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The Monster-God of Mamurth


Weird Tales was one of the most beloved of the pulp magazines, though unfortunately not beloved by large enough numbers of readers for it ever to be successful. Still, during its initial run from 1923 to 1954 (it’s been revised several times since), it published the works of now-legendary writers, such as H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Ray Bradbury and Edmond Hamilton. In fact, WT published Hamilton’s first story in its August 1926 issue. That story of an explorer seeking a lost city whose vanished inhabitants worshipped a hideous gigantic creature was an auspicious debut, and still packs a wallop, which is why I included it here. Of course, the explorer was sure that “The Monster-God of Mamurth” had never actually existed. And, even if it had existed centuries ago, it surely couldn’t still be alive . . .

Edmond Hamilton (1904-1977) was one of the most prolific contributors to Weird Tales, which published 79 of his stories between 1926 and 1948. Unusually for a WT mainstay, most of his work was science fiction (or, as the magazine tagged it initially, “weird-scientific”) rather than fantasy. He was also prolific outside the pages of WT, with stories in many other pulps, sometimes under pseudonyms. In the late 1940s, as interest in adventure SF waned, Hamilton developed a more serious style, with deeper characterizations, notably in his 1952 short story, “What’s It Like Out There?” and his 1960 novel, The Haunted Stars. During the 1950s, he was also a prolific writer for such D.C. comic books as The Legion of Super-Heroes. He continued writing into the 1970s, with stories in the SF magazines and new novels in paperback. He was a writer’s writer, with a gift for tales of adventure. Some critics may have felt that such tales were insignificant, but that is their loss. Readers should be grateful for such a good and prolific writer.

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