Belmont Books

Belmont Books, also known as Belmont Productions,[1] was an American publisher of genre fiction paperback originals founded in 1960. It specialized in science fiction, horror and fantasy, with titles appearing from 1961 through 1971. The company published books by such notable authors as Philip K. Dick, Philip José Farmer, Lin Carter, Robert Bloch, Frank Belknap Long, and Gardner Fox. Belmont was owned by the same company that owned Archie Comics.[1]

Belmont was formed by John L. Goldwater, Louis Silberkleit, Maurice Coyne, the co-founders of Archie Comics, who also ran the pulp magazine publisher Columbia Publications. When Columbia was shut down in 1960 (due to the demise of the pulp industry), Goldwater, Silberkleit, and Coyne immediately formed Belmont Books.[1] According to the son of one of the founders, the name of the company came from Belmont Park, as the owners were fans of horse racing.[2]

Belmont's initial offerings were four titles — a Western, a mystery, a science fiction book, and a detective book.[2] Once they got going, Belmont published about 12 titles per month, with print runs of between 30,000–70,000 copies. Rather than bookstores, their books were sold in railroad stations, airports, bus terminals, drug stores, and the lobbies of office buildings and hotels.[1]

From 1962–1965, Belmont published a number of science fiction anthologies, all edited by Ivan Howard, that featured content from the pulp magazines Science Fiction, Future Fiction, Science Fiction Quarterly, and Dynamic Science Fiction, all of which had been published by Belmont co-owner Louis Silberkleit.

Beginning in 1963, Belmont published nine updated The Shadow novels. The first one, Return of The Shadow, was by Walter B. Gibson. The remaining eight, published from 1964–1967, were written by Dennis Lynds under the pen name "Maxwell Grant."

From 1969 to 1970, Belmont published a series of sword and sorcery novels by Gardner Fox, featuring the barbarian character Kothar.[3]

The firm merged with Tower Publications (the parent company of Tower Comics) in 1971, forming Belmont Tower, under which name it continued publishing from 1971 through 1980.

Belmont Books
Statusmerged with Tower Publications (1971)
Founded1960
FoundersJohn L. Goldwater, Louis Silberkleit, Maurice Coyne
SuccessorBelmont Tower
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters location66 Leonard Street, New York City[1]
Key peopleIvan Howard
Publication typesPaperbacks
Fiction genresscience fiction, horror, fantasy, sword and sorcery

Titles published (selected)

