[PW] Hugh Hefner and horror

Todd Mason foxbrick at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 28 07:21:24 PDT 2017

Leaving aside the horror of his late "dating" habits, he was a member of the WEIRD TALES magazine fan service "club" in the 1940s as a kid...and PLAYBOY was likely to feature a fair amount of horror fiction in the years when it was still interested in fiction (among the few scraps it's published in recent years was a Stephen King item). http://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2016/12/ffb-dirty-dirty-dirty-by-mike-edison.html
But Ray Russell was a PLAYBOY fiction editor and editor at Playboy Press, as well as being a fairly impressive horror writer in the latter half of the last century...and Charles Beaumont published a fair amount of his best work in the early issues of the magazine. http://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2013/02/ffb-ray-russells-fiction-anthologies.html
More indirectly, the magazines that arose as direct imitations of or variations on PLAYBOY also have had some major impact on horror fiction as well...Robert Guccione's partner Kathi Keeton started OMNI magazine with him, which was an occasional horror market as well as giving Ellen Datlow and Paula Guran their first high-profile editorial gigs. PENTHOUSE also published some interesting horror fiction over the years. Datlow has cited Russell's THE PLAYBOY BOOK OF HORROR FICTION as a major influence on her early reading and career as a result.  http://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2012/08/an-interview-with-editor-ellen-datlow.html
Montcalm Publishing, publisher of GALLERY, took a flier on an OMNI-like diversification project in the early '80s, as well: ROD SERLING'S THE TWILIGHT ZONE MAGAZINE, which first published Elizabeth Hand and not a few others, helping to birth splatterpunk and spinning off NIGHT CRY magazine, and generally doing some good and interesting things. GALLERY, too, published some notable horror fiction, by Harlan Ellison and others. http://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2016/02/fridays-forgotten-books-links-to.html
Much earlier, one of the earliest PLAYBOY competitors, ROGUE, was a magazine which was devised more of less in the same conversations that led to PLAYBOY, as IMAGINATION editor and publisher William Hamling was working with Hefner at the publisher of MAN, a more "old school" skin magazine that was far less the kind of "aspirational" lifestyle and culture and skin magazine that both PLAYBOY and ROGUE were. ROGUE also had a sort of Playboy Press associated with it, in Regency Books, which published important work by Robert Bloch, Jim Thompson, B. Traven, and first editor Harlan Ellison...who commissioned an anthology from Judith Merril that didn't come to completion, but which resulted in both the cult anthology item TABOO and Ellison's eventual DANGEROUS VISIONS. http://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2015/11/ffb-ei-2003-annualdecember-2003-edited.htmlhttp://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2017/09/ffb-taboo-and-taboo-2-edited-by-paul.html

Todd Masonhttp://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2017/09/fridays-forgotten-books-links-to.html

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