Analog Science Fiction and Fact

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Analog Science Fiction and Fact
The first issue of Astounding Stories, January 1930, cover by Wesso
Editor Trevor Quachri
Categories Science fiction magazine
Frequency Monthly
First issue 1930
Company Penny Publications
Country United States
Language English
ISSN 1059-2113

Analog Science Fiction and Fact is an American science fiction magazine. As of 2015, it is the longest running continuously published magazine of that genre, the June 2015 issue being number 1,000. Initially published in 1930 in the United States as Astounding Stories as a pulp magazine, it has undergone several name changes, primarily to Astounding Science-Fiction in 1938, and Analog Science Fact & Fiction in 1960. In November 1992, its logo changed to use the term "Fiction and Fact" rather than "Fact & Fiction". It is in the library of the International Space Station. Spanning three incarnations since 1930, this is perhaps the most influential magazine in the history of the genre. It remains a fixture of the genre today.

As Astounding Science-Fiction, a new direction for both the magazine and the genre under editor John W. Campbell was established. His editorship influenced the careers of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, and also introduced the Dianetics theories of L. Ron Hubbard in May 1950.[1]

Analog frequently publishes new authors, including then-newcomers such as Orson Scott Card and Joe Haldeman in the 1970s, Barry B. Longyear, Harry Turtledove, Timothy Zahn, Greg Bear, and Joseph H. Delaney in the 1980s, and Paul Levinson, Michael A. Burstein, and Rajnar Vajra in the 1990s.

One of the major publications of what fans and historians call the Golden Age of Science Fiction and afterward, it has published much-reprinted work by such major SF authors as E. E. Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, A. E. van Vogt, Lester del Rey, H. P. Lovecraft and many others.

Publishing history


In 1926, Hugo Gernsback launched Amazing Stories, the first science fiction magazine. Gernsback had been printing scientific fiction stories for some time in his hobbyist magazines, such as Modern Electrics and Electrical Experimenter, but decided that there was enough interest in the genre to justify a monthly magazine. Amazing was very successful, quickly reaching a circulation of over 100,000.[2] William Clayton, a successful and well-respected publisher of several pulp titles, considered starting a competitive title in 1928: according to Harold Hersey, one of his editors at the time, Hersey had "discussed plans with Clayton to launch a pseudo-science fantasy sheet".[3] Clayton was unconvinced. The following year, however, Clayton decided to launch a new magazine, mainly because the sheet on which the color covers of his magazines were printed had a space for one more cover. He suggested to Harry Bates, a newly hired editor, that they start a magazine of period adventure stories. Bates proposed instead a science fiction pulp, to be titled Astounding Stories of Super Science, and Clayton agreed.[4][5]

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1930 1/1 1/2 1/3 2/1 2/2 2/3 3/1 3/2 3/3 4/1 4/2 4/3
1931 5/1 5/2 5/3 6/1 6/2 6/3 7/1 7/2 7/3 8/1 8/2 8/3
1932 9/1 9/2 9/3 10/1 10/2 10/3 11/1 11/2
1933 11/3 12/1 12/2 12/3 12/4
1934 12/5 12/6 13/1 13/2 13/3 13/4 13/5 13/6 14/1 14/2 14/3 14/4
1935 14/5 14/6 15/1 15/2 15/3 15/4 15/5 15/6 16/1 16/2 16/3 16/4
1936 16/5 16/6 17/1 17/2 17/3 17/4 17/5 17/6 18/1 18/2 18/3 18/4
1937 18/5 18/6 19/1 19/2 19/3 19/4 19/5 19/6 20/1 20/2 20/3 20/4
1938 20/5 20/6 21/1 21/2 21/3 21/4 21/5 21/6 22/1 22/2 22/3 22/4
1939 22/5 22/6 23/1 23/2 23/3 23/4 23/5 23/6 24/1 24/2 24/3 24/4
Issues of Astounding Stories, showing volume/issue number. The colors
identify the editors for each issue:[6]

     Harry Bates       F. Orlin Tremaine      John W. Campbell

Astounding was initially published by Publisher's Fiscal Corporation, which became Clayton Magazines in March 1931.[5][7][8] The first issue appeared in January 1930, with Bates as editor. Bates aimed for straightforward action-adventure stories, with scientific elements only present to provide minimal plausibility. Clayton paid much better rates than Amazing and Wonder Stories—two cents a word on acceptance, rather than half a cent a word, on publication (or sometimes later)—and consequently Astounding attracted some of the better-known pulp writers, such as Murray Leinster, Victor Rousseau, and Jack Williamson.[4][5] In February 1931, the original name Astounding Stories of Super-Science was shortened to Astounding Stories.[9]

