceasing publication due to wartime paper shortages in 1943, Future Fiction was revived in 1950 as Future Combined with Science Fiction Stories, which became Future Science Fiction Stories in January 1952 and, finally, Future Science Fiction in May 1952. Lowndes had a limited budget, but still managed to publish quality works, including “Testament of Andros" (January 1953) by James Blish, and "The Liberation of Earth" (May 1954) by William Tenn. In 1955, the title was changed to Science Fiction Stories after receiving a positive response to single unnumbered and undated, digest-sized (rather than pulp format) magazines released in 1953 and 954 under that title. Later in 1955 Silberkeit decided to once again revive Future Fiction, beginning with no. 28. Even after the resurrection of Science Fiction in 1955, Future Science Fiction still managed to publish great works including Philip K. Dick's "Vulcan's Hammer" ([April] 1956; exp 1960 #29), and published the first stories by F. M. Busby and Carol Emshwiller. Lowndes also added a book review column (with many by Damon Knight), and his own illuminating editorials which included a series looking back at the early days of the science fiction Magazines, "Yesterday's World of Tomorrow" (Summer 1957-August 1959). (Science Fiction Encyclopedia)
  • Content: 65 issues; science fiction stories, book review column

Galaxy Science Fiction 

  • Issue dates: 1950 - 1980; 1994 (for a brief revival as a semi-professional magazines, which lasted for eight bimonthly issues)
  • Publisher: World Editions (1950 - 1951); Galaxy Publishing Corp (1951 - 1969); Universal Publishing and Distribution Corporation (UPD) (1969 - 1979); Avenue Victor Hugo (Summer 1980)
  • Significance: Galaxy Science Fiction was a leading science fiction magazine that focused on stories about social issues rather than technology. The magazine was first edited by H.L. Gold, who published notable stories such as Ray Bradbury’s “The Fireman,” which would later become “Fahrenheit 451.” After Gold stepped down, Robert Guinn, and later, Frederik Pohl, edited the paper, and Galaxy continued achieving success for many years. Galaxy published stories from well-known writers such as Jack Vance, Robert Silverberg, Cordwainer Smith, and Harlan Ellison. The magazine began to suffer in 1969 when Galaxy was sold to Universal Publishing and Distribution Corporation (UPD) and Ejler Jakobsson took over as editor. Galaxy began to recover when James Baen took over the position from Jakobsson in 1974, but the decline continued three years later when Baen left the publication. In addition, there were financial problems and the gaps between issues were lengthening. Nonetheless, Galaxy greatly influenced the science fiction genre and it was regarded as one of the leading science fiction magazines almost from its inception. Historians agree that Gold was an extremely influential science fiction editor who set out a new direction that led to the experimental “New Wave” literary movement of the 1960s.
  • Content: 254 issues; science fiction stories 

 

Gamma Four: New Frontiers in Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1963 - 1965
  • Publisher: Star Press, Inc.
  • Significance: Gamma, published by Star Press, Inc. in North Hollywood, featured many California writers with movie connections, such as Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson. Some covers were provided by Morris Scott Dollens and John Healey. The fourth issue was a “Special Outer Space Issue.” The last two issues became more like pulp adventure, which along with financial issues, lead to the end of the magazine.         
  • Content: 5 issues; Science fiction and fantasy

 

If, Worlds of Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1952 - 1974
  • Publisher: Quinn Publications (1952 - 1959); Galaxy Publishing (1959 - 1969); Universal Publishing and Distribution Corporation (UPD) (1969 - 72)
  • Significance: Founded by James L. Quinn, IF: Worlds of Science Fiction was inspired by the science fiction magazines published by Raymond Palmer during the late 1940s. The magazine was moderately successful and published well-known writers such as Richard Shaver, A.E. van Vogt, Robert A. Heinlein, Howard Browne, Alexei Panshin and Larry Niven. “If-firsts,” which was a series that was included in the magazine when Frederik Pohl was editor, published stories by new writers in every issue between 1962 and 1965. If saw an improvement in circulation during the late 1960s, and the magazine also won the Hugo Award for best science fiction magazine from 1966 to 1968. However, the magazine began to decline once sold to Universal Publishing and Distribution Corporation (UPD) and when placed under a new editor. If merged into Galaxy Science Fiction after its December 1974 issue.      
  • Content: 175 issues; science fiction stories; “If-firsts” series (1962 - 1965)

 

