Avon Fantasy Reader was a digest size magazine (sometimes classed as a series of anthologies) which reprinted science fiction and fantasy literature by now well-known authors. It was edited by Donald A. Wollheim and published by Avon. The magazine had one spin off, Avon Science Fiction Reader, with which it merged on its cancellation to become Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader.
|Avon Fantasy Reader|
Avon Fantasy Reader #1
|Editor||Donald A. Wollheim|
|Categories||Fantasy, Science fiction|
|Frequency||Three issues per year|
|Based in||New York|
Avon strived to bring readers little known stories by then little recognized writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, C. L. Moore, A. Merritt, Murray Leinster and William Hope Hodgson. Avon Fantasy Reader was published from 1946 to 1952 and had 18 issues in full.
It was sold at many newsstands around the United States. The back cover of Avon Fantasy Reader carried this blurb:
Past, Present, or Future or whatever sector of time and space you prefer, you'll find the stories in these pages encompass the entire universe of imagination. From the eerie, spook-haunted corridors of ancient Asian castles to the water-choked avenues of Atlantean kingdoms... From the sinister sands of icy Martian deserts to the thunderbolt battles of future's interplanetary rockets. Neither the invisible energy of atom nor the monstrous matter of the Milky Way present barriers to the mind that author these amazing fantasies. There are no boundaries to the astonishment, thrills and chills you'll meet in the pages of... the Avon Fantasy Reader!
The majority of the fiction published in Avon Fantasy Reader were reprints of works published in pulp magazines.
In 1951 Avon launched a sister title, Avon Science Fiction Reader, featuring reprints of science fiction. This magazine lasted just three issues before being cancelled in 1952. In January 1953, both magazines merged to become Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader, which lasted for two issues before being cancelled as well in April of the same year.
"A Witch Shall Be Born" is one of the original novellas by Robert E. Howard about Conan the Cimmerian. It was written in only a few days in spring of 1934 and first published in Weird Tales in December 1934. A book edition was published in 1975 by Donald M. Grant, Publisher with illustrations by Alicia Austin.The story concerns a witch replacing her twin sister as queen of a city state, which brings her into conflict with Conan who had been the captain of the queen's guard. Themes of paranoia, and the duality of the twin sisters, are paramount in this story but it also includes elements of the conflict between barbarism and civilization that is common to the entire Conan series. The novella as a whole is considered an average example of the series, but one scene stands out. Conan's crucifixion early on in the story during the second chapter ("The Tree of Death") is considered one of the most memorable scenes in the entire series. A variation of this scene was included in the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian with Arnold Schwarzenegger.Avon (publisher)
Avon Publications was an American paperback book and comic book publisher. As of 2010, it is an imprint of HarperCollins, publishing primarily romance novels.Bug-eyed monster
The bug-eyed monster is an early convention of the science fiction genre. Extraterrestrials in science fiction of the 1930s were often described (or pictured on covers of pulp magazines) as grotesque creatures with huge, oversized
or compound eyes and a lust for women, blood or general destruction.
In the contactee/abductee mythology which grew up quickly beginning in 1952, the blond, blue-eyed, and friendly Nordic aliens of the 1950s were quickly replaced by small, unfriendly bug-eyed creatures, closely matching in many respects the pulp cover clichés of the 1930s which have remained the abductor norm since the 1960s.Donald A. Wollheim
Donald Allen Wollheim (October 1, 1914 – November 2, 1990) was an American science fiction editor, publisher, writer, and fan. As an author, he published under his own name as well as under pseudonyms, including David Grinnell.A founding member of the Futurians, he was a leading influence on science fiction development and fandom in the 20th-century United States.Ursula K. Le Guin called Wollheim "the tough, reliable editor of Ace Books, in the Late Pulpalignean Era, 1966 and ’67, " which is when he published her first two novels, in an Ace Double.Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often without any locations, events, or people referencing the real world. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels and video games.
