Analog Magazine in the Sixties

Sunday , 7, June 2015 2 Comments

analog_6312Astounding Science Fiction changed its name to Analog Science Fact–Fiction with the October 1962 issue. Periodically at a Yahoo Group that I belong, someone will mention how badly Analog deteriorated in the 1960s from it former glory in the 1940s.

John W. Campbell as editor of Astounding Stories (later Astounding Science Fiction) starting in 1937 took a magazine already the leader in the field and implemented changes to what is called the Golden Age of Science Fiction.

Any golden age has a limited time, with magazines generally around five years. The freshness goes out and things become routine or even stale. Astounding managed to maintain a level of quality over the decades. Yes, the 1960s did not have the explosion of new talent of the late 1930s-early 1940s that included Robert Heinlein, A. E. van Vogt, Lester del Rey, L. Sprague de Camp, Theodore Sturgeon, Clifford Simak, Isaac Asimov etc. The new ideas are going to run out.

If you take a look at 1960s issues of Analog, the picture is not so dire as some would Lord Kalvanpaint. My one word response to those bad-mouthing Analog of the 1960s is – Dune.

Dune ran as “Dune World” in Analog from December 1963-February 1964 and “Prophet of Dune” (January-May 1965). Possibly the greatest science fiction novel of the last 60 years was in Analog.

Let’s take a look at other novels that originally ran in Analog:

Deathworld                                       Harry Harrison                1960
Planet of the Damned                     Harry Harrison                  1961
The Ethical Engineer                      Harry Harrison                    1963
The Horse Barbarians                    Harry Harrison                     1963
The Technicolor Time Machine    Harry Harrison                     1967
In Our Hands, the Stars                 Harry Harrison                     1970
Space Viking                                    H. Beam Piper                       1962
Gunpowder God                              H. Beam Piper                       1964
Down Styphon!                                H. Beam Piper                       1965
(Combined as Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen)
The High Crusade                          Poul Anderson                         1960
Satan’s World                                 Poul Anderson                          1968
The Earth War                               Mack Reynolds                         1963
Time Gladiator                               Mack Reynolds                         1964
Amazon Planet                               Mack Reynolds                         1966
Space Pioneer                                 Mack Reynolds                         1966
Dragonrider                                    Anne McCaffrey                       1967
Too Many Magicians                    Randall Garrett                         1966
Wolfling                                          Gordon R. Dickson                     1969
The Yngling                                   John Dalmas                               1969

Gordon R. Dickson’s “Dorsai” ran as a three part serial in 1959, the novelette “Warrior” in 1965, and “Tactics of Mistake” in 1970-71 as four part serial.

ANLGOCT67In addition to the novels, there were important series: Randall Garrett’s “Lord Darcy” series, Murray Leinster’s “Med” series, Poul Anderson’s “van Rijn/David Falkayn,” James H. Schmitz’s “Telzy Amberdon,” Christopher Anvil’s “Federation of Humanity.”

Analog was producing thinking man’s adventure science fiction. Those who were reading Planet Stories in the early 1950s were hopefully reading better-written stories in Analog in the 1960s but still getting their science fiction adventure fix.

I love H. Beam Piper. Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen is a favorite alternate universe story. John Dalmas’ The Yngling is my favorite post-apocalyptic barbarism story. Poul Anderson was writing of the Polesotechnic League in Analog while he was writing stories of Dominic Flandry for Amazing Stories and Fantastic Stories of Imagination.
Gordon R. Dickson laid the foundations of modern military science fiction with his YnglingDorsai stories.

You have the dragonriders of Pern and the sandworms of Dune both in the pages of Analog!

Were there some clunker stories in the issues of Analog? Probably, show me a magazine that does not have some duds as filler.

Over the years, I read a fair number of the novels and series collections listed. It is time lay the myth of the bad John W. Campbell and Analog magazine of the 1960s to rest.

Med Series

2 Comments
  • Kull says:

    I suppose this is heretical but I prefer this period to the “golden age”. Space Viking and Dune? These are stories that blend the possibilities of SFF with the energy and masculine character of the pulps. I think in this period the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction was publishing Vance. There is my golden age right there. Piper and Herbert in Analog and Vance in Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. And The Yngling. We can’t thank authors like Heilein and Asimov enough for defining the genre, and of course Campbell for MC’ing the whole thing, but I have gotten much more mileage, much more joy from this period.

  • Include me as a person that liked Analog in the 1960’s as there was a lot of good stuff published during that time. I just wish I had managed to hang on to all those issues. Darn it.

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