Two Complete Science-Adventure Books

Two Complete Science-Adventure Books was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published by Fiction House, which lasted for eleven issues between 1950 and 1954 as a companion to Planet Stories. Each issue carried two novels or long novellas. It was initially intended to carry only reprints, but soon began to publish original stories. Contributors included Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Poul Anderson, John Brunner, and James Blish. The magazine folded in 1954, almost at the end of the pulp era.

Two Complete Science-Adventure Books Winter 1950
Cover of the Winter 1950 issue. Artwork is by Allen Anderson.

Publication history

The early 1950s saw dramatic changes in the history of U.S. science fiction publishing. At the start of 1949, all but one of the major magazines in the field were in pulp format; by the end of 1955, almost all had either ceased publication or switched to digest format.[1] Despite the rapid decline of the pulp market, several new science fiction magazines were launched in pulp format during these years.[2] Planet Stories, a pulp sf magazine that focused on interplanetary adventure, was sufficiently successful to switch from quarterly to bimonthly in late 1950. The publisher, Fiction House, also decided to launch a companion magazine, aimed more specifically at the growing readership for pocket books.[3] This was Two Complete Science-Adventure Books; the first issue was dated Winter 1950, and it appeared three times a year on a regular schedule. Malcolm Reiss, who oversaw several of Fiction House's magazines and comics, was editorially involved with the Two Complete Science-Adventure Stories throughout its life, but for the first three issues Jerome Bixby, who at that time was editing Planet Stories, took on the new magazine as well. Bixby left in 1951 to work for Standard Publications. After this, Reiss was left in sole control until 1953, when Katherine Daffron was appointed editor. Daffron edited the magazine for the last two issues.[4][5][6] Fiction House tried another companion magazine that year, Tops in Science Fiction, but it lasted for only two issues.[7] Two Complete Science-Adventures Books outlasted Tops in Science Fiction by only a few months; it was cancelled in 1954, amid the collapse of the overall pulp market. The final issue was dated Spring 1954, and Planet Stories itself only lasted until the following year.[4]

Two Complete Science-Adventure Books typically carried about 80,000 words, which was noticeably more than most of its competitors, which usually ran from 45,000 to 75,000 words.[8] Fiction House paid $300 or more for the original novels it printed.[9][note 1]


The magazine was originally intended to be a vehicle for reprinting novels. The title and format were an echo of Two Complete Detective Books Magazine, which had been published, also by Fiction House, in the 1930s. The first issue included Isaac Asimov's Pebble in the Sky, and L. Ron Hubbard's "The Kingslayer". Both of these were reprints: Pebble in the Sky had been published by Doubleday earlier in the year, and "The Kingslayer" had appeared in Hubbard's short story collection The Kingslayer, published by Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc., in 1949. Subsequent issues abandoned the policy of reprinting two novels, and for a while each issue featured one original story and one reprint. In some later issues both stories were original.[4]

Although the authors included names such as James Blish and Poul Anderson, much of the material was, in the words of sf historian Joseph Marchesani, "derivative space opera", particular the original novels.[4] The original stories that appeared in the magazine included "The Wanton of Argus", an early story by John Brunner; "Seeker of the Sphinx", by Arthur C. Clarke; "Sword of Xota" and "Sargasso of Lost Cities", both by James Blish; and "The Tritonian Ring", by L. Sprague de Camp.[11] Reprints included The Time Machine by H.G. Wells; Beyond This Horizon, by Robert A. Heinlein (under the pseudonym Anson MacDonald); and The Humanoids by Jack Williamson.[4]

Bixby included a column for readers' letters in the issues he edited, but Reiss and Daffron did not, and none of the three wrote editorials.[4]

The following table shows which novels appeared in which issues.