The magazine was profitable,[9] but the Depression caused Clayton problems. Normally a publisher would pay a printer three months in arrears, but when a credit squeeze began in May 1931, it led to pressure to reduce this delay. The financial difficulties led Clayton to start alternating the publication of his magazines, and he switched Astounding to a bimonthly schedule with the June 1932 issue. Some printers bought the magazines which were indebted to them: Clayton decided to buy his printer to prevent this from happening. This proved a disastrous move. Clayton did not have the money to complete the transaction, and in October 1932 Clayton decided to cease publication of Astounding, with the expectation that the January 1933 issue would be the last one. As it turned out, there were enough stories in inventory, and enough paper, to publish one further issue, so the last Clayton Astounding was dated March 1933.[10] In April Clayton went bankrupt, and sold his magazine titles; the buyer quickly resold the titles to Street & Smith, a well-established publisher.[11]

Street & Smith

Science fiction was not an entirely new departure for Street & Smith. They already possessed two pulp titles that occasionally ventured into the field: The Shadow, which had begun in 1931 and was tremendously successful, with a circulation over 300,000; and Doc Savage, which had been launched in March 1933.[12] They gave the post of editor of Astounding to F. Orlin Tremaine, an experienced editor who had been working for Clayton as the editor of Clues, and who had come to Street & Smith as part of the transfer of titles after Clayton's bankruptcy. Desmond Hall, who had also come from Clayton, was made assistant editor; because Tremaine was editor of Clue and Top-Notch, as well as Astounding, Hall did a lot of the editorial work, though Tremaine retained final control over the contents.[13]

The first Street & Smith issue was dated October 1933; it was not until the third issue, in December 1933, that the editorial team was named on the masthead.[13] Street & Smith had an excellent distribution network, and they were able to get Astounding's circulation up to an estimated 50,000 by the middle of 1934.[14] The two main rival science fiction magazines of the day, Wonder Stories and Amazing Stories, each had a circulation of about half that. Astounding was the leading science fiction magazine by the end of 1934; and it was also the largest, at 160 pages, and the cheapest, at 20 cents. Street & Smith's rates of one cent per word (sometimes more) on acceptance were not as good as the rates paid by Bates for the Clayton Astounding, but they were still better than those of the other magazines.[15]

Hall left Astounding in 1934 to become editor of Street & Smith's new slick magazine, Mademoiselle, and was replaced by R.V. Happel. Tremaine remained in control of story selection.[16] Writer Frank Gruber described Tremaine's editorial selection process in his book, The Pulp Jungle:[17]

As the stories came in Tremaine piled them up on a stack. All the stories intended for Clues in this pile, all those for Astounding in that stack. Two days before press time of each magazine, Tremaine would start reading. He would start at the top of the pile and read stories until he had found enough to fill the issue. Now, to be perfectly fair, Tremaine would take the stack of remaining stories and turn it upside down, so next month he would start with the stories that had been on the bottom this month.

Gruber pointed out that stories in the middle might go many months before Tremaine read them; the result was erratic response times which sometimes stretched to over eighteen months.[18]

Tremaine was promoted to assistant editorial director in 1937. His replacement as editor of Astounding (though not of Clues) was John W. Campbell, Jr.. Campbell had made his name in the early 1930s as a writer, publishing space opera under his own name, and more thoughtful stories under the pseudonym "Don A. Stuart". He started working for Street & Smith in October 1937, so his first editorial influence appeared in the issue dated December 1937. The March 1938 issue was the first that was fully his responsibility.[19][20] In early 1938, Street & Smith abandoned its policy of having editors-in-chief, with the result that Tremaine was made redundant. He left on May 1, 1938, reducing Street & Smith's oversight of Campbell and giving him a freer rein.[21]

One of Campbell's first acts was to change the title from Astounding Stories to Astounding Science-Fiction with the March 1938 issue. Campbell's editorial policy was targeted at the more mature readers of science fiction, and he felt that "Astounding Stories" did not convey the right image.[21] He intended to subsequently drop the "Astounding" part of the title as well, leaving the magazine titled Science Fiction, but in 1939 a new magazine with that title appeared. "Astounding" was retained, though thereafter it was often printed in a color that made it much less visible than the "Science-Fiction" part of the title.[5] At the start of 1942 the price was increased, for the first time, to 25 cents; the magazine simultaneously switched to the larger bedsheet format, but this did not last. Astounding returned to pulp-size in mid-1943 for six issues, and then became the first science fiction magazine to switch to digest size in November 1943, increasing the number of pages to maintain the same total wordcount. The price remained at 25 cents through these changes in format.[7][22]

The price increased again, to 35 cents, in August 1951.[7] In the late 1950s it became apparent to Street & Smith that they were going to have to raise prices again. During 1959, Astounding was priced at 50 cents in some areas to find out what the impact would be on circulation. The results were apparently satisfactory, and the price was raised with the November 1959 issue.[23] The following year Campbell finally achieved his goal of getting rid of the word "Astounding" in the magazine's title, changing it to Analog Science Fact/Science Fiction. The "/" in the title was often replaced by a symbol of Campbell's devising, resembling an inverted U pierced by a horizontal arrow and meaning "analogous to". The change began with the February 1960 issue, and was complete by October; for several issues both "Analog" and "Astounding" could be seen on the cover, with "Analog" becoming bolder and "Astounding" fading with each issue.[5][24]

