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DONE. Every issue of F&SF read

(22 posts)

  1. GusG

    I discovered the January 2007 issue of F&SF at our local Barnes and Noble when I was not yet 37. I decided I wanted to find and read every issue of F&SF before I turned fifty. As of this afternoon I am DONE! It took twelve and a half years, but I finished more than 8 months before my self-imposed deadline. It was a wonderful experience, one I would recommend to anyone who loves to follow the evolutions of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

    Let me know if any of you have read the full run, or which eras you have read.

    I will be catching up on novels for awhile now, before I decide to tackle Asimov's...or Startling Stories...or Femme Fatales :)

    Posted 11 months ago #
  2. digdug

    Wow, Gus.... That's awesome!

    I own a copy of every issue of F and SF and I've read issues from every era. But I also own every issue of most of the major titles.... Can't read them all.

    I have a stack of new magazines that I plan on reading before I get to any back issues.

    Congrats on achieving your goal. :)

    Posted 11 months ago #
  3. Steve R.


    Posted 11 months ago #
  4. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    Congratulations! I've been working at it a little longer than you, though probably with not nearly as much determination, and I'm nowhere close to being done. There are a couple readers on twitter who are also working their way through all the issues of F&SF.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  5. Dr. Caligari


    Posted 11 months ago #
  6. CarlGlover

    Well done, indeed! Wish I had that kind of stamina.

    Everyone is aware of all the great and famous stories, but can you recommend any hidden gems, guilty pleasures flying under the radar? I have the complete run of issues through 1961 on dvd and would much appreciate any tips from those years.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  7. GusG

    Thank you all for the congratulations. It is nice to be in a place where my efforts are appreciated :)

    Charles, thank you for your kind words and your post on twitter. I hope the other through-readers show up in here so we can discuss hardcore reading strategies. I literally had dreams some nights that I was still awake and reading. Like, just moving my eyes across a page of text I couldn't see. It would have been nice to dream about the stories and see them come to life, but, no, just blurry text.

    One issue a week was a good plan for me. I went much faster at first and much slower in the middle years, but one per week was how I finally got it done for the last several years.

    Carl, I did not read them strictly in order, but it has been some time since I read those early issues. The sense of wonder from that era is so refreshing. I might do a TOC search at some point and try to recall the ones that stood out.

    The author that stuck with me the most was James Tiptree Jr. Her stories set on the Yucatan peninsula and especially "The Color of Neanderthal Eyes" are unforgettable. Seek those out if your collection stretches into the 1980s.

    My favorite recurring characters (I could never pick one over the other) are Kedrigern and Alaric (more Alaric please!).

    The only recurring character I did not like was Papa Schimmelhorn. Gross and not funny.

    By the way...I enjoyed every era of the magazine, regardless of how one might divide or define them. Also, it has never been better than it is now. SO looking forward to that 70th anniversary issue.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  8. dolphintornsea

    Well done! I'm speechless with admiration. Now we need to see a list of your 50 favorite stories!

    Posted 11 months ago #
  9. GusG

    I wish I had ranked them as I went, but I did not want the trouble...I just love to read and not be troubled by details or bookkeeping. If I sat down and look through each TOC I would probably find hundreds more. Here is my lazy list off the top of my head:

    Anything by:

    Leigh Brackett (few contributions to F&SF but I am a big fan of hers from reading Startling Stories too)
    James Tiptree Jr.
    John Morrissey
    Ian Watson
    Zenna Henderson
    Stephen King
    Fritz Leiber
    R. Garcia y Robertson
    Naomi Kritzer (more Beck please:))
    Matthew Hughes
    Glen Cook
    Kate Wilhelm
    Who wrote the General Ffellowes stories? Him too.

    A hundred more names belong here.

    Besides the obvious (A Rose for Ecclesiastes, Flowers for Algernon, A Canticle for Leibwitz, etc.), here are some that stood out to me. A thousand apologies to the ones that belong here but have slipped my mind:

    J.T. McIntosh "One in a Thousand"
    Carolyn Ives Gilman "The Wild Ships of Fairny" and "Arkfall"
    David Moles "Finisterra"
    Jack Cady "The Night They Buried Road Dog"
    Thomas Disch "The Brave Little Toaster"
    Something from the early seventies about a couple vacationing on a Greek Island. Loved it so much I forgot the title and author. Help?

    If I had to choose an overall favorite...James Tiptree Jr. "The Color of Neanderthal Eyes"

    SO many more. It is exhausting to search and try to remember.

    And of course the science articles by Isaac Asmimov (and his worthy successors) were always a treat.

    Feel free to throw story names back at me and I will be like "Oh YEAH! Of COURSE I loved that one!"

