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The Weird Tales Story Paperback – 1 Dec 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Borgo Press (1 Dec. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587151014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587151019
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 0.8 x 28 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 555,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
In this fascinating book (a reprint of the 1977 edition) Weinberg gives us the history of Weird Tales from 1923-54, plus the first revival in 1973-4.

The first two chapters give the magazine's history and a biography of WT's most famous editor, Farnsworth Wright.

The magazine was launched by J.C. Henneberger, a publisher of humour magazines and a Poe devotee. After a weak start, Wright took over in 1924.

Although never commerically successful, Wright managed to keep the magazine afloat and gave an outlet to many excellent writers and artists.

Wright's interesting personality-wit, music critic and admirer of French culture-is vividly brought to life by his friend, E. Hoffmann Price, who wrote the bio.

Chapter 3 is a reprinted editorial from 1924 describing the "highly imaginative" stories the magazine would publish. The editorial is largely uninteresting, but does prophetically state that the magazine hopes to discover a weird writer equal to Poe or Hawthorne.

The fourth chapter is the longest, describing Weinberg's choice of the most notable stories published during WT's duration. Regular genres included supernatural horror, science fiction (usually about mad scientists or space exploration), "conte cruels" involving torture and/or madness, and fantasy (of the "lost civilization" or "sword & sorcery" types).

Noted contributors included H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Henry S. Whitehead, C.L. Moore and Manly Wade Wellman.

In the 1940s, the magazine gained a new editor, Dorothy McIlWraith, who brought in Ray Bradbury, Fritz Leiber,Ted Sturgeon, Fredric Brown and C. Hall Thompson.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a lot of fun, but I would've preferred more anedotes about the writers and fewer story synopsises. I also would've liked more focus on the artwork, particularly Virgil Finlay's amazing work.
Nevertheless, I was looking for an interesting introduction to Weird Tales and this fit the bill.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9527878c) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9522e114) out of 5 stars an informative appreciation of a unique pulp 12 Oct. 2011
By Nicholas B. Hilligoss - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While this book is a good account of the publication of the classic Weird Tales magazine from 1923 to 1954, buyers should be aware that it was written in the late 1970's and is essentially a reprint. That is no bad thing - many of the contributing writers and some illustrators were still around and able to contribute their own personal accounts. Where it loses a star is, like the pulp magazine itself, in the poor quality of the printing. It reproduces many of the individual covers inside, but they are very small - 3 covers easily fit across the bottom of a page - and in black and white. That is entirely understandable, colour printing is expensive, but the dpi resolution is so very low - the result is that when reading about a particular cover design, it's impossible to see more than a blurry approximation of the general layout. The only place there is colour, at a reasonable resolution, is on the cover. They really should have made the most of that, but the back cover is a blank glossy black, and if you look on the front, you'll see one cover (described in the text as one of the poorer efforts) reproduced twice in the lower right. There are reasonable images of most of these covers on the web if you google, so I am seriously considering printing them out, and pasting them over the murky versions in the book. Reproductions of Interior illustrations fare much better, since they were always black and white, and had to cope with being printed on pulp paper.
An updated and improved edition would be very much appreciated. If it's still possible, I'd like to see every cover of every issue, small but in colour. The reputation of some of the writers, especially H P Lovecraft, has grown even further since 1977 and there is no doubt more that can be said. but in the meantime, this is all there is, and worth buying.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95fa0678) out of 5 stars A wonderful resource and an interesting read 16 May 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book turned out to be even more fun that I had anticipated. I had previously read several books/chapters by Robert Weinberg and so I expected that the book would be of high quality, and I was not disappointed. Reading the book has led me to purchase a substantial number of other books so that I could read additional Weird Tales stories. Definitely a worthwhile investment!
HASH(0x95fa03fc) out of 5 stars Four Stars 23 May 2015
By Mark Muncy - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Still holds up though a bit dated. Some of the interviews are incredible.
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