Friday, October 23, 2020

Planet Stories: Golden Age Space Opera Tales

Planet Stories: Golden Age Space Opera Tales

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 other planets, and was initially focused on a young readership. Malcolm Reiss was editor or editor-in-chief for all of its 71 issues. 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. Planet did not pay well enough to regularly attract the leading science fiction writers of the day, but did manage to obtain work from well-known names on occasion, including Isaac Asimov and Clifford Simak. In 1952 Planet published Philip K. Dick’s first sale, and went on to print four more of his stories over the next three years.

Space Opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology.

The term has no relation to music, as in a traditional opera, but is instead a play on the terms “soap opera”, a melodramatic television series, and “horse opera”, which was coined during the 1930s to indicate a formulaic Western movie. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, film, comics, television, and video games.

The Golden Age of Pulp Magazine Fiction derives from pulp magazines (often referred to as “the pulps”) as they were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the late 1950s. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. In contrast, magazines printed on higher-quality paper were called “glossies” or “slicks”. (Wikipedia)

The pulps gave rise to the term pulp fiction. Pulps were the successors to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short-fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many writers wrote for pulps, the magazines were proving grounds for those authors like Robert Heinlein, Louis LaMour, “Max Brand”, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, and many others. The best writers moved onto longer fiction required by paperback publishers. Many of these authors have never been out of print, even long after their passing.

Anthology containing:

Stranger From Space by Hannes Bok
Raiders of the Second Moon by Gene Ellerman
One Against the Stars by Bill Garson
Dust Unto Dust by Lyman D. Hinckley
Sin In Space by Cyril Judd
Image Of Splendor by Lu Kella
An All-American Plague by Teddy Keller
Stellar Showboat by Malcolm Jameson
Tarnished Utopia by Malcom Jameson
Double Jeopardy by Fletcher Pratt
Cosmic Yo-Yo by Ross Rocklynne
Alien Equivalent by Richard Rein Smith
Prison Planet by Wilson Tucker
Warrior of Two Worlds by Manly Wade Wellman
Coming of the Gods by Chester Whitehorn
Invader From Infinity by George Whittington
Mists of Mars by George A. Whittington
The Amphibians by S. Fowler Wright
Highwayman of the Void by Dirk Wylie
Queen of the Flaming Diamond by Leroy Yerxa

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