Weird Tales is the place where two storytelling concepts meet: speculative and alternative. In 1923, when the magazine was originally founded, those two ideas amounted to the same thing. Weird Tales was launched to showcase writers trying to publish stories so bizarre and far out, no one else would publish them — stories of unearthly dimensions and dark possibilities, gothic seductresses and cosmic monstrosities. Today, Weird Tales carries that mission forward into the 21st century, finding the most talented new writers, artists, and creators whose visions are too incredible to fit within the comfortable little boxes of everyday experience.
Publisher – Creative Director
The Weird Tales Tradition
Weird Tales has enjoyed a devoted following for many decades as the very first magazine of gothic fantasy, sci-fi, and horror. Founded in 1923, the pioneering publication introduced the world to such counter-culture icons as Cthulhu the alien monster god and Conan the Barbarian. Weird Tales is well known for launching the careers of great authors like H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, and Robert E. Howard — hell, Tennessee Williams made his first sale here! — not to mention legendary fantasy artists like Virgil Finlay and Margaret Brundage. The magazine’s influence extends through countless areas of pop culture: fiction, certainly, but also rock music, goth style, comic books, gaming… even Stephen King has called Weird Tales a major inspiration.
(For a detailed history of the classic Weird Tales, check out Robert Weinberg’s comprehensive book The Weird Tales Story.)
The Modern Magazine
After the original magazine operation folded in 1954, there were several brief attempts to revive it — reprint anthologies in the ’60s, four new magazine issues in the ’70s, four original paperbacks in the early ’80s — before the resurrection finally achieved full-fledged afterlife under editor-publishers George H. Scithers, Darrell Schweitzer and John Gregory Betancourt. Beginning in 1988, Weird Tales has published more or less continuously, albeit through a few format / frequency / ownership changes, to date. Over the past twenty years, the magazine has featured works by such modern masters as Tanith Lee, Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman.
Now published by Kaye and Harlachers’ Nth Dimension Media — after a successful run by Betancourt’s Wildside Press — Weird Tales has undertaken to recommit itself to the magazine’s original mission — to publish brilliantly strange material that can’t be found elsewhere — even while bringing its unique aesthetics fully into the 21st century.