The Story of the Science Fiction Magazines from 1950 to 1970
Distributed for Liverpool University Press
In Transformations, the second volume in his acclaimed three-volume history of science fiction magazines, science fiction historian Mike Ashley brings his unparalleled knowledge to bear on the period from the beginning of the Cold War through the end of the 1960s, an era of tremendous change in the writing of and the marketplace for science fiction.
Ashley begins his story with the decline of the pulp magazines at the end of the 1940s and their replacement by new digest-sized and glossy magazines. That switch, and the increased respectability that came with it, coincided with a true golden age of science fiction writing in the early 1950s, with such giants of the genre as Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, and Harlan Ellison all publishing regularly in a wide range of such magazines.
As Ashley shows, by the end of the decade, sales had slumped, all but six of the science fiction magazines had folded, and the future looked bleak—until the surprising rebirth of the genre through the work of British writers Michael Moorcock and J. G. Ballard. Ashley also considers how the popularity of Star Trek and the movie version of 2001: A Space Odyssey influenced the future of the science fiction magazine.
For fans of science fiction seeking to understand how their favorite genre evolved from Amazing Stories to Babylon 5, Transformations will be essential reading.
"Ashley's study of hacks pounding away at typewriters, bullying editors and money-pinching publishers is a rich mine of information. . . . His trilogy will undoubtedly form the definitive history of science fiction from the pulp to the paperback."
Chapter One: A Galaxy of Stars
Chapter Two: Saturation and Suffocation
Chapter Three: The Best of British?
Chapter Four: Creative Chaos
Chapter Five: Transformations
Chapter Six: The Times they are a-Changing
Chapter Seven: The New Wave
Chapter Eight: Fantasy versus Reality
Chapter Nine: Aftermath
Appendix 1: Non-English Language Science-Fiction Magazines
Appendix 2: Summary of Science-Fiction Magazines
Appendix 3: Directory of Magazine Editors and Publishers
Appendix 4: Directory of Magazine Cover Artists