Reading Around in Old SF Magazines

Don

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
257
You're still using usenet, Don? My ISP cut off usenet support about a decade ago. I still toy with the idea of paying for access but never seem to make the leap.
Search engines mostly waste my time these days. Although online communities respond slower, their signal-to-noise ratio is infinitely higher. In addition to forums, maillists, and even usenet work better for me. Usenet Newsgroups Made Easy - Free Usenet Trial! | Easynews.com is my usenet provider.
 

BigBadBob141

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
946
Where have all the magazines gone,
Long time passing!!!

When I first started to collect them say 20 or 25 years ago the booksellers catalogues were full of them, now days they seem to be as rare as hens teeth, it must be because some people have such large collections they've just gobbled them all up, a bit like me I suppose, ooooops!!!

P.S. This reminds me of a story told to me by one of my booksellers, this chap had died and the bookseller had gone to look at his collection, the widow and mother-in-law showed him around, the man had a great book collection which the seller happily bought, but he asked the widow, where is his magazine collection was, I know he had a large one, early Amazings, early Astoundings, early Weird Tales plus lots of other stuff, oh those, she said smugly quite pleased at her cleverness, we stacked them in the garden and burnt them all, after all they were only magazines and therefore quite worthless, unlike the books!!!!!
 

Bick

A Member of the Forum
Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
2,969
Location
Auckland, NZ
This thread isn't really for discussion of usenet - can we please stick to short story discussions from old magazines? Perhaps completely off-topic discussion could take place by pm.
Thanks.
 

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
7,513
Talk about old sf magazines. Oh man. Oh man.

 

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
7,513
P.S. This reminds me of a story told to me by one of my booksellers, this chap had died and the bookseller had gone to look at his collection, the widow and mother-in-law showed him around, the man had a great book collection which the seller happily bought, but he asked the widow, where is his magazine collection was, I know he had a large one, early Amazings, early Astoundings, early Weird Tales plus lots of other stuff, oh those, she said smugly quite pleased at her cleverness, we stacked them in the garden and burnt them all, after all they were only magazines and therefore quite worthless, unlike the books!!!!!
What a story. (cringe)
 

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
2,455
94C48881-6F23-43A1-81BF-55F338971F33.jpeg
93B01048-7B69-4CD2-A839-266C6EA0DB67.jpeg
I think this is a really interesting idea, and a good opportunity to disinter some old magazines I unearthed in dusty second hand book shops as a teenager in the early 1980s.
Starting with some of the more obscure titles.

Gamma only had a few issues between 1963-4. Looking at the stamps on the front this was an import from the US, initially retailing at 1 shilling and sixpence, later marked down to 6d. From the pencil on the p1 it looks like I got it for 12p.

lchose the last story by Patricia Highsmith, who was a very successful writer of psychological thrillers, notably The Talented Mr Ripley. I was not aware that she wrote f or sf. The Snail Watcher is an effective little piece about a stockbrocker who becomes obsessed with garden snails, their mating, and breeding, and gradually lets them take over his study, simultaneously becoming very successful in his job. It all ends horribly, of course. More mild horror than anything else. The sort of story found in an Alberto Manguel anthology.
 

Bick

A Member of the Forum
Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
2,969
Location
Auckland, NZ
Sounds interesting hitmouse - Highsmith is an excellent writer, so I expect I’d have chosen the same story from that issue. However, the presence of a Bernard Malamud story is also very intriguing!
 

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
2,455
Gamma had some literary aspirations. The Malamud is a ss reprinted from one of his collections The Magic Barrel.
 

Bick

A Member of the Forum
Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
2,969
Location
Auckland, NZ
Whereas the Highsmith was an original I note - it was subsequently collected in about a dozen anthologies and collections.
 

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
2,455
The Original Science Fiction Stories May 1960.
The cover pic screams salacious low-rent fun.
757D284F-1395-45FC-BBA6-2B1534D6F0E6.jpeg
DD6E8B8C-01F5-44CF-A4A5-0863A499317A.jpeg


I chose This Year and No Other by David Grinnell. I think this is probably Donald A Wollheim writing under a pseudonym.

Neat little time travel crime story told from the pov of a modern day court. 4 men find a way to open a gateway to travel 200, 000 years back in time for a few days from a remote midwest location. Whilst there they find a seam of pure Uranium oxide, which they dig enough to fill their jeep to get rich when they go home. One of the group decdes to take the lot, kills one of the men and heads home marooning 2 others in the past. Back in the present day a sarcophagus containing bodies of 2 of the stranded men is foundwhen the town park is excavated during a public uranium hunt (!). This contains the story of the crime written on tin sheets. Perpetrator caught 200k years after the event.
 

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
2,455
There was a 2nd hand bookshop in Southampton when I was a kid which had a shelf of old SF magazines. I used to get 4 or 5 for a pound. I dont think there was anything systematic about my choices beyond: was it a different title, did it have a good picture on the front? My collection from those days is consequently a bit random.
 

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
2,455
C4543D76-2E06-4F61-9D63-97CC15395B4E.jpeg
5958E433-3AD5-48A1-AB03-AA220FF731C8.jpeg


Vertex, June 1973. Slick magazine format, good production values.
Crash Cameron and the Slime Beast by Steven Utley is a parody of the craggy-jawed spaceman rescuing his voluptuous bikini-clad lady from the slimy clutches of a BEM, showing masculine resolve, no fear etc. Basically, he disintegrates the BEM as it is about to envelope Her. She yells at him: “ You ruined it! Jerk! And just for the first time in my whole life I was beginning to feel like a woman! The slime beast and I ran away together, stupid!”

Mildly amusing for historical value mainly. Has not aged very well.
 
Last edited:

Bick

A Member of the Forum
Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
2,969
Location
Auckland, NZ
I dug out a semi-obscure British magazine from my small collection yesterday: Nebula Science Fiction, from November 1955.

nebula.png


I selected Pushover Planet by James White. White is most famous for his excellent novel All Judgement Fled, of course. Pushover Planet is a rather hokey story of alien attack on Earth. The aliens are actually tentacular blob-like creatures! This story has not been reprinted anywhere else, but that's no great loss to the world. It's actually very readable and engaging, but ends a little weakly, and it tries to be both tongue-in-cheek and semi-serious and isn't quite either. Still, it was diverting and kinda fun - showing its age I guess.

I shall give 1979 Analogs a run through soon, perhaps, as I have every issue from that year and it will be good to undertake the same exercise I followed for 1976.
 
Top