Beyond Fantasy Fiction

Beyond Fantasy Fiction was a US fantasy fiction magazine edited by H. L. Gold, with only ten issues published from 1953 to 1955. The last two issues carried the cover title of Beyond Fiction, but the publication's name for copyright purposes remained as before.[1]

Although not a commercial success, it included several short stories by authors such as Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick.[2] The publication has been described by critics as a successor to the tradition of Unknown, a fantasy magazine that ceased publication in 1943. It was noted for printing fantasy with a rational basis such as werewolf stories that included scientific explanations. A selection of stories from Beyond was published in paperback form in 1963, also under the title Beyond.

James Gunn, a historian of science fiction, regarded the magazine as the best of the fantasy magazines launched in the early 1950s, and science fiction encyclopedist Donald H. Tuck contended it printed very good material. Not every critic viewed Beyond as completely successful, however; P. Schuyler Miller, in a 1963 review, commented that the stories were most successful when they did not try to emulate Unknown.

Beyond Fantasy Fiction
BeyondFantasyFictionJul53
The surrealist cover of Beyond Fantasy Fiction #1, July 1953 by Richard M. Powers
EditorH. L. Gold
Categoriesfantasy magazine
Frequencybimonthly
PublisherRobert Guinn
First issueJuly 1953
Final issue
Number
January, 1955
Volume 2 No 4
CompanyGalaxy Publishing Corporation
CountryUnited States

History and significance

Beyond Fantasy Fiction was a fantasy-oriented companion to the more successful Galaxy Science Fiction, which launched in 1950; Beyond had been planned by editor H. L. Gold from the time Galaxy was launched, but it had to wait until Galaxy was firmly established.[3] Beyond's first issue, dated July 1953, included an editorial by Gold in which he laid out the magazine's scope, excluding (in his words) only "the probably possible" and "the unentertaining".[4] Gold recruited Sam Merwin, who had recently quit as editor of Fantastic Universe, to help in editing, though the masthead of both magazines listed Gold as editor.[3] A typical issue of Beyond included several stories that were long enough to be listed as novellas or novelettes, with the contents augmented with shorter works, usually for a total of at least seven stories.[1]

The first issue featured Theodore Sturgeon, Damon Knight, Frank M. Robinson, and Richard Matheson. Other writers who appeared in the magazine included Jerome Bixby, John Wyndham, James E. Gunn, Fredric Brown, Frederik Pohl (both under his own name and with Lester del Rey under the joint pseudonym "Charles Satterfield"), Philip José Farmer, Randall Garrett, Zenna Henderson, and Algis Budrys.[1]

Asimov signature in Beyond Sep 1953
Isaac Asimov's signature at the end of his story "Kid Stuff" in the September 1953 issue

Five of the ten covers were surrealist, which was an unusual artistic choice for a genre magazine. The cover painting for the first issue was by Richard M. Powers; Gold was one of the very few American magazine editors to use his work, though Powers was prolific in providing artwork for paperback covers.[5] In addition to Powers, René Vidmer and Arthur Krusz (among others) contributed cover art. The magazine also carried interior artwork, usually multiple illustrations, for almost every story; in addition, each story included a facsimile of the author's signature, set at the end of the text. The best-known interior artist Beyond used was Ed Emshwiller, though there were several other regular artists. The magazine carried almost no non-fiction, though there were occasional "filler" pieces to occupy spaces at the end of stories.[6] The publication contained no book reviews, and only the first issue carried an editorial.[1]

The magazine was not commercially successful: at that time circulation figures were not required to be published annually, as they were later,[7] so the actual circulation figures are not known. Its demise after less than two years can be attributed in part to the decreasing popularity of fantasy and horror fiction.[3] In a 1958 advertisement in Galaxy for complete sets of the magazine for $3.50, the publisher described Beyond as "a princely experiment to determine whether there were enough readers to support a truly handsome, fantastically high-quality fantasy fiction magazine. There weren't", "as the rest of the country seemed to be ... out of town at the time and missed it on the newsstands".[8]

Reception

BeyondFantasyFictionMar54
March 1954 issue of Beyond Fantasy Fiction. Cover art by Scott Templar.

