Friday, March 06, 2009

Aaron's Magazine of the Week :: Startling Stories August 1952

Startling Stories August 1952We begin our tribute to the late Philip Jose Farmer with his first published story. The Magazine of the Week is the August 1952 issue of pulp magazine Startling Stories, containing Philip Jose Farmer's "The Lovers" (cover art by Earle Bergey). This copy was signed by Farmer on the story's 50th anniversary, the party for which a book club buddy was able to attend.

"The Lovers" caused an instant sensation, and garnered Farmer a Hugo Award for Most Promising New Talent (a short-lived Hugo category, since replaced by the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer). "The Lovers" was influential because it was one of the earliest works of science fiction to address issues of sexuality in an open and frank matter. This story was thus an important step in the development of the SF genre into a mature branch of literature (even if not everybody yet recognizes it as such).

After the success of "The Lovers," Philip Jose Farmer went on to publish over 75 books. BOTW has featured him twice before, for Fire and the Night and Venus on the Half-Shell. Next week, we will continue our tribute to Farmer with his single most famous book.

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