Monday, November 21, 2011


I have become the proud guardian of a short run of Astounding magazine from 1937 to 1940. I've written often about my interest in digging in to the foundation of speculative fiction and have mentioned the Golden Age of science fiction, which critics identify as starting in 1938, when John Campbell took over the editorial duties at Astounding. So you may well imagine my excitement (giddiness would not be an inappropriate descriptor) at owning these ur-texts. I've been reading them over the weekend, delicately because they are over 70 years old and pulp paper is notoriously unable to stand up to much use as it gets older, and had considered that I would write about them.

Unfortunately, I can't—I'd be stepping all over someone else's intellectual property. And so I direct you to a wonderful series of articles entitled "Vacation in the Golden Age of Science Fiction" by author Jamie Todd Rubin ( I've exchanged emails with Jamie about how much I admire what he is doing as well as how jealous I am of his ability to get ten years' worth of Astounding. He's a good guy, and I recommend his articles if you have any interest in the time period in question.

Now if there were just someone with deep enough pockets to reproduce facsimiles of these wonderful magazines.

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