Oscar J. Friend

Oscar Jerome Friend (January 8, 1897 – January 19, 1963) began his career primarily as a pulp fiction author in various genres including horror, Westerns, science fiction, and detective fiction. As a pulp writer he worked with Wonder Stories, Startling Stories, Strange Stories, Captain Future and Thrilling Wonder Stories. As his career progressed, Oscar Friend authored many novels, which were published worldwide. Friend wrote screenplays, worked as an editor on periodicals, and was co-editor on several anthologies. Finally, he took the helm of a literary agency.

Biography

Oscar Jerome Friend was born on January 8, 1897 in St. Louis, Missouri to Jinnie L. and Joseph Friend. He married Irene Ozment in 1917.

Oscar Friend moved to Los Angeles at the request of Walt Disney Productions, and worked for some time as a scriptwriter for films at Universal Studios before returning to New York.

He died in January 1963.

Legacy

Upon the death of his friend and literary agent, Otis Kline, Oscar Friend acquired ownership of his company, Otis Kline Associates. Friend, with the partnership of his wife Irene Ozment Friend, became one of the foremost international science fiction and fantasy agents of the 1950s and 1960s. Oscar Friend's clients included many talented ground-breaking authors, among them: Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Robert E. Howard, Theodore Sturgeon, Murray Leinster, and Frank Herbert.

Novels

Science Fiction

  • "The Kid From Mars" (1948) Genre: Science Fiction. Disney approached Oscar J. Friend just after WWII, planning to make this novel into a musical with Danny Kaye, but the film plans fell through due to a change in Kaye's retirement plans. The film rights to the book were again optioned by Disney in the 1990s.
  • "Of Jovian Build" (1938) Genre: Science Fiction.
  • "The Worms Turn" (1940) Genre: Science Fiction.
  • "The Stolen Spectrum" (circa 1940's) Genre: Science Fiction.
  • "The Water World" (1941) Genre: Science Fiction.
  • "The Molecule Monsters" (1942, 1950) Genre: Science Fiction.
  • "Roar of the Rocket" (1950) Genre: Science Fiction.
  • "The Star Men" (1953) Genre: Science Fiction.

Westerns

  • "Click of Triangle T" (1925) Genre: Western, published first as a novel,then produced as a film by Monogram Pictures, starring Hoot Gibson
  • "The Round Up" (1924) Genre: Western
  • "The Bullet Eater" (1925) Genre: Western
  • "The Wolf of Wildcat Mountain" (1926) Genre: Western
  • "Gun Harvest" (1927, republished 1948) Genre: Western
  • "Bloody Ground" (1928) Genre: Western
  • "The Mississippi Hawk" (1929) Genre: Western
  • "The Hawk of Hazard (1929) Genre: Western
  • "The Maverick" (1930) Genre: Western
  • "Half Moon Ranch" (1931) Genre: Western
  • "The Range Maverick" (1934) Genre: Western
  • "Without Benefit of Bullets" (1941) Genre: Western
  • "The Wedding Gift" (1943) Genre: Western
  • "Oklahoma Gun Song" (1944) Genre: Western
  • "Love's Gun Doctor" (1944) Genre: Western
  • "Gun Trail to Glory" (circa 1940's) Genre: Western
  • "Betty of the Lazy W" (circa 1940's) Genre: Western
  • "The Range Doctor" (1948) Genre: Western
  • "Guns of Powder River" (first published under this title in the UK in 1950) [republished in 1963 in the US as "Action at Powder River" under the pen name Ford Smith] Genre: Western.
  • "The Last Raid" (1952) Genre: Western
  • "Lobo Brand" (1954) Genre: Western

Thrillers

  • "The Hand Of Horror" (1927) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • "The Red Kite Clue" (1928) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • "Domes of Silence" (1929) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • "The Golf Course Murders" (1929) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome, published in the U.S. and the U.K.
  • "The Murder at Avalon Arms" (1931) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome, published in the U.S. and the U.K.
  • "The Cat and the Fiddle" (19__) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • "Murder - As Usual" (1942) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • "Shadow Justice" (1942) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • "The Corpse Awaits" (1946) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • "Death Script" (19__) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • "A Night at Club Bagdad" (1950) Genre: Thriller Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • "Double Life" (1959) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • "The Five Assassins" (1958) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • "Leave Everything to Me" (1959) Genre: Thriller. Written under the pen name Owen Fox Jerome.
  • Friend also used the pen names Ford Smith & Frank Johnson for his science fiction novels, and the pseudonym Sergeant Saturn as editor.