The Quest of Kadji
Cover illustration for The Quest of Kadji (Belmont, 1971).
  • Michael Avallone:
    • Shock Corridor (1963) — novelization of the screenplay of Samuel Fuller's film, written by one of the era's most ubiquitous and distinctive paperback pulpsmiths. This tie-in title itself earned a share of cult fandom.
    • Tales of the Frightened, edited by Boris Karloff (1963) — though based on the recordings by Karloff of the same title, and featuring his image on the book cover, contained stories written by Avallone
  • Robert Bloch:
    • House of the Hatchet (1960)
    • More Nightmares (1961) — Belmont #L92-530
    • Terror (1962) — Belmont L92-537 (Working title: Amok)
    • Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper (1962) — Belmont #L92-527
    • Horror 7 (1963) — Belmont #90–275
    • The Living Demons (Sept. 1967) — Belmont #B50-787
    • Ladies Day / This Crowded Earth (1968) — "A Belmont Double"; Belmont B60-080 OCLC 1649428
  • Gardner Fox:
    • Kothar series:
      • Kothar: Barbarian Swordsman (1969)
      • Kothar of the Magic Sword (Jan. 1969)
      • Kothar and the Demon Queen (1969)
      • Kothar and the Conjurer's Curse (1970)
      • Kothar and the Wizard Slayer (1970)
    • The Lady from L.U.S.T. series (Fox writing as "Rod Gray"):
      • The Copulation Explosion (1970)
      • Easy Ride (1971)
      • The Lady Takes It All Off (1971)
  • Ivan Howard (as editor):
    • Escape to Earth (1962) — includes three stories from Future Fiction
    • The Weird Ones (1962) — includes three stories from Future Fiction
    • 6 and the Silent Scream (1963) — includes three stories from Science Fiction
    • Novelets of Science Fiction (1963) — anthology containing L. Sprague de Camp's short story "The Galton Whistle"[4] as well as four stories from Dynamic Science Fiction and four from Future Fiction[5]
    • Rare Science Fiction (1963) — includes three stories from Science Fiction Quarterly and four stories from Science Fiction
    • Way Out (1963) — six of the seven stories are from Dynamic Science Fiction, mostly from the first issue[5]
    • Masters of Science Fiction (1964) — includes four stories from Science Fiction
    • Things (1964) — includes three stories from Future Fiction
    • Now and Beyond (1965) — includes four stories from Science Fiction and four from Future Fiction
  • Frank Belknap Long:
    • The Horror Expert (Dec. 1961)
    • The Hounds of Tindalos (Aug. 1963) — story collection; reprint of title originally published by Arkham House, 1946
    • It Was the Day of the Robot (1963)
    • This Strange Tomorrow (Feb. 1966)
    • Journey Into Darkness (April 1967)
    • ...And Others Shall Be Born (Jan. 1968) — bound with The Thief of Thoth by Lin Carter
    • Lest Earth Be Conquered (Dec. 1966) — reissued as The Androids (Tower Books, 1969)
  • Robert Payne (writing as "Richard Cargoe"): The Back of the Tiger (1961)
  • Don Rico: Lorelei (1966)
  • Joseph Ross (as editor): The Best of Amazing (1969)
  • David Saunders: M Squad: The Chicago Cop Killer (1962)
  • The Shadow:
    • Return of The Shadow, by Walter B. Gibson (1963)
    • The Shadow Strikes, by Dennis Lynds writing as Maxwell Grant (1964)
    • Beware Shadow, by Dennis Lynds writing as Maxwell Grant (1965)
    • Cry Shadow, by Dennis Lynds writing as Maxwell Grant (1965)
    • The Shadow's Revenge, by Dennis Lynds writing as Maxwell Grant (1965)
    • Mark of The Shadow, by Dennis Lynds writing as Maxwell Grant (1966)
    • Shadow Go Mad, by Dennis Lynds writing as Maxwell Grant (1966)
    • Night of The Shadow, by Dennis Lynds writing as Maxwell Grant (Nov. 1966)
    • The Shadow, Destination: Moon, by Dennis Lynds writing as Maxwell Grant (1967)
  • Harry Shorten: There Oughta Be a Law (1969, 1971)
  • Warren Smith Finder's Keepers (1965)
  • Denys Val Baker: Bizarre Loves (1964)
  • Charles Willeford: The Machine in Ward Eleven (1963) — short story collection. Willeford stated, "I had a hunch that madness was a predominant theme and a normal condition for Americans living in the second half of this century. The publication of [the book] and its reception by readers confirmed what I had only heretofore suspected."

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e Hyfler, Richard. "Books For Bus Terminals: Whatever Happened to Belmont Productions?" Forbes.com (SEP 15, 2010).
  2. ^ a b Rhoades, Shirrel. A Complete History of American Comic Books (Peter Lang, 2008), p. 72.
  3. ^ "Kothar series By Gardner Fox". GoodReads. Retrieved 2014-06-11.
  4. ^ Laughlin, Charlotte, and Levack, Daniel J. H. De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco, Underwood/Miller, 1983, page 255
  5. ^ a b Rhoades (2008), p. 72.

Sources

Beyond the Gates of Dream

Beyond the Gates of Dream is a collection of short stories by science fiction and fantasy author Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Belmont Books in 1969.

The book collects seven stories by Carter, two of them collaborative, together with an introduction and afterward. One oddity in regard to the first edition of the collection is that its back cover blurb references and summarizes three stories of Carter's presumably intended for the collection but which do not actually appear in it, including a time travel story and two other stories identifiable as "The Martian El Dorado of Parker Wintley," (later published in The DAW Science Fiction Reader (1976)) and "The Gods of Neol-Shendis," (published in Amra (July 1966), later revised as "The Gods Of Niom Parma" (published in Warlocks and Warriors (1970)).

Bring Larks and Heroes

Bring Larks and Heroes is a 1967 novel by Australian author Thomas Keneally which won the Miles Franklin Award in 1967.

Dynamic Science Fiction

Dynamic Science Fiction was an American pulp magazine which published six issues from December 1952 to January 1954. It was a companion to Future Science Fiction, and like that magazine was edited by Robert W. Lowndes and published by Columbia Publications. Stories that appeared in its pages include "The Duplicated Man" by Lowndes and James Blish, and "The Possessed" by Arthur C. Clarke. It was launched at the end of the pulp era, and when publisher Louis Silberkleit decided to convert Future to a digest format in 1954, he decided not to do the same with Dynamic, simply cancelling the magazine.

