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Nebula Science Fiction

Entry updated 11 September 2023. Tagged: Publication.

UK large-Digest-size magazine. 41 issues Autumn 1952-August 1959, published by Crownpoint Publications, Glasgow, Autumn 1952-April 1955, and by Peter Hamilton September 1955-August 1959; edited by Peter Hamilton. Issues were numbered consecutively after Vols 1 and 2 of four nos each; what should have been Vol 3 #1 was actually marked #9. Publication was quite irregular except for July 1957-February 1959, which was monthly apart from the omission of November and December 1957.

Nebula was the first and for nearly half a century the only Scottish SF Magazine (until the launch of Spectrum SF in 2000), and was part of the 1950s UK sf magazine revival, of which it was one of the most important titles along with New Worlds and Science Fantasy. Nebula was subsidized by its editor, an enthusiastic fan, still a teenager when the magazine began. It always ran a news section, including a column by the celebrated Irish fan Walt Willis, co-editor of Hyphen and Slant. But although Nebula was fannish it was by no means juvenile; Hamilton was serious-minded and prepared to experiment with difficult stories and to encourage young writers. Brian W Aldiss, Bob Shaw and Robert Silverberg all had their first published stories in Nebula. Other contributors included Harlan Ellison, Eric Frank Russell, Kenneth Bulmer and E C Tubb, the latter being the most prolific. Early issues each contained a novel plus a small number of short stories, but the novel-an-issue policy was later dropped.

The often handsome and distinctive front covers were the work of various artists, including Alan Hunter, Ken Barr, Bob Clothier, Eddie Jones, Ken McIntyre, Gerard Quinn, James Rattigan and James Stark. (McIntyre, Rattigan and Stark seem to have published professionally only in this magazine, with four, six and nine covers respectively.) Nebula was popular with writers; Hamilton was able to keep it going as very much a one-man show, never very profitably, for seven years. Some later issues went on sale in the USA. [PN/FHP/DRL]

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