Sunday, April 09, 2017

Sunday Morning Bonus Pulp: Super Science Stories, March 1950


Another fine Norman Saunders cover graces this issue of SUPER SCIENCE STORIES. Inside are stories by Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, A.E. van Vogt, John D. MacDonald, Raymond Z. Gallun, Robert Arthur, and Neil R. Jones. I've read and enjoyed stories by all of them, although I haven't read much by van Vogt, Gallun, or Jones. You don't hear that much about Popular Publications' SF pulps, but this looks like a very good issue. 

4 comments:

Walker Martin said...

Popular Publications managed to be successful with all the genres: detective, adventure, western, sports, and romance but they never figured out how to publish a quality SF magazine. They just about all were short run SF titles and the stories were not that impressive.

A publishing puzzle...

James Reasoner said...

Didn't science fiction tend to sell the worst of all the pulp genres? Maybe there just wasn't enough of a market and ASTOUNDING, PLANET STORIES, STARTLING STORIES, and THRILLING WONDER STORIES had enough of the readership that there just wasn't enough left over to support any other magazines over the long haul.

Walker Martin said...

You are right about SF being the poorest selling of all the pulp genres. Though more of the actual magazines survived because so many young men were obsessive collectors and saved their copies. Most readers of the other genres threw their copies away or passed them on to other readers. Thus less copies survived even though there were more printed.

Todd said...

I imagine there was some pulp field that sold less well. Certainly fantasy and horror magazines received less sustained support, even though WEIRD TALES survived and others got by in very clearly mixing in sf or, as with JUNGLE STORIES, other sorts of adventure story. And shudder, after its brief Depression vogue. Hm, wonder what else, particularly among broad categories (as opposed to zeppelin magazines) might've done less well.

Popular hired Frederik Pohl as a kid to do their first versions of SUPER SCIENCE and its sibling ASTONISHING, and he did pretty well, but was in a failing marriage and feeling as if he should be drafted. Alden H. Norton, his boss, took them over, then folded them, and wasn't really too tuned in to sf, nor was revival editor Ejler Jakobsson. It amused Pohl, the coincidence that EJ would follow him as editor of the GALAXY/IF group years later.