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Singles Going Steady 7/28/2015: Déjà Vu All Over Again

(07/28/2015 5:30 AM)

Singles Going Steady is Comics Bulletin's weekly single issue review roundup. Cyborg #1 by David F. Walker, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado (DC Comics) I've gotta start with a standing slow clap of appreciation for the artwork of Ivan Reis (Aquaman) and Joe Prado (Convergence) in this comic. Every cell on every page kept me engaged and entertained, regardless [...]

Moon Knight #17 "Duality" - The Gods We Create

(07/27/2015 3:00 PM)

Cullen Bunn/ Ron Ackins/ Tom Palmer/ Dan Brown; Marvel Entertainment Moon Knight #17 "Duality" is a criticism of churches, believers and the manipulation of religion. As a precursor, it's probably worth noting that I am a Christian. Whether this statement matters to the observations I've made is debatable, I believe it does help add some [...]

[July 27, 1960] Footloose and Fancy Free (Japan and the August 1960 Fantasy & Science Fiction)

(07/27/2015 2:19 PM)

Perhaps the primary perquisite of being a writer (certainly not the compensation, though Dr. Asimov is the happy exception) is the ability to take one's work anywhere. Thanks to 'faxes and patient editors, all of this column's readers can follow me around the world. To wit, I am typing this article in the lounge of ...

Strange Fruit is a Reminder That 28 Days is Not Enough

(07/27/2015 12:00 PM)

The first thing that struck me upon finishing Joel Christian Gill's Strange Fruit was just how much I do not know. As someone who prides himself on being both well read and a minor history buff, I'm always astonished at just how much I recognize about the topics I care about. Reading through Strange Fruit [...]

What I Did (Not Do) On My Vacation

(07/27/2015 12:00 PM)

For the first time in years, I attended Otakon as a fan and not press, and felt none the poorer for it

Razer Confirms Purchase of OUYA

(07/27/2015 10:00 AM)

Today Razer officially confirmed they will be acquiring the OUYA. The deal will see the technical and developer relations teams of the struggling platform remain intact and join Razer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Forbes had initially reported rumors regarding the possible sale of the independent console back in late-April after the company [...]

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXIII

(07/27/2015 10:00 AM)

The first disc houses the gestalt of a quality MST3K episode.

Interview: Robert Venditti Opens the 'Book of Death'

(07/27/2015 9:30 AM)

Valiant Comics has been producing some of the most solid comics in mainstream comic art for a while now, but they took their quality to another level with Book of Death. I had the chance to sit down with writer Robert Venditti at San Diego Comic-Con to discuss his work for Valiant and for DC. I [...]

Video Game Break - Episode 71

(07/27/2015 9:08 AM)

Adam Lang (comedian) and Chaz Bazz (YouTuber) sit down with me to talk never ending RPG's, Q.U.B.E, Life is Strange, virtual reality (again), and storage space running out on consoles.

The Full Run: Hickman's 'Infinity' #3

(07/27/2015 8:00 AM)

*of course, huge spoilers ahead* Infinity #3 Written by Jonathan Hickman Art by Jerome Opena and Dustin Weaver Coloured by Justin Ponsor Cover by Adam Kubert and Laura Martin Dated November 2013 Back to the main event, ladies and gentlemen! Or, at least, the main event of 2013... Remember that Ringworld place from Avengers? The [...]

Episode 102 - Indie Powers Activate - The Indie Haven Podcast

(07/27/2015 7:47 AM)

Download this episode (right click and save) Hello and welcome to Episode 101 of The Indie Haven Podcast, that weekly internet show where we get Indie developers on to talk about the world of indie development. This week we sit down to chat about everything on the site this week. You can also download the [...]

Picks of the Week: July 29, 2015

(07/27/2015 5:30 AM)

The book of the week will beLazarus #18 (Image) by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark. It's the best book coming out of Image Comics at the moment, and certainly a contender for best current ongoing series from any publisher, period. The House of Creator Owned also has Casanova: Acedia #3 (Image), Copperhead #9 (Image), Low [...]

Adventure Time: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray

(07/26/2015 2:57 PM)

And if you are an Adventure Time fan, this is something you must have.

Game of Thrones - A Telltale Series - Episode 5 A Nest of Vipers Review

(07/26/2015 10:00 AM)

Possible Spoilers Ahead, you have been warned Life is cheap in Game of Thrones. Lives are taken to prove petty points, to settle scores and to pass the time. The inherent drama of a series where any character, no matter how important or loved, can die at the drop of a hat has turned the [...]

Journey Eased My Multiplayer Anxiety

(07/26/2015 10:00 AM)

I hate online multiplayer. There, I said it. Whether with friends strangers, or anyone in between, I really don't care for the experience. Multiplayer video games give me anxiety. They constantly make me wonder if I'm playing a game the "right" way. I worry that I am ruining someone else's experience by not being good [...]