Anthologies co-edited by Oscar J. Friend

  • From Off This World (1949) with Leo Margulies
  • My Best Science Fiction Story (1949) with Leo Margulies
  • Giant Anthology of SF (1954) with Leo Margulies
  • Giant Anthology of Science Fiction (1954) with Leo Margulies
  • Race to the Stars (1958) with Leo Margulies

References

External links

A Treasury of Science Fiction

A Treasury of Science Fiction is an American anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in hardcover by Crown Publishers in 1948, and reprinted in March 1951. A later edition was issued by Bonanza Books/Crown Publishers in March 1980. An abridged paperback version including eight of its thirty stories was published by Berkley Books in July 1957 and reprinted in January 1958 and January 1965.The book and Adventures in Time and Space were among the only science fiction hardcovers from large, mainstream publishers before about 1950. It collects thirty novellas, novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1929-1947 in various science fiction and other magazines. Conklin did not know how to contact Martin Pearson, and used an advertisement in Astounding Science Fiction to find him to pay the royalty.

Avalon Books

Avalon Books was a small New York-based book publishing imprint active from 1950 through 2012, established by Thomas Bouregy. Avalon was an important science fiction imprint in the 1950s and 60s; later its specialty was mystery and romance books. The imprint was owned by Thomas Bouregy & Co., Inc.. It remained a family firm, with Thomas's daughter Ellen Bouregy Mickelsen taking over as publisher in 1995.On June 4, 2012 it was announced that Amazon.com had purchased the imprint and its back-list of about 3,000 titles. Amazon said it would publish the books through the various imprints of Amazon Publishing.

Captain Future

Captain Future is a science fiction hero – a space-traveling scientist and adventurer – originally published in a namesake pulp magazine from 1940 to 1951. The character was created by editor Mort Weisinger and principally authored by Edmond Hamilton. There have subsequently been a number of adaptations and derivative works. Most significant was a 1978-79 Japanese anime (キャプテン・フューチャー), which was dubbed into several languages and proved very popular, particularly in Spanish, French, German and Arabic.

Captain Future (magazine)

Captain Future was a science fiction pulp magazine launched in 1940 by Better Publications, and edited initially by Mort Weisinger. It featured the adventures of Captain Future, a super-scientist whose real name was Curt Newton, in every issue. All but two of the novels in the magazine were written by Edmond Hamilton; the other two were by Joseph Samachson. The magazine also published other stories that had nothing to do with the title character, including Fredric Brown's first science fiction sale, "Not Yet the End". Captain Future published unabashed space opera, and was, in the words of science fiction historian Mike Ashley, "perhaps the most juvenile" of the science fiction pulps to appear in the early years of World War II. Wartime paper shortages eventually led to the magazine's cancellation: the last issue was dated Spring 1944.

Friend (surname)

Friend is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Andy Friend (born 1969), Australian rugby union coach

Bob Friend (born 1930), American Major League baseball player

Bob Friend (newscaster) (1938 - 2008), British newscaster

Charlotte Friend (1921 - 1987), American virologist

Clayton Friend (born 1964), New Zealand professional rugby league player

Cliff Friend (1893 - 1974), American songwriter and pianist

Danny Friend (1875 - 1942), American Major League baseball player

Donald Friend (1915 - 1989), Australian artist, writer and diarist

George Friend (born 1987), English footballer

George Friend (parliamentary official) (1835 - 1898), 3rd Clerk of the New Zealand House of Representatives

