PulpMags

The official blog for the Pulp Magazines Project, an open-access digital archive of early twentieth-century pulp magazines

History of Astounding Stories now available (2/21/2012)

Inspired by the success of Hugo Gernsback’s Amazing Stories, Clayton Publishing Co. released, in January of 1930, the first issue of Astounding Stories. Early issues lacked much of Gernsback’s attention to the scientific and extrapolative possibilities of the SF genre, and instead featured many instances of stock, pulp adventure yarns simply transplanted into exotic or alien environments. While possibly a travesty in the eyes of SF purists, it attracted many SF fans and general pulp readers, and aided Astounding‘s first three years of survival, until its cancellation during the height of the Great Depression in March of 1933.

Thankfully, the departure was short-lived; the pulp industry giant Street & Smith Corp. purchased the title, and in October 1933 Astounding Stories returned. The stock adventure stories that had appeared previously were replaced, with what editor F. Orlin Tremaine dubbed “thought-variants:” stories that were just as interesting and exciting, but also held some scientific or technological truth at their core. This approach—combining the adventure of the pulps with the ideas of Gernsbackian extrapolation—in addition to the social, political and introspective elements increasingly incorporated by its authors into their stories, would help define Astounding in the coming years…

Read the fuller history of this title here at the Pulp Magazines Project.

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