Friday, July 19, 2013

FFB: INSIDE SCIENCE FICTION #53: The F&SF Parody Issue (1958)

The 53rd issue of the ambitious and rather impressive fanzine Inside Science Fiction was given over in part to a parody of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (and to some extent its stablemates, including the then-recently sold Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine), with parodies of the house ads as well as the editorial content and covers (of both F&SF and, within, of Venture, F&SF's shortlived sf sibling, given here as Censured).

from the FictionMags Index, this entry by Ned Brooks

Inside [#53, September 1958] ed. Ron Smith (25¢/30¢, 64pp, digest s/s, cover by Dan Adkins) cover as by “Mel Humdrum”.
  • "The Magazine of Science Fiction Fantasy And" with spoof contents page
  • F&SF parody contents:
  • _5 · Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo · Henna Zenderson · ss
  • _8 · Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Fakeout · Anon. · ss
  • _9 · Bleak Fate Intervenes · Thomas Hardy · ss
  • _10 · The Night After We Land on Mars · R. S. Dickson · ss
  • _12 · Recondemned Reading · Anthony Twin · ar
  • _14 · Platitudes · Walter Jose Alverez · ss
  • _19 · Song of the Spaceways · Fredric Beige · ss
  • _20 · Censured house ad: "The Same Old Story..." · humor
  • balance of issue:
  • 21 · book reviews · Bob Leman, James Gunn, Lawrence Janifer/Larry Harris, Lin Carter, Dave Foley (not the comic actor), Bill Donaho · br
  • 35 · Blurb Happy · Bob Tucker · ar; humor
  • 40 · Sound the Anti-Tocsin · Walt Willis · hu
  • 42 · Letters Found in an Author’s Drawers · Robert Bloch · hu
  • 46 · The Slitherer from the Slime (as by "H. P. Lowcraft") · Lin Carter & Dave Foley · humor; satire.
  • 51 · Miller by Moonlight · Bob Miller · cartoons
  • 56 · How They Did the Doggie at the Curbside · David R. Bunch · ss
  • 62 · Khartoum · Anthony Boucher · vi Stefantasy Aug 1955
It's a pretty delightful, knowing, and only slightly heavyhanded parody of Boucher's F&SF by the end of his editorial tenure, with the Fredric Brown micro-vignette parody, for example, squeezed down to one word on the page in part by the thunderous weight of Boucher's headnote, and the Philip Jose Farmer, Zenna Henderson and Robert S. Richardson parodies not Too overdone, and a Thomas Hardy lampoon of sorts standing in for F&SF's reprints. The mockery of Venture (and particularly of the Boucherish ad copy for the attempt at a highly literate but also sexually and otherwise thematically as well as literally adventurous magazine that it was) and of the other Mercury Press magazines, such as Mercury Mystery and Bestseller Mystery as well as the just-sold EQMM is also particularly on-target. The balance of the magazine features a preponderance of satirical material as well, with fannish and literary japes by Tucker, Willis, Boucher and Bloch, and Carter and Foley's Lovecraft lampoon, and a typically acidic short story by David R. Bunch. Inside would suspend publication shortly thereafter, after its impressive run (I have yet to read their similar? parody of Astounding Science Fiction, the predecessor of today's Analog), come back with a few more issues several years later, and then change hands to become the long-lived if less clangorous Riverside Quarterly.  There is at least one copy of this issue on sale on eBay at the moment, and if any candidate is ripe for web-archive, Inside is certainly high on the list (I hope to be instructed I've overlooked it being extant)...along with such later examples of similar work as the New York Review of SF-staff parody of Pulphouse magazine, Pulphaus...("because the fans want it...").

For more and more conventional books for this week, please see Patti Abbott's blog.


Ray said...

To answer your question on Pattinase re: Album Covers.
The Stones 'Aftermath' is the first UK cover. Photo of Stones with a brownish tint.

George said...

Todd, thanks again for the heads-up on the two collections of Algis Budrys' SF book reviews! I loved the first volume you recommended (I also purchased the Budrys' GALAXY reviews collection, too). I've ordered the two new volumes and can't wait until they arrive! I think Rick Robinson may buy them, too.

Todd Mason said...

During my brief period of alertness yesterday, I read a Frederik Pohl column for IF, just after the Guin purchase of the magazine (where Pohl is rather euphemistically noted as "Features Editor" rather than more appropriately "Ghost Editor in Chief"), and some of the same insight that helped inspire Damon Knight back in the late '30s/early '40s, who in turn nudged most of the other folks we can rattle off into actual criticism of sf, is very much in evidence two decades later.

Glad to facilitate in any useful way! Very glad you like them. Though, as noted, as Budrys grew disenchanted with his task at both GALAXY and F&SF, in the last columns for both, the disenchantment shows.