Today’s Favorite Magazine From The V1N1 Collection – Aboriginal Science Fiction

I probably should have picked this 1980’s semi-prozine-semi, originally tabloid-sized magazine to feature earlier, as it has been touched by a great many people who likely read these posts, people like Bob Eggleton (who won a Chesley for one of its covers), Darrell Schwetzer, Warren Lapine (hope he’s doing well), Connie Willis, Michael Swanwick, John Betancourt, and others (many of whom have sadly passed, including both Harlan and Susan Ellison)).

This was another effort by Charles C. Ryan who we know from Galileo, another well-respected semi-prozine.

I write of the only SF magazine that we know of that was edited by Aliens – Aboriginal Science Fiction, from October, 1988.

The image is admittedly blurry as I had to enlarge the pic displayed on;  my scanner is not large enough to accommodate the tabloid size of the first few issues and my file photo is not all that good (I’ll be stitching together multiple scans at some point.  Have to do that for SF Monthly and a couple of others as well).

Aboriginal’s title came from looking for a name beginning with “A” and aardvark was not deemed appropriate (although it has been used elsewhere in the field).  The magazine’s conceit is that it was edited by aliens who were observing and commenting upon human beings and their foibles.  That led to Hal Clement creating the alien’s homeworld (Clement’s forte) and writers being encouraged to place stories there in a sort-of, short-lived shared world kind of setting.

It featured book and film reviews, ands full-color art for many of the stories.

Its size was reduced following complaints that it didn’t show well on the stands (my copy always wants to flop over) and, eventually, the art and slick paper budget proved to be too much, and were curtailed.

It’s history is a bit unusual in that it was involved with two other magazines;   in 1991, Aboriginal and Interzone “traded” issues, and, at the end of its run, it was merged with another DNA publication title, Absolute Magnitude.

Also the same year as the first issue, a magazine-styled anthology – The Aboriginal Science Fiction Anthology – was published.

It was a fun magazine in many respects, between experimenting with format, artwork, presentation and showcasing new authors, a formula that today could probably only be accomplished electronically.

Below, the Anthology (also in the collection) as well as the Interzone and Abzolute Magnitude issues:




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