Planet Stories

Planet Stories was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published by Fiction House between 1939 and 1955. It featured interplanetary adventures, both in space and on some other planets, and was initially focused on a young readership. In recent years, Paizo Publishing revived the brand as an imprint for science fiction and fantasy books they published. The two writers most identified with Planet Stories are Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury, both of whom set many of their stories on a romanticized version of Mars.

About Planet Stories in brief

Summary Planet StoriesPlanet Stories was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published by Fiction House between 1939 and 1955. It featured interplanetary adventures, both in space and on some other planets, and was initially focused on a young readership. Malcolm Reiss was editor or editor-in-chief for all of its 71 issues. In recent years, Paizo Publishing revived the brand as an imprint for science fiction and fantasy books they published. The two writers most identified with Planet Stories are Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury, both of whom set many of their stories on a romanticized version of Mars. The magazine did not pay well enough to regularly attract the leading science fiction writers of the day, but occasionally obtained work from well-known authors, including Isaac Asimov and Clifford D. Simak. In 1952 Planet Stories published Philip K. Dick’s first sale, and printed four more of his stories over the next three years. Planet Stories was launched at the same time as Planet Comics, the success of which probably helped to fund the early issues of Planet Stories. It was the final pulp magazine of the 1930s, but the pulp market was collapsing and the magazine returned to a quarterly schedule beginning in the Summer 1954 issue. The last issue was the Summer 1955 issue, the one to which the Fiction House imprint Paizo has most recently re-issued its science fiction titles. The first issue was dated Winter 1939, and it was published by Love Romances, a subsidiary company that had been created to publish Fiction House’s romance titles.

Two comics were launched in the same year: Jungle Comics and Planet Comics; both were published monthly, whereas Planet stories was quarterly. It is quite likely that the success of the comics funded the earlyissues of the pulps. The artwork also emphasized attractive women, with a scantily clad damsel in distress or alien princess on almost every cover. In 1953, payment rates were only one to two cents per word; this was substantially less than the leading magazines of theday. A letter to the magazine complained that the story’s treatment of sex, though mild by modern standards, was too explicit. The result was a mixture of space romances and planetary romances, often taking place in primitive societies that would now be regarded as primitive societies. The results were unremarkable, but became what became known as what is known as the space opera of the sf genre. The final issue of the magazine was one to one-and-a-half years after it was first published. It included an early story in his Martian Chronicles sequence, and a series of adventures featuring Eric John Stark, which began in the summer of 1949. The cover of the Summer 1950 issue was an early issue of Jungle Stories, which was not primarily a sf magazine, but often featured storylines with marginally science fictional themes, such as survivors from Atlantis. In the Winter 1950 issue the editorship passed to Jerome Bixby, who was already editing Jungle Stories. In September 1951, and three issues later, in March 1952, Jack O’Sullivan became editor.