Friday, May 20, 2011

Hugo Gernsback and the 1st All-Science Fiction publication


Sam Moskowitz begins The Immortal Storm at the beginning, with Hugo Gernsback.

Publisher/editor Hugo Gernsback's first magazine was Modern Electrics, followed by Electrical Experimenter. Next came Science and Invention. There was also Radio News. All of these were published in the early 1920s.

Then GErnsback brought out Amazing Stories. (Moskowitz isn't clearm but seems to be saying it came out in 1924. However, the first issue was not published until April 1926 by Gernsback's Experimenter Publishing.

(Although it was the first magazine devoted solely to science fiction, it had been preceded by Weird Tales , which dealt with science fiction and fantasy, and made its debut in March 1923.)

According to Moskowitz, "The appearance of reader's letters in the "Discussions" column of Amazing Stories marked the beginning of science fiction fandom as we know it today."

The most famous fans of these early Amazing Stories magazines were Jerome Siegel and Joseph Schuster, who would eventually create the character(s) of Clark Kent and Superman.

Then, Gernsback was forced into bankruptcy, and lost his magazines and radio station. Moskowitz says: "Though many have speculated on the causes of his financial crisis, naming frozen assets, family hardships and dishonest employees as the core of the trouble, the complete story has never been made clear.

By early 1929 Gernsback's finances had recovered - though not to their earlier extent.

Amazing Stories had been taken over by Teck Publications.

Gernsback brought out Science Wonder Stories, Air Wonder Stories and Scientific Detective Stories, all in 1929. (They would be short-lived.)

Clayton Publications, a riival, brought out Astounding Stories in 1929.






Bibliography
The Immortal Storm, by Sam Moskowitz

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