Gnome Press

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Gnome Press
first logo for Gnome Press designed by David A. Kyle
Status Defunct 1962
Founded 1948
Founder Martin Greenberg and David A. Kyle
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location New York City
Publication types Books
Fiction genres science fiction

Gnome Press was an American small-press publishing company primarily known for publishing many science fiction classics.[1]

The company was founded in 1948 by Martin Greenberg and David A. Kyle. Many of Gnome's titles were reprinted in England by Boardman Books. Martin Greenberg of Gnome Press was a New York science fiction fan and member of the Hydra Club, not to be confused with the later Martin H. Greenberg the SF anthologist. David A. Kyle was another New York based science fiction fan, a Futurian as well as a member of the Hydra Club. The address was Gnome Press, Inc., 80 E. 11th St. New York 3, N.Y.[2]

Gnome was the first to publish Isaac Asimov's I, Robot and Foundation Trilogy, brought Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories back from pulp obscurity, first published Arthur C Clarke, and introduced science fictions first themed anthology Men Against the Stars.[3] Controversy surrounds the Gnome Press editions of Robert E. Howard's "Conan" stories. The Gnome Press editions placed the material in print for the first time since its original appearance in Weird Tales, but also included one volume not written by Howard (The Return of Conan) and one volume of non-Conan Howard stories extensively rewritten as Conan by SF writer L. Sprague de Camp (Tales of Conan). It also published many of Robert A. Heinlein's classics, and Children of the Atom by Wilmar Shiras. Andre Norton worked as a reader for Gnome Press in the 1950s.[4]

Gnome featured the work of many noted science fiction artists as well as authors. Those who contributed illustrative material for Gnome editions, including cover art, illustrations, maps and designs, included Ric Binkley, Hannes Bok, Chesley Bonestell, Edd Cartier, Lionel Dillon, Frances E. Dunn, Ed Emshwiller, Frank Kelly Freas, James Gibson, Harry Harrison, Mel Hunter, David Kyle, Stan Mack, Murray Tinkelman, L. Robert Tschirky, Walter I. Van der Poel, Jr., and Wallace Wood.

Gnome Press did not have much capital or access to distribution facilities. The company was notorious for not paying their writers royalties due, which is ultimately what lead to its failure. Asimov claimed he was never paid for the publication of the Foundation books, and called Greenberg "an outright crook".[5] Asimov and other authors were able eventually to repossess the rights to their publications, and the company failed during 1962.

Gnome Press publications are collected, and many of the books in well used condition can be inexpensively obtained (as of 2009 Amazon was offering several in the $3–$20 range). Other items are expensive. The calendars are particularly scarce. Among the books I, Robot, either in the Armed Forces paperback edition, or in the hardcover set from its plates, is in particular demand.[6]

Works published by Gnome Press[edit]


  1. ^ Company description
  2. ^ Gnome Press Newsletter Image Accessed 2011-12-30
  3. ^ Charlie Jane Anders (2014-03-27). "The Failed Publisher That Gave Us I, Robot And Arthur C. Clarke". 
  4. ^ A conversation with Andre Norton
  5. ^ Chalker, Jack L.; Mark Owings (1998). The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998. Westminster, Maryland and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd. pp. 294–311. 
  6. ^ [1]