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.

Dynamic Science Fiction December 1952
Front cover of the December 1952 issue; art by A. Leslie Ross.

Publishing history and contents

Although science fiction had been published in the United States before the 1920s, it did not begin to coalesce into a separately marketed genre until the appearance in 1926 of Amazing Stories, a pulp magazine published by Hugo Gernsback. By the end of the 1930s the field was booming.[1] Between early 1939 and mid-1940 publisher Louis Silberkleit launched three sf pulp magazines: Science Fiction, Future Fiction, and Science Fiction Quarterly. All three had ceased publication by the end of World War II, killed by a combination of falling sales and wartime paper shortages. In 1950 and 1951 Silberkleit revived Future Fiction, and Science Fiction Quarterly, and the following year he launched Dynamic Science Fiction, with the first issue dated November 1952.[2] All three of the magazines were edited by Robert W. Lowndes, who had also edited most of the earlier issues for Silberkleit. In mid-1953 Silberkleit cut rates and slowed down payment to contributors as a result of falling circulation. By this time Silberkleit was experimenting with the digest format for Science Fiction Stories, and he soon cancelled Dynamic Science Fiction, leaving only Science Fiction Quarterly in pulp format.[3]

Silberkleit initially paid reasonably good rates, and Lowndes was able to obtain some good quality material. Some of the stories include Arthur C. Clarke's "The Possessed" (March 1953); Lester del Rey's "I Am Tomorrow" (December 1952), and James Blish and Lowndes' novel The Duplicated Man (August 1953, with Lowndes' name concealed by a pseudonym, "Michael Sherman"). Lowndes also published nonfiction, including two long critical essays by James E. Gunn, "The Philosophy of Science Fiction" (serialized in the March and June 1953 issues), and "The Plot Forms of Science Fiction" (serialized in the October 1953 and January 1954 issues).[3] These four articles formed Gunn's Master of Arts thesis;[note 1] Gunn subsequently became a prominent science fiction critic.[2]

Bibliographic details

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1952 1/1
1953 1/2 1/3 1/4 1/5
1954 1/6
Issues of Dynamic Science Fiction from 1952 to 1954, showing volume and
issue numbers. Lowndes was editor throughout.[4]

Robert W. Lowndes was the editor of all six issues of Dynamic Science Fiction, which remained in pulp format throughout its run. It was priced at 25 cents throughout, and was 128 pages for the first four issues, and 96 pages for the last two.[3]

Three issues were reprinted in the U.K. by Thorpe & Porter, of Leicester. These were dated January, June and November 1954, and were pulp format. They were priced at 1/- and were 96 pages. They correspond to the U.S. issues from June 1953, December 1952, and January 1954 respectively.[3]

There are no anthologies of stories drawn solely from Dynamic Science Fiction, but in the 1960s Ivan Howard edited several anthologies for Silberkleit's publishing imprint, Belmont Books, with contents drawn solely from Silberkleit's magazines. These included:[3][5]

  • Howard, Ivan, ed. (1963). Way Out. New York: Belmont Books. Six of the seven stories are from Dynamic Science Fiction, mostly from the first issue.
  • Howard, Ivan, ed. (1963). Novelets of Science Fiction. New York: Belmont Books. Four of the eight stories are from Dynamic Science Fiction.

Notes

  1. ^ According to science fiction historian Mike Ashley, this is the only time a pulp magazine ever published a Master of Arts thesis.[2]

References

  1. ^ Edwards & Nicholls (1993), pp. 1066–68.
  2. ^ a b c Ashley (2005), p. 44.
  3. ^ a b c d e Ashley (1985), pp. 196–98.
  4. ^ See the individual issues. For convenience, an online index is available at "Magazine:Dynamic Science Fiction — Issue grid". Al von Ruff. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  5. ^ Rhoades (2008), p. 72.

Sources

  • Ashley, Mike (1985). "Dynamic Science Fiction". In Tymn, Marshall B.; Ashley, Mike. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 196–98. ISBN 0-313-21221-X.
  • Ashley, Mike (2005). Transformations:The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1950 to 1970. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-779-4.
  • Edwards, Malcolm; Nicholls, Peter (1993). "SF magazines". In Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc. pp. 1066–71. ISBN 0-312-09618-6.
  • Rhoades, Shirrel (2008). A Complete History of American Comic Books. New York: Peter Lang.

External links

Algis Budrys

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Argosy (magazine)

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Belmont Books

Belmont Books, also known as Belmont Productions, 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.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. 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.Belmont's initial offerings were four titles — a Western, a mystery, a science fiction book, and a detective book. 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.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.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.

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.

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Cyril M. Kornbluth

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George Kelley Paperback and Pulp Fiction Collection

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Lester del Rey

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More Than One Universe

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Sam Merwin Jr.

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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.

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The Duplicated Man

The Duplicated Man is a science fiction novel which was one of the first fictional works that tackle the idea of cloning. It was co-written by James Blish and Robert Lowndes. The Duplicated Man was first published in the August 1953 edition of Dynamic Science Fiction and in book form, in 1959 by Avalon Books.

The Ragged Edge of Science

The Ragged Edge of Science is a science book by L. Sprague de Camp, illustrated by Don Simpson. It was first published by Owlswick Press in 1980.The book is a collection of twenty-two articles (two of them book reviews) on various curiosities and wonders exploring the boundaries between science and pseudo-science. "The[ir] common thread is [their] skeptical takes on subjects that are often muddled by paranormal and pseudoscientific claims." De Camp viewed such phenomena from a skeptically rational viewpoint, pointing out the fallacies in supernatural and otherwise fantastic explanations. His debunking efforts were an important and characteristic feature of his nonfiction, and the present collection is a notable instance of it.The book's constituent articles were originally published in a variety of science magazines, science fiction magazines, and other publications from 1950-1976.

Unknown (magazine)

Unknown (also known as Unknown Worlds) was an American pulp fantasy fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1943 by Street & Smith, and edited by John W. Campbell. Unknown was a companion to Street & Smith's science fiction pulp, Astounding Science Fiction, which was also edited by Campbell at the time; many authors and illustrators contributed to both magazines. The leading fantasy magazine in the 1930s was Weird Tales, which focused on shock and horror. Campbell wanted to publish a fantasy magazine with more finesse and humor than Weird Tales, and put his plans into action when Eric Frank Russell sent him the manuscript of his novel Sinister Barrier, about aliens who own the human race. Unknown's first issue appeared in March 1939; in addition to Sinister Barrier, it included H. L. Gold's "Trouble With Water", a humorous fantasy about a New Yorker who meets a water gnome. Gold's story was the first of many in Unknown to combine commonplace reality with the fantastic.

Campbell required his authors to avoid simplistic horror fiction and insisted that the fantasy elements in a story be developed logically: for example, Jack Williamson's "Darker Than You Think" describes a world in which there is a scientific explanation for the existence of werewolves. Similarly, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt's Harold Shea series, about a modern American who finds himself in the worlds of various mythologies, depicts a system of magic based on mathematical logic. Other notable stories included several well-received novels by L. Ron Hubbard and short stories such as Manly Wade Wellman's "When It Was Moonlight" and Fritz Leiber's "Two Sought Adventure", the first in his Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series.

Unknown was forced to a bimonthly schedule in 1941 by poor sales, and cancelled in 1943 when wartime paper shortages became so acute that Campbell had to choose between turning Astounding into a bimonthly or ending Unknown. The magazine is generally regarded as the finest fantasy fiction magazine ever published, despite the fact that it was not commercially successful, and in the opinion of science fiction historian Mike Ashley it was responsible for the creation of the modern fantasy publishing genre.

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 18. 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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