Review: Justice League vol. 6: Injustice League

(07/26/2015 8:40 AM)

There is an old saying that goes, 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'. It sounds more like a cliché every time you hear it. But in the case of DC Comics's latest Justice League collection Volume 6: Injustice League, the cliché holds true. This 10-issue story arc incorporates issues 30 through 39 of [...]

Muse Hack In Transition!

(07/25/2015 9:28 PM)

OK Folks, as noted MuseHack is going through some changes! Here's what's up! My work is going to be moving over to my writing site The Informotron. I'm going to expand it just beyond my press work to general writing and media. Note that as of 7/25 it's still in ...

Sanctum Update 7/25/2015

(07/25/2015 9:25 PM)

Hello everyone. Had a bit of a busy/crazy time here (work, family visiting, friend busted their car). So I may take a break on the Plot twist Generator. However, Scott Delahunt, the genius of translations is now publishing here as well - his column Lost In Translation has a home here (as well as other [...]

Summer Movie Preview - August 2015

(07/25/2015 12:00 PM)

I sometimes feel bad for the months of August and January. They have the unfortunate position on the calendar to follow some of the most popular movie-going seasons. In the fall after all the big Oscar bait film have come out and they're ready to collect their awards, January is a dumping ground for lesser [...]

FMV Story

(07/25/2015 10:00 AM)

Every so often, an advance in video game technology is lauded as the next big thing. Industry buzz words erupt from marketing departments to ensnare us in hype and the promise of a new era in gaming. In gaming's infancy, developers flirted with new concepts to discover what the medium was capable of and to [...]

Video Interview: Jason Moore, Horror Illustrator

(07/25/2015 5:30 AM)

Jason Moore enjoys every aspect of the Horror genre which in comics dates back decades. Super Summer Comic Con 2 brought in horror artist Jason Moore and we talked about the genre of Horror, how he's enjoyed the industry and art after all these years, inspirational people and much more. Thanks to our friends at Two [...]

When Something Awful Is Beautiful: The Golden Age #1

(07/24/2015 3:00 PM)

The JSA is easily my favorite superhero team. Bar none. The difference between the JSA and second place IN MY HEART is the difference between a Martin Scorsese movie and the local community theatre performing Raging Bull. I have to admit I'm incredibly interested in an awful local community theater production of Raging Bull, so if any [...]

All Binge… No Purge: The X-Files S02 Part Three

(07/24/2015 2:00 PM)

This episode proves Chris Carter's edict that "anything can happen on the X-Files."

Witcher 3 Devs and Kholat Announce a New Project

(07/24/2015 12:00 PM)

Today in Ominous Countdown News, a few Witcher 3 devs are working with the Kholat developers on a new project, and announced it via this IMGN.pro clock. IMGN.PRO previously developed and published Kholat, a horror-adventure based on the perennial Wiki-creepia all-star Dyatlov Pass Incident and narrated by Sean Bean. The new studio they've founded is [...]

Simply Steam Vol. 17: A Sense of Place

(07/24/2015 12:00 PM)

Setting and a sense of place is something special about video games. In no visual medium can settings be so thoroughly inspected, dissected, and explored as in video games. We often talk about the "world" of a game, the "atmosphere". The setting of a video game can speak to us, can imprint itself in our [...]

Gremlins, Inc. Video & Card Game Announced

(07/24/2015 11:21 AM)

Lithuanian developers Charlie Oscar have announced two versions of their latest project, Gremlins, Inc. It will come in the form of a video game as well as a physical card game. However neither project is related to the 1984 comedy horror film of a similar name and it is strongly hinted that Gizmo and friends [...]

Sense8 1.07 "WWN Double-D?"

(07/24/2015 10:00 AM)

Adding some plot to the mix puts Sense8 on the next level.

Jason Moore Horror Illustrator interview

(07/24/2015 7:18 AM)

Jason Moore enjoys every aspect of the Horror genre which in comics dates back centuries. Super Summer Comic Con 2 brought in horror artist Jason Moore and we talked about the genre of Horror, how he's enjoyed the industry and art after all these years, inspirational people and much more.

[July 23, 1960] Beyond the Schlock Barrier! (Beyond the Time Barrier)

(07/23/2015 3:41 PM)

Every week, Rod Serling talks about the "Twilight Zone" between fear and knowledge, science and superstition, light and dark. He might have added sublimity and schlock. Every few weeks or so, my daughter and I plunge into that twilight zone known as the cinema. Sometimes, we find quality in the lowest budget movies. Other times, ...

Euro Video Announces Tactical RPG Adaptation of The Dwarves

(07/23/2015 12:00 PM)

European game publisher Euro Video has recently announced a new project: The Dwarves, a tactical RPG based on the best-selling German fantasy novel of the same name. Although Euro Video officially announced the game via this trailer, the game leaked earlier than that through German game magazine Hooked. Their article about the game goes into [...]

With Episode 4 On The Horizon, Life Is Strange Surpasses 1 Million Sale Mark

(07/23/2015 11:00 AM)

Square Enix and Dontnod Entertainment have confirmed it: Life Is Strange has hit a million sales. And those million players won't have to wait too long for the next entry in this teenage drama about time travel. Episode 4 - Darkroom, is expected to hit PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC on July [...]

