Weird Tales | bibliographic details

Bibliographic details

A man hurries past a house at night; a grotesque figure hides nearby
Virgil Finlay's interior illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shunned House", from the October 1937 issue of Weird Tales[135]

The editorial succession at Weird Tales was as follows:[11][136]

Editor Issues
Edwin Baird March 1923 – May/June/July 1924
Farnsworth Wright November 1924 – March 1940
Dorothy McIlwraith May 1940 – September 1954
Sam Moskowitz April 1973 – Summer 1974
Lin Carter Spring 1981 – Summer 1983
Forrest J Ackerman/Gil Lamont Fall 1984
Gordon Garb Winter 1985
Darrell Schweitzer

George Scithers

John Betancourt

Spring 1988 – Winter 1990

September 2005 – February/March 2007

Darrell Schweitzer Spring 1991 – Winter 1996/1997
Darrell Schweitzer

George Scithers

Summer 1998 – December 2004
Stephen Segal April/May 2007 – September/October 2007

Spring 2010

Ann VanderMeer November/December 2007 – Fall 2009

Summer 2010 – Winter 2012

Marvin Kaye Fall 2012 – Spring 2014

The publisher for the first year was Rural Publishing Corporation; this changed to Popular Fiction Publishing with the November 1924 issue, and to Weird Tales, Inc. with the December 1938 issue. The four issues in the early 1970s came from Renown Publications, and the four paperbacks in the early 1980s were published by Zebra Books. The next two issues were from Bellerophon, and then from Spring 1988 to Winter 1996 the publisher was Terminus. From Summer 1998 to July/August 2003 the publisher was DNA Publications and Terminus, listed either as DNA Publications/Terminus or just as DNA Publications. The September/October 2003 issue listed the publisher as DNA Publications/Wildside Press/Terminus, and through 2004 this remained the case, with one issue dropping Terminus from the masthead. Thereafter Wildside Press was the publisher, sometimes with Terminus listed as well, until the September/October 2007 issue, after which only Wildside Press were listed. The issues published from 2012 through 2014 were from Nth Dimension Media.[11][136]

Weird Tales was in pulp format for its entire first run except for the issues from May 1923 to April 1924, when it was a large pulp, and the last year, from September 1953 to September 1954, when it was a digest. The four 1970s issues were in pulp format. The two Bellerophon issues were quarto. The Terminus issues reverted to pulp format until the Winter 1992/1993 issue, which was large pulp. A single pulp issue appeared in Fall 1998, and then the format returned to large pulp until the Fall 2000 issue, which was quarto. The format varied between large pulp and quarto until January 2006, which was large pulp, as were all issues after that date until Fall 2009, except for a quarto-sized November 2008. From Summer 2010 the format was quarto.[11][136]

The first run of the magazine was priced at 25 cents for the first fifteen years of its life except for the oversized May/June/July 1924 issue, which was 50 cents. In September 1939 the price was reduced to 15 cents, where it stayed until the September 1947 issue, which was 20 cents. The price went up again to 25 cents in May 1949; the digest-sized issues from September 1953 to September 1954 were 35 cents. The first three paperbacks edited by Lin Carter were priced at $2.50; the fourth was $2.95. The two Bellerophon issues were $2.50 and $2.95. The Terminus Weird Tales began in Spring 1988 priced at $3.50; this went up to $4.00 with the Fall 1988 issue, and to $4.95 with the Summer 1990 issue. The next price increase was to $5.95, in Spring 2003, and then to $6.99 with the January 2008 issue. The first two issues from Nth Dimension Media were priced at $7.95 and $6.99; the last two were $9.99 each.[11][136]

Some of the early Terminus editions of Weird Tales were also printed in hardcover format, in limited editions of 200 copies. These were signed by the contributors, and were available at $40 as part of a subscription offer. Issues produced in this format include Summer 1988, Spring/Fall 1989, Winter 1989/1990, Spring 1991, and Winter 1991/1992.[46][136]

Anthologies

Starting in 1925, Christine Campbell Thomson edited a series of horror story anthologies, published by Selwyn and Blount, titled Not at Night. These were considered an unofficial U.K. edition of the magazine, with the stories sometimes appearing in the anthology before the magazine's U.S. version appeared. The ones which drew a substantial fraction of their contents from Weird Tales were:[137][138]

Year Title Stories from Weird Tales
1925 Not at Night All 15
1926 More Not at Night All 15
1927 You'll Need a Night Light 14 of 15
1929 By Daylight Only 15 of 20
1931 Switch on the Light 8 of 15
1931 At Dead of Night 8 of 15
1932 Grim Death 7 of 15
1933 Keep on the Light 7 of 15
1934 Terror by Night 9 of 15

There was also a 1937 anthology titled Not at Night Omnibus, which selected 35 stories from the Not at Night series, of which 20 had originally appeared in Weird Tales. In the U.S. an anthology titled Not at Night!, edited by Herbert Asbury, appeared from Macy-Macius in 1928; this selected 25 stories from the series, with 24 of them drawn from Weird Tales.[137]

Numerous other anthologies of stories from Weird Tales have been published, including:[39][139][140][141][142][143][144][145][146][147][148]

Year Title Editor Publisher Notes
1961 The Unexpected Leo Margulies Pyramid
1961 The Ghoul Keepers Leo Margulies Pyramid
1964 Weird Tales Leo Margulies Pyramid Ghost edited by Sam Moskowitz
1965 Worlds of Weird Leo Margulies Pyramid Ghost edited by Sam Moskowitz
1976 Weird Tales Peter Haining Neville Spearman The hardback edition (but not the paperback) reproduces the original stories in facsimile[149]
1977 Weird Legacies Mike Ashley Star
1988 Weird Tales: The Magazine That Never Dies Marvin Kaye Nelson Doubleday
1995 The Best of Weird Tales John Betancourt Barnes & Noble
1997 The Best of Weird Tales: 1923 Marvin Kaye & John Betancourt Bleak House
1997 Weird Tales: Seven Decades of Terror John Betancourt & Robert Weinberg Barnes & Noble

