The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

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The first issue, titled The Magazine of Fantasy

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (usually referred to as F&SF) is a US fantasy and science fiction magazine first published in 1949 by Fantasy House, a subsidiary of Lawrence Spivak's Mercury Press. The first editors, Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas, had approached Spivak in the mid-1940s about creating a fantasy companion to Spivak's existing mystery title, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The first isuse was titled The Magazine of Fantasy, but the decision was quickly taken to include science fiction as well as fantasy, and the title was changed correspondingly with the second issue. The magazine was quite different in presentation from the existing science fiction magazines of the day, most of which were in pulp format: there were no interior illustrations, no letter column, and the text was laid out in a single column format, which in the opinion of science fiction historian Mike Ashley "set F&SF apart, giving it the air and authority of a superior magazine".

It quickly became one of the leading magazines in the science fiction and fantasy field, with a reputation for publishing literary material and including more diverse stories than its competitors. Well known stories that appeared in the early years include Richard Matheson's "Born of Man and Woman", and Ward Moore's Bring the Jubilee, a novel of an alternative history in which the South has won the American Civil War. McComas left for health reasons in 1954, but Boucher continued as sole editor until 1958, winning the Hugo Award for Best Magazine in that year, a feat which his successor, Robert Mills, repeated in the next two years. Mills acquired "Flowers for Algernon" from Daniel Keyes in 1959, which Keyes had been unable to sell elsewhere; Rogue Moon, by Algis Budrys; Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein; and the first of Brian Aldiss's "Hothouse" stories. The first few issues mostly featured cover art by George Salter, Mercury Press's art director, but other artists soon began to appear, including Chesley Bonestell, Kelly Freas, and Ed Emshwiller.

Avram Davidson followed Mills as editor in 1962, and when he left Joseph Ferman, who had bought the magazine from Spivak in 1954, took over briefly as editor, though his son, Edward Ferman, soon began doing the editorial work under his father's supervision. At the start of 1966 Edward Ferman was listed as editor, and four years later he acquired the magazine from his father and moved the editorial offices to his house in Connecticut. Ferman remained editor for over 25 years, and published many well-received stories, including Fritz Leiber's "Ill Met in Lankhmar", Robert Silverberg's "Born with the Dead", and the stories in Steven King's "The Dark Tower" series. In 1991 he turned the editorship over to Kristin Kathryn Rusch, who began including more horror and dark fantasy than had appeared under Ferman. In the mid-1990s circulation began to decline; most magazines were losing subscribers and F&SF was no exception. Gordon Van Gelder replaced Rusch in 1997, and bought the magazine from Ferman in 2001, but circulation continued to fall, and by 2011 it was below 15,000. In 2015 Charles Coleman Finlay took over from Van Gelder as editor.

Publication history[edit]

Lawrence Spivak[edit]

The first magazine dedicated to fantasy, Weird Tales, appeared in 1923;[3] it was followed in 1926 by Amazing Stories, the first science fiction (sf) magazine.[4] By the end of the 1930s, the genre was flourishing in the United States, with nearly twenty new science fiction and fantasy titles appearing between 1938 and 1941.[5] These were all pulp magazines, which meant that despite the occasional high-quality story, most of the magazines presented badly-written fiction and were regarded as trash by many readers.[6] In 1941, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine appeared, focusing on detective fiction, and edited by Fred Dannay. The magazine was published in digest format, rather than pulp, and printed a mixture of classic stories and fresh material.[7] Dannay attempted to avoid the sensationalist fiction appearing in the pulps, and soon made the magazine a success.[8]

In the early 1940s Anthony Boucher, a successful writer of fantasy and sf and also of mystery stories, got to know Dannay through his work on the Ellery Queen radio show. Boucher also knew J. Francis McComas, an editor who shared his interest in fantasy and sf. By 1944 McComas and Boucher became interested in the idea of a fantasy companion to Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and spoke to Dannay about it. Dannay was interested in the idea, but paper was short because of the war.[8] The following year Boucher and McComas suggested that the new magazine could use the Ellery Queen name, but Dannay knew little about fantasy and suggested instead that they approach Lawrence Spivak, the owner of Mercury Press, which published Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.[8][1]

In January 1946, Boucher and McComas went to New York and met with Spivak, who let them know later in the year that he wanted to go ahead. At Spivak's request they began acquiring material for the new magazine, including a new story by Raymond Chandler, and reprint rights to stories by H.P. Lovecraft, John Dickson Carr, and Robert Bloch. Spivak initially planned the first issue (for which Boucher and McComas were proposing the title Fantasy and Horror) for early 1947, but repeatedly delayed the launch because of poor newsstand sales of digest magazines. He also suggested that it should be priced at 35 cents an issue, which was higher than the original plan, to provide a financial buffer against poor sales.[9] In May 1949 Spivak suggested a new title: The Magazine of Fantasy; and in August, a press release went out announcing that the magazine would appear in October.[10] On October 6, 1949, Spivak, Boucher and McComas held a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Edgar Allan Poe and to launch "a new fantasy anthology periodical".[11] Invitees included John Dickson Carr, Basil Rathbone, and Boris Karloff.[11]

