September, 1934 – The second anniversary

FM-Sep34-coverSeptember, 1934 marked the second anniversary of SFD / FM, and the magazine returned to a much more robust 42 pages.  Clearly the the most ambitious yet, this issue featured new cover art with an associated story-writing contest, an exclusive fantasy story by A. Merritt, and additional short fiction pieces along with the usual cast of columns.

A few reader mentions of Cosmos appear in “The Editor Broadcasts”:

Joe Hatch, of Lawrence, Kansas, offers some interesting comments on some of our recent issues:

“I can hardly wait until the BIG September issue reaches me.  It’s a great place FM is filling in the s-f world…  Edward E. Smith’s contribution to COSMOS takes second place to Merritt’s…”FM-Sep34-letter

Our “Fallacies of Science Fiction” author, Thos. S. Gardner, writes in:

“…E.E. Smith’s contribution to COSMOS was excellent.  It is very logically drawn.  However, in Campbell’s contribution, the robots are specifically mentioned as being an aid to man’s defense.  I believe it shows the difference in writer’s mental make-up.  Campbell is an engineer and is not afraid of the machine.  Gelula and others are afraid of anything new and consequently picture the machines as a menace.  That to me is stage-coach thinking about aeroplanes.”

This small item appeared as a filler:

The Society of American Inventors is seeking a word to replace the “Inventor.”  It is felt the word has been overworked and abused.  A new one descriptive and emblematic of scientific creative endeavor is desired.

“Synthist,” “Creationist,” and “Neotor” have been suggested.

Here’s a fine chance for Ackerman and Weisinger to display their word-creating talents to real advantage and perhaps immortal fame.

I expect the Inventors and the editors alike would have been surprised at the current usage of the term “creationist.”

FM-Sep34-Cinema-bannerForrest J Ackerman’s column carried a new name and a new masthead.  Forry continued to use variations of this banner in his publications for decades.  “Scientificinematorially Speaking” this month featured a fully-drawn movie plot entitled “The Cataclysm!” penned by Forry.  I don’t believe the outline ever made it to celluloid.

The September issue also featured an ad for another ambitious fan publication.  Marvel Tales first appeared in May, 19FM-Sep34-Marvel-ad34 and ran for just five issues until its demise in the summer of 1935.  It published primarily original fiction, including original stories by Robert Howard and H.P Lovecraft.  Editor William Crawford aspired to be a book publisher, and is known for issuing the only work of H.P. Lovecraft published in book form during the author’s lifetime (The Shadow Over Innsmouth, 1936).  Crawford went on to fouMarvel-Winter34-covernd the Fantasy Publishing Company in 1946.  The short history of the ambitious Marvel Tales shows how difficult it was to sustain an audience in the unsettled times, and helps to highlight the persistence and relative success of the men behind Fantasy Magazine.

Read Chapter Fifteen of Cosmos.
Read about the October – November, 1934 issue.

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