Magazine issue Title Author Original? Notes
1 (Winter 1950) "Pebble in the Sky" Isaac Asimov No First published as a standalone novel by Doubleday in 1950.[12] An earlier version of the story, titled "Grow Old With Me", was published in 1986 in the collection Alternate Asimovs.[13]
1 (Winter 1950) "The Kingslayer" L. Ron Hubbard No First published in Hubbard's short story collection The Kingslayer by Fantasy Publishing Company in 1949.[14]
2 (Spring 1951) "The Star Kings" Edmond Hamilton No First published in the September 1947 issue of Amazing Stories.[15] First book appearance as a novel published by Frederick Fell in 1949.[16]
2 (Spring 1951) "Seeker of the Sphinx" Arthur C. Clarke Yes First book publication in 1952 in Year's Best Science Fiction Novels: 1952, published by Frederick Fell and edited by Everett F. Bleiler and T.E. Dikty.[17] Subsequently, published under the title "The Road to the Sea".[11]
3 (Summer 1951) "The Sword of Xota" James Blish Yes First book publication in 1953 as a Galaxy Science Fiction Novel, under the title The Warriors of Day.[18]
3 (Summer 1951) "The Citadel in Space" Neil R. Jones Yes
4 (Winter 1951) "The Time Machine" H.G. Wells No First published in 1895 by Henry Holt and Company.[19]
4 (Winter 1951) "The Tritonian Ring" L. Sprague de Camp Yes First book publication by Twayne Publishers in 1953.[20]
5 (Spring 1952) "The Humanoids" Jack Williamson No Part of Williamson's Humanoids series, the first story of which was "With Folded Hands...", published in the July 1947 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. The sequel, "...And Searching Mind" was serialized from March to May 1948 in Astounding, and subsequently published in book form as The Humanoids by Simon & Schuster in 1949, before being reprinted here.[21]
5 (Spring 1952) "The Outcasts of Venus" Anaximander Powell Yes Anaximander Powell was the pseudonym of the poet Hyam Plutzik, who wrote this novella circa 1936–1937 [22]
6 (Summer 1952) "The Cructars are Coming" Paul Lawrence Payne Yes
6 (Summer 1952) "Minions of the Moon" William Gray Beyer No First published in Argosy over three issues, from 22 April to 6 May 1939. First book publication from Gnome Press in 1950.[23]
7 (Winter 1952) "Beyond this Horizon" Anson MacDonald No Written by Robert A. Heinlein under a pseudonym. First published in the April and May 1942 issues of Astounding Science Fiction as by MacDonald.[24] First book publication by Fantasy Press in 1948, as by Heinlein.[25]
7 (Winter 1952) "The Magellanics" Alfred Coppel Yes
8 (Spring 1953) "Sargasso of Lost Cities" James Blish Yes Part of the "Cities in Flight" series. It formed part of the third book in that series, Earthman Come Home, which was first published in book form by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 1955.[26][27]
8 (Spring 1953) "Survivor of Mars" Vargo Statten No An early version of this story appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in January 1938 as by John Russell Fearn ("Vargo Statten" was a pseudonym for Fearn). First book publication by Scion in 1950.[28]
9 (Summer 1953) "The Wanton of Argus" Kilian Houston Brunner Yes The author is John Brunner, using an alternate form of his full name. This was the first novel by Brunner that he acknowledged. First book printing by Ace Books in 1963 as half of an Ace Double, under the title The Space-Time Juggler, backed with The Astronauts Must Not Land, also by Brunner.[29]
9 (Summer 1953) "Mission to Marakee" Bryan Berry No First published as "Aftermath" in the August 1952 issue of Authentic Science Fiction.[30] Never published in book form in English, but received first book publication in German under the title Flucht ins Weltall by Bewin-Verlag in 1955.[31]
10 (Winter 1953) "Silent Victory" Poul Anderson Yes First book publication as part of the collection A Bicycle Built for Brew from NESFA Press in 2014.[32]
10 (Winter 1953) "Ballroom of the Skies" John D. MacDonald No First published by Greenberg in 1952.[33]
11 (Spring 1954) "Tombot!" Don Wilcox Yes
11 (Spring 1954) "World Held Captive" Bryan Berry No First published by Hamilton in 1952 as Born in Captivity.[34]

Bibliographic details

Spring Summer Fall Winter
1950 1/1
1951 1/2 1/3 1/4
1952 1/5 1/6 1/7
1953 1/8 1/9 1/10
1954 1/11
Issues of Two Complete Science-Adventure Books,
showing volume/issue number, and color-coded to
indicate the lead editor: Jerome Bixby (blue), Malcolm Reiss
(yellow), and Katherine Daffron (orange)