Canadian and British editions

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1942 36/3 36/4 37/1 37/1
1943 36/7 36/8 36/9 36/10 37/11 36/12
1944 36/13 36/14 36/15 36/15 37/5 37/6
1945 38/1 38/3 38/3 38/3 38/3 38/3
1946 38/3 38/4 38/4 38/4 38/4 38/4
1947 38/4 38/4 38/4 38/4 38/4 38/4
1948 nn 40/3 40/4 40/5 40/6 41/1
1949 41/2 41/3 41/4 41/5 41/6 42/1
1950 42/2 42/3 42/4 42/5 42/6 43/1
1951 43/2 43/3 43/4 43/5 43/6 44/1
Canadian issues of Weird Tales from 1941 to 1954, showing volume/issue number. "nn" indicates that
that issue had no number. The numerous oddities in volume numbering are correctly shown.[150]

A Canadian edition of Weird Tales appeared from June 1935 to July 1936; all fourteen issues are thought to be identical to the U.S. issues of those dates, though "Printed in Canada" appeared on the cover, and in at least one case another text box was placed on the cover to conceal part of a nude figure. Another Canadian series began in 1942, as a result of import restrictions placed on U.S. magazines. Canadian editions from 1942 up to January 1948 were not identical to the U.S. editions, but they match closely enough that the originals are easily identified. From the May 1942 to January 1945 issues, they correspond to the U.S. editions two issues earlier, that is, from January 1942 to September 1944. There was no Canadian issue corresponding to the November 1944 U.S. issue, so from that point the Canadian issues were only one behind the U.S. ones: the issues from March 1945 to January 1948 correspond to the U.S. issues from January 1945 to November 1947. There was no Canadian issue of the January 1948 U.S. issue, and from the next issue, March 1948, till the end of the Canadian run in November 1951, the issues were identical to the U.S. versions.[151]

There were numerous differences between the Canadian issues from May 1942 to January 1948 and the corresponding U.S. issues. All the covers were repainted by Canadian artists until the January 1945 issue; thereafter the artwork from the original issues was used. Initially the fiction content of the Canadian issues was unchanged from the U.S., but starting in September 1942 the Canadian Weird Tales dropped some of the original stories in each issue, replacing them with either stories from other issues of Weird Tales, or, occasionally, material from Short Stories.[151]

A magazine cover with a naked woman surrounded by cobras, next to a similar cover with the woman's torso concealed by a box of text
The U.S. and Canadian covers for the November 1935 issue, with part of the nude figure (by Margaret Brundage) obscured for the Canadian version[152]

In a couple of instances a story appeared in the Canadian edition of the magazine before its appearance in the U.S. version, or simultaneously with it, so it is evident that whoever assembled the issues had access to the Weird Tales pending story file. Because of the reorganization of material, it often happened that one of the Canadian issues would have more than a single story by the same author. In these cases a pseudonym was invented for one of the stories.[151]

There were four separate editions of Weird Tales distributed in the United Kingdom. In early 1942, three issues abridged from the September 1940, November 1940, and January 1941 U.S. issues were published in the U.K. by Gerald Swan; they were undated, and had no volume numbers. The middle issue was 64 pages long; the other two were 48 pages. All were priced at 6d. A single issue was released in late 1946 by William Merrett; it also was undated and unnumbered. It was 36 pages long, and was priced at 1/6. The three stories included came from the October 1937 U.S. issue.[149]

A longer run of 23 issues appeared between November 1949 and December 1953, from Thorpe and Porter. These were all undated; the first issue had no volume or issue number but subsequent issues were numbered sequentially. Most were priced at 1/-; issues 11 to 15 were 1/6. All were 96 pages long. The first issue corresponds to the July 1949 U.S. issue; the next 20 issues correspond to the U.S. issues from November 1949 to January 1953, and the final two issues correspond to May 1953 and March 1953, in that order. Another five bimonthly issues appeared from Thorpe and Porter dated November 1953 to July 1954, with the volume numbering restarted at volume 1 number 1. These correspond to the U.S. issues from September 1953 to May 1954.[149]

Collectability

Weird Tales is widely collected, and many issues command very high prices. In 2008, Mike Ashley estimated the first issue to be worth £3,000 in excellent condition, and added that the second issue is much rarer and commands higher prices. Issues with stories by Lovecraft or Howard are very highly sought-after, with the October 1923 issue, containing "Dagon", Lovecraft's first appearance in Weird Tales, fetching comparable prices to the first two issues.[153] The first few volumes are so rare that very few academic collections have more than a handful of these issues: Eastern New Mexico University, the holder of a remarkably complete early science fiction archive, has "only a few scattered issues" from the early years, and the librarian recorded in 1983 that "dealers laugh when Eastern enquires about these".[154]

Prices of the magazine drop over the succeeding decades, with the McIlwraith issues worth far less than the ones edited by Wright. Ashley quotes the digest-sized issues from the end of McIlwraith's tenure as fetching £8 to £10 each as of 2008. The revived editions are not particularly scarce, with two exceptions. The two Bellerophon issues received such poor distribution that they fetch high prices: Ashley quotes a 2008 price of £40 to £50 for the first one, and twice that for the second one. The other valuable recent issues are the hardback versions of the Terminus Weird Tales; Ashley gives prices of between £40 and £90, with some of the special author issues fetching a premium.[153]

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