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July 1939


July 1939 - September 1960
     September 1960

Different readers look for different things in Science Fiction. Some want escapist adventure, others want social comment or satire - and there are plenty of excellent outlets for these forms of the genre. But if you're looking for a LITERATURE OF IDEAS, there's only one place to start -- John W Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction magazine. Throughout the 1940s and 50s this was the home to SF's leading "ideas men", including such greats as A E Van Vogt, Eric Frank Russell and Henry Kuttner, and others less well known such as Raymond F Jones, H Beam Piper, Randall Garrett and Mark Clifton. It also saw some of the earliest publications by such household names as L Ron Hubbard, Isaac Asimov and Robert A Heinlein.

Campbell took over the editorship of Astounding in October 1937, but it's generally acknowledged that his definitive style only became fully established with the July 1939 issue (containing the first stories to appear in the magazine by both Van Vogt and Asimov). Astounding continued at full pace until 1960, when Campbell changed the magazine's name to Analog. There was a handover period during which both logos appeared - the final issue to bear the name Astounding (very faintly behind the Analog logo) was dated September 1960.

My original purpose in setting up this site was to provide a comprehensive listing of all the science fiction stories (and factual articles) appearing in Astounding during the period July 1939 to September 1960. Many of these stories are still widely available on the second-hand market (or in some happy cases, still in print), in anthologies and collections and the book versions of serials, as well as the original magazines and (if you live in the UK) their British Reprint versions. But it's still helpful to see how the stories fit together in chronological sequence, and which appeared alongside which on their first publication. It's also awesome to see just what a huge proportion of the great SF of the period first appeared in this magazine.

There is also a small page of links to other sites of interest, and a number of related articles (which I've added to over the years) as follows:

[2003] Astounding quotes -- Fortean quotations from Astounding Science Fiction magazine

[2003] Isaac Asimov's first visit to Britain -- June 1974

[2003] Science Fiction Prophecy -- the November 1949 issue of Astounding

[2003] UNKNOWN magazine and "Sinister Barrier" -- Campbell's "other" magazine

[2004] Astounding Books -- some of the books that have been written about Astounding magazine

[2005] Charles Fort and Astounding -- and other Fortean SF connections (updated 2009)

[2007] Interactive Crossword based on Astounding magazine and pulp fiction in general

[2008] Rocket to the Morgue -- a 1942 murder mystery featuring John W. Campbell and Astounding!

[2009] Unravelling Van Vogt's fix-up novels -- the Astounding stories that went into these strange novels of the 50s and 60s

[2010] British Reprint Editions -- the UK version of Astounding and its relationship to the US original

Copyright © 2003 - 2010 Andrew May Visit

Astounding home List of stories Related articles Links