New Worlds (magazine)

New Worlds (magazine)
First issue cover

New Worlds was a British science fiction magazine which was first published professionally in 1946. For 25 years it was widely considered the leading science fiction magazine in Britain, publishing 201 issues up to 1971. Since 1971 the name of "New Worlds" has been kept alive with a series of original anthologies and a few magazine-like publications; these totalled 21 by 1997.


Publishing history

Early years

In 1926, Hugo Gernsback launched Amazing Stories, the first science fiction (sf) magazine;[1] it was soon followed by other U.S. titles also specializing in sf, such as Astounding Stories and Wonder Stories.[2] These were distributed in the U.K. and British fan organizations began to appear. In 1936, Maurice K. Hanson, a Nuneaton fan, founded a fanzine called Novae Terrae (Latin for "new worlds") for the local branch of the Science Fiction League. Hanson subsequently moved to London and his fanzine became the official publication of the Science Fiction Association when it was founded in 1937.[3]

Arthur C. Clarke, John Carnell and William F. Temple all became involved in Novae Terrae's production. In 1939 Hanson gave up the editorship to Carnell, who retitled the fanzine New Worlds, and restarted the numbering at volume 1 number 1 with the first issue under Carnell's control dated March 1939. Carnell wanted to turn New Worlds into a professional magazine, and through W.J. Passingham, a writer, had begun discussions with a publisher named The Worlds Says Ltd.[3] In January 1940 Carnell was asked to put together three issues,[3] and Carnell and Passingham each put up £50 towards costs.[4] Carnell solicited material from British authors including John F. Burke, C.S. Youd, and David McIlwain, and acquired Robert A. Heinlein's "Lost Legion", but in March internal strife led to the collapse of The World Says.[3] Alfred Greig, the Canadian director, returned to Canada without repaying Carnell and Passingham, and no issues were ever printed.[4]

Spring Summer Fall Winter
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1946 1/1 1/2
1947 1/3
1949 2/4 2/5
1950 2/6 3/7 3/8
1951 3/9 3/10 4/11 12
1952 13 14 15 16 17 18
1953 19 20 21
1954 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
1955 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
1956 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54
Issues of New Worlds from the beginning to 1956, showing volume/issue
number. John Carnell was editor throughout this period. Four of the first five
issues were dated only with the year; the exception was issue 3, which
bore no date. Underlining indicates that the magazine was titled with the
season (e.g. "Spring 1951") for that issue.[3][5]

Carnell joined the army in 1940, serving with the Royal Artillery, Combined Operations, and Naval Bombardment.[4] After he returned to civilian life in January 1946 he met writer Frank Edward Arnold, who had been working with Pendulum Publications on a new science fiction line. Arnold introduced Carnell to Stephen D. Frances, Pendulum's director.[4] Frances was a believer in the commercial possibilities of science fiction, and since Carnell still had the portfolio of stories he had put together in 1940, Pendulum soon agreed to make New Worlds into a professional magazine.[4][3] The first issue appeared in July 1946, though there was no date on the magazine. The initial print run was 15,000, but only 3,000 copies were sold—a very disappointing return. Carnell felt that part of the reason for the difference in sales was the cover artwork, which in his opinion was weak. He put together a new design, based on covers from two U.S. science fiction magazines, and gave it to artist Victor Caesari to complete. The resulting space scene was the cover for the second issue, which appeared in October 1946;[4] in combination with Pendulum's investment in a sales drive this led to much better sales, and the second issue sold out completely.[3] Pendulum rebound the remaining copies of the first issue with the second cover design,[4] and repriced them to 1/6 (7.5p); the first two issues had been priced at 2/-.[5] The new cover and price were much more popular and the repackaged first issue, like the second, soon sold out.[4]

One more issue appeared from Pendulum Publications, in October 1947, but shortly thereafter Pendulum went bankrupt, and New Worlds was without a publisher. However, starting in 1946, a group of sf fans had begun to meet regularly on Thursday nights at the White Horse pub on New Fetter Lane, near Fleet Street.[3][note 1] At one of these meetings it was suggested that the group form a company in order to revive New Worlds. Frank Cooper, one of the attendees, had recently retired from the RAF, and agreed to find out what would be necessary to start a new company.[6]