According to science-fiction historian Donald H. Tuck, Beyond published "some very good material,"[9] with appearances by many well-known authors, and the magazine is often cited as being the successor to the unusual fantasy tradition of Unknown.[10] Author James Gunn said of the new fantasy magazines that appeared in the 1950s that "the best of these was Beyond, created by Horace Gold as a companion fantasy magazine to Galaxy, which he had created three years before. Beyond Fantasy Fiction aimed at the same rationalized fantasy niche that Unknown had established and to which Gold had contributed stories."[11] Not everyone thought the magazine was completely successful in emulating Unknown, however; P. Schuyler Miller, reviewing an anthology drawn from the pages of Beyond, was generally approving but commented that "Except for Budrys, Pohl, Brown and Sturgeon, these stories from Beyond are rather self-conscious. They are best when they are not trying to be like Unknown." Miller's assessment of the magazine overall was that it "made a pass at the same position [as Unknown] but didn't make it."[12]

Beyond's selection of stories has been described by science fiction historian Michael Ashley as "seeking to achieve … high quality fantasy fiction acceptable to all readers"; he adds that Beyond was more successful than Fantastic Science Fiction, a competitor in this niche, because Gold "had a clearer vision and was more determined … to achieve it. … despite sales problems, Gold persisted in publishing fiction that sought to stretch the boundaries of imagination."[3]

Several significant or widely reprinted stories appeared during Beyond's short history:[13]

Although no Hugo Awards were presented in 1954, the 2004 World Science Fiction Convention awarded "Retro Hugos" for that year. Two Beyond stories appeared as runners-up: Sturgeon's "…And My Fear Is Great…" placed third in the novella category, and Cogswell's "The Wall Around the World" fifth in the novelette category. In addition, Gold placed fifth in the editor category, though this recognized his work at Galaxy as well as at Beyond.[14]

Bibliographic details

The publisher was Galaxy Publishing Corporation, New York. The magazine was initially titled Beyond Fantasy Fiction, and this remained the title on the masthead throughout the ten-issue run. However, issue 9 changed the title to simply Beyond Fiction on the cover, spine, and table of contents. Issue 10 used the new, shorter title on the cover and spine, but reverted to Beyond Fantasy Fiction for the table of contents.[15] As a result, the magazine is often listed as having changed its name for the last two issues.[16]

The magazine began as a 160-page digest, priced at 35 cents. The price stayed the same throughout the run, but the page count was cut to 128 for the eighth issue, September 1954. The magazine was bimonthly, but issues 9 and 10 did not carry month and year dates, which has led different bibliographers to catalogue them in different ways. However, the masthead for these issues indicates that the magazine remained bimonthly, and so they are now usually catalogued as November 1954 and January 1955, respectively; the copyright dates on the last two issues correspond to these dates. The volume numbering was completely regular; volume 1 had six numbers, and volume 2 ceased with its fourth number.[16] The stories were printed in the two-column format usual to digest magazines.[15]

