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This is an old revision of StrangeStories made by TpnEditor on 2006-04-26 01:30:35.

 

Strange Stories


A short-lived fantasy and horror-fiction companion to Thrilling Wonder Stories and the rest of the Thrilling Group, it featured many of the same contributors as the other Better Publications magazines and Weird Tales. Despite publishing some interesting fiction, such as Manly Wade Wellmanís ìThe Changelingî in the first issue, it is not well-remembered today.

Background

Strange Stories
Strange Stories
Publisher: Better Publications
Publication range: February 1939-February 1941
1939 was a banner year for fantasy pulps; Street and Smithís Unknown Fantasy Fiction, the sf/fantasy Munsey reprint magazine Famous Fantastic Mysteries, and Ziff-Davisís (the initially mostly science-fictional) Fantastic Adventures all joined Weird Tales on the newsstands, as did a new magazine from the Thrilling Publications (which would also add the sf title Startling Stories the same year), the modestly titled Strange Stories.

Edited anonymously by Mort Weisinger, SS featured a mix of fiction rather similar to that of Weird Tales, with a slightly less gothic sensibility than Weird and lacking the heroic fantasy component stressed in the other magazines. In the first issue, February 1939, along with a long editorial column attributed to Mephistopheles, there were stories by such WT and Thrilling Group veterans as Robert Bloch (two stories, one as by ìTarleton Fiskeî), Henry Kuttner (two stories, one as by ìKeith Hammond,î which playfully drew not only on Lovecraftian Cthulhu Mythos motifs but specifically on Blochís own contributions to that Mythos, notably the ìforbiddenî book The Mysteries of the Worm), Otis Adelbert Kline, Ralph Milne Farley and August Derleth and Mark Schorer.

Wellmanís ìThe Changelingî is perhaps the best-remembered story from that first issue, and one of the few from the magazineís run of thirteen bimonthly issues to be cited by historian Mike Ashley as rising above the general run of competence.

Seabury Quinn, Eric Frank Russell, Leigh Brackett and E. Hoffmann Price were among the other notable contributors to the magazine; Ashley has noted that Weisingerís moving on from the Thrilling pulp line to edit Superman comics was coincident with, and probably resulted in, the folding of SS with the February 1941 issue.

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