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Entry updated 8 February 2019. Tagged: Publication.


US magazine in Digest format, eight issues, Winter 1977 to Winter 1979, published from Boston by Unearth Publications, edited by Jonathan Ostrowsky-Lantz and John M Landsberg. Subtitled "The Magazine of Science Fiction Discoveries", the cleverly titled Unearth had the avowed intention that all fiction should be by previously unpublished authors or by authors previously published only in Unearth, or be reprints of first-sf-story sales by well known authors; these constraints were slightly relaxed for the last two issues. The reprints featured early work by Algis Budrys, Philip K Dick, Harlan Ellison, Roger Zelazny and Michael Moorcock, along with introductions by the authors describing the background to their first sales, but Unearth's main significance came from the new writers it discovered. These included, amongst others, William Gibson with "Fragments of a Hologram Rose" (Summer 1977), James P Blaylock with "Red Planet" (Summer 1977), Paul Di Filippo with "Falling Expectations" (Winter 1977), S P Somtow with "Sunsteps" (Summer 1977), D C Poyer with "Act of Mercy" (Winter 1978), Craig Shaw Gardner with "Rocket Roll" (Spring 1978) and Rudy Rucker with the first two episodes of his (incomplete in Unearth) serial Spacetime Donuts (Summer 1978 to Winter 1979; 1981). The artists Clyde Caldwell and Barclay Shaw were further discoveries. Alongside this innovative approach to fiction were the usual departments, plus the series Science for Fiction by Hal Clement and articles under the heading Writing by Harlan Ellison. The magazine was always financially challenged; when a new backer withdrew at the last minute, plans for further issues were dropped and the magazine ceased. Yet with those eight issues it was arguably a more successful magazine in terms of attracting new, important talent than any other. [RR/MA]


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