Astounding
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33 posts in this topic

Thought this might be of some interest - some of the early history of the magazine.
I can't guarantee the accuracy, but I think I've got most things right.
Corrections welcome!

1930 - Jan
First issue of Astounding Stories of Super-Science.
The editor is Harry Bates.

1931 - Feb
Name changes to Astounding Stories.

1933 - Jan
Name changes BACK to Astounding Stories of Super-Science.

1933 - Oct
Name changes BACK AGAIN to Astounding Stories.
F. Orlin Tremaine takes over as editor.

1937 - Oct
John W. Campbell, Jr. takes over as editor.

1938 - March
Name changes to Astounding Science Fiction
(and stays ASF for 22 years).

1960 - Feb
Name changes to Astounding Science Fact & Fiction.

In the 1960s and later, the title got confusing - they
went a little bananas. JWC reportedly hated the word
ASTOUNDING in the title. Several issues had both words
ASTOUNDING and ANALOG on the cover.

Later issues mostly had the word ANALOG in a giant font,
with "SCIENCE FICTION" above it and "SCIENCE FACT" below.
The spines had just:
Analog Science Fiction - Science Fact
(and the "dash" was an odd arrow symbol that JWC devised)

1971 - July 11
John Wood Campbell, Jr. died.

1972 - Jan
Ben Bova becomes editor.

Isaac Asimov, A. E. van Vogt, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon -- all had
their first published work in ASF.

Edited by gozer
My idiocy.
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3 hours ago, gozer said:

Thought this might be of some interest - some of the early history of the magazine.
I can't guarantee the accuracy, but I think I've got most things right.
Corrections welcome!

 

Isaac Asimov, A. E. van Vogt, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon -- all had
their first published work in ASF.

I think that line needs a date to go with it.  They all had their first stories in Astounding in a three month span... Asimov and van Vogt in July 1939, Heinlein in August 1939, and Sturgeon in September 1939.  For Asimov, it wasn't actually his first story... I think it was his 3rd?  But they all did show up in a very tight span.  That's why the July 1939 issue is sometimes called the start of the Golden Age of Science Fiction. 

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OtherEric is correct. Asimov's first published story was "Marooned off Vesta," published in the March 1939 issue of Amazing Stories.

From the Wikipedia entry:

It was the third story he wrote, and the first to be published. Written in July 1938 when Asimov was 18, it was REJECTED (emphasis mine)
by Astounding Science Fiction in August, then accepted in October by Amazing Stories

Sheesh, he was 18!
I wonder how many typewriters he wore out during his lifetime?

The others:

A. E. Van Vogt -- Black Destroyer -- July 1939 (even made the cover)
Robert Heinlein -- Life-Line -- August 1939 
Theodore Sturgeon -- Ether Breather -- Sept 1939

Opinion: Van Vogt's best work, Slan, was first serialized in the September to December 1940 issues of ASF.

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3 hours ago, gozer said:

Opinion: Van Vogt's best work, Slan, was first serialized in the September to December 1940 issues of ASF.

I need to get the November issue one of these years.  Oddly, Slan didn't get the cover until part 2 of the serial.  The October issue also contains a Bullard story by Malcolm Jameson and the classic "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates.  If that doesn't sound familiar, you may know it better by the name of the movie they based on it... The Day the Earth Stood Still.

10_Astounding_1940_09.jpg

Astounding_1940_10.jpg

Astounding_1940_12.jpg

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51 minutes ago, Randall Dowling said:

Astounding Science Fiction, October, 1953.  Recently scored this copy of the classic Freas cover.  Very difficult in this condition and this copy is very sharp and clean except for the obvious staple rubbing.  It's a keeper.

1011563409_AstoundingScienceFiction_1053_S.thumb.jpg.293553b906c588cca3facad1904a58cf.jpg

A stunning copy of one of the hardest digest Astoundings!

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A pickup at my local bookstore today.  It features part one of "They'd Rather Be Right", the second winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel... and a consensus favorite as the worst novel to ever win the Hugo.

More interesting is the story "The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin.  People have been poking holes in the premise of this one for years... but it remains one of the all time essential classics.

Astounding_1954_08.jpg

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I thought this might be a good thread to plug one of my Covid-era discoveries, the 2018 biography Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee. 

Astounding.thumb.jpeg.93ee4b4c6b9bd4f34bb4417f3a1a0cb2.jpeg

It weaves together the lives of Asimov, Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard and John W. Campbell.  The first 3 have had various biographies and autobiographies published already, and Nevala-Lee draws extensively from all of them, but I believe most of his research here on the life of JWC is original.  It is great stuff, and takes me back to my second-hand glimpses of the Golden Age of SF, as seen (in my case) through the editorials in Isaac Asimov's Science-Fiction Magazine, his introductions to The Hugo Winners and the like.  Highly recommended! (thumbsu

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Just a placeholder pickup today... but for some reason this one has been proving elusive for quite a while.  It's the last issue I needed to get all the original Foundation stories in Astounding, just in time for the TV show.

Astounding_1944_08.jpg

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