(1896-1949) US writer, extremely prolific in a number of Pulp-magazine genres, publishing about 500 stories, some (excruciatingly) as by Morgan Lafay; of the relatively few that are sf, several were with Nat Schachner, including Zagat's first, "The Tower of Evil" for Wonder Stories Quarterly in Summer 1930. The eleven tales produced collaboratively before they separated in 1931 were Zagat's best early work. After about 1936, most of his work appeared in Argosy, including the Tomorrow series, set in a Near-Future Post-Holocaust USA; the first tale in the sequence, "Tomorrow" (27 May 1939 Argosy Weekly), later appeared in Famous Fantastic Classics 1 (anth 1974) edited anonymously; later stories in the sequence included "Sunrise Tomorrow" (8-15 June 1940 Argosy) and the book-length "The Long Road to Tomorrow" (1-22 March 1941 Argosy). In the book-length "Drink We Deep" (31 July-4 September 1937 Argosy) strange dwellers Underground call a human downwards to them. In Seven Out of Time (11 March-15 April 1939 Argosy; 1949), his best novel, seven humans from various eras (among them King Arthur and the prophet Elijah) are abducted into what may be the far future and studied by their remote descendants (> Devolution; Evolution) to rediscover the value of emotions. A post-World War Two novel, "Slaves of the Lamp" (August-September 1946 Astounding) with Theodore Sturgeon, was little noticed and did not reach book form, for Zagat had failed to adjust his style and plotting to the demands of the new world. [JC]
see also: Genre SF; Invasion; Operator #5; Thrilling Wonder Stories.
Arthur Leo Zagat
born New York: 15 February 1896
died New York: 3 April 1949
The Weird Tales
collections and stories
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