1941 Best Editor (Short Form)

Here are the Retro finalists for Best Editor (Short Form).

  • John W. Campbell
  • Dorothy McIlwraith
  • Raymond A. Palmer
  • Frederik Pohl
  • Mort Weisinger

Who are your top picks?

As always, keep in mind the Comment Rules, and let’s discuss the Hugo finalists!

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3 thoughts on “1941 Best Editor (Short Form)”

  1. John W. Campbell… needs no further discussion here, I suspect.

    Dorothy McIlwraith took over as editor of “Weird Tales” in March 1940. She wasn’t terribly popular at the time, and was subject to constraints from the publisher; still, she had a positive impact on the early careers of writers like Manly Wade Wellman and Ray Bradbury, and artists like Kelly Freas.

    Raymond Palmer edited “Amazing”, and that one had a pretty good run in 1940. A “best of” collection has been brought out specially for the Retro Hugos, and I think it’s worth a look. Fair number of famous names in there, anyway.

    Mort Weisinger edited “Thrilling Wonder Stories”… nothing immediately leaps to mind relating to their output in 1940 (he’s best known, I think, for his slightly later work on Superman, post-war.)

    Frederik Pohl, of course, edited “Astonishing Stories” and “Super Science Stories”, and with his other hand he was a pretty prolific writer (alone, or in collaboration with Cyril Kornbluth and/or others) and a literary agent.

    How I’m going to vote, I really don’t know at this stage. Campbell is the obvious choice, of course… but if they gave out Hugos for versatility and industry, Pohl would get one… McIlwraith is historically important (though I doubt a 1941 readership would have given her an award)… Palmer and Weisinger are both solid performers at the very least….

    I may have to resort to ISFDB and see if any of them published anything I’d consider gob-smackingly amazing in the relevant period. (McIlwraith reportedly helped Manly Wade Wellman come up with the character of John Thunstone, but a) I’m not sure that was in 1940, and b) when it comes to Wellman I’m more of a Silver John fan anyway.)

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    1. Thanks, Steve! That’s extremely helpful.

      The Best of Amazing Stories: The 1940 Anthology: [Special Retro-Hugo Edition] is available on Kindle for $3 in the US.

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      1. Also available on UK Kindle (as I know to my cost [of £2.01]), and well worth a look. It’s got a decent introduction which talks at some length about Raymond Palmer and his aims and approach to editing, and also mentions the work of several of the other finalists.

        Liked by 1 person

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