Nova Publications

In May 1948 Carnell announced at a science fiction convention in London that plans were well underway, and that the company would be named Nova Publications Ltd.[3][note 2] Nova raised £600 in capital, and was launched in the spring of 1949. There were initially six directors: the chairman was John Wyndham, and the remaining board members were G. Ken Chapman, Frank Cooper, Walter Gillings, Eric C. Williams, and John Carnell.[6] A printer was found near Stoke Newington, where Frank Cooper was based, and the first issue (numbered 4, to follow on from the three Pendulum issues) appeared in June, with plans to move to regular quarterly publication,[6] and subsequently to a bimonthly schedule.[7] To keep costs down Nova decided to handle the distribution themselves; this was not easy but Cooper and his assistant, Les Flood, were sufficiently successful that in July the decision was taken to go ahead with the planned quarterly schedule. A fifth issue duly appeared in September, and the sixth issue the following spring, dated Spring 1950.[6]

In 1950, with New Worlds on a stable quarterly schedule, Nova Publications decided to launch a companion, Science Fantasy.[3] They chose Walter Gillings as the editor; but he was replaced by Carnell after two issues, partly because Nova could not afford to pay two editorial salaries,[8] and partly because of "fundamental differences of opinion".[7] At the end of 1951 New Worlds went bimonthly, and by the middle of the year had reached a circulation of 18,000. The price had been reduced to 1/6 with the third issue, but with paper costs rising Nova decided to look for a cheaper printer. The new printer, The Carlton Press, was supposed to take over production with the May 1953 issue (number 21), but the issue was late, and had to be dated June 1953 instead.[7] The issue was shoddily produced, which dismayed Nova's board; there were also printers' strikes, and this disruption caused further delays.[8][7] Nova discovered that in fact The Carlton Press was just an agent with no printing facilities; they farmed out work to other printers, but were only able to get their commissions executed when they paid off any prior debts to those printers. Issue 22 was repeatedly delayed; proofs appeared in August, and the issue itself was promised for November. Even this late schedule was not adhered to, and Carnell finally received a copy of the print run in January 1954. The copy was dated 1953 (with no month), and since this made it useless for distribution in 1954, Carnell refused to accept the print run.[9] While the dispute with the printers was going on, Carnell and Maurice Goldsmith, a journalist acquaintance of Carnell's, put together a small conference of well-known science fiction authors, including Arthur C. Clarke and John Wyndham. Goldsmith covered the conference for Illustrated, a weekly magazine, and the article caught the attention of Maclaren & Sons Ltd, a technical trade publisher interested in launching a new sf magazine. Carnell turned down the offer because of his loyalty to Nova Publications, but subsequent discussions ultimately led to Maclaren taking control of Nova Publications, with a commitment to produce New Worlds on a monthly basis and Science Fantasy on a bimonthly schedule. By January 1954, when The Carlton Press delivered the incorrectly dated issue 22, the acquisition by Maclaren was complete, and Maclaren's legal department was helpful in resolving the dispute. The printing press who had actually printed the issue were not paid by The Carlton Press, so an injunction was obtained that sequestered the issues to avoid them being sold to recover the printing costs. Carnell retained the copy he had been sent in January, and it is thought that this is the only copy that exists of The Carlton Press's version of this issue, as the remainder of the printing run was destroyed at the conclusion of the court case. The cover painting, by Gerard Quinn, was subsequently used on issue 13 of Science Fantasy, and all the stories and editorial material eventually appeared in later issues of New Worlds over the next year.[9]

The financial support that Maclaren provided meant that once issue 22 finally appeared in April 1954, it was the start of a regular monthly schedule that lasted until 1964 with just one hiccup: a printing dispute in 1959 delayed the August issue; it was ultimately combined with the September issue.[3] Despite this stability, New Worlds's circulation began to decline in the early 1960s. Nova Publications had launched a third magazine, Science Fiction Adventures, in 1958, but both it and Science Fantasy were also losing readers, and in May 1963 Science Fiction Adventures was cancelled.[3][10] In September of that year Nova's board decided to close down both New Worlds and Science Fantasy,[3] and in preparation for the change Carnell signed a contract in December 1963 to edit an original anthology series, New Writings in SF, for publisher Dennis Dobson.[11]

