My previous post was, in part, inspired by the fact that last night I pulled off two of the oldest issues of ASTOUNDING in my collection and skimmed through them. The oldest issue in my collection is the August 1945 ASTOUNDING, which contains Isaac Asimov’s “Paradoxical Escape”, on of the positronic robot stories. Also in this issue is the first part of A. E. Van Vogt’s, “World of A”.

I also have the June 1948 ASTOUNDING with Isaac Asimov’s “No Connection”. The letter column of this issue is fascinating for the May 1948 issue contained Asimov’s first “Thiotimoline” parody and people took it seriously.

Finally, I have the May 1950 issue of ASTOUNDING which is famous, if for no other reason than it contains L. Ron. Hubbard’s original “Dianetics” essay; and it marks the beginning of the end of the magazines dominance.

It was so much fun to skim through these magazines (though I have to be careful because they are considerably older than I am). It reminded me that the Golden Age of science fiction was the best there was, but it also makes me wonder: can we have a second Golden Age? I think we can. We certainly have writers capable enough of producing the quality. What we need are more readers for the magazines! Which means we need to write better stories. Now there’s a goal I can sink my teeth into.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.