Charles Hornig

Charles Hornig (May 25, 1916 - October 11, 1999) was one of the earliest contributors to the science fiction genre. He not only created one of the very first fanzines in 1933, as a teenager, he became the managing editor for Wonder Stories magazine from November, 1933 to April, 1936.

Early life

Charles D. Hornig was the third child born to Gertrude Lesser and Charles Edward Hornig. He had two sisters, Gladys and Dorothy, 7 and 5 years older than him. Charles was born at home in Jersey City on May 25, 1916 and was named Charles Derwin Hornig, after his father and a woman, Mrs. Derwin, who had been a friend and helper to Gertrude. Charles was a very frail infant and young child and did not start school until he was 7 years old. He believes his frailty stemmed largely from malnutrition due to poverty.

In an interview with Dr. Jeffrey M. Elliot, Charles tells the story of his sickly childhood. He also talks about moving around a lot when they were unable to pay the rent. He mentions as well the way his eldest sister mistreated him. He goes on to tell the story of how he was able to buy himself “goodies” with pennies earned by selling magazines and newspapers door to door and on street corners. He thought the most wonderful thing that happened to him was the discovery of Science Fiction when he was 14 years old in 1930. It was the “glaring” cover of an Amazing Stories that got him hooked. On the September 1930 cover was a picture of a New York skyscraper being torn from its roots in a sea of flames. Every quarter he could earn doing odd jobs was spent buying as many issues of Amazing Stories, Wonder Stories, Astounding Stories and Weird Tales as he could afford.[1]

The Fantasy Fan

There were a few other young fans of Science Fiction who made contact with each other via the professional magazines that published the names and addresses of those that wrote to the magazines such as The Time Traveller and Fantasy Magazine. Some of these fans such as Julius Schwartz, Mort Weisinger, Connie Rupert, and Milton Kaletsky became friends with Charles. Charles had the idea that he would like to publish his own science fiction fan magazine and was encouraged by these friends. He was pleasantly surprised when H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, August Derleth and other writers agreed to send him some manuscripts that had been rejected by the paying magazines.[2] So he convinced Connie Rupert to hand set and print 250 copies, 12 pages each of the first issue of The Fantasy Fan. This was when he was 17 years old. He published The Fantasy Fan from 1933 - 1935.[3] He sent these to many science fiction fans including editors and publishers of magazines, one of whom was Hugo Gernsback who offered him a job as managing editor of Wonder Stories.[4]

Wonder Stories Magazine

Charles was on top of the world. Only a fan for 3 years, not having yet graduated from high school, and now he was editor of a magazine read all over the world. He met many other people in the science fiction world. He managed to complete 18 issues of his little Fantasy Fan, where he was even able to publish some ultimately classic stories. When Gernsbach sold Wonder Stories to Standard Magazines Charles lost his post 2 ½ years after he started, but he continued his work with science fiction editing by working freelance for Science-Fiction and Future Fiction while he pursued the job he had been learning in high school and that was accounting.[5] Charles remembered fondly his youth and the people he befriended such as Ray Bradbury and Forrest J Ackerman. Asimov writes “Charles D. Hornig is the only science fiction notable who has absolutely no talent”.[6] Charles pointed this out in his interview with Charles Ryan with pride: “Issac Asimov in one of his books said something like Charles D. Hornig had a complete lack of talent.”[7]

Post Science-Fiction Life

Charles' life changed dramatically when he was asked to register for the military. Philosophically he knew he could never hurt another human being or aid anybody in doing this. When he heard there was the category of conscientious objector, he was relieved and registered as such stating that his religion was Moral Theism. In those days COs were sent to Civilian Public Service Camps; he was sent to one in Oregon which was a refurbished CCC forest camp, and he found himself doing hard physical labor, but shortly after his arrival was assigned to office work. After about a year his conscience was troubled as he felt he was in a kind of prison, so he went AWOL.

This eventually led to his meeting his future wife, Florence Koch, in New York City at a Fellowship of Reconciliation luncheon. While he was in prison at McNeil Island in Washington State, having been sentenced for going AWOL, his first child, Ruth Cecelia, was born in June 1944. Following his release from prison, he and his family moved to Los Angeles, where his son, Charles Evan, was born in early January 1946. After spending a few years moving around southern California and taking various jobs, he and Florence decided they wanted to work again for the Fellowship of Reconciliation in NYC, so moved back there in 1949, first living in NYC and then in Bogota, New Jersey. In 1952, Charles realized that he needed to live in warm California again so they headed back there, finding a little house in San Jose, California, where he set up his own business preparing income tax, which he did successfully until 1998. By 1962, he was living on his own as Florence had moved to Seattle and his children had left home as well.

Later Years

During his years in accounting he continued the love he held in the 1940s for Esperanto, went on numerous peace marches, and joined up with the Humanist and Quaker communities.

He loved to travel and visited many countries until 1981, when he needed to curtail his solo traveling as it became too difficult due to his health concerns. In the 1980s he did a little traveling with his daughter, taking her on cruises. In 1991 it became too painful for him to continue taking long walks due to arthritis in his spine. In 1993 he had a small stroke which briefly impaired his short-term memory.