Roberts & Vinter

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1957 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66
1958 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78
1959 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89
1960 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101
1961 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113
1962 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125
1963 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137
1964 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145
1965 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157
1966 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169
1967 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178
1968 179 180 181 182 183 184 185
1969 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196
1970 197 198 199 200
1971 200
Issues of New Worlds from 1957 to 1971, showing issue number. The
colors identify the editors for each issue:[3][5]

     John Carnell      Mike Moorcock      Langdon Jones      Charles Platt
     Charles Platt & R. Glyn Jones      Graham Hall & Graham Charnock

The magazines were unexpectedly saved by David Warburton of Roberts & Vinter, a London publishing house. The printer who had been printing both New Worlds and Science Fantasy happened to meet Warburton in a pub, and mentioned that he was looking for additional work to fill the gaps in his schedule left by the demise of the magazines. Roberts & Vinter were having difficulty getting good distribution for their existing titles, which were violent thrillers, and were interested in acquiring more respectable titles that would help them penetrate the British distribution network, which was heavily dependent on W.H. Smith and John Menzies, the two main British newsagent chains. Warburton's partner, Godfrey Gold, ran a company that was connected to Roberts & Vinter and published pin-up magazines; like Warburton, Gold needed to improve his ability to distribute his titles.[3][11]

When Michael Moorcock, who by this time had begun selling stories to Carnell, heard of the impending demise of the magazines, he wrote a letter that appeared in issue 141 lamenting the loss to the British science fiction field of both the magazines and Carnell himself. Carnell did not want to continue to edit the magazines in addition to New Writings in SF, and recommended Moorcock to Warburton. Kyril Bonfiglioli, an Oxford art dealer who was a friend of Brian Aldiss, also expressed an interest. Warburton gave Moorcock the choice of which magazine to edit; Moorcock chose New Worlds, and Bonfiglioli became the new editor of Science Fantasy.[11] Moorcock wanted to switch to a large format, and showed Warburton a dummy issue he had made up, but Warburton insisted on a paperback format in order to fit in with the other titles they were producing, though he agreed to revisit the format in the future if sales improved.[12] The first issue under Moorcock's control was number 142, dated May/June 1964. The schedule was initially bimonthly, but at the start of 1965 it returned to a stable bimonthly schedule.[3]

In July 1966 Roberts & Vinter's distributor, Thorpe & Porter, went bankrupt while owing Roberts & Vinter a substantial sum. The resulting financial pressure led Roberts & Vinter to decide to focus on their more profitable magazines, and they made plans to close down both magazines;[3] Science Fantasy (by this time renamed SF Impulse) ceased publication in February 1967, and was merged with its sister magazine with the March 1967 issue, though nothing of SF Impulse's design or content was visible in New Worlds. Roberts & Vinter had ceased to exist by this time, so a sister company, Gold Star Publications, became the publisher for both that issue and the following issue—technically the April issue though it was mistakenly also dated March in the indicia.[13]

Arts Council

In late 1966, after hearing of Roberts & Vinter's plans to shut down the magazines, Brian Aldiss contacted the British Arts Council to seek a grant. He managed to gain support for New Worlds from well-known literary figures such as J.B. Priestley, Kingsley Amis, Marghanita Laski, and Angus Wilson, and a grant was obtained for £150 per issue. David Warburton agreed to continue as publisher; Moorcock remained as editor with Langdon Jones as his assistant, and Charles Platt became the magazine's designer and de facto art director.[3][14]

After a hiatus of two months, New Worlds resumed a monthly schedule beginning with the July 1967 issue. The schedule was maintained (with one missing month) until the March 1968 issue, which contained the third instalment of Norman Spinrad's novel Bug Jack Barron. The novel, which had begun serialization in December, included some fairly explicit sex scenes, and led to an Member of Parliament complaining in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom that the Arts Council was "sponsoring filth".[3] Both W.H. Smith and John Menzies withdrew the magazine from sale. The complaints came at the time when the Arts Council was considering renewing the grant for another year, and it appeared for a while that New Worlds would have to cease publication, but eventually the grant was renewed. Some private donations also came in, and with money from advertising, and a substantial contribution from Moorcock himself, the magazine was able to survive. The loss of revenue caused by the withdrawal from sale of the March 1968 issue was exacerbated by a temporary ban on the magazine in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, and by John Menzies' decision to refuse to stock New Worlds after that point. W.H. Smith left it up to their individual branch managers to decide whether to carry it.[3]