Second World War

The outbreak of World War II had the effect of cutting Astounding off from the British market. As told by Arthur C. Clarke, "owing to the war, regular supplies of Astounding Stories had been cut off by the British authorities, who foolishly imagined that there were better uses for shipping space and hard-earned dollars". Luckily for Clarke, his friend Willy Ley loyally sent him every issue "before withdrawal symptoms set in"; but many other British SF fans had to wait until 1945 before they could again read Astounding.[25]

Condé Nast

Condé Nast bought Street & Smith in August 1959,[26] though the change was not reflected in Analog's masthead until February 1962.[5] Analog was the only digest-sized magazine in Condé Nast's inventory—all the others were slicks, such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. All the advertisers in these magazines had plates made up to take advantage of this size, and Condé Nast changed Analog to the larger size from the March 1963 issue in order to conform. The front and back signatures were changed to glossy paper, to carry both advertisements and scientific features. The change did not attract advertising support, however, and from the April 1965 issue Analog reverted to digest size once again. Circulation, which had been increasing before the change, was not harmed, and continued to increase while Analog was in slick format.[27]

Campbell died suddenly in July 1971, but there was enough material in Analog's inventory to allow the remaining staff to put together issues for the rest of the year.[28] Condé Nast had given the magazine very little attention, since it was both profitable and cheap to produce, but they were proud that it was the leading science fiction magazine. They asked Kay Tarrant, who had been Campbell's assistant, to help them find a replacement: she contacted several regular contributors to ask for suggestions. Several well-known writers turned down the job for various reasons: Poul Anderson did not want to leave California; neither did Jerry Pournelle, who also felt the salary was too small. Harry Harrison had discussed taking over with Campbell before Campbell's death, but did not want to live in New York. Lester del Rey and Clifford D. Simak were also rumored to have been offered the job, though Simak denied it; Frederik Pohl was interested, but suspected his desire to change the direction of the magazine lessened his chances with Condé Nast.[29]

The Condé Nast vice president in charge of selecting the new editor decided to read both fiction and non-fiction writing samples from the applicants, since Analog's title included both "science fiction" and "science fact". He chose Ben Bova, afterwards telling Bova that his stories and articles "were the only ones I could understand".[29] January 1972 was the first issue to credit Bova on the masthead.[7]

Bova planned to stay for five years, to ensure a smooth transition after Campbell's sudden death; the salary was too low for him to consider remaining indefinitely. In 1975 he proposed a new magazine to Condé Nast management, to be titled Tomorrow Magazine; he wanted to publish articles about science and technology, leavened with some science fiction stories. Condé Nast were uninterested in the idea; and refused to assist Analog with marketing or promotions. Bova resigned in June 1978, having stayed for a little longer than he had planned, and recommended Stanley Schmidt to succeed him. Schmidt's first issue was December 1978, though material purchased by Bova continued to appear for several months.[30]

Bova won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor for 5 consecutive years, 1973 through 1978. (The award did not exist before 1973.)

Davis Publications, Dell Magazines, and Penny Publications

In 1980 Condé Nast sold Analog to Davis Publications. Analog had always been something of a misfit in Condé Nast's line up, which contained titles such as Mademoiselle and Vogue, and Davis was willing to put some effort into marketing Analog, so Schmidt regarded the change as likely to be beneficial.[30]

Circulation dropped during the 1970s and 1980s, as newsstand sales fell away while subscriptions did not grow enough to compensate.

In 1980 the overall circulation of 104,000 included 45,000 newsstand sales. Three years later the overall circulation reached a peak of 115,000 per month.

In 1981, Analog's schedule was changed to publication every four weeks, rather than monthly, so that there were thirteen issues a year, rather than twelve.

In 1992 Davis Publications sold the magazine to Dell Magazines, who continue to publish it to this day. Dell Magazines was in turn acquired by Penny Publications with headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut, US.

In 1990 the overall circulation of 83,000 included only 15,000 sales from newsstands.[5]

In 1996 Analog returned to a monthly schedule, and the following year reduced the schedule again, to eleven issues, combining July and August into a single issue. Starting in 2004, the number of issues was cut again, to ten, with January and February also being combined into one issue.[7]

As of 2011, editor Schmidt has been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor for 26 consecutive years, 1980 through 2006, without winning. Through his tenure, Analog has been the best-selling English-language SF magazine in the world.[citation needed]

Each year, Analog conducts a readers' poll—called the Analytical Laboratory, or AnLab—to determine the favorite stories, articles and cover art published in the magazine in the previous year. Many recipients of the AnLab Award have gone on to receive[citation needed] the Hugo Award.