He had kept up with his Science-Fiction friends, was awarded a First Fandom Hall of Fame award in 1988 for his contributions to the field of Science-Fiction,[8] and Ray Bradbury sent his condolences at his death. His death on October 11, 1999 was due to the side effects of medication he had been taking for his heart condition. He had had a small heart attack in 1982 and a triple bypass operation in 1990.


  1. ^ Elliot, Jeffrey (1984). "Looking Back: My Life in Science Fiction". Thrust - Science Fiction in Review. Spring/Summer (20).
  2. ^ Clute, John (1995). The Encyclopedia of Science-Fiction. First St. Martin's Griffin. p. 585. ISBN 031213486X.
  3. ^ "Fantasy Fan". Fantasy Fan. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Hornig Charles D". Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  5. ^ Davin, Eric Leif (1999). Pioneers of Wonder. pp. 65–89. ISBN 1-57392-702-3.
  6. ^ Asimov, Isaac (1974). Before the Golden Age: A Science Fiction Anthology of the 1930s. p. 728. ISBN 0-385-02419-3.
  7. ^ Ryan, Charles C. (November 1979). "The Greatest Non-Talent in SF". Galileo: 22.
  8. ^ "First Fandom Hall of Fame". Retrieved 30 January 2014.
Columbia Publications

Columbia Publications was an American publisher of pulp magazines featuring the genres of science fiction, westerns, detective stories, romance, and sports fiction. The company published such writers as Isaac Asimov, Louis L'Amour, Arthur C. Clarke, Randall Garrett, Edward D. Hoch, and William Tenn; Robert A. W. Lowndes was an important early editor for such writers as Carol Emshwiller, Edward D. Hoch and Kate Wilhelm.

Operating from the mid-1930s to 1960, Columbia's most notable magazines were the science fiction pulps Future Science Fiction, Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Quarterly. Other long-running titles included Double Action Western Magazine, Real Western, Western Action, Famous Western, Today's Love Stories, Super Sports, and Double Action Detective and Mystery Stories. In addition to pulp magazines, the company also published some paperback novels, primarily in the science fiction genre.

Columbia Publications was the most prolific of a number of pulp imprints operated in the 1930s by Louis Silberkleit. Nominally, their offices were in Springfield, Massachusetts and Holyoke, Massachusetts (the addresses of their printers, binders, and mailers for subscriptions), but they were actually produced out of 60 Hudson Street in New York City.

First Fandom Hall of Fame award

First Fandom Hall of Fame is an annual award for contributions to the field of science fiction dating back more than 30 years. Contributions can be as a fan, writer, editor, artist, agent, or any combination of the five. It is awarded by First Fandom and is usually presented at the beginning of the World Science Fiction Convention's Hugo Award ceremony.

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.

History of US science fiction and fantasy magazines to 1950

Science fiction and fantasy magazines began to be published in the United States in the 1920s. Stories with science fiction themes had been appearing for decades in pulp magazines such as Argosy, but there were no magazines that specialized in a single genre until 1915, when Street & Smith, one of the major pulp publishers, brought out Detective Story Magazine. The first magazine to focus solely on fantasy and horror was Weird Tales, which was launched in 1923, and established itself as the leading weird fiction magazine over the next two decades; writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard became regular contributors. In 1926 Weird Tales was joined by Amazing Stories, published by Hugo Gernsback; Amazing printed only science fiction, and no fantasy. Gernsback included a letter column in Amazing Stories, and this led to the creation of organized science fiction fandom, as fans contacted each other using the addresses published with the letters. Gernsback wanted the fiction he printed to be scientifically accurate, and educational, as well as entertaining, but found it difficult to obtain stories that met his goals; he printed "The Moon Pool" by Abraham Merritt in 1927, despite it being completely unscientific. Gernsback lost control of Amazing Stories in 1929, but quickly started several new magazines. Wonder Stories, one of Gernsback's titles, was edited by David Lasser, who worked to improve the quality of the fiction he received. Another early competitor was Astounding Stories of Super-Science, which appeared in 1930, edited by Harry Bates, but Bates printed only the most basic adventure stories with minimal scientific content, and little of the material from his era is now remembered.

In 1933 Astounding was acquired by Street & Smith, and it soon became the leading magazine in the new genre, publishing early classics such as Murray Leinster's "Sidewise in Time" in 1934. A couple of competitors to Weird Tales for fantasy and weird fiction appeared, but none lasted, and the 1930s is regarded as Weird Tales' heyday. Between 1939 and 1941 there was a boom in science fiction and fantasy magazines: several publishers entered the field, including Standard Magazines, with Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories (a retitling of Wonder Stories); Popular Publications, with Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories; and Fiction House, with Planet Stories, which focused on melodramatic tales of interplanetary adventure. Ziff-Davis launched Fantastic Adventures, a fantasy companion to Amazing. Astounding extended its pre-eminence in the field during the boom: the editor, John W. Campbell, developed a stable of young writers that included Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and A.E. van Vogt. The period starting in 1938, when Campbell took control of Astounding, is often referred to as the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Well-known stories from this era include Slan, by van Vogt, and "Nightfall", by Asimov. Campbell also launched Unknown, a fantasy companion to Astounding, in 1939; this was the first serious competitor for Weird Tales. Although wartime paper shortages forced Unknown's cancellation in 1943, it is now regarded as one of the most influential pulp magazines.

