Saturday, December 23, 2006

Science Fiction for the Holidays

Not exactly a seasonal cover here, but the first issue of Infinity has a story that really bowled me over when I was a kid. It's "The Star" by Arthur C. Clarke, and it went on to become a classic in the field. If you've read much SF at all, I'm sure you've read it.

3 comments:

Ed Gorman said...

I still remember the day I bought that first Infinity. I didn't especially like the cover but I gave the magazine a try anyway. And the Clark story was every bit as profound as you say. Infinity went on to become my number one favorite magazine along with its sister Science Fiction Adventures. There was a famous Emsh chessboard cover painting illustrating an Algis Budrys story. I'm pretty sure I recall Ayjay telling me decades later that he'd bought the cover but that somebody had then stolen it. Larry Shaw, the editor, never got his due as a force in sf. I prefered his taste to that of Horace Gold and John Campbell. For one thing it was in his magazines that you saw Robert Silverberg really begin to wail, really do some of the rich unexpected work that would later make him famous.

Bill Crider said...

I loved both those magazines, too, Ed, and I'd say they were my favorites as well. They weren't as classy as Astounding, but they were a lot more fun. I have that chessboard cover, I'm sure. I'll have to look for it.

Todd Mason said...

Mike Ashley does his damnedest to be even-handed in his evaluation of INFINITY in TRANSFORMATIONS, but I think even Mike (who has the good sense to agree with me that the later WEIRD TALES was not necessarily inferior at all to the one drowning in Seabury Quinn and worse sludge) is overly invested in the notion of a Big Three, a holy trinity of F&SF, ASF, and GALAXY in the '50s and '60s. But I've only read one INFINITY straight through, and its batting average was at least as good as the contemporary ASTOUNDING or three I've similarly gone cover-to-cover with. It probably should be noted that these were the probably the worst years of the Campbell ASF/ANALOG, his last decade+, despite occasional good or better work appearing in that magazine.