The first issue, published by Fantasy House, a subsidiary of American Mercury,[12] sold 57,000 copies, which was less than Spivak had hoped for, and it was not until November that Spivak gave Boucher and McComas the go-ahead for another issue. The title was changed to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (almost always abbreviated to F&SF by both fans and science fiction historians) to reflect the contents.[11] Sales of the second issue were strong enough for Spivak to commit further, and the magazine's future became more assured, despite the difficulties caused by the fact that both Boucher and McComas lived on the west coast, whereas the magazine's publishing offices were in New York.[13] The publishing schedule moved to bimonthly with the December 1950 issue.[1]

In 1951, McComas, who had a full-time job in sales on top of his role as editor of F&SF, was forced to reduce his workload for health reasons,[14][note 1] Boucher did most of the reading and editing, while McComas reviewed the results and occasionally vetoed a story. In August the following year the schedule switched to monthly.[14] In 1954 Spivak sold his shares in Mercury Press to his general manager, Joseph Ferman,[1][14][15] and that year also saw McComas' departure—his health had deteriorated to the point where he had to give up the editing post completely.[14]

The Fermans and Gordon Van Gelder[edit]

In 1957 Ferman launched a companion magazine, Venture Science Fiction, which was intended to focus on more action-oriented fiction than F&SF;[16] it also published some "taboo-breaking" fiction by Theodore Sturgeon, C.M. Kornbluth and others. Boucher was unable to take on the extra work, so Robert P. Mills, who had been the managing editor for F&SF, became Venture's editor, with Boucher in an advisory role.[17] Later that year Ferman sold Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine to Bernard Davis, who was leaving Ziff-Davis to start his own publishing venture. Ferman retained F&SF, though Boucher departed, and Mills became the editor of F&SF while remaining managing editor of EQMM[18][19][20] Mills stayed for over three years, leaving at the end of 1961 to spend more time working as a literary agent, and Ferman replaced him with Avram Davidson, whose name first appeared on the masthead with the April 1962 issue.[21] Joseph Ferman's son Edward had worked for the magazine as an editorial assistant in the 1950s, but left in 1959 to gain experience elsewhere; he returned in 1962, and worked under Davidson as managing editor.[22] In 1963 Ted White, later the editor of Amazing Stories, became assistant editor, and stayed with the magazine until 1968.[23]

Davidson gave up the editor's chair in late 1964 in order to have more time to write, and was initially replaced by Joseph Ferman, who handed over control to his son Edward from May 1965, though the masthead did not reflect the change till 1966.[24] Four years later the younger Ferman took over from his father as publisher as well,[25][note 2] and moved the editorial and publishing offices to his house in Cornwall, Connecticut.[26] His wife, Audrey, was business manager, and Andrew Porter was an assistant editor.[26] In the early 1970s Ferman contacted Sol Cohen, the owner of Amazing Stories and Fantastic Stories, two competing sf magazines, about purchasing them both. Ferman was considering combining them into a single magazine and publishing them alongside F&SF, but Cohen decided to keep both titles.[27]

In 1969, an issue of F&SF was priced at 50 cents; by the end of the 1970s the price had gone up to $1.25, although the page count also rose, from 128 to 160 pages, so readers were getting more for their money.[28][1] Circulation did not suffer, but rose from 50,000 to over 60,000, partly because of subscription drives through Publishers' Clearing House, and perhaps also because the magazine's quality remained consistent throughout the 1970s.[28][29] In Ashley's words, "F&SF delivered the goods month after month":[28] the schedule was reliable, the format remained unchanged, and the editor remained the same from 1965 throughout the next two decades and more.[30][31] Ferman managed to keep the circulation above 50,000, and sometimes above 60,000, during the 1980s when most other magazines were losing subscribers.[25][32] Ferman turned over the editorship to Kristine Kathryn Rusch in 1991, and by the mid-1990s circulation began to fall again. In 1997 Gordon Van Gelder took over as editor, and in 2001 bought the magazine from Ferman, but he was unable to arrest the decline, and by 2011 circulation was down to less than 15,000. Van Gelder reduced the publication frequency to bimonthly, increasing the page count and price. Charles Coleman Finlay guest-edited the July/August 2014 issue,[25] and was hired in 2015 as full-time editor, beginning with the March/April 2015 issue.[12]

Contents and reception[edit]

Boucher, McComas, Mills and Davidson[edit]

The second issue (Winter-Spring 1950), with a George Salter painting, introduced the distinctive Salter logo style used by the magazine for the next two years.

Boucher and McComas's original goal for the new magazine was to imitate the formula that had made Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine successful: classic reprints, along with quality fiction that avoided the excesses of the pulps.[7] The initial proposal called for the magazine to include fantasy, but not science fiction. Even before the launch they found they were having trouble deciding exactly where the boundary lay, so when in February 1949, Joseph Ferman, Spivak's general manager, asked the two editors to add sf to the line up as a way to broaden the readership, the two editors were happy to comply.[10] The first issue included only one story that could be called science fiction: Theodore Sturgeon's "The Hurkle is a Happy Beast", along with some reprints from the slick magazines, by writers such as Richard Sale, and Guy Endore. The interior layout was quite different from the existing fantasy and sf magazines: there were no interior illustrations, and the text was printed in a single column, instead of two as was usual elsewhere. There was a book review column, but no letters page. In the opinion of sf historian Mike Ashley, this "set F&SF apart, giving it the air and authority of a superior magazine".[33] The logo design and layout were the work of George Salter, Mercury Press's art director, whose background was in book design rather than in pulp magazines.[33] Salter remained with the magazine until 1958.[34] He was responsible for many of the surreal early covers; these gave way to work by other artists, but his design for F&SF remained intact for decades, and in Ashley's opinion the consistency of appearance has been "one of the major selling points" of the magazine.[35]

