Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Robert A.W. Lowndes (1916-1998)-Part 4

Robert W. Lowndes had his first science fiction published when he was a teenager. That was in 1935 when Wonder Stories printed "Letter: Report of the Plutonian Ambassador" on its letters page. According to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, his first paying work would have been the poem "Lurani" (as by Paul Dennis Lavond) in Unknown Fantasy Fiction for February 1940. Lowndes' first paying short story was "My Lady of the Emerald" (as by Wilfred Owen Morley) in Astonishing Stories from November 1941.

Lowndes wasn't an especially prolific author, but over the next couple of decades, he wrote several dozen stories and poems and a few novels. He was busier as an editor, essayist, and reviewer. His credits as editor include the following:
  • Future Fiction (and variant titles, 1941-1960)
  • Science Fiction (1941)
  • Science Fiction Quarterly (1941-1958)
  • Dynamic Science Fiction (1952-1953)
  • Science Fiction Stories (1953-1960)
  • Magazine of Horror (1963-1971)
  • Famous Science Fiction (1966-1969)
  • Startling Mystery Stories (1966-1971)
  • Thrilling Western Magazine (1967)
  • World Wide Adventure (1967)
  • Weird Terror Tales (1969)
  • Bizarre Fantasy Tales (1970-1971)
  • Sexology

I should point out that these dates are not necessarily inclusive of all years within those dates. Also, some dates and titles come from conflicting or not entirely reliable sources and are in question. 

In the 1940s and '50s, Lowndes worked for Columbia Publications, mostly in science fiction magazines. Lowndes' titles of the 1960s and '70s were published by Health Knowledge, Inc. Most prominent among them was Magazine of Horror, a digest-sized homage to Weird Tales. The website Vault of Evil has what I think is a complete listing of stories, plus images of the covers of Magazine of Horror. Vault of Evil is well worth a look.

Robert A.W. Lowndes continued working as a writer and editor even after Health Knowledge, Inc., went under. In 1981, Lin Carter began editing a third incarnation of Weird Tales. (The first was the original run, from 1923 to 1954; the second was Sam Moskowitz's four-issue revival of 1973-1974.) Robert Lowndes contributed half a dozen poems to a series that lasted just four more issues between Spring 1981 and Summer 1983.

It has taken me a month to draw this discussion of Robert A.W. Lowndes and The Futurians to a close. This four-part series has led me to another series of postings in which Lowndes' name will appear again. Before closing I will add that Robert Lowndes died on July 14, 1998, in Newport, Rhode Island. He was eighty-one years old.

Robert A.W. Lowndes' Poems in Weird Tales
"The Courier" (Vol. 48, No. 1, Spring 1981)
"The Worshippers" (Vol. 48, No. 1, Spring 1981)
"The Guardian" (Vol. 48, No. 2, Spring 1981)
"Liberation" (Vol. 48, No. 2, Spring 1981)
"The Summons" (Vol. 48, No. 3, Fall 1981)
"The Viola" (Vol. 48, No. 3, Fall 1981)

Text copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

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