Early this week, I received in the mail a copy of Alva Rogers’ book, A Requiem for Astounding. It was generously sent to my by Mark McSherry, who has commented frequently on my Vacation posts. This book is probably the most famous history of Astounding Science Fiction, from its start in 1930 through 1960 when Campbell changed the name of the magazine to Analog.
The book has been taunting me all week. I’ve been tempted to just pick it up and read it cover-to-cover, but I don’t want the spoilers. Part of the joy in this Vacation on which I’ve embarked is to read and discover these issues, authors and stories the way fans experienced them back when the first appeared. Having said that, the book will be an invaluable tool, providing some of the inside story for the issues as I go through them. To that end, I plan on using the book to augment my write-ups. I’ll write them up as usual, and only after the write-ups are done will I go to the book to find what nuggets lie there, compare what Rogers wrote to my own thoughts and explore how we agree and differ. These should find there way into the final write-ups each week.
It was exceedingly generous for Mark to send along the extra copy he had, and it is certainly to the benefit of this Vacation.
Thank you, Mark!