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Uncanny Tales

Entry updated 11 January 2015. Tagged: Publication.

1. A US weird-menace Pulp magazine published by Manvis Publications, New York, and edited by Robert O Erisman (uncredited); five issues, April/May 1939 to May 1940. The first issue is volume 2, number 6, because it was a retitling of Star Detective, another weird-menace pulp, which had run from May 1935 to November 1938. It was a companion to Marvel Science Stories, and bore the usual lurid covers showing a young woman being tortured, or worse. Two of the covers had science-fiction features, but not enough to raise them above the weird-menace imagery. None of the stories were genuine science fiction, because most weird-menace stories, no matter how bizarre the plot, usually had rationalized and mundane endings. Contributors included Arthur J Burks, Ray Cummings and the ever-eccentric Robert Leslie Bellem.

2. Canadian sf magazine, in Digest format for four issues, then letter-size; 21 issues, November 1940 to September 1943; published to #17 (May 1942), by the Adam Publishing Co, then by the Norman Book Co, both Toronto; edited by Melvin R Colby (uncredited). The schedule was monthly for 17 issues, then irregular, the last issue appearing nine months after #20. Most of the stories for the first five issues were weird fiction or allegedly true, some written by Thomas P Kelley, but after Colby met Donald A Wollheim in New York they struck a deal and Wollheim supplied Colby with tear-sheets from Cosmic Stories and Stirring Science Stories, and some new stories. Soon after Sam Moskowitz also contacted Colby and supplied reprint and new stories. Amongst the original material were stories by Robert A W Lowndes and Donald A Wollheim and the only professionally published sf by James V Taurasi. The magazine has always been uncommon and complete runs are exceptionally rare. [MA]


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