Without distribution at the leading newsagents, New Worlds had to rely on subscriptions and donations. The magazine was not profitable, and since Moorcock had not formed a company to publish it, he was personally responsible for its costs. To bring in cash he began to write fantasy novels at a very rapid rate, and from early 1969 the editorial work was given to various others, primarily Charles Platt and Langdon Jones.[3] In the summer of that year came another financial blow when it was discovered that half of the print run of 20,000 was being held back by the distributors.[15] Moorcock was £3,000 in debt, and in combination with the Arts Council's subsequent decision not to renew their grant he found himself with no option but to cease publication. The April 1970 issue, the 200th overall, was the last issue that went out to the distributors; one more issue was prepared and mailed to subscribers in March of the following year.[3]

Later incarnations

When Moorcock realized that the magazine would have to fold, he made arrangements with Sphere Books to continue New Worlds as a quarterly paperback anthology series. Eight issues appeared from Sphere, though the quarterly schedule was not adhered to after the fourth issue; the eighth issue appeared in 1975. Moorcock turned over the editorship to Hilary Bailey with the seventh volume, in order to have more time to devote to his own writing. Sphere cancelled the series after two more issues; it was briefly taken over by Corgi Books, but sales were weak and Corgi dropped the series with New Worlds 10 in 1976.[3]

In 1978 the magazine was revived by Moorcock again, this time in a fanzine format. Five issues appeared between Spring 1978 and September 1979.[3] There followed a long gap until 1991, when New Worlds again reappeared as a paperback anthology series, though this time David S. Garnett was the editor. Four volumes appeared between 1991 and 1994, published by Victor Gollancz.[16]

Contents and reception


The lead story of the first issue of New Worlds was Maurice Hugi's "The Mill of the Gods". John Russell Fearn contributed four stories, under his own name and three pseudonyms, and William Temple provided "The Three Pylons", a fantasy which turned out to be the most popular story in the issue.[5][3] The second issue contained John Wyndham's "The Living Lies", under his "John Beynon" alias; the story, about hostility and bigotry shown by settlers on Venus to the Venusian natives, was reprinted in Other Worlds (magazine) in 1950.[17] The third issue contained "Inheritance", an early story by Arthur C. Clarke that later appeared in Astounding Science Fiction.[18]

The acquisition of Nova Publications by Maclaren in 1954 gave New Worlds the stability to establish itself as a leading magazine. Sf historian Mike Ashley describes the period from 1954 to 1960 as a "Golden Age" for New Worlds. Carnell bought J.G. Ballard's first sale, "Escapement", which appeared in the December 1956 New Worlds; Ballard would go on to become a significant figure in the genre in the 1960s.[19] Ballard was grateful to Carnell for the support he provided Ballard in the late 1950s; much of Ballard's work appeared in New Worlds and Science Fantasy, and Ballard later recalled that Carnell "recognized what I was on about from a very early stage and he encouraged me to go on writing in my own way."[20] Carnell also published much of Brian Aldiss's early work in both Science Fantasy and New Worlds. John Brunner, later to become one of the most successful British science fiction writers, appeared regularly in the Nova magazines, starting with Visitors' Book in the April 1955 New Worlds. James White began publishing with Assisted Passage in the January 1953 New Worlds, and in 1957 began his popular Sector General series, about a hospital for aliens, with "Sector General" in the November 1957 issue.[19] John Wyndham, who was already well-known outside the genre for works such as The Day of the Triffids,[21] began a series about the Troons, a space-going family, with "For All the Night" in the April 1958 issue.[22] Arthur C. Clarke, another very successful British sf writer of the period, wrote relatively few short stories for the British market, but did publish "Who's There" in the November 1958 New Worlds.[22] Colin Kapp began his popular "Unorthodox Engineers" series with "The Railways up on Cannis", in October 1959.[23] Other less well-known writers who were prolific during the late 1950s included J.T. McIntosh, Kenneth Bulmer, and E.C. Tubb.[19]

