1970s English SF Magazine search

In 1973 or '74 there was a science fiction magazine in England. They bought a story of mine. A current editor of mine wants to publish it again. However, he wants to make sure no one else has claims to any rights to the thing.

When I sold it to them they were in the middle of a custody fight over their magazine’s title. They lost and changed the name of the mag to something like Science Fiction Magazine (no it wasn’t too creative).

It was a mini-tab format but that’s about all I remember of the thing. It was not a fanzine. It was a for real magazine.

Their check was what paid my way back to the states so I never knew what happened to the publication. They were supposed to send me copies but never did. Well, I was sort of on the bum so they might have, but we may have missed each other in passing.

Does anyone have any idea what may have become of this magazine?

I’d need more information. What was the name of the magazine? What was the name of the story? And what name did you use?

OK Chuck. I believe the name of the magazine (after the change) was Science Fiction Magazine. I don’t remember what it was before, but apparently someone else had rights to that name.

When I sold it to them, the title was To All Tyrants, but they felt that might be a little obscure for English readers so they asked if I would mind them changing it. I was greedy in those days. I said “no problem”. They were playing with titles like “If Lincoln Lived” and “Lincoln Lives” and “Death to all Lincolns.”

In regard to the name I wrote it under, I am going to be even more vague. I was writing under a number of different pennames trying to get stuff sold (writing with an Irish sounding name to sell to an Irish market, Scotish for that market, a female name for women, etc.). I’m pretty sure it was either a male name or initials. It could have been any of the following (maybe): Terrance Verne, Terrance Hagen, Terrance Hagenah, Verne Terry, Verne Terrance, TV Hagenah or Verne Hagen.

I’m totally useless, right? I’m sorry Chuck. I imagine that the magazine went under and owners and editors never want to see any science fiction again. For all I know, they are all dead. But you know how editors are. They want every “i” doted and every “t” crossed.

And I can find neither letter to cross or dot. I only posted the thread in hopes that some of our older English dopers remembered the magazine and knew what happened to it.

You’re probably thinking of Science Fiction Magazine. It’s a British magazine published from 1974 to 1976. I have one issue of the magazine - Volume 1, Number 9. It has stories by John Wyndham, Jurgen von Scheidt, and Delia Leslie. It was published by New English Library, so that’s where to start in checking the rights for the story. Here’s a web page that mentions the magazine:


Here’s one that has the contents of an anthology from the magazine:


OK. The magazine was “Science Fiction Monthly” and was published by “New English Library” in London. There are copies at the Virginia Tech Library (http://www.lib.vt.edu/ ); you may be able to e-mail them and they could look up the issue. (I could find no online tables of contents).

As for the rights question, I can’t be sure, but most likely the magazine bought first English Language rights, with a non-exclusive option for anthology rights, which would mean you would be in the clear. Judging by the names of the people connected with it, I doubt they bought all rights. I’ll ask around.

If New English Library was indeed the original publisher, try contacting its present owners, Hodder & Stoughton.

Thanks you two. I now have places to start.

Make that you three.

Sorry, I should have proofread my post better. I meant to write Science Fiction Monthly. The only excuse I can give is that I had to post it twice. The first time I submitted my post it disappeared and I had to completely rewrite it.

I did some checking. According to Dave Pringle (via Bud Sparhawk), Science Fiction Monthly did buy world rights at the time.

I think he said they were out of business now (my mailserver is down and I can’t get to the message), but he did give some people in England who might know. Technically, then, the rights are in limbo.

However, NEL probably is in no position to complain if you reprint the story. Not that I’d offically suggest that, of course.

Another suggestion is to give the story an edit and send it to your editor. You can then claim it’s a different story.

Chuck! and you in publishing, too.

Seriously, I would have tried that, but I already told him the entire story (my big mouth) and he’s seen the story.

I’m going to email Hodder & Stoughton since they were the last people to claim ownership of New English Library and throw myself at their feet and beg for mercy. I’ve groveled for less…probably.

Once again, thanks everyone. Especially you Chuck, you larcenous person you.