The official blog for the Pulp Magazines Project, an open-access digital archive of early twentieth-century pulp magazines

New Issues/ Contexts (8/8/2012 & 9/22/2012)

In August and September, the Pulp Magazines Project added several new items to the website, including 12 issues of pre-1923 “slick” and “book-paper” magazines:

McClure’s (Jul 1897); Black Cat (Dec 1899); Saturday Evening Post (Aug 18, 1906); Red Book (Apr 1908); Harper’s (Sept 1910); Everybody’s (Mar 1911); Smith’s (Jul 1913); Young’s (Jan 1914); Scribner’s (Mar 1914); Munsey’s (Feb 1915); Collier’s Weekly (Jun 14, 1919); and The Smart Set (Dec 1919).

You can find those magazines here.

Also, check out R.D. Mullen’s superb essay “From Standard Magazines to Pulps and Big Slicks: A Note on the History of US General and Fiction Magazines.”

(Many thanks to Arthur Evans and Carol McGuirk for their kind permission to reprint Dr. Mullen’s essay, which first appeared in Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 22, No. 1 [March 1995]: pp. 144-156.)

In addition to these, there are 4 issues of Hugo Gernsback’s Air Wonder Stories (Jul-Aug, Dec 1929, and May 1930) now available.

The Pulp Magazines Project wishes to thank Conrad First, Modernist Journals ProjectPulpscans, and Digital Pulp Preservation.


New Issues (7/25/2012): The Popular Magazine

We’ve added 9 new issues of Street & Smith’s flagship pulp-paper title, The Popular Magazine, to the Pulp Magazines Project website. These issues were published just before or during the First World War. They are dated Nov. 23, 1912; July 1, 1913; Nov. 7, 1914; Feb. 23, 1915; Jan. 7, Nov. 7, & Dec. 20, 1916; Apr. 20, 1917; and Apr. 20, 1918.

The Nov. 23, 1912 issue (pictured above, top row, at far left) features an iconic cover by the artist N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945). Wyeth contributed the cover illustrations for over two dozen issues of The Popular Magazine between 1909 and 1923.

The Pulp Magazines Project wishes to thank Magazines For All for uploading and making these scans available.

Street & Smith Goes to War: Patriotic Pulps of July 1942

During July 1942, seven months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Magazine Publisher’s Association proposed as a sign of solidarity that all U.S. magazine covers should feature an American flag. Over 500 magazines participated, including Time, National Geographic, and American Hairdresser. Sunset’s flag flew over a green river valley. Vogue’s cover girl wore a gown billowing like the flags around her. A color guard of chicken eggs marched across the Poultry Tribune. And the entire lineup of magazines published by Street & Smith–including Astounding SF, Detective Story, Doc Savage, Love Story, The Shadow, Sport Story, Western Story, and Wild West Weekly–ran the same cover (featured below), showing the flag waving against a background of the sun rising over a church steeple in an idyllic American small town.

For more information on this event, see the Smithsonian museum’s online U.S. history exhibit, July 1942: United We Stand; you can also search (by title or keyword) a cover gallery of nearly 300 magazines that participated at Search the Covers.

New Issues (6/30/2012): All-Story Weekly, Detective Story, and Dynamic Science Stories

We’ve added several new issues to the Pulp Magazines Project website, including four issues of All-Story Weekly for February 3 1917, January 25, June 14, and June 21 1919; Detective Story Magazine for January 5 1917; and two issues of Dynamic Science Stories for February and April/ May 1939 (this is a full 2-issue run).

The Pulp Magazines Project wishes to thank the Pulpscans Group and Digital Pulp Preservation for all their help.

History of Ranch Romances now available (5/30/2012)

Ranch Romances: The Last of the Original Pulps

Despite the survival of untold thousands of science fiction pulp magazines — which seemingly were hoarded by numerous fans who never heard the term “pulp collector” — the long-running hybrid title Ranch Romances holds a unique distinction in the world of the rough-paper magazines.

It is likely that no other long-running title has been ignored by pulp collectors as often as Ranch Romances. And yet, so many potentially collectible issues survive, due to its immense circulation for more than four decades. Ironically, issues often sell well in antique stores, where thay are purchased by nostalgic female readers. Ranch Romances is also pretty much the least-expensive of the original pulps…

Read the fuller history of this title here at the Pulp Magazines Project.

