Talk:Weird Tales

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Featured article Weird Tales is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on July 9, 2017.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
August 24, 2016 Peer review Reviewed
October 15, 2016 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

Early comments[edit]

In a world as transient as SF magazine publishing, I think the word "recently" should be qualified. Notinasnaid 16:40, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Apologies if my previous edit led to any confusion. I misunderstood your original addition, and was just trying to make it a little clearer. No offence intended. Rayray 09:16, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Whats wrong with thier site?[edit]

I was wondering, whats wrong with the weird tales website? Did they change it or what? I kind of need to visit it.

If you went to then you did visit it. This is a site in the early stages of creation. Or recreation. Anyway, what you see is what there is - right now, a list of basic files found in an empty site, and nothing else. If they (re)create it soon we can take the link out of the article. On the other hand... there is also a which claims to be the official site, but as it seems to be selling tee shirts I'm not so sure! Notinasnaid 08:40, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Thats just great. They dont even have their guidelines listed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Discovering Lovecraft[edit]

0 The article should make it clear that Baird, not Wright, first published Lovecraft. Does anyone know who discovered Seabury Quinn? Nareek 21:49, 26 August 2006 (UTC)


I'm not entirely familiar with the world of weird tales so please forgive me if I'm in error but it's my understanding that Ann Vandermeer and Stephen Segal were replaced in 2011 by Marvin Kaye as editors. The text of this article reflects that already but the infobox and Ann Vandermeer's page do not. I intend to change them in line with the new reality. If I'm mistaken in doing this please revert my edits LordFenix (talk) 20:51, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Possible Bias against the Kaye version of WT?[edit]

I'm puzzled at some of the coverage of the Marvin Kaye version of Weird Tales. Firstly, an positive review of a MK WT issue from a RS was deleted as "not relevant to the history or background of the magazine", but a negative review of a MK WT issue (an issue which was not, AFAIK, offered for sale to the general public) is allowed to stay on the article. There's also a piece from the SFE saying under Kaye, WT's future is "once again in the balance" - a comment that could have been made about the previous versions as well, but here seemed designed to make the new editor look bad.

I understand many people were upset with the departure of the previous WT editors (a fair opinion) but surely the new WT deserves a chance? I hope I'm wrong, but the coverage of the Kaye WT here doesn't seem in line with Wikipedia's policy of neutrality ([[Stephen Jones]] has spoked very highly of Kaye's WT, for instance). (talk) 14:20, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't think Ain't It Cool News is a very good source for critical commentary about the magazine, though it's true that recent issues are going to be hard to find critical commentary for. In particular, commentary on a single issue, in an era where the magazine has less circulation and less influence than it used to, seems unnecessary. Overall I think the coverage is unbalanced at the moment; there should be more on the earlier period, using sources like Mike Ashley's histories. If I get time next year I'll try to do some work on the article. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

This is a serious allegation and needs a source[edit]

I have no idea if the following is true or not, however, it surely needs to be linked to a decent source if the statement is to remain. 'However, after years of losses, accusations of poor editorial standards management (including allegations that editor Darrell Schweitzer was regularly abusing his position to publish his own work over submitted material by other authors)...' This could well be considered defamatory could it not? Regardless I believe it needs a link. Hmadoc (talk) 10:51, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Whether there's a source for the allegation or it's just the catty comment of the editor who added it to the article, I think it can be adequately put to rest by the following statement by Schweitzer regarding Weird Tales, from a 2006 interview of him on Basically, he didn't get to decide whether his own work was published in the magazine:
"There’s been a lot of controversy about whether an editor should publish in his own magazine, but I take my cue from Frederik Pohl of Galaxy and Michael Moorcock of New Worlds, and a very long list others. It was never entirely my magazine anyway, even during the brief period around 1990 when I was listed as sole editor. We had merely promoted George Scithers to “publisher,” but the day-to-day operation of the magazine didn’t change much. Stories were bought by a best-of-three method, divided originally between George Scithers, John Betancourt, and myself, and when John left for a time, between George, myself, and the “Editorial Horde” who counted as one vote. For a story of mine to be bought, I was not allowed to vote and everyone else had to be unanimous." ("The Sorcery of Storytelling: The 'Imaginary Worlds' of Darrell Schweitzer" (interview by John R. Fultz))
BPK (talk) 20:02, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the info BPK. I have removed the comment contained within the brackets: However, after years of losses, accusations of poor editorial standards management (including allegations that editor Darrell Schweitzer was regularly abusing his position to publish his own work over submitted material by other authors) and reversion of the license by Weird Tales, Ltd. I'm not entirely happy with: "the accusations of poor editorial standards management", however, will live with it. Hmadoc (talk) 10:39, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

I deleted it; it needs a source and there's no reason to leave it there without one. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:41, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Later incarnations details[edit]

While in general this section is referenced as good as can be expected, however the very last sentence states "Both the Forbes issues are rare.", is this opinion or fact? Well, I know it is fact and so does the writer, but can someone find a reference for it? I did a quick google search and could not find anything. Maybe someone can do better than me... DevRockinAZ (talk) 06:43, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Done; there's now a section on the magazine's collectibility that mentions this. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:23, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Plan to improve to featured level[edit]

I am planning to work on this article over the next month or two, and would like to get it to featured article status; if anyone is interested in getting involved, please say so. I think I have most of the relevant sources but may be missing a couple. For the other sf/fantasy magazine articles I've worked on I typically split the article into a section on publishing history, including changes of ownership and editor, financial status, irregularities in frequency, circulation numbers if available, and so on; then a section on contents and reception, and finally a section on bibliographic details, to cover things like foreign editions, reprint anthologies, page numbering, and so on. You can see an example of this approach at Amazing Stories, and at most of the pulp sf magazines. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:44, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Remove infobox?[edit]

I've deleted several parameters from the infobox because they were either incomplete (i.e. it wasn't always bimonthly) or were so long they defeat the purpose of an infobox, which is to quickly convey essential information. There's not much left now, all of which is (or should be) in the first sentence. Would anyone object if I removed the infobox completely? They have their place, but I don't think this one adds much for the reader. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:36, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

No objections, so I've gone ahead and removed it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:28, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Unsourced material[edit]

I'm removing unsourced material, and will leave some notes here to remind me to look for sources. If anyone has a source for anything I list here, please let me know.