Frank Belknap Long

Frank Belknap Long (April 27, 1901 – January 3, 1994) was an American writer of horror fiction, fantasy, science fiction, poetry, gothic romance, comic books, and non-fiction. Though his writing career spanned seven decades, he is best known for his horror and science fiction short stories, including early contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos. During his life, Long received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement (at the 1978 World Fantasy Convention), the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement (in 1987, from the Horror Writers Association), and the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award (1977).

Future Science Fiction and Science Fiction Stories

Future Science Fiction and Science Fiction Stories were two American science fiction magazines that were published under various names between 1939 and 1943 and again from 1950 to 1960. Both publications were edited by Charles Hornig for the first few issues; Robert W. Lowndes took over in late 1941 and remained editor until the end. The initial launch of the magazines came as part of a boom in science fiction pulp magazine publishing at the end of the 1930s. In 1941 the two magazines were combined into one, titled Future Fiction combined with Science Fiction, but in 1943 wartime paper shortages ended the magazine's run, as Louis Silberkleit, the publisher, decided to focus his resources on his mystery and western magazine titles. In 1950, with the market improving again, Silberkleit relaunched Future Fiction, still in the pulp format. In the mid-1950s he also relaunched Science Fiction, this time under the title Science Fiction Stories. Silberkleit kept both magazines on very slim budgets throughout the 1950s. In 1960 both titles ceased publication when their distributor suddenly dropped all of Silberkleit's titles.

The fiction was generally unremarkable, with few memorable stories being published, particularly in the earlier versions of the magazines. Lowndes spent much effort to set a friendly and engaging tone in both magazines, with letter columns and reader departments that interested fans. He was more successful than Hornig in obtaining good stories, partly because he had good relationships with several well-known and emerging writers. Among the better-known stories he published were "The Liberation of Earth" by William Tenn, and "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth" by Arthur C. Clarke.

Gardner Fox

Gardner Francis Cooper Fox (May 20, 1911 – December 24, 1986) was an American writer known best for creating numerous comic book characters for DC Comics. Comic book historians estimate that he wrote more than 4,000 comics stories, including 1,500 for DC Comics. Gardner was also a science fiction author and wrote many novels and short stories.

Fox is known as the co-creator of DC Comics heroes the Flash, Hawkman, Doctor Fate and the original Sandman, and was the writer who first teamed those and other heroes as the Justice Society of America and later recreated the team as the Justice League of America. Fox introduced the concept of the Multiverse to DC Comics in the 1961 story "Flash of Two Worlds!"

Giant of World's End

Giant of World's End is a fantasy novel written by Lin Carter set on a decadent far-future Earth in which all the world's land masses have supposedly drifted back together to form a last supercontinent called Gondwane. The book is chronologically the last in Carter's Gondwane Epic (five prequel novels set earlier in time being issued later). It was first published in paperback by Belmont Books in February 1969. The first British edition was issued in paperback by Five Star in 1972. The book has been translated into Polish.

Laurence Janifer

Laurence M. Janifer (March 17, 1933 - July 10, 2002) was an American science fiction author, with a career spanning over 50 years.

List of The Shadow stories

The following is a list of stories featuring The Shadow, a fictional vigilante.

Maurice Coyne (publisher)

Maurice Coyne (born Morris Cohen, 1901–1971) was an American publisher of magazines, books, and comic books; together with Louis Silberkleit and John L. Goldwater, he co-founded the company that became known as Archie Comics. With Silberkleit and Goldwater, Coyne also published pulp magazines as part of Columbia Publications, and paperback originals with Belmont Books.

Rare Science Fiction

Rare Science Fiction is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Ivan Howard. It was first published in paperback by Belmont Books in January 1963. The collection has been translated into Portuguese.

The Galton Whistle

"The Galton Whistle" is a science fiction short story by American writer L. Sprague de Camp, a story in his Viagens Interplanetarias series. It is the first (chronologically) set on the planet Vishnu. It was first published, as "Ultrasonic God," in the magazine Future Combined with Science Fiction Stories in the issue for July, 1951. It first appeared in book form under the present title (that preferred by the author) in the collection The Continent Makers and Other Tales of the Viagens, published in hardcover by Twayne Publishers in 1953, and in paperback by Signet Books in 1971. It also appeared in the anthologies Novelets of Science Fiction (Belmont Books, 1963, under the original title), The Good Old Stuff (St. Martin's Griffin, 1998), and The Good Stuff (Science Fiction Book Club, 1999). The story has been translated into Portuguese, Dutch, and Italian.

