Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Worlds of Fantasy

US digest Magazine, 4 issues 1968-1971, published by Galaxy Publishing, New York (#1) and thereafter by Universal Publishing, New York; #1-#2 ed Lester Del Rey, #3-#4 ed Ejler Jakobsson (1911-1986).

The first issue of WOF was an experimental one-shot following the increasing success of the fantasy-oriented issues of If (by then known as Worlds of If) and the book-publishing success of Heroic Fantasy. The cover boldly proclaimed the names L Sprague de Camp, Robert E Howard and J R R Tolkien. The emphasis in the longer fiction was on Sword and Sorcery; the shorter fiction emulated the Unknown-style approach to Contemporary Fantasy. The success of #1 resulted in the magazine being established on a quarterly basis under its new publisher, following the sale of its companion magazine Galaxy. WOF sought to continue in the same vein, but the production was shoddier and the fiction variable. The strength lay in the long lead novels, which included The Tombs of Atuan (Win 1970; 1971) by Ursula K Le Guin and Reality Doll (Spring 1971; vt Destiny Doll 1971) by Clifford D Simak. The short fiction ran the range from psychic Vampires and Pacts with the Devil to wish-fulfilment and Magic. Contributors included Robert Silverberg, Frederik Pohl, James Tiptree Jr, Robert Bloch and Michael Bishop, with two guest editorials by Theodore Sturgeon, exploring the nature of fantasy. Suffering from a low budget and weak distribution, WOF never realized its potential.

WOF should not be confused with the earlier UK magazine Worlds of Fantasy (14 issues [Summer] 1950-[Summer] 1954), a mediocre juvenile sf magazine. [MA]


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.