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Science Fiction Quarterly

Entry updated 9 October 2023. Tagged: Publication.


US Pulp magazine in two series: Summer 1940 to Spring 1943 (10 issues) and May 1951 to February 1958 (28 issues), published by Columbia Publications. The first two issues of the first series were edited by Charles Hornig, and all others by Robert A W Lowndes.

In its first incarnation Science Fiction Quarterly – a companion to Science Fiction (see Science Fiction Stories) and Future Fiction – featured a complete novel in every issue, mostly reprints from varied sources: five were by Ray Cummings. Many of the short stories were original, and the magazine, under Lowndes, was an important market for members of the Futurians, notably C M Kornbluth under various pseudonyms: Cecil Corwin, S D Gottesman or Paul Lavond (the last once with Frederik Pohl and once with both Pohl and Lowndes). Two undated reprint editions of the Summer 1940 and Winter 1941/1942 issues were published in the UK in 1943.

The second series published a number of notable articles, including the series Science in Science Fiction by James Blish (May 1951-May 1952), "The Evolution of Science Fiction" by Thomas D Clareson (August 1953) and "The Lost Continents of Fiction" (August 1954) by L Sprague de Camp. De Camp, Damon Knight and Lowndes himself also contributed multiple instalments of the regular book reviews column "­Readin' and ­Writhin'". Notable stories included "Second Dawn" (August 1951) by Arthur C Clarke, James Blish's "Common Time" (August 1953) and Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question" (November 1956), but most fiction was unexceptional. When Science Fiction Quarterly died at the end of 1957 (the February 1958 issue was on sale in December 1957) it was the last of the sf pulp magazines, and an era had come to an end.

Some stories from series one were reprinted in the UK as part of Science Fiction Library (a 1960 pocketbook series). Winter 1942 was reprinted as #15 of Swan American Magazine in 1950. Ten numbered undated issues of series 2 were published by Thorpe & Porter in the UK during 1952-1955. [BS/PN/DRL]


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