Among the best artists of this period were Brian Lewis, Gordon Hutchings, and Gerard Quinn, whose art is regarded by Ashley as comparable in style to Virgil Finlay's work.[24] However, in 1957 Carnell stopped using interior art, saying that "art work in the digest-size magazines is as out-of-date as a coal fire".[25]

In the early 1960s New Worlds's quality began to drop somewhat, in the opinion of Mike Ashley. It still ran popular series such as White's Sector General stories, and printed some well-received stories such as Harry Harrison's "The Streets of Ashkelon", about a clash between an atheist (the protagonist) and a priest, on another planet. Because of the subject matter, it took six years for Harrison to find an editor willing to accept the story; when Aldiss bought it for an anthology, Carnell agreed to print it in New Worlds, where it appeared in September 1962.[26] J.G. Ballard continued to publish in New Worlds, but was now sending his more conventional stories to the US magazines, and submitting his more experimental pieces to Carnell. Examples from 1961 to 1964 include "The Overloaded Man", "The Subliminal Man", "End-Game", and "The Terminal Beach", with themes of psychological stress, and changes to the nature of perception and of reality.[26]


When Roberts & Vinter made the decision to close down New Worlds in 1963, Moorcock and Ballard considered publishing a new magazine that would be willing, as Carnell had been, to publish experimental material. Moorcock assembled a dummy issue, and later described his intentions: "It would be on art paper, to take good quality illustrations; it would be the size of , say, Playboy so that it would get good display space on the news-stands; it would specialise in experimental work by writers like Burroughs and Paolozzi, but it would be 'popular', it would seek to publicise such experimenters; it would publish all those writers who had become demoralised by a lack of sympathetic publishers and by baffled critics; it would attempt a cross-fertilization of popular sf, science and the work of the literary and artistic avant garde."[27] Moorcock also wrote a letter to Carnell setting out his thoughts on what science fiction needed: "Editors who are willing to take a risk on a story and run it even though this may bring criticism on their heads."[28] The letter was published in the final Nova Publications issue, which also carried the announcement that Moorcock would be taking over from Carnell as editor of New Worlds,[29] though Moorcock had been unaware he would be considered for the post when he wrote his letter.[26]

Moorcock's first issue, dated May/June 1964, bore a cover by James Cawthorn illustrating the first instalment of Ballard's novella "Equinox"; Ballard also contributed a book review of William Burroughs' Dead Fingers Talk,[11] and stories by Brian Aldiss, Barrington Bayley, and John Brunner completed the issue.</ref name=issues/> Moorcock's editorial included a quote from a radio interview with William Burroughs to the effect "If writers are to describe the advanced techniques of the Space Age, they must invent writing techniques equally advanced in order properly to deal with them."[30] Within the first few issues, Moorcock printed stories intended to demonstrate his editorial goals. The most controversial of these was Langdon Jones' "I Remember, Anita ...", which appeared in the September/October 1964 issue; the story contained sex scenes that led to arguments in the magazine's letter column,[31] and some regular subscribers abandoned the magazines, though overall circulation increased.[12]

Moorcock contributed a substantial amount of material, under his own name and under pseudonyms such as James Colvin;[5] some was fairly traditional, but contributions such as the Jerry Cornelius stories, which began with "Preliminary Data" in the August 1965 issue, were much more experimental.[31] He also printed his novella "Behold the Man" in the September 1966 issue; the story, about a time traveler who returns to the time of Christ, won him a Nebula Award the following year. Ballard also began to write some of his most controversial stories, including "You: Coma: Marilyn Monroe" in the June 1966 issue, and "The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race", in March 1967; both had been previously published in Ambit, a literary magazine in 1966.[31]

Many writers now found New Worlds to be a market in which they could publish experimental material; Charles Platt, David I. Masson, and Barrington Bayley were among the British writers in this group; and Moorcock also attracted experimental work from US writers such as John Sladek, Roger Zelazny and Thomas M. Disch.[32]</ref>[31] Zelazny's contributions included "For a Breath I Tarry" in March 1966; and Disch published several short stories and the novel Echo Round His Bones, which was serialized starting in the December 1966 and January 1967 issues. Disch commented afterwards that he had been unable to find a publisher for the novel in the US.[31]

In addition to the experimental material, Moorcock was willing to publish more traditional science fiction. He published Vernor Vinge's first story, "Apartness", in June 1965, and bought material from Bob Shaw, and early stories by Terry Pratchett. In March 1965 he printed Arthur C. Clarke's "Sunjammer".[31]

Although New Worlds played a leading role in establishing some of the best of the “new wave” writers, this term was more usually applied in the United States to work by comparable American based authors, of whom Harlan Ellison was the most visible exponent. For a time New Worlds's editors favoured the description of its contents as “speculative fiction”.

