Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 18: December 1940

I did a cursory roll call as I prepared for this Episode, which concludes the year 1940. The list of authors that have appeared in the first 18 months of this Vacation brings up two curious facts: So far as I can tell (and please correct me if I am wrong) none of the authors […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 17: November 1940

As I go through this Vacation, I’ve noticed something that I think fans of the era might also have noticed: Campbell’s blurbs for the stories often seemed to give away the story. This isn’t always a bad thing: you wonder how the story will work out, but on some occasions, it really seems as if […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 16: October 1940

I write episode 16 on the heels of two science fiction events, one big and one small, but none the less fun. Last weekend, I attended the Nebula Awards Weekend in Washington, D.C. It was my first time attending that particular event and I had a blast. It was also the first time I was […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 15: September 1940

Welcome back to this Vacation in the Golden Age on it’s new biweekly schedule. I want to apologize again for the schedule change but two things prompted it: I was really cramming trying to get an issue read and a write-up done each week. Given my other obligations, there was little time for anything else. […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 14: August 1940

On the plane ride home from L.A. on Saturday I was reading the August issue of Astounding and the woman sitting next to me on the plane said, “I can’t help but notice what a cool cover that is on your magazine.” The cover this month, by Rogers, is for Lester del Rey’s lead novelette, […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 13: July 1940

Happy new year! I started this Vacation with the July 1939 issue and we have now arrived at the July 1940 issue, making this the first issue of my second year in the Golden Age of science fiction. July brings to mind summer, and today is the first summer-like day here in the¬†metropolitan¬†Washington, D.C. area. […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 12: June 1940

Schedules don’t always cooperate. Although I say that these episodes come out on Mondays, I generally get them out on Sunday afternoons or evenings. But this week, my schedule simply didn’t cooperate with me. I put in a significant amount of extra time at the day job as I am in crunch time on a […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 11: May 1940

Sometimes, it seems, that a theme develops within an issue. These days, those tend to be called what they are, “themed issues” of one kind or another. But I haven’t run into this explicitly so far in my little Vacation. However, in the May 1940 issue, two themes seemed to emerge, neither of which is […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 10: April 1940

This week’s episode appeared at 3:15pm Eastern Daylight time. I wrote the episode last night and scheduled it for early release today. I am completely offline today, taking my one opportunity each year to free myself from the bonds of the Internet and give myself 24 hours to not think about it. I’ve done this […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 9: March 1940

There is a satisfying symmetry, reading the March 1940 issue in the month of March. It makes me feel somehow more connected with a fan who, 71 years ago may not have gotten his or her hands on the issue the instant it hit the newsstands, but may have gotten it in time to read […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 8: February 1940

Vacations as wonderful as they can be, often seem trivial when held up against world crises. Here I am romping through the Golden Age while the people of Japan are facing a disaster not seen since 1945–the very middle of the Golden Age that I am exploring. I wanted to take a brief moment, therefore, […]

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 7: January 1940

History can be brittle. The cover of the January 1940 Astounding shown above is my copy and you can see it is rather worn. It is much worse off now than when I started. Of all of the issues I’ve read so far, this one was in the worst condition with the cover flaking in […]