Search SFE    Search EoF

  Omit cross-reference entries  

Carnell, John

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

Icon made by Freepik from


(1912-1972) UK editor, anthologist and literary agent who worked usually as John Carnell and sometimes as E J Carnell; he was known to his friends as Ted. A prominent member of UK Fandom, Carnell took over the editorship of Novae Terrae, an early Fanzine, in 1939, retitling his issues (#29-#33) New Worlds. He began his professional career as editor in 1946 when New Worlds was revived as a professional SF Magazine. After only three issues the publisher failed, but Carnell with help from fandom was able to renew the title in 1949 with his own company, Nova Publications; he also took over from Walter Gillings as editor of the Nova Publications title Science Fantasy from #3 onwards. The third Nova Publications title, also edited by Carnell, was the UK reprint edition of Larry Shaw's Science Fiction Adventures. The first five UK issues of this, March-November 1958, were all US reprints, but from the January 1959 issue it became an original UK magazine. It ceased publication with the May 1963 issue, but the other two titles continued under Carnell until mid-1964, when they were taken over by Roberts & Vinter under new editors. Carnell then established a series of original Anthologies, New Writings in SF, beginning with New Writings in SF 1 (anth 1964), ending with New Writings in SF 21 (anth 1972), which was published after his death.

Carnell, who formally set up the E J Carnell Literary Agency in 1964, was agent for most UK sf writers. He was cofounder of the International Fantasy Award. He was scrupulous, worked hard and profited little. His contribution to UK sf was enormous. For over a quarter of a century he was an early and often first publisher of an entire generation of UK and Irish sf writers. Although his own preference was for conservative Hard SF and sf adventure – he published a lot of it by writers such as John Christopher and later Kenneth Bulmer and E C Tubb – he also gave active encouragement to many of the writers who were later to become strongly associated with Michael Moorcock's New Worlds, writers of the New Wave including Brian W Aldiss, J G Ballard, John Brunner and Moorcock himself, whose succession to the editorship of New Worlds Carnell supported. Carnell also edited several anthologies, all but the first of them assembling reprinted stories: Jinn and Jitters (anth 1946), No Place Like Earth (anth 1952), Gateway to Tomorrow (anth 1954), Gateway to the Stars (anth 1955), The Best from New Worlds Science Fiction (anth 1955), Lambda I & Other Stories (anth 1964; with 1 story dropped and 2 added 1965), Weird Shadows from Beyond (anth 1965) and Best of New Writings in SF (anth 1971). [PN]

see also: Fan Funds; First Fandom Hall of Fame.

Edward John Carnell

born London: 8 April 1912

died London: 23 March 1972

works as editor


New Writings in SF

individual titles as editor


previous versions of this entry

This website uses cookies.  More information here. Accept Cookies