Analog's circulation has fallen from a high of about 115,000 per month in 1983 to 26,493 in 2011. However, circulation has grown over the last two years due in part to increased digital sales.[31]

Analog's editor Stanley Schmidt announced that Analog began "preferring" accepting submissions in electronic form via a website[32] "[e]ffective at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, February 22", 2011, and indicated that full instructions were available at that url, but that "attachments to regular e-mail" would not be accepted, Analog thus increasing its bidirectional use of online rather than hardcopy print media such as self-addressed stamped envelopes (SASE) in communications between Analog, its writers and other contributors, business partners and readers.[33]

In 2013 Stanley Schmidt was replaced as editor by Trevor Qachari.

Contents and reception


The first incarnation of Astounding was an adventure-oriented magazine, with no interest in education through science. The covers were all painted by Wesso and similarly action-filled; the first issue showed a giant beetle attacking a man. The quality of the fiction was very low, and Bates would not accept any experimental stories, relying mostly on formulaic plots. In the eyes of Mike Ashley, a science fiction historian, Bates was "destroying the ideals of science fiction".[34] One historically important story that almost appeared in Astounding was E.E. Smith's Triplanetary, which Bates would have published had Astounding not folded in early 1933. However, the cover Wesso had painted for the story appeared on the March 1933 issue, the last to be published by Clayton.[35]


When Street & Smith acquired Astounding, they also planned to relaunch another Clayton pulp, Strange Tales, and acquired material for it before deciding not to proceed. These stories appeared in the first Street & Smith Astounding, dated October 1933.[11] This issue and the next were unremarkable in quality, but with the December issue Tremaine published a statement of editorial policy, calling for "thought variant" stories which contained original ideas and did not simply reproduce adventure themes in an sf context. The policy was probably worked out between Tremaine and Desmond Hall, his assistant editor, in an attempt to give Astounding a clear identity in the market that would distinguish it from both the existing science fiction magazines and the hero pulps, such as The Shadow, that frequently used sf ideas.[36]

Early "thought variant" stories were not always very original or well executed. Ashley describes the first, Nat Schachner's "Ancestral Voices", as "not amongst Schachner's best"; the second, "Colossus", by Donald Wandrei, was not a new idea, but was energetically written. Over the succeeding issues it became apparent that Tremaine was genuinely willing to publish material that would have fallen foul of editorial taboos elsewhere. He serialized Charles Fort's Lo!, a non-fiction work about strange and inexplicable phenomena, in eight parts between April and November 1934, in an attempt to stimulate new ideas for stories. In fiction, 1934 was a banner year for the magazine: the best remembered story of the year is probably Jack Williamson's The Legion of Space, which began serialization in April, but other notable stories include Murray Leinster's "Sidewise in Time", which was the first[citation needed] sf story to use the idea of alternate history; "The Bright Illusion", by C.L. Moore, and "Twilight", by John W. Campbell, writing as "Don A. Stuart". "Twilight", which was written in a more literary and poetic style than Campbell's earlier space opera stories, was particularly influential, and Tremaine encouraged other writers to produce similar stories. One such was Raymond Z. Gallun's "Old Faithful", which appeared in the December 1934 issue and was sufficiently popular that Gallun wrote a sequel, "Son of Old Faithful", published the following July.[36]

Astounding's readership was more knowledgeable and more mature than the readers of the other magazines, and this was reflected in the cover artwork, by Howard V. Brown, which was less garish than at Wonder Stories or Amazing Stories. The interior artwork, particularly by Elliot Dold, was also very impressive.[36]

By the end of 1935, Astounding was the clear leader of the science fiction magazine field.[36] Tremaine's policy of printing material that he liked without staying too strictly within the bounds of the genre led him to serialize H.P. Lovecraft's novel At the Mountains of Madness in early 1936. He followed this with Lovecraft's "The Shadow Out of Time" in June 1936, though there were "protests from sf purists". Generally, however, Tremaine was unable to maintain the high standard he had set in the first couple of years, perhaps because his workload was high. Tremaine's slow responses to submissions discouraged new authors, although he could rely on regular contributors such as Jack Williamson, Murray Leinster, Raymond Gallun, Nat Schachner, and Frank Belknap Long. New writers who did appear during the latter half of Tremaine's tenure included Ross Rocklynne, Nelson S. Bond, and L. Sprague de Camp, whose first appearance was in September 1937 with "The Isolinguals".[37]


Campbell was hired by Street & Smith in October 1937, and although he did not gain full editorial control of Astounding until the May 1938 issue, he was able to introduce some new features before then. In January 1938 he began to include a short description of stories in the next issue, titled "In Times To Come"; and in March he began "The Analytical Laboratory", which calculated average votes from readers and ranked the stories in order. The payment rate at the time was one cent a word, and Street & Smith agreed to let Campbell pay a bonus of an extra quarter cent a word to the writer whose story was voted top of the list.[37]