Two Complete Science-Adventure Books was edited primarily by Jerome Bixby for the first three issues, then by Malcolm Reiss for six issues, and then primarily by Katherine Daffron for the last two issues. Reiss was involved with editing the magazine throughout its run.[4][6]

The schedule was completely regular, with issues dated Spring, Summer, and Winter of each year. The magazine was in pulp format throughout; each issue was priced at 25 cents. The first three issues were 144 pages; this was reduced to 128 pages for the Winter 1951 issue, reduced again to 112 pages for the Spring 1952 issue, and reduced further to 96 pages for the next four issues. The last two issues were 128 pages long. The publisher was listed as Wings Publishing Co.,[note 2] in New York for the first six issues and in Stamford, Connecticut, for the last five issues.[4]


  1. ^ A typical book publisher of the day would pay more than this—perhaps $500 to $1,000. However, a novel printed only in a magazine could often be sold again as a book.[10]
  2. ^ Wings was part of the Fiction House group, which published Planet Stories.[35]


  1. ^ Ashley (1976), p. 106.
  2. ^ Ashley (2000), pp. 220–223.
  3. ^ Ashley (2005), p. 11.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Marchesani (1985), pp. 679–681.
  5. ^ Ashley (2005), pp. 351–352, 361.
  6. ^ a b Ashley (2005), p. 345.
  7. ^ Ashley (1985), pp. 675–677.
  8. ^ de Camp (1953a), p. 99.
  9. ^ de Camp (1953a), pp. 114–115.
  10. ^ de Camp (1953a), pp. 124–125.
  11. ^ a b Edwards, Malcolm (21 August 2012). "Two Complete Science-Adventure Books". SF Encyclopedia. Gollancz. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  12. ^ Currey (1979), p. 19.
  13. ^ Asimov (1986).
  14. ^ Hubbard (1949).
  15. ^ Hamilton, Edmond (September 1947). "The Star Kings". Amazing Stories.
  16. ^ Hamilton (1949).
  17. ^ Bleiler & Dikty (1952).
  18. ^ Currey (1979), p. 44.
  19. ^ Currey (1979), p. 524.
  20. ^ de Camp (1953b).
  21. ^ Barron (1995), p. 206.
  22. ^ Plutzik, Hyam, Letter from a Young Poet, Trinity College, 2016, p. 96.
  23. ^ Clute, John; Langford, David (22 October 2014). "Beyer, William Grey". SF Encyclopedia. Gollancz. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  24. ^ Clute, John; Pringle, David (5 November 2014). "Heinlein, Robert A." SF Encyclopedia. Gollancz. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  25. ^ Currey (1979), p. 232.
  26. ^ Currey (1979), p. 41.
  27. ^ Nicholls, Peter (25 October 2014). "Blish, James". SF Encyclopedia. Gollancz. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  28. ^ Stableford, Brian; Clute, John; Langford, David; Redd, David (24 November 2014). "Fearn, John Russell". SF Encyclopedia. Gollancz. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  29. ^ Clute, John (25 October 2014). "Brunner, John". SF Encyclopedia. Gollancz. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  30. ^ Clute, John (22 October 2014). "Berry, Bryan". SF Encyclopedia. Gollancz. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  31. ^ Berry (1955).
  32. ^ Anderson (2014).
  33. ^ MacDonald (1952).
  34. ^ Berry (1952).
  35. ^ "Wings". The Author & Journalist. 19–21: 194. 1934.


