Weird Tales was a pulp magazine founded in 1923 by J.C. Henneberger
If you’re a fan of horror fiction, then you’ve probably heard of Weird Tales, the popular pulp magazine that was published from 1923 to 1954. There’s no denying Weird Tales’ influence on the genre: Many horror writers got their start in these pages, and many enduring tales were first published here. But how did Weird Tales get its start? What kind of stories were these, and what was so strange about them? We’ll answer all of your questions right here.
Many of the stories told in Weird Tales are still popular today.
Weird Tales was a pulp magazine that focused on horror and weird fiction, including science fiction and fantasy stories. The publication was founded in 1923 by J.C. Henneberger and launched its first issue that same year as a quarterly journal. Weird Tales continued to publish until it closed down in 1954, when it had reached issue #94.
When you think of the word “pulp,” you might imagine long-dead trees or paper mills spewing pollution into nearby rivers—but this is not what most people think about when they hear the term today (or at least I hope not!). Pulps were cheap publications that were printed on wood-based paper with low-quality ink, making them difficult to read once they got old and yellowed with age but also making them more affordable for people who couldn’t afford more expensive books printed with better materials like cloth or leather bindings; however, with their often lurid covers promising tales of horror or adventure within their pages made up of multiple stories per issue rather than one continuous narrative presented over several volumes like novels typically do nowadays due to limitations imposed by technology at that time period
Weird Tales helped launch the careers of many horror writers.
Weird Tales helped launch the careers of many horror writers. H.P. Lovecraft was just beginning his life when he sent Weird Tales his first story, “The Alchemist,” which he later revised and published as “Herbert West: Reanimator” in 1921. Robert E. Howard began selling stories to Weird Tales in 1926 when he was just 17 years old; one of these early stories was “Skull-Face” (1928).
Weird Tales also published Edgar Allen Poe’s last short story, “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” (1845). Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula (1897) has been called an “undeniably weird tale.” C L Moore’s science fiction serial “Shambleau” appeared in Weird Tales magazine from January through April 1932; it was collected into book form that same year by publisher Hugo Gernsback under the title Shambleau: A Classic Supernatural Tale of Time Future .
Clark Ashton Smith wrote about various topics including poetry for Weird Tales , but most notably contributed tales about Zothique , a fictional continent that he visited over three decades starting with The Dark Eidolon (1932).
August Derleth wrote several stories set on Earth where evil supernatural forces have taken control over human society; some have been collected into books such as The Watchers out of Time (1935) and Others Unknown (1937). Robert Bloch is best known for Psycho .
Ray Bradbury sold fiction regularly throughout his career to pulp magazines such as Amazing Stories , Fantastic Adventures , and Space Science Fiction ; however no story written prior to 1950 appears among their archives because they were destroyed during a fire at their headquarters in Chicago on June 6th 1950 along with several hundred other titles such as Startling Stories and Planet Stories (which Bradbury later revived under different names).
Stephen King began submitting short stories at age 18 but didn’t make his first sale until 1973 after graduating from University of Maine.
Weird Tales is a part of a rich history of pulp magazines that began at the end of the 19th century.
- The first mass media, the pulp magazines were cheap, short-lived and mass produced. They began at the end of the 19th century and became increasingly popular throughout the 20th century.
- Pulp magazines were one of the first forms of publications to publish science fiction, horror and fantasy stories in America. They published works by Edgar Allan Poe before he earned fame for his poems and short stories in literary journals like Graham’s Magazine (1841) or Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine (1832). In fact, “The Raven” was first printed in Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1845!
- Several famous writers got their start writing for Weird Tales magazine: Robert E Howard (who penned Conan), H P Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith all contributed tales during their careers
The stories in Weird Tales were meant to be read for pure entertainment.
You may have heard the term “pulp fiction” before. This refers to a type of magazine that was popular in the early 20th century, usually containing stories about crime or adventure. Pulps were printed on cheap paper and sold cheaply as well, meaning they were meant to be read quickly and easily by anyone who purchased one. They could be found at newsstands, grocery stores, and even barbershops (if you’re old enough to remember when they still took money). The stories within these magazines were written with fun in mind—they weren’t meant for literary criticism or thought-provoking analysis; they were meant simply for readers’ enjoyment.
So while Weird Tales did publish some fantastic horror stories over its lifetime (including “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P Lovecraft), keep this basic principle in mind: Weird Tales was a pulp magazine whose primary purpose was entertainment—not education or serious discussion or critique of literature.”
Pulp magazines like Weird Tales shaped the history of horror fiction as we know it.
Pulp magazines were a popular form of entertainment in the early 20th century, and Weird Tales was one of the most successful. From 1923 to 1954, the magazine featured short stories by authors like H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard (who created Conan the Barbarian). These pulp magazines were printed on cheap paper and sold for a few cents at newsstands across America—they were a big part of American culture at that time.