One of the biggest science fiction magazines is now available for free online
If you love classic science fiction, one of the best magazines in the genre is now available online for free. Archive.org now houses a collection of Science-Fiction Galaxy, who has released some of the best works in the genre, such as an early draft by Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 and Alfred Bester The demolished man.
The collection contains 355 separate issues, ranging from 1950 to 1976. Open culture notes that this is not quite the entire magazine, but has plenty of material to keep fans occupied for years to come. It includes stories from science fiction legends such as Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Clifford Simak, and Theodore Sturgeon. There are also underrated authors who deserve to be rediscovered, such as Kris Neville, Alan E. Nourse or John Christopher. (Sadly, like most publications from this era, female SF writers were underrepresented.)
Galaxy Science-Fiction was a digest magazine founded by publisher Horace Leonard Gold, after World War II. Meanwhile, the field of science fiction was changing. The biggest publication on the scene, Breathtaking science fiction, was starting to lose its edge, while American readers had more entertainment options, such as radio, novels or television.
Gold chose to focus on mature stories in a genre that was quickly becoming more sophisticated in themes and tropes, focusing on plausible scientific and social issues. The genre had come of age, he explained in his introduction to the first issue, saying that his magazine “proposes to bring the maturity of this type of literature into the realm of science fiction magazines, where it is now, unfortunately a little hard to find. . ” Galaxy would reject some of the more luscious elements of the genre and emphasize sleek design, stories with plausible science, and ‘curated for’ stories. [their] maturity, intelligence and professional quality. To underscore this, Gold titled his introduction “For Adults Only”.
Under Gold’s direction (and later, under the direction of author and editor Frederic Pohl), the magazine became a landmark in the science fiction genre, giving rise to some of his most successful works. more famous. These included early versions of books like the aforementioned Fahrenheit 451 and The demolished man, but also the space opera by Alfred Bester The stars my destination and the detective novel by Isaac Asimov Steel caves. A sister publication, If Magazine, came later, which can also be found on Archive.org.
In its heyday, the magazine changed the focus of science fiction. James Gunn explained in his book Galaxy Magazine: the dark and bright years that Gold was not necessarily interested in the stories of engineers and scientists, “but of ordinary people who were most affected by scientific and technological changes.”
Now that the magazine has gone live, this collection is a great opportunity for readers to experience a piece of science fiction history. Fans of all generations can dig for a forgotten author or story, or re-read a beloved classic.