  • Anderson, Poul (2014). A Bicycle Built for Brew. Framingham MA: NESFA Press. ISBN 978-1-61037-306-7.
  • Ashley, Mike (1985). "Tops in Science Fiction". In Tymn, Marshall B.; Ashley, Mike. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 675–677. ISBN 0-313-21221-X.
  • 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 (2005). Transformations:The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1950 to 1970. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-779-4.
  • Asimov, Isaac (1986). The Alternate Asimovs. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-19784-5.
  • Barron, Neil (1995). Anatomy of Wonder. New Providence NJ: R.R. Bowker. ISBN 0-8352-3288-3.
  • Bleiler, Everett F.; Dikty, T.E. (1952). Year's Best Science Fiction Novels: 1952. New York: Frederick Fell.
  • Berry, Bryan (1952). Born in Captivity. London: Hamilton.
  • Berry, Bryan (1955). Flucht ins Weltall. Bewin-Verlag.
  • Currey, L.W. (1979). Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction and Selected Nonfiction. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co. ISBN 0-8161-8242-6.
  • de Camp, L. Sprague (1953a). Science-Fiction Handbook: The Writing of Imaginative Fiction. New York: Hermitage House.
  • de Camp, L. Sprague (1953b). The Tritonian Ring. New York: Twayne Publishers.
  • Fearn, John Russell (1982). Survivor of Mars. Philip Harbottle. ISBN 0-89370-796-1.
  • Hamilton, Edmond (1949). The Star Kings. New York: Frederick Fell, Inc.
  • Hubbard, L. Ron (1949). The Kingslayer. Los Angeles: Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc.
  • MacDonald, John D. (1952). Ballroom of the Skies. New York: Greenberg.
  • Marchesani, Joseph (1985). "Two Complete Science-Adventure Books". In Tymn, Marshall B.; Ashley, Mike. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 679–681. ISBN 0-313-21221-X.
  • Plutzik, Hyam (2016). Letter from a Young Poet. Hartford: The Watkinson Library at Trinity College/Books & Books Press. ISBN 0-99132-717-9.
Argosy (magazine)

Argosy, later titled The Argosy and Argosy All-Story Weekly, was an American pulp magazine from 1882 through 1978, published by Frank Munsey. It is the first American pulp magazine. The magazine began as a children's weekly story–paper entitled The Golden Argosy.

Ballroom of the Skies

Ballroom of the Skies is a 1952 science fiction novel by American writer John D. MacDonald. Though MacDonald was primarily a mystery novelist famed for his Travis McGee series, he did write some science fiction short stories and novels. Other titles include Wine of the Dreamers (1951) and The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything (1962).

Beyond This Horizon

Beyond This Horizon is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein. It was originally published as a two-part serial in Astounding Science Fiction (April, May 1942, under the pseudonym Anson MacDonald) and then as a single volume by Fantasy Press in 1948. It was awarded a Retro Hugo award for best novel in 2018.

Fiction House

Fiction House was an American publisher of pulp magazines and comic books that existed from the 1920s to the 1950s. It was founded by John B. "Jack" Kelly and John W. Glenister. By the late 1930s, the publisher was Thurman T. Scott. Its comics division was best known for its pinup-style good girl art, as epitomized by the company's most popular character, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.

James Blish

James Benjamin Blish (23 May 1921 – 30 July 1975) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer. He is best known for his Cities in Flight novels, and his series of Star Trek novelizations written with his wife, J. A. Lawrence. He is credited with creating the term gas giant to refer to large planetary bodies.

Blish was a member of the Futurians. His first published stories appeared in Super Science Stories and Amazing Stories.

Blish wrote literary criticism of science fiction using the pen-name William Atheling Jr. His other pen names included: Donald Laverty, John MacDougal, and Arthur Lloyd Merlyn.

John Brunner (novelist)

John Kilian Houston Brunner (24 September 1934 – 25 August 1995) was a British author of science fiction novels and stories. His 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar, about an overpopulated world, won the 1969 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel, and the BSFA award the same year. The Jagged Orbit won the BSFA award in 1970.

John Russell Fearn

John Russell Fearn (1908–1960) was a British author and one of the first British writers to appear in American pulp science fiction magazines. A prolific author, he published his novels also as Vargo Statten and with various pseudonyms such as Thornton Ayre, Polton Cross, Geoffrey Armstrong, John Cotton, Dennis Clive, Ephriam Winiki, Astron Del Martia and others.

L. Ron Hubbard bibliography

The following is a partial bibliography of the writings of L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986).


Magellanic may refer to:

Magellanic Steppe, 7th largest desert in the world, see Patagonian Desert

Magellanic Straits, a sea passageway at the tip of South America, see Strait of Magellan

Magellanic subpolar forests, an ecoregion of southernmost Chile and Argentina

Magellanic Premium, a major prize established in 1786 regarding navigation

Minions of the Moon

Minions of the Moon is a science fiction novel by American writer William Gray Beyer, originally serialized in the magazine Argosy in 1939. It was published in book form in 1950 by Gnome Press in an edition of 5,000.

