Dorothy McIlwraith

Dorothy Stevens[1] McIlwraith (October 14, 1891 – August 23, 1976)[2] was the third editor of Weird Tales, the pioneering pulp magazine that specialized in horror fiction and fantasy fiction. She also edited Short Stories magazine.

Dorothy McIlwraith
BornOctober 14, 1891
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
DiedAugust 23, 1976 (aged 84)
Orangeville, Ontario, Canada
OccupationMagazine editor
LanguageEnglish
NationalityCanadian
GenresHorror, pulp fiction

Life and career

Weird Tales March 1942
Cover of the March 1942 issue, by Hannes Bok[3]

McIlwraith graduated from McGill University in 1914 and became a reader and editor for Doubleday, Page and Company.[1] She worked as an assistant to Harry E. Maule (1886-1971), the editor of Doubleday's Short Stories magazine. In 1936, she became the editor of the magazine.[1] [4] In 1937, Short Stories Inc purchased the magazine and McIlwrith continued as the editor.

In 1938, Short Stories Inc purchased Weird Tales magazine.[1] The magazine's editor, Farnsworth Wright was in poor health and resigned as editor in 1940. [5] McIlwraith took over as full editor at this point and would remain editor until the magazine ceased publication in 1954.[4] Under her editorship authors and artists such as Ray Bradbury and Hannes Bok first appeared in the magazine.

References

  1. ^ a b c d Hanley, Terence E. "What About Dorothy McIlwraith? Part 2". Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  2. ^ Hanley, Terence E. "What About Dorothy McIlwraith?". Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  3. ^ Jaffery & Cook (1985), p. 63.
  4. ^ a b Robert Sampson, Yesterday's Faces: Dangerous Horizons. Popular Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0-87972-514-3 (pp 86-88).
  5. ^ S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia, Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 2001.
Clifford Ball

Clifford Ball (1896?-1947?) was an American fantasy writer whose primary distinction was having been one of the earliest post-Howard writers in the sword and sorcery subgenre of fantasy.

Before dropping from sight, Ball contributed six short stories to the pulp magazine Weird Tales during its heyday in the 1930s and 1940s under the editorships of Farnsworth Wright and Dorothy McIlwraith. The setting of the first three is vaguely like Howard's Hyborian Age of warring kingdoms, and features the barbarian adventurers Duar, an amnesiac king protected by a guardian sprite, and Rald, a thief and mercenary. The remaining stories are more conventional fantasies.In the October 1937 issue of Weird Tales (Volume 30, issue 4) the following biographical information is given: This 29-year-old newest sensation of Weird Tales has led a life as adventurous as that of either of his two barbarian heroes. He went through high school in Millerstown, Pennsylvania, experiencing great difficulty with his mathematics and with a young and attractive school-teacher of whom he became enamored. After he had been graduated, he took a job in the license bureau of the State Highway Department. A few months later he began to hate the place, and left. The Miami catastrophe of 1927 occurred, and he and a friend trekked south to Florida, expecting to find heavy salaries waiting for eager workers. The state was "broke;" and tourists, alarmed by the tidal wave, were frightened away. Ball has slung hash, worked on dynamite crews as a capper, fry-cooked, run a dice table in a gambling-house, dug ditches, leveled auto springs, spread cloth in a shirt factory, and served beer in a Virginia tavern. This will always remain in Ball's memory, he says, as the best moments of his life. (page 510)

Some of Ball's stories have been reprinted from the 1970s onward, most notably in the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series edited by Lin Carter.

Farnsworth Wright

Farnsworth Wright (July 29, 1888 – June 12, 1940) was the editor of the pulp magazine Weird Tales during the magazine's heyday, editing 179 issues from November 1924-March 1940. Jack Williamson called Wright "the first great fantasy editor".

