Friday, January 27, 2012

Forgotten Books: Destinies -- Edited by Jim Baen

The question is, is it a book or a magazine? Pick it up, and it looks like a book. It feels like a book. But it's a "paperback magazine." The back cover, as you can see, tells us that it's "the very first paperback science fiction magazine."

How is it different from an anthology? Well, it has articles, but then so do anthologies. It has illustrations, but so could an anthology. I'd say that the distinguishing feature would be the columns. There's a science column by Jerry Pournelle, and there's a book review column by Spider Robinson. There's also the first part of a five-part article by Poul Anderson.

I think there were eleven issues (or volumes if you still think it's a book) of Destinies. Later on, Baen had his own publishing house and brought out New Destinies. I suspect that there are those among you who have collected all the issues (or volumes). I have most of them, but not all. They used to be fairly easy to find, and I suspect they still are.


Anonymous said...

Gosh, I don't remember this at all (though I bet George does). I'll have to keep my eye out for a copy in a used book store, few as they are.

Todd Mason said...

Now, am I to start feeling Very Officially Middle Aged? As a periodical book (or book-a-zine) in the fine tradition of NEW WORLD WRITING, NEW DIRECTIONS, NEW AMERICAN REVIEW/AMERICAN REVIEW (the newness had to run out sometime) and the one from Pocket Books iirc (though I can't remember the title to save me) and, after DESTINIES, the BLACK MASK revival that became A MATTER OF CRIME (some will insist that the various Davis ELLERY QUEEN'S ANTHOLOGY and similar issues are actually books, despite the seasonal dates and newsstand distribution, but I suggest that that's Very special pleading), I had the full run of this one, in part because my father was a fiend for Niven in those years and if I didn't buy an issue, he would...particularly as he was decreasingly happy with ANALOG when Scmidt took over from Bova. But, by the end, he was less enthusiastic about DESTINIES and didn't give NEW DESTINIES much of a tumble.

Unknown said...

I think it's a book, too, Todd. I'm not sure that I have any of the NEW DESTINIES other than the Heinlein one. That was a NEW, right?

Todd Mason said...

I do believe that was a NEW DESTINIES, but I tapped out by then...I liked the side of Baen's IF, GALAXY and DESTINIES that would include a fair amount of, say, Steve Rasnic Tem and Joanna Russ fiction, not so much the Jerry Pournelle side. Also, I dug Spider Robinson columns at the time, though I didn't share all his obsessions, to be sure.

Todd Mason said...

"Magazine in book form"...rather as with the ANALOG ANNUAL and ANALOG YEARBOOK volumes, which Bova suggested should be considered "bonus issues"...ARIEL: THE BOOK OF FANTASY was in this class, too...(But ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S ANTHOLOGY, Winter 1977 remains a magazine issue!)

Todd Mason said...

Nope, I'm wrong...if you meant the EXPANDED UNIVERSE promo-special issue, it was DESTINIES, Summer 1980.

Steve Lewis said...

According to one online source (Wikipedia), Baen edited three series of book/magazine anthologies.

Destinies (Ace, 11 issues 1978-81)

Far Frontiers (Baen, 7 issues 1985-6)

New Destinies (Baen, 8 issues numbered I to IV and VI to IX 1987-90).

If this is so, one wonders what happened to New Destinies V.


Aha! According to ISFBD, New Destinies V and X were never published.

Todd Mason said...

And then there was UNIVERSE/JIM BAEN'S UNIVERSE...the elaborate webzine.

I gather the DESTINIES series, at least, was never much of a commercial success, which might have carried over to NEW DESTINIES despite the less diverse flavor there, and the skipping of issues...odd that they simply wouldn't renumber.