The first prozine to contain a fair number of weird fantasy stories was the short-lived The Thrill Book (1919). The first prozine to be devoted entirely to weird fantasy was Weird Tales, which began in 1923. It has been with us, off and on, since then.
There were also two comic books titled Weird Fantasy, the first from EC Publications (1950–1953), the second from Russ Cochran/Gemstone Publishing (1992–1998).
|From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
|Fantasy based upon ideas of the universe which science has discredited or disproved. It was originally fiction which aimed to produce an emotional effect of horror or the like -- the Gothic "make 'em shiver" movement -- but in our classification designates all fantasy of the type which is neither stf nor pure fantasy. It does not include scarey stories with a mundane explanation.
Weird fiction as separated from fantasy traces back to the Gothic horror tale, beginning 1764, in which fantastic events began to be used simply to horrify as well as to advance the action. It is a field in which treatment and atmosphere is at least as important as the actual subject-matter, and therefore not so easy to define extensionally as stf and fantasy.
|From Fancyclopedia 1, ca. 1944
|Fantasy based upon ideas of the universe which science has discredited. It was originally fiction which aimed to produce an emotional effect of horror or the like - the "make 'em shiver" movement - but in fan classification designates all fantasy of the type which is neither s-f nor pure fantasy, and it does not include scarey stories with a mundane explanation.
Since the treatment is at least as important as the subject-matter, for a survey of the field of weird fiction, we reproduce here by permission of Weird Tales, from its November 1938 issue, Robert E. Howard's poem, "Recompense" (Copyright 1938 by Weird Tales.)
I have not heard Lutes beckon me, nor the brazen bugles call, But once in the dim of a haunted lea I heard the silence fall. I have not heard the regal drum, nor seen the flags unfurled, But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world. I have not seen the horsemen fall before the hurtling host, But I have paced a silent hall where each step walked a ghost. I have not kissed the tiger feet of a strange-eyed golden god, But I have walked a city's street where no man else had trod. I have not raised the canopies that shelter revelling kings, But I have fled from crimson eyes and black unearthly wings. I have not knelt outside the door to kiss a pallid queen, But I have seen a ghostly shore that no man else has seen. I have not seen the standards sweep from keep and castle wall, But I have seen a woman leap from a dragon's crimson stall, And I have heard strange surges boom that no man heard before, And seen a strange black city loom on a mystic night-black shore. And I have felt the sudden blow of a nameless wind's cold breath, And watched the grisly pilgrims go that walk the roads of Death And I have seen black valleys gape, abysses in the gloom, And I have fought the deathless Ape that guards the Doors of Doom. I have not seen the face of Pan, nor mocked the dryad's haste, But I have trailed a dark-eyed Man across a windy waste. I have not dies as men may die, nor sinned as men have sinned, But I have reached a misty sky upon a granite wind.
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