04 August 2008

SF editors and history

Interesting posts and comments lately. Thanks for kicking off the conversation, Dave. I think SF is unique in that its editors and publishers have played a significant role in the evolution of the field. As everyone knows, WorldCon starts this week and we will be awarding the Hugos. But does everyone know these most-celebrated awards are named after editor and published Hugo Gernsback? Among other things, Hugo Gernsback established the first notion of SF, i.e. adventurous science lessons. IMHO, Stanley Schmidt over at Analog very much continues this tradition; he wants complicated hard SF stories.

I've been a subscriber of both Analog and Asimov's for over a quarter century, so I must admit I'm part of their 'graying' audience. The quality of these p-zines remains excellent, but frankly I prefer Electric Spec. I think our stuff is fresher, more original, and more diverse. I guess the p-zines have a lot of inertia linked with all that history. To be honest, I also suspect the editors and authors of the p-zines, including Locus, are not really part of the computer generation even though we've been imagining it since way back when. The e-zines are the wave of the future, especially if we can utilize more emerging technologies. Hhm... Electric Spec on Twitter/IM/Facebook/MySpace? We may have some work to do. :)


Betsy Dornbusch said...

I think I made Electric Spec a MySpace page way back when. I should check, eh?

lartronics said...

I was hired by Hugo as an Assistant Editor in the late 1950's. And continued as owner until we shut down operations in 2003.

I’ve recently published a new 900-page biography about the life and times of Hugo Gernsback. It is available on Amazon. Just follow this link:


The manuscript was found while I was in the process of closing down Gernsback Publications Inc. in 2003. It was apparently written some time in the 1950’s. It covers all the areas that Hugo found interesting: wireless communications, science fiction, publishing, patents, foretelling the future, and much more.

Want more info? Contact me at PoptronixInc@aol.com