Sunday, November 19, 2006

Flying In Space

This is a rather unusual cover for Bergey; no damsels in distress or horrid space monsters. In fact it's a lovely space scene featuring a nice Sci Fi element; an astronaut flying through space with a PPD, a personal propulsion device. I suspect he painted this cover to show his critics what he could do if given the assignment. It was also about the time Startling was attempting to become a bit more respectable. After all, Astounding was leading the field in quality under editor John W. Campbell. Amazing and Fantastic Adventures under the editorship of Raymond A. Palmer (RAP) were heading the other way, publishing a series of stories by Richard Shaver, allegedly true, warning about an underground race threatening humanity. (Those stories eventually cost Palmer his job, so he founded another magazine to promote thw stories, defending them until his death in 1977.)

While still publishing good Space Opera Startling and Thrilling also published Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Philip Jose Farmer. In fact Farmer's story, The Lovers, was quite daring for its day, dealing with inter-species romance. Eventually the line that included Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Space Stories , Wonder Story Annual and Fantastic Story was unable to compete in the restricted market of the 1950s and the magazines ceased publication with the Fall, 1955, issue of Startling, combined with Thrilling Wonder and Fantastic Story. It was a mere 114 pages featuring a cover by Emsh and stories by James E. Gunn, Robert F. Young, Mack Reynolds. Interior illustrations were by Virgil Finlay and Emsh. In all, it wasn't really a bad way to go out.

If anyone out there reading this has any particular pulp and Sci Fi related stories they would like to share, I would be happy to hear from you.


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