Cosmic Stories

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Cosmic Stories (Siegel)
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A publication that may have been a fanzine published by Jerry Siegel with two issues in 1929 or ’30. It appears to have been a carbonzine (meaning no more than a dozen copies ever existed) and seems to have contained nothing but fiction. No copies are known to exist and as long ago as the 1950s no one had a copy.

According to a 1983 interview in Nemo 2:

SIEGEL: And here's something of interest which the fan field doesn't know, because the information didn't come fully back to me until just a short time ago. Recently I bought a copy of The Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction - the title was something like that; it's published in England. At the front of the book they list certain "firsts"; and they had me down as the publisher of a science-fiction fanzine which I put out several years before I even met Joe. It was called Cosmic Stories. It was strictly a typewritten and hectographed publication, I believe; I believe that I wrote most of it or at least a great deal of it. It was sold through the mails, and the article says that not even one copy is known to exist today. This was the first science-fiction fanzine in the U.S., and for all I know, in the whole world. This was when I was about 14 years old, back in 1929, about a year or so before I met Joe. It must be quite a collector's item if any copies exist. It's not impossible that a copy might exist somewhere, but the chances of any other copies having survived is rather remote.

So the date of 1929 seems to be uncertain, as is the means of reproduction. The earliest references to Cosmic Stories say it was done by typewriter and carbon paper, but Jerry Siegel himself, much later, remembered it as being done by hecto.

Pavlat-Evans says:

Prior to Science Fiction, Siegel edited two typewritten magazines, Cosmic Stories and Cosmic Stories Quarterly0 Apparently all copies of thees last have been lost or-destroyed” — “Science Fiction Bibliography” I 1? p6 7)

(It appears they got it from Science Fiction Bibliography.)

In The Immortal Storm, Sam Moskowitz says:

It was in this manner that Jerome Siegel and Joseph Schuster, now famed as the originators of the character "Superman" became acquainted. Enthused by Amazing Stories they presently produced Cosmic Tales and Cosmic Tales Quarterly, amateur, carbon-copied publications; these are the  earliest -- and rarest -- fan published "magazines"

Besides being described in the context of early prozines, the problem here is that here Moskowitz is crediting it to Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster -- who did not meet until 1931 or 32. This raises a another doubt about the actual date. (Also, the title, but other sources all agree it was “Cosmic Stories,” not “Tales.”)

While the contents of a fanzine can be anything, this was apparently all fiction, or, a Comic Vine entry says, a comic book:

Jerome Siegel's writing career began early in his life. When he was 14, he created his first comic booklet called Cosmic Stories, which was advertised in the classified section of Science Wonder Stories. It was later known as the first sci-fi fanzine and he continued to publish several other booklets over the next few years.

For a discussion whether or not it was the First Fanzine (and, if not, what was) see What Was the First Fanzine?

Publication 1929?
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