Saturday, April 26, 2008

Aaron's Magazine of the Week :: Ten Story Fantasy, Spring 1951

Ten Story FantasyContinuing our tribute to Arthur C. Clarke, the Magazine of the Week is the first and only issue of Ten Story Fantasy, published in the Spring of 1951. The artist who drew the absurd and misogynistic cover is uncredited.

Ten Story Fantasy is what we call a one-shot, a magazine that only lasted for a single issue. The magazine died quickly despite having an accomplished editor, Donald A. Wollheim, the creator of DAW books, which continues to publish to this day. What's more, unlike most one-shots, this issue actually contains an impressive list of contributing authors, including John Wyndham (writing under the pseudonym John Beynon, apparently in no hurry to claim credit for writing the cover story "Tyrant and Slave Girl on Planet Venus"), A.E. Van Vogt, L. Sprague de Camp, Fritz Leiber, C.M. Kornbluth, Lester Del Rey, and August Derleth.

But by far the magazine's greatest claim to fame is that it contains the very first appearance of the Arthur C. Clarke story "Sentinel of Eternity" (later renamed "The Sentinel"), which eventually became the basis for the film and novel 2001: A Space Odyssey. While 2001 is typical of the type of science fiction for which Arthur C. Clarke is best remembered, SF with big ideas and profound speculations on the destiny of mankind, he also had a lighter side. We will complete our Clarke tribute next week with his best humorous book.

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