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American Fiction

Entry updated 12 April 2016. Tagged: Publication.

UK numbered pocketbook series which could be regarded (being numbered) as either an anthology series or a magazine. 12 issues known, most 36pp, numbered only from #2. Published by Utopian Publications, London; edited by Benson Herbert and Walter Gillings (who jointly owned the company). Irregular, September 1944-January 1946.

American Fiction was primarily a reprint publication. All issues featured quasi-erotic covers, with the title story often being an already known sf or fantasy work under a racy new name. Thus Edmond Hamilton's "The Six Sleepers" (October 1935 Weird Tales) became Tiger Girl (circa 1945 chap), John Wyndham's "Wanderers of Time" (March 1933 Wonder Stories as by John Beynon Harris) became Love in Time (1945 chap) as by Johnson Harris, Jack Williamson's "Wizard's Isle" (June 1934 Weird Tales) became Lady in Danger (circa 1945 chap) and Stanton A Coblentz's "The Planet of Youth" (October 1932 Wonder Stories) became Youth Madness (1945 chap). Other featured authors were Robert Bloch, Ralph Milne Farley and S P Meek. According to Gillings, Meek's Arctic Bride (1944 chap) was another retitled reprint, of "Gates of Light"; but no prior publication has been traced and it seems likely that Gillings's memory was here at fault, with "Gates of Light" being the title of a then unpublished Meek typescript. All but #1 and #6 in the American Fiction series contained short stories as well as the featured novella; hence their usual listing in indexes as if they constituted separate book publication of a single novella is technically incorrect. The emphasis was on weird fiction rather than sf, though stories from other genres were also used. [PN/FHP/MJE/DRL]


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