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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fantasy Review Vol. 1, No. 5 Oct-Nov 1946

Fantasy Review Vol. 1, No. 5 Oct-Nov 1946

Reverse by Wallter Gillings

The paper shortage has forced the suspension of Fantasy – the Magazine of Science Fiction, after only three issues. It is not expected that it will be able to resume publication for at least two years.

It is no less than 17 years since, impressed with the growing interest in the American science fiction magazines entering this country {UK}, I began to draw the attention of British publishers to the possibilities of this field. That was in days when an English magazine so specialized in its appeal was a rare thing, and the numbers of readers keen enough to seek out "remainders" of Amazing and Wonder Stoires at htreepence a copy were comparatively small. Looking back now, I can see that the publishers I pestered were probably right in their contention that it was not enough to make a British magazine a profitable proposition: though I never would accept the objection that, anyway, Verne and Wells had done it all before.

However, one very reputable firm did issue a twopenny weekly which sought to emulate the Gernsback touch and, when it transpired that all its readers were not errand boys, tried to make itself more respectable, only to fall dismally and wind up altogether. After that another big publishing house, affected by the trend towards specialization in fiction, seriously considered the project of a shilling magazine which would interest the enlarging fraternity of science fiction readers and appeal to a wider public at the same time. This project occupied them, and the few British writers competent to meet its literary requirements for over a year before it was decided to abandon the idea.

Then, as a result of y importunings elsewhere, came Tales of Wonder, whose first trial issue was followed in due time y its regular quarterly publication – and, in turn, by revival of the project which brought forth three issues of Newnes' Fantasy. Then, inconsiderately, came World War II. Only Tales of Wonder struggled on, until after 16 issues the beginnings of the paper shortage forced its suspension.

In between times the American "remainders" (always a thorn in the flesh to British publishers) had given place to home-produced editions of Astounding and Unknown which, fortunately, are still with us. And when, before the war was over, more impressed that ever with the prospects … {All the text available}.

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