SF PULP CULTURE

After World War II, we move into the era of dominance of SF by American pulp: issues of economics, of audience, of serial production, of theme, of literary antecedents

Edward S. Ellis (1840-1916), The Huge Hunter: or, The Steam Man of the Prairies (1868): invented by a hunchbacked boy, the steam man triumphs over "savages" and "bad men"

"Noname" (Frank Tousey Publishers housename, 1st 4 by Harry Enton and then 180+ [including "Jack Wright" novels] by Lou Senarens [1865-1939; total production, c. 1500 novels]), Frank Reade and His Steam Man of the Plains (1878): Frank and Charley travel West, kill "Injuns" and whomp baddies, their wagon pulled by their black steam man

Tom Swift and . . . by "Victor Appleton" (Stratemeyer Syndicate [see Stratemeyer041108.pdf in Projects/GEP/FileCabinet] housename, usually Howard R. Garis [1873-1962] whose other work included 15,000 episodes of "Uncle Wiggly" [75 books + board game, 1917, etc.]) from His Motor Cycle (1910) to His Wizard Camera (1912) to His Photo Telephone (1914) to His Aerial Warship (1915) to His Stone Planet (1935) (38 in all, plus series II, 1954 through at least 1968 & resumed 4/91)

Hugo Gernsback (1884-1967)
Ralph 124C 41+ in his Modern Electrics, 1911 (bk., 1912)
Founded Amazing Stories, 4/26 ("scientifiction")
Fan columns ultimately led to Hugo Awards (Del Rey Internet Newsletter began Feb 93; archived on SFLOVERS accessible through Links page on http://www.umich.edu/~umfandsf)

Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) (total SF novels in 5 series=49)
A Princess of Mars (1912) (+ 10 more): Capt. John Carter (costume Westerns)
Tarzan of the Apes (1912) (+ 23 more): anthropological SF
At the Earth's Core (1914) (+ 5 more Pellucidar books): hollow Earth
The Land That Time Forgot (1918) (+ 2 more): Caspak's anthropology, evolution, and linguistics (Sapir-Whorf)
Pirates of Venus (1932) (+ 4 more): Carson Napier wanders through a recostumed Arcadian (Philip Sidney, The Arcadia, 1581; partial revision, 1583-84) landscape

John W. Campbell, Jr. (1910-1971)
Wrote fiction as Don A. Stuart (first wife: Dona Stuart):
   
"Twilight" (1934): cf. The Time Machine
   
"Who Goes There?" (1938; The Thing, 1951; remake, 1983): monstrosity is a problem to solve
   
The Moon Is Hell (1950): "hard SF" story of those awaiting rescue (cf. Clarke's A Fall of Moondust, 1961)
Took over Astounding (now Analog) late 1937, worked off backlog, and by 1939 began publishing new figures, the creators of the so-called "Golden Age" (ca. 1939-1960) (edited ASF until his death)
Campbell's "discoveries" (just in 7/38-9/39) include:
   
L. Ron Hubbard (1st story, 1934; 1st SF, ASF 7/38): galactic battles and Dianetics
   
Lester del Rey (ASF, 4/38): Nerves (orig. novelette: ASF 9/42)
   
Isaac Asimov (Amazing Stories in 3/39, but ASF, 7/39): Campbell supplied Laws of Robotics & idea for "Nightfall" (ASF, 9/41) (racism?)
   
A. E. van Vogt (ASF, 7/39: "Black Destroyer," his first SF sale): Slan (sr4 ASF, 9/40), The Weapon Makers (sr3 ASF, 2/43), The World of Null A (sr3 ASF, 8/45)
   
Robert A. Heinlein (ASF, 8/39): Future History; "The Roads Must Roll" (ASF, 6/40)
   
Theodore Sturgeon (ASF, 9/39): More Than Human (1953)
July 1939 ASF (facsimile available from Southern Illinois U Pr, 1981)
   
Listerine ad (inside front cover): contra dandruff
   
Types of inclusions: fiction, report, speculation, reader feedback in two directions
   
Note: two female authors

Dominance of SF magazines broke down in 1950s for five reasons (first 3 according to Frederik Pohl in Reginald Bretnor's Science Fiction: Today and Tomorrow, 1974, pp. 30-32, last two acc. to Rabkin):

   1. Take-over and liquidation of American News Company (1954-1960: 38 > 4 monthlies)

   2. Shift of advertising funds to television

   3. Editorial shift away from BEMs and to compete with newspapers (Sputnik, 10/57)

   4. Largely xenophobic films coopting audience for BEMs

   5. Beginning of the dissolution of the walls of the SF ghetto (prime examples: Bradbury [cf. Wells & ERB] and William Golding, The Inheritors, 1955)