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Jerome (Jerry) Siegel's Letters to the Editor

Jerome Siegel, born 1914 in Cleveland Ohio is part of the team, with high-school friend and artist Joe Shuster, who created comic book legend Superman. Siegel was a huge fan of pulp stories and wrote many himself, though none of his stories were ever published in any of the magazines (it would take the creation of his own fanzine to get his pulp stories published). He would have four of his letters published.

From Science Wonder Stories, November 1929

Tribute to Mr. Repp

Editor, Science Wonder Stories:

I believe that one of your best authors is Ed Earl Repp. His "Radium Pool" is one of the most remarkable stories that it has been my good fortune to read. He has ended it in such a way that a sequel can be written. May I add my pleadings to many others that he hurry up with it. You say that his "Metal World" is to be written in a style that will delight us; that probably is A. Merritt's way of writing. Tell Mr. Repp that his own style is good enough. I found it very easy reading-in fact so smooth that I had finished the story, to my regret, before I knew it.

I read an article in the New York Times "Book Review" in which Science Wonder Stories' sister magazine, Air Wonder Stories was mentioned. In it another story of Mr. Repp, "Beyond Gravity," was mentioned. I would like to hear from this author personally, also see more of his works in the magazine. I am glad to learn that a story by Clare Winger Harris will soon appear in the magazine; the title "The Artificial Man" sets me to wondering what the contents will be like.

Of all the stories that you have thus far published, I have not as yet found a story for which I do not care. Get Stanton Coblentz to write some more for us; also don't forget to secure some of Edmond Hamilton's fine stories. And of course we can't forget A. Merritt and Jack Williamson with their wonderful descriptive literature.

Mr. Gernsback, will you please answer this question (I notice that when you answer some letters you leave some of the most important questions unanswered). ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE A COVER CONTEST? I've been longing to have some science story magazine come along with one; so we readers would have a chance to number as contributors to the magazine we enjoy reading.

I have bought all the pamphlets that have thus far appeared in the Science Fiction Library, and am impatiently awaiting the appearance of some more. I read all the stories immediately upon their arrival and it wasn't long before I had finished them and had nothing to read. So hurry up with some more, and this time put in a story by Ed Earl Repp.

Jerome Siegel,
10622 Kimberley Ave., Cleveland, O.

(The tribute to Mr. Repp, we believe, is well-deserved. He is gradually creating for himself a definite place in the front ranks of science-fiction authors. We are pleased to present in the present issues of Science and Air Wonder Stories two more of his stories that are new high marks in his achievements.

Mr. Siegel will undoubtedly be glad to note that the present issue contains a cover contest. We are quick to respond to our readers' desires; sometimes before the desires are expressed. We confidently expect that this contest will reveal a great amount of new talent.—Editor).

From Amazing Stories, August 1929


Editor, Amazing Stories:

I'm starting my letter off with a request which I am sure will be seconded by a large host of Amazing Stories readers. What I wish you would do is to reprint A. Merritt's story, "Through the Dragon Glass," which appeared in the All-Story Magazine years ago. Also some stories written for the same magazine by Austin Hall, Ralph Farley and Homer E. Flint. In the "Discussions" column of the May issue of Amazing Stories, 1929, a reader by the name of Todhunter said he would like to know of a story called "The Invisible Professor." The correct name is "The Vanishing Professor" and its author is Fred Mclssac. I read the story when it appeared and can safely say any scientifiction reader would enjoy it thoroughly.

I'm for reprints, but I do not mean the ones that were written so long ago that their forecasts had already come true. I am also in favor of your reprinting "The Blind Spot," even though I've already read it. And, Editor, if you are undecided as to whether or not to print it, you should hurry along with your decision, for the readers of the magazine in which it originally appeared are voting whether they should have it reprinted or not. By the way, will your readers please stop casting slurs at "Weird Tales" magazine? I buy every issue of "Argosy," "Weird Tales" and "Our" magazine as they appear, for all have the same authors or most of them. They list:

  1. Edmond Hamilton
  2. David H. Keller
  3. A. Merritt
  4. Clare W. Harris
  5. Ray Cummings
  6. Murray Leinster, etc., etc.

So you see when you criticise that type of fiction appearing in these magazines, you are in turn throwing dirt at your own.

And, Editor, give us another cover (story) contest. I have written many science stories, amateurishly, and can hardly hold myself in restraint, when I know that some of my friends who have also written science stories galore, chiefly among them, John Reibel, author of "Voice from the Moon," also of "Emperor of Ten Worlds," both Sunday Times, and Bernard Kantor, author of "Invisible World" and "Beyond This Finite World," and are also waiting for a chance to number as contributor of "Our" magazine.

Jerome Siegel, 10622 Kimberly Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.

(We are receiving so much good and original matter that we have to be very chary in giving reprints. From a literary standpoint, we almost wish our magazine were twice as large as it is, but, of course, that would be impossible now. However, with the new length of our type page, about three pages of editorial matter is added. We think you will like the illustrations as they now appear more than ever. We are trying to improve Amazing Stories artistically as well as in literary and scientific value.-Editor.)

From Astounding Stories of Super-Science, January 1931

Likes the "Corner"

Dear Editor:

This month's issue, May, has the best collection of letters you've ever published. All it lacked was a letter from Bernard J. Kenton, that master of epistles and super-science stories. One of your Readers would like to have "The Readers' Corner" omitted. For heaven's sake, don't take it out! I recognize it as one of the best features of cur mag, and whenever I open the covers, turn to it directly after having glimpsed the table of contents and the announcement of the stories to appear in the forthcoming issue.

Mr. Joseph R. Barnes-whose letter I enjoyed immensely, incidentally-will be interested in knowing that "The Marcot Deep" is already in book form and that "The Disintegration Machine" and "When the World Screamed," all by the same author, are under the same covers. He also will be interested in learning that Ray Cummings' fine story, "Sea Girl," is also between hard covers.

The idea of putting out a quarterly is a dandy. The other science fiction quarterlies arc mere text-books; there are, occasionally, of course, a few exceptions. The thought of the sort of fantastic action stories Astounding Stories publishes, put together in a magazine doubly thick, U a pleasing one to contemplate. Reading a story the length of "Brigands of the Moon" and of such literary merit, complete in one issue, is a thrill to be looked forward to. By all means put out such a magazine and have stories by Jack Williamson, R. F. Starzl and Edmond Hamilton, three of your best writers, in the first issue.

I'm glad to see that Starzl is coming back with the next issue. More from him, please. And Hamilton and Williamson should appear more frequently, too. A question, Mr. Cummings: Shades of Polter and Tugh!-why must you always have a deformed character in your stories? Do they appeal to your dramatic sense?

The news that we're going to have a story from Francis Flagg brings raptures of delight to my homely face. If it's a dimensional story, I'll cheer twice. When it comes to writing that kind of a story, Flagg's the king of them all. For sheer interest and originality, he's got his contemporaries in that field outdistanced with a distance that can only be counted by light-years.

A pat on the back for Booth Cody and Sears Langwell, two staunch supporters. All our magazine needs is a story about time crusaders, or a planet of mechanical men.

Omitting the authors already mentioned, I consider my favorites to be Rousseau, Eshbach, Diffin, Ernst, and Hal K. Wells.

The best story you ever published? Who am I to answer? Why not put it up to the Readers for popular vote?—Jerome Siegel, 10622 Kimberley Ave., Cleveland, Ohio.

From Astounding Stories, August 1931

Dear Editor:

"The Planet of Dread" was a classic in the full meaning of the word. Not only was the story a masterpiece of fantastic adventure but also of short story craft. By all means secure more of Mr. Starzl's fine tales.

Your stories by Ray Cummings are great. It would be a good policy upon your part to continue to present stories of his at the most not more than two issues apart.

Continue up to your present standard and you'll continue to stand above all other Science Fiction magazines where stories of super-science are concerned, now and forever.—Jerome Siegel, 10622 Kimberley Ave., Cleveland, Ohio.