The Gate of Time

The Gate of Time is an alternate history novel by American writer Philip José Farmer. It was first published in paperback editions by Belmont Books in the United States in October 1966 and by Quartet in the United Kingdom in September 1974. Later it was revised and expanded as Two Hawks from Earth, in which form it was first published, also in paperback by Ace Books, in May 1979. This edition was reprinted by Berkley Books in July 1985. A trade paperback edition was published by MonkeyBrain Books with a new afterword by Christopher Paul Carey in May 2009.

The Hand of Nergal

"The Hand of Nergal" is one of the original short stories by American author Robert E. Howard starring the sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, an untitled fragment begun in the 1930s but not finished or published in Howard's lifetime. It was completed and titled by Lin Carter and in this form was published in the following collections:

Conan (Lancer, 1967, later reissued by Ace Books).

The Conan Chronicles (Sphere Books, 1989)

Beyond the Gates of Dream (Belmont Books, 1969), a collection of short stories by Lin Carter and collaborators.It has since been published in its original form in:

The Conan Chronicles Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle (Gollancz, 2000)

Conan of Cimmeria: Volume One (1932-1933) (Del Rey, 2003).

The Hounds of Tindalos (book)

The Hounds of Tindalos is a collection of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories by American writer Frank Belknap Long. It was released in 1946 and was the author's third book. It was published by Arkham House in an edition of 2,602 copies with cover art by Hannes Bok. A British hardcover was issued by Museum Press in 1950. Belmont Books reprinted The Hounds of Tindalos in two paperback volumes, The Hounds of Tindalos (1963) and The Dark Beasts (1964), omitting three stories; Panther Books issued a complete two-volume British paperback edition as The Hounds of Tindalos (1975) and The Black Druid (1975).The 1975 Doubleday collection The Early Long may be considered as crucially supplemental to the Arkham House volume, since while it comprises only seventeen of the twenty-one stories in the Arkham House book, it adds "an excellent introduction and head notes" written by Long. (The 1978 paperback edition of The Early Long was retitled The Hounds of Tindalos.)

The Quest of Kadji

The Quest of Kadji is a fantasy novel by American writer Lin Carter, the first book of the Chronicles of Kylix series. It was first published in paperback by Belmont Books in July 1971, and was reprinted in December 1972. The first edition in the United Kingdom was published by Five Star Books in 1973. Wildside Press issued a trade paperback edition in December 1999 and an ebook edition in August 2014. The novel has been translated into Dutch, Portuguese and French.

There Oughta Be a Law!

There Oughta Be a Law! was a single-panel newspaper comic strip, created by Harry Shorten and Al Fagaly, which was syndicated for four decades from the mid-1940s to the mid-1980s. The gags illustrated minor absurdities, frustrations, hypocrisies, ironies and misfortunes of everyday life, displayed in a single-panel or two-panel format. There Oughta Be a Law!, or TOBAL!, was highly derivative of Jimmy Hatlo's They'll Do It Every Time which had a long run over eight decades, from 1929 to 2008. TOBAL! was initially syndicated by the McClure Newspaper Syndicate; eventually it moved over to United Feature Syndicate.

Tower Publications

Tower Publications was an American publisher based in New York City that operated from 1958 to c. 1981. Originally known for their Midwood Books line of erotic men's fiction, it also published science fiction and fantasy under its Tower Books line and published comic books in the late 1960s under its Tower Comics imprint. In the early 1970s, Tower acquired paperback publisher Belmont Books, forming the Belmont Tower line. Archie Comics' cofounder Louis Silberkleit was a silent partner in Tower's ownership; longtime Archie editor Harry Shorten was a major figure with Tower in all its iterations.

Twisted (anthology)

Twisted is an anthology of horror short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Belmont Books in May 1962 and reprinted in 1967. British paperback editions were issued by Horwitz in 1963 and Four Square Books in 1965. It has also been translated into Spanish.The book collects fifteen novelettes and short stories by various authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1843-1961 in various magazines.

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