When the second issue appeared, with the title revised to include "Science Fiction", there was no announcement of the change, and not much more science fiction than in the first issue:[33] Damon Knight contributed one example: "Not With a Bang", which Knight has described as his first fully professional story.[36] The next issue included Richard Matheson's first sale, "Born of Man and Woman", widely considered one of the finest stories F&SF ever published. Over the next few years several writers became associated with the magazine, including Margaret St. Clair, Reginald Bretnor, Miriam Allen deFord, and Zenna Henderson, and Boucher was also able to attract some of the best-known established names, such as Arthur C. Clarke, Fritz Leiber, and Ray Bradbury. Fletcher Pratt and L.Sprague de Camp began their "Gavagan's Bar" series of stories in the first issue of F&SF, and Manly Wade Wellman published the first of his "John the Balladeer" stories in the December 1951 issue. The focus was on short fiction, and serials and novels were mostly avoided. One exception was Ward Moore's Bring the Jubilee, an alternative history story set in a world where the South wins the American Civil War.[37] Boucher bought "A Canticle For Leibowitz" from Walter M. Miller, who had been unable to sell it elsewhere, and printed it in the April 1955 issue; it was the first in Miller's Canticle for Leibowitz series, and has since become recognized as a classic of the genre.[38]

F&SF quickly established itself as one of the leading magazines. Ashley describes it as bridging "the attitude gap between the slick magazines and the pulps"'; and argues that it made the genre more respectable.[37] It was known as the most literary of the science fiction and fantasy magazines, and it published the most diverse material. In 1958 F&SF won its first Hugo Award for Best Magazine, and when Mills became editor that year he maintained the high standards Boucher had set, winning the award again in 1959 and 1960;[12] Mills continued to publish a broad range of material without limiting the magazine to particular subgenres. Ashley cites John Collier, Robert Arthur, Allen Drury, and Ray Bradbury, all authors with mainstream reputations who appeared in F&SF in 1960, as evidence of the magazine's diversity.[38] Daniel Keyes had been unable to sell "Flowers for Algernon" until Mills bought it in 1959; it went on to win several awards and according to Clute and Nicholls is "arguably the most popular sf novel ever published".[38][39] Rogue Moon, a novel about a deadly artifact left by aliens on the moon, is often considered Algis Budrys' best novel; it appeared in 1960, and the following year saw Brian Aldiss's "Hothouse", the first in that series.[38] Zenna Henderson's stories of The People, a group of refugee humanoid aliens hiding on Earth, were published through the 1950s and 1960s and became a "central feature" of the magazine according to sf critic John Clute.[40][41] Boucher published Damon Knight's "The Country of the Kind", described by Ashley as "one of his most potent stories from the fifties", in 1956, and in the same year, under the pseudonym "Grendel Briarton", Reginald Bretnor began a series of punning stories known as "Feghoots" that lasted until 1964. The Feghoots series was briefly revived in Venture Science Fiction in 1970, and later in the 1970s in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.[42] At the end of the 1950s, during Mills' tenure as editor, Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers was serialized in F&SF, under the title Starship Soldier; this was intended to be a juvenile novel but was rejected by Scribner's for being too violent. It won the Hugo Award in the novel category the following year, and proved to be one of Heinlein's most controversial books.[43]

Among the cover artists in the first decade, Clareson singles out the early astronomical scenes by Chesley Bonestell as being the most notable; these were among the first to replace George Salter's surreal artwork on the cover.[44] Kelly Freas and Emsh, two of the most popular artists in the sf field, also contributed covers during the 1950s.[44][45][46] A regular book review column appeared, titled "Recommended Reading"; it was signed simply "The Editors" until McComas ceased to be one of the co-editors, after which Boucher used his own name.[47] According to sf historian and critic Thomas Clareson, the column "long remained the most catholic appraisal of the field" because of the variety of works reviewed.[44] Boucher did not review his own fiction in the column, though on at least one occasion he listed a new book of his, telling the reader: "Comments eagerly welcomed; in this case, you are the reviewer".[47] When Boucher left, he was succeeded by Damon Knight as book reviewer; Alfred Bester took over in 1960 and remained in the role until Avram Davidson became the book reviewer when he took the editorial chair.[48] Isaac Asimov had begun a series of science articles for Venture Science Fiction in January 1958, and when Venture was cancelled Mills brought the science column over to F&SF. [49][50] The column, which according to Asimov he enjoyed writing more than any of his other works, ran for decades without interruption, helping to contribute to a long-standing feeling of consistency and continuity in F&SF's format and contents.[12][21]

