Other Worlds, Universe Science Fiction, and Science Stories
Other Worlds, Universe Science Fiction, and Science Stories were three related US magazines edited by
Palmer entered a partnership with a Chicago businessman in 1953 to create Bell Publications, and printed Universe Science Fiction from June 1953. Palmer used the new company to abandon Other Worlds and launch Science Stories, in order to escape from Clark Publications' financial difficulties. Hence Science Stories can be considered a continuation of Other Worlds. Science Stories was visually attractive but contained no memorable fiction. Universe, on the other hand, was drab in appearance, but included some well-received stories, such as
Palmer's Chicago partner lost interest, so he took over both Science Stories and Universe Science Fiction under a new company. In 1955 he culled both magazines and brought back Other Worlds, numbering the issues to make the new magazine appear a continuation of both the original Other Worlds and also of Universe. In this new incarnation the magazine was less successful, but did print
|The first four years of Other Worlds, showing volume and issue number. Palmer was editor|
Palmer planned another science fiction (sf) title,
|The four issues of Science Stories, showing issue number; all four were edited by Palmer and Mahaffey.|
Palmer was contacted by a Chicago businessman interested in starting a sf magazine, and took the opportunity to resolve his financial problems by forming a new company, Bell Publications, in partnership with the businessman (whose name was never revealed), and starting two magazines: Universe Science Fiction and Science Stories. Universe's first issue appeared in June 1953, while Other Worlds was still being published. It was financed by Palmer's partner, and intended as a bimonthly, though in fact the first four issues were on a quarterly schedule. It was edited by Palmer and Mahaffey, who used the collective pseudonym "George Bell" for the first two issues. Science Stories followed in October, also edited by Palmer and Mahaffey as "George Bell", and published by Bell Publications; this was effectively the same magazine as Other Worlds Science Stories, with "Other Worlds" dropped from the title. In the second issue of Science Stories, Palmer explained the reason for the new magazine: "For a variety of reasons—and let's be honest, most of them were financial—we had to make a spur-of-the-moment decision to discontinue Other Worlds and replace it with the magazine you are now reading. We phoned the typesetter, halted work on the August OW, and lifted the editorial and stories we needed for Science Stories No. 1 from OW material on hand". Subscribers to Other Worlds were given the option to continue their subscription with whichever of the two magazines they preferred.
|1955||9||10||11 (32)||12 (33)||13 (34)||14 (35)|
|1956||15 (36)||16 (37)||17 (38)||18 (39)||19 (40)|
|1957||20 (41)||21 (42)||22 (43)||23||24||25||26||27|
|Universe and Other Worlds, including the first few issues of Flying Saucers, showing issue numbers. Palmer and Mahaffey|
edited the ten issues of Universe, and Palmer was the editor for the subsequent issues.
When the anonymous businessman lost interest in the project Palmer bought him out, financed by the sale of his half share in Clark Publications, which had published Other Worlds and Fate. He founded Palmer Publications and took over the new magazines with Universe's third issue and Science Stories' second issue, and abandoned the pseudonym. He launched
Mystic Magazine, which, like Fate, published
The following year Palmer switched the magazine's focus to flying saucers. To try to maintain the existing readership while attracting new readers, Palmer emphasized sf and flying saucers in alternate issues: for example, the June 1957 issue was titled FLYING SAUCERS from Other Worlds, and the July issue was Flying Saucers from OTHER WORLDS. He also hoped that each issue would be kept longer on newsstands if the distributors thought they were dealing with two magazines. The experiment did not last; from the July/August 1958 issue the title was shortened to