Anime Roundup: July 23, 2015

(07/23/2015 8:00 AM)

In this issue: Karuta, Kickstarters and Viewster.

Wayward Pines 1.09 "A Reckoning"

(07/22/2015 2:00 PM)

One more episode to make or break this tale, and my request is only this Wayward Pines: whether or not the show is renewed, be creative.

Big Eyes Smart Mouth: Knights of Sidonia Season 2

(07/22/2015 10:00 AM)

About half of the second season of Knights of Sidonia is in the vein of the best of what the show had to offer in its first season.

'Noragami': God For Hire. Cheap.

(07/22/2015 8:00 AM)

Having gods tussle with each other in the middle of the modern world isn't a new idea, but 'Noragami' finds ways to be enjoyable rather than shopworn

[July 21, 1960] Intoxication in Two Parts (Drunkard's Walk)

(07/21/2015 9:26 AM)

Thanks to Galaxy's new oversized format, we can read serials over just two issues rather than seeing them spread across three or four. Of course, there's a longer gap between installments now that Galaxy has gone bi-monthly. As a result, I'd completely forgotten that Fred Pohl had left Drunkard's Walk half-finished as of the end ...

Patreon Milestone 1 2 Reached For Ganriki.org! Pick A Series!

(07/21/2015 8:00 AM)

We've reached our first Patreon monthly funding goal! Time for you to pick a series: Steins;Gate, Kill La Kill, or Black Lagoon?

Update 7/20/2015

(07/20/2015 7:35 PM)

Hello everyone, here's the latest. Plot Twist Generator It's starting to shape up, and right now what I'm finding is it actually works best if I keep it simple. You don't really want things to get too complicated - you want impactful ideas. It may be easier than I thought, though the challenge now is [...]

Ant-Man (2015)

(07/20/2015 2:00 PM)

Well, if you haven't figured it out by now, I heartily recommend Ant-Man.

[July 20, 1960] What you missed…

(07/20/2015 10:47 AM)

Just a quick note that, if you look at my last article on the August 1960 Galaxy, you can read copies of the stories reviewed. Enjoy!

Live at Raygun Lounge - Episode 70

(07/19/2015 8:07 PM)

We had another live podcast at the Raygun Lounge (one of our favorite places!), and it got a little cray cray. Guests: Atticus Wiman, Lauren Hall Stigerts, Adam Lang, Nathan Martin, Brad Gallaway, Taylor Bartle, Tony Gee, and of course my rad co-host Kinsey Burke. Enjoy!

First Looks… Second Thoughts: SDCC TV Trailers!

(07/19/2015 2:00 PM)

Continuing our Post-SDCC weekend highlights, here's the second installment of FIRST LOOKS... SECOND THOUGHTS!

[July 19, 1960] A New Breed (August 1960 Galaxy)

(07/19/2015 10:06 AM)

Last year, Galaxy editor Horace Gold bowed to economic necessity, trimming the length of his magazine and slashing the per word rate for his writers. As a result (and perhaps due to the natural attrition of authors over time), Galaxy's Table of Contents now features a slew of new authors. In this month's editorial, Gold ...

SDCC 2015 Statues, Toys, and a Celeb or Two!

(07/19/2015 10:00 AM)

EIC Paul McCoy and Marketing Director David Basile were at SDCC 2015! Here's a taste of the Con!

First Look… Second Thoughts: SDCC Movie Trailers!

(07/18/2015 2:00 PM)

Of all the trailers to come out of SDCC this year, I think this is the most viscerally satisfying and true to the vision of the source.

High Standards Or Impossible Standards?

(07/18/2015 8:00 AM)

Do the impossibly high standards some fans set for anime come from the material itself, or from the way they're introduced to it?

[July 17, 1960] Lost Time (The Lost World)

(07/17/2015 8:06 AM)

Let's play a name association game. When I say "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle," what comes to mind? Sherlock Holmes, I'll wager. But did you know that, in addition to being a quite accomplished non-fiction writer (his The War in South Africa: Its Causes and Conduct won him a knighthood), Conan Doyle was also a science ...

Jeff Graham Illustrator

(07/17/2015 7:00 AM)

Jeff Graham is an illustrator with a day job. He enjoys the challenges of his work, talked about the inspirational person that gave him advice before he passed on and what sells at conventions like Super Summer Comic Con 2

Anime Roundup: July 16, 2015

(07/16/2015 8:00 AM)

'Attack' on audiences; a peek at a new 'Gundam' and a new Oshii; and Udon's got a brand-new 'Rose'.

[July 15, 1960] Controlled Chaos (The 1960 Democratic Convention)

(07/15/2015 8:35 AM)

Democracy is strange, particularly as exercised by the Democratic Party. Six months ago, it was anyone's guess who might be picked to have the privilege of running for the Presidency of the United States under the Democratic Party banner against Vice President Richard Nixon. Hopefuls included perennial candidate Adlai Stevenson, fiery liberal senator Hubert Humphrey, ...

