Monday, February 17, 2014

8/64: Some fiction magazines on the newsstands:

Constant readers could see this (almost Pinterestesque) post coming down the garden path...the various US and UK essentially-fiction magazines that would be on the newsstands in August, 1964...mostly cover-dated "September" but potentially a few stragglers, and some irregularly issued or quarterly or annual magazines that would have further-out dates. But this is a kind of pop-cultural anthropology which is dear to my heart, so I beg indulgence...and they can make quite a sight, even when (as with the crime-fiction magazines) hardly anyone tried too hard to make it pretty...
This issue reviewed here

Highsmith's "The Snail Watcher" first appears;
Malamud's "The Angel Levine" is a reprint.

Goldsmith Lalli's ZD magazines could feature some weak
 fiction choices from time to time (along with quite a few brilliant ones), but the packaging 
was often self-sabotaging (and probably out of her control).
Science Fantasy's covers would improve enormously the
 next year when Keith Roberts joined the staff...
Henry James loved his horror.

The UK version, with its cover revamp, almost looked like a romance title.
In this issue: first appearance of "Marmalade Wine" by Joan Aiken.

The best image I could find of the relevant Short Story International issues...

1964 a good year for Miriam Allen deFord, clearly..

Actually, please Do miss Farnham's Freehold...

One of Popular Library's several reprint bookazines
with fiction taken from their parent Thrilling Group
magazines...after several issues of 
Wonder Stories and
before a western companion began in 1965.

It's sad that among all the crime-fiction titles, the one
trying hardest to grab the newsstand browser's attention
with cover design is the "shudder" digest, essentially
as much sado-porn as they could get away with. But
probably they needed to grab that attention more than
the others did...
Very sadly, Chase with no budget, put together on the
fly after a last-minute publisher switch, looks only a bit
worse than does
EQMM, and the other long-running
digests look perfunctory at best.
London didn't try, at all.

The December issue, the closest to relevant I could find.

And, of course, I'm cheating by leaving out all the "true" confessions and "men's sweat" magazines that were wholly fiction, or close enough...but I think I'll forgive myself...most images here are courtesy of Galactic Central's captures...


Walker Martin said...

FARNHAM'S FREEHOLD by Heinlein may be in the running for most disappointing novel by a major SF writer. I remember reading it in IF back in 1964 and the memory still won't go away. Dreadful.

Todd Mason said...

Editor Frederik Pohl made no bones about taking it for no other reason than it would draw readers to IF. I attempted to read the paperback, and the concentrated sexism, agism and obvious self-regard displayed by the Heinlein stand-in among the characters in the opening chapters was so off-putting that I never got to the apparent racism that tends to throw even non-fanatic Heinlein readers later in the novel.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

wonderful stuff, thanks Todd - love that juxtaposition of the two Argosy covers especially!

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Sergio...interesting how the August cover has a look that could've easily be applied on a current project today, with perhaps only a bit less intake of breath on the part of the dull-witted.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

This is terrific stuff, Todd. The next best thing to holding these magazines in my hands.

Todd Mason said...

Well, it gives something of a sense of them...and there are scraps of several on the web...thanks!

k.papai said...

Again, that Analog 1964 AUG cover has always been one of my favorite cover arts. Sweet page here! Excellent overall.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, KP!