Today’s Favorite V1N1 Magazine is – From 1940

It’s an oldie, and not all that goldie, but it is one of the earlier SF pulps published during the 2nd “boom” in SF publishing that preceded World War 2 (1938-1943 or thereabouts).

Side Note:  We would really appreciate it if people would consider commenting here on the website (you’d need to register – user name and password only – we don’t gather or track) rather than on Facebook or elsewhere, or in addition to.  We’ve been told that every required click loses viewers.  We’ve also been told that maybe we need to be a little more “teasery” in our FB posts – leaving you all wanting more.  So here’s an experiment:  if we don’t reveal the name of the magazine in question, will more people click through to read the post?  We’ll all find out very soon.

Today’s favorite – I don’t remember where I acquired this one – was edited by F. Orlin Tremaine, the editor who brought Astounding Stories into prominence, and incidentally recommended the hiring of John W. Campbell Jr. as his replacement.

We speak of Comet: Stories of Super Time and Space, first published in December of 1940 –

Note that they are still using the older “Scientifiction” name for the genre, including its abbreviation “STF” (Steff) on the cover, which is probably a call out to the older, more established fans in a bid for readership – and pretty heavy-handed at that.

Comet is not noted for its design, nor its contents, though it did publish a fair amount by names in the field – Leigh Brackett, Sam Moskowitz, Binder, Simak, Williamson.

Ironically, one of Tremaine’s first published story (Weird Tales) was titled The Throwback – which pretty much sums up the nature of this magazine – a throwback to the earlier days (like, ALLLL the way back to a time some 14 years earlier!) when much of published StF was either considered to be or was juvenile in nature.

The magazine lasted for all of 5 issues.

Boom and Bust

Dey Rey posited that the SF publishing industry went through “Boom and Bust” cycles.  A while back I used greater resources than were available to Lester at the time he wrote that and found that his theory was not entirely backed up by the facts, but that there was a general ebb and flow on something of a 13 year cycle, with the “boom” lasting 5-6 years of each cycle.  The first ran from 1926 to about 1935, the second from 1939 to about 1943 and so on.  It seems only natural that a “hot market” would get flooded by attempts to cash in, followed by a falling off as the weaker efforts fail, followed by a rebuilding phase.  External events also seem to play a roll – a small boom followed the moon landing, another followed Star Wars.

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