Why do I dislike Paizo’s Planet Stories imprint and recommend against people buying from them when the opportunity presents itself? Well, besides the fact that I hate Paizo and dislike several of the folks who work for them, their “Planet Stories” brand is a bit of a misnomer.
From what I’ve pieced together, Paizo found out that no one had owned the Planet Stories name and trademark for decades. The original Planet Stories folded back in the 1955 along with Love Romances and its parent company, Fiction House. The name had probably been free and unprotected for ages.
It would be like if I decided to swoop in and register the trademark for Thrilling Wonder Stories or some other dead pulp magazine. Paizo found Planet Stories’ corpse by the roadside and decided to wear its skin while publishing stuff that, ironically enough, wasn’t really Planet Stories. Paizo’s Planet Stories line is decidedly more Sword & Sorcery and Weird Fiction focused than the actual Planet Stories ever was, but I decided to take a closer look at just how little Paizo’s now-discontinued line had to do with its namesake.
- Anubis Murders – Gary Gygax – post pulp
- City of the Beast – Moorcock – post pulp
- Black God’s Kiss – CL Moore – Weird Tales
- Elak of Atlantis – Henry Kuttner – Weird Tales/Strange Stories
- Secret of Sinharat – Leigh Brackett – Planet Stories
- Northwest of Earth – CL Moore – Weird Tales/Leaves/Fantastic Universe/Fantasy Magazine
- Lord of the Spiders – Michael Moorcock – post pulp
- Samarkand Solution – Gary Gygax – post pulp
- Almuric – RE Howard – Weird Tales
- The Ginger Star – Leigh Brackett – post pulp
- Masters of the pit – Michael Moorcock – post pulp
- The Swordsman of Mars – Otis Adelbert Kline – Argosy
- Infernal Sorceress – Gary Gygax – post pulp
- Worlds of Their Own – Various modern – post pulp
- The Hounds of Skaith – Leigh Brackett – Post Pulp
- The Dark World – Henry Kuttner – Startling Stories
- Death in Delhi – Gary Gygax – Post Pulp
- Reavers of Skaith – Leigh Brackett – Post Pulp
- Robots Have No Tails – Henry Kuttner – Astounding
- The Outlaws of Mars – Otis Adelbert Kline – Argosy
- The Sword of Rhiannon – Leigh Brackett – Thrilling Wonder Stories
- The Ship of Ishtar – A. Merritt – Argosy
- Steppe – Piers Anthony – Post Pulp
- The Complete Silver John – Manly Wade Wellman – MoF&SF (Post Pulp/non-pulp)
- Sos the Rope – Piers Anthony – Post Pulp
- The Walrus & The Warwulf – Hugh Cook – Post Pulp
- Template – Matthew Hughes – Post Pulp
- Before they Were Giants – Various Authors – All Post Pulp
- Sojan the Swordsman/Under the Warrior Star – Michael Moorcock – Post Pulp
- Battle in the Dawn: the complete Hok the Mighty – Manly Wade Wellman – Amazing Stories
- The Planet Killers – Robert Silverberg – Post Pulp
- Hunt the Space Witch – Robert Silverberg – Post Pulp
- The Chalice of Death – Robert Silverberg – Post Pulp
So, we have 21 books that are either post-pulp novels or collections of stories that were not published in the pulps, 4 books that are wholly or primarily from Weird Tales, 3 works from Argosy, and one each of Amazing Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Startling Stories, and, yes, Planet Stories.
Brackett is the one (perhaps the only) name on here who is solidly associated with the original imprint, though many of her classics were also in Startling and Thrilling (she was probably the best Thrilling ever had). Kline wrote stories you might have seen in Planet Stories, but due to the time frame he was writing in, he was primarily a writer for Argosy and Amazing.