A British edition of the magazine ran for four issues on a bimonthly schedule starting in November 1953 and finishing in May 1954. These copied the first four issues of the US version, with slightly cut contents. They were numbered 1 to 4 but were not dated.[17] Ten years after the magazine folded, nine stories from Beyond were collected into the 160-page paperback Beyond, published in 1963 by Berkley Books (F712) and edited by Thomas Dardis (who was not credited on the book).[18]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d See the individual issues, and also the index at "Issue Grid: Beyond Fantasy Fiction". ISFDB. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  2. ^ Asimov's "Kid Stuff" and Dick's "The King of the Elves" appeared in the September 1953 issue: ""Kid Stuff" & "The King of the Elves"". Beyond Fantasy Fiction. 1 (2): 121, 142. September 1953. Bradbury's "The Watchful Poker Chip" appeared in the March 1954 issue: "The Watchful Poker Chip". Beyond Fantasy Fiction. 1 (5): 128. March 1953.. These and more may be found via an online index: "Issue Grid: Beyond Fantasy Fiction". ISFDB. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  3. ^ a b c d Michael Ashley, Transformations, pp. 65–66.
  4. ^ H.L. Gold, "Beyond", in Beyond Fantasy Fiction, July 1953, p. 2.
  5. ^ "Richard Powers: Summary Bibliography". ISFDB. The Nicholls Encyclopedia of SF states that Powers' Surrealist style was "unique in sf" and notes that he did few magazine covers, working mainly for book publishers. Jon Gustafson and Peter Nicholls, "Powers, Richard M.", in Peter Nicholls and John Clute, eds, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993; ISBN 0-312-09618-6), p.952.
  6. ^ For example, the January 1954 issue has a half-page filler entitled "Feline Facts", about the habits of cats. "Feline Facts". Beyond Fantasy Fiction. 1 (4): 59. January 1954.
  7. ^ See for example the statement of circulation in "Statement Required by the Act of October 23, 1962", Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact vol. 76, no 4 (December 1965), p.161.
  8. ^ "Treasure Located". Galaxy (advertisement). August 1958. p. 72. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  9. ^ Donald H. Tuck writes "Although it printed some very good material, it was never commercially successful." "Beyond Fantasy Fiction", in Donald H. Tuck, ed., The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy (Chicago: Advent, 1982; ISBN 0-911682-26-0), Vol. 3, p.549.
  10. ^ Malcolm Edwards describes it as "conceived in the same spirit as Unknown". Edwards, "Beyond Fantasy Fiction", in Peter Nicholls and John Clute, eds, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: An Illustrated A to Z (London: Granada, 1981; ISBN 0-586-05380-8), p.70. Mike Ashley comments that Beyond "is generally acknowledged as the natural successor to Unknown". Ashley, "Beyond Fantasy Fiction", p.110.
  11. ^ Gunn, James E. (1970). The Witching Hour. Dell. ISBN 0-7592-2274-6. Excerpted from 2003 edition at James Gunn. "Introduction to The Witching Hour". Fictionwise eBooks. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2007.
  12. ^ "The Reference Library", Analog Science Fact—Science Fiction vol. 71, no 5 (July 1963), pp. 87–88.
  13. ^ All but the Gunn and Dick stories are included by Tuck in his list of "Notable fiction" from Beyond. The Gunn story is mentioned as a classic by Ashley, in "Beyond Fantasy Fiction", p.110. Dick's story is included because of his current prominence; see Tuck "Beyond Fantasy Fiction".
  14. ^ "The Long List of Retro Hugo Awards, 1954". NESFA. Retrieved 20 September 2007.
  15. ^ a b Not described in the reference works; see the individual issues.
  16. ^ a b See the individual issues, and also the index at "Issue Grid: Beyond Fantasy Fiction". ISFDB. Retrieved 2017-03-04. Tuck, "Beyond Fantasy Fiction", p.549.
  17. ^ Ashley, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, p.110; Tuck, "Beyond Fantasy Fiction", p.549.
  18. ^ Mike Ashley, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, in John Clute and John Grant, eds, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (New York: St. Martin's; ISBN 0-312-14594-2), 110.

References

  • Ashley, Michael (1976). The History of the Science Fiction Magazine Vol. 3 1946–1955. Chicago: Contemporary Books, Inc. ISBN 0-8092-7842-1.
  • Ashley, Michael (1978). The History of the Science Fiction Magazine Part 4 1956–1965. London: New English Library. ISBN 0-450-03438-0.
  • Ashley, Mike (2005). Transformations: The Story of the Science Fiction Magazines from 1950 to 1970. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-779-4.
  • Nicholls, Peter (1979). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. St Albans: Granada Publishing. ISBN 0-586-05380-8.
  • Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1993). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc. ISBN 0-312-09618-6.
  • Tuck, Donald H. (1982). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Volume 3. Chicago: Advent: Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-911682-26-0.