We’d like to again thank Michelle Nolan for contributing her histories of Love Story Magazine and Ranch Romances.

History of Love Story Magazine now available (5/28/2012)

Author and longtime Street & Smith editor Daisy Bacon made Love Story Magazine one of the most successful of all pulps, but she was incorrect in one respect when she evaluated the long-running magazine. In her how-to book Love Story Writer (Hermitage 1955), Bacon writes: “During the many years that Love Story enjoyed its large circulation and weekly status it was never successfully imitated, as any circulation man can tell you…”

Bacon’s statement is certainly true with regard to sheer volume. Love Story was published weekly for more than 20 years, starting in September 1922, the only such long-running weekly romance pulp. The Adventure House Guide to the Pulps lists the magazine’s overall run as 1,158 issues, published from August 1921 through February 1947, and that’s no surprise — only Street & Smith had the financial wherewithal to publish a romance pulp on a weekly basis, not to mention weekly western and detective pulps as well…

Read the fuller history of this title here at the Pulp Magazines Project.

The Pulp Magazines Project wishes to thank Michelle Nolan for contributing her history of Love Story. Check out Michelle’s books, Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics (2008) and Ball Tales (2010), a study of baseball, basketball and football fiction from 1930 to 1960.

Archive Reaches 78 Issues

The Pulp Magazines Project is well on the way to posting its 100th individual issue. As of April 2012, there are over 75 magazines available on the website as high-quality, full-text, cover-to-cover scans. They represent 40 different titles from 22 publishers, 16 magazine editors, over a dozen genres, and hundreds of individual authors. There are stories by John Buchan, Djuna Barnes, H.G. Wells, Rider Haggard, Albert Payson Terhune, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Bloch, Ray Cummings, A.L. Burkholder, Seabury Quinn, Blasco Ibanez, H. Bedford Jones, Baroness Orczy, and Captain Dingle. There are adventure, romance, western, SF, sea, aviation, weird, horror, sport, detective, and girlie pulps. We have Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite pulp, Adventure, and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s favorite pulp, Detective Story. There are British pulps, East Coast pulps, and pulps published in Chicago. There are long-running pulp titles like Argosy and Ranch Romances, and there are one-shot flops like Basketball Stories.

Importantly, they show the dizzying variety of fiction, poetry, and even non-fiction that was published for over half a century in the pulp magazines. And these are just the beginning.

Magazines now available on the Project’s website include:

