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October/November 1999
 
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Editorial - October/November 1999
by Gordon Van Gelder

"In this new periodical, The Magazine of Fantasy, I hope to satisfy every aspect of that demand for the finest available material in stories of the supernatural. I hasten to point out that by "supernatural" I mean all of the world of fantasy, from the thrilling to the chilling, from the comic to the cosmic---whatever our senses may reject, but our imagination logically accept."

Thus did Mystery House publisher Lawrence E. Spivak launch this magazine half a century ago, and since then, the most significant change came with issue #2, when the words "Science Fiction" were added to the title to make the "cosmic" scope of the magazine more explicit. We've changed from a quarterly quarterly schedule to monthly to our current eleven-times-a-year plan, and the size of issues has fluctuated a bit, but basically, we've stuck to our original game plan: every month we bring you the finest non-realistic fiction we can set into type. (And would you believe our cover price has only increased ten-fold in all this time? Compare that with the price of paperbacks.)

We wanted to provide dazzling statistics regarding our 578 issues, but unfortunately the ol' Mercury House electric abacus blew out when we tried computing the number of letters we received in response to our film columns alone, so our best calculation for how much great material we've published is: a lot. Just listing all our contributors would take up most of an issue, so allow please the brevity of our acknowledgment to reflect the depth of our gratitude: thank you.

Nearly twenty-five years ago, James Gunn wrote that "A genre called science fiction will continue to exist, I believe, although the magazines in which it is published may not survive. . . . The unity of science fiction . . . will begin to disintegrate without the magazines as a focus." Styles have changed, players come and gone, but things haven't fallen apart, the center has held, and we hope to keep you turning and turning pages through the coming century. Stick around for the fun.

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