Short Stories – October 1924 – Australian Edition

Recently, I purchased a bunch of miscellaneous pulps, booklets, and assorted magazines, purely for my reading pleasure, at $1.00 each.

When the box arrived, I paused and took a gander at the pulp Short Stories. Something about it struck me as funny; I immediately compared the contents against FictionMags. Well. The contents were identical to my copy, on the inside, which was a relief, since mine lacks a Table of Contents page.

Short Stories 1924 October front cover

However, much to my chagrin, I noticed that the cover was NOT the same as the American original published by Doubleday (Garden City Publishing) nor the UK Edition (The World’s Work). I traced my cover to the American July 25 1923 edition. Same cover art, different text layout. That is when I noticed that my copy stated October 1924.

Was there a date under that infernal Aussie 1/3d sticker on the cover? Placing it beside a high-powered lamp, I found that the only thing under the sticker was a 1/- cover price. No, this pulp, unlike the American and British Editions, was issued MONTHLY. One might ask: why did you not look at the spine for confirmation? I did. The upper spine is missing, leaving me only the last few letters of the month.

Short Stories 1924 October spine

So, I had a mystery on my hands that might appear to be cooler that reading the pulp. Okay, maybe not.

To recap: different cover (art recycled from an issue entirely different from the USA and UK edition), a monthly (instead of twice-a-month), and the Contents page missing.

Well, I sincerely doubted that this magazine was re-issued with a new cover, altogether. Here is what I suspect: the UK publishers, World’s Work, stripped off the covers and Table of Contents page(s) to all remainder stock, and recycled a different cover that they still had available and slapped on fresh text. The American publishers would hardly have troubled with this task (in my¬† opinion). I do not think that a new contents page was issued for foreign distribution. Furthermore, it is entirely possible that this edition was distributed to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and anywhere else World’s Work did business, abroad.

Currently, this is the only known example of a possible Australian edition, from this period. Three decades later, we know of a handful, but, are they related? Doubtful. This publication will intrinsically remain a mystery until another period-sample surfaces with further data “intact” for comparison.


Short Stories – October 1924 – Australian Edition

2 thoughts on “Short Stories – October 1924 – Australian Edition

  1. Joe S. says:

    Was the contents page torn out or just not printed? Count the pages; it should be a multiple of 16. If not, then a leaf or more was torn out. If it is a multiple of 16 then the pulp is intact as printed. Also, is any advertising Australian based (back cover or inside pages)? Australian ads on interior pages would indicate that it was printed specifically for Australia distribution. It at least appears that the cover was specially printed for this Australian edition.


    1. Hi Joe. Sadly, there are NO ads anywhere inside, aside from those directly associated with the magazine.
      There is trace evidence of a page ‘possibly’ removed at the front, but, I don’t think it was ripped out
      after it was distributed.

      Based on comparisons to other similar items I’ve seen in the past, I truly think that this was remainder stock,
      that the cover and ToC pages was ripped off, and then a new cover run off. It would be nice to compare the guts
      directly against the US and the UK editions, to see how it matches up.

      Until another copy surfaces from this period, it will remain a mystery. However, now that it is publicly posted,
      maybe someone Down Under or elsewhere will stumble across this entry and help us figure it out.


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