F&SF's One Mistake
Not including repeating series names, such as Reginald Bretnor's 70 "Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot" series of vignette's, F&SF's editors only made one mistake in 50 years by having two fiction pieces with the same name. All other fiction pieces had unique titles. The two stories with the same name were: short story "Business As Usual" by
Bill Johnson, September 1986 issue; and short story "Business As Usual" by Ron Goulart, July 1987 issue. There was also the slightly different, but still different, vignette "The Business As Usual by Mack Reynolds, June 1952 issue.
1sts in F&SF. There were 160 1sts in F&SF, either authors or artists having their 1st published story or artwork in F&SF, or having them reprinted in F&SF. The list of famous authors or artists is so long, that Gordon Van Gelder wrote in his editorial to F&SF's 50th Anniversary Issue, that "the ol' Mercury House electric abacus blew out" trying "to provide dazzling statistics
regarding our 578 issues." But the very first 1st in F&SF, in the 1st issue, Fall 1949, was the short story "In the Days of Our Father" by Winona McClintic. It was her 1st published story. McClintic had 15 poems and 6 short stories published in F&SF between the Fall 1949 and the August 1961 issues. Thirteen of her pieces were reprinted in The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction
anthology series. She had only one other piece of sf/f fiction published outside of F&SF, the short story "The Makers" in Fantastic Universe's February 1958 issue. Other than knowing that she had some poems published in The Atlantic Monthly, little else is known about her.
The founding editors of F&SF, Anthony Boucher & J. Francis McComas, had a policy between themselves to publish as many 1st time authors of quality fiction as possible. The following chart shows how well they accomplished their goal, as well as showing how the following editors have done. It must be remembered that some 1st works may have been bought by one editor, but were published by another editor.
||No. of Issues
||No. of 1sts
|Boucher & McComas
|Robert P. Mills
|Joseph W. Ferman
|Edward L. Ferman
|Kristine Kathryn Rusch
|Gordon Van Gelder
* Kristine Kathryn Rusch even had one issue of F&SF, June 1996, announced as the "New Writer Issue," in which 7 of its stories, all the fiction pieces, were either 1st sales or 1st published stories.
Series & Sequels
Series began in the very first issue of F&SF, with Theodore Sturgeon's story "The Hurkle Is a Happy Beast." It belonged to a series started by the editors, Anthony Boucher & J. Francis McComas, which they called the 'Bureau of Imaginary Zoology.' It introduced the
hurkle, gnurrs, golen, quiggie, vimp, pid & illobar, and the vegy to F&SF readers, between the Fall 1949 and February 1958 issues, by Sturgeon and six other well-known authors. F&SF created 6 other series, usually as a response to letters from the readers to a particular article or story. One was
a writers' contest. But F&SF didn't need to create series, for there were plenty around waiting to be published.
In all, in F&SF's first 50 years, there were 260 separate series, by 236 authors and 3 artists. Two were cover art series: 11 covers by David Hardy in his Bhen the Green Alien series; & 15 covers by Mel Hunter in his Last Man (a robot) series. In addition, there was Barclay Shaw's cover for
the April 1997 issue, which inspired an editorial introduction and three stories, one each in the genres of horror, fantasy, and science fiction.
Three series were of cartoons: 18 cartoons in Sidney Harris' Doctor Quark series; 23 cartoons in Bill Long's Speculations series; & 2 cartoons in Marc Laidlaw's Thinking Man's series. There were also 14 poems in 6 separate series by 6 different authors.
The author with the most stories in a series was Reginald Bretnor, writing as Grendel Briarton, in his Ferdinand Feghoot series of vignettes. There were 65 of these vignettes between the May 1956 and January 1964 issues. This series was so popular, that it came back in F&SF's
Competition #5, in the April 1973 issue (Bretnor wrote a 66th vignette for this Competition), with the results published in August 1973. Because of copyright laws, all submitted 'Feghoots' (there were 4 of them published) were listed as by Bretnor. Another 'Feghoot' appeard in the
January 2003 issue, this one by John Varley.
The following chart lists the authors with the most stories and series published in F&SF:
||No. of Series
||No. of Stories
|L. Sprague de Camp
|Manly Wade Wellman
|George Alec Effinger
In addition, there was one author who had 5 series, Gregory Benford, six authors with 4 series, five authors with 3 series, and 28 authors with 2 series.
There were many long-lasting series in F&SF, and the following chart lists the ones that were published in F&SF for over a 13-year period (I include two non-fiction columns, the rest is fiction):
||Series, No. in Series
||science essays, 399
||1958 NOV - 1992 FEB
||The People, 16
||1952 OCT - 1980 OCT
||1971 AUG - 1998 DEC
||Max Kearny, 10
||1961 FEB - 1983 DEC
||Chameleon Corps, 10
||1964 SEP - 1986 MAY
||Time Patrol, 6
||1955 MAY - 1975 OCT
||1981 APR - 1999 JUL
||Jose Silvera, 9
||1966 JUL - 1982 JUN
||Films & TV, 163
||1970 SEP - 1984 JUL
* A 400th science essay was completed by his wife, Janet Asimov, and published in the December 1994 issue.
** These series are still ongoing.
F&SF's first announced special issue was the February 1952 issue, which highlighted two stories in a 'Worlds of IF: Early Alternate Histories' section. More than a dozen special issues were published in the 1950s. Of note was the August 1955 issue, which published three stories: one by Poul Anderson, one by Gordon R. Dickson, and one a collaboration by
Anderson and Dickson; this way the readers can see their talents alone and in collaboration. Another was the October 1958 issue, which was the first announced anniversary issue, the 9th Anniversary Issue.
In the 1960s F&SF began to publish special issues devoted to a particular author: September 1962 (Theodore Sturgeon), May 1963 (Ray Bradbury), October 1966 (Isaac Asimov), etc. There were 13 special issue through December 1990 devoted to a noted writer. The anniversary issues also began to have something extra: October 1969, 20th Anniversary Issue, had two cover arts,
one by Ron Walotsky on the front cover, another by Chesley Bonestell on the inside front cover; October 1979, 30th Anniversary Issue, had 32 F&SF fiction reprints, from throughout its first 30 years; October/November 1999, 50th Anniversary Issue, was the same size as the 30th Anniversary Issue (324 pages), but was of entirely new fiction.
The 1990s only had 4 special issues: December 1990, Special Stephen King Issue; June 1996, New Writers Issue; July 1998, F&SF Goes to the Movies; & October/November 1999, the 50th Anniversary Issue. It appears that F&SF has been going away from special issues in the last decade; indeed, in a note in the October/November Issue, publisher Edward L. Ferman writes, "we will
publish fewer, bigger issues." However, since the completion of this bibliography, there have been several more special issues---2 in 2001 (a Special Lucius Shepard Issue in March, and a Special Kate Wilhelm Issue in September) and 1 in 2003 (a Special Barry N. Malzberg issue in June). Perhaps the trend against special issues in the 1990s will reverse itself in the 21st Century.