Frederick Orlin Tremaine (January 7, 1899 – October 22, 1956) was an American science fiction magazine editor, most notably of the influential Astounding Stories . He edited a number of other magazines, headed several publishing companies, and sporadically wrote fiction.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas."
A magazine is a publication, usually a periodical publication, which is printed or electronically published. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by prepaid subscriptions, or a combination of the three.
F. Orlin Tremaine was part of an old Cornish American family.
He was a veteran of World War I.
In 1921, he graduated with a B.O. degree from the College of Arts and Sciences, Valparaiso University, Indiana.At Valparaiso, he was active in his fraternity, participated in drama, and worked on the weekly school newspaper, The Torch.
Valparaiso University is a regionally accredited private university in Valparaiso, Indiana, United States. Commonly known as Valpo, the university is a coed, four-year, Lutheran institution with about 4,500 students from over 50 countries on a campus of 350 acres (140 ha).
He was a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Washington (D.C.) Press Club and of the Sons of the American Revolution.
He died at Westmount Sanatorium, Glen Falls, New York, after a long illness, age 57, survived by two brothers and a sister.
During his junior year at Valparaiso, in the spring term, 1920, Tremaine was News Editor of the weekly school newspaper, The Torch.He served as Editor-in-Chief during his senior year of 1920-21.
His first job, post-graduation, was on the staff of a New York City newspaper.In late 1922, he was associate editor for The Eastern Underwriter in NYC.
He moved on to the Macfadden magazine conglomerate. In May 1923, he was the managing editor of Macfadden's Brain Power and Beautiful Womanhood.On June 1, 1923, he became editor of the prestigious Metropolitan Magazine (retitled Macfadden Fiction-Lover's Magazine for the October 1924 issue). In early 1924, he became editor of the flagship title True Story Magazine . He also claimed credit for laying out the first issues of True Romances, True Detective , and True Experiences. Tremaine later credited John R. Coryell as a strong influence: "Coryell, approaching eighty of years of age, was fiction or story editor of the Macfadden Publications a quarter of a century ago when I first became an editor of a national magazine, and he taught me more about stories, simplicity of approach, and the technique of modern writing than any other person, before or since."
Later in 1924, he departed to become editor of The Smart Set , a tenure that lasted until mid-1926.
A sporadic fiction writer, his first known published story, One Burning Minute, received serialized newspaper syndication in August-October, 1926. Soon after, his first known pulp story, "The Throwback," appeared in Weird Tales (October 1926) under the pseudonym Orlin Frederick.
In 1927, Tremaine become president of a trust that attempted to take control of the Phelps Publishing Company, publisher of New England Homestead and other magazines. The deal collapsed when financing fell through.Tremaine rebounded with another group in incorporating the Crossroads Publishing Company. A year later, he was involved in yet another publishing enterprise, the Perennial Publishing Company.
In early 1928, he was slated to be editor of a new Christian magazine, Crossroads.No issues are known of.
Later in 1929, he joined the Clayton pulp publishing chain. He edited Miss 1929, soon renamed Miss 1930.After four issues, Miss 1930 was sold to Tremaine's Perennial Publishing Company, presumably part of Tremaine's departure from Clayton. Tremaine intended to continue editing Miss 1930, but there are no known issues for Perennial.
In late 1931, Alfred A. Cohen, publisher of Screenland and Silver Screen , purchased Everybody's Magazine from Butterick and attempted to revive it with Tremaine as editor. No known issues were produced and the magazine was soon declared discontinued.
Tremaine returned to Clayton, editing the humor magazine Bunk (late 1932), and My Love Story Magazine (and its retitling Love Classic Magazine) (late 1932 to early 1933).
In 1933, Clayton went bankrupt and some of its assets were purchased by publisher Street & Smith. Tremaine joined Street & Smith to initially edit three of the former Clayton titles: Astounding Stories (assisted by Desmond Hall, another Clayton transfer), Clues, and Cowboy Stories. At his peak, Tremaine was responsible for seven Street & Smith pulps:
Tremaine and Desmond Hall founded Street & Smith's slick Mademoiselle in 1935.Hall was the listed editor.