H. Warner Munn

Harold Warner Munn (November 5, 1903 – January 10, 1981) was an American writer of fantasy, horror and poetry, best remembered for his early stories in Weird Tales. He was an early friend and associate of authors H. P. Lovecraft and Seabury Quinn. He has been described by fellow author Jessica Amanda Salmonson, who interviewed him during 1978, as "the ultimate gentleman" and "a gentle, calm, warm, and good friend." He was known for his intricate plotting and the careful research that he did for his stories, a habit he traced back to two mistakes made when he wrote his early story "The City of Spiders."

A resurgence of interest in his work occurred during the 1970s due to its appearance in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series and the successor fantasy series published with the imprint of Del Rey Books.

In addition to writing, Munn collected books and classic pulp magazines, including Air Wonder Stories, Amazing Stories, Astounding and other science fiction titles, along with Argosy, Argosy All Story, Cavalier, Weird Tales (to the end of the Wright publication series), and others. Also in his library were self-manufactured books consisting of serialized stories extracted from magazines, notably works by George Allan England such as "Darkness and Dawn". About three fourths of his collection was ruined by exposure to weather during a relocation and had to be destroyed.

During his last years Munn lived in Tacoma, Washington in a house he had built himself. He did his writing either in his living room or in the attic room that constituted his library. During this time he was working on an additional volume of the Merlin series to be called The Sword of Merlin, which he did not live to finish. He was befriended at this time by the young writer W.H. Pugmire, who was influenced by Munn's work.

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.

Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor

The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor is given each year for editors of magazines, novels, anthologies, or other works related to science fiction or fantasy. The award supplanted a previous award for professional magazine.

The award was first presented in 1973, and was given annually through 2006. Beginning in 2007, the award was split into two categories, that of Best Editor (Short Form) and Best Editor (Long Form). The Short Form award is for editors of anthologies, collections or magazines, while the Long Form award is for editors of novels. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been awarded for 1939, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1951, and 1954, and in each case an award for professional editor was given.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The works on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near Labor Day, and are held in a different city around the world each year. Members are permitted to vote "no award", if they feel that none of the nominees is deserving of the award that year, and in the case that "no award" takes the majority the Hugo is not given in that category. This happened in both the Short Form and Long Form categories in 2015.During the 52 nomination years, 64 editors have been nominated for the original Best Professional Editor, the Short Form, or the Long Form award, including Retro Hugos. Of these, Gardner Dozois has received the most awards, with 15 original awards out of 19 nominations for the original category and one for the Short Form. The only other editors to win more than three awards are Ben Bova, who won 6 of 8 nominations for the original award, Ellen Datlow, who won 7 of 17 nominations, split between the original and short form awards, and John W. Campbell, Jr. with 6 out of 6 nominations for the Retro Hugo awards. The two editors who have won three times are Edward L. Ferman with 3 out of 20 original nominations and Patrick Nielsen Hayden with 3 out of 3 Long Form nominations. Stanley Schmidt has received the most nominations, at 27 original and 7 Short Form, winning one Short Form.

Joseph Payne Brennan

Joseph Payne Brennan (December 20, 1918 – January 28, 1990) was an American writer of fantasy and horror fiction, and also a poet. Of Irish ancestry, he was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and he lived most of his life in New Haven, Connecticut, and worked as an Acquisitions Assistant at the Sterling Memorial Library of Yale University for over 40 years. Brennan published several hundred short stories (estimates range between four and five hundred), two novellas and reputedly thousands of poems. His stories appeared in over 200 anthologies and have been translated into German, French, Dutch, Italian and Spanish. He was an early bibliographer of the work of H.P. Lovecraft.

Brennan's first professional sale came in December 1940 with the publication of the poem "When Snow Is Hung", which appeared in the Christian Science Monitor Home Forum, and he continued writing poetry up until the time of his death. As a fiction witer, Brennan started out writing westerns stories for the pulps, then switched to horror stories for Weird Tales in 1952. He began publishing his own magazine Macabre, which ran from 1957 to 1976. Several of his short story collections concern an occult detective named Lucius Leffing in the vein of Carnacki and Algernon Blackwood's John Silence.

His 1958 collection Nine Horrors and a Dream, containing the stories "Slime" (which has been reprinted at least fifty times) and "Canavan's Back Yard", is celebrated in an essay by Stephen Gallagher in the book Horror: 100 Best Books, edited by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman. Stephen King has called him "a master of the unashamed horror tale". Don D'Ammassa considers that "His stories were noteworthy for their effective development of suspense and terror without the excesses of violence which characterise modern horror fiction".Brennan's personality was described in an interview as "reserved: he is friendly but not flamboyant. He is most comfortable with his wife (Doris) and his dog (Chaucer). He is a gentle, softspoken, modest man. But beware, for beneath that ordinary exterior lurks the mind of a modern master of fright."

List of McGill University people

The following is a list of chancellors, principals, and noted alumni and professors of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Short Stories (magazine)

Short Stories was an American fiction magazine that existed between 1890 and 1959.

Weird Tales

Weird Tales is an American fantasy and horror fiction pulp magazine founded by J. C. Henneberger and J. M. Lansinger in late 1922. The first issue, dated March 1923, appeared on newsstands February 18th. The first editor, Edwin Baird, printed early work by H. P. Lovecraft, Seabury Quinn, and Clark Ashton Smith, all of whom would go on to be popular writers, but within a year the magazine was in financial trouble. Henneberger sold his interest in the publisher, Rural Publishing Corporation, to Lansinger and refinanced Weird Tales, with Farnsworth Wright as the new editor. The first issue under Wright's control was dated November 1924. The magazine was more successful under Wright, and despite occasional financial setbacks it prospered over the next fifteen years. Under Wright's control the magazine lived up to its subtitle, "The Unique Magazine", and published a wide range of unusual fiction.

Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos stories first appeared in Weird Tales, starting with "The Call of Cthulhu" in 1928. These were well-received, and a group of writers associated with Lovecraft wrote other stories set in the same milieu. Robert E. Howard was a regular contributor, and published several of his Conan the Barbarian stories in the magazine, and Seabury Quinn's series of stories about Jules de Grandin, a detective who specialized in cases involving the supernatural, was very popular with the readers. Other well-liked authors included Nictzin Dyalhis, E. Hoffmann Price, Robert Bloch, and H. Warner Munn. Wright published some science fiction, along with the fantasy and horror, partly because when Weird Tales was launched there were no magazines specializing in science fiction, but he continued this policy even after the launch of magazines such as Amazing Stories in 1926. Edmond Hamilton wrote a good deal of science fiction for Weird Tales, though after a few years he used the magazine for his more fantastic stories, and submitted his space operas elsewhere.

In 1938 the magazine was sold to William Delaney, the publisher of Short Stories, and within two years Wright, who was ill, was replaced by Dorothy McIlwraith as editor. Although some successful new authors and artists, such as Ray Bradbury and Hannes Bok, continued to appear, the magazine is considered by critics to have declined under McIlwraith from its heyday in the 1930s. Weird Tales ceased publication in 1954, but since then numerous attempts have been made to relaunch the magazine, starting in 1973. The longest-lasting version began in 1988 and ran with an occasional hiatus for over 20 years under an assortment of publishers. In the mid-1990s the title was changed to Worlds of Fantasy & Horror because of licensing issues, with the original title returning in 1998. As of 2018, the most recent published issue was dated Spring 2014.

The magazine is regarded by historians of fantasy and science fiction as a legend in the field, with Robert Weinberg, author of a history of the magazine, considering it "the most important and influential of all fantasy magazines". Weinberg's fellow historian, Mike Ashley, is more cautious, describing it as "second only to Unknown in significance and influence", adding that "somewhere in the imagination reservoir of all U.S. (and many non-U.S.) genre-fantasy and horror writers is part of the spirit of Weird Tales".

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