Avram Davidson, who became editor in 1962, had sold his first story to F&SF in 1954, though he was better remembered for "The Golem", which appeared in the March 1955 issue.[51] Under Davidson more work appeared by non-English-speaking writers such as Hugo Correa, Herbert Franke, and Shin'ishi Hoshi. Notable stories he acquired for F&SF include Terry Carr's first sale, "Who Sups with the Devil?", in 1962, and Roger Zelazny's "A Rose for Ecclesiastes", in November 1963. He published two "author special" issues: Theodore Sturgeon was featured in the September 1962 issue, and Ray Bradbury in May 1963. These author issues, which had been Joseph Ferman's idea, became a regular feature, with subsequent issues featuring Isaac Asimov (October 1966), Fritz Leiber (July 1969), Poul Anderson (April 1971), James Blish (April 1972), Frederik Pohl (September 1973), Robert Silverberg (April 1974), Damon Knight (November 1976), Harlan Ellison (July 1977), Stephen King (December 1990), Lucius Shepard (March 2001), Kate Wilhelm (September 2001), Barry N. Malzberg (June 2003), Gene Wolfe (April 2007), and David Gerrold (September/October 2016).[12]

Edward Ferman[edit]

1965 to 1980[edit]

Joseph Ferman's son, Edward Ferman, was managing editor during Davidson's tenure as editor. When Davidson left, Joseph Ferman took over the editorial chair, but in reality Edward Ferman was doing all the editorial work, and by the May 1965 issue was in full control of the magazine. It remained eclectic over the 1960s and 1970s, publishing good work by New Wave writers such as Thomas Disch and John Sladek, along with new US writers such as Samuel Delany and Roger Zelazny, hard science fiction stories by Gregory Benford and John Varley, fantasies by Sterling Lanier and Tom Reamy, and horror by Charles L. Grant and Stephen King.[12] The mid-1960s saw an increase in the diversity of stories appearing elsewhere in the field, with magazines like New Worlds and Science Fantasy open to publishing material that previously would have only appeared in F&SF. In Ashley's view the rest of the field was starting to catch up to F&SF's open-mindedness, but this did not lead to a loss in quality. The end of the 1960s saw Ferman printing some old-fashioned material such as John Christopher's novel about minaturization, The Little People, alongside much of Roger Zelazny's early output, and "anarchic and often indefinable" stories by R.A. Lafferty, Harvey Jacobs, and others. In 1968, Piers Anthony's early novel Sos the Rope was serialized; Anthony had won a competition sponsored in part by F&SF.[52]

Harlan Ellison and James Tiptree, Jr. were frequent contributors in the 1970s, with Tiptree contributing some of her finest stories, such as "And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill's Side" and "The Women Men Don't See"; Ellison's many stories in F&SF included "The Deathbird", in 1973, which won a Hugo Award, and "Jeffty is Five" in 1977, which won both a Hugo and a Nebula Award . Other Award-winning stories from Ferman's first decade and a half include Fritz Leiber's "Ship of Shadows" in 1969, "Ill Met in Lankhmar" in 1970, and "Catch That Zeppelin" in 1975; all three won Hugos, and the latter two also won Nebulas; Poul Anderson's "The Queen of Air and Darkness", which won both a Hugo and a Nebula; Robert Silverberg's "Born With the Dead", which won a Nebula; and Frederik Pohl's novel of Martian colonization, Man Plus, which won a Nebula.[12]

Judith Merril took over the book review column on Davidson's departure, and was followed by James Blish in 1970 and Algis Budrys in 1975, with frequent contributions from other reviewers such as Joanna Russ and Gahan Wilson.[26][53] In 1965 Wilson began contributing cartoons, and continued to do so regularly until 1981.[26] Ferman set a humorous competition for the readers in the November 1971 issue, and thereafter ran two or three similar competitions every year.[54] These were later collected in a 1996 anthology, titled Oi, Robot, with the title taken from a competition to add a single letter to a well-known work of sf.[55] A film review column was begun in 1969;[56] Baird Searles contributed the column between 1970 and 1984.[54] Among the later reviewers, Harlan Ellison was one of the most popular, and columns from his first four years were collected as Harlan Ellison's Watching in 1989.[54]

In 1977 Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine was launched, and from 1983, under the editorships of Shawna McCarthy and later Gardner Dozois, it began to publish more mature material, and as a result became a more direct competitor to F&SF's market niche.[12][57] Authors such as Lucius Shepard, James Blaylock, and John Crowley, whose work was a natural fit for F&SF, were selling to Asimov's as well. The launch of Omni in 1978 also had an impact.[12] For almost every year in the 1970s stories published in F&SF won more award nominations, and were selected for more "Year's Best" anthologies, than the other magazines; in the 1980s that was no longer true, as Asimov's took over the leading role, with Omni sometimes pushing F&SF into third place.[58][59] Ferman was still able to acquire some highly regarded material, such as "Lost Boys" by Orson Scott Card, and Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick.[12] When Omni rejected George R.R. Martin's "Monkey Treatment" and Gardner Dozois's "Down Among the Dead Men", which were dark fantasy, Ferman acquired them both.[60] In addition to these regular columns, Ferman occasionally published articles, such as "Science Fiction and the University", a feature in the May 1972 issue that included contributions from Darko Suvin, Thomas Clareson, and Philip Klass.[61]

F&SF won the Hugo Award for Best Magazine for four consecutive years, from 1969 through 1972, when the award was changed to "Best Professional Editor". Initially this category was dominated by Ben Bova, the editor of Analog, but Ferman won it for three more years at the start of the 1980s.[62]

1981 to 1991[edit]

Some of the cover artists who had provided covers for early issues of F&SF were still contributing their work into the late 1970s, including Chesley Bonestell, Ed Emshwiller, and Alex Schomburg,[62] and many of the regular writers from the early years, such as Reginald Bretnor, Ron Goulart, and Hilbert Schenck, continued to appear in F&SF into the 1980s. A newer group, including Joanna Russ and R.A. Lafferty, had become regulars more recently.[63] Some established writers such as Thomas Disch published their more unusual work in F&SF,[64] and there were also writers such as Felix C. Gotschalk, whose unusual stories were described by Ferman as "a step ahead of most SF writers (or perhaps he's marching in a different direction)".[65] In Ashley's opinion, Ferman managed to "balance the work of these eccentric writers so that they never distorted the contents yet kept the the magazine on the edge".[65]

Newer writers who began to appear regularly in the 1980s included Bruce Sterling, who published his early Shaper/Mechanist stories in F&SF, beginning with "Swarm", in 1982.[66] More horror and weird fiction began to appear: Steven King's "The Dark Tower" series had begun in 1979 in F&SF; and four more stories appeared over the next three years before being collected as a novel in 1982.[67][68] Michael Shea and Bob Leman contributed horror and weird fiction regularly in the 1980s.[69]


Under Rusch F&SF began to publish more dark fantasy and horror stories, such as "The Night We Buried Road Dog" by Jack Cady, which won a Nebula Award. When Rusch took over as editor, Isaac Asimov had been writing the science column for over three decades, and Algis Budrys had been contributing a book review column since 1975; in 1992 Asimov died and Budrys departed. The science column ran for 399 consecutive issues, ending in February 1992. Asimov's widow, Janet Asimov, wrote another essay for the December 1994 issue, based on her conversations with Asimov before his death, and a final essay appeared in January 1996, containing material from the book Yours, Isaac Asimov: A Lifetime of Letters.[12] The science column continued to appear, written by Bruce Sterling and Gregory Benford among others, and John Kessel took over the book reviews, with Robert Killheffer succeeding him in 1995. Asimov's maintained its dominance of the field through the 1990s, though Rusch published good material such as "The Martian Child" by David Gerrold and "Last Summer at Mars Hill" by Elizabeth Hand. She won one Hugo Award as editor during her five years at F&SF, in 1994.[12]

Van Gelder[edit]

Van Gelder printed more fantasy and less hard science fiction than Rusch had done, and in Ashley's opinion he was able to "restore some of the magazine's distinctiveness". As a result of the switch to bimonthly in 2009, with the resulting higher page count in each issue, the magazine now publishes longer stories.[12]

Fantasy Records[edit]

Fantasy Records began in 1949, and the jazz-oriented recording company's first subsidiary label, formed in 1951, was Galaxy Records. The two labels were named in honor of F&SF and Galaxy Science Fiction. In The Eureka Years, a history and anthology of fiction and correspondence from the first years of F&SF, McComas notes that George Salter's first logo for the magazine was imitated by the Circle Record Company for the first logo of Fantasy Records.


From the 1950s, F&SF was regarded as one of the "big three" science fiction magazines, along with Astounding Science Fiction and Galaxy Science Fiction.[70][71]

In 2007, Ashley commented that F&SF had been "the most consistently enjoyable magazine of the last 50 years".[72] In his view, a key reason for the magazine's appeal was that its roots were in the literary tradition, with Lawrence Spivak, its first publisher, the inheritor of H.L. Mencken's American Mercury, which had been successful and widely respected as a literary review. Unlike most of its competitors, it had no connection to the pulp magazine era, and its editors had always intended to appeal to readers of books, rather than of magazines.[30] Ashley also cites F&SF's broad editorial policy, which allowed the magazine to carry a wider range of fiction than its competitors.[26]

Bibliographic details[edit]

F&SF's circulation from 1962 to 1990[73][74]

As of January 2017, the editorial succession is as follows:[12]

The first issue was titled The Magazine of Fantasy; with the second issue the title switched to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It has been in digest format since the beginning.[12] The price was 35 cents through the January 1959 issue, except for the October 1958 issue which was 40 cents; then from February 1959 through December 1964 it was 40 cents except for the October 1959 tenth anniversary issue, at 50 cents.[1] When Joseph Ferman announced the price change in the February 1959 issue, he gave his justification for the increase: "during the past ten years...paper costs have gone up by 38%, composition, printing, binding and handling costs have gone up by 32%, postages costs have gone up from 33% to 60%, and various other costs have risen as much or more".[75] The price went up to 50 cents with the January 1965 issue, then to 60 cents in July 1969, and 75 cents in November 1971, which lasted until February 1975, except for the October 1974 issue (the 25th anniversary) which was $1.00. In March 1975 the price went to $1.00, then to $1.25 in March 1978; and to $1.50 in March 1980, with the October 1979 (30th anniversary) issue priced at $2.50. In October 1982 the price went up to $1.75;[1] in January 1989 to $2.00—the October 1989 40th anniversary issue was $2.95—and from January 1991 the price was $2.50. For the next 17 years the October/November double issue was priced higher than the rest of the issues each year. The single issues stayed at $2.50 until the December 1993 issue, which was $2.75; from July 1995 it was $2.95; from February 1997 it was $2.99; from July 1998 it was $3.50; from January 2003 it was $3.99; and from January 2007 it was $4.50. The October/November issues were $3.95 from 1991 to 1994; $4.50 for the next two years; then $4.59 for 1997 and 1998; $5.95 for the 50th anniversary issue in 1999; $4.59 again in 2000; $4.99 from 2002 through 2006; and $5.99 in 2007 and 2008. The first three issues of 2009 were priced at $4.99, after which F&SF became a bimonthly, and the price increased to $6.50 for three issues. The October double issue (the 60th anniversary) was $7.50, after which the price went to $7.00, and then from January 2011 to $7.50. In January 2013 the price increased to $7.99, and remained there until the end of 2016. The January 2017 issue was $8.99.[76]


The following anthologies of fiction from F&SF have appeared.[77][78][79]

Year Editor(s) Title Publisher
1952 Anthony Boucher & J. Francis McComas The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction Little, Brown
1953 Anthony Boucher & J. Francis McComas The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: Second Series Little, Brown
1954 Anthony Boucher & J. Francis McComas The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: Third Series Doubleday
1955 Anthony Boucher The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: Fourth Series Doubleday
1956 Anthony Boucher The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: Fifth Series Doubleday
1957 Anthony Boucher The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: Sixth Series Doubleday
1958 Anthony Boucher The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: Seventh Series Doubleday
1959 Anthony Boucher The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: Eighth Series Doubleday
1960 Robert P. Mills The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: Ninth Series Doubleday
1960 Robert P. Mills A Decade of Fantasy and Science Fiction Doubleday
1961 Robert P. Mills The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: Tenth Series Doubleday
1962 Robert P. Mills The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: Eleventh Series Doubleday
1963 Avram Davidson The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: Twelfth Series Doubleday
1964 Avram Davidson The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 13th Series Doubleday
1965 Avram Davidson The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 14th Series Doubleday
1966 Edward L. Ferman The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 15th Series Doubleday
1967 Edward L. Ferman The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 16th Series Doubleday
1968 Edward L. Ferman The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 17th Series Doubleday
1968 Edward L. Ferman Once and Future Tales from the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Harris-Wolfe
1969 Edward L. Ferman The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 18th Series Doubleday
1970 Edward L. Ferman & Robert P. Mills Twenty Years of Fantasy and Science Fiction Putnam
1971 Edward L. Ferman The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 19th Series Doubleday
1973 Edward L. Ferman The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 20th Series Doubleday
1974 Edward L. Ferman Best From Fantasy and Science Fiction: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Anthology Doubleday
1977 Edward L. Ferman The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 22nd Series Doubleday
1980 Edward L. Ferman The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 23rd Series Doubleday
1982 Edward L. Ferman The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 24th Series Doubleday
1989 Edward L. Ferman The Best From Fantasy & Science Fiction: A 40th Anniversary Anthology St. Martin's
1994 Edward L. Ferman & Kristine Kathryn Rusch The Best From Fantasy & Science Fiction: A 45th Anniversary Anthology St. Martin's
1999 Edward L. Ferman & Gordon Van Gelder The Best From Fantasy & Science Fiction: A 50th Anniversary Anthology Tor
2003 Gordon Van Gelder One Lamp Four Walls Eight Windows
2004 Gordon Van Gelder In Lands That Never Were Four Walls Eight Windows
2005 Gordon Van Gelder Fourth Planet from the Sun Thunder's Mouth
2009 Gordon Van Gelder The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: 60th Anniversary Anthology Tachyon
2014 Gordon Van Gelder The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Volume 2 Tachyon

In 1981, Martin H. Greenberg edited a hardcover facsimile edition of the April 1965 issue of F&SF, with the addition of an introduction by Edward Ferman, and memoirs by the authors whose work appeared in the issue. The book was published by Southern Illinois University Press.[77]

Overseas editions[edit]

F&SF had multiple foreign editions, including:

  • Argentina. Minotauro (September 1964 – June 1968), edited by Francisco Porrúa under the alias Ricardo Gosseyn, and published by Ediciones Minotauro, Buenos Aires. Ten issues. The full title was Minotauro fantasía y ciencia-ficción. Minotauro did not reprint individual issues of F&SF; instead each issue was filled with stories selected from various issues of F&SF.[80] Also La revista de ciencia ficción y fantasía (October 1976 – February 1977), edited by Marcial Souto and published by Ediciones Orión. Three issues. This was primarily a reprint edition of F&SF but also published some original material.[81]
  • Australia. The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (November 1954 – August 1958), published by Consolidated Press as a saddle-stapled digest. 14 issues. The first six issues were 128 pages long, the next 4 were 112 pages, and the last four were 96 pages. It was priced at 2/- throughout. The contents were selected from the US magazine but the Australian issues did not correspond to individual issues of the original.[77]
  • France. Fiction (October 1953 – February 1990), edited by Alain Dorémieux for most of its existence. 412 issues. Fiction included original French stories as well as translations from the English version of the magazine, and occasionally these French stories subsequently appeared in F&SF, translated into English. One example is "Les Premiers jour de mai" by Claude Veillot, which appeared in Fiction in May 1960 and then as "The First Days of May" in F&SF in December 1961, translated by Damon Knight. Since 2005 it has been issued twice a year as a magazine/anthology series.[12][82]
  • Germany. A series of anthologies titled Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction began appearing in Germany in 1963, published by Heyne, and as of 1985 a total of 56 had been issued. These contained stories selected from F&SF. The editor was Charlotte Winheller for issues 1–9; Walter Ernsting for issues 10–14; Wulf H. Bergner for issues 15–42; and Manfred Kluge thereafter.[83]
  • Israel. Fantasia 2000 (December 1978 – 1984), edited by Aharon Hauptman and Gabi Peleg; published by A. Tene for the first 15 issues, and thereafter by Hyperion. Most of Fantasia 2000's contents were translations of material that had originally appeared in F&SF, along with some original stories by Israelis. It included translations of Asimov's science column, and also included departments that did not originate in F&SF, such as a letters page and non-fiction articles.[84]
  • Italy. Fantascienza (November 1954 – May 1955), edited by Livio Garzanti, published by Garzanti gli Fratelli Treves. 7 issues. Reprints of issues of F&SF. Also Fantasia & Fantascienza (December 1962 – October 1963), edited by G. Jori, published by Minerva Editrice. 10 monthly issues, omitting May 1963. A reprint of F&SF, but it included some original material as well.[85]
  • Japan. SF Magazine (February 1960 – current as of 2016), edited by (among others) Masami Fukushima, Ryozo Nagashima, and Imaoka Kiyoshi. This began as a reprint edition of F&SF, but son began printing more original fiction, and as of 2016 is the leading Japanese science fiction magazine, publishing both original material and stories reprinted from a variety of sources.[86][87][88]
  • Mexico. Ciencia Y Fantasia (September 1955 – December 1957), editor unknown, published by Novaro-Mexico, S.A. 14 issues. Reprinted from F&SF by selecting stories from different issues of the original magazine.[89][90]
  • Norway. Nova (1971–1979), edited by Terje Wanberg, Øyvind Myhre, Per G. Olson, and Johannes H. Berg, published by Stowa Forlag. 34 issues. Initially titled Science Fiction-Magasinet, it began by reprinting from F&SF; from the fourth issue it began to feature new material.[91]
  • Sweden. Jules Verne Magasinet (1969–2013), edited and published by Bertil Falk (1969–1971); edited by Sam Lundwall (1972–2013) and published by Askild & Kärnekull (1972), Delta (1973–1983), and Sam J Lundwall Fakta & Fantasi (1983–2010).[92]  Starting with the Askild & Kärnekull issues, and until at least the mid-1980s this contained a large proportion of reprints from F&SF, along with some original material from other sources.[93][94]
  • United Kingdom. Two series, both titled The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. The first series was published by Mellifont Press, and ran from October 1953 to September 1954, in digest format, with 128 pages, priced at 1/6. The contents were taken from the US magazine, but the UK issues did not directly correspond to individual US issues. The second series was published by Atlas Publishing & Distributing from December 1959 to June 1964, in digest format. All issues were 128 pages except for January 1961 through November 1961 and March 1962 through June 1964, which were 112 pages. The price was 2/- from until November 1961, and 2/6 from December 1961 until the end of the run. As with the first series the reprint issues did not exactly correspond to individual US issues. After the second series ended, some additional material from the US issues was reprinted in the UK edition of Venture Science Fiction.[77]


  1. ^ McComas's salary was reduced, and he described his new role as retiring to "a consulting position".[14]
  2. ^ Isaac Asimov, in his autobiography, says that he was the one to suggest Edward Ferman take over as editor.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Clareson (1985), p. 391.
  2. ^ "Issue Grid: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction". Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  3. ^ Ashley, Mike. "Culture : Weird Tales : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  4. ^ Ashley, Mike; Nicholls, Peter; Stableford, Brian. "Culture : Amazing Stories : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  5. ^ Ashley (2000), pp. 237–255.
  6. ^ Nicholls, Peter; Ashley, Mike. "Culture : Pulp : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  7. ^ a b Ashley (2000), pp. 20–21.
  8. ^ a b c Marks (2008), p. 105.
  9. ^ Mark (2008), pp. 106–107.
  10. ^ a b Mark (2008), p. 107.
  11. ^ a b c Mark (2008), p. 108.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Ashley, Mike. "Culture : Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  13. ^ Mark (2008), pp. 108–109.
  14. ^ a b c d e Mark (2008), p. 110.
  15. ^ Ashley (2005), p. 21.
  16. ^ De Larber (1985), p. 705.
  17. ^ Ashley (2005), p. 170.
  18. ^ Spielvogel, Carl (August 14, 1957). "Advertising: 2 Big Agencies Study a Merger". The New York Times. p. 34. 
  19. ^ De Larber (1985), p. 380.
  20. ^ Ashley (2005), p. 171.
  21. ^ a b Ashley (2005), p. 217.
  22. ^ a b Ashley (2007), p. 89.
  23. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 72.
  24. ^ Ashley (2005), p. 219.
  25. ^ a b c "Title: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July-August 2014". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  26. ^ a b c d e Ashley (2007), p. 90.
  27. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 84.
  28. ^ a b c Ashley (2007), pp. 86–87.
  29. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 326.
  30. ^ a b Ashley (2007), p. 88.
  31. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 386.
  32. ^ Ashley (2016), p. 441.
  33. ^ a b c Ashley (2005), pp. 21–22.
  34. ^ Clute, John. "Authors : Salter, George : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  35. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 10.
  36. ^ Knight (1997), pp. 10–12.
  37. ^ a b Ashley (2005), p. 24.
  38. ^ a b c d Ashley (2005), pp. 215–216.
  39. ^ Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter. "Authors : Keyes, Daniel : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-02-04. 
  40. ^ "Series: The People". Retrieved 2017-02-02. 
  41. ^ Clute, John. "Authors : Henderson, Zenna : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-02-02. 
  42. ^ Ashley (2007), pp. 329–330.
  43. ^ Dolman (1997), p. 196.
  44. ^ a b c Clareson (1985), p. 381.
  45. ^ Weinberg (1985), p. 101.
  46. ^ Weinberg (1985), p. 123.
  47. ^ a b Marks (2008), p. 140.
  48. ^ Clareson (1985), p. 380–381.
  49. ^ Ashley (2005), p. 171.
  50. ^ Ashley (2005), p. 217.
  51. ^ Ashley (2005), p. 111.
  52. ^ Ashley (2005), pp. 268–270.
  53. ^ "Series: Books (F&SF)". Retrieved 2017-02-15. 
  54. ^ a b c Ashley (2016), p. 4.
  55. ^ Easton (2006), p. 47.
  56. ^ "Series: Films (F&SF)". Retrieved 2017-02-23. 
  57. ^ Ashley, Mike; Nicholls, Peter. "Culture : Asimov's Science Fiction : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-02-05. 
  58. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 87.
  59. ^ Ashley (2016), p. 35.
  60. ^ Ashley (2016), p. 39–40.
  61. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 292.
  62. ^ a b Ashley (2016), p. 2.
  63. ^ Ashley (2016), pp. 5–8.
  64. ^ Ashley (2016), p. 7.
  65. ^ a b Ashley (2016), p. 9.
  66. ^ Ashley (2016), p. 10.
  67. ^ Ashley (2016), p. 10.
  68. ^ Grant (1997), p. 537.
  69. ^ Ashley (2016), pp. 10–12.
  70. ^ Ashley (2005), p. 202.
  71. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 11.
  72. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 91.
  73. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 480.
  74. ^ Ashley (2016), p. 441.
  75. ^ Ashley (2005), p. 201.
  76. ^ "Issue Grid: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction". Retrieved 2017-02-23. 
  77. ^ a b c d Clareson (1985), pp. 389–390.
  78. ^ Edwards, Malcolm; Clute, John. "Authors : Ferman, Edward L : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  79. ^ Van Gelder, Gordon. "Authors : Van Gelder, Gordon : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  80. ^ Pessina (1985), p. 849.
  81. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 416.
  82. ^ Thomas (1985), p. 858–859.
  83. ^ Rottensteiner & Luserke (1985), p. 869.
  84. ^ Ben-Yehuda (1985), p. 871.
  85. ^ Montanari & de Turres (1985), pp. 874–875.
  86. ^ Shibano (1985), p. 885.
  87. ^ Ashley (2016), p. 250.
  88. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 420.
  89. ^ Pessina (1985b), p. 887.
  90. ^ Ashley (2005), pp. 304–305.
  91. ^ Berg (1985), pp. 890–891.
  92. ^ Holmberg, John-Henri; Langford, David. "Culture : Jules Verne-Magasinet : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  93. ^ Holmberg & Lundwall (1985), p. 896.
  94. ^ Ashley (2007), p. 413.


  • Ashley, Mike (2005). Transformations:The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1950 to 1970. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-779-4. 
  • Ashley, Mike (2007). Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1970 to 1980. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 978-1-84631-003-4. 
  • Ashley, Mike (2016). Science Fiction Rebels: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1981 to 1990. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 978-1-78138-260-8. 
  • Berg, Johannes H. (1985). "Norway". In Tymn, Marshall B.; Ashley, Mike. Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 890–891. ISBN 0-313-21221-X. 
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  • Dolman, Everett Carl (1997). "Military, Democracy, and the State in Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers". In Hassler, Donald M.; Wilcox, Clyde. Political Science Fiction. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 1-57003-113-4. 
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  • Knight, Damon (1997) [1985]. Creating Short Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-15094-6. 
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  • Pessina, Hector R. (1985a). "Argentina". In Tymn, Marshall B.; Ashley, Mike. Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 848–851. ISBN 0-313-21221-X. 
  • Pessina, Hector R. (1985b). "Mexico". In Tymn, Marshall B.; Ashley, Mike. Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 886–887. ISBN 0-313-21221-X. 
  • Rottensteiner, Franz; Luserke, Uwe (1985). "Germany". In Tymn, Marshall B.; Ashley, Mike. Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 862–870. ISBN 0-313-21221-X. 
  • Shibano, Takumi (1985). "Japan". In Tymn, Marshall B.; Ashley, Mike. Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 884–886. ISBN 0-313-21221-X. 
  • Thomas, Pascal J. (1985). "France". In Tymn, Marshall B.; Ashley, Mike. Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 857–862. ISBN 0-313-21221-X. 
  • Weinberg, Robert (1985). A Biographical Dictionary of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-24349-2. 

External links[edit]