Latest Crossroads Alpha Podcast

(07/14/2015 8:47 PM)

You can get the feed here, or go to iTunes, or just get the episode here. Respectfully, - Steven Savage http://www.musehack.com/ http://www.informotron.com/ http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Site Update 7/14/2015

(07/14/2015 8:25 PM)

Been awhile since one of these, huh? Well here's what's up! The site's now mostly Scott and me, and I've wanted to find ways for us to "do our thing better." So in the next few weeks: Scott is going to take a well-deserved break. Guy needs it actually. I'll ...

Update 7/13/2015

(07/13/2015 6:56 PM)

Hello everyone, been a bit occupied (and caught a cold, allergy season makes people so vulnerable). But here's the latest update. Plot Twist Generator Is in the works! Has data in place! Has some ideas, is really boring right now! The big issue is just stocking more data and structure, and polishing it - and [...]

'Knights of Sidonia', Season 2: Once More Into The Breach, Dear Pilots

(07/13/2015 8:00 AM)

The best parts of 'Sidonia' remain its visuals and its gut-wrenching combat sequences; it's a shame its human elements aren't quite as strong

[July 12, 1960] Pages Come to Life! (Comic-Con '60)

(07/12/2015 6:50 PM)

Two conventions in as many weeks! What as I thinking? And yet, despite the undoubted ardor of the undertaking, it was well worth it. San Diego's intimate little science fiction and comic book convention, aptly titled "Comic Con," was the most fun I've had at a convention in 1960. There was plenty to see and ...

'Soul Eater Not!': Not Soul Eater

(07/11/2015 8:00 AM)

A side-quel that only makes the audience long all the more for the original, instead of cutting its own path

Lost in Translation - July News Round-Up

(07/11/2015 6:30 AM)

CG Peanuts movie to use classic comics for thought bubbles. The CGI animated Peanuts feature will pay homage to the original comic strip through the use of the classic comics in thought bubbles. Dan Aykroyd excited as Ghostbusters reboot starts filming. Aykroyd, who was the co-creator of the original movie and is the executive producer [...]

Lost in Translation - July News Round-Up

(07/11/2015 6:30 AM)

CG Peanuts movie to use classic comics for thought bubbles. The CGI animated Peanuts feature will pay homage to the original comic strip through the use of the classic comics in thought bubbles. Dan Aykroyd excited as Ghostbusters reboot starts filming. Aykroyd, who was the co-creator of the original movie ...

[July 10, 1960] Eye of the Storm (August 1960 Analog)

(07/10/2015 7:31 PM)

Once again, I find myself on vacation in my home town. San Diego is hosting two science fiction conventions back to back this July, and this second one promises to be the larger of the two. Of course, neither of these conventions holds a candle to the big one starting in Los Angeles tomorrow, the ...

Super Summer Comic Con 2 - Panel of Power

(07/10/2015 6:33 PM)

Being an Actor is difficult. Being an Actor on popular TV shows like Power Rangers, Lost Girl Defiance and Pixels is even harder. But, Rob Archer, Kevin Duhaney, and Jeff Parazzo answer questions from fans at Super Summer Comic Con 2 giving life lessons, comedy and more. Thanks to Mike Michalski and everyone from Super [...]

Anime Roundup: July 10, 2015

(07/10/2015 8:00 AM)

Riches from Anime Expo, "Berserk" and "Devil Blues" back on the rails, and tons-a-Gundam.

Things That I Like: A Few Systems of Magic for the Taking

(07/9/2015 12:37 PM)

Like everything, these ideas are free for the taking. Consider them to be public domain. Just... grab them, and use them, and stuff. That's what they're there for. Financial Astrology Developed in the throes of the Great Depression, financial astrology is the art of using magic to make money, and using money to make magic. [...]

Steve's Update 7/7/2015

(07/7/2015 8:15 PM)

Hope everyone is doing well! Here's what's up! New Columnist/Old Columnist Working out when we'll bring over a new columnist - who's really an old columnist for another site. Look for something around August . . . Plot Twist Generator I've built the initial code for the Plot Twist Generator, and now I need to [...]

[July 7, 1960] Frankenstein's Timeline (Brian Aldiss' Galaxies like Grains of Sand)

(07/7/2015 8:51 AM)

Themed collections, a book containing stories by the same author in a common universe, are interesting things. Isaac Asimov's Foundation is one of the more famous examples, and when a collection of Zenna Henderson's The People stories comes out, that will be one of the best ever. Sometimes, an author is tempted to shoehorn a ...

Review: Jodorowsky's Dune

(07/6/2015 8:30 AM)

I'm taking a break here by moving to a review of a most unusual film about an unusual film that never was. Perhaps the archetypical Nevermade movie, Alejandro Jodorowsky's attempt to make Dune in the 70's. This is "Jodorowsky's Dune." SHORT REVIEW: Must-watch film for media historians, writers, and filmmakers. ...

