Astounding Science Fiction

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Astouding Science Fiction (Analog or ASF) is the longest-running SF prozine and, more than any other prozine, was responsible for the formation of modern sf.

In the 30s, ASF was just another sf adventure prozine, though it did have high points like Murray Leinster's Sidewise in Time and a number of stories by Don A. Stuart (John W. Campbell) which made it the leader in the field. That changed, when Campbell was hired as editor in 1937 and by the end of 1938 he was publishing a markedly higher grade of sf.

And it got better. Starting in 1939, Campbell discovered and published work by new writers such as Heinlein, Asimov, de Camp, van Vogt and Clement as well as some of the greatest works of earlier writers such as Jack Williamson, Henry Kuttner, C. L. Moore and others. Modern SF grew from those roots.

After the war, ASF was no longer the unchallenged leader with new prozines like F&SF and Galaxy starting which took the new standard of sf writing that Campbell had pioneered and expanded on it.

In the 50s and 60s, ASF appeared somewhat tired, partly because the competition has so improved, and partly because Campbell had become a bit of a crank, pushing silly pseudoscience (Psi, the Dean Drive, Dianetics, Hieronymus Machines, etc.) along with sf.

After Campbell's death, Ben Bova took over as editor and reinvigorated the magazine without changing its basic identity. Stanley Schmidt continued the tradition, but ASF now seems to be caught in the general shrinkage which has diminished all of the prozines.

Years Editor Notes
Jan, 1930 Harry Bates Astounding Stories of Super-Science first published by Clayton
Feb, 1931 Harry Bates Retitled Astounding Stories
Oct, 1933 Harry Bates Now published by Street & Smith
Dec, 1933 F. Orlin Tremaine New editor
Dec, 1937 John W. Campbell New editor
Mar 1938 John W. Campbell Retitled Astounding Science Fiction
Nov 1943 John W. Campbell Switch to digest size.
Aug 1959 John W. Campbell Now published by Conde Nast
Feb 1960 John W. Campbell Title begins to change to Analog Science Fact/Science Fiction
Oct 1960 John W. Campbell Title change to Analog Science Fact/Science Fiction complete
Mar 1963 John W. Campbell Switch to large size.
Apr 1965 John W. Campbell Return to digest size, title reversed to changed to Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact.
Jan 1972 Ben Bova New editor
Dec 1978 Stanley Schmidt New editor
1980 Stanley Schmidt Now published by Davis Publications
1992 Stanley Schmidt Now published by Dell Magazines (later Penny Publications

Astounding (ASF) changed its name to Analog (or, more properly, Analog Science Fiction and Fact in 1960. (Campbell had always disliked the name "Astounding" and had planned on dropping it in 1938, but was forestalled when another (short-lived) magazine used his planned name of "Science Fiction".)

The variants Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, Science Fiction & Fact, Science Fiction and Fact all seem to depend on the masthead layout, the current form is Science Fiction and Fact

Internet Archive copies of Astounding

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