different story n.

esp. in the early pulp era: a science fiction, fantasy, or weird story; an impossible story


SF Criticism

  • 1919 G. Hovey Letter in All-Story Weekly 25 Jan. 352 page image

    Why can’t we have a ‘different’ story every week? They are great.

  • 1928 Amazing Stories Sept. 513/2 page image

    Here again we have the perfect ‘different’ story. Dr. Keller has picked a subject which, to the best of our knowledge, has never been used in Scientifiction before, and it makes a most interesting exposure of heredity in general.

  • 1947 J. O. Bailey Pilgrims Through Time & Space 120

    During the 1890’s occasional pieces of scientific fiction appeared in such magazines as All-Story. The popularity of these ‘different’ stories, as they were called, led to publication of more and more of them and finally to the founding of Amazing Stories in 1926, the first of the ‘scientifiction’ magazines.

  • 1953 L. S. de Camp Science Fiction Handbook 65 L. Sprague de Camp

    In the early 1900’s the Munsey Company’s magazines, Munsey’s Magazine, Argosy, and All-Story Weekly, published a distinguished list of such ‘different’ stories as they called them.

Research requirements

antedating 1919

Earliest cite

in All-Story Weekly

Research History
"Different" stories (frequently with the quotation marks) were an alternative name for SF/F/H stories in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most sources indicate that it was first used in the Munsey family of magazines, e.g. All-Story, Argosy, Munsey's Magazine.

Fred Galvin submitted a 1957 cite from Sam Moskowitz's "How Science Fiction Got Its Name".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1928 cite from editorial material in Amazing Stories.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1953 cite from L. Sprague de Camp's "Science-Fiction Handbook".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1947 cite from J. O. Bailey's "Pilgrims Through Space and Time".
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1919 cite from All-Story Weekly.

We would like cites of any date from other sources, especially early cites from any of the Munsey magazines. We would also be interested in variant compounds (e.g., "different tale").

Last modified 2022-09-23 18:42:05
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.