“An Astounding 90 Years”

"Astounding Science-Fiction," March 1938
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science" Jan. 1930 vs. "Analog: Science Fiction and Fact" Nov./Dec. 2019.
The cover on the left (1930) was painted by Hans Wessolowski. On the right (2019) by Tuomas Korpi.

When PulpFest’s blog editor asked me to write an article about Astounding/Analog’s 90th birthday I had only the slightest idea of what I’d be writing about. Oh sure, I knew the magazine and I knew that John W. Campbell, Jr. was a hugely important figure in the history of science fiction. He had an extraordinarily long tenure as the magazine’s editor (from late 1937 until his death in 1971) and during that time shaped science fiction as we know it. Here’s a delightful video about him on YouTube.

As I dug into the story I realized that many of our current expectations about science fiction were shaped by the editors of Astounding/Analog. Not all, of course. There were many other influential magazines such as Amazing Stories and Galaxy. One day I’ll create a flow chart of all the different magazines involved in the science fiction field and how they interact with men’s magazines such as True and unexplained phenomena/UFO magazines such as Fate. Come to think of it…that might make a pretty interesting article. Hmmm.

In the meantime, here’s my newest article – “An ASTOUNDING 90 Years.” I hope SF fans enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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