Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 40: October 1942

variety of writing commitments have been keeping me very busy these last two weeks and so I’ll keep this introduction brief. Here we are, 40 episodes into my Vacation in the Golden Age and “new” writers continue to make their debut in the pages of Astounding. George O. Smith is the new guy this month. And […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 39: September 1942

Take a short break and so much happens that it is almost impossible to keep up. Seventy-two years ago this summer, the 1st World Science Fiction Convention took place at a hall in Manhattan. At that convention were the giants of the time, most, if not all of whom have appeared in this Vacation. As […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 38: August 1942

These last few weeks have been rather busy for me. I’m in the midst of reading several books for the book review column I’ll be writing for InterGalactic Medicine Show in June and July. I’ve also been busy researching in preparation for the interviews of various writers I’ll be doing over the Nebula weekend. And I’ve […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 37: July 1942

I took advantage of the extra two weeks to do my annual April re-read of Isaac Asimov’s massive autobiography. I have now done this 15 times, reading first the retrospective volume, I, Asimov, published posthumously in 1994, and then jumping back to In Memory Yet Green and In Joy Still Felt. Despite having the books virtually […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 36: June 1942

When I started this Vacation back in January 2011, I was 38 years old. I celebrated my fortieth birthday while reading the June 1942 issue in preparation for this episode. By my calculations, I’ll be a month shy of 44 years old when this Vacation finally comes to an end on Leap Day 2016. It’s […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 35: May 1942

Sitting down to read this issue–and most especially, Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” story–was some of the most fun I’ve had in quite a while. This is the Golden Age at its best and it is sometimes difficult to remember that the United States was at war when these stories were being written. But in picking up […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 34: April 1942

The beginning of the month is always a fun time. These days, a number of the science fiction magazines to which I subscribe send out their electronic version on the first of the month. (Interestingly, I still receive Analog and Asimov’s two-to-three months ahead of their cover date. Thus, I already have the May Analog and April Asimov’s.) […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 33: March 1942

When I finish my lunch every other Monday and carefully take the “new” issue of Astounding out of it’s wrappings and gaze at the cover, I often wonder if the folks reading the magazine in its day got the same kind of thrill. Did they return from the newsstand and find some quiet corner in […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 32: February 1942

War finally makes its way into the pages of Astounding, beginning with issue. As you will see in Campbell’s In Times to Come department at the end of this Episode, the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States declaration of war affected all aspects of life in this country–including science fiction. War brings uncertainty […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 31: January 1942

With Episode 31 we enter the 4th “vacation-year” of this Vacation, 1942. And with the new year comes the new, larger-sized Astounding that Campbell spoke of in the last issue. I was skeptical of the larger size, but I have to admit, it grew on me in minutes. Something abou the larger format just feels more […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 30: December 1941

December 7, 1941, the day that would live in infamy. The December 1941 issue would have hit the news stands on about November 19, 1941, 18 days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Plenty of time for most fans to have swallowed the magazine whole, before casting it aside to follow the constant stream of […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 29: November 1941

Forgive me, it’s been four weeks since my last Vacation episode. Early in my reading for this episode, I caught a cold that was followed by the first ear infection that I can recall since childhood. It made it impossible to do any reading or writing and so I really had no choice but to […]