Saturday, October 17, 2009

Still More Fantastic 1954

Here's the inside of the back cover. I'm pretty sure that the if the age group these ads were aimed at is still reading SF, it's tie-in books or fantasy of some kind.

"Minister without Portfolio" by Michael Fischer (another writer I'm unfamiliar with) is one of those "aliens visit earth" tales with a twist ending that I'm sure I would have loved in 1954. Even now, I think it worked okay.

The experimental story in the issue is Stan Baer's "Night File," which is told entirely through teletyped news stories and the operators' comments. New wave, anyone? I don't know Stan Baer's work, which makes his the third of the six names I didn't recognize in the ToC.


Todd Mason said...

Previous/departing/already checked-out editor Howard Browne liked stories of "apparatus," by which I mean those told in the form of reports, correspondence, or in this case teletype dispatches. John Campbell and his successor Ben Bova (well, Catherine Tarrant apparently actually edited from the inventory for a few issues after JWC's death and Bova's appointment) also did, and like FANTASTIC in its first year or so, had a pro art director to play around with typefaces and such.

Of course, pulp magazines were willing to play with form to this extent, as well...

Todd Mason said...

Saddest thing...I don't think the SFBC ads were actually aimed at kids. Look at comparable book club ads from the period for the other organizations. They thought, perhaps correctly, that this kind of gaudy overstatement would work with the general public.