Love Story Magazine (Mar. 10 and Oct. 20, 1934; Mar. 30, 1935); “I Confess” (Jan. 12, 1923); Ranch Romances (Sept. 1, 1933; Mar. 1, 1943; and Feb. 11, 1944); Amazing Stories (April 1928); The Argosy (Nov. 1908; Albert Payson Terhune, From Flag to Flag, Pt. 1/4); Sea Stories Magazine (August 1929); Western Story Magazine (June 5, 1926); Out of this World Adventures (July and Dec. 1950); Planet Stories (Fall 1944); Jungle Stories (Summer 1950); Indian Stories (Winter 1950); Ghost Stories (Jan. 1927); Basketball Stories (Winter 1937); Argosy All-Story Weekly (Oct. 21, 1922; Ray Cummings, The Fire People, Pt. 1/5); All-Story Weekly (June 19, 1920; Ray Cummings, The Light Machine); The Frontier (May 1926); Detective Story Magazine (Aug. 27, 1921); Adventure (Oct. 1915; Albert Payson Terhune, From the ‘Tip’ of the Rocket); Hutchinson’s Story Magazine (UK; July 1919; Rider Haggard, She Meets Allan, Pt. 1/9); The Merry Magazine (UK; March 1929); Wonder Stories (Dec. 1930; Jan.-Aug. 1931; Oct. 1931; Aug. 1932); Amazing Stories (Oct.-Nov. 1926); Amazing Stories (April-Sept. 1926); Famous Fantastic Mysteries (Aug./ Oct.-Dec. 1939); Fight Stories (June 1928, Sept. 1930, and Aug./ Oct. 1949); Flying Stories (May 1929); Thrilling Adventures (July 1932); Weird Tales (Aug./ Sept. 1936; REH, Red Nails, Pt. 2/3); Weird Tales (July 1937); Weird Tales (Feb. 1938; REH, Haunting Columns); Air Stories (August 1927; 1st Aviation Pulp); Astounding Stories (Feb. 1932; Ray Cummings, Wandl, The Invader, Pt. 1/4); Frontier Stories (May 1927); Breezy Stories (March 1916); Green Book (March 1912); Short Stories (Aug. 10, 1926); World Fiction (Nov. 1922; Blasco Ibanez, A Wedding Serenade); Wonder Stories (Aug. 1934; A.L. Burkholder, Dimensional Fate); Ginger Stories (Feb. 1930); Amazing Stories (Dec. 1926; H.G. Wells, The First Men in the Moon [r], Pt. 1/3); Detective Story Magazine (Mar. 5, 1916); Live Stories (May 1919); Snappy Stories (Mar. 3, 1916) New Story (July 1914; H. Bedford Jones, A Discord in Avalon); People’s Story (Nov. 25, 1922; Captain Dingle, The Redheads); The All-Story Weekly (June 5, 1915; John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps, Pt. 1/2); Top-Notch Magazine (October 17, 1917); Adventure (Aug. 3, 1919; Baroness Orczy, Needs Must); The Argosy (Aug. 1905; Albert Payson Terhune, The Fugitive, Pt. 1/4); Blue Book (Aug. 1916); The Cavalier Weekly (Sept. 28, 1912); and The Popular Magazine (December 1908; H.G. Wells, Tono-Bungay, Pt. 4/5).

The Pulp Magazines Project wishes to thank the Pulpscans Group, Digital Pulp Preservation, the Digital Comic MuseumNewsstand: 1925, and Conrad First for all their help.

Cheers everybody, keep on scanning, and enjoy pulps.

New Issues (3/22/2012): Wonder Stories

We’ve added several new issues of Wonder Stories to the Pulp Magazines Project website, including those for Dec. 1930; Jan.-April 1931; June-Aug. 1931; Oct. 1931; and Aug. 1932.

Ten new issues in all (nearly an entire run for 1931):

PDFs have also been fixed/ optimized throughout the site; they should be downloading 2-3x faster than before. Cheers.

History of Astounding Stories now available (2/21/2012)

Inspired by the success of Hugo Gernsback’s Amazing Stories, Clayton Publishing Co. released, in January of 1930, the first issue of Astounding Stories. Early issues lacked much of Gernsback’s attention to the scientific and extrapolative possibilities of the SF genre, and instead featured many instances of stock, pulp adventure yarns simply transplanted into exotic or alien environments. While possibly a travesty in the eyes of SF purists, it attracted many SF fans and general pulp readers, and aided Astounding‘s first three years of survival, until its cancellation during the height of the Great Depression in March of 1933.

Thankfully, the departure was short-lived; the pulp industry giant Street & Smith Corp. purchased the title, and in October 1933 Astounding Stories returned. The stock adventure stories that had appeared previously were replaced, with what editor F. Orlin Tremaine dubbed “thought-variants:” stories that were just as interesting and exciting, but also held some scientific or technological truth at their core. This approach—combining the adventure of the pulps with the ideas of Gernsbackian extrapolation—in addition to the social, political and introspective elements increasingly incorporated by its authors into their stories, would help define Astounding in the coming years…

Read the fuller history of this title here at the Pulp Magazines Project.

New Issues/ Histories (2/18/2012)

Due to an overwhelmingly positive response received last weekend to the posting of issues 1-6 (over 4,000 new visits in just three days), we’ve added two more issues from Volume 1 of Amazing Stories, those of October and November. This rounds out the year 1926 for Hugo Gernsback’s seminal science-fiction magazine.

Also available now at the Pulp Magazines Project, from Andrew Ferguson (University of Virginia) a history of Amazing Stories; and from Jeremy Larance (West Liberty University) a history of Fiction House’s Fight Stories, the first all-fiction pulp magazine dedicated entirely to a single sport. Take that, baseball.

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