Campbell changed the approach to the magazine's cover art, hoping that more mature artwork would attract more adult readers and enable them to carry the magazine without embarrassment. Howard V. Brown had done almost every cover for the Street & Smith version of Astounding, and Campbell asked him to do an astronomically accurate picture of the Sun as seen from Mercury for the February 1938 issue. He also introduced Charles Schneeman as a cover artist, starting with the May 1938 issue, and Hubert Rogers, whose first cover was for the February 1939 issue, and who quickly became a regular, painting all but four of the covers between September 1939 and August 1942.[37]

Tremaine had printed some non-fiction articles during his tenure, with Campbell himself providing an 18-part series on the solar system between June 1936 and December 1937. Campbell instituted regular non-fiction pieces, with the goal of stimulating story ideas. The main contributors of these were R.S. Richardson, L. Sprague de Camp, and Willy Ley.[37]

Golden Age

The period from 1938 to 1946[citation needed] is usually referred to as the "Golden Age" of science fiction, because of the immense influence Campbell's editorship had on the genre. Within less than two years of the start of his editorship he had published stories by many of the writers who would become central figures in science fiction: both existing writers, such as L. Ron Hubbard, Clifford Simak, Jack Williamson, L. Sprague de Camp, Henry Kuttner, and C.L. Moore, who became regulars in either Astounding or its sister magazine, Unknown; and new writers who published some of their first stories in Astounding such as Lester del Rey, Theodore Sturgeon, Isaac Asimov, A.E. van Vogt and Robert Heinlein.[38]

Campbell wanted his writers to provide action and excitement, but he also wanted the stories to appeal to a readership that had matured over the first decade of the science fiction genre. He asked his writers to write stories that felt as though they could have been published as non-sf stories in a magazine of the future; a reader of the future would not need long explanations for the gadgets in their lives, and so Campbell asked his writers to find ways of naturally introducing technology to their stories.[37]

The April 1938 issue saw both the first story by del Rey, "The Faithful", and de Camp's second sale, "Hyperpilosity".[37] Jack Williamson's "Legion of Time", described by author and editor Lin Carter as "possibly the greatest single adventure story in science fiction history",[39] began serialization in the following issue. De Camp contributed a non-fiction article, "Language for Time Travelers", in the July issue, which also contained Hubbard's first science fiction sale, "The Dangerous Dimension": Hubbard had been selling genre fiction to the pulps for several years by that time. The same issue contained Clifford Simak's "Rule 18"; Simak had more or less abandoned science fiction within a year after breaking into the field in 1931, but he was drawn back by Campbell's editorial approach. The following issue featured one of Campbell's best known stories, "Who Goes There?", and included Kuttner's "The Disinherited"; Kuttner had been selling successfully to the other pulps for a couple of years, but this was his first story in Astounding. In October de Camp began a popular series about an intelligent bear named Johnny Black with "The Command."[37]

The market for science fiction expanded dramatically in the following year, with several new magazines launched, including Startling Stories in January 1939, Unknown in March (a fantasy companion to Astounding, also edited by Campbell), Fantastic Adventures in May, and Planet Stories in December. All of the competing magazines, including the two main pre-existing titles, Wonder Stories and Amazing Stories, were publishing space opera, stories of interplanetary adventure, or other well-worn ideas from the early days of the genre. Campbell's attempts to make science fiction more mature led to a natural division of the writers: those who were unable to write to his standards continued to sell to other magazines; while those who could sell to Campbell quickly focused their attention on Astounding and sold relatively little to the other magazines. The expansion of the market was also a benefit to Campbell because writers knew that if their submissions to Campbell were rejected they could resubmit those stories elsewhere; this freed them to try to write to his standards.[40]

During 1939 Campbell's stable of writers was augmented by several new names who sold their first story to him that year. In July, the lead story was "Black Destroyer", the first story by van Vogt; the same issue also contained Asimov's "Trends", which was his first sale to Campbell, but only Asimov's second story to see print, though Asimov quickly became a regular in Astounding. The following month saw Heinlein's "Lifeline", and in September Campbell printed Sturgeon's "Ether Breather"; both of these were first sales.[40] Because of the sudden appearance of these four major sf authors in the space of only three months, the July 1939 issue is sometimes regarded as inaugurating the golden age of science fiction, though this is not universally accepted.[37] One of the most popular established authors of space opera, E.E. Smith, reappeared in October, with the first installment of Gray Lensman. This was a sequel to Galactic Patrol, which had appeared in Astounding two years previously.[40]