In the December 1933 issue of Astounding, Tremaine's third as editor, his editorial "Thought Variant" encouraged contributing authors to seek new ideas for science fiction stories. According to Alva Rogers, "the thought variant policy was largely responsible for the rapid rise of Astounding to top position in the science fiction field."During the fifty issues of the magazine he edited, Tremaine launched the careers of authors L. Sprague de Camp, Eric Frank Russell, and others.
As editor of Astounding, Tremaine bought such stories as H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness (sold by Julius Schwartz) and The Shadow Out of Time (sold by Donald Wandrei), apparently without reading them. Tremaine permitted both tales to be severely abridged and edited by copyeditors, although Lovecraft complained vociferously only about the former (it was on this occasion that he referred to Tremaine as "that god-damnn'd dung of a hyaena" (Lovecraft to Robert H. Barlow, June 4, 1936 (ms, John Hay Library)).
In late 1937, Tremaine hired John W. Campbell, Jr. to replace him as editor of Astounding, while Tremaine was appointed Editorial Director of Street & Smith, a position he held for a year before departing Street & Smith during a management shake-up.
From mid-1939 through at least 1941, he ran his own New York book publishing company, the Orlin Tremaine Company. (See separate listing of publications below.) On June 23, 1941, an associate editor of the firm, William M. Gibson, was convicted of extortion. He and Prince Ludovic Pignatelli of Italy had threatened the prince's cousin, Prince Guido Pignatelli, with publishing a book that would challenge Guido's right to his title unless they were paid $50,000.The timing roughly corresponds with the last-known publications of the Orlin Tremaine Co., but it is unknown whether the two events are related.
Simultaneous to his publishing ventures, Tremaine produced the science fiction pulp Comet , which ran five issues from December 1940 to July 1941. Also, from late 1939 through early 1940, Tremaine published four stories in pulps as diverse as Thrilling Wonder Stories and South Sea Stories.
During World War II, Tremaine edited the magazine Plus, distributed to war industries, and edited government manuals for the armed forces.At roughly this time, Tremaine had his most productive period as a fiction writer, contributing numerous stories to detective pulps (1944-45). A series for Detective Tales featured a character named Easy Bart.
When the war ended, Tremaine became an editor for Bartholomew House, which published the first paperback editions of Lovecraft, The Weird Shadow Over Innsmouth (1944) and The Dunwich Horror (1945).He also published a revision of T. C. McClary's novel Rebirth (first appearance in Astounding Stories) while at Bartholomew House. In less than a year, he was describing himself as a "free lance writer." The current record does not indicate much success as a writer. His next known publications appeared in late 1948 and early 1949.
In 1949, he became editor of a new magazine, Southerner, and published a book, Short Story Writing. He claimed, at this time, to have published over one hundred stories.
In May 1950, Tremaine described himself as the managing editor of Macfadden Publications.
In the early 1950s, under the name Arthur Lane, Tremaine was an editorial associate for the pulp Marvel Science Stories .
His greatest success appears to have been with Street & Smith, and his most lasting contribution his editorship of Astounding. The rest of his career illustrates the vicissitudes of the publishing business.
[publication date in parentheses; category in brackets]
Pulp magazines were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the 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". The typical pulp magazine had 128 pages; it was 7 inches (18 cm) wide by 10 inches (25 cm) high, and 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) thick, with ragged, untrimmed edges.
Murray Leinster was a nom de plume of William Fitzgerald Jenkins, an American writer of science fiction and alternate history literature. He wrote and published more than 1,500 short stories and articles, 14 movie scripts, and hundreds of radio scripts and television plays.
Eric Frank Russell was a British author best known for his science fiction novels and short stories. Much of his work was first published in the United States, in John W. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction and other pulp magazines. Russell also wrote horror fiction for Weird Tales and non-fiction articles on Fortean topics. Up to 1955 several of his stories were published under pseudonyms, at least Duncan H. Munro and Niall(e) Wilde.
Weird Tales is an American fantasy and horror fiction pulp magazine founded by J. C. Henneberger and J. M. Lansinger in late 1922. The first issue, dated March 1923, appeared on newsstands February 18. The first editor, Edwin Baird, printed early work by H. P. Lovecraft, Seabury Quinn, and Clark Ashton Smith, all of whom would go on to be popular writers, but within a year the magazine was in financial trouble. Henneberger sold his interest in the publisher, Rural Publishing Corporation, to Lansinger and refinanced Weird Tales, with Farnsworth Wright as the new editor. The first issue under Wright's control was dated November 1924. The magazine was more successful under Wright, and despite occasional financial setbacks it prospered over the next fifteen years. Under Wright's control the magazine lived up to its subtitle, "The Unique Magazine", and published a wide range of unusual fiction.
