Lloyd Arthur Eshbach

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Weird Tales (October 1936, volume 28, number 3), featuring Isle of the Undead by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach

Lloyd Arthur Eshbach (June 20, 1910 – October 29, 2003) was an American science fiction fan, publisher and writer, secular and religious publisher, and minister.


Born in Palm, Pennsylvania, Eshbach grew up in Reading in the same state. He discovered science fiction at age 15 and began writing letters to the professional magazines, then started to write his own stories. The third story he wrote sold to Science Wonder Stories during 1929. While still writing his own stories and articles, he published two short-lived magazines during the early 1930s, Marvel Tales and The Galleon. He initiated Fantasy Press, a small press which published the work of authors such as E. E. Smith, Jack Williamson, Robert A. Heinlein and John W. Campbell, Jr.. Fantasy Press published 32 books between 1946 and 1950, in limited print runs averaging 3,750 copies each. These constituted the first hardcover editions of many of these works, previously available only in used copies of magazines. Eshbach later formed Polaris Press during 1952 to publish 2 more books.

Eshbach was a church publisher from 1958 to 1962, then he was a salesman for the Moody Bible Institute until retirement during 1975. Upon his retirement, he became a pastor in the Evangelical Congregational Church and served churches of that denomination in Pennsylvania in Lancaster County, Reading, and Womelsdorf.

His memoirs, Over My Shoulder: Reflections on a Science Fiction Era, were published during 1982; and his last novel, The Scroll of Lucifer, during 1990. Other books included The Armlet of the Gods, The Land Beyond the Gate, The Sorceress of Scath and The Tyrant of Time. He also edited Of Worlds Beyond: The Science of Science Fiction Writing (Reading, PA: Fantasy, 1947), the first book-length work on science fiction writing from a professional point of view.

An active member of science fiction's First Fandom, he was Guest of Honor at the 1949 World Science Fiction Convention and the 1995 World Fantasy Convention.

Hubbard quotation[edit]

In his 1982 memoirs, Over My Shoulder: Reflections on a Science Fiction Era, Eshbach quotes L. Ron Hubbard as telling him during 1949, "I’d like to start a religion. That’s where the money is."

Further reading[edit]

  • Davin, Eric Leif. Interview with Eshbach, in Pioneers of Wonder: Conversations With the Founders of Science Fiction. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1999.

External links[edit]