Heinlein rapidly became one of the most prolific contributors to Astounding, with three novels published in the next two years: If This Goes On—, Sixth Column, and Methuselah's Children, and half a dozen short stories. In September 1940 van Vogt's first novel, Slan, began serialization; the book was partly inspired by a challenge Campbell laid down to van Vogt that it was impossible to tell a superman story from the point of view of the superman. It proved to be one of the most popular stories Campbell published, and is an example of the way Campbell worked with his writers to feed them ideas and generate the material he wanted to buy. Isaac Asimov's "Robot" series began to take shape in 1941, with "Reason" and "Liar!" appearing in the April and May issues; as with "Slan", these stories were partly inspired by conversations with Campbell.[40] The September 1941 issue included Asimov's short story "Nightfall", probably the most famous U.S. science fiction story ever written,[41] and in November, Second Stage Lensman, the next novel in Smith's "Lensman" series, began serialization.[40]

The following year saw the beginning of Asimov's "Foundation" stories, with "Foundation" appearing in May and "Bridle and Saddle" in June.[40] Van Vogt's "Recruiting Station", in the March issue, was the first story in his "Weapon Shop" series, described by critic John Clute as the most compelling of all van Vogt's work.[42] Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore began to appear regularly in Astounding, often under the pseudonym "Lewis Padgett", and more new writers appeared: Hal Clement, Raymond F. Jones, and George O. Smith, all of whom became regular contributors. The September 1942 issue contained del Rey's "Nerves", which was one of the few stories to be ranked top by every single reader who voted in the monthly "Analytical Laboratory" poll; it dealt with the aftermath of an explosion at an atomics plant.[40]

After 1942, several of the regular contributors such as Heinlein, Asimov and Hubbard, who had joined the armed forces, appeared less frequently. Among those who remained, the key figures were van Vogt, Simak, Kuttner, Moore, and Leiber, all of whom were less oriented towards technology in their fiction than writers such as Asimov or Heinlein had been. This led to the appearance of more psychologically oriented fiction, such as van Vogt's World of Null-A, which was serialized in 1945. Kuttner and Moore contributed a humorous series about an inventor, Galloway Gallegher, who could only invent while drunk; but they were also capable of serious fiction.[40] Campbell had asked them to write science fiction with the same freedom from constraints that he had allowed them in the fantasy work they were writing for Unknown, Street & Smith's fantasy title; the result was "Mimsy Were the Borogoves", which appeared in February 1943 and is now regarded as a classic.[40][notes 1] Leiber's Gather Darkness, serialized in 1943, was set in a world where scientific knowledge is hidden from the masses and presented as magic; as with Kuttner and Moore, he was simultaneously publishing fantasies in Unknown.[40]

Post-war years

File:Astounding November 1949.jpg
The November 1949 "future" issue, in which all the stories had previously been "reviewed" in November 1948

In the late 1940s, both Thrilling Wonder and Startling Stories began to publish much more mature fiction than they had during the war, and although Astounding was still the leading magazine in the field, it was no longer the only market for the writers who had been regularly selling to Campbell. However, it was still the case that many of the best new writers broke into print in Astounding rather than elsewhere. Arthur C. Clarke's first story, "Loophole", appeared in the April 1946 Astounding, and another British writer, Christopher Youd, began his career with "Christmas Tree" in February 1949. Youd would become much better known under his pseudonym "John Christopher". William Tenn's first sale, "Alexander the Bait", appeared in May 1946, and H. Beam Piper's "Time and Time Again" in the April 1947 issue was his first story. In addition to these newer writers, Campbell was still publishing strong material by the names that had become established during the war. Among the better known stories of this era are "Vintage Season", by C.L. Moore (under the pseudonym Lawrence O'Donnell); Jack Williamson's story "With Folded Hands"; The Players of Null-A, van Vogt's sequel to The World of Null-A; and the final book in E.E. Smith's "Lensman" series, Children of the Lens.[44]

Campbell revealed a sly sense of humor in the November 1949 issue. He had always encouraged literary criticism by Astounding's readership, and in the November 1948 issue he published a letter to the editor by a reader named Richard A. Hoen that contained a detailed ranking of the contents of an issue one year in the future. Campbell went along with the joke and contracted stories from most of the authors mentioned in the letter that would follow the fan's imaginary story titles. One of the best-known stories from that issue is "Gulf", by Robert A. Heinlein. Other stories and articles were written by a number of the most famous authors of the time: Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, Lester del Rey, A. E. van Vogt, L. Sprague de Camp, and the astronomer R. S. Richardson.[45]


File:Profession ASF.jpg
"Profession" by Isaac Asimov in the July 1957 issue.