'Ping Pong The Animation': Tennis, Anyone?

(07/6/2015 8:00 AM)

Calling this a 'sports story' falls so far short of describing how its seething visuals tell a story that'll hit home with most anyone, ping-pong players or not

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 69

(07/5/2015 6:13 PM)

Carlos chats with Nathan Martin (SRGE, Microsoft, and Video Games Northwest), and Charles Porter (Microsoft, Project Spark) about making games, Mario Maker, Arcade Games, Super Chibi Knight, a new PS4, and a couple fun facts about Xbox One.

[July 4, 1960] Coming Home (Westercon SD convention)

(07/4/2015 7:42 PM)

What is it that makes a con? Is it the chance to meet published authors and prominent fans? Is it the spirited discussion of high-minded concepts deep into the night? Is it the opportunity to engage in salacious activities? Ultimately, what a convention all comes down to is building a community. We all live in ...

Lost in Translation - The History of Adaptations - 1970-79

(07/4/2015 6:30 AM)

The History of Adaptations Twenties Thirties Forties Fifties Sixties Welcome to the history of adaptations. I've been looking at the top movies of each decade, analyzing them to see which ones were original and which ones were adaptations, and of the adaptations, what the source material was. I'm using the ...

Lost in Translation - The History of Adaptations - 1970-79

(07/4/2015 6:30 AM)

The History of Adaptations Twenties Thirties Forties Fifties Sixties Welcome to the history of adaptations. I've been looking at the top movies of each decade, analyzing them to see which ones were original and which ones were adaptations, and of the adaptations, what the source material was. I'm using the compiled list at Filmsite.org as [...]

A 'Legend' Without The Myth

(07/3/2015 8:00 AM)

With 'Legend of the Galactic Heroes' finally licensed for English release, it's all the more important to examine it critically, not reverentially

[July 2, 1960] Bottom of the Cup (Twilight Zone 1st Season wrap-up)

(07/2/2015 7:24 PM)

Gabrielle and Chelsea-dig that futuristic dress the latter has on! Greetings from Westercon San Diego! Now, with an opening like that, I expect you're expecting a convention report. Well, this is just day one of a four day extravaganza, so not quite yet. Just know that I'm having a lovely time, and I've already swept ...

Anime Roundup: July 1, 2015

(07/1/2015 8:00 AM)

FUNimation's got a live 'Titan'; Tokyopop's got a brand-new (and terrible) contract; and there's a good reason companies can't tell you if they have licensed a given title.

[June 30, 1960] On a roll! (Space Race Wrap-up)

(06/30/2015 8:26 AM)

Something very exciting happened this week: Spaceflight became routine. Remember just a couple of years ago? The press was full of flopniks, grapefruit-sized spacecraft, and about a launch every other month. Every mission was an adventure, and space was the great unknown. All that has changed. Not only are we launching more, and more advanced ...

E3 Leftovers with Holly Green - Episode 68

(06/29/2015 9:12 PM)

Holly Green joins Kinsey and I to talk E3 2015 leftovers (but mainly Fallout 4).

180 Shades Of Profit: An Analysis Of An Amazon Erotica Author

(06/29/2015 8:30 AM)

I was going to write about networking, but I caught an article on Kindle micro-erotica fiction and wanted to analyze it. Over at Cracked Magazine (unofficial motto "The most unexpectedly informative site on the internet."), author Robert Evans interviewed author Peter Hayward. You probably don't know Peter as he writes under ...

Finishing Someone Else's Work

(06/29/2015 8:00 AM)

When does it make sense to have others continue work left unfinished by the creator's death, and when is it best to just leave well enough alone?

Quick Update!

(06/28/2015 7:05 PM)

Hope everyone is doing well. Caught a bit of a cold last week so I'm a tad behind i'm afraid - sort of a case wwhere one thing led to another and I got sick. Way With Worlds Book: This one is probably due around March 2016. It's actually a pretty regular piece of work [...]

[June 27, 1960] July Sneak Preview!

(06/27/2015 10:23 AM)

The end of June is here, and it's time for the Galactic Journey preview listings for July. This way, all of you who have joined the Journey, can share my adventures: For reading material this month, we have the usual line-up of magazines in the order in which I'll read them: July 1960 Astounding July ...

Lost in Translation 133 - Superheroes, the New Western

(06/27/2015 6:30 AM)

As the decades progress with the History of Adaptations, the type of movie that is popular is changing. Biblical epics gave way to musicals, then biblical remakes, then modern thrillers. Not seen in the most popular list are Westerns*, despite them being a quarter of Hollywood's output , from feature films to serials to television, [...]

Lost in Translation 133 - Superheroes, the New Western

(06/27/2015 6:30 AM)

As the decades progress with the History of Adaptations, the type of movie that is popular is changing. Biblical epics gave way to musicals, then biblical remakes, then modern thrillers. Not seen in the most popular list are Westerns*, despite them being a quarter of Hollywood's output , from feature ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 67

(06/25/2015 8:50 PM)

I got to finally sit down with Richard Garriott (aka Lord British) and geek out over Ultima 7, Ultima Online, and talk Shroud of the Avatar. I also added a segment after our interview where I run through some Ultima memories for games 1-9. Enjoy!