Frank Belknap Long was an American writer of horror fiction, fantasy, science fiction, poetry, gothic romance, comic books, and non-fiction. Though his writing career spanned seven decades, he is best known for his horror and science fiction short stories, including early contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos. During his life, Long received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award (1977).
Unknown was an American pulp fantasy fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1943 by Street & Smith, and edited by John W. Campbell. Unknown was a companion to Street & Smith's science fiction pulp, Astounding Science Fiction, which was also edited by Campbell at the time; many authors and illustrators contributed to both magazines. The leading fantasy magazine in the 1930s was Weird Tales, which focused on shock and horror. Campbell wanted to publish a fantasy magazine with more finesse and humor than Weird Tales, and put his plans into action when Eric Frank Russell sent him the manuscript of his novel Sinister Barrier, about aliens who own the human race. Unknown's first issue appeared in March 1939; in addition to Sinister Barrier, it included H. L. Gold's "Trouble With Water", a humorous fantasy about a New Yorker who meets a water gnome. Gold's story was the first of many in Unknown to combine commonplace reality with the fantastic.
Hiram Gilmore "Harry" Bates III was an American science fiction editor and writer. His short story "Farewell to the Master" (1940) was the basis of the well-known science fiction movie The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).
Donald Albert Wandrei was an American science fiction, fantasy and weird fiction writer, poet and editor. He was the older brother of science fiction writer and artist Howard Wandrei. He had fourteen stories in Weird Tales, another sixteen in Astounding Stories, plus a few in other magazines including Esquire. He was the co-founder of the prestigious fantasy/horror publishing house Arkham House.
Street & Smith or Street & Smith Publications, Inc. was a New York City publisher specializing in inexpensive paperbacks and magazines referred to as dime novels and pulp fiction. They also published comic books and sporting yearbooks. Among their many titles was the science fiction pulp magazine Astounding Stories, acquired from Clayton Magazines in 1933, and retained until 1961. Street & Smith was founded in 1855, and was bought out in 1959. The Street & Smith headquarters was at 79 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan; it was designed by Henry F. Kilburn.
Farnsworth Wright was the editor of the pulp magazine Weird Tales during the magazine's heyday, editing 179 issues from November 1924-March 1940. Jack Williamson called Wright "the first great fantasy editor".
Robert Weinberg was an American author, editor, publisher, and collector of science fiction. His work spans several genres including non-fiction, science fiction, horror, and comic books.
Arthur J. Burks was an American writer and a Marine colonel.
Harold Brainerd Hersey was an American pulp editor and publisher, publishing several volumes of poetry. His pulp industry observations were published in hardback as Pulpwood Editor (1937).
Analog Science Fiction and Fact is an American science-fiction magazine published under various titles since 1930. Originally titled Astounding Stories of Super-Science, the first issue was dated January 1930, published by William Clayton, and edited by Harry Bates. Clayton went bankrupt in 1933 and the magazine was sold to Street & Smith. The new editor was F. Orlin Tremaine, who soon made Astounding the leading magazine in the nascent pulp science fiction field, publishing well-regarded stories such as Jack Williamson's Legion of Space and John W. Campbell's "Twilight". At the end of 1937, Campbell took over editorial duties under Tremaine's supervision, and the following year Tremaine was let go, giving Campbell more independence. Over the next few years Campbell published many stories that became classics in the field, including Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, A.E. van Vogt's Slan, and several novels and stories by Robert A. Heinlein. The period beginning with Campbell's editorship is often referred to as the Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Cosmic Stories and Stirring Science Stories were two American pulp science fiction magazines that published a total of seven issues in 1941 and 1942. Both Cosmic and Stirring were edited by Donald A. Wollheim and launched by the same publisher, appearing in alternate months. Wollheim had no budget at all for fiction, so he solicited stories from his friends among the Futurians, a group of young science fiction fans including James Blish and C. M. Kornbluth. Isaac Asimov contributed a story, but later insisted on payment after hearing that F. Orlin Tremaine, the editor of the competing science fiction magazine Comet, was irate at the idea of a magazine that might "siphon readership from magazines that paid", and thought that authors who contributed should be blacklisted. Kornbluth was the most prolific contributor, under several pseudonyms; one of his stories, "Thirteen O'Clock", published under the pseudonym "Cecil Corwin", was very successful, and helped to make his reputation in the field. The magazines ceased publication in late 1941, but Wollheim was able to find a publisher for one further issue of Stirring Science Stories in March 1942 before war restrictions forced it to close again.
