Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Thrill Book, The

US Magazine, 16 issues, twice-monthly, 1 March-15 October 1919, published by Street & Smith, New York; ed Harold Hersey (1893-1956) March-June 1919 (8 issues) and Ronald Oliphant (1884-?   ) July-October 1919 (8 issues).

Often cited as the first sf magazine, TTB was chiefly an adventure magazine with a high quota of unusual or Occult Fantasy tapping into the post-WWI interest in Spiritualism. The first eight issues were in the cheap dime-novel format which had earned Street & Smith its fortune; TTB shifted into Pulp format for its last eight issues. In the latter format it clearly sought to imitate the highly popular Adventure, though its content of unusual stories was more in line with that of The Black Cat (> Magazines). About half of its 120 or so stories are Supernatural Fiction. Most of these were traditional Ghost Stories, though there were some Posthumous Fantasies to acknowledge Spiritualism's popularity. Tales of Lost Races, native Magic, Mummies and accursed jewels, common in the commercial magazines of the day, appeared. Few of the writers were significant, though H Bedford-Jones, Greye La Spina (1880-1969), Murray Leinster (1896-1975), Seabury Quinn, Tod Robbins and Francis Stevens contributed. (Stevens's The Heads of Cerberus [1919; 1952], set in an alternate future Philadelphia, is the only original story from TTB to have been reprinted.) Others of interest included: Clyde Broadwell's series Tales of the Double Man, about a spiritual Twin; Harcourt Farmer's "When Brasset Forgot", about a man who can communicate with Spiders; and Robbins's "The Bibulous Baby", about life lived backwards. [MA]

further reading: The Annotated Index to The Thrill Book (1991) by Richard Bleiler (1959-    ).

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.