“Time was, when you went to the corner newsstand looking for your favorite science-fiction magazine, you had to poke your way through a few-score girlie sheets, a barrier of Confessions, mechanical, and how-to magazines—and then, if you were lucky, you might just find a battered copy of what you wanted.Â More often than not, it was upside-down and, often enough to make you gnash your teeth, it was last month’s issue, anyway.Â Stares, smiles, and—you suspected—jeers followed you out the store and all the way home, unless you happened to have a convenient newspaper into which you could tuck the magazine.
“Happily, today it’s different.Â Today the two dozen extant science fiction magazines—stf, in the terms of the trade—receive top priority at most newsstands, and the crowd at the corner is eager to discuss them with you.
“The science-fiction pulps and pocket-size magazines have quite suddenly become a respected form of escapist literature.
“Not long ago, you were home twirling the dials of your TV set.Â Westerns.Â Hackneyed murder mysteries.Â Variety shows ad infinitum.Â Quizzes and leering M.C.’s.
“Today, if you belong to the junior set, there’s Space Cadet and Captain Video and Flash Gordon.Â If you’ve outgrown knee-britches,Â there’s Eye Witness and Tales of Tomorrow as well as occasional science fiction on most of the better drama shows.
“That rapidly blossoming medium of entertainment, TV, has mated with that rapidly blossoming field of fiction, stf.”
Â —Milton Lesser, Looking Forward, 1953
The deadline for Competition #76 was five days ago, but our competition editor is traveling so you can still get an entry in if you act fast. Here’s the competition:
Longtime readers of F&SF will remember Mel Hunter’s covers. He’s probably known best for his series of covers about a lonely robot. (You can find links to a bunch of his covers here.)
All those copies have gone out to bloggers, so please don’t email us looking for one of the free issues.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the various bloggers make of the issue.
Over on the Forum, Gordon posted the following note:
We’re going to do a promotional giveaway with this issue. There’s a box of copies of this issue on its way to me and I’d like to give away the copies people who will blog about the issue. So here’s the deal:
1) Go to our "Contact Us" page: http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/contact.htm
2) Tell us where to mail your copy of the issue.
3) Receive the issue and blog about it. Naturally, we prefer if you read the issue before blogging about it, but I’m just insisting that you blog about it. (The first time we tried this promotion, people mistakenly thought they should blog about the magazine before receiving the issue. No. Get the issue first, then blog about it.)
4) Send us a link to your blog.
That’s all there is to it. I’ll post here when we run out of the giveaway copies.
Spread the word!