Harold Friend (1902 – ?), English footballer

Hugo Friend (1882 - 1966), American athlete

Jacob Elias Friend (1857 - 1912), American state legislator, lawyer and businessman

Jake Friend (born 1990), Australian rugby league player

John Friend (disambiguation), multiple people

Lonn Friend (born 1956), American journalist and author

Lovick Friend (1856 - 1944), British Army major general

Natasha Friend (born 1972), American author

Nathan Friend (born 1981), Australian rugby league footballer

Oscar J. Friend (1897 - 1963), American pulp-fiction author

Owen Friend (1927 - 2007), American Major League Baseball player

Patricia A. Friend, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants

Peggy Friend, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player

Peter Friend (disambiguation), multiple people

Phyllis Friend (1922 – 2013), British nurse

Quinton Friend (born 1982), South African cricketer

Rachel Friend (born 1970), Australian actress

Richard Friend (born 1953), British physicist

Rob Friend (born 1981), Canadian soccer player

Robert Friend (1913 - 1998), American poet

Rupert Friend (born 1981), English actor

Simon Friend (born 1967), English singer-songwriter

Tad Friend (born 1962), American journalist

Theodore Friend (born 1931), American academic

Travis Friend (born 1981), Zimbabwean international cricketer

William Benedict Friend (born 1931), Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Shreveport, Louisiana

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.

Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories 2 (1940)

Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories 2 (1940) is an English language anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg. The series attempts to list the great science fiction stories from the Golden Age of Science Fiction. They date the Golden Age as beginning in 1939 and lasting until 1963. The book was later reprinted as the second half of Isaac Asimov Presents The Golden Years of Science Fiction: 36 Stories and Novellas with the first half being Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories 1 (1939).

This volume was originally published by DAW books in August 1979.

Legacy of Robert E. Howard

Robert E. Howard's legacy extended after his death in 1936. Howard's most famous character, Conan the Barbarian, has a pop-culture imprint that has been compared to such icons as Tarzan of the Apes, Count Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, and James Bond. Howard's critical reputation suffered at first but over the decades works of Howard scholarship have been published. The first professionally published example of this was L. Sprague de Camp's Dark Valley Destiny (1983) which was followed by other works, including Don Herron's The Dark Barbarian (1984) and Mark Finn's Blood & Thunder (2006). Also in 2006, a charity, Robert E. Howard Foundation, was created to promote further scholarship.

Following Robert E. Howard's death, the courts granted his estate to his father, who continued to work with Howard's literary agent Otis Adelbert Kline. Dr. Isaac Howard passed the rights on to his friend Dr. Pere Kuykendall, who passed them to his wife, Alla Ray Kuykendall, and daughter, Alla Ray Morris. Morris left the rights to the widow of her cousin, Zora Mae Bryant, who gave control to her children, Jack Baum and Terry Baum Rogers. The Baums eventually sold their rights to the Swedish company Paradox Entertainment, Inc.

Howard's first published novel, A Gent from Bear Creek, was printed in Britain one year after his death. This was followed in the United States by a collection of Howard's stories, Skull-Face and Others (1946) and then the novel Conan the Conqueror (1950). The success of Conan the Conqueror led to a series of Conan books from publisher Gnome Press, the later editor of which was L. Sprague de Camp. The series led to the first Conan pastiche, the novel The Return of Conan by de Camp and Swedish Howard fan Björn Nyberg. De Camp eventually achieved control over the Conan stories and Conan brand in general. Oscar Friend took over from Kline as literary agent and he was followed by his daughter Kittie West. When she closed the agency in 1965, a new agent was required. De Camp was offered the role but he recommended Glenn Lord instead. Lord began as a fan of Howard and had re-discovered many unpublished pieces that would otherwise have been lost, printing them in books such as Always Comes Evening (1957) and his own magazine The Howard Collector (1961–1973). He became responsible for the non-Conan works and later restored, textually-pure versions of the Conan stories themselves.

