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ASTOUNDING STORIES 

ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION

Astounding was initially published by Publisher's Fiscal Corporation, which became Clayton Magazines in March 1931. The first issue appeared in January 1930, with Bates as editor. Bates aimed for straightforward action-adventure stories, with scientific elements only present to provide minimal plausibility. Clayton paid much better rates than Amazing and Wonder Stories—two cents a word on acceptance, rather than half a cent a word, on publication (or sometimes later)—and consequently Astounding attracted some of the better-known pulp writers, such as Murray Leinster, Victor Rousseau, and Jack Williamson. In February 1931, the original name Astounding Stories of Super-Science was shortened to Astounding Stories.

The magazine was profitable, but the Depression caused Clayton problems. Normally a publisher would pay a printer three months in arrears, but when a credit squeeze began in May 1931, it led to pressure to reduce this delay. The financial difficulties led Clayton to start alternating the publication of his magazines, and he switched Astounding to a bimonthly schedule with the June 1932 issue. Some printers bought the magazines which were indebted to them: Clayton decided to buy his printer to prevent this from happening. This proved a disastrous move. Clayton did not have the money to complete the transaction, and in October 1932 Clayton decided to cease publication of Astounding, with the expectation that the January 1933 issue would be the last one. As it turned out, there were enough stories in inventory, and enough paper, to publish one further issue, so the last Clayton Astounding was dated March 1933. In April Clayton went bankrupt, and sold his magazine titles; the buyer quickly resold the titles to Street & Smith, a well-established publisher.

 Science fiction was not an entirely new departure for Street & Smith. They already possessed two pulp titles that occasionally ventured into the field: The Shadow, which had begun in 1931 and was tremendously successful, with a circulation over 300,000; and Doc Savage, which had been launched in March 1933. They gave the post of editor of Astounding to F. Orlin Tremaine, an experienced editor who had been working for Clayton as the editor of Clues, and who had come to Street & Smith as part of the transfer of titles after Clayton's bankruptcy. Desmond Hall, who had also come from Clayton, was made assistant editor; because Tremaine was editor of Clue and Top-Notch, as well as Astounding, Hall did a lot of the editorial work, though Tremaine retained final control over the contents.

The first Street & Smith issue was dated October 1933; it was not until the third issue, in December 1933, that the editorial team was named on the masthead. Street & Smith had an excellent distribution network, and they were able to get Astounding's circulation up to an estimated 50,000 by the middle of 1934. The two main rival science fiction magazines of the day, Wonder Stories and Amazing Stories, each had a circulation of about half that. Astounding was the leading science fiction magazine by the end of 1934; and it was also the largest, at 160 pages, and the cheapest, at 20 cents. Street & Smith's rates of one cent per word (sometimes more) on acceptance were not as good as the rates paid by Bates for the Clayton Astounding, but they were still better than those of the other magazines.

Campbell took over the editorship of Astounding in October 1937, but it's generally acknowledged that his definitive style only became fully established with the July 1939 issue (containing the first stories to appear in the magazine by both Van Vogt and Asimov).  John W Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction magazine, throughout the 1940s and 50s was the home to SF's leading "ideas men", including such greats as A E Van Vogt, Eric Frank Russell and Henry Kuttner, and others less well known such as Raymond F Jones, H Beam Piper, Randall Garrett and Mark Clifton. It also saw some of the earliest publications by such household names as L Ron Hubbard, Isaac Asimov and Robert A Heinlein. 

Astounding continued at full pace until 1960, when Campbell changed the magazine's name to Analog. There was a handover period during which both logos appeared - the final issue to bear the name Astounding (very faintly behind the Analog logo) was dated September 1960
 

Analog Science Fiction and Fact as of 2011,  is the longest running continuously published magazine of that genre. Initially published in 1930 in the United States as Astounding Stories as a pulp magazine, it has undergone several name changes, primarily to Astounding Science-Fiction in 1938, and Analog Science Fact & Fiction in 1960. In November 1992, its logo changed to use the term "Fiction and Fact" rather than "Fact & Fiction". It is in the library of the International Space Station. Spanning three incarnations since 1930, this is perhaps the most influential magazine in the history of the genre. It remains a fixture of the genre today. As “Astounding Science Fiction”, a new direction for both the magazine and the genre under editor John W. Campbell was established. His editorship influenced the careers of Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, and also introduced the dianetic theories of L. Ron Hubbard in May 1950.

Analog frequently publishes new authors, including then-newcomers such as Orson Scott Card and Joe Haldeman in the 1970s, Harry Turtledove, Timothy Zahn, Greg Bear, and Joseph H. Delaney in the 1980s, and Paul Levinson, Michael A. Burstein, and Rajnar Vajra in the 1990s.

One of the major publications of what fans and historians call the Golden Age of Science Fiction and afterward, it has published much-reprinted work by such major SF authors as E.E. Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, A. E. van Vogt, Lester del Rey, and many others. 

 

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1936 June Issue of Astounding Stories $15
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