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Asimov's SF Adventure Magazine

Entry updated 25 January 2021. Tagged: Publication.

US sf and fantasy magazine, a companion to Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (see Asimov's Science Fiction) issued in letter-size semi-Slick format and published quarterly, four issues, Fall 1978 to Fall 1979. Following the success of the original Star Wars film Star Wars (1977), Asimov's SF Adventure was aimed at a younger, less discriminating audience than its elder companion magazine, though at the time that too was targeting younger readers. It sought to fill the gap once held by Planet Stories which was essentially to publish stirring space adventures. For the first issue Poul Anderson updated a story of his from Planet Stories, "Captive of the Centaurianess" (March 1952 Planet Stories), though it still read dated. More fun was an excerpt from Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat adventure, The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You! (Fall 1978; 1978). Sales of the first issue were sufficiently promising to publish quarterly, and the remaining three issues improved steadily in quality. Amongst the better material were a couple of stories by Barry Longyear plus a third, "The Jaren" (Fall 1979) written under the alias Frederick Longbeard and, in its study of humans through alien eyes, one of the best stories in the magazine; two Star School stories by Joe Haldeman and Jack C Haldeman, which later formed part of their collaborative novel There Is No Darkness (1986); Roger Zelazny's "The Last Defender of Camelot" (Summer 1979), which won the Balrog Award; Samuel R Delany's Nevèryön story, "The Tale of Gorgik" (Summer 1979) and the last Traveller in Black story by John Brunner, "The Things That are Gods" (Fall 1979). The best contents, or those more suitable to a wider readership, were the fantasy adventures, which gave the magazine something of a split personality. After four issues, and a loss of some $50,000, publisher Joel Davis decided to drop the magazine, and it did not seem to be missed. [MA]


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