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Ultra-Rare Serials from "Fantasy Magazine"

It took some time to get information on these, as these super-rare issues are not cataloged on the web, and these stories are absent from all available bibliographical sources! The incredible line-up of writers, Lovecraft writing side-by-side with Howard, Smith/Campbell/Hamilton are all doing what they do best (blowing up planets) - together! Smashing "wonder-fiction", crying to be brought into the spotlight again.

"Let us contemplate with melding hearts and soaring minds the infinity of beckoning stars"
- Richard Vaughan, "Exile of the Skies"


"Cosmos Serial" -
(plotted by Raymond A. Palmer)
1. Ralph Milne Farley "Faster Than Light"
2. David H. Keller "The Emigrants"
3. Arthur J. Burks "Callisto's Children"
4. Bob Olsen "The Murderer From Mars"
6. John W. Campbell "Interference on Luna"
7. Francis Flagg "Son of the Trident"
8. Otis Adelbert Kline & E. Hoffmann Price"Volunteers From Venus"
9. Abner J. Gelula "Menace of the Automaton"
10. Raymond A. Palmer (as Rae Winters) "The Return to Venus"
11. A. Merritt "The Last Poet & The Wrongness of Space"
12. J. Harvey Haggard "At the Crater's Core"
13. E. E. "Doc" Smith "Course Perilous!"
14. P. Schuyler Miller "The Fate of the Neptunians"
15. Lloyd Arthur Eshbach "The Horde of Elo Hava"
16. Eando Binder "Lost in Alien Dimensions"
17. Edmond Hamilton "Armageddon in Space"

© Science Fiction Digest, Jul 1932
Fantasy Magazine, Dec 1934

Perry Rhodan, Ace Books
--/ fourth place space sf series
--/ wonder award
--/ awesome scale
--/ rare find

Unreal... Simply the most unique event in the history of science fiction, a collaboration of the brightest stars in the field, some at the beginning of their careers, some already at the peak. The list of writers is a shining "all-star" galaxy in itself. The fiction is... well, it's big-scale, full of grand conflict, ridiculous science, unpronounceable names and places, more bang that you ever encountered between soft book covers - testing the limits of reader's imagination and credulity. Impossibly hard to find today, the serial spanned the issues of "Science Fiction Digest", and then "Fantasy Magazine" (the installments of the Cosmos round-robin were not printed in the issues themselves but as separately-bound supplements). Personally I liked the "Last Poet" part and the crazy, absolutely delirious space battle extravaganza by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach. Multi-dimensional "Wrongness of Space" anomaly attacks our system, alien menaces and mad scientists pop out of every wrinkle of time and space, flying around (some will say chaotically) in droves, driving the serial to its bang-up finish - incomparable Edmond Hamilton destroying the planets Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus with an atomic disintegrator ray in his "Armageddon in Space". A monumental literary artifact from the "wonder pulps" era, quite enjoyable even to this day.

(cover images credit: Chris Perridas)
review: 10-Jan-08 (read in 2008)


And as though one "fiction star-fest" was not enough, Fantasy Magazine published yet another collaborative effort, just as fascinating, if not more rare - contained in one issue, which costs a fortune today:


"The Challenge from Beyond"
(Round-robin serial: sf part + weird fantasy part)
© Fantasy Magazine, Sep 1935
The Challenge from Beyond, 1990

Stanley G. Weinbaum
Donald Wandrei
Edward E. Smith
Harl Vincent
Murray Leinster

H.P. Lovecraft
Robert E. Howard
C.L. Moore
A. Merritt
Frank Belknap Long

--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

The Ultimate SF&F Collectible! An extremely rare "round-robin" serial, published in the impossibly hard-to-get magazine (almost a fanzine) and only recently reprinted as a limited-edition chapbook. The similar SF round-robin serial "Cosmos" from "Fantasy Magazine" is also hard-to-find: it's been reprinted only in "Perry Rhodan" magazine, of all places! It's time for somebody to publish these serials together as one paperback... The best pulp writers at the time were asked to submit a story episode, and they all did - this tells you what an unpretentious and enthusiastic crowd they were - each keeping his or her own signature style, together making a sort of "Who's Who" catalogue of the fantastic pulps. So far I have only read a few episodes, but let me tell you, it's almost like coming to the most delicious smorgasbord of all times... vintage and delectable stuff all over.
review: 30-Sep-06 (read in 2002)
(cover images credit: Chris Perridas)


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Blogger theo paijmans said...

beautiful these golden olden science fiction magazines - there's a layer of time here that makes these old science fiction publications unique - like worrks of art have it. I prefer these old publications anytime over the new ones, although much that is good also happens today in science fiction.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Theo, your site about Hollow Earth is quite fascinating; I will link to it - thank you for the great read!

