Early Magazines in Your Collection (Astounding, Galaxy, etc.)

Bick

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#1
I was thinking it would be nice to have a thread where we can share images and thoughts of some of the best early magazine treasures we have in our personal libraries. I'm not talking about reproductions, but only the original magazines. I'm myself mostly interested in SF, but weird fiction and fantasy are also welcome here.

I was thinking of this, as I've obtained a few old magazines in my time, and enjoyed reading them, but also just for the collecting aspect. This thread was inspired in part by a recent purchase I've made of some classic pulps.

For those who don't know, the 'Golden Age of Science Fiction', so called, is often-times cited as beginning in July 1939, with the publication of Astounding Science Fiction that month. Campbell took over Astounding in October 1937, but didn't get full editorial control until March 1938. By the time 1939 swung round he had turned around the ailing magazine was starting to see new authors submit their first pieces to him, and he started to publish many of the greats of SF from mid-1939 onward. The July 1939 issue of Astounding contained van Vogt's first sale (Black Destroyer - later the be part of Voyage of the Space Beagle) and Asimov's first sale to Astounding (and only his second sale ever), Trends. The following month, August 1939 Astounding saw Heinlein in print for the very first time (Lifeline) and in September 1939 Campbell published the first story by Sturgeon (Ether Breather). October saw the serialization of E.E. 'doc' Smith's Grey Lensman. These were the heady days when Asimov and Heinlein started to meet with Campbell regularly for chats and publish frequently.

These issues of Astounding are now quite rare in good condition. I've not found a fine copy of July '39 (I believe if they come up they are very expensive), and I'm still looking for August '39 with the first Heinlein, but I have bought September and October, in fine (near mint) condition. They were not cheap, suffice to say, but their value* greatly exceeds their cost, so in essence they were a bargain :)

Astounding Sep1939.jpg
Astounding Oct1939.jpg


In case anyone is interested, the contents for September and October 1939 are:

September 1939
Forces Must Balance! - novelette by Manly Wade Wellman
Atmospherics - short story by Allan Ingvald Benson & John Victor Peterson [Victor Valding]
The Last Hope - novella by Don Evans
Letters include two by Isaac Asimov and Damon Knight
Masson's Secret - short story by Raymond Z. Gallun
Ether Breather - short story by Theodore Sturgeon (first ever publication by Sturgeon)
General Swamp, C.I.C. (Part 2 of 2) - serial by L. Ron Hubbard [Frederick Engelhardt]

October 1939 (with the classic Lensman cover)
Gray Lensman (Part 1 of 4) - serial by E. E. Smith
Space Rating - short story by John Berryman
A Question of Salvage - novelette by Malcolm Jameson
Episode on Dhee Minor - short story by Harry Walton
Shawn's Sword - short story by Milton A. Rothman [Lee Gregor]
Rust - short story by Joseph E. Kelleam
Letter by Arthur C. Clarke

* Aesthetic value to me, they are price valued at exactly what I paid for them.
 
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Bick

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Galaxy Science Fiction ran from 1950 to 1980, and like Astounding I find the early issues to be quite 'collectable'. A lot of the top authors published frequently in Galaxy of course, including Simak, who placed a lot of his best work in the magazine.

Unlike Astounding, I don't have issues that are seminal' perhaps, but I have a few good condition issues from the early '50's, including these two:

galaxy.jpg


These back-to-back issues are actually the British edition but they correspond with the US issues for August and September 1956. In Britain these issues hit the shelves in October and November of the same year. While these are less collectable from a monetary standpoint, they include some cracking material and demonstrate the strength of the magazine at this time. Just check out the contents from each issue:

Issue 43 (US Aug '56)
Time in Advance - William Tenn
Early Model - Robert Sheckley
The Claustraphile - Theodore Sturgeon
Honorable Opponent - Clifford D. Simak
The Genius Heap - James Blish

Issue 44 (US Sept '56)
The Other Man - Theodore Sturgeon
Verbal Agreement - Arthur Sellings
Chain Reaction - Boyd Ellenby [William C. Boyd]
Human Man's Burden - Robert Sheckley
Seeing-Eye Dog - Daniel F. Galouye
 

Bick

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#3
I only have a couple of issues at all of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. This one below has no real monetary value and is not 'collectable', but it has a particularly good line up, by the look of it. I've not read it yet, but I should do so soon, judging by the contents:

nag fsf.jpg


December 1965; Magazine of F&SF, includes:
Breakthrough Gang - Gordon R. Dickson
The Convenient Monster - Leslie Charteris
The Overworld - Jack Vance
& a science essay by Isaac Asimov

This only just squeaks into this thread, as it's almost not old enough and not really classic enough, but what the hell, I really like it. Incidentally, for the purposes of this thread, I consider 'early' magazines to be 1960's or earlier (but preferably 1950's and before). The "Golden Age" was 1939 to about 1956, after all. This particular magazine started off in 1949/1950 - I'll have to seek out a classic issue from this time at some point.
 