[June 25, 1960] Sting in its Tale (The Wasp Woman)

(06/25/2015 5:00 PM)

Necessity is the mother of invention. What is a review writer to do when all the literary science fiction material to review has dried up? Why, it's time to head to the drive-in and sample the visual science fiction material! Now, I've been dreading this avenue because the Summer blockbuster line-up hasn't hit the silver ...

E3 Talk with Jeff Cannata and Ray Carsillo

(06/22/2015 9:23 PM)

I sat down with Jeff Cannata (

Steve's Update 6/22/2015

(06/22/2015 6:45 PM)

Well been awhile, so here's where we are! Plot Twist Generator After examining the options, I'm going to go straightforward randomization - putting together, iterating, and/or extending common elements. So you'll have twists like "The villain is the protagonist's mother" or "The villain is the protagonist's mother, and has a deadly disease" and so on. [...]

[June 22, 1960] Here comes Summer! (Twilight Zone wrap-up)

(06/22/2015 11:00 AM)

Summer is here, and that means the television season is wrapping up, freeing time for a slew of blockbusters. But the small screen hasn't quite finished with all it has to show us-between Maverick, Bonanza, and The Twilight Zone, there's still plenty to enjoy. I must confess a guilty affection for What's My Line, too. ...

Having A Project

(06/22/2015 8:30 AM)

For those of you that don't follow my various efforts (and how could you, I have trouble following all I get up to), I recently started a book on Sailor Moon. You can find more here, but the basic idea is to study the impact this media phenomena had on women ...

E3 2015 with Nathan Ortega - Ep 65

(06/21/2015 1:51 PM)

Nathan, Kinsey and I talk E3 in a hotel room down in LA. We discuss the press conferences, but then get into some very cool indie games we saw down there.

'Darker Than Black': What They Do In The Shadows

(06/20/2015 11:00 AM)

With pieces borrowed smartly from across other entertainments, the 'X-Men meets X-Files' 'Darker Than Black' holds up well after nearly ten years

Lost in Translation - The History of Adaptations - 1960-69

(06/20/2015 6:30 AM)

The History of Adaptations Twenties Thirties Forties Fifties Welcome to the history of adaptations. I've been looking at the top movies of each decade, analyzing them to see which ones were original and which ones were adaptations, and of the adaptations, what the source material was. I'm using the compiled ...

Dan Bethel from Long John Comic

(06/19/2015 12:50 PM)

Dan Bethel has been on the show in the past from his time with Eben 07. Now, he has a Masters in English is a teacher and a comic creator with his newest comic Long John. We'll discuss the comic, his passion for his new career, dive into his moral psychology and talk Shia LeBouef [...]

[June 19, 1960] Half Measures (July 1960 IF Science Fiction)

(06/19/2015 10:32 AM)

I'm glad science fiction digests haven't gone the way of the dodo. There's something pleasant about getting a myriad of possible futures in a little package every month. You can read as much or as little as you like at a time. The short story format allows the presentation of an idea without too much ...

Anime Roundup: June 18, 2015

(06/18/2015 8:00 AM)

'Belladonna', an ex-Ghibli producer starts his own thing, and both 'Devilman' and 'Evangelion' are Blu.

[June 16, 1960] Skimming the Cream (Robert Sheckley's Notions: Unlimited)

(06/16/2015 9:23 AM)

As a rule, I don't review anthologies. By definition, they are composed of stories already published elsewhere, and since I cover the magazines regularly, chances are I've already seen most of an anthology's contents. I make an exception for Bob Sheckley. Sheckley is the master of the science fiction short story. They are sometimes humorous, ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 64

(06/14/2015 4:53 PM)

Courtney Holmes (from

[June 14, 1960] 12 Angry Astronauts (12 to the Moon)

(06/14/2015 8:44 AM)

Sometimes, the Journey goes to the movies; sometimes, we're sorry we did. If you are a regular reader of this column, or you tune in to KGJ, you've probably read some of my film reviews. An off-script discussion was broadcast recently summing up all the movies my daughter and I have watched since the Journey ...

On the Passing of Darren Shahlavi & the Existence of Gossip News

(06/12/2015 1:02 PM)

Written by: Jeannie Di Giacomo Increasing viewership through conjecture and never having to say you're sorry - welcome to gossip news. Amidst all the bright flashes and fervent gossiping, the Entertainment industry can often lose sight of (and make its audience blind to) the humanistic elements that comprise its moving parts. News about the passing [...]

[June 11, 1960] Fool me once… (July 1960 Amazing)

(06/11/2015 12:38 PM)

If there is any innovation that defined the resurgent science fiction field in the 1950s, it is the science fiction digest. Before the last decade, science fiction was almost entirely the province of the "pulps," large-format publications on poor-quality paper. The science fiction pulps shared space with the detective pulps, the western pulps, the adventure ...

