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Title: The Unique Legacy of Weird Tales: The Evolution of Modern Fantasy and Horror

Editors: Justin Everett & Jeffrey H. Shanks

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Publication Date: October 1, 2015

When the pulp magazine Weird Tales appeared on newsstands in 1923, it proved to be a pivotal moment in the evolution of speculative fiction. Living up to its nickname, “The Unique Magazine,” Weird Tales provided the first real venue for authors writing in the nascent genres of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Weird fiction pioneers such as H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Bloch, Catherine L. Moore, and many others honed their craft in the pages of Weird Tales in the 1920s and 1930s, and their work had a tremendous influence on later generations of genre authors.

In The Unique Legacy of Weird Tales: The Evolution of Modern Fantasy and Horror, Justin Everett and Jeffrey Shanks have assembled an impressive collection of essays that explore many of the themes critical to understanding the importance of the magazine. This multi-disciplinary collection from a wide array of scholars looks at how Weird Tales served as a locus of genre formation and literary discourse community. There are also chapters devoted to individual authors—including Lovecraft, Howard, and Bloch—and their particular contributions to the magazine.

As the literary world was undergoing a revolution and mass-produced media began to dwarf high-brow literature in social significance, Weird Tales managed to straddle both worlds. This collection of essays explores the important role the magazine played in expanding the literary landscape at a very particular time and place in American culture. The Unique Legacy of Weird Tales will appeal to scholars and aficionados of fantasy, horror, and weird fiction and those interested in the early roots of these popular genres.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Introduction:Weird Tales—Discourse Community and Genre Nexus (Justin Everett and Jeffrey Shanks)

PART I: THE UNIQUE MAGAZINE: WEIRD TALES, MODERNISM, AND GENRE FORMATION

Chapter 1: "Something that swayed as if in unison": The Artistic Authenticity of Weird Tales in the Interwar Periodical Culture of Modernism - Jason Ray Carney

Chapter 2: Weird Modernism: Literary Modernism in the First Decade of Weird Tales - Jonas Prida

Chapter 3: “Against the Complacency of an Orthodox Sun-Dweller”: The Lovecraft Circle and the “Weird Class” - Daniel Nyikos

Chapter 4: Strange Collaborations: Shared Authorship and Weird Tales - Nicole Emmelhainz

Chapter 5: Gothic to Cosmic: Sword and Sorcery Fiction in Weird Tales - Morgan Holmes

II. EICH-PI-EL AND TWO-GUN BOB: LOVECRAFT AND HOWARD IN WEIRD TALES

Chapter 6: A Nameless Horror: Madness and Metamorphosis in H.P. Lovecraft and Post-modernism - Clancy Smith

Chapter 7: Great Phallic Monoliths: Lovecraft and Sexuality - Bobby Derie

Chapter 8: Evolutionary Otherness: Anthropological Anxiety in Robert E. Howard’s “Worms of the Earth” - Jeffrey Shanks

Chapter 9: Eugenic Thought in the Works of Robert E. Howard - Justin Everett

III. MASTERS OF THE WEIRD: OTHER AUTHORS OF WEIRD TALES

Chapter 10: Pegasus Unbridled: Clark Ashton Smith and the Ghettoization of the Fantastic - Scott Connors

Chapter 11: “A Round Cipher”: Word-Building and World-Building in the Weird Works of Clark Ashton Smith - Geoffrey Reiter

Chapter 12: C. L. Moore and M. Brundage: Competing Femininities in the October, 1934 Issue of Weird Tales - Jonathan Helland

Chapter 13: Psycho-ology 101: Incipient Madness in the Weird Tales of Robert Bloch - Paul Shovlin

Chapter 14: “To Hell and Gone”: Harold Lawlor’s Self-Effacing Pulp Metafiction - Sidney Sondergard

Index

About the Editors and Contributors

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