External links

A Handful of Darkness

A Handful of Darkness is a collection of science fiction and fantasy stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Rich Cowan in 1955 and was Dick's first hardcover book.The stories originally appeared in the magazines Galaxy Science Fiction, Astounding Stories, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fantastic Universe, If, Amazing Stories, Imagination, Fantastic Story Magazine, Science Fiction Stories, Beyond Fantasy Fiction and Fantasy Fiction.

Beyond Lies the Wub (collection)

Beyond Lies the Wub is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Gollancz in 1988 and reprints Volume I of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Fantasy and Science Fiction, Planet Stories, If, Galaxy Science Fiction, Imagination, Space Science Fiction, Fantastic Story Magazine, Amazing Stories, Future, Cosmos, Fantasy Fiction, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Startling Stories. The collection was reprinted by Citadel Press in 2003 under the title Paycheck and Other Classic Stories.

Geometria (film)

Geometria is a 1987 short fantasy horror comedy film written and directed by Guillermo del Toro. It is based loosely on Fredric Brown's short story, Naturally, which was originally published in Beyond Fantasy Fiction and later reprinted in the short story collection Honeymoon in Hell. Geometria was shot in Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico. It is the tenth short film del Toro directed, though all but 1985's Doña Lupe remain unreleased.

Del Toro was not satisfied with the original cut of the film, and said that he was not able to finish it the way he wanted to at the time. A director's cut of the film, slightly shorter than the 1987 cut, with a new music score composed by Christopher Drake was included on The Criterion Collection's 2010 release of del Toro's 1993 feature film debut, Cronos.

Kid Stuff

"Kid Stuff" is a science fiction short story by American writer Isaac Asimov. It was first published in the September 1953 issue of Beyond Fantasy Fiction and reprinted in the 1957 collection Earth Is Room Enough. Asimov wrote the story in January 1953, intending it for a new magazine called Fantastic, but it was rejected by its editor, Harold Browne. Asimov then submitted it to H. L. Gold, who accepted it for a new sister magazine of Galaxy Science Fiction called Beyond Fantasy Fiction.

Portals of Tomorrow

Portals of Tomorrow is an anthology of science fiction stories edited by American writer August Derleth, intended as the first in a series of "year's best" volumes. It was first published by Rinehart & Company in 1954. The stories had originally appeared in the magazines Fantasy and Science Fiction, Future, Esquire, Fantastic Universe, Galaxy Science Fiction, Blue Book, Startling Stories, Orbit, Astounding Stories and Beyond Fantasy Fiction.

Second Variety (1991 collection)

Second Variety is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Citadel Twilight in 1991 and reprints Volume III of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick with the addition of the story "Second Variety". Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines If, Science Fiction Adventures, Science Fiction Stories, Orbit, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Imagination, Future, Galaxy Science Fiction, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Satellite, Science Fiction Quarterly, Imaginative Tales and Space Science Fiction.

Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick

Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick is a collection of science fiction stories by Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Random House in 2002. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Planet Stories, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Imagination, Space Science Fiction, Astounding, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Orbit, Galaxy Science Fiction, Fantastic Universe, Amazing Stories, Rolling Stone College Papers, Omni and Playboy.

The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick

The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick is a collection of 118 science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Underwood-Miller in 1987 as a five volume set. See Philip K. Dick bibliography for information about the mass market reprints.

Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Fantasy and Science Fiction, Planet Stories, If, Galaxy Science Fiction, Imagination, Space Science Fiction, Fantastic Story Magazine, Amazing Stories, Future Science Fiction, Cosmos, Fantasy Fiction, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Startling Stories, Fantastic Universe, Science Fiction Quarterly, Astounding, Science Fiction Adventures, Science Fiction Stories, Orbit, Satellite Science Fiction, Imaginative Tales, Fantastic, Worlds of Tomorrow, Escapade, Famous Science Fiction, Niekas, Rolling Stone College Papers, Interzone, Playboy, Omni and The Yuba City High Times.

