Saturday, August 26, 2017
Science Fiction Saturday: Pulp SF Magazines!
Well, they don't make 'em like they used to! And that applies double to the amazing era of pulp SF magazines of the '20s, '30s and '40s, when frantically scribbling SF writers turned out a gazillion wildly imaginative stories for magazines like Amazing Stores, Astounding Stories of Super-Science, Science Wonder Stories, Planet Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Tales of Wonder, Fantastic Adventure and many more. The writing was at best serviceable, the science dubious, the plots completely absurd but, man, there was a lot of action and lot of cool ideas to ponder as you stared off into the night sky. You definitely got your money's worth and then some with these magazines.
And oh the covers! Worth the price of admission right there. And thanks to the magic of the internet we can look at hundreds and hundreds of these very cool images for exactly nothing. We do indeed live in the best of times.
For the curious who wish to actually read some of these stories--and they can be great fun when approached in the proper spirit--the internet has you covered there too. This site has entire issues of these great magazines scanned into pdfs or flipbooks. More of the same can be found here.
And if you're interested in the history of pulp SF, check out this two part series by pulp expert, Jess Nevins. Part I is the origin story and Part II is a deep dive into the various magazines, the differences between them and how pulp SF gave way to later SF. Highly recommended.
All for now. I must return to my spaceship to continue my research on you Earthlings. I just hope the Slave Raiders from Mercury don't get me first!