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Galaxy Science Fiction Novels

Entry updated 29 March 2015. Tagged: Publication.

A companion series to Galaxy Science Fiction. The first 31 issues of these numbered books, which resembled magazines, were published irregularly, 1950-1957, in Digest format, and a further four, 1957-1959, were issued in standard paperback format. #1-#7 (1950-1951) were published by World Editions, #9-#35 (1952-1959) by Galaxy Publishing Corp. The series was then taken over by Beacon Books, a publisher specializing in mild pornography, which brought out 11 further issues, #36-#46 (1959-1961), still in paperback format, usually with lurid covers and suggestive titles.

The original series featured several classics of magazine sf, including Sinister Barrier (March 1939 Unknown; 1943) by Eric Frank Russell (#1), Legion of Space (April-September 1934 Astounding; rev 1947) by Jack Williamson (#2) and Lest Darkness Fall (December 1939 Unknown; exp 1941; rev 1949) by L Sprague de Camp (#24). Notable novels from outside the genre, often abridged, included The Amphibians (1924) and The World Below (1929) by S Fowler Wright (#4 and #5) and Odd John (1935) by Olaf Stapledon (#8). There were also some original novels, including Prelude to Space (1951) by Arthur C Clarke (#3) and Empire (1951) by Clifford D Simak (#7). Original novels with a sexy slant published in the Beacon Books series include Flesh (1960) by Philip José Farmer (#41) and The Male Response (1961) by Brian W Aldiss (#45), while such innocuous works as A E van Vogt's The House that Stood Still (1950) and Cyril Judd's Outpost Mars (1952) were retitled, respectively, The Mating Cry (rev vt 1960) (#44) and Sin in Space (rev vt 1961) (#46).

In 1963 there appeared a second companion series to Galaxy, Galaxy Magabooks, each volume consisting of two short novels by a single author. There were only three issues: #1 and #2 came in 1963; the later #3 was ... And My Fear is Great/Baby is Three (1965 dos) by Theodore Sturgeon. Award Books issued a number of paperbacks as "Galaxy Science Fiction Novels" in the early 1970s, but these did not constitute a series. [BS]


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