Imagination: Stories of Science and Fantasy/ Imagination Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1950 - 1958
  • Publisher: Clark Publishing Company (1950 - 1951); Greenleaf Publishing Company (1951 - 1958)
  • Significance:  In 1947, Raymond Palmer established the publishing company, Clark Publishing, and by 1949, had produced Fate and Other Worlds. With these two magazines launched, it was time to plan for a new magazine: Imagination. By mid-1950, material had already been assembled for Imagination’s first two issues. Soon afterwards, however, Palmer was hospitalized from an injury that left him temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. Palmer recruited William Hamling, who was planning on starting his own publishing company, as the new editor and publisher of ImaginationImagination was published under Greenleaf Publishing starting in 1951. The magazine was originally titled, Imagination: Stories of Science of Fantasy, but the publication was later changed to Imagination: Science Fiction in the October 1955 issue. Hamling also launched Imagination Tales, a companion magazine to Imagination, in 1954. Imagination published stories by writers such as Rog Phillips, Dwight V. Swain, Milton Lesser, Ray Bradbury, Daniel F. Galouye, Edmond Hamilton, Poul Anderson, James Blish, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Robert A. Heinlein, Frederik Pohl, Robert Silverberg, and Robert Sheckley.  Although Imagination was more successful than other science fiction magazines, it had a reputation for low-quality “space opera” and adventure fiction. Hamling closed both magazines in 1958 due to changes in distribution after the liquidation of the American News Company.
  • Content: 63 issues; fantasy and science fiction stories; one long novel, an editorial column, “Introducing the Author” features, book reviews, “Fandora’s Box” fan column, and a “Cosmic Pen Pals” column

 

Imaginative Tales

  • Issue dates: 1954 - 1958
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Publishing Company
  • Significance: Imaginative Tales was a fantasy and science fiction magazine created by William Hamling's Greenleaf Publishing Company as a sister magazine to ImaginationImaginative Tales published well-known writers such as Philip K. Dick, Robert Bloch, Robert Silverberg, and Harlan Ellison. A reprint of “The Toffee Series” by Charles F. Myers was featured in the first two issues, but original fiction was soon published in the magazine. After the launch of Sputnik, Hamling changed the July 1958 title to Space Travel in an attempt to increase readership, but this did not improve circulation. The publication folded in November of that year in the aftermath of major changes in the U.S. magazine distribution due to the liquidation of the American News Company.     
  • Content: 26 issues; fantasy and science fiction stories 

 

Infinity Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1955 - 1958
  • Publisher: Royal Publications
  • Significance: Edited by Larry T. Shaw, Infinity Science Fiction, featured many well known authors, including Isaac Asimov, James Blish, C.M. Kornbluth, Robert Silverberg, and others. The first issue published the Hugo Award winning story “The Star” (1955) by Arthur C. Clark. In February 1956, Harlan Ellision made his debut with “Glow Worm.”
  • Content: 20 issues; new science fiction

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1949 - present
  • Publisher: Fantasy House (1949 - 1958); Mercury Press (1958 - 2001); Van Gelder's Spilogale, Inc. (2001 - present)
  • Significance: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction was originally planned as a fantasy companion to  Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The first issue was titled The Magazine of Fantasy, but “science fiction” was added by the next issue. It set itself apart from other science fiction magazines at the time through its presentation; it had no interior illustrations or letter columns, and presented text in a single column format. It also had a reputation for publishing literary materials and a more diverse selection of stories than its competitors. In 1954, under editor Robert Mills, it won the Hugo Award for Best Magazine. “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes, “Rogue Moon” by Algis Budrys, “Starship Troopers” by Robert Heinlein, and the first of Brian Aldiss's “Hothouse” stories, were published while the magazine was under the direction of Mills.
  • Content: New fantasy and science fiction stories

 

Marvel Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1938 - 1941; 1950 - 1952
  • Publisher: Postal Publications (1938 - 1950); Western Publishing (1950 - 1952)
  • Significance: Marvel Science Stories was launched in 1938 by Postal Publications after a pause in science fiction magazine publishing for a few years. The magazine was edited by Robert O. Erisman, and published stories by Henry Kuttner, Arthur J. Burks, and Mike Ashley. Marvel Science Stories was the first publication to use the name “Marvel,” with Marvel Comics launching the following year. Marvel Science Stories contained more sexual content than other publications, and readers’ reactions were negative. The magazine changed its name to Marvel Tales after its fifth issue, and the number of stories advertised as “passionate” or containing “sin-lost” or “lust-crazed” characters increased. The magazine ceased publication in 1941, but after the boom in science fiction magazines in 1950, the publishers revived it under their new publishing house, Western Publishing. Marvel then published stories by well-known writers such as Isaac Asimov, Jack Vance, Lester del Rey, Arthur C. Clarke, Richard Matheson, and William Tenn, until its second cancelation in 1952. 
  • Content: 15 issues in two separate runs; pulp science fiction stories

 

Mysterious Traveler Magazine

  • Issue dates: 1951 - 1952
  • Publisher: Grace Publishing
  • Significance: Mysterious Traveler was not only a magazine, but also an anthology radio series and a comic book. The magazine had stories from the radio show in print as well as reprints and new stories from Ray Bradbury, Brett Halliday, Craig Rice, and more. The covers had paintings from well known pulp illustrator Norman Saunders.
  • Content: 5 issues

 

