Avon Fantasy Reader

Avon Fantasy Reader was a digest size magazine (sometimes classed as a series of anthologies) which reprinted science fiction and fantasy literature by now well-known authors. It was edited by Donald A. Wollheim and published by Avon. The magazine had one spin off, Avon Science Fiction Reader, with which it merged on its cancellation to become Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader.

Avon Fantasy Reader
Cover of the first issue. At the base of the, a zombie-like figure peering at the viewer over a wall or other flat object. Other objects in the image are a skull, a distant full moon and a ghost-like figure emanating from a list of authors.
Avon Fantasy Reader #1
EditorDonald A. Wollheim
CategoriesFantasy, Science fiction
FrequencyThree issues per year
Year founded1947
Final issue
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York


Avon strived to bring readers little known stories by then little recognized writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, C. L. Moore, A. Merritt, Murray Leinster and William Hope Hodgson. Avon Fantasy Reader was published from 1946 to 1952 and had 18 issues in full.[1]


It was sold at many newsstands around the United States. The back cover of Avon Fantasy Reader carried this blurb:

Past, Present, or Future or whatever sector of time and space you prefer, you'll find the stories in these pages encompass the entire universe of imagination. From the eerie, spook-haunted corridors of ancient Asian castles to the water-choked avenues of Atlantean kingdoms... From the sinister sands of icy Martian deserts to the thunderbolt battles of future's interplanetary rockets. Neither the invisible energy of atom nor the monstrous matter of the Milky Way present barriers to the mind that author these amazing fantasies. There are no boundaries to the astonishment, thrills and chills you'll meet in the pages of... the Avon Fantasy Reader!

The majority of the fiction published in Avon Fantasy Reader were reprints of works published in pulp magazines.

Spin offsEdit

In 1951 Avon launched a sister title, Avon Science Fiction Reader, featuring reprints of science fiction.[2] This magazine lasted just three issues before being cancelled in 1952. In January 1953, both magazines merged to become Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader, which lasted for two issues before being cancelled as well in April of the same year.[2] In 1969 Avon Books published two paperback books of selections from the original series, each also called The Avon Fantasy Reader and credited to Donald A. Wollheim and George Ernsberger as editors. The latter, Avon’s science fiction editor then, made the selections and contributed a foreword to each.


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Fantasy by John Clute and John Grant, Orbit, 1997.
  2. ^ a b Stephensen-Payne, Phil. "Avon Fantasy Reader". Galactic Central. Retrieved November 26, 2012.


External linksEdit