  • "In the 1920s and 1930s, the magazine's business manager, William (Bill) Sprenger, was crucial in keeping the enterprise afloat." I have a source for Sprenger as financial manager (Weinberg 1999) but not for his importance to the magazine's survival.
  • "It is estimated that the monthly circulation of Weird Tales never topped 50,000 copies per issue. (In the 1920s, circulation figures for the most successful pulps topped one million; even in the depths of the Great Depression, popular pulps like Doc Savage or The Shadow enjoyed circulations of 300,000 per issue, monthly or even semi-monthly.)"
  • "After 1926, Farnsworth Wright paid his contributors at the rate of one cent per word, double the going pulp rate of a half-cent per word; but during the 1930s, the magazine was sometimes very late in making its payments to authors (which was not unusual in the pulp field as a whole, at the time)." Weinberg (1985) says rates were low, not high, but he doesn't give a rate. Weinberg (1999) says from 1926 one cent per word was the rate for top authors, not the standard rate, and gives some more details which I'll add to the article.

-- Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 21:11, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

Note on Wright[edit]

Leaving a note to say that the comment about Wright being unable to walk unassisted by the end of his tenure is unsourced at the moment; I've ordered a copy of Necronomicon which I'll cite when it arrives. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:26, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Merge into Weird Tales[edit]

I propose that we merge Weird Tales (anthology series) into this article. Those four books are regarded by historians of Weird Tales as simply part of the magazine's run -- see Weinberg's article in the 1985 Tymn/Ashley encyclopedia Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction Magazines, for example. Mike Ashley's article on Weird Tales in the 1997 Clute/Grant Encyclopedia of Fantasy does the same. I've posted a note at Talk:Weird Tales (anthology series) and will also post to the relevant WikiProject pages. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 21:45, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

It's probably no big deal to anyone else, but I created the article Weird Tales (anthology series) because (1) they are actually paperback books, not really a magazine, and (2) they weren't getting good coverage here, and it's difficult to see how they could get good coverage here. So, Oppose. Wouldn't be a bit surprised if I lose this discussion, though. BPK (talk) 14:27, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Conditional Oppose If there are sufficient WP:RS to back up claims in Weird Tales (anthology series) with WP:ICs, I oppose the merger. However, I do not think a page should be kept that does not have any facts that can be verified.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 06:48, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Tony: the only sources I'm aware of are either simple listings that recite the contents of the anthologies (e.g. [1]) or articles on Weird Tales (the magazine), which universally treat them as part of the magazine. There are reviews of them (e.g. see [2]) but many individual issues of magazines get reviews, so that doesn't imply they should get their own article. Take treats!, for example; a review of or discussion of the first year of treats! wouldn't imply that there should be a separate article for the first year, would it? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:16, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
If there is content that is specific to this subject, the article should exist. The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew are examples were subsets of a literary run are notable. I think the same is true for comics series.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 18:24, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Bellerophon issues[edit]

I'd like to get access to the issues of Locus used to source the information about the Bellerophon issues. Those sentences were added by an IP in this diff; if anyone has those issues and could email me the source articles I would appreciate it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:49, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Copyrighted issues[edit]

I've just done a search of all periodical copyright renewals between 1950 and 1978. The following issues of Weird Tales are copyrighted.

  • April 1923 through March 1926
  • April and May 1928
  • April 1930 through January 1934
  • November 1946 through September 1947

The database for post-1978 renewals isn't responding so I can't check 1950-1954; I'll do that when it comes back online and will update this list. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:38, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

I just searched the post-1978 database and there are no further renewals, so the above are the only original issues that are copyrighted. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 15:11, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Remaining tasks[edit]

Some notes on what's left to do.

  • Expand the notes on competition to discuss the "weird menace" pulps of the 1930s.
  • Note on weird mystery stories and reader reaction
  • Try to expand the legacy section; it's a bit thin but I can't find much that talks generally about the ongoing influence of the magazine.
  • Possibly more on poetry
  • Find critical commentary on the Terminus issues and later
  • Review the publishing history paragraphs for 1990 and later and check against Locus; search Locus for more data
  • Search JSTOR, other sources, including Conversations with the Weird Tales Circle
  • Rewrite lead
  • Copyedit pass
  • Links pass, including duplicate removal
  • Check all quotes have citations immediately afterwards
  • Do a pass to verify that the sources all cover the material cited; I've done a fair amount of moving material around so need to check this.

-- Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:23, 28 July 2016 (UTC)


I've cut the sentences about Viacom, mainly because we don't have a secondary source to give this information any context. It looks (from the trademark page) as if Viacom acquired the trademark in 2010, and in 2012 they indicated that they owned the catalog. It's not clear who they acquired it from, or what rights Marvin Kaye bought -- just the rights to continue a magazine with that name? With no context I don't think this is useful information. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:01, 31 July 2016 (UTC)