The Early Fears

The Early Fears is a collection of fantasy and horror short stories by American writer Robert Bloch. It was released in 1994 by Fedogan & Bremer in an edition of 2,400 copies, of which 100 were signed by the author. The collection reprints the stories from Bloch's two earlier collections published by Arkham House, The Opener of the Way and Pleasant Dreams: Nightmares with three additional stories. The stories originally appeared in the magazines Unknown, Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, Strange Stories, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Fantastic, Imagination and Swank. The collection includes Bloch's 1959 Hugo Award winning story, "That Hell-Bound Train."

The Father-Thing (collection)

The Father-Thing is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Gollancz in 1989 and reprints Volume III of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. It had not previously been published as a stand-alone volume. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines If, Science Fiction Adventures, Science Fiction Stories, Orbit, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Imagination, Future, Galaxy Science Fiction, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Satellite, Science Fiction Quarterly and Imaginative Tales.

The Golden Man (collection)

The Golden Man is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Berkley Books in 1980. The stories had originally appeared in the magazines If, Galaxy Science Fiction, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Worlds of Tomorrow, Science Fiction Stories, Orbit Science Fiction, Future, Amazing Stories and Fantasy and Science Fiction

The King of the Elves

"The King of the Elves" is a fantasy short story by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in the September 1953 issue of Beyond Fantasy Fiction.

The Preserving Machine

The Preserving Machine is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Ace Books in 1969 with cover art by Leo and Diane Dillon as part of their Ace Science Fiction Specials series. The stories had originally appeared in the magazines Fantasy and Science Fiction, Galaxy Science Fiction, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, If, Amazing Stories, Planet Stories, Worlds of Tomorrow, Imagination and Satellite.

A hardcover issue of this book was released through the Book-of-the-Month Club (USA) in late 1969 and remained available through 1970. It is an octavo-sized book, bound in gray textured paper boards, stamped in green on the spine, in a dust-cover with "Book Club Edition" printed in lieu of the price on the bottom front flap. Other hardcover editions were published in 1971 and 1972 respectively by Victor Gollancz Ltd, London, and the Science Fiction Book Club, Newton Abbot, Devon.

The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford (collection)

The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Citadel Twilight in 1990 and reprints Volume I of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Fantasy and Science Fiction, Planet Stories, If, Galaxy Science Fiction, Imagination, Space Science Fiction, Fantastic Story Magazine, Amazing Stories, Future, Cosmos, Fantasy Fiction, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Startling Stories. The collection was reprinted by Citadel Press in 2003 under the title Paycheck and Other Classic Stories.

The Sky Is Falling (Del Rey novel)

The Sky Is Falling is a short novel by Lester del Rey.

The first and shortest version was published in Beyond Fantasy Fiction in July 1954 under the title "No More Stars" with the pseudonym Charles Satterfield. It first appeared in book form in 1963 with Badge of Infamy as "Two Complete Novels" in a Galaxy paperback original. The first book-length version was published in 1973 by Ace Books.

The Wall Around the World

"The Wall Around the World" is a science fiction short story by American writer Theodore Cogswell and first published in Beyond Fantasy Fiction in 1953. It is set in a world where magic is taken for granted and technology is banned.

Upon the Dull Earth

"Upon the Dull Earth" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in November 1954 in Beyond Fantasy Fiction.

Wall of Serpents

Wall of Serpents is a collection of two fantasy short stories by American science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, the third volume in their Harold Shea series. The pieces were originally published in the magazines Fantasy Fiction and Beyond Fantasy Fiction in the issues for June, 1953 and October, 1954. The collection was first published in hardcover by Avalon Books in 1960, with a new edition from Phantasia Press in 1978. The first paperback edition was published by Dell Books in 1979. A 1980 edition published by Sphere Books was retitled The Enchanter Compleated. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.The book has also been combined with the earlier books in the series in the omnibus edition The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989), and with the earlier books and later stories in the omnibus edition The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (2007). It has also been published in Italian and German.

The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In the stories collected as Wall of Serpents, the authors' protagonist Harold Shea visits two such worlds, those of Finnish and Irish mythology.

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