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All-Story, The

Entry updated 7 October 2019. Tagged: Publication.


US Pulp magazine published by the Frank A Munsey Corporation; edited by Robert Hobart Davis. It was a companion to The Argosy. The All-Story appeared monthly January 1905-March 1914, weekly from 7 March 1914 (as All-Story Weekly), incorporated Cavalier Weekly (see The Cavalier) to form All-Story Cavalier Weekly from 16 May 1914, and reverted to All-Story Weekly from 15 May 1915 to 17 July 1920, when it merged with Argosy Weekly to form Argosy All-Story Weekly.

The All-Story was the most prolific publisher of sf among the pre-1926 pulp magazines; it became important through its editor's discovery of several major authors. The best known and most influential of these was Edgar Rice Burroughs who was represented with 16 serials and novelettes between 1912 and 1920, starting with "Under the Moons of Mars" (February-July 1912 as by Norman Bean; rev A Princess of Mars 1917) and including the first Tarzan novel, Tarzan of the Apes (October 1912; 1914). Burroughs's fiction can be said to have given rise to both the Planetary Romance and the birth of Pulp sf, but there had been several earlier stories in The All-Story which would classify as "pseudo-scientific fiction" or "different stories", the phrases most often used by Davis to describe these strange but popular stories. They had appeared from the first issue with "The Great Sleep Tanks" (January 1905) by Margaret Prescott Montague (1878-1955), where sleep is found to be a substance and is extracted, bottled and sold. Davis enjoyed this type of fiction and went so far as to reprint The Moon Metal (1900) by Garrett P Serviss in the May 1905 issue. Serviss was one of the earliest regular contributors of sf to the Munsey magazines including A Columbus of Space (January-June 1909; rev 1911) to The All-Story. Also of importance was "The Planet Juggler" (November 1908), a novella by J (Justus) George Frederick (1882-1964), regarded as one of the earliest Space Operas depicting Earth threatened by an advanced alien super-scientist. George Allan England, another regular in the Munsey magazines, appeared with the serial "Beyond White Seas" (December 1909-May 1910) about the discovery of an elixir of life (see Rejuvenation) amongst strange lifeforms in the Arctic. England's other contributions include The Empire in the Air (14 November-5 December 1914; 2006) about the invasion of Earth from another dimension.

The real explosion of sf in The All-Story came following the success of Burroughs's various serials encouraging a fascination with stories of Lost Worlds or exotic alien worlds. These included the Polaris series by Charles B Stilson, starting with Polaris of the Snows (18 December 1915-1 January 1916; 1965), and the Palos series by J U Giesy, starting with Palos of the Dog Star Pack (13 July-10 August 1918; cut 1965). The master of these stories was Abraham Merritt, who would come to rival Burroughs in popularity in the pulps. He debuted with "Through the Dragon Glass" (24 November 1917; 1932 chap as Thru the Dragon Glass) but achieved fame with "The Moon Pool" (22 June 1918) and its sequel "The Conquest of the Moon Pool" (15 February-22 March 1919; fixup 1919 as The Moon Pool). There were also stories of scientific achievement, sometimes mingled with occult paraphernalia, such as in the stories by Austin Hall, "Almost Immortal" (7 October 1916), "The Rebel Soul" (30 June 1917) and its sequel "Into the Infinite" (12 April-7 May 1919), or the extravagant astral Space Opera, "The Cosmic Courtship" (24 November-15 December 1917) by Julian Hawthorne.

Others who established their reputation in All-Story before its merger with The Argosy were Ray Cummings, notably with The Girl in the Golden Atom (stories 5 March 1919, 24 January-24 February 1920 All-Story Weekly; fixup 1921) and Homer Eon Flint, starting with "The Planeteer" (9 March 1918) and its sequel "The King of Conserve Island" (12 October 1918), which portray threats facing a future socialist world order.

Many of The All-Story's stories were reprinted in Famous Fantastic Mysteries and Fantastic Novels. [MA/JE]

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