Established: Originally founded in 1923; relaunched spring 1988.
Editors: Stephen H. Segal (editorial director), Ann VanderMeer (fiction editor)
Weird Tales has enjoyed a devoted following for many decades as the very first magazine of strange fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Founded in 1923, the pioneering publication introduced the world to such counter-culture icons as Cthulhu the alien monster god and Conan the Barbarian. Weird Tales is well known for launching the careers of great authors like H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, and Robert E. Howard — heck, Tennessee Williams made his first sale here! — not to mention legendary fantasy artists like Virgil Finlay and Margaret Brundage. The magazine’s influence extends through countless areas of pop culture: fiction, certainly, but also rock music, goth style, comic books, gaming… even Stephen King has called Weird Tales a major inspiration.
After the original Weird Tales operation folded in 1954, there were several brief attempts to revive it during the ’60s and ’70s before the resurrection finally achieved full-fledged afterlife as a small-press magazine in 1988. Over the past twenty years, the magazine has featured works by such modern masters as Tanith Lee, Gene Wolfe, Michael Moorcock, Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti, and more. Today, Weird Tales has recommitted to its original mission — to publish brilliantly strange material that can’t be found elsewhere — even while bringing its unique aesthetics fully into the 21st century. In print and online, we look forward to introducing a new generation of writers, artists, and other storytellers who lure unwary readers into the shadowy places between dream and reality…
Awards and Recognition:
World Fantasy Award 1992: Special Achievement/Professional, editors Scithers & Schweitzer.
Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror: many Honorable Mentions over the years.
“Bufo Rex” by Erik Amundsen, WT, #347 was selected for Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2008 and Best American Fantasy 2008.
“The Difficulties of Evolution” by Karen Heuler, WT, #350 was selected for Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2009.
Current 2009 nomination — Hugo Award, Best Semiprozine, editors VanderMeer & Segal.
Current 2009 nomination — Prix Aurora: “All In” by Peter Atwood, WT #351.
Other Items of Interest:
Weird Tales has an active website that publishes original material ranging from fiction (web exclusives as well as print selections) to artwork (e.g. Steven Archer’s year-long Lovecraft series “365 Days of Blasphemous Horrors”) to nonfiction (assorted blog mini-series like the recent two-week-long Sandman 20th-anniversary retrospective). 2008 saw our debut Spam Fiction Contest, wherein writers turned email spam headlines into weird flash fiction. Learn more at our “2008 year in review” web page.
Information provided by Stephen H. Segal.