Obtain Problems with “Bizarre Tales” (1923-1954): The Pioneering Pulp Horror Journal Options Authentic Tales by Lovecraft, Bradbury & Many Extra

We dwell in an period of style. Flick thru TV exhibits of the final decade to see what I imply: Hor­ror, sci-fi, fan­ta­sy, tremendous­heroes, futur­is­tic dystopias…. Take a casu­al look on the bur­geon­ing glob­al movie fran­chis­es or mer­chan­dis­ing empires. The place in ear­li­er a long time, hor­ror and fan­ta­sy inhab­it­ed the teenage area of B‑films and com­ic books, they’ve now develop into dom­i­nant types of pop­u­lar nar­ra­tive for adults. Telling the sto­ry of how this happened may contain the type of prolonged soci­o­log­i­cal analy­sis on which peo­ple stake aca­d­e­m­ic careers. And discover­ing a con­ve­nient start­ning for that sto­ry wouldn’t be straightforward.

Will we begin with The Cas­tle of Otran­to, the primary Goth­ic nov­el, which opened the door for such books as Drac­u­la and Franken­stein? Or can we open with Edgar Allan Poe, whose macabre brief sto­ries and poems cap­ti­vat­ed the general public’s imag­i­na­tion and impressed a mil­lion imi­ta­tors? Possibly. But when we actual­ly wish to know when probably the most pop­ulist, mass-mar­ket hor­ror and fan­ta­sy started—the sort that impressed tele­vi­sion exhibits from the Twi­gentle Zone to the X‑Information to Tremendous­nat­ur­al to The Stroll­ing Lifeless—we have to begin with H.P. Love­craft, and with the pulpy magazine­a­zine that pub­lished his weird sto­ries, Bizarre Tales.


Debut­ing in 1923, Bizarre Tales, writes The Pulp Magazine­a­zines Undertaking, professional­vid­ed “a venue for fic­tion, poet­ry and non-fic­tion on high­ics rang­ing from ghost sto­ries to alien inva­sions to the occult.” The magazine­a­zine intro­duced its learn­ers to previous mas­ters like Poe, Bram Stok­er, and H.G. Wells, and to the lat­est bizarre­ness from Love­craft and con­tem­po­raries like August Der­leth, Ash­ton Smith, Cather­ine L. Moore, Robert Bloch, and Robert E. Howard (cre­ator of Conan the Bar­bar­ian).

Within the journal’s first few a long time, you wouldn’t have thought it very influ­en­tial. Founder Jacob Clark Hen­nen­berg­er strug­gled to show a prof­it, and the magazine­a­zine “nev­er had a big cir­cu­la­tion.” However no magazine­a­zine is per­haps guess­ter rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the explo­sion of pulp style fic­tion that swept via the ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry and even­tu­al­ly gave delivery to the jug­ger­nauts of Mar­vel and DC.


Bizarre Tales is huge­ly settle for­ed by cul­tur­al his­to­ri­ans as “the primary pulp magazine­a­zine to spe­cial­ize in tremendous­nat­ur­al and occult fic­tion,” factors out The Ency­clo­pe­dia of Sci­ence Fic­tion (although, as we not­ed earlier than, an obscure Ger­man title, Der Orchideen­garten, tech­ni­cal­ly obtained there ear­li­er). And whereas the magazine­a­zine might not have been huge­ly pop­u­lar, because the Vel­vet Beneath­floor was to the fast unfold of var­i­ous sub­gen­period of rock within the sev­en­ties, so was Bizarre Tales to hor­ror and fan­ta­sy fan­dom. Each­one who learn it both begin­ed their very own magazine­a­zine or fan­membership, or started writ­ing their very own “bizarre fic­tion”—Lovecraft’s time period for the type of tremendous­nat­ur­al hor­ror he churned out for sev­er­al a long time.

Followers of Love­craft can learn and down­load scans of his sto­ries and let­ters to the edi­tor pub­lished in Bizarre Tales on the hyperlinks beneath, delivered to us by The Love­craft eZine (through SFFau­dio).

Let­ter to the edi­tor of Bizarre Tales, Sep­tem­ber 1923 – Sep­tem­ber 1923

Let­ter to the edi­tor of Bizarre Tales, Octo­ber 1923 – Octo­ber 1923

Let­ter to the edi­tor of Bizarre Tales, Jan­u­ary 1924 – Jan­u­ary 1924

Let­ter to the edi­tor of Bizarre Tales, March 1924 – March 1924

Impris­oned With The Pharaohs – Might/June/July 1924

Hyp­nos – Might/June/July 1924

The Tomb – Jan­u­ary 1926

The Ter­ri­ble Previous Man – August 1926

Xmas Hor­ror – Decem­ber 1926

The White Ship – March 1927

Let­ter to the edi­tor of Bizarre Tales, Feb­ru­ary 1928 – Feb­ru­ary 1928

The Dun­wich Hor­ror – April 1929

The Tree – August 1938

Enjoyable­gi From Yug­goth Half XIII: The Port – Sep­tem­ber 1946

Enjoyable­gi From Yug­goth Half X: The Pigeon-Fly­ers – Jan­u­ary 1947

Enjoyable­gi From Yug­goth Half XXVI: The Famil­iars – Jan­u­ary 1947

The Metropolis – July 1950

Hallowe’en In A Sub­urb – Sep­tem­ber 1952

Followers of ear­ly pulp hor­ror and fantasy—–or grad stu­dents writ­ing their the­sis on the evo­lu­tion of style fiction—can view and down­load dozens of problems with Bizarre Tales, from the 20s to the 50s, on the hyperlinks beneath:

The Inter­web Archive has dig­i­tized copies from the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties.

The Pulp Magazine­a­zine Undertaking hosts HTML, Flip­E-book, and PDF ver­sions of Bizarre Tales points from 1936 to 1939

This web site has PDF scans of indi­vid­ual Bizarre Tales sto­ries from the 40s and 50s, includ­ing work by Love­craft, Ray Brad­bury, Dorothy Fast, Robert Bloch, and Theodor Stur­geon.

And to study rather more in regards to the his­to­ry of the magazine­a­zine, you could want to beg, bor­row, or steal a duplicate of the pri­cy col­lec­tion of essays, The Distinctive Lega­cy of Bizarre Tales: The Evo­lu­tion of Mod­ern Fan­ta­sy and Hor­ror.


Relat­ed Con­tent:

Dis­cov­er the First Hor­ror & Fan­ta­sy Magazine­a­zine, Der Orchideen­garten, and Its Weird Artwork­work (1919–1921)

Enter a Large Archive of Amaz­ing Sto­ries, the World’s First Sci­ence Fic­tion Magazine­a­zine, Launched in 1926

Down­load 15,000+ Free Gold­en Age Comics from the Dig­i­tal Com­ic Muse­um

Josh Jones is a author and musi­cian primarily based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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