[June 9, 1960] To Pluto and the Future (July 1960 Fantasy and Science Fiction)

(06/9/2015 12:01 PM)

I was recently told that my reviews are too negative, and that I should focus on telling the world about the good stuff; for that hopeful fan, I present my assessment of the July 1960 Fantasy and Science Fiction. There's not a clunker in the bunch, and if none of the stories is a perfect ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 63

(06/7/2015 3:25 PM)

Robby Zinchak (8bit MMO) is back to talk about his new game March of Industry as well as Duck Game, Witcher 3, March of Industry, Fallout 4, Lego Worlds, E3 predictions, PC master race, the Holodeck, and more!

Cas Anvar from The Expanse

(06/6/2015 8:54 PM)

Cas Anvar has been an actor in a variety of different stages, both literal and virtual. From Montreal's grand stage of theatre to voice acting on AAA games like Assassin's Creed and Halo 4 (to name a few). I first met Cas Anvar at Motor City Comic Con in 2014. After an intriguing Twitter exchange, [...]

[June 4, 1960] The Solar Frontier (Pluto: 9th "planet"?)

(06/4/2015 6:41 AM)

Pluto is big news right now; no wonder since this year is the 30th anniversary of its discovery. But what do we really know about this enigmatic ninth "planet?" (quotes used advisedly, more on this later.) Not much. We know that it is an average of forty Astronomical Units from the Sun; that is to ...

[June 2, 1960] Fewer is Less (July 1960 Astounding)

(06/2/2015 12:39 PM)

What makes a story worth reading? As a writer, and as a reader who has plowed through thousands of stories over the past decade, I've developed a fair idea of what works and what doesn't. Some writers cast a spell on you from the first words and maintain that trance until the very end. Others ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 62

(05/31/2015 5:37 PM)

Amber Vincent (Big Fish) stops by to talk about her collection of Gameboys, Destiny DLC, Hatred, Witcher 3, Defragmented, Skate, and stank faces while listening to electronic music.

[May 31, 1960] End of May (New KGJ episodes and June forecast)

(05/31/2015 7:26 AM)

At long last, and with the cooperation of a vast radio production team, the entire month of November 1958 has been produced as a set of radio shows. You can listen to them all at your leisure on KGJ! Broacasting most hours of the day from downtown Vista. For those following along at home, June ...

[May 29, 1960] The Outside World (Foreign Affairs wrap-up)

(05/29/2015 7:49 AM)

It's been a tumultuous month in the world; I'd hate to be in the State Department while Ike makes his goodwill tour across the globe, particularly in the wake of the collapse of the recent four-party Peace Summit in Paris less than two weeks ago. Courtesy of LIFE Magazine Unless you live in a cave, ...

Jeff Denomme from Papa D's Hot Sawce

(05/28/2015 4:04 AM)

Jeff Denomme is a man of many talents. Graphic Designer, Entrepreneur, TedX motivational speaker and now he can add Hot Sawce Emporium / Creator to that list! We get to speak with Jeff Denomme owner/creator of Papa D's Hot Sawce. Local creation all made, packaged and sold in Windsor, Ontario! Also, on this episode when [...]

[May 27, 1960] Stalled Flights (Midas 2, Pioneer 5, Ozma, and Eichmann)

(05/27/2015 7:03 AM)

There was another mystery Atlas Agena launch from Cape Canaveral on May 24. My sources tell me it was in the same series as the mission late February that broke up before it could reach orbit. It appears to be some kind of infrared missile launch detection system. I even got my hands on some ...

[May 25, 1960] Getting there is half the problem (Judith Merril's The Tomorrow People)

(05/25/2015 4:51 PM)

Every novel is a kind of contract with the reader, a promise that ideas, events, and characters will be presented in the beginning such that, by the end, they will have facilitated a satisfying story. A corollary to this is that a writer must ensure that all of a story's scenes are interesting to the ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 61

(05/24/2015 2:35 PM)

Atticus, Kinsey, and I sit down for only the second time ever (yes, they were right - we did all have a podcast together in

[May 23, 1960] Month's End (June 1960 Fantasy and Science Fiction)

(05/23/2015 7:39 AM)

With Astounding so good this month, I suppose it was too much to ask that Fantasy and Science Fiction would also be of high caliber. While it's not a bad issue, it's not one of the better ones, either. Charles Henneberg (who I understand is actually a Parisian named Nathalie) has the best story of ...

[May 21, 1960] KGJ is On The Air!

(05/21/2015 2:10 PM)

Due to popular demand, Galactic Journey is taking a stab at broadcasting. I've recorded the last five articles. If the response is good, I will make it a regular monthly feature to record the previous month's articles. I can also record older months, too. Tune in and let me know what you think.

[May 20, 1960] Three for Four (June 1960 Astounding)

(05/20/2015 11:36 AM)

Astounding, the venerable science fiction digest, has often been my monthly whipping boy. Today's article is going to be a bit different because, apart from one noteworthy, execrable exception, the June 1960 Astounding was actually quite good. Much of the magazine is taken up by Part 3 of the enjoyable "Mark Phillips" effort, Out Like ...