By 1950 Campbell's strong personality had led him into conflict with some of his leading writers, some of whom abandoned Astounding as a result.[46] The launch of both The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and Galaxy Science Fiction in 1949 and 1950, respectively, marked the end of Astounding's dominance of science fiction;[46] with many regarding Galaxy as the new leader of the field.[notes 2] In addition, Campbell's growing interest in pseudoscience damaged his reputation in the field.[48] Campbell was deeply involved with the launch of dianetics, publishing Hubbard's first article on it in Astounding in May 1950, and promoting it heavily in the months beforehand,[49] and later in the decade he championed psionics and anti-gravity devices.[50]

The boom in paperback originals meant that Astounding was no longer the only place to find top-quality science fiction.

Many historically important stories and articles continued to appear in the pages of Astounding during the 1950s. Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations" - sometimes listed as one of the top dozen or so best science fiction short stories - was published in the August 1954 issue. It generated more response mail than any story the magazine had ever printed. Writer L. Ron Hubbard published the first article on his Dianetics concepts, which would soon expand into Scientology, in the magazine in May 1950.[51]


The magazine is known for focusing on the science and technology aspect of science fiction. Author George R.R. Martin described Analog as having "the reputation of being hard-nosed, steel-clad, scientifically rigorous, and perhaps a bit puritanical".[52]

Bibliographic details

Birth of Analog

File:AUG 1977 ASF.jpg
Post Analog name change Cover
(August 1977)

Throughout his editorship of Astounding, Campbell felt the title of the magazine was too "sensational" or "juvenile" to reflect what it was actually doing. He addressed this as far back as 1946 by de-emphasizing the word "Astounding", printing it in narrow script above the bold words "SCIENCE FICTION". However, this was not enough, and he renamed the magazine Analog in 1960. Over the course of eight issues, from February to September 1960, the title logo was changed; the large initial "A" stayed the same while the letters "stounding" were faded down and the letters "nalog" faded up on top of them. Bibliographers often abbreviate the magazine as ASF, which can of course stand for either title. The word "and" was sometimes replaced in the logo by a pseudo-mathematical symbol comprising a horizontal right-pointing arrow piercing an inverted U-shape. The symbol, apparently invented by Campbell, was said to mean "analogous to."

British reprint editions (1939–1963)

From August 1939 until August 1963, the version of ASF that was sold in the United Kingdom was quite different from the American original. These "British Reprint Editions", as they were known, were published by the Atlas Publishing and Distributing Company under license from Street and Smith. The material in the British editions was a subset of the original magazine contents, in the sense that there was nothing in the British edition that had not previously appeared in the U.S. version, but that parts of the original contents were quite often omitted from the British version. This was particularly true up to October 1953, when the British edition was much slimmer than its American counterpart. For this reason the serials, editorials, factual articles and letter columns that were often the most appealing features of the American version were denied to British readers.

The material appearing in the British reprint was usually taken from the American issue dated three or four months earlier. However, this was never systematic, and cross-reference between U.S. and British editions is a complicated process. A further anomaly occurs because the covers of the British editions were almost always redrawn from the corresponding American edition, possibly for copyright reasons. At first sight the covers often look the same, but closer inspection reveals subtle differences.[53]

Like the American original, the British Reprint Edition underwent a gradual change of title from Astounding to Analog. However, due to the lag in contents and cover image, this process was completed a few months later - the first issue completely devoid of the Astounding logo was February 1961 rather than October 1960. The final British Reprint Edition of Analog appeared as the August 1963 issue with an announcement on the inside front cover that "... after 24 years of publication the British Edition ... ceases with this issue"; after this time the American version published by Condé Nast Publications was imported directly into the UK.


Timeline of name changes

Through the years, the magazine has seen a large number of name changes.[54][55]

In a minor change, in the November issue of 1946 the name of the magazine was changed from Astounding Science-Fiction to Astounding SCIENCE FICTION, with the hyphen missing and the last two words in large block letters. It would retain this logo until January, 1953.[56]

The following table gives an overview. The name is a representation of the form displayed on the cover pages, including the capitalization.

Years Name Editor

John W. Campbell, Jr.


ASTOUNDING Science•Fiction

1960 Analogstounding Science Fact & fiction a
Analog Science Fact File:ASF analogous-to symbol.svgb fiction

analog SCIENCE FACT File:ASF analogous-to symbol.svgSCIENCE FICTION
analog SCIENCE FICTION File:ASF analogous-to symbol.svgSCIENCE FACT


Ben Bova

Stanley Schmidt
  1. ^ During a transitional period, the word Analog was printed increasingly more prominently under the word Astounding, sharing the letter A.[55]
  2. ^ The pseudo-mathematical symbol is reportedly intended to stand for "analogous to", but the deeper meaning in this context is unclear.[55]
  3. ^ This name appears on a number of covers as a three-line stack, reading, from top to bottom: SCIENCE FICTION; analog; SCIENCE FACT.