Comet was a pulp magazine which published five issues from December 1940 to July 1941. It was edited by F. Orlin Tremaine, who had edited Astounding Stories, one of the leaders of the science fiction magazine field, for several years in the mid-1930s. Tremaine paid one cent per word, which was higher than some of the competing magazines, but the publisher, H-K Publications, was unable to sustain the magazine while it gained circulation, and it was cancelled after less than a year when Tremaine resigned. Comet published fiction by several well-known and popular writers, including E.E. Smith and Robert Moore Williams. The young Isaac Asimov, visiting Tremaine in Comet's offices, was alarmed when Tremaine asserted that anyone who gave stories to competing magazines for no pay should be blacklisted; Asimov promptly insisted that Donald Wollheim, to whom he had given a free story, should make him a token payment so he could say he had been paid.
Strange Tales was a U.S. pulp magazine first published from 1931 to 1933 by Clayton Publications. It specialized in fantasy and weird fiction, and was a significant competitor to Weird Tales, the leading magazine in the field. Its published stories include "Wolves of Darkness" by Jack Williamson, as well as work by Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith. The magazine ceased publication when Clayton entered bankruptcy. It was temporarily revived by Wildside Press, which published three issues edited by Robert M. Price from 2003 to 2007.
Ghost Stories was a U.S. pulp magazine that published 64 issues between 1926 and 1932. It was one of the earliest competitors to Weird Tales, the first magazine to specialize in the fantasy and occult fiction genre. It was a companion magazine to True Story and True Detective Stories, and focused almost entirely on stories about ghosts, many of which were written by staff writers but presented under pseudonyms as true confessions. These were often accompanied by faked photographs to make the stories appear more believable. Ghost Stories also ran original and reprinted contributions, including works by Robert E. Howard, Carl Jacobi, and Frank Belknap Long. Among the reprints were Agatha Christie's "The Last Seance", several stories by H.G. Wells, and Charles Dickens' "The Signal-Man". The magazine was initially successful, but began to lose readers, and in 1930 was sold to Harold Hersey. Hersey was unable to reverse the magazine's decline, and Ghost Stories ceased publication at the start of 1932.
The Other Worlds is an anthology of science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories, edited by Phil Stong. It was originally published by Wilfred Funk in 1941, with a lower-price edition following from Garden City Publishing a year later. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction describes it as "the first important sf Anthology".; it remains in the collection of nearly 200 academic libraries in 2015.
Science fiction and fantasy magazines began to be published in the United States in the 1920s. Stories with science fiction themes had been appearing for decades in pulp magazines such as Argosy, but there were no magazines that specialized in a single genre until 1915, when Street & Smith, one of the major pulp publishers, brought out Detective Story Magazine. The first magazine to focus solely on fantasy and horror was Weird Tales, which was launched in 1923, and established itself as the leading weird fiction magazine over the next two decades; writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard became regular contributors. In 1926 Weird Tales was joined by Amazing Stories, published by Hugo Gernsback; Amazing printed only science fiction, and no fantasy. Gernsback included a letter column in Amazing Stories, and this led to the creation of organized science fiction fandom, as fans contacted each other using the addresses published with the letters. Gernsback wanted the fiction he printed to be scientifically accurate, and educational, as well as entertaining, but found it difficult to obtain stories that met his goals; he printed "The Moon Pool" by Abraham Merritt in 1927, despite it being completely unscientific. Gernsback lost control of Amazing Stories in 1929, but quickly started several new magazines. Wonder Stories, one of Gernsback's titles, was edited by David Lasser, who worked to improve the quality of the fiction he received. Another early competitor was Astounding Stories of Super-Science, which appeared in 1930, edited by Harry Bates, but Bates printed only the most basic adventure stories with minimal scientific content, and little of the material from his era is now remembered.