Orbit: The Best in Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1953 - 1954
  • Publisher: Hanro Corp.
  • Significance: Despite its short run, Orbit published several short stories from notable science fiction writers including Philip K. Dick, Donald A. Wollheim, and Gordon R. Dickson.
  • Content: 5 issues; new science fiction short stories

 

Other Worlds Science Fiction Stories

  • Issue dates: 1949 - 1953; 1955 - 1957
  • Publisher: Palmer's Clark Publications (1949 - 1953); Palmer Publications (1955 - 1957)
  • Significance: Other Worlds Science Fiction Stories was launched by its editor and publisher, Raymond Palmer, in 1949 as a fiction companion to his magazine Fate. The magazine published high quality science fiction from writers such as Ray Bradbury, A.E. van Vogt, and many others, and the covers had artwork by well known artists. As competition increased, Palmer was unable to maintain as high a level of quality as he began with. The magazine folded in 1953 due to financial problems. That same year, Palmer, with the help of an unnamed businessman, formed Bell Publications and launched two new magazines: Universe Science Fiction and Science Stories. Though Science Stories was considered the successor to Other Worlds Science Fiction Stories, it folded after only 4 issues. Palmer ended Universe Science Fiction in 1955 after only 10 issues, and relaunched Other Worlds Science Fiction Stories. The issue numbering continued directly from Universe, but also included a secondary issue number related to the original Other Worlds Science Fiction Stories. The title changed to Flying Saucers from Other Worlds in 1957, with only three of the following issues containing fiction, after which it became a nonfiction magazine about UFOs. 
  • Content: 46 issues; Fiction and nonfiction stories and articles

 

Planet Stories

  • Issue dates: 1939 - 1955
  • Publisher: Fiction House
  • Significance: Launched at the same time as Planet Comics, Planet Stories initially focused on a young readership with stories that are considered space opera and planetary dramas, rather than hard science fiction. However, the level of fiction continued to improve over the years with appearances by Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Clifford Simak, and more. Philip K. Dick appeared in print for the first time in the July 1952 issue with “Beyond Lies the Wub.” Planet Stories is also known for its artwork. In the early issues, Hannes Bok contributed much of the interior artwork while the covers were by Allen Anderson. Frank R. Paul, Alexander Leydenfrost, and Kelly Freas also contributed artwork.
  • Content: 71 issues; new Science Fiction adventures stories

 

Rocket Stories

  • Issue dates: 1953
  • Publisher: Space Publications
  • Significance: Rocket Stories began as a juvenile focused companion magazine to Fantasy Fiction, Space Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Adventures (1952 - 1954). All four magazines were closed after the publisher lost interest. Despite being one of thirty such magazines published in the USA at that time, Rocket Stories published fairly high quality fiction and included stories by Algis Budrys, John W. Jakes, and Milton Lesser.
  • Content: 3 issues; Science Fiction stories

Saturn: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1957 - 1958
  • Publisher: Candar Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Significance: Saturn began as a science fiction and fantasy magazine, using the subtitle “The Magazine of Science Fiction” for the first issue, “The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy” for the second issue, and the rest were given the subtitle “Science Fiction and Fantasy.” Though it ran stories by Harlan Ellison, Damon Knight, and Robert Heinlein, the magazine had little of note, according to the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. However, the fifth issue ran “Requiem for a Small Planet” the last published story by Ray Cummings, and new translations of stories by Jules Verne. In 1958 the magazine moved from science fiction to detective stories and was renamed Saturn Web Detective Stories. It went through several more iterations until it folded in June 1965.
  • Content: 5 issues; science fiction and fantasy stories

 

Science Fiction Adventures (1952 - 1954)

  • Issue dates: 1952 - 1954
  • Publisher: Science Fiction Publications (1952); Future Publications (1953-54)
  • Significance: Science Fiction Adventures, published by John Raymond’s Science Fiction Publications, was a companion to Raymond's other three magazines (Space Science Fiction, Rocket Stories, and Fantasy Fiction). All four magazines were edited by Lester del Rey, though he used the name Philip St. John for Science Fiction Adventures. The most notable writing published in the magazine was the serialization of The Syndic by Cyril M. Kornbluth (December 1953 - March 1954). Artwork was provided by the likes of Kelly Freas, Paul Orban, and H.R. van Dongen. 
  • Content: 9 issues; new and reprint science fiction short stories and serials

Science Fiction / Science Fiction Stories / Science Fiction Fantastic Stories of the Future

