I became an avid science fiction fan in February 1954 (about four and a half years ago). At the time, science fiction digests were multiplying, and business seemed to be booming.
Even then, however, there was doom-saying about how the genre had already begun to die. Apparently, from an explosion that started in 1949 with the start of Fantasy & Science Fiction, quickly followed by the publication of Galaxy Science Fiction (which I have been reading since 1950), the number of books published began to drop off after a peak in 1953.
It is true that Beyond is long gone, and Venture recently disappeared. I lament the loss of the former–not so much the latter, after the publication of a particularly misogynistic story.
But that still leaves Astounding, F&SF, Galaxy, Amazing and IF to read, and their quality has remained decent-to-good.
In these past years, I have seen the genre evolve. I have read good stories and bad stories. I’ve seen the focus go from our solar system to the stars. I have occasionally seen the work of female writers, and I have occasionally seen the appearance of female/non-white characters.
Rarely. But occasionally.
So I decided it was high time I shared my observations with the public. From now on, I will be writing short pieces on recent science fiction/fantasy I have read, and perhaps others can use this information somehow.
Join me on my journey through (the) Galaxy (and F&SF and Astounding, etc.) I can always use the company!
(Imagine living through the post-Golden Age of science fiction and fantasy. What would it be like to experience this journey at the plodding, one day per day pace?
Galactic Journeys is a blog written from the point of view of someone living in the past writing about then-contemporary science fiction and fantasy, particularly fiction found in magazines.
Has the writer lost his mind? Or is he lost in time? Perhaps the former, by accident, and perhaps the latter, deliberately. In truth, he lives in the same time as you. In 2009, he embarked on a chronological tour of his voluminous science fiction digest collection at a pace mirroring the march of time, but delayed 55 years. Thus, in February 2009, he began reading the April 1954 editions of the magazines he had in his collection.
After four and a half years at this entertaining project, it dawned upon him that he might enjoy sharing the experience with others. If you like it, do let him know!)