Notable authors published in Analog

These include:

See also


  • Ackerman, Forrest J (1997). Forrest J Ackerman's World of Science Fiction. Los Angeles: RR Donnelley & Sons Company. ISBN 1-57544-069-5. 
  • Ashley, Mike (2000). The Time Machines:The Story of the Science-Fiction Pulp Magazines from the beginning to 1950. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-865-0. 
  • Ashley, Mike (2007). Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1970 to 1980. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 978-1-84631-003-4. 
  • Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1993). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc. ISBN 0-312-09618-6. 
  • Hersey, Harold (1937). Pulpwood Editor. New York: F.A. Stokes. 
  • Williamson, Jack (1977). The Legion of Time. London: Sphere. ISBN 0-7221-9175-8. 


  1. For example, Malcolm Edwards and Brian Stableford describe the story as a "classic",[43] and Ashley describes it as "a brilliant story merging the wonders of the unknown with its horrors".[40]
  2. For example, Isaac Asimov, in his memoirs, recalls that many fans, including himself, felt that Galaxy became the field's leader almost immediately.[47]


  1. St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 1. Detroit: St. James Press,2000. p129.Word Count:164.
  2. Ashley, Time Machines, p. 48.
  3. Ashley, Time Machines, p. 69. The quote is from Hersey, Pulpwood Editor, p. 188, cited by Ashley.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ashley, Time Machines, p. 69.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Nicholls, Peter, ed. (1981). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Frogmore: Granada Publishing. ISBN 0-586-05380-8. 
  6. Ashley, Time Machines, p. 239.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 See the individual issues. For convenience, an online index is available at "Magazine:Astounding Science Fiction — ISFDB". Texas A&M University. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved June 26, 2008.  and "Magazine:Analog Science Fiction and Fact — ISFDB". Texas A&M University. Retrieved June 26, 2008. 
  8. "Corporate Changes". The New York Times. March 28, 1931.  "Publishers Fiscal Corp., Manhattan, to Clayton Magazines."
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ashley, Time Machines, p. 72.
  10. Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 76–77.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ashley, Time Machines, p. 82.
  12. Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 82–83.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Ashley, Time Machines, p. 84.
  14. Ashley, Time Machines, p. 85. The estimate is Ashley's.
  15. Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 85–87.
  16. Ashley, Time Machines, p. 105.
  17. Gruber, Pulp Jungle, pp. 90–91; quoted in Ashley, Time Machines, p. 105.
  18. Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 105–106.
  19. Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 86–87.
  20. Ashley, Time Machines, p. 107.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Ashley, Time Machines, p. 108.
  22. Ashley, Time Machines, p. 158.
  23. Ashley, Transformations, pp. 201–202.
  24. Ashley, Transformations, p. 202.
  25. Arthur C. Clarke's forward to the 1967 edition of "Venus Equilateral", Pyramid Books, New York
  26. "Advertising: Street & Smith to Newhouse". New York Times. August 26, 1959. 
  27. Ashley, Transformations, p. 213.
  28. Ashley, Gateways, p. 6.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Ashley, Gateways, pp. 17–18.
  30. 30.0 30.1 Ashley, Gateways, pp. 341–346.
  31. 2011 Magazine Summary, Locus, February 2012, pages 56-7.
  32. Analog Magazine Submissions System. Retrieved on 2013-11-02.
  33. Locus Online News. Retrieved on 2013-11-02.
  34. Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 69–70; 72.
  35. Ashley, Time Machines, p. 77.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 84–87.
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 37.5 37.6 37.7 Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 106–111.
  38. Peter Nicholls, "Golden Age of SF", in Clute & Nicholls, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, pp. 506–507.
  39. Quoted on the back cover of Williamson, Legion of Time.
  40. 40.00 40.01 40.02 40.03 40.04 40.05 40.06 40.07 40.08 40.09 40.10 Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 153–158.
  41. John Clute & Malcolm Edwards, "Isaac Asimov", in Clute & Nicholls, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, p. 56.
  42. John Clute, "A.E. van Vogt", in Clute & Nicholls, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, pp. 1268–1269.
  43. Malcolm Edwards & Brian Stableford, "Henry Kuttner", in Clute & Nicholls, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, p. 683.
  44. Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 190–193.
  45. A Requiem for Astounding, by Alva Rogers, pages 176-180
  46. 46.0 46.1 Malcolm Edwards, "John Wood Campbell, Jr.", in Clute & Nicholls, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, pp. 187–188.
  47. Asimov, In Memory Yet Green, p. 602.
  48. Mike Ashley, "Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact", in Gunn, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, pp. 17–18.
  49. Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 226–227.
  50. Malcolm Edwards & Peter Nicholls, "Astounding Science-Fiction", in Clute & Nicholls, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, pp. 62–65.
  51. The Creation of "Religious" Scientology
  53. Astounding Science Fiction BRE
  54. "Astounding/Analog – Series Bibliography". The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. 
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 "The Changing Face of Analog". Visco – The Visual Index of Science Fiction Cover art. 
  56. A Requiem for Astounding, by Alva Rogers, page 141

External links

Public domain texts