Fantastic Adventures was an American pulp fantasy and science fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1953. The magazine was later merged with Fantastic to create Fantastic, which was published in a digest-sized format, and was published until the end of the 1960s. It has been called the “magazine of the sf world” by some sf historians.
About Fantastic Adventures in brief
Fantastic Adventures was an American pulp fantasy and science fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1953. It was initially edited by Raymond A. Palmer, who was also the editor of Amazing Stories, Ziff-Davis’s other science fiction title. The first nine issues were in bedsheet format, but in June 1940 the magazine switched to a standard pulp size. Much of the material was written by a small group of writers under both their own names and house names. The cover art, like those of many other pulps of the era, focused on beautiful women in melodramatic action scenes. The last issue of Fantastic Adventures was dated March–June 1953, and the following issue was merged with Amazing Stories to create a new magazine, Fantastic. The move from the pulp format to digests was well under way in the early 1950s, and there was little reason to keep Fantastic Adventures going with Fantastic’s success. The magazine was later merged with Fantastic to create Fantastic, which was published in a digest-sized format, and was published until the end of the 1960s. The March 1953 issue of the magazine was the last to feature a cover by J. Allen St. John for Robert Moore Williams’ Jongor of Lost Land. It is the only pulp fantasy magazine to have been published in both a bedsheet and a pulp format at the same time, and it was the only one to do so for more than a few years after the advent of the digest-size format. The final issue was published on October 31, 1953, with the cover by St John, who later went on to design the cover for The Amazing Spider-Man and The Lord of the Rings magazines.
It has been described as the magazine’s heyday, and has been called the “magazine of the sf world” by some sf historians. It had a reputation for light-hearted and whimsical stories, with many of the writers writing their own stories under their own name and under the house names of their respective publishing companies. The editor of Fantastic was Howard Browne, who lost interest in the magazine when his plans to take Amazing upmarket collapsed in the Korean War. He was replaced by William Hamling, who edited both magazines for a while, but later left them to become involved in the creation of a new fantasy magazine called Fantastic. In 1952, the decision was taken to end Fantastic Adventures in favor of Fantastic, and within a few months the decision had been made to merge the two magazines. The two magazines were published in different formats, with Fantastic being published in digest format and Fantastic in bedsheets. The magazines were both published by Ziff Davis, but Fantastic was the first to go into print in a regular digest format, with its first issue being published on September 1, 1952. The second issue was dated October 1, 1953. The third issue was released on September 2, 1953; the last issue was issued on September 3, 1953 and it featured the cover of J.Allen St. John.