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Extollager

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#4
Bick wrote, "for the purposes of this thread, I consider 'early' magazines to be 1960's or earlier (but preferably 1950's and before). The "Golden Age" was 1939 to about 1956, after all."

Thank you for stating that clearly! I hope it can be respected.

I have a couple of pre-Campbell Astounding issues from the 1930s (not in very good condition!), a couple of 1950s issues that serialized Poul Anderson's The Enemy Stars under its original title (a favorite sf novel of mine), and a few old-enough F&SF issues I can photograph soon. One of the little projects I completed was the acquisition of the four "C. S. Lewis issues" of F&SF (two short stories and a poem published in his lifetime, plus the posthumous publication of a very fine poem). Also a few Cele Goldsmith-edited issues of the early 1960s Ziff-Davis Fantastic. It'll be fun to see what gets posted here.
 

2DaveWixon

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#5
For some reason -- probably having to do with my weird personality -- I have always found the early GALAXY to be my favorite...maybe the stories just fit with what I wanted to read...they matched my taste?
Although, come to think of it, I never saw those earliest GALAXIES until years later; my sf magazine experience began with F&SF in the late fifties.
But over the years I've accumulated all the early GALAXIES, and a few copies of the 1940s ASTOUNDINGS, and a few UNKNOWNS and WEIRD TALES. I really enjoy looking at their ToCs and seeing names that I learned to revere in their later periods...
 

Bick

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Yes, I'm hoping some great stuff comes out of the woodwork. I think it could come to be a mild obsession of mine to collect issues that are historically important. My first post here really is the kind of material I want to get more of myself, the other items I like, but are not of great historical value of course. That said, I'd be very interested to see anything folk have to share here, that are valuable to them for whatever reason. Hopefully most of what gets posted here will be no more recent than late '50's.

I'd love to see scans of photos of those old magazines, Extollager. Do please post!

I'm umming and ahhing whether to spend a fair bit on a particular pulp: Wonder Stories, December 1931, edited by Hugo Gernsback. I wonder who is the first to correctly can guess why? I can see a copy on ebay, but with shipping to NZ, its quite a bit of money...
 

Extollager

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#8
Off-topic, so please delete, moderator, if need be, but, speaking of old magazines, I wish I had the Dec. 1967 issue of the women's magazine Redbook that printed Tolkien's Smith of Wootton Major!


1548729026721.png

1548729077531.png
 

Extollager

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#12
These three issues of F&SF contain the reviews of the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings (April 1955, August 1955, July 1956). The back cover has come off my 1956 issue, so I placed it there, enabling you to see some of the celebrities who endorsed the magazine.

f&sf jrrt.JPG
 

Bick

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Thanks for posting those, Extollager.

The January 1934 Astounding is interesting. They give the cover illustration to the story you showed us the first page to by Donald Waldrei, but the issue also also contains an early Jack Williamson, I see. The Williamson may be pretty good? Donald Waldrei co-founded Arkham Press with August Derleth by the way. (I just read that, I'm not a walking encyclopedia).

Your other Astounding is July 1935, as I'm sure you know. This has an Edmund Hamilton, and a letter to the editor by one Lester del Rey, who would have been 20 then, and didn't have any fiction published until 1938, so that's kind cool!

The F&SF issues presumably give positive reviews of LOTR?!
 

Bick

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#15
We have special bookshelves at home that hold every issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction from the first one to the last issue of the 20th century, which seemed like a good place to stop.
That's so cool, and rather outdoes my very small collection :)
If I were to ask which are your most treasured or valuable (to you) from all those, which would it be? And would that be based on content, historical context, or rarity?
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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#16
Well, despite how it might seem, we are more readers than collectors. (Yes, I have read every one of the issues.) So, it wouldn't really be rarity. The content is the most important, and, to some extent, the history of the publication.

It's nice to have the very first one (Fall 1949); note that the title was quickly changed:



The cover is on thicker, slick paper than other issues, so, ironically, our copy is in much better shape than most newer issues.

I could pick many highlights, but here are a couple.

Roger Zelazny's breakthrough story, which promoted him from "promising newcomer" to "master":



(The only cover art for the magazine done by Hannes Bok)

The first appearance of the novel better known as Starship Troopers:

 

2DaveWixon

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#17
I'm umming and ahhing whether to spend a fair bit on a particular pulp: Wonder Stories, December 1931, edited by Hugo Gernsback. I wonder who is the first to correctly can guess why? I can see a copy on ebay, but with shipping to NZ, its quite a bit of money...
"World of the Red Sun."
(I'm in a special position to know that, as you well know...)
 

2DaveWixon

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#20
(So untechnical, I somehow could not prevent that message from loading twice...)

(Seriously: I've been having major computer issues for months now...I'm getting pretty frazzled about it -- at any rate, please forgive me when goofs like this show up...)
 
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