Neil R. Jones

Neil Ronald Jones (May 29, 1909 – February 15, 1988) was an American author who worked for the state of New York. Not prolific, and little remembered today, Jones was ground-breaking in science fiction. His first story, "The Death's Head Meteor", was published in Air Wonder Stories in 1930, possibly recording the first use of "astronaut" in fiction. He also pioneered cyborg and robotic characters, and is credited with inspiring the modern idea of cryonics. Most of his stories fit into a "future history" like that of Robert A. Heinlein or Cordwainer Smith, well before either of them used this convention in their fiction.

Pusadian series

The Pusadian series is a sequence of fantasy stories by L. Sprague de Camp, begun in the early 1950s and written under the influence of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories. It is also known as the Poseidonis series. It was the first post-Howard attempt at serious world-building of a fantasy setting in the Howard vein, prefiguring the numerous sword and sorcery settings of the 1960s and 1970s.

Robert A. Heinlein bibliography

The science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) was productive during a writing career that spanned the last 49 years of his life; the Robert A. Heinlein bibliography includes 32 novels, 59 short stories and 16 collections published during his life. Four films, two TV series, several episodes of a radio series, and a board game derive more or less directly from his work. He wrote a screenplay for one of the films. Heinlein edited an anthology of other writers' SF short stories.

Three non-fiction books and two poems have been published posthumously. One novel has been published posthumously and another, an unusual collaboration, was published in 2006. Four collections have been published posthumously.

Heinlein's fictional works can be found in the library under PS3515.E288, or under Dewey 813.54. Known pseudonyms include Anson MacDonald (7 times), Lyle Monroe (7), John Riverside (1), Caleb Saunders (1), and Simon York (1). All the works originally attributed to MacDonald, Saunders, Riverside and York, and many of the works originally attributed to Lyle Monroe, were later reissued in various Heinlein collections and attributed to Heinlein.

Science fiction magazine

A science fiction magazine is a publication that offers primarily science fiction, either in a hard copy periodical format or on the Internet.

Science fiction magazines traditionally featured speculative fiction in short story, novelette, novella or (usually serialized) novel form, a format that continues into the present day. Many also contain editorials, book reviews or articles, and some also include stories in the fantasy and horror genres.

The Kingslayer

The Kingslayer is a collection of science fiction short stories by American writer L. Ron Hubbard. It was first published in 1949 by Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. in an edition of 1,200 copies. The title story first appeared in this collection. The other stories had previously appeared in the magazine Astounding SF.

The Tritonian Ring

The Tritonian Ring is a fantasy novel written by L. Sprague de Camp as part of his Pusadian series. It was first published in the magazine Two Complete Science Adventure Books for Winter, 1951, and first appeared in book form in de Camp's collection The Tritonian Ring and Other Pusadian Tales (Twayne, 1953). Its first publication as a stand-alone novel was as a paperback by Paperback Library in 1968; the first hardcover edition was from Owlswick Press in 1977. An E-book edition was published as The Tritonian Ring and Other Pasudian [sic] Tales by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.It has also been translated into Italian, Dutch, German and Russian, and was listed in Michael Moorcock and James Cawthorn's Fantasy: The 100 Best Books.

The Tritonian Ring and Other Pusadian Tales

The Tritonian Ring and Other Pusadian Tales is a 1953 collection of stories by American science fiction and fantasy author L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardcover by Twayne Publishers. An E-book edition was published as The Tritonian Ring and Other Pasudian [sic] Tales by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form. The pieces were originally published between 1951 and 1953 in the magazines and anthologies Two Complete Science Adventure Books, Fantasy Fiction, Imagination Stories of Science and Fantasy, and Fantastic Adventures. The title story, the novel The Tritonian Ring has also been published separately.

The book is a collection of de Camp's early Pusadian tales, all of which are set in an antediluvian world patterned after Robert E. Howard's Hyborian Age.

William Gray Beyer

William Gray Beyer was an American writer of science fiction and mystery.

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