If you’ve read a lot of science fiction in the last few decades, then you are most likely familiar with Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Asimov’s Science Fiction magazines. These two magazines are the grand-daddies of the science fiction publishing scene, remaining in print for decades now.
Analog started life in 1930, during the pulp era. At the time, it was published as Astounding Stories of Super-Science and has been publishing continuously since then, under a variety of names and publishers. It became Analog in 1960.
Asimov’s was established in 1977 in honor of Isaac Asimov, one of the classic science fiction writers. It quickly gained a strong audience and has been in continuous print since then.
These two magazines are considered the premier markets for short science fiction. The SF genre has one of the healthiest short fiction markets in fiction, in part thanks to these two magazines along with a host of other, younger publications.
Analog’s start during the pulp era was not unique. There were dozens of pulp fiction magazines that got their start in that era. One of the biggest and longest running magazine was Amazing Stories. It published under the Amazing masthead for over eighties years, with a few interruptions.
Amazing Stories had an interesting start. It was founded by Hugo Gernsback, a brilliant editor and sometimes writer of science fiction. Gernsback’s impact on science fiction was so great, his name was used for the annual SF awards given to quality stories published throughout the year — The Hugos.
Amazing Stories didn’t start life with a reputation for quality stories. Pulp literature was considered cheap and trashy sensationalism. The magazine did, however, earn a stellar reputation in the 1970s, when Ted White was editing it – the magazine earned three Hugo awards.
The magazine was continuously in fiancial trouble, being bought and sold numerous times over the eight decades it was in print. Finally, in 2005, it shut its doors.
…except it didn’t, quite.
Amazing Stories [link] came back to life in January of 2013 as an on-line publication, published by the Experimenter Publishing Company (which was first established by Hugo Gernsback). It is a tribute to the SF community that the magazine keeps returning to life just one more time.
Check out the blog and the back issues of the magazine. Scattered throughout the site are reproductions of some of the classic pulp covers of the 1920s and 1930’s, too. It’s great to wander the site and dip into another era.
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