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How Astounding Saw the Future (nytimes.com)
40 points by ghaff 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments



If you're looking for "Giant Killer", it's here: https://archive.org/stream/AsimovEdTheGreatSFStories021940/A...


Somewhat related. I find it frustrating that in this day and age, if I come across a list of "best short stories" or something along those lines, I can't just buy them online for $1 each or something like that. I pretty much have no choice but to buy a whole book--which possibly isn't available digitally--for a single story. Or I have to go searching around often dodgy sites to download a PDF.


There's often archive.org. The IA has so many books available to read, even ones that they shouldn't, that I make a point of checking them when I'm looking for something (and that's one of my better search tips: https://www.gwern.net/Search ).

In this case, it appears to be part of a whole anthology of Isaac Asimov-branded stories which goes decade by decade - the first anthology collects stories from the 1800s like Hoffer's "The Sandman"! (Which puzzled me for a while, as I couldn't find "Giant Killer" anywhere in the volume and it seemed wildly out of place among Poe and Hoffer, until I realized the IA had the entire set of anthologies and Google was pointing me at some combined OCR or something.)

If you'd like to read a lot of classic SF stories, this is probably a good starting point: Isaac Asimov had decent taste as an editor and it pulls together hundreds of shorts in a single convenient place.


But no mention of how 'Astounding Science Fiction' transitioned to 'Analog Science Fact/Fiction'? Same magazine, same content, same impact... Meh!

It was a gradual morphing of the titles, spread over several issues. Campbell preserved the 'symbols', which appeared on the top corner; these were intended to symbolize some abstract concept, such as 'analogy'. (Such a symbol is visible in the final picture: the radiating pattern on the top left. Nope, I don't know what it means, and I don't have that issue to hand. But it's not part of Freas' painting.)

It was all part of Campbell's mission to get readers to think, and speculate.

Last point, not mentioned anywhere in the article: Campbell's ASF dispensed with the old sexist covers of damsels in distress, and instead focused on science, engineering, and symbolism. He insisted that covers be as accurate as current scientific knowledge allowed.




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