In 1966, de Camp made a deal with Lancer Books to republish the Conan series, which led to the "First Howard Boom" of the 1970s; many of his works were reprinted (some printed for the first time) and they expanded into other media such as comic books and films. The Conan stories were increasingly edited by de Camp and the series was extended by pastiches until they replaced the original stories. In response, a "purist" movement grew up demanding Howard's original, un-edited stories. The first boom ended in the mid-1980s. In the late 1990s and early 21st century, the "Second Howard Boom" occurred. This saw the printing of new collections of Howard's work, with the restored texts desired by Purists. As before, the boom led to new comic books, films and computer games. Howard's house in Cross Plains has been converted into the Robert E. Howard Museum which has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

List of Harlequin Romance novels released in 1951

This is a list of Harlequin Romance novels released in 1951.

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.

My Best Science Fiction Story

My Best Science Fiction Story is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Leo Margulies and Oscar J. Friend. It was first published in hardcover by Merlin Press in November 1949, and reprinted in August 1950. An abridged paperback edition including twelve of its twenty-five stories was published by Pocket Books in July 1954 and reprinted in November 1955.The book collects twenty-five self-selected short stories and novelettes by as many science fiction authors, together with a general introduction by the editors and brief introductory essays prefacing each story by its author explaining the selection, each titled "Why I Selected '[Title of Story].' The selections are generally presented in alphabetical order by author (though the Heinlein piece is out of order). The stories were previously published from 1930-1949 in various science fiction and other magazines.

Sam Merwin Jr.

Samuel Kimball Merwin Jr. (April 28, 1910 - January 13, 1996) was an American mystery fiction writer, editor and science fiction author, who published fiction mostly as Sam Merwin Jr. His pseudonyms included Elizabeth Deare Bennett, Matt Lee, Jacques Jean Ferrat and Carter Sprague.

Startling Stories

Startling Stories was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1955 by publisher Ned Pines' Standard Magazines. It was initially edited by Mort Weisinger, who was also the editor of Thrilling Wonder Stories, Standard's other science fiction title. Startling ran a lead novel in every issue; the first was The Black Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum. When Standard Magazines acquired Thrilling Wonder in 1936, it also gained the rights to stories published in that magazine's predecessor, Wonder Stories, and selections from this early material were reprinted in Startling as "Hall of Fame" stories. Under Weisinger the magazine focused on younger readers and, when Weisinger was replaced by Oscar J. Friend in 1941, the magazine became even more juvenile in focus, with clichéd cover art and letters answered by a "Sergeant Saturn". Friend was replaced by Sam Merwin, Jr. in 1945, and Merwin was able to improve the quality of the fiction substantially, publishing Arthur C. Clarke's Against the Fall of Night, and several other well-received stories.

Much of Startling's cover art was painted by Earle K. Bergey, who became strongly associated with the magazine, painting almost every cover between 1940 and 1952. He was known for equipping his heroines with brass bras and implausible costumes, and the public image of science fiction in his day was partly created by his work for Startling and other magazines. Merwin left in 1951, and Samuel Mines took over; the standard remained fairly high but competition from new and better-paying markets such as Galaxy Science Fiction and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction impaired Mines' ability to acquire quality material. In mid-1952, Standard attempted to change Startling's image by adopting a more sober title typeface and reducing the sensationalism of the covers, but by 1955 the pulp magazine market was collapsing. Startling absorbed its two companion magazines, Thrilling Wonder and Fantastic Story Magazine, in early 1955, but by the end of that year it too ceased publication.

Ron Hanna of Wild Cat Books revived Startling Stories in 2007.

The Man Who Evolved

"The Man Who Evolved" is a science fiction short story by American writer Edmond Hamilton, first published in the April 1931 issue of Wonder Stories. In his comments on the story in Before the Golden Age, Isaac Asimov called it the first science fiction short story (as opposed to novel) that impressed him so much it stayed in his mind permanently. In her introduction to The Best of Edmond Hamilton, Leigh Brackett called the story "a fine example of Hamilton's skill in encapsulating an enormous theme into the neat and perfect compass of a short story".

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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