- MacFADDEN, Bernarr
- (1868-1955)US publisher, writer and film producer, born Bernard Adolphus McFadden; much concerned throughout his life with physical culture, and an espouser of nudism and eccentric health routines in various magazines from early in his career. His acknowledged fiction, beginning with The Athlete's Conquest (1892), is neither sf nor fantasy; but he may havepublished some pseudonymous genre works in his own magazines. From 1904 his journals featured sf stories and novels. The first was "My Bride from the Other World", a HOLLOW-EARTH tale by the Rev. E.C. Atkins (who may have been BM himself) in Physical Culture; it was followed by the book-length serial "Weird and Wonderful Story of Another World" (1905) as by Tyman Currio (probably John Russell Coryell (1848-1924) with BM's assistance), and many other stories followed in BM's other journals, which included Brain Power (ed F. Orlin TREMAINE 1921-4), Dance World, Metropolitan Fiction Lovers' Magazine, Midnight and Red-BloodedAdventures. The most important early sf novel thus published was Milo HASTINGS's remarkable "Children of 'Kultur'", which appeared in True Story in 1919 and which, revised as City of Endless Night (1920), was one of the central - and most politically prescient - US DYSTOPIAS. Ghost Stories, which BM ran 1926-30 (it then soon folded under new management), concentrated on the supernatural, as did True Strange Stories, whose founding editor was Walter B. GIBSON; but Liberty, a later (and very substantial) BM magazine, published Fred ALLHOFF's Lightning in the Night (1940; 1979), which assumes the WWII triumph of Germany in Europe (HITLERWINS), though as the novel closes a nuclear stand-off maintains an uneasy peace between Germany and the USA. After WWI, BM's Macfadden Pictures released movies for several years, including Zongar (1918), which features Amazons.BM is most important in the HISTORY OF SF for his role - longobscure - in forcing the bankruptcy of Hugo GERNSBACK in 1929 and taking over AMAZING STORIES, events which occasioned a competitive proliferation of sf magazines; according to Sam MOSKOWITZ - in "Bernarr Macfadden", a 7-part study published in FANTASY COMMENTATOR 1986-92 - BM was, therefore,inadvertently instrumental in setting off the chain of events which a decade later would culminate in the GOLDEN AGE OF SF.JC
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.