Here, on the cover of the 33rd anniversary issue of Amazing Stories itself, a vision of future hell.
This is what happens when you mess with the Hugo Rocket. When you mess with the rocket, you’re messing with the fans!
Not wanting to run afoul of the WSFS MPC, the artist (Valigursky) took a bit of license with the form of the Hugo Rocket, but the message remains very clear:
You mess with the rocket during launch, and the rocket WILL. MESS. WITH. YOU.
In crushy, burny, explody kinds of ways.
I almost – almost – feel sorry for that guy inside the flames who looks like he’s trying to hold the damn thing up. He probably realizes what a HUGO mistake he’s made. Unfortunately, making amends at this late stage of the game is futile, no matter how well-intentioned.
So yeah, the rest of us will have to clean up the pad (nasty work, that: scraping up biological matter that’s been heat-fused to the concrete) and work a launch delay into the schedule, but that’s the great thing about rockets – you can always build and launch another one.
It’s not the same with people. Or careers.
Remember, Steve Austin was a fictional character.
THIS RANGE SAFETY MESSAGE PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY HUGO LAUNCH CONTROL AND THE EXPERIMENTER PUBLISHING COMPANY.
Here’s the original April 1959 cover by Edward Valigursky illustrating Ron Cocking’s Warning From the Stars