Only eight science fiction and fantasy magazines survived World War II. All were still in pulp magazine format except for Astounding, which had switched to a digest format in 1943. Astounding continued to publish popular stories, including "Vintage Season" by C. L. Moore, and "With Folded Hands ..." by Jack Williamson. The quality of the fiction in the other magazines improved over the decade: Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder in particular published some excellent material and challenged Astounding for the leadership of the field. A few more pulps were launched in the late 1940s, but almost all were intended as vehicles to reprint old classics. One exception, Out of This World Adventures, was an experiment by Avon, combining fiction with some pages of comics. It was a failure and lasted only two issues. Magazines in digest format began to appear towards the end of the decade, including Other Worlds, edited by Raymond Palmer. In 1949, the first issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction appeared, followed in October 1950 by the first issue of Galaxy Science Fiction; both were digests, and between them soon dominated the field. Very few science fiction or fantasy pulps were launched after this date; the 1950s was the beginning of the era of digest magazines, though the leading pulps continued until the mid-1950s, and authors began selling to mainstream magazines and large book publishers.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Veszprém

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Veszprém (Hungarian: Veszprémi Főegyházmegye, Latin: Archidioecesis Veszprimiensis) is an Archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in Hungary. Believed to have been established in 1009 AD by King Stephen I of Hungary, as the Diocese of Veszprém, the diocese was originally a suffragan to the Archdiocese of Esztergom. In 1992, the Diocese was elevated to an Archdiocese. The Archdiocese is the Metropolitan of the Diocese of Kaposvár and the Diocese of Szombathely.

The Cathedral of Veszprém is dedicated to Saint Michael. The current archbishop is Gyula Márfi who was appointed in 1997.

Science Fiction Quarterly

Science Fiction Quarterly was an American pulp science fiction magazine that was published from 1940 to 1943 and again from 1951 to 1958. Charles Hornig served as editor for the first two issues; Robert A. W. Lowndes edited the remainder. Science Fiction Quarterly was launched by publisher Louis Silberkleit during a boom in science fiction magazines at the end of the 1930s. Silberkleit launched two other science fiction titles (Science Fiction and Future Fiction) at about the same time: all three ceased publication before the end of World War II, falling prey to slow sales and paper shortages. In 1950 and 1951, as the market improved, Silberkleit relaunched Future Fiction and Science Fiction Quarterly. By the time Science Fiction Quarterly ceased publication in 1958, it was the last surviving science fiction pulp.

Science Fiction Quarterly's policy was to reprint a novel in each issue as the lead story, and Silberkleit was able to obtain reprint rights to two early science fiction novels and several of Ray Cummings' books. Both Hornig and Lowndes were given minuscule budgets, and Hornig in particular had trouble finding good material to print. Lowndes did somewhat better, as he was able to call on his friends in the Futurians, a group of aspiring writers that included Isaac Asimov, James Blish, and Donald Wollheim. The second incarnation of the magazine also had a policy of running a lead novel, though in practice the lead stories were often well short of novel length. Among the better-known stories published by the magazine were "Second Dawn", by Arthur C. Clarke; "The Last Question", by Isaac Asimov; and "Common Time", by James Blish.

Wonder Stories

Wonder Stories is an early American science fiction magazine which was published under several titles from 1929 to 1955. It was founded by Hugo Gernsback in 1929 after he had lost control of his first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, when his media company Experimenter Publishing went bankrupt. Within a few months of the bankruptcy, Gernsback launched three new magazines: Air Wonder Stories, Science Wonder Stories, and Science Wonder Quarterly.

Air Wonder Stories and Science Wonder Stories were merged in 1930 as Wonder Stories, and the quarterly was renamed Wonder Stories Quarterly. The magazines were not financially successful, and in 1936 Gernsback sold Wonder Stories to Ned Pines at Beacon Publications, where, retitled Thrilling Wonder Stories, it continued for nearly 20 years. The last issue was dated Winter 1955, and the title was then merged with Startling Stories, another of Pines' science fiction magazines. Startling itself lasted only to the end of 1955 before finally succumbing to the decline of the pulp magazine industry.

The editors under Gernsback's ownership were David Lasser, who worked hard to improve the quality of the fiction, and, from mid-1933, Charles Hornig. Both Lasser and Hornig published some well-received fiction, such as Stanley Weinbaum's "A Martian Odyssey", but Hornig's efforts in particular were overshadowed by the success of Astounding Stories, which had become the leading magazine in the new field of science fiction. Under its new title, Thrilling Wonder Stories was initially unable to improve its quality. For a period in the early 1940s it was aimed at younger readers, with a juvenile editorial tone and covers that depicted beautiful women in implausibly revealing spacesuits. Later editors began to improve the fiction, and by the end of the 1940s, in the opinion of science fiction historian Mike Ashley, the magazine briefly rivaled Astounding.

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