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have all of these issues, with the Cosmos inserts, and am working (slowly) to transcribe them. They were also re-published in the Perry Rhodan book series (Forry Ackerman).

( if interested)

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember reading parts of COSMOS when it was re-published in Perry Rhodan, but never got to read the complete story. Does anyone know where I can find a collected version of this Classic (with a captial "C") story? Thanks!

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The **full text** of Cosmos is now online at

Work continues to document the story of the novel on that site.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

Now available between two covers at Amazon...

(got the hardcover)

9:33 PM  

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Enchanting Victorian Fairy Tale Art

"Then world behind and home ahead..."

Exceptional British Scifi Artwork from the 1950s

Space Pulp Art by Ron Turner and other British artists

Pulp Pleasures: Eando Binder

Great space adventure fiction from the 1930s
"Where Eternity Ends" and other rare gems

Epic Fantasy: the Start of the Journey

Part 2 of our "Best Classic Fantasy" series
incl. works by Henry Kuttner, Tolkien, etc.

Strange Shadows: Best Classic Fantasy

Fantasy "glitches in the matrix",
...lovely baroque magical lands, and more

Classic Cyberpunk SF Novels: Reviews

Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, K. W. Jeter, et al
(awesome must-reads)

10 Possible Sources of "Avatar" in Classic Science Fiction

Going beyond the obvious "Dances with Smurfs"...
(many stories worth reading)

"Steampunk" Anthology: Full Review

some truly crazed stories in there...
(plus artwork by John Coulthart)

"Dune", Plus Often-Neglected
Other Novels by Frank Herbert

"Dune", plus some overlooked gems:
"The Santaroga Barrier" and "The Green Brain"

Universe at Play:
Two Must-Read Novels of the Fantastic

"The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon...
and David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas"

Two of the Most Entertaining SF Novels from the 1980s

"Vacuum Flowers" by Michael Swanwick...
and Tim Power's "The Anubis Gates", of course!

"The Body Snatchers" and Other Alien Pods

Fiction by Jack Finney, Vance, Simak and Bloch
mind impostors and emotion imitators

Exploring the Noir and the Grotesque

Jack O'Connell "The Resurrectionist"
and other newest examples of the bizarre

Overpopulation, Sex and Sensibility

Robert Silverberg's "The World Inside"
and other classic sf blasts

H. P. Lovecraft "At the Mountains of Madness"

and other masterpieces of terror
including original illustrations

"Constellations", edited by Peter Crowther

original anthology, 2005
full review: mind-bending stories

The Ultimate Guide to New Writers of SF&F

more than 2,000 writers, 1990-2009
Ratings, awards, web links

The Surreal Office

"The Situation", "The Cookie Monster"
Weird fiction by Jeff VanderMeer and Vernor Vinge

Mind-shattering Novels of Philip K. Dick

"UBIK", "Now Wait for Last Year", etc.

Theodore Sturgeon's "More Than Human"

There’s a problem with this new gestalt being: needs a conscience.

Jack Williamson's "Legion of Space" Series

Classic Space Opera
The ultimate weapon, controlled by a gorgeous woman

Astounding Stories, August 1934

Jack Williamson, Nat Schachner, "Doc" Smith
Epic space opera gems and horror surprises

Rare Pulp SF&F, Issue 3

Leigh Brackett, Fritz Leiber, Vic Phillips
Rediscovered gems of wonder & adventure

William Gibson's Novels

"Pattern Recognition", "Neuromancer"
A Fractured Delight...

Alfred Bester "The Computer Connection"

"Bester was the mountain, all the rest of us..."
Pyrokinetic writing in one neat package

Two Novels by Samuel R. Delany

"Nova" and "Babel-17"
New Wave Milestones, and then some.

Theodore Sturgeon's "The Cosmic Rape"

(and more reviews of his fiction)
Classic SF at its best and most humane

Travel Distant Worlds!

Vintage Space Travel Posters, and more.
Part 3 of Pulp Sf art series...

Alastair Reynolds' Epic Novels

"Chasm City" and "Revelation Space"
And it's only the beginning...

Rare Fantasy Gems by C. L. Moore and Henry Kuttner

Hidden Gems of Pulp Fiction
When two star writers become husband and wife

Grand Old Times... in the Future

Overview of Pulp Art
A Loudly Lurid Universe of Sci-Fi Illustration

Exclusive: Interview with Nancy Kress

From High Fantasy to Hard Science Fiction
A Spectrum of Wonder

Jack Vance

"To Live Forever"
and other Vance extravaganzas

Alastair Reynolds

"Pushing Ice"
Cosmological "noir" chase across space

Charles Stross

"Missile Gap"
Mind-bending Cold War world-building

Hidden Gems of Pulp SF, Part 2

Rare stories from the "Age of Wonder"
incl. David Keller, Horace Gold etc.

Ultra-Rare Serials from "Fantasy Magazine"

"Cosmos" + "Challenge From Beyond"
incredible line-up of writers

Hidden Gems of Pulp SF, Part 1

Neat & Rare Stories
incl. the mad rally story "The Racer"

Astounding Stories, June 1935

Full Issue Review
incl. Gallun, Schachner, Campbell

Astounding Stories, May 1941

Full Issue Review
incl. Heinlein, Asimov, Eric Frank Russell

Horace Gold; P. Schuyler Miller

"Apocalyptic Blockbusters"
"Inflexure" and "Spawn": guilty pleasure

Interview with John C. Wright

Plus his advice to new writers
Adventures in Space & Magic

Frank Belknap Long

"The Horror from the Hills"
Great Lovecraftian Weird Novella

Interview with Jeff VanderMeer

Plus his Recommended Reading List
A Triumph of the Bizarre

Alastair Reynolds, Part 2

More "Galactic North" Stories
A Mixture of Hard Sf, James Bond & Jaws...

Alastair Reynolds Review

"Galactic North"
staring down infinity...

Most Shocking Article

"Holey Fools" by M. Christian
Warning: Gross Subject Matter

Alfred Bester Review

"The Stars My Destination"
"...nail it to the Retro Hugo voting board..."

Larry Niven Review

"Neutron Star"
"better get GP alien ship hull"

Poul Anderson Review

"Ensign Flandry"
"or how to start a sub-genre..."

Thomas M. Disch Review

"The Squirrel Cage"
"...seriously mind-bending stuff..."

Henry Kuttner Review

"Mimsy Were the Borogoves" (The Last Mimzy)
"...great storyline for a pretty average movie..."

Robert A. Heinlein Review

"The Moon is the Harsh Mistress"
" caused a tooth ache, and put my brain on freeze..."

Frank Herbert Review

"Destination: Void"
"...a layered cake of ideas and a scientific extrapolation on a genius level..."

Harlan Ellison Review

"The Abnormals"
"...editors slapped the most outrageous titles on his stories..."

James White Review

"All Judgement Fled"
"...the tension is palpable, soon to grow almost unbearable..."

Grand Adventure Strikes Again

Space Opera Article, by Avi Abrams
Based on Arthur Clarke's "Against the Fall of Night"

William Gibson Review

"Burning Chrome"
"...sheer pyrotechnics and exuberance of style..."

Ace Double: Murray Leinster

"The Pirates of Ersatz /The Mutant Weapon"
"...the characters might as well be cats or hamsters..."

Astounding Stories, May 1935

Pulp SF Magazine Review
with many original illustrations

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"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!

Most reviews are written by Avi Abrams, unless otherwise noted. Reviews also appear on our unique historical retrospective page Wonder Timeline of Science Fiction. Feel free to submit your own review, if a particular story is not listed here.

All major OFFICIAL AWARDS are highlighted in BLUE
("winner" has a letter "W" by it, otherwise it is a runner-up only)

Our PERSONAL AWARDS (ratings) are highlighted in RED and PURPLE:
--/ first place :
--/ second place :
--/ third place :

--/ fourth place :

--/ cool : (equal to fifth place)

These awards are given in the following categories:
- novel :
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- novella :
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Also, there are our personal STYLE / GENRE SPECIFIC AWARDS. These reflect the story's content and the lasting impression on the reader:

--/ wonder award
sense-of-wonder, "visual intensity" and inventiveness

--/ idea award
originality of idea / concept

--/ adventure award
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--/ romance award
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touching, lasting impression, sensitivity

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Again, please feel free to leave your own review or comment under every writer's entry; also recommend us other stories you liked.