From 1967 the magazine became somewhat regarded as a literary magazine and formed a fraternal relationship with Ambit, another London-based little magazine. As well as contributors primarily associated with science fiction, it also published a poem by Christopher Logue, a story and poems by George MacBeth a story by Ron Padgett and Tom Veitch, cult writers Jack Trevor Story, Thomas Pynchon (Entropy) and Alan Burns (Babel), avant garde publisher John Calder and experimentalists like Carol Emshwiller. Christopher Finch wrote on Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton. The magazine maintained a presence within the era’s underground press scene alongside publications such as International Times and Running Man. Among the interests that linked New Worlds with the counterculture was a strong regard for the writings of William S. Burroughs, psychedelic drug experiences, the mass media theories of Marshall McLuhan and sexual liberation.

In this phase, authors published included Aldiss and Ballard, who also embraced the new wave enthusiastically, and much work by Moorcock (including some under the pseudonym James Colvin). A notable feature of the magazine were stories of Jerry Cornelius, created by Moorcock, but often written about by others. Other renowned authors include Thomas Disch, John Sladek, Norman Spinrad (whose novel Bug Jack Barron caused particular issues with distribution), Harlan Ellison, Philip José Farmer, M. John Harrison, Pamela Zoline, Barrington J. Bayley; also an early story (Nightdweller) by Terry Pratchett, also poems and two stories by D. M. Thomas.


There have been a number of magazines that subsequently drew inspiration particularly from the later versions of New Worlds and these have included Samuel R. Delany and Marilyn Hacker's shortlived Quark/1-4 (New York 1970-71), Corridor, later called Wordworks (seven issues in all, 1971-74), published by New Worlds contributor Michael Butterworth, Scott Edelman's Last Wave (1982-85) and Interzone (since 1982) and, more recently, The Edge, both from the U.K.[33]

Bibliographic details

The editorial succession at New Worlds was as follows:[3] Note that dates in [square brackets] indicate the approximate date that an issue was released in cases where a month did not appear on the magazine itself.

  • John Carnell: [July] 1946 – April 1964 (issues 1–141).
  • Michael Moorcock: May/June 1964 – March 1969 (issues 142–188).
  • Langdon Jones: April 1969 – July 1969 (issues 189–192).
  • Charles Platt: August 1969 (issue 193).
  • Michael Moorcock: September/October 1969 (issue 194).
  • Charles Platt and R. Glyn Jones: November 1969 (issue 195).
  • Graham Hall and Graham Charnock: December 1969 (issue 196).
  • Charles Platt: January 1970 – April 1970 (issues 197–200).
  • Michael Moorcock: March 1971 – [September] 1973 (issues 201–207).
  • Hilary Bailey: [December] 1974 – [August] 1976 (issues 208–211).

The following table shows which issues appeared from which publisher.[3][5] Note that dates in [square brackets] indicate the approximate date that an issue was released in cases where a month did not appear on the magazine itself.

Dates (issues) Publisher
[July] 1946 – [October] 1947 (1–3) Pendulum Publications, London
[April] 1949 – April 1964 (4–141) Nova Publications, London
May/June 1964 – March 1967 (142–172) Roberts & Vinter, Ltd, London
July 1967 – November 1967 (173–177) Moorcock/Magnelist Publications, London
December 1967/January 1968 – July 1968 (178–182) Moorcock/Stonehart Publications, London
October 1968 – March 1971 (183–201) Moorcock privately as New Worlds Publishing, London
[June] 1971 – [March] 1975 (202–209) Sphere Books, London
[November] 1975 – [August] 1976 (210–211) Corgi Books, London

