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Gnome Press

Entry updated 1 March 2019. Tagged: Publisher.

US specialist Small Press founded in 1948 by Martin Greenberg and David A Kyle. It was the most eminent of the fan publishers of sf, and produced 86 books over the following decade or so, mostly novels. Within the limits of this very moderate output, it published many of the major sf authors, and in some cases, as with Robert E Howard's Conan series (published in 6 books 1950-1955) and Isaac Asimov's Foundation series (published in 3 books 1951-1953), was responsible for the manner in which their stories were collected into book form. With the exception of Howard, the press focused primarily on Genre SF; other authors included Poul Anderson, James Blish, Leigh Brackett, John W Campbell Jr, Arthur C Clarke, Hal Clement, L Sprague de Camp, Gordon R Dickson, Robert A Heinlein, Fritz Leiber, C L Moore, Frederik Pohl, Robert Silverberg, Clifford D Simak, E E Smith, George O Smith,A E van Vogt, Jack Williamson and others.

A closely associated imprint was Greenberg: Publisher, whose small list was very similar; and in 1958 Gnome Press bought out the stock of Fantasy Press, which had specialized in the book publication of sf originally released, sometimes years before, in magazines (see Golden Age of SF) before the market for book Publishing of Genre SF had begun to open. Several Gnome Press publications similarly recuperated Golden Age material, though a significant number of titles were entirely new. The marriage of firms did not however prove financially successful, and Gnome folded in 1962. Although ultimately unable to compete with large mass-market publishers, Gnome Press was important in the transitional period between Genre SF as a magazine phenomenon and the full professionalization of the field. [MJE/PN/JC]

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