[May 18, 1960] Good and bad news (Twilight Zone and the Summit)

(05/18/2015 8:47 AM)

What makes quality television? No, that's not an oxymoron, despite what anyone might tell you. Sure, there are plenty of vapid game shows, variety shows, soap operas, situation comedies. The techniques and technology are primitive-sometimes, it feels as if I'm watching a local junior high troupe in their multi-purpose room. But there are those occasional ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 60

(05/17/2015 7:25 PM)

Casey Doran (of

Howie Noel from Tara Normal

(05/15/2015 6:16 PM)

Howie Noel from Tara Normal has been on the show before. From the first time I interviewed him about Tara Normal, to his second time talking/venting about Tara Normal being ripped off by Big Publishing companies... now we're back with HAPPY Howie talking Kickstarter campaign for his newest book! Join us to have a fun [...]

[May 15, 1960] Soviets take the Lead! (Sputnik 4)

(05/15/2015 9:48 AM)

At long last, the Soviets have launched another Sputnik. While Americans try to pierce the sky with almost fortnightly frequency (more on that shortly), the Russians seem content to proceed at a more leisurely pace, but to get more bang for their buck. Their latest shot, which the press has dubbed Sputnik 4, but should ...

[May 13, 1960] Second Lightning Strike (Out Like a Light)

(05/13/2015 11:00 AM)

by Freas I poke a lot of fun at John Campbell's magazine, Astounding for its overfeaturing of psionics and Randall Garrett, two things of which I've gotten very tired-so imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying a serial that intimately involves both! For the last three months, Astounding's serial has been Out Like a ...

[May 11, 1960] Spelunkers Unite! (Journey to the Center of the Earth)

(05/11/2015 12:54 PM)

With so much schlock crowding out the marquees at our local cinemas, it's nice to get a chance to see a quality production for a change. Last weekend, my daughter and I managed to finally catch the Cinemascope epic, Journey to the Center of the Earth, loosely based upon (read: with the same title as) ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 59 [LIVE]

(05/10/2015 5:30 PM)

We had a whole slew of people join us on this very special (and live) episode of the podcast. We talked Jotun, Fallout 4, Goat Z, Mario Kart, Virtual Reality, pink eye, Nintendo, Guild Wars 2, and more.

[May 9, 1960] Long distance call (Pioneer 5 update)

(05/9/2015 10:20 AM)

Photo found here Hold onto your ears, folks, because the Pioneer 5 interplanetary satellite just turned on the big transmitter. Well, it's actually only 150 Watts-only a little more powerful than your average light bulb. But it's like shouting compared to the 5 Watt radio it was using until now. Pioneer is now more than ...

Life is Strange Chrysalis Review

(05/8/2015 8:00 AM)

Life is Strange Chrysalis ReviewVisuals80%Gameplay82%Sound72%Music76%Replayability85%Enjoyable aspects of the GamePainted visualsSeatle style musicCharacter interactions and storylinesThings to ImproveDialogue lip syncSkipping already played cutscenes (you can but only if you have played through that conversation chain)79%Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote)99%Lately I've stepped away from the AAA title games to play games that are more laid back. The [...]

[May 7, 1960] Grab Bag

(05/7/2015 8:00 AM)

Here's a bit of a hodgepodge article for the column as I plow through reading material and await the next Space Spectacular: RCA's Mrs Helen Mann, holder of two degrees in physics, issues instructions to FLAC (Florida Automatic Computer) at Patrick Air Force Base, from where military and civilian (Air Force) space launches originate. From ...

[May 5, 1960] The Next Step (Rosel George Brown in Amazing)

(05/5/2015 7:12 AM)

Has Rosel George Brown finally broken through? For several years, I've kept an eye on this promising New Orleans native. Apart from being a woman writer in a predominately male field, she has brought a refreshingly feminine viewpoint to her stories. But they've never quite rung all of my bells. Some, like Virgin Ground have ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Ep 58 with Brad Gallaway

(05/3/2015 8:30 PM)

Brad Gallaway (from

[May 3, 1960] Sharpening Up (Poul Anderson's Brain Wave)

(05/3/2015 7:35 AM)

It's tough to be a smart person in a dumb world. When I was in 4th grade, I had a miserable, mean teacher named Mrs. Middleton. She was the sort of lady who wore a smile on her face that had a depth of about a micron-she certainly didn't have a pleasant soul. I remember ...

Rock & Tin Review

(05/1/2015 8:00 AM)

If you have never heard of Rock & Tin, then you haven't been paying attention to my past guests over the last seven years. Maybe the name Tom Dell'Aringa will ring a bell? (Pun intended, because that's how I roll.) How about the comic Marooned? Good, one out of three isn't bad... Although, three out [...]

[April 30, 1960] Interlude, with Ocean (A Trip to Carlsbad)

(04/30/2015 11:46 AM)

Greetings from sunny springