Fantasy Book

Fantasy Book is a defunct semi-professional[note 1] American science fiction magazine that published eight issues between 1947 and 1951. The editor was William Crawford, and the publisher was Crawford's Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. Crawford had problems distributing the magazine, and his budget limited the quality of the paper he could afford and the artwork he was able to buy, but he attracted submissions from some well-known writers, including Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, A. E. van Vogt, Robert Bloch, and L. Ron Hubbard. The best-known story to appear in the magazine was Cordwainer Smith's first sale, "Scanners Live in Vain", which was later included in the first Science Fiction Hall of Fame anthology, and is now regarded as one of Smith's finest works. Jack Gaughan, later an award-winning science fiction artist, made his first professional sale to Fantasy Book, for the cover illustrating Smith's story.

Fantasy book 1950 n6
The cover for issue 6 (1950), by Jack Gaughan. This was Gaughan's first professional sale.

Publication history

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1947 1/1
1948 1/2 1/3 1/4
1949 1/5
1950 1/6 2/1
1951 2/2
Issues of Fantasy Book, showing volume and issue number. The magazine lists a year of

issue; the months of issue are taken from later bibliographies.[2]

The first science fiction (SF) magazine, Amazing Stories, appeared in 1926, and by the mid-1930s SF pulp magazines were a well-established genre. In 1933, William Crawford, a Pennsylvania science fiction fan, started Unusual Stories, a semi-professional SF magazine, and he followed this with Marvel Tales in 1934. Neither of the magazines lasted long or achieved wide distribution, though he obtained stories from Clifford Simak, P. Schuyler Miller, and John Wyndham, all of whom were established writers. After World War II, Crawford, by now living in Los Angeles, founded Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc., and in 1947 he launched Fantasy Book in bedsheet format.[3] The editor was listed as "Garret Ford"; this was a pseudonym for Crawford and his wife, Margaret. Some additional editorial work was done by Forrest Ackerman.[2]

By the time the first issue was printed in mid-1947, Crawford's distributor had gone out of business, leaving him with 1,000 copies on hand. He attempted to sell the issue through subscription and placed some for sale via specialist dealers.[3] Crawford did not always have access to high-quality paper,[3] and he decided to produce two versions of the second issue: one on book-quality paper, priced at 35 cents, and another on lower-quality paper, priced at 25 cents, intended for newsstand distribution, each featuring different cover artwork.[2][4][5] The third and fourth issues were also produced in two versions with different covers, and the same price difference.[5] With the third issue, Crawford reduced the size to digest, announcing, "The change in size may be inconvenient to some collectors—but it has become a question of a small FB or no FB at all".[6]

The lack of a reliable distributor continued to be a problem; Crawford commented in the fourth issue that he had still not obtained reliable nationwide distribution for the magazine.[6] The remaining issues were all in digest format, except for issue 6, which shrank to a small digest size. The eighth and final issue appeared in January 1951.[2]

Contents and reception

Fantasy book 1947 v1 n1
The first issue (1947); the cover is by "Milo"

Crawford still had in inventory stories he had acquired for Marvel Tales over a decade earlier, and "People of the Crater" by Andre Norton (under the pseudonym Andrew North), which appeared in the first issue, was one of these.[3] There was also a story by A. E. van Vogt, "The Cataaaa",[7] and Robert Bloch's "The Black Lotus",[8] which had first appeared in 1935 in Unusual Stories.[9] Crawford's budget limited the quality of the artwork he could acquire—he sometimes was unable to pay for art—but he managed to get Charles McNutt, later better known as Charles Beaumont, to contribute interior illustrations to the first issue.[3] Wendy Bousfield, a science fiction historian, describes his work as "strikingly original",[10] and considers the first issue to be the most artistically attractive of the whole run.[10]

The next two issues featured covers by Lora Crozetti on the de luxe editions; sf historian Mike Ashley considers both to be "appalling",[3] and Bousfield describes them as "crude and uninspired".[10] Van Vogt appeared in both issues, with "The Ship of Darkness" and "The Great Judge", and the second issue featured the first installment of The Machine-God Laughs, by Festus Pragnell, which was serialized over three issues.[3] The fourth issue saw the beginning of another serial: Black Goldfish, by John Taine (a pseudonym for the mathematician Eric Temple Bell); it ran for two issues. Bousfield describes both serials as "among the weakest stories FB published". A third serial, Journey to Barkut, by Murray Leinster, began in the seventh issue and was left incomplete when the magazine ceased publication. It subsequently appeared in full in Startling Stories in 1952.[8]

L. Ron Hubbard, shortly to become the founder of Dianetics, the precursor of Scientology, contributed "Battle of the Wizards" to issue 5, and the sixth issue saw two notable stories. One was "The Little Man on the Subway", by Isaac Asimov and Frederik Pohl, under the pseudonym "James MacCreigh"; Asimov had rewritten Pohl's first draft and submitted it to John Campbell at Unknown in 1941, who had rejected it. The other was "Scanners Live in Vain", by Cordwainer Smith. This was a pseudonym for Paul A. Linebarger, a professor of Asian politics and a military advisor, who had written the story, inspired by his knowledge of psychology, some years before; he tried to sell it to the leading SF magazines during the war, but had been rejected.[11] The story was Smith's first sale, and is now regarded as a classic—SF critic John Clute describes it as "one of [Smith's] finest works",[12] Pohl said that "it is perhaps the chief reason why [Fantasy Book] is remembered", [13] and it was later included in the first volume of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame anthologies voted on by members of the Science Fiction Writers of America.[14][15] Jack Gaughan, later an award-winning artist in the field, provided the cover for issue 6; it was his first professional sale.[16][11] Bousfield considers it the only "truly outstanding" cover of the magazine's run.[10]

SF critics Malcolm Edwards and Peter Nicholls describe Fantasy Book as "generally an undistinguished and erratic magazine",[4] but Ashley comments that small-press magazines such as Fantasy Book, by providing an outlet for stories that could not sell elsewhere, provided a valuable service to the genre.[17]

Bibliographic details

All eight issues of the Fantasy Book were published by Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. (FPCI), of Los Angeles, and edited by "Garret Ford", a pseudonym for William and Margaret Crawford. The first two issues were in bedsheet format, and the remaining issues in digest format, except for issue 6 which was a small digest. The first two issues were 44 pages long; the next two were 68 pages; issues 5 and 6 were 84 pages and 112 pages respectively; the last two issues were both 82 pages. The price was 25 cents for all issues except for the three de luxe variant editions of issues 2, 3, and 4, which were 35 cents.[2]

Two anthologies were drawn mostly or entirely from the stories published in Fantasy Book. In 1949, Crawford anonymously edited The Machine-God Laughs, which contained Pragnell's story and two more stories from Fantasy Book.[18] It was published by Griffin Publishing, which was owned by Crawford.[18][19] In 1953, Crawford's other publishing company, FPCI, issued Science and Sorcery, edited by "Garret Ford", the pseudonym used by the Crawfords when they edited Fantasy Book. It contained fifteen stories, nine of which had originally appeared in Fantasy Book.[18]


  1. ^ A semiprofessional magazine, or "semiprozine", is a magazine that lies somewhere between an amateur fanzine and a full professional magazine. For science fiction magazines, the definition has been codified by the World Science Fiction Society (the body that administers the Hugo Awards) since 1983, and requires that the magazine meet two of the following criteria: it must "have an average press run of at least 1000 copies; pay its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication; provide at least half the income of any one person; have at least 15% of its total space occupied by advertising; or announce itself to be a semiprozine."[1]


  1. ^ Nicholls, Peter; Ashley, Mike; Langford, David. "Culture : Semiprozine : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Bousfield (1985), p. 264.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Ashley (2000), p. 212.
  4. ^ a b Edwards, Malcolm; Nicholls, Peter. "Culture : Fantasy Book : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Stephensen-Payne, Phil. "Fantasy Book". Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Bousfield (1985), p. 258.
  7. ^ Bousfield (1985), p. 261.
  8. ^ a b Bousfield (1985), p. 262.
  9. ^ Ashley & Contento (1995), p. 122.
  10. ^ a b c d Bousfield (1985), p. 259.
  11. ^ a b Ashley (2000), p. 213.
  12. ^ Clute, John. "Authors : Smith, Cordwainer : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  13. ^ Pohl, Frederik (December 1966). "Cordwainer Smith". Editorial. Galaxy Science Fiction. p. 6.
  14. ^ Langford, David; Nicholls, Peter. "Culture : Nebula Anthologies : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  15. ^ "Publication: The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One". Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  16. ^ Gustafson, Jon; Langford, David. "Authors : Gaughan, Jack : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  17. ^ Ashley (2000), pp. 212–213.
  18. ^ a b c Bousfield (1985), p. 263.
  19. ^ Clute, John; Edwards, Malcolm. "Authors : Crawford, William L : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved February 12, 2017.


  • Ashley, Mike (2000). The Time Machines: The Story of the Science-Fiction Pulp Magazines from the beginning to 1950. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-865-0.
  • Ashley, Mike; Contento, William (1995). Supernatural Index: A Listing of Fantasy, Supernatural, Occult, Weird, and Horror Anthologies. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-24030-2.
  • Asimov, Isaac (1979). In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1920–1954. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-13679-X.
  • Bousfield, Wendy (1985). "Fantasy Book". In Tymn, Marshall B.; Ashley, Mike. Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 258–264. ISBN 0-313-21221-X.
A Tourist Guide to Lancre

A Tourist Guide To Lancre is the third book in the Discworld Mapp series, and the first to be illustrated by Paul Kidby. As with the other maps, the basic design and booklet were compiled by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs.

The Mapp shows the mountain country of Lancre, with the Ramtops drawn in a vertigo-inducing perspective shot, rather than as a relief diagram. The accompanying booklet details the history, geography and folklore of the country, with contributions from both Gytha Ogg (anticipating the style of Nanny Ogg's Cookbook) and Eric Wheelbrace, the Discworld's most famous hillwalker (a parody of Alfred Wainwright).

Atheneum Books

Atheneum Books was a New York City publishing house established in 1959 by Alfred A. Knopf, Jr., Simon Michael Bessie and Hiram Haydn. Simon & Schuster has owned Atheneum properties since its acquisition of Macmillan in 1994 and it created Atheneum Books for Young Readers as an imprint for children's books in the 2000s.

Baen Books

Baen Books is an American publishing house for science fiction and fantasy. In science fiction, it emphasizes space opera, hard science fiction, and military science fiction. The company was established in 1983 by science fiction publisher and editor Jim Baen. After his death in 2006, he was succeeded as publisher by long-time executive editor Toni Weisskopf.

Ballantine Books

Ballantine Books is a major book publisher located in the United States, founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine with his wife, Betty Ballantine. It was acquired by Random House in 1973, which in turn was acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998 and remains part of that company today. Ballantine's logo is a pair of mirrored letter Bs back to back. The firm's early editors were Stanley Kauffmann and Bernard Shir-Cliff.

Death's Domain

Death's Domain is a book by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs, and illustrated by Paul Kidby. It is the fourth in the Discworld Mapp series, other publications of which include The Streets of Ankh-Morpork, The Discworld Mapp and A Tourist Guide to Lancre. It was first published in paperback by Corgi in 1999. It was the second in the series to be illustrated by Kidby. As with the other "mapps", the basic design and booklet were compiled by Pratchett and Briggs.

The Mapp shows the parasite universe of Death's Domain. The accompanying booklet provides various details of the Domain, both as portrayed in the Discworld books and newly revealed.

In Death's Domain, the concept of steam locomotives on Discworld is introduced, which became the main theme of Pratchett's Discworld novel Raising Steam fourteen years later.

Del Rey Books

Del Rey Books is a branch of Ballantine Books, which is owned by Random House and, in turn, by Penguin Random House. It is a separate imprint established in 1977 under the editorship of author Lester del Rey and his wife Judy-Lynn del Rey. It specializes in science fiction and fantasy books, and formerly manga under its (now defunct) Del Rey Manga imprint.

The first new novel published by Del Rey was The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks in 1977. Del Rey also publishes the Star Wars novels under the LucasBooks sub-imprint (licensed from Lucasfilm, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios division of The Walt Disney Company).

Fantasy literature

Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe, often but not always without any locations, events, or people from the real world. Magic, the supernatural and magical creatures are common in many of these imaginary worlds.It is a story that child and adults can read.

Fantasy is a subgenre of speculative fiction and is distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the absence of scientific or macabre themes, respectively, though these genres overlap. Historically, most works of fantasy were written, however, since the 1960s, a growing segment of the fantasy genre has taken the form of films, television programs, graphic novels, video games, music and art.

A number of fantasy novels originally written for children, such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Hobbit, also attract an adult audience.

Orbit Books

Orbit Books is an international publisher that specialises in science fiction and fantasy books. It was founded in 1974 as part of the Macdonald Futura publishing company. In 1992, its parent company was bought by Little, Brown & Co., at that stage part of the Time Warner Book Group.

In 1997, Orbit acquired the Legend imprint from Random House.In 2006, Orbit's parent company Little, Brown was sold by Time Warner to the French publishing group Hachette Livre.

In summer 2006, it was announced that Orbit would expand internationally, with the establishment of Orbit imprints in the United States and Australia. Orbit Publishing Director Tim Holman relocated to New York to establish Orbit US as an imprint of Hachette Book Group USA. In June 2007, Orbit announced the appointment of Bernadette Foley as publisher for Orbit Australia, an imprint of Hachette Livre Australia.

Roc Books

Roc Books is a fantasy imprint of Penguin Group, as part of its New American Library. It was launched in April 1990 after Penguin Chairman Peter Mayer asked John Silbersack, the editor in chief of New American Library's science-fiction program, to launch a new imprint that would draw more attention to Penguin's SF presence. The name Roc Books was chosen as a homage to Penguin's many famous bird-named publishing imprints. Roc was named after the enormous predatory bird of the Arabian Nights. After Penguin's merger with G.P. Putnam's Sons the imprint was aligned with Ace books and the current editorial team at Roc is the same team that edits the Ace imprint, although the two imprints maintain a separate identity.

Sphere Books

Sphere Books is the name of two British paperback publishers.

Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes

Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes is a 2016 comic book miniseries combining the Tarzan and Planet of the Apes media franchises.

The Discworld Mapp

The Discworld Mapp is an atlas that contains a large, fold out map of the Discworld fictional world, drawn by Stephen Player to the directions of Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs. It also contains a short booklet relating the adventures and explorers of the Disc and their discoveries.

It was originally conceived as the second in a series of three maps, along with The Streets of Ankh-Morpork and A Tourist Guide to Lancre. For this work, Briggs became known as the "cartographer of Discworld." A fourth atlas, Death's Domain, was added to the series.

After its publication, Pratchett was surprised to learn that British bookstores were displaying it in their nonfiction sections because, they argued, it was a real map, though of a fictional place.

The Forgotten Realms Atlas

The Forgotten Realms Atlas was a book produced by Karen Wynn Fonstad and provided detailed maps of the Forgotten Realms, a fictional setting in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.

The atlas also included timelines of various novels set in the world. The book was 210 pages, and was published in August 1990.

The Pratchett Portfolio

The Pratchett Portfolio is a small collection of the artistic works of Paul Kidby, illustrating the characters of Terry Pratchett's Discworld. It includes a small blurb on each character, and a picture of said person. In addition to the art, each blurb talks about how Pratchett created the characters. The portfolio was published in 1996 and followed in 2004 by The Art of Discworld.

The portfolio includes entries for characters such as Lady Ramkin, Detritus, Mustrum Ridcully, the Death of Rats, as well as Rincewind running around in the Dungeon Dimensions.

Titan (Fighting Fantasy book)

Titan: The Fighting Fantasy World is a book in the Fighting Fantasy series of children's fantasy books, first published by Puffin Books in 1986. Although credited to Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, it was actually written by Marc Gascoigne (credited as editor), although mostly based on locations, characters and events already described in other books in the series (including Jackson's and Livingstone's). It is written in the manner of an encyclopedia about the fantasy world of Titan, in which the majority of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks are set.

Tolkien's Ring

Tolkien's Ring is a book written by David Day about the origins of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings story and the origins of Middle-earth in general.

Tor Books

Tor Books is the primary imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a publishing company based in New York City. It primarily publishes science fiction and fantasy titles, and publishes the online science fiction magazine

Underdark (supplement)

The Underdark sourcebook for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting of the 3.5 edition of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.