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Bates, Harry

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Editor.

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Working name of US editor and author Hiram Gilmore Bates III (1900-1981), who began his career with the Clayton chain of Pulp magazines in the 1920s, working as editor of an adventure magazine. When William Clayton, the owner, suggested that Bates initiate a period-adventure companion to it, he successfully counterproposed a magazine to be called Astounding Stories of Super-Science, which would compete with Amazing Stories. Bates edited the magazine – whose title was soon abbreviated to Astounding Stories (see Astounding Science-Fiction) – for 34 issues, January 1930-March 1933. (He later started a companion magazine, Strange Tales – intended as a rival to Weird Tales – which lasted for seven issues, September 1931-January 1933.) His was the first true sf pulp magazine, paying four times as well as its competitors and impatient with the static passages of Pseudoscience characteristic of Hugo Gernsback's magazines. As Jack Williamson put it in The Early Williamson (coll 1975): "Bates was professional ... [he] wanted well constructed action stories about strong, successful heroes. The 'super-science' had to be exciting and more-or-less plausible, but it couldn't take much space." Bates contributed stories to Astounding in collaboration with his assistant editor, Desmond W Hall, the two sometimes writing together as H B Winter but more famously as Anthony Gilmore, under which name they produced the popular Hawk Carse series, which reached book form as Space Hawk: The Greatest of Interplanetary Adventures (November 1931-November 1932 Astounding and July 1942 Amazing; coll of linked stories 1952). The first of these stories, Hawk Carse (November 1931 Astounding as by Anthony Gilmore; 2009 ebook), was Bates's third publication; his first was The Tentacles from Below (February 1931 Astounding; 2014 dos) with Desmond W Hall, writing together as by Anthony Gilmore; he also wrote short work as by A R Holmes, Quien Sabe? and H G Winter (the last with Desmond W Hall).

After the Clayton group went bankrupt in 1933, Strange Tales ceased publication and Astounding was bought by the Street & Smith chain, which appointed F Orlin Tremaine editor. This ended Bates's editorial connection with sf, though over the next 20 years he wrote a few short stories. Although he used the A R Holmes pseudonym about ten times, it was mainly under his own name that he published such notable stories as "A Matter of Size" (April 1934 Astounding), a story on the then-popular Great-and-Small theme, and "Alas, All Thinking!" (June 1935 Astounding). "Farewell to the Master" (October 1940 Astounding) was later filmed as The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), although the film lost the story's ironic twist, which demonstrated the pitfalls of interpreting nonhuman relationships in human terms – in this instance, the relationship between a huge Robot and its Alien "master". Bates died in unfortunate obscurity. [MJE]

see also: Anti-Intellectualism in SF; Evolution; SF Magazines.

Hiram Gilmore Bates III

born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 9 October 1900

died New York: body discovered May 1981



Hawk Carse

individual titles


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