  • Issue dates: 1939 - 1941, 1953 - 1960
  • Publisher: Louis Silberkleit through imprints: Blue Ribbon Magazines (1939-40); Double Action Magazines Inc (March 1940-January 1941); Columbia Publications, Inc. (1941-43, 1953-60)
  • Significance: Science Fiction was published in two series and was published under variant titles. Edited by Charles D. Hornig, the magazine contained little of interest despite having covers by Frank R. Paul, and publishing works by Eando Binder, Edmond Hamilton, John Russell Fearn and Henry Kuttner, though they generally were published under pseudonyms. It ran in parallel with Future Fiction from 1939 until the two were merged into Future combined with Science Fiction under editor Robert Lowndes in 1941, because the original editor moved and the publisher was dissatisfied with Hornigs’ work. Science Fiction Stories began regular publication after two unnumbered trial editions in 1953 and 1954 received a positive response. In 1955 the cover title was expanded to “The Original Science Fiction Stories” with the intent of emphasizing its connection to the 1939 publication, but the official title was still Science Fiction Stories. Like it’s sister magazines Future Fiction and Science Fiction Quarterly, Science Fiction Stories had only a small budget, but still maintained a decent level of quality. Robert Silverberg was the most prolific contributor, often as Calvin M. Knox. Other contributors included L. Sprague de Camp, Clifford D. Simak, Ward Moore and Robert Bradford. In January 1960 issue, R.A. Lafferty made his debut with “Day of the Glacier." The magazine ended in May 1960, and the title was bought by science fiction fan James V Taurasi.
  • Content: 50 issues; serialized novels, novelettes

 

 Science Fiction Adventures: Complete Novels by Top Writers (1956 - 1958)

  • Issue dates: December 1956 - June 1958
  • Publisher: Royal Publications
  • Significance: Science Fiction Adventures was published as a companion to Infinity Science Fiction, and edited by Larry T. Shaw. The first volume was published as volume 1 number 6, continuing the numeration of Suspect Detective Stories, a defunct magazine from the same publisher. The second volume continued with volume 1, number 2. The magazine mostly focused on longer adventure stories, often printing 3 “novels” per issue, which led to the addition of the subtitle “Complete Novels by Top Writers” on some issues. Robert Silverberg, under different pseudonyms, including Calvin M. Knox, was a prolific contributor. Cyril M. Kornbluth, Algis Budrys, and Harry Harrison also occasionally appeared in the magazine. Due to disappointing sales, the magazine was canceled in June 1958, but was continued in a British edition until 1963. (Science Fiction Encyclopedia)
  • Content: 12 issues; new adventure stories

 

Science Fiction Digest

  • Issue dates: 1954    
  • Publisher: Specific Fiction, Corp.
  • Significance: Science Fiction Digest, edited by Chester Whitehorn, was intended to be a reprint magazine with materials from general-fiction magazines and other sources. Selections were weak so the magazine folded after only two issues.  
  • Content: 2 issues; general fiction reprints

 

Science Fiction Quarterly

  • Issue dates: 1940 - 1943, 1951 - 1958 
  • Publisher: Double Action Magazines (1940); Columbia Publications (1951)  
  • Significance: Science Fiction Quarterly, launched by Louis Silberkleit, was published during the boom in science fiction magazines at the end of the 1930s as a companion to Science Fiction and Future Fiction. Charles Horning served as editor for the first two issues, and Robert A.W. Lowndes took over as editor for the remainder of the magazine’s run. The magazine’s policy was to include a full-length novel in each issue as the lead story, such as “The Moon Conquerors” by R.H. Romans and “The Shot Into Infinity” by Otto Willi Gail. Lowndes also brought in stories from writers who were part of the Futurians group, such as Isaac Asimov, James Blish, and Donald Wollheim. When Science Fiction Quarterly was revived in 1951, the magazine had ceased to reprint stories, and instead, Lowdnes attracted newer writers, including William Tenn, Poul Anderson, and Arthur C. Clarke.  When the magazine ceased publication in 1958, it was the last surviving science fiction pulp magazine; all other publications had switched over to different formats.      
  • Content: 38 issues; science fiction stories

 

Science Stories

  • Issue dates: 1953
  • Publisher: Bell publications
  • Significance: Science Stories was considered the successor to Other Worlds Science Stories which ceased publication in 1953 due to financial troubles. The publisher and editor, Raymond Palmer, formed Bell Publications after financial issues with the original publisher of Other Worlds, Clark Publications, became too difficult. In addition to Science Stories, Palmer also launched Universe Science Fiction under Bell Publications in 1953. Science Stories folded after only 4 issues due to poor sales, so Palmer concentrated on Universe Science Fiction until 1955 when he decided to relaunch Other Worlds Science Stories instead. 
  • Content: 4 issues; Fiction and nonfiction stories and articles

 

Science Wonder Stories

  • Issue dates: 1929 - 1930
  • Publisher: Stellar Publishing Corporation
  • Significance: Hugo Gernsback launched Science Wonder Stories and Air Wonder Stories after losing control of his first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in 1929. Both new magazines used the same authors, though Science Wonder Stories explored all aspects of science, and Air Wonder Stories focused on aviation. All of the covers for Science Wonder Stories were done by Frank R. Paul. Many well known authors were published in its pages, including the debut of Raymond Z. Gallun. The two magazines were merged into Wonder Stories in 1930. “Science” was dropped from the title so as to emphasize that it was a magazine of fiction. In 1936, due to financial difficulties, Gersnback sold the magazine to Standard Magazines and they changed the title to Thrilling Wonder Stories
  • Content: 12 issues; new science fiction stories

