but it’s a Good thing… really!
I noticed with some sadness that DNA Publications, a small pulp press that publishes some of the best genre fiction stories in the USA (and located nearby in VA) has ceased publication of one of my favorite magazines, Weird Tales. The “Unique Magazine” has been in existence since 1922 and has had many owners and publishers during that time, including a time
when they were publishing in cheap mass market paperback (Zebra) and in gorgeous trade digest format (Terminus Publishing company.. I have all of these), to a couple of cheap bedsheet style pulps (Bellerophon Company.. I have one of these, incredibly rare). It was even reconfigured as “Worlds of Fantasy and Horror” briefly, when the Terminus group lost the rights to the Weird Tales name. In any event, WT, in all its incarnations, was the preeminent source for creepy gothic tales of horror and mayhem. Such great authors as Robert Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Henry Kuttner, Robert Bloch, H.P. Lovecraft, Ben Hecht, August Derleth, Hugh Cave and Fritz Leiber all got started with Weird Tales.
For a great discourse on the entire history of WT until the DNA/Warren Lapine era, check out this site, here.
Back in the Terminus days, the magazine was being run by Darrell Schweitzer and John Betancourt. Before the license went to DNA publications (1998), these two gentlemen, both authors in their own right, contributed mightily to the modern reshaping of the Unique Magazine. Mr. Schweitzer really never left his post as contributing editor and frequent fiction contributor, and Mr. Betancourt went on to found Wildside Press, a primarily reprint house of great pulp fiction and some modern collections.
So it’s with mixed emotions that I sniff farewell to Warren Lapine and DNA Pubs, because Wildside Press has bought the license to print Weird Tales magazine. In general, I think this is a fantastic idea. The history is there with both Betancourt and Schweitzer, and Wildside has a host of complimentary products (pulp novels, collections, etc.) that will work very well in tandem with the magazine.
I just bought the newest issue (337) and the look and feel is identical to the DNA Press editions. Functionally, this is almost like a homecoming for Weird Tales, since the two chief editors spent so many years with the magazine in its prior existence at Terminus. I intend to subscribe!!!
(editor’s note, from 2015) Weird Tales was published by Wildside Press for about 4 years. It has since been sold again to an editor that is very slow to get out issues.