US editions

A US reprint edition of New Worlds ran briefly in 1960, published by Great American Publications, who at the time were the publishers of Fantastic Universe and The Saint Mystery Magazine. The first issue appeared in March 1960; it omitted Carnell's name, and credited Hans Stefan Santesson, the editor of their other magazines, as the magazine's editor. Although the fiction consisted entirely of reprints, with all but one story coming from the British New Worlds, this was not declared to the reader.[34][5] Carnell was unhappy with the results of this attempt to break into the US market, but in the event Great American collapsed later that year and only five issues appeared, on a monthly schedule from March to July.[34][3] The contents of the issues did not correspond to specific British issues: the majority were taken from New Worlds but one story was reprinted from Nova's edition of Science Fiction Adventures, and three were taken from Fantastic Universe, which had ceased publication with its March 1960 issue.[3]

Subsequently the British edition was released in the US essentially unchanged, with a cover date delayed by one month, starting with issue 99 (October 1960).[3]


  1. ^ These meetings were the setting for a group of stories by Arthur C. Clarke, collected as Tales from the White Hart.[3]
  2. ^ The name was suggested by Walter Gillings' wife, Madge.[6]


  1. ^ Ashley, Time Machines, p. 48.
  2. ^ Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 239, 254.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Mike Ashley, "New Worlds", in Tymn & Ashley, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazines, pp. 423–437.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Harbottle & Holland, Vultures of the Void, pp. 21–24.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g See the individual issues. For convenience, an online index is available at "Magazine:New Worlds - ISFDB". Al von Ruff (Publisher). Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Harbottle & Holland, Vultures of the Void, pp. 25–27.
  7. ^ a b c d Harbottle & Holland, Vultures of the Void, pp. 77–79.
  8. ^ a b Mike Ashley, "Science Fantasy (1950–1966)", in Tymn & Ashley, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazines, pp. 505–510.
  9. ^ a b Harbottle & Holland, Vultures of the Void, pp. 99–103.
  10. ^ Mike Ashley, "Science Fiction Adventures (1958–1963)", in Tymn & Ashley, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazines, pp. 526–529.
  11. ^ a b c d Ashley, Transformations, pp. 235–238.
  12. ^ a b Michael Moorcock, "Introduction", in Moorcock, New Worlds: An Anthology, p. 12.
  13. ^ Ashley, Transformations, pp. 245–248.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Ashley, Transformations, pp. 252–253.
  16. ^ Stableford, Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction Literature, p. 132.
  17. ^ Ashley, Time Machines, p. 9.
  18. ^ Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 201–204.
  19. ^ a b c Ashley,Transformations, pp. 96–101.
  20. ^ Quoted in Ashley, Transformations, p. 148.
  21. ^ John Clute, "John Wyndham", in Clute & Nicholls, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, pp. 1353–1354.
  22. ^ a b Ashley,Transformations, pp. 142–143.
  23. ^ Ashley, Transformations, pp. l45–149.
  24. ^ Ashley, Transformations, p. 102.
  25. ^ Quoted in Ashley, Transformations, p. 102.
  26. ^ a b c Ashley, Transformations, pp. 231–243.
  27. ^ Michael Moorcock, "Introduction", in Moorcock, New Worlds: An Anthology, pp. 10–11.
  28. ^ Letter in "Postmortem", New Worlds August 1964, p. 128.
  29. ^ John Carnell, "Farewell Editorial", New Worlds August 1964, p. 123.
  30. ^ Michael Moorcock, "Editorial", in New Worlds May/June 1964, p. 2.
  31. ^ a b c d e f Ashley, Transformations, pp. 239–243.
  32. ^ Clute & Nicholls, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
  33. ^ Interzone and The Edge.
  34. ^ a b Ashley, Transformations, p. 231.


  • Ashley, Mike (2000). The Time Machines:The Story of the Science-Fiction Pulp Magazines from the beginning to 1950. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-865-0. 
  • Ashley, Mike (2005). Transformations: The Story of the Science Fiction Magazines from 1950 to 1970. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-779-4. 
  • Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1993). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-09618-6. 
  • Harbottle, Philip; Holland, Stephen (1992). Vultures of the Void. San Bernadino, CA: Borgo Press. ISBN 0-89370-415-6. 
  • Holdstock, Robert, ed (1978). Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. London: Octopus Books. ISBN 0-7064-0756-3. 
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  • Tuck, Donald H. (1982). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Volume 3. Chicago: Advent Publishers. ISBN 0-911682-26-0. 
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