Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1970 To 1980

Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1970 To 1980

Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1970 To 1980

Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1970 To 1980

Excerpt

When I began this volume it was intended to complete my trilogy of the history of the science-fiction magazines, and cover the years from 1970 to the present, or at least to the year 2000. The first volume, The Time Machines, had covered 25 years, from 1926 to 1950, from the first all-sf magazine, Amazing Stories, through the domination of its chief rival, Astounding Stories (now Analog), to the post-war years and the beginning of the end for the pulp magazines. The second volume, Transformations, covered 20 years, from 1950 to 1970, charting the death of the pulps, the domination of the digest magazines led by Galaxy and F&SF, and the emergence of the New Wave revolution in New Worlds. The early fifties saw the Golden Age of the science-fiction magazines with probably the greatest concentration of talent and quality fiction that the field had seen.

With all that charted, it was left for me to explore the remaining 30 years and bring everything up to date. But always in the back of my mind was the niggling question, 'What do I do about the seventies?' To many readers, the science-fiction magazines ceased to be important in the seventies, with the popularity of the paperback novel, and the last 30 years is simply a catalogue of decline. But that isn't the case, especially in the seventies. The seventies was certainly a turning point, but it wasn't simply one that saw the magazine pass the baton on to the paperback and bid it good luck. In fact, despite certain problems and hardships, the magazines generally flourished in the seventies, facing all the challenges that were thrown at them. And there were plenty.

The start of the decade saw the death of John W. Campbell, the editor of Analog, who had dominated the field for over thirty years and who is credited with the maturing of science fiction in the late thirties and early forties by dragging it out of the pulps and into the modern world. There were many who held Campbell in god-like awe and wondered how the . . .

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