Western Story Magazine

Western Story Magazine

Western Story Magazine was a traditional pulp fiction publication–printed on cheap 7″X10″ paper, full color eye catching imaginative cover and filled with great short stories.  During it’s heyday it was one of the most successful Street & Smith pulps with sales often over half a million per issue.  It was also one of the most enduring western pulps and lasted from 1919 to 1949.  There is a good write up at the The Pulp Magazines Project website.

I have a small collection of these old pulp magazines–perhaps 300 or so, of which half are western themed and most of those are Western Story Magazine.  I enjoy the short stories as well as the regular features such as the letters to the editor (The Hollow Tree) and on guns and mining (Guns and Gunners / Mines and Mining).  Western Story Magazine is very easy to find on eBay and other online sources at a reasonable price $3.00 -10.00 an issue.

The issue above, 27 July 1940, is typical of the editions featuring the newer colorful covers which lasted until the magazine was ended in 1949.  It was an amazing run of some of the finest western fiction ever written.  1,263 issues with an average of seven stories/serial installments per issue would total almost 9,000 separate stories.  One thing to keep in mind is that Western Story Magazine was is just one of a couple hundred western pulp titles that were published during this time.  The next closest thing to Western Story Magazine was Wild West Weekly which had 824 issues in pulp format from 13 August 1927 to November 1943.  Other big western names were Ace-High, All Western Magazine, Dime Western Magazine, WestPopular Western, and of course Ranch Romances (less gun play, more girls).

The point of this post, in highlighting Western Story Magazine, is to emphasize again the rich vein of largely untapped classic western fiction that can be found in all of the old pulp magazines.  You can find old western pulps in pdf format on the internet in several locations: Unz,The Internet Archive, Comic Book +, and the Pulp Magazines Project.  As a resource for your western hobby games these are a gold mine of plots, Player and NPC names, place names and just plain old inspiration.

Western Story Magazine 27 July 1940

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About westerngames99

Retired Army.
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