Cele Goldsmith Lalli

Cele Goldsmith Lalli (1933 – January 14, 2002) was an American editor. She was the editor of Amazing Stories from 1959 to 1965, Fantastic from 1958 to 1965, and later the Editor-in-Chief of Modern Bride magazine.

Michael and Cele Goldsmith Lalli
Michael and Cele Goldsmith Lalli at Lunacon, 1980s

Biography

Goldsmith joined the science fiction/fantasy field in 1955, working as Howard Browne's secretary and assistant (and particularly on the short-lived magazine Pen Pals), and, after Browne resigned, with his successor Paul W. Fairman.[1] When Fairman left Ziff-Davis in 1958, Goldsmith took over as editor of Amazing Stories and Fantastic. Goldsmith was open to new authors and experimentation in writing, with the result that between 1961 and 1964 Amazing and Fantastic were "the two most exciting and original magazines" in the SF and fantasy fields.[2]

Among her discoveries were Thomas M. Disch, Ursula K. Le Guin, Keith Laumer, Sonya Dorman (as a fiction writer), Larry Eisenberg, and Roger Zelazny.[2] She was also instrumental in bringing Fritz Leiber out of an early writer's-block-induced retirement (a 1959 issue was devoted entirely to his fiction), and was among the first US editors to publish British author J. G. Ballard.

Goldsmith married in 1964 and took Lalli as her last name. By this time, she'd received a special award from the World Science Fiction Convention for her work on the magazines. Le Guin and subsequent Fantastic and Amazing editors Barry N. Malzberg and Ted White have taken care to note the significance of her achievement.

In 1965, Ziff-Davis sold the two fiction magazines to publisher Sol Cohen, who founded Ultimate Publications to publish them. Lalli continued at Ziff-Davis, where she worked at Modern Bride magazine for 30 years.

Not long after her retirement, she was killed in a car accident in Newtown, Connecticut, on January 14, 2002.

References

  1. ^ The AMAZING Story: The Sixties — The Goose-Flesh Factor, by Mike Ashley, originally published in Amazing Stories, May 1992; reposted at Pulpfest.com, March 3, 2016; retrieved March 11, 2016
  2. ^ a b Transformations: The Story of the Science-fiction Magazines from 1950 to 1970 by Mike Ashley and Michael Ashley, Liverpool University Press, 2005, page 224.

External links

Amazing Stories

Amazing Stories is an American science fiction magazine launched in April 1926 by Hugo Gernsback's Experimenter Publishing. It was the first magazine devoted solely to science fiction. Science fiction stories had made regular appearances in other magazines, including some published by Gernsback, but Amazing helped define and launch a new genre of pulp fiction.

As of 2018, Amazing has been published, with some interruptions, for ninety-two years, going through a half-dozen owners and many editors as it struggled to be profitable. Gernsback was forced into bankruptcy and lost control of the magazine in 1929. In 1938 it was purchased by Ziff-Davis, who hired Raymond A. Palmer as editor. Palmer made the magazine successful though it was not regarded as a quality magazine within the science fiction community. In the late 1940s Amazing presented as fact stories about the Shaver Mystery, a lurid mythos that explained accidents and disaster as the work of robots named deros, which led to dramatically increased circulation but widespread ridicule. Amazing switched to a digest size format in 1953, shortly before the end of the pulp-magazine era. It was sold to Sol Cohen's Universal Publishing Company in 1965, which filled it with reprinted stories but did not pay a reprint fee to the authors, creating a conflict with the newly formed Science Fiction Writers of America. Ted White took over as editor in 1969, eliminated the reprints and made the magazine respected again: Amazing was nominated for the prestigious Hugo Award three times during his tenure in the 1970s. Several other owners attempted to create a modern incarnation of the magazine in the following decades, but publication was suspended after the March 2005 issue. A new incarnation appeared in July 2012 as an online magazine. Print publication resumed with the Fall 2018 issue.

Gernsback's initial editorial approach was to blend instruction with entertainment; he believed science fiction could educate readers. His audience rapidly showed a preference for implausible adventures, and the movement away from Gernsback's idealism accelerated when the magazine changed hands in 1929. Despite this, Gernsback had an enormous impact on the field: the creation of a specialist magazine for science fiction spawned an entire genre publishing industry. The letter columns in Amazing, where fans could make contact with each other, led to the formation of science fiction fandom, which in turn had a strong influence on the development of the field. Writers whose first story was published in the magazine include John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Howard Fast, Ursula K. Le Guin, Roger Zelazny, and Thomas M. Disch. Overall, though, Amazing itself was rarely an influential magazine within the genre after the 1920s. Some critics have commented that by "ghettoizing" science fiction, Gernsback harmed its literary growth, but this viewpoint has been countered by the argument that science fiction needed an independent market to develop in to reach its potential.

Fantastic (magazine)

Fantastic was an American digest-size fantasy and science fiction magazine, published from 1952 to 1980. It was founded by the publishing company Ziff Davis as a fantasy companion to Amazing Stories. Early sales were good, and the company quickly decided to switch Amazing from pulp format to digest, and to cease publication of their other science fiction pulp, Fantastic Adventures. Within a few years sales fell, and Howard Browne, the editor, was forced to switch the focus to science fiction rather than fantasy. Browne lost interest in the magazine as a result and the magazine generally ran poor-quality fiction in the mid-1950s, under Browne and his successor, Paul W. Fairman.

At the end of the 1950s, Cele Goldsmith took over as editor of both Fantastic and Amazing Stories, and quickly invigorated the magazines, bringing in many new writers and making them, in the words of one science fiction historian, the "best-looking and brightest" magazines in the field. Goldsmith helped to nurture the early careers of writers such as Roger Zelazny and Ursula K. Le Guin, but was unable to increase circulation, and in 1965 the magazines were sold to Sol Cohen, who hired Joseph Wrzos as editor and switched to a reprint-only policy. This was financially successful, but brought Cohen into conflict with the newly formed Science Fiction Writers of America. After a turbulent period at the end of the 1960s, Ted White became editor and the reprints were phased out.

White worked hard to make the magazine successful, introducing artwork from artists who had made their names in comics, and working with new authors such as Gordon Eklund. His budget for fiction was low, but he was occasionally able to find good stories from well-known writers that had been rejected by other markets. Circulation continued to decline, however, and in 1978, Cohen sold out his half of the business to his partner, Arthur Bernhard. White resigned shortly afterwards, and was replaced by Elinor Mavor, but within two years Bernhard decided to close down Fantastic, merging it with Amazing Stories, which had always enjoyed a slightly higher circulation.

List of science fiction editors

This is a list of science fiction editors, editors working for book and magazine publishing companies who have edited science fiction. Many have also edited works of fantasy and other related genres, all of which have been sometimes grouped under the name speculative fiction.

Editors on this list should fulfill the conditions for Notability for creative professionals in science fiction or related genres. Evidence for notability includes an existing wiki-biography, or evidence that one could be written. Borderline cases should be discussed on the article's talk page.

Timeline of science fiction

This is a timeline of science fiction as a literary tradition.

What Is This Thing Called Love? (short story)

"What Is This Thing Called Love?" is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. The story was requested by Cele Goldsmith Lalli, editor of Amazing Stories, as a satire of an article in Playboy called "Girls of the Slime God" which had suggested that pulp science fiction stories were concerned with aliens and sex. The story appeared in the March 1961 issue of Amazing as "Playboy and the Slime God", but Asimov later retitled it "What Is This Thing Called Love?"

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