"The Brain"
Short Fiction 1985 2,700 words


One of the world's wealthiest men is terrified of death, so he uses his vast fortune to greatly extend his life... but Death will not be cheated.

  • Owing to the incredible rarity of this mid-80s revival of Weird Tales, and the fact that neither story was ever reprinted, "The Brain" and "The Pandora Principle" are two of van Vogt's rarest stories.

  • This second issue of the mid-80s revival of Weird Tales is even rarer than the first. After countless years of searching for this issue I was finally able to obtain a copy on eBay from James van Hise who, incidentally, also wrote a short article about this revival of Weird Tales for the September 1986 issue of Locus magazine (issue #308). This article is reproduced below by kind permission of Mr. van Hise, who also supplied the scanned article.

Weird Lingerie Tales

by James van Hise

The long-awaited second issue of Brian Forbes' Weird Tales has finally been published — at least six months ago — although Robert Weinberg, the copyright holder from whom Forbes leased the title, only learned of it months later from other sources

According to sources at The Wizard, a West Hollywood business that printed both issues (and whose ads appear throughout the magazine), the second issue had a print run of only 1,500 copies, very few of which went to dealers. Most copies ostensibly went to fill subscription obligations. The first issue had a higher print run, but Forbes encountered financial problems when several dealers who purchased copies never paid for them. Copies of the second issue were on sale from Wizard at the Creation convention in Anaheim in June, for $5.00 each (this was the first time anyone we knew saw a copy); at Westercon in July, other dealers were selling them for $20.00.

When reached for comment, Forbes had a slightly different story. He said the magazine was printed last October and distributed in November, that the print run was 2,300, and that the first issue (which is extremely rare) was 12,500, not 2,500 as other sources at The Wizard have claimed. Most of the copies went to two defunct distributors, Seagate and Longhorn, who, among others, never paid for them.

The Winter 1985 issue is a mix of new material and reprints, although the A.E. van Vogt collaboration which began running in Forbes' first issue is inexplicably not continued. The cover illustration by Hyang Ro Kim portrays Texan Jacqueline Pulliam in a garment and pose directly copies from the cover of the Spring-Summer 1984 issue of Victoria's Secret designer lingerie catalog, with a tentacled monster thrown in. (Artists often use the catalog as a source for alluring female poses; this time the debt seems unusually obvious.)

The editor of the second issue, Gordon Garb, has said he wants to reprint it and use the money to pay those contributors who have not yet been paid in part or in full.

This second issue seems to mark finis to Brian Forbes' interest in publishing Weird Tales. He indicated that he was disheartened by the dealers who ripped him off on the first issue.

— © James van Hise

[Locus #308, September 1986]

Weird Tales magazine
1985 Winter Bellerophon Network
quarto Vol 49, No 2 96 pages $2.95

cover art by
Hyang Ro Kim

Table of Contents




First appearance

Aside from van Vogt's story "The Brain," which is one of his finest from his later period, this issue of Weird Tales contains many items of interest, including a full-page ad for the limited hardcover edition of Null-A Three, a short item about the cover artist and model, as well as a surprising and delightful piece about a visit made to Weird Tales' offices by the famous British comedian Eric Idle.

artist: unknown

Cover & other images: Walwyn
Illustration image: Walwyn
Data: Walwyn