Space Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1952 - 1953
  • Publisher: Space Publications, Inc. (no date of publication run); The Archer Press Ltd. (no date of publication run)
  • Significance: Space Science Fiction was a science fiction magazine that was edited by Lester del Rey and illustrated by Alex Ebel. Despite the magazine’s superior quality of stories, del Rey’s conflicts with the publishers led to the magazine’s short run of only eight issues, folding a year later. Stories published by Space Science Fiction included Isaac Asimov’s “Youth,” “The Ego Machine,” by Henry Kuttner,” and “The Variable Man” by Phillip K. Dick.  
  • Content: 8 issues; science fiction stories; book review column 

 

Space Science Fiction Magazine

  • Issue dates: 1957
  • Publisher: Republic Features Syndicate, Inc.
  • Significance: The science fiction field saw a second boom in the late 1940s after a decline during World War II. By 1957, the boom had reached its height, and 24 science fiction magazines had published at least one issue that year. It was during this time that radio show stations began putting together package deals with science fiction magazines. In 1956, Republic Features Syndicate put together a package of two radio shows and four magazines, one of which was Space Science Fiction Magazine. The magazines were to tie-in with the radio shows. Space Science Fiction Magazine was launched in Spring 1957 and published two issues. The magazine obtained stories from writers including John Jakes, Jack Vance, Mack Reynolds, and Raymond F. Jones. Arthur C. Clarke’s “Critical Mass” is a notable story that was reprinted in the magazine. Shortly after the publication of the second issue, Republic Features Syndicate went out of business, and the magazine ceased publication.
  • Content: 2 issues; science fiction stories 

 

Space Stories

  • Issue dates: 1952 - 1953
  • Publisher: Standard Magazines
  • Significance: During the 1950s, there was a shift in science fiction magazines from pulp format to digest format. Space Stories, published in 1952 by Standard Magazines, was one of the last magazines to be launched in pulp format. Edited by Samuel Mines, Space Stories published science fiction adventure stories aimed at readers “who want action and thrills, strange and exotic backgrounds, weird and wonderful adventure.” The magazine published stories from well-known writers, including Jack Vance, Gordon R. Dickson, William Morrison, and Leigh Brackett. Brackett’s novel, “The Big Jump,” appeared in the February 1953 issue.      
  • Content: 5 issues; science fiction adventure stories

 

Spaceway: Stories of the Future

  • Issue dates: 1953 - 1955; 1969 - 1970 
  • Publisher: Fantasy Publishing Company Inc.
  • Significance: Sideways: Stories of the Future was a digest-sized science fiction magazine published by William L. Crawford’s Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. The title was taken from the 1953 UK film, “Spaceways.”  The most well-known story reprinted by Sideways was John Traine’s “The Cosmic Geoids.” The magazine also published stories by Arthur J. Burks, Stanton Coblentz, Clyde F. Beck, and L. Ron Hubbard. In the December 1954 issue, the magazine changed its title to Sideways: Science Fiction, and the following year, the magazine folded. However, Crawford began a second series of Sideways in 1969 by reprinting material from the first series as well as compiling new stories. The second series contained two special issues celebrating the first manned lunar landing. The second series ran until 1970.
  • Content: 12 issues; science fiction stories (in two series) 

 

Startling Stories

  • Issue dates: 1939 - 1955; 2007 - 2013
  • Publisher: Standard Magazine (1939 - 1955); Wild Cats Books (2007 - 2013)
  • Significance: Startling Stories was a pulp science fiction magazine launched by Standard Magazines in 1939 as a companion to Thrilling Wonder Stories. When Standard Magazines acquired Thrilling Wonder Stories three years earlier, it also gained the rights to stories published in another publication, Wonder Stories, and selections from this early material were reprinted in StartlingStartling ran a novel in every issue, beginning with, “The Black Flame'' by Stanley G. Weinbaum. Startling’s main focus, however, was to create a magazine for young readers, publishing space operas and fantastical fiction by writers such as Edmond Hamilton, Manly Wade Wellman, and Henry Kuttner. When Sam Merwin Jr. became editor in 1945, the quality of the fiction improved, and the magazine published works by Arthur C. Clarke and other well-known writers. Earle K. Bergey began to paint the covers for Startling in 1940 and he soon became associated with the magazine. Bergey’s covers depicted heroines in brass bras, and these covers created the image of science fiction as it was perceived by the general public. By the 1950s, it was difficult to acquire quality material due to competition within the science fiction field. In 1955, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Fantastic Story Magazine merged with Startling Stories, but the combined magazine only lasted three issues.
  • Content: 99 issues; science fiction stories; one complete novel and one or two short stories; “Hall of Fame” feature; letter column; fanzine review column

 

Stirring Science Stories

  • Issue dates: 1941 - 1942
  • Publisher: Albing Publications (1941); Manhattan Fiction Publications (1942) 
  • Significance: Stirring Science Stories was a science fiction magazine that was launched with Cosmic Stories in 1941. Edited by Donald A. Wollheim, both magazines appeared in alternative months, with Stirring publishing four issues, and Cosmic publishing three issues. The original plan had been to publish a single monthly magazine, but this was changed by the publisher, and Wollheim created two bimonthly magazines instead. Stirring was presented as if it were two separate magazines bound together: the first half was titled, “Stirring Science-Fiction” and the second half was titled, “Stirring Fantasy-Fiction.” An editorial and letters section, “The Vortex,” separated the two.  Wollheim solicited stories from the Futurians, a group of New York science fiction fans, including Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Frederik Pohl, C. M. Kornbluth, David H. Keller, and Damon Knight. Kornbluth was the most prolific contributor, and published stories under several pseudonyms. He published "Thirteen O'Clock" under the pseudonym “Cecil Corwin,” which became a very successful story and helped make his career in the science fiction field. Stirring and Cosmic ceased publication in late 1941, but Wollheim found a publisher for one further issue of Stirring in 1942 before wartime constraints forced the magazine to close again.
  • Content: 4 issues; science fiction stories; “The Vortex” editorial and letters columns, which separated the magazine’s two sections, “Stirring Science-Fiction” and “Stirring Fantasy-Fiction” 

 

Strange Stories

  • Issue dates: 1939 - 1941
  • Publisher: Better Publications, a subsidiary of Standard Magazines
  • Significance: Fantasy and occult fiction often appeared in popular magazines before the twentieth century, but Weird Tales was the first American Magazine to specialize in the genre in 1923. In 1939, two magazines in the same niche were launched: Unknown and Strange StoriesStrange Stories was edited by Mort Weisinger and contained stories written by Henry Kuttner, Eric Frank Russell, C. L. Moore, August Derleth, and Robert Bloch. Strange Stories had difficulty competing with Weird Tales and Unknown, and folded in 1941 when Weisinger left to edit Superman comics.
  • Content: 13 issues; fantasy and occult fiction 

 

Super-Science Fiction 

  • Issue dates: 1956 - 1959
  • Publisher: Feature Publications 
  • Significance: Super-Science Fiction was a digest science fiction magazine published by Feature Publications and edited by W.W. Scott. The magazine was born when Robert Silverberg and Harlan Ellison, who had already been selling their crime stories to Scott for his other magazines, began sending him their science fiction stories as well. During Super-Science Fiction’s run, Scott also obtained stories written by authors such as Isaac Asimov, James Gunn, and Jack Vance. A few years later, Feature Publications decided to switch the focus of Super-Science Fiction from science fiction stories to monster stories, hoping to cash in on the success from the 1958 Film, “Monsters of Filmland.” A year later, however, the magazine folded. Science fiction historians believe that the shift to monster stories was too late, especially during the rise of the paperback, which lost readers’ interest in the publication.     
  • Content: 18 issues; science fiction and monster stories


 

Super Science Stories/Super Science Novels

  • Issue dates: 1940 - 1943; 1949 - 1951 
  • Publisher: Popular Publications
  • Significance:  Super Science Stories was a science fiction magazine that was first launched by Popular Publications in 1940. Nineteen-year-old Frederik Pohl was hired by Popular Publications to edit both Super Science Stories and Astonishing Stories. Although Pohl had a limited budget and resources, the magazine was successful in its beginning. Pohl acquired stories from the Futurians, a group of young science fiction fans, including Isaac Asimov, Donald Wollheim, C.M. Kornbluth, and Richard Wilson. Pohl also published his own material in the magazine, usually under a pseudonym. Other writers whose first stories appeared in Super Science Stories included Ray Bradbury, Wilson Tucker, and Chad Oliver. The magazine was renamed Super Science Novels in March 1941 to reflect its policy of publishing longer stories, but the name was changed back to its original title after only three issues. Pohl decided to close the magazine in 1943 due to paper shortages because of the war effort. A second boom in science fiction publishing began in 1948, and Popular Publications revived the magazine. Ejler Jakobsson edited the revival, and Damon Knight worked on the magazine as assistant editor, although he was not credited. The second run included fiction that had appeared in the Canadian reprint edition, which included stories such as “The Black Sun Rises” by Henry Kuttner, and “And Then—the Silence” by Ray Bradbury. The revival lasted for almost three years, but the market for pulps was weak, and the magazine folded in 1951.      
  • Content: 31 issues (21 issues for Canadian reprint; 17 issues for British reprint); science fiction stories; book reviews

Thrilling Wonder Stories

  • Issue dates: 1936 - 1955
  • Publisher: Standard Magazines, New York under their subsidiaries, Beacon Magazines (August 1936 - June 1937) ;  Better Publications (October 1937 - August 1943); Standard Magazines (Fall 1943 - Winter 1955)
  • Significance: Thrilling Wonder Stories was a continuation of Hugo Gernsback’s Wonder Stories, which he sold in 1936. “Thrilling” was added to the title to conform to other magazines by the new publisher. Issue numeration continued from where Wonder Stories left off, so begins with volume 8. Despite being the same magazine, Thrilling Wonder Stories was more juvenile. Contributors included Eando Binder, Frederick Arnold Kummer, Arthur Leo Zagat and others. It also ran John W Campbell Jr's Penton and Blake stories, Arthur K Barnes's Gerry Carlyle stories and the Hollywood on the Moon series by prolific contributor Henry Kuttner. Early covers by Howard V. Brown are said to have spawned the term ‘Bug Eyed Monsters’ because of the creatures he featured. The magazine was so successful that three companion magazines were created: Startling Stories (1939), Strange Stories (1939), and Captain Future (1940). Earle K. Bergey took over as cover artist in 1940 and added scantily clad ladies being scared by the ‘bug eyed’ monsters. Ray Bradbury’s first solo story appeared in a 1943 issue, and he continued to be a regular contributor. Thrilling wonder Stories continued to improve throughout the mid 1940s to the 1950s following changes in editor, but sales began to decline along with the rest of the pulp-magazine industry, and the last issue appeared in 1955, after which it was merged with Startling and Fantastic Story Magazine
  • Content: 111 issues ; science fiction

 

Tops in Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1953
  • Publisher:  Love Romances, New York
  • Significance: Tops in Science Fiction featured reprints of stories that had first appeared in Planet Stories (1939-55), and included regular contributors from that magazine such as Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury. At the time that the magazine began, many of the pulp publishers were failing leading to different sizes for the two issues published. The first issue (Spring 1953) was standard pulp sized and edited by Jack O'Sullivan. The second issue (Fall 1953) was digest sized and edited by Malcolm Reiss. A UK edition published 3 issues of Tops in Science Fiction from 1954-1956.
  • Content: 2 issues ; reprints

 

Two Complete Science-Adventure Books

  • Issue dates: 1950 - 1954
  • Publisher: Fiction House
  • Significance: Two Complete Science-Adventure Books was a pulp science fiction magazine that served as a companion to Planet Stories. The magazine’s original intent was to carry reprinted novels, but soon published original stories as well. The first issue included L. Ron Hubbard’s “The Kingslayer” and Isaac Asimov’s “Pebble in the Sky,” and later issues would carry fiction by writers such as James Blish, Poul Anderson, Arthur C. Clarke, L., Sprague de Camp, and H.G. Wells. The magazine folded in 1954 during the collapse of the overall pulp market. 
  • Content: 11 issues; science fiction stories; two novels or long novellas; column for readers’ letters (under editor Jerome Bixby); editorial column 

 

Universe Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1953 - 1955
  • Publisher:  Bell Publications (1953); Palmer Publications (1953-55)
  • Significance: Universe Science Fiction began as a companion magazine to Science Stories, both of which were launched as successors to Raymond Palmer’s Other Worlds Science Fiction, which folded in 1953 due to financial problems. Universe Science Fiction was edited by Palmer and Bea Mahaffey, though they used the name George Bell for the first two issues. Mahaffy was primarily responsible for editing the magazine and is attributed as the reason for the high quality fiction that was published, including Theodore Sturgeon's "The World Well Lost" (June 1953). Other authors included Isaac Asimov, Robert Bloch, L Sprague de Camp, Gordon Dickson, Zenna Henderson, Judith Merril, Chad Oliver, Eric Frank Russell, Margaret St Clair, and Wilson Tucker. Over time the quality declined, and in 1955 Palmer converted the magazine back to Other Worlds Science Fiction.
  • Content: 10 issues; Science fiction short stories

 

Unknown

  • Issue dates: 1930 - 1943
  • Publisher: Street & Smith
  • Significance: Unknown was published as the fantasy companion to Astounding Science Fiction, and is considered to have been one of the most sophisticated pulp magazines. Edited by John W. Campbell Jr, Unknown featured some ordinary science fiction and Sword-and-Sorcery stories, but also published the intellectual fantasy found in general Slick magazines, like Collier's Weekly or Harper's Magazine, exemplified by the works of Lord Dunsany or Thorne Smith, but was as of yet unknown in the pulps. Many notable authors were published in Unknown, including Sinister Barrier (March 1939) by Eric Frank Russell,  "Trouble with Water" by H.L. Gold, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series by Henry Kuttner and Fritz Leiber, and many more. Other regular contributors included L. Sprague de Camp, Robert Heinlein, Anthony Boucher, Cleve Cartmill, L Ron Hubbard, Theodore Sturgeon and Jack Williamson. In 1941 the title was changed to Unknown Worlds, and in 1943 wartime paper shortages led to the end of the magazine.
  • Content: 39 issues; new and reprints of science fiction and fantasy novels and novellas, serials

 

Vanguard Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: June 1958
  • Publisher: Vanguard Science Fiction  
  • Significance: Vanguard Science Fiction, edited by James Blish, made a promising debut with C.M. Kornbluth’s "Reap the Dark Tide," and appearances by L. Sprague de Camp and Lester del Rey. However, the magazine was canceled after the distributor withdrew. 
  • Content: 1 issue

 

Venture Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1957 - 1958, 1969 - 1970
  • Publisher: Fantasy House (a subsidiary of Mercury Publications) (1957-58); Mercury Press (1969-70)
  • Significance: Venture Science Fiction was published in two series, both times as a companion to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The first run of Venture Science Fiction focused more on adventure science fiction than it’s companion magazine, and also made use of more controversial stories, including Poul Anderson’s Virgin Planet (January 1957), Leigh Brackett’s “All Colors of the Rainbow” (November 1957), and C.M. Kornbluth’s “Two Dooms” (July 1958). After the first series ended, “including Venture Science FIction” was added to the contents page masthead of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Every issue of the second series included an abridged novel, such as Edward Wellen's Hijack (May 1970; 1971) and Harry Harrison's "Plague Ship" (November 1969), in addition to short fiction. (Science Fiction Encyclopedia)
  • Content: 16 issues; action-adventure science fiction short stories, novels

 

Vortex Science Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1953
  • Publisher: Specific Fiction Corp, New York  
  • Significance: Vortex Science Fiction was meant to showcase a large number of short stories in each issue, but the idea proved unpopular. Nine writers made their debut in the magazine, including Marion Zimmer Bradley.
  • Content: 2 issues; short stories

 

Weird Tales

  • Dates: 1923 - 1954
  • Publisher:  Rural Publications (1923); Popular Fiction (1924-38); Short Stories, Inc. (1928-54)
    Significance: Weird Tales was started by J.C. Henneberger and J.M. Lansinger, and edited by Edwin Baird in 1923. The magazine regularly published H.P. Lovecraft, Seabury Quinn and Clark Ashton Smith. Lovecraft sold his first professional story to Baird, and published "The Call of Cthulhu" in February 1928. Early issues were not notable, but it quickly became very popular. In 1924, Lansiger left the magazine, and Farnsworth Wright took over as editor, adding reprints of Edgar Allen Poe, Mary and Percy Shelley, Nathanael Hawthorne, Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, H.G. Wells, and more. Cover illustrations by Margaret Brundage also added to the magazine's popularity. The magazine was sold to Short Stories, Inc. in 1938 because of growing financial struggles after the loss of three main contributors: Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft died in 1936 and 1937, and Clark Ashton Smith retired the same year. Henry Kuttner and the artists Hannes Bok and Virgil Finlay became contributors in the late 1930s. Dorothy McIlwraith took over as editor in 1940 and published stories by Fritz Leiber, Ray Bradbury, and Theodore Sturgeon. Over time Weird Tales began to publish more formulaic stories, and with competition from new magazines like Unknown, it continued to struggle financially until the publisher canceled it in 1954. 
  • Content: 279 issues; fiction, poetry, and non-fiction

 

Wonder Story Annual

  • Issue dates: 1950 - 1953
  • Publisher: Better Publications (1950) Best Books (1951-53)
  • Significance: Wonder Story Annual took advantage of the publisher’s backlog of material purchased for Wonder Stories and Startling Stories. Some of the notable reprints were Twice in Time by Manly Wade Wellman, and “Gate to Paradise” by Jack Williamson, both originally published in Startling Stories in the 1940s. The magazine called itself “America's Best Science Fiction Anthology” in its final three issues. 
  • Content: 4 issues; reprints

 

Worlds Beyond: A Mag of Science Fantasy Fiction

  • Issue dates: 1950 - 1951
  • Publisher:  Hillman Periodicals
  • Significance: Despite its short run, Worlds Beyond published several notable stories under editor Damon Knight, including Harry Harrison’s first story “Rock Diver” (February 1951), and William Tenn’s "Null-P" (January 1951). Harrison also provided illustrations. Other contributors included C.M. Kornbluth, Graham Green, Judith Merril, and Lester del Rey. The publisher cancelled the magazine following poor sales reports of the first issue.
  • Content: 3 issues; original and reprints science fiction and fantasy, book reviews

 

Worlds of Fantasy

  • Issue dates: 1968 - 1971
  • Publisher:  Galaxy Publishing Corporation (1968); Universal Publishing & Distributing Corporation(UPD) (1970-71)
  • Significance: Worlds of Fantasy was intended as a fantasy companion to Galaxy Science Fiction, but failed due to poor distribution. The magazine published quality material including Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Tombs of Atuan (Winter 1970-1971) and early stories by Michael Bishop and James Tiptree Jr.
  • Content: 4 issues; fantasy stories