The News Stand: 60 Years Ago This Month – 1963

The early 60s, as a decade, was experiencing a “bust” period, at least for magazines on the news stands.  Twelve titles, 72 total issues for the year.

Saturn Science Fiction would have its name and focus change from SF to detective stories, and so falls out of our concern.

Magabook, Spacemen and Gamma might or might not have been on the stands in October.  Magabook had only two releases in 1963, with the latest being displayed.  Spacemen’s distribution was erratic and no telling whether it would be on display or not.  Shown is the last issue with a 1963 cover date.  Gamma only produced two issues in 1963, this being the last one.  More than likely it would not have been on display.  The Wonder Stories “magazine” is actually a reprint anthology printed in magazine format and, presumably, distributed as such.  It is not listed as an “annual”, leaving its duration on the stands in question.  I’ve included it here because I imagine that the publisher would want a “book” to be displayed as long as possible.

On the other hand, you can really find fault with a month that brings Damon Knights “The Big Pat Boom” to your awareness.  I think the nature of science fiction was permanently changed with the publication of that story.

If you go looking for it and find the video – try to avoid watching that before reading the text.  The video is not bad and is pretty faithful, but the story encourages the reader to do a lot of visualizing and you shouldn’t miss that opportunity.

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