It is because of Moamrath's involvement that the magazine is most remembered. With its first issue appearing in April, 1923, one month after the debut of the considerably more respectable Weird Tales, this publication developed a certain curiously sinister reputation and presents problems for the pulp fan and scholar. The second editor, Abner Gibber, who was at the helm for this issue wad found dissolved under mysterious circumstances five years later.
He was replaced by his predecessor, the elderly Durango Fear, who was called out of retirement for a second editorship, during which Weird Trails achieved new heights (or depths) in its particular field, until finally, at a shoggoth barbecue and sing-along at the Durango Fear Ranch in 1940, the entire staff and most of the contributors perished in a manner too hideous to put into words.
The April 1933 Weird Trails was the all-star tenth anniversary issue, featuring M.M. Moamrath's "Riders of the Purlpe Ooze" as the cover story. Why it was selected is one of the mysteries pulp scholars still puzzle over. Another is why the issue seems to contain work by numerous writers whose careers have extended considerably beyond 1940, including Mike Resnick, Ron Goulart, Ray Faraday Nelson, John Gregory Betancourt, P.D. Cacek, Gregory Frost, Jim Harmon, Darrell Schweitzer, Will Murray, Craig Shaw Gardner, and David Sherman. The present publishers are at a loss to explain this.
A lost treasure from the golden age of the pulps, reprinted in facsimile. Read it if you dare!
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First Published: 2004
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