Now we can let you know…all of those vague-booking, teasing mentions of a forthcoming book of GREAT HISTORICAL IMPORT!…it can now be revealed were for our latest anthology – CENTS OF WONDER, Science Fiction’s First Award Winners!
In December 1926 and again in November of 1929, Hugo Gernsback hosted the science fiction field’s very first writing contests. This anthology collects all of the prize-winning stories submitted for these contests, as well as the honorable mentions, offering up 14 inaugural takes on what a sense of wonder is and how an author generates it in their stories. In reading these tales, you will be exposed to the genre’s nascent attempts at defining itself, its interests and the seminal and singular elements that are the foundation of this unique genre.
Our play on words title references the fact that not only did these authors find ways to engender a Sense of Wonder in their readership, they earned serious cash prizes (for the day) in doing so.
Our cover was designed and created by Kermit Woodall, Creative Director at the Experimenter Publishing Company, LLC, with reproductions of the original illustrations accompanying most of the stories by Frank R. Paul.
Proofing & copyediting was performed by Lloyd Penney. Transcription of the original stories and articles by Steve Davidson.
An introduction by award-winning author Allen Steele helps set the stage, discussing the importance and import of awards in our field.
Also included are the articles from the original publications (whose covers are reproduced below) by Hugo Gernsback (the contests, rules and results), biographical sketches of the authors and commentary on the era, the publications, the contest and the stories.
The anthology is divided into two parts, the first covering the Amazing Stories contest, the second, the Science Wonder Stories contest.
Only a handful of these fourteen authors would go on to any kind of a sustained career in the field, with Clare Winger Harris (first female SF author published under her own name) the stand-out, followed closely (almost too close to call) by Charles R. Tanner and A. Hyatt Verrill. Several others (Bob Olsen notable among them) would have sustained careers during the genres golden era.
Copies of the table of contents are provided below.
Cents of Wonder will shortly be available for order online in electronic editions. Paperback and Hardback print-on-demand editions will also be made available.
Authors appearing in this anthology are:
Allen Steele Cyril G. Wates
George R. Fox Clare Winger Harris
S. Maxwell Coder A. Hyatt Verrill
Cecil B. White D. B. McCray
Charles R. Tanner John Pierce
Frank J. Brueckel Harold A. Lower
Bob Olsen Victor A. Endersby
A. G. Stangland Hugo Gernsback
We believe this anthology will of of great interest to genre historians, golden age fans, collectors, completists and anyone else who is interested in exploring the roots and origination of our beloved Science Fiction genre!