Cover of first issue (October/November 1930)
|Frequency||Bi-monthly (first three issues)
|First issue||October 1930|
#1 (vol 4, 14th issue overall)
Like its parent, it was published by J.C. Henneberger's Rural Publications and edited by Farnsworth Wright. As its titles indicate, the magazine specialized in adventure and fantasy stories with Oriental settings and elements. Its stories were largely written by the same distinctive group of authors that filled the pages of Weird Tales, including Robert E. Howard, Otis Adelbert Kline, E. Hoffmann Price, Clark Ashton Smith, and Frank Owen, among others.
The magazine struggled financially for the entirety of its existence (as indeed did Weird Tales); it was published first bi-monthly, then quarterly, during the grimmest years of the Great Depression. Volume 1 of Oriental Stories consisted of 6 issues that appeared on newsstands from October 1930 through Autumn 1931; Volume 2 comprised only 3 issues in the first half of 1932 (Winter, Spring, Summer). After a six-month hiatus, the first of four quarterly issues of Volume 3 appeared in January 1933, but with the new title The Magic Carpet. ("Oriental Stories combined with The Magic Carpet Magazine," read the masthead of Vol. 3 No. 1, January 1933.) One notable contributor to The Magic Carpet was popular pulp author H. Bedford-Jones. Still unable to muster sufficient circulation, Volume 4 started and ended with the single issue No. 1 in January 1934. The Magic Carpet was then defunct.
Its brief existence and scarcity eventually made The Magic Carpet an object of romance and nostalgia among followers of Weird Tales and fantastic literature. In particular, fans and collectors of Robert E. Howard's works, oppressed by the magazine's unavailability in the years after Howard's suicide in 1936, helped elevate The Magic Carpet to something close to legendary status.
- "Robert E. Howard, Professional Writer" by Glenn Lord, in Don Herron, ed. The Dark Barbarian: The Writings of Robert E Howard, a Critical Anthology. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1984, (pp. 135-148). ISBN 0-313-23281-4
- "Oriental Stories" by Mike Ashley, in Ashley and M.B. Tymn. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport: Greenwood, 1985. (pp. 454-456). ISBN 0-313-21221-X
Jaffery, Sheldon R., and Fred Cook. The Collector's Index to Weird Tales. Bowling Green State University Popular Press, Bowling Green, Ohio, 1985. Appendix 1, pp. 149–52; Appendix 2, pp. 153–7.
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