    Posted 11 months ago #
  10. JohnWThiel

    Seems like you could get some kind of job as F&SF historian. I'd want to meet and talk with you if you lived nearby. And Digdug's come up with a claim too.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  11. JohnWThiel

    er, Gus, I went downstairs for shumpin to eat and while I thought over your posting it occurred to me that there are a lot of questions I want to ask about F&SF which you should be able to answer. I assume you remember what you've read fairly well, and also I suppose that you've kept the issues you read. I'd like to know this:
    1) What issue did Zenna Henderson's first story of The People appear in?
    2) When did Avram Davidson publish his first story in the magazine?
    3) In what story did the line "Aboyez never wept o'er Dasht, Athous and Krim?" appear? I think it was by Poul Anderson.
    4)When did Kim Stanley Robinson first appear in F&SF?
    5) What issue contained the first Ferdinand Feghoot short?
    6) In what issue did Robert Bloch's article describing science fiction fandom appear, and what was the name of the article?
    7) When was Carol Emshwiller's introductory story published?
    8) In what issue did Ray Bradbury's "Icarus Montgolfier Wright" appear?
    9) What was the date when F&SF announced the publication of their companion magazine VENTURE?
    10) When was the magazine transferred over from Mercury Press?

    I've been wanting these questions answered for quite some time.
    (These questions are mostly about 1950s issues.)

    Posted 11 months ago #
  12. GusG

    John, I am flattered that you think my memory is good enough to recall all of that. I would refer you to the Lovell Bibliography. That is how I would find most of those answers myself, even after having read all of them. Some of those questions would require a page by page search of the early issues, at least for those of us without perfect recall.

    I assume this is some kind of test? I decline. You can believe me or not.

    Back to Femme Fatales. You all thought I was kidding.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  13. dolphintornsea

    John, I can answer a few of your questions, but not all. I am working on an index of F&SF, but I have only reached 1957. I may never finish it, because I do an issue or two only occasionally. It includes fiction only. The ones which I can answer easily are:

    Zenna Henderson’s first The People story was “Ararat” (October 1952).

    Avram Davidson’s first story was “My Boy Friend’s Name Was Jello” (July 1954)

    Kim Stanley Robinson’s first story in F&SF was “To Leave a Mark” (November 1982)

    The first Ferdinand Feghoot story was “Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot”, by Reginald Bretnor (May 1956)

    Carol Emshwiller’s first story in F&SF was “The Coming” (May 1957)

    Ray Bradbury’s “Icarus Montgolfier Wright” appeared in May 1956.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  14. digdug

    Brigadier Ffellowes stories were by Sterling E. Lanier.

    Robert Bloch's fan article appeared in September 1956.
    It was called 'Some of My Best Fans Are Friends'.

    According to ISFDB. The last issue under Mercury Press was Jan 2001.
    The first issue under Spilogale was Feb 2001.

    The first issue of Venture was Jan 1957. Not sure when it was first announced.


    Posted 11 months ago #
  15. CarlGlover

    My all-time favorite F&SF story? (No, I haven't read them all.)

    Anyone asking?

    Well, even if you aren't. . .

    Zelazny's "A Rose for Ecclesiastes," by a narrow margin over Miller's "A Canticle for Leibowitz" and Smith's "Alpha Ralpha Boulevard."

    They knocked me out during my Golden Age.

    As with all sf, it depends on what age you were when you read it.

    Today, who knows?

    Posted 11 months ago #
  16. CarlGlover

    I think John is probably tweaking our vanity with his series of obscure questions and is secretly amused by attempts to answer them. I had clinical supervisor in graduate school who did the same thing. It was a game I quickly grew tired of.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  17. GusG

    Digdug, thank you for the clarification on Sterling Lanier.

    Carl, I will have to re-read Alpha Ralpha Boulevard. The Wikipedia article stirred my memory a bit, but that story obviously deserves a second look. Thank you for sharing your favorites.

    I do think that your age, setting, state of mind, etc. play a huge part in how much you enjoy and remember a story. I would love to say that I read each story in a joyful and eager state of mind while the rest of my troubles were resolved. Not so. I am certain that some excellent stories slid past me while I was uncomfortable, exhausted, or fuming over some ridiculous concern that is of no consequence now (and probably was not then either). one wanders around with those questions. I don't play those games.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  18. GusG

    Thomas (via Twitter) I hope you see this. Your Wayne and Garth "We're not worthy" gif totally made me laugh out loud and brightened my outlook for the day and week and beyond. Thank you!!

    Posted 11 months ago #
  19. JohnWThiel

    No, I have been wanting to know the answers to those questions, and I'm thanking those who answered them.

    Missing only the Dasht, Athous and Krim story.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  20. alnico357

    Possibly my all time favorite story is The Growlimb by Michael Shea, Jan 2004.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  21. JohnWThiel

    That is the best sf story you have read in F&SF?

    Posted 10 months ago #
  22. GusG

    Thank you for sharing that alnico. I will take another look at that one too.

    Posted 10 months ago #

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