Friday, November 24, 2006

Aaron's Magazine of the Week :: Startling Stories November 1939

Startling Stories November 1939Continuing our tribute to Jack Williamson (1908-2006), the Magazine of the Week is the November 1939 issue of Startling Stories, with cover story "The Fortress of Utopia" by Williamson, a story he remembered fondly in a
1999 Interzone interview.

I thought this magazine would be a fitting one to honor Jack Williamson, not only because I love the cover's science fictional variation on the story of Noah's Ark (even if it is not quite so garish a cover as last week's), but because the magazine contains a profile of Jack Williamson in which he boasts of recently passing one million words published in his career. There is no telling how many millions more words he wrote between then and his most recent novel, The Stonehenge Gate (2005).

From 1928 on, Jack Williamson was one of the regulars of the science fiction pulps until the market shifted to paperbacks. It is remarkable that he was then able to reinvent himself as a more sophisticated writer and continue his career for another half-century. Next week we will honor another mainstay of the science fiction pulps who recently passed away, a writer who was not inclined to make that transition after the pulp magazines disappeared and had written only sparingly since the 1950's.

1 comment:

Shadowman said...

Curious image on the cover. What is the story of the presumably Cruise Ship castaways being executed by the uniformed soldier types?