In the fourth issue of Fate, with Criswell’s first appearance, editor Ray Palmer writing as Robert N. Webster, promised the iconic prophet’s predictions would appear every month. But that prediction proved faulty. The column, “Criswell Predicts,” only appeared four times in Fate. The second, in the issue show here from July 1949, Vol. 2 #2, aka whole number #6.
Galaxy Books/Publishing was once a bustling enterprise. The Galaxy Novel series, ran for 31 editions as digest-sized paperbacks. Then there were four more (#32–35) produced in the standard paperback-size of the day, aka 1958. A year later, Beacon Books continued the series with eleven more editions in paperback-size that extended the series through 1961.
And finally, in 1963, a short-lived series of three digest-sized book/magazines appeared. Dubbed a “Magabook” each edition included two compete novels. The first was The Sky is Falling and Badge of Infamy, both by Lester Del Rey, with cover artwork by Virgil Finlay.
Both series of digest-sized novels are covered in depth by Steve Carper and Gary Lovisi in TDE4.
First serialized in 1934 in the pages of Astounding, Jack Williamson’s The Legion of Space was the second Galaxy Science Fiction Novel, issued in 1951, with a cover by Paul Callé. The sequel to this novel, The Cometeers, was published a year earlier, in 1950, by Fantasy Press.
Shock Mystery Tales Vol. 2 #1 December 1961
“Brides for the Devil’s Cauldron” by Don Unatin
“I Am the Monster” by Art Crockett
“Curse of the Serpent Goddess” by Bill Ryder
“Vengeance of the Undead” by Anthony Stuart
“Hell’s Photographer” by Jim Burnett
“The Damned of Terror Island” by Jim Arthur
“Her Killer’s Waiting” by Seymour Shubin
The size of a digest magazine makes them ideal for readers. Not so for newsdealers. Standard racks aren’t designed for digests and if you can’t grab the attention of someone browsing the stands, impulse sales are tough to close. Challenge enough for digest magazines. But what is a newsdealer to do with a digest-size novel coming at her through her regular magazine distributor?
Despite display and distribution challenges, the Galaxy Science Fiction Novels ran from 1950 to 1961. Shown here is the cover of the first edition that launched the series.
Steve Carper examines the series and its roots in “The Galaxy Science Fiction Novels” in TDE4.
The latest (final?) issue of Big Fiction, Winter/Spring 2015 includes:
“I’ll Be Your Fever” by Panio Gianopoulos
“Happy Birthday to Me” by Neina Gordon
“A Theory of Transformations” by Earle McCartney
Editor and publisher: Heather Jacobs
Printed by Bremelo Press
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Special thanks to Rod Lott for his review of The Digest Enthusiast book five at Bookgasm yesterday!
Beyond began as a digest-sized magazine in September 1968 and ran for a dozen issues. A year after its debut, #13 in September 1969, it became a full size publication (8.5” x 11”). The issue shown here self-identifies as Vol. 4 #19 February 1971. However, as Tom Brinkmann, expert on off-the-beaten-path magazines reports in TDE3, the March issue was actually #19, although it was mislabeled as #18!
What’s more, a full page advertisement in the edition shown here states, “Beyond returns to the popular digest size beginning with the March issue! 132 pages of psychic phenomena bigger & better than ever! On sale at leading newsstands Tuesday, February 2nd!”
Brinkmann reports no knowledge of issues beyond March, which was also full size.
Super-Science Fiction finished its run with its final issue in October 1959. The all-monster emphasis of the digest magazine’s final year added a “weird” bent in its last edition, but let’s face it, most functioning monsters are already there.
Beyond Vol. 2 #11 Jul 1969 Contents of the 130 page digest magazine:
“Let the Stars Solve Your Problems” by Thos. Whittingham
“The Weird World of Beyond” by Tom Farrington
“Bobby Darin Has Revelation at Grave of Robert Kennedy” by David Hanna
“Reports of UFO Sightings Increase” by Wayne Grundish
“Are Nova Scotia’s UFOs Based Underseas?” by Arthur W. Nelson
“Danish Explorer Haunted by Mongol Witch’s Prophecy” by Jim Kenner
“What’s On Your Mind?” by Robert L. Fried
“Mysterious Sea Monster Ravages Three Freighters” by Charles Duneen
“Beyond Belief” by Frank L. Paige
“A Haunted House Shelters 1,000 Ghosts” by Hal Cranston
“Witches Beware!” by Wentworth Williams
“Astro-Quiz” by Margaret P. Gaddis
“Nostradamus Predicts Worlds to End in 1999” by Anton Arvara
“Mount Misery—Weird Mystery of L.I.” by Jay Paro
“Mentalist Becomes Mystic” by Vincent H. Gaddis
“Soviets Confess UFO Sightings” by Timothy G. Beckley
The third monster issue of Super-Science Fiction, August 1959 is also a portfolio of terrific illustrations by Ed Emshwiller, who starts things off with his cover painting. And here’s what’s lurking inside:
“The Horror in the Attic” by Alex Merriman, art by Emsh
Science Shorts by Edgar P. Straus
“Monsters That Once Were Men” by Eric Rodman, art by Emsh
“Birth of a Monster” by Richard Stark, art by Emsh
Toward Absolute Zero
“Man-Hunting Robot” by James Rosequest, art by Emsh
“Planet of the Angry Giants” by Dirk Clinton, art by Emsh
“World of Creeping Terror” by J.W. Rose, art by Emsh
“Which was the Monster?” by Dan Malcolm, art by Emsh
“Specimens” by George H. Smith