Fantasy is distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the absence of scientific or macabre themes respectively, though these genres overlap. In popular culture, the fantasy genre is predominantly of the medievalist form. In its broadest sense, however, fantasy consists of works by many writers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians from ancient myths and legends to many recent and popular works.Fletcher Pratt
Murray Fletcher Pratt (25 April 1897 – 10 June 1956) was an American writer of science fiction, fantasy and history. He is best known for his works on naval history and on the American Civil War and for fiction written with L. Sprague de Camp.Jack-in-the-Box (short story)
Jack-in-the-Box is a short story by American author Ray Bradbury, first published as part of the 1947 short story collection Dark Carnival. It was later collected in the magazine Avon Fantasy Reader and the anthologies Interplanet7: Fantascienza, The Small Assassin, Ghostly and Ghastly, and The Stories of Ray Bradbury.List of works by Sax Rohmer
Sax Rohmer (pseudonym of Arthur Henry Ward; 1883–1959) was a British writer of songs sketches, plays and stories. Born in Birmingham to Irish immigrant parents, the family moved to London in about 1886, where Rohmer was schooled. His formal education finished in 1901, following the death of his alcoholic mother. After attempting careers in the civil service, as well as the banking, journalism and gas industries, Rohmer began writing comic songs, monologues and sketches for music hall performers, including Little Tich and George Robey. Rohmer's first book was Pause!, a series of sketches conceived by Robey and written by Rohmer, which was published anonymously in 1910; his second book was the ghost-written biography of Little Tich, published with Tich's real name, Harry Relph.In 1913 The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu was published, a novel that introduced Fu Manchu, described by Rohmer as "the yellow peril incarnate in one man". The book brought the author popularity and wealth; in total he wrote 15 Fu Manchu books and although he killed the character off more than once, public pressure demanded his return. Fu Manchu is the character with which Rohmer "remains most strongly identified", and was described by Rohmer's biographer Will Murray as one of the literary characters that "has achieved universal acceptance and popularity which will not be forgotten", along with Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan and Dracula. From 1951 onwards Rohmer published five novels with Sumuru as the central protagonist; she was a female conterpart of Fu Manchu, and the novels were both popular and successful.Rohmer contracted Asian flu in 1958 and died the following year after related complications. His best-known character outlived him through numerous film, radio and television interpretations.Lost Worlds (Smith collection)
Lost Worlds is a collection of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories by American writer Clark Ashton Smith. It was released in 1944 and was the author's second book published by Arkham House. 2,043 copies were printed.
The stories for this volume were selected by the author. The collection contains stories from Smith's major story cycles of Hyperborea, Atlantis, Averoigne, Zothique and Xiccarph.Miles J. Breuer
Miles John Breuer (January 3, 1889 – October 14, 1945) was an American physician and science fiction writer. He was part of the first generation of writers to appear regularly in the pulp science fiction magazines, publishing his first story, "The Man with the Strange Head", in the January 1927 issue of Amazing Stories. His best known works are "The Gostak and the Doshes" (1930) and two stories written jointly with Jack Williamson, "The Girl from Mars" (1929) and The Birth of a New Republic (1931).Nictzin Dyalhis
Nictzin Wilstone Dyalhis (June 4, 1873 – May 8, 1942) was an American chemist and short story writer who specialized in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. He wrote as Nictzin Dyalhis. During his lifetime he attained a measure of celebrity as a writer for the pulp fiction magazine Weird Tales.Out of This World Adventures
Out of This World Adventures was a pulp magazine which published two issues, in July and December 1950. It included several pages of comics as well as science fiction stories. It was edited by Donald A. Wollheim and published by Avon. Sales were weak, and after two issues Avon decided to cancel it.P. Schuyler Miller
Peter Schuyler Miller (February 21, 1912 – October 13, 1974) was an American science fiction writer and critic.Queen of the Black Coast
"Queen of the Black Coast" is one of the original short stories about Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard and first published in Weird Tales magazine c. May 1934. It's set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan becoming a notorious pirate and plundering the coastal villages of Kush alongside Bêlit, a head-strong femme fatale.
Due to its epic scope and atypical romance, the story is considered an undisputed classic of Conan lore and is often cited by Howard scholars as one of his most famous tales.Howard earned $115 for the sale of this story to Weird Tales and it is now in the public domain.Robert E. Howard bibliography
A list of prose works by Robert E. Howard. The works are sorted by genre, by series and then alphabetically. Untitled works and fragments (incomplete and unfinished works) are listed separately by their opening line.
Additional information is included where available, covering publication date and place, the amount Howard earned for the sale of the piece, any alternative titles and whether the work is in the public domain. Links to the freely available source texts, on wikisource or Project Gutenberg of Australia, are included in a separate column. These are marked with the appropriate icons.Science fiction magazine
A science fiction magazine is a publication that offers primarily science fiction, either in a hard copy periodical format or on the Internet.
Science fiction magazines traditionally featured speculative fiction in short story, novelette, novella or (usually serialized) novel form, a format that continues into the present day. Many also contain editorials, book reviews or articles, and some also include stories in the fantasy and horror genres.Shambleau
"Shambleau" is a short story by American science fiction and fantasy writer C. L. Moore. Though it was her first professional sale, it is her most famous story. It first appeared in the November 1933 issue of Weird Tales and has been reprinted numerous times. It features one of Moore's best-known heroes, Northwest Smith, a gun-toting spacefarer, and is a retelling of the Medusa myth; it looks at themes of sexuality and addiction.The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury
The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury is a projected eight-volume scholarly publication by Kent State University Press aiming to collect every short story published by Ray Bradbury, presented in chronological order with textual apparatuses, edited by professors William F. Touponce and Jonathan R. Eller. The publication is approved by the Modern Language Association. The first volume, The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury: A Critical Edition – Volume 1, 1938–1943 (ISBN 978-1606350713), was published on February 21, 2011. The second volume, The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury: A Critical Edition – Volume 2, 1943–1944 (ISBN 978-1606351956), was published in September, 2014. The third volume, The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury: A Critical Edition - Volume 3, 1944-1945 (ISBN 978-1-60635-071-3), was published in May, 2017.