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Thursday, July 19, 2012

LOA launches online companion for new collection of 1950s science fiction novels

What made science fiction in the 1950s so special? Barry N. Malzberg explains how various forces conspired to make those years the “golden decade” for science fiction novels:
[A]t the end of the nineteen-forties, science fiction accounted for perhaps fifty books, hardcover and paperback, published commercially in a year. The field supported perhaps seven magazines. . . . Five years later, there were forty magazines fighting for space on the various newsstands, hardcover and paperback novels and collections were coming out at the rate of two to three hundred a year, and one book editor, Donald A. Wollheim at Ace, was publishing more science fiction in a month than had appeared in all of 1943
Malzberg’s essay is included in the online companion to the much-anticipated two-volume boxed set, American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s, which will be published in October.

Curated by Gary K. Wolfe and hosted by The Library of America, the companion features appreciations that have been written exclusively for the site by contemporary science-fiction masters:
Among the many bonus materials on the site are:
American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s will arrive from the printer soon, and copies can be purchased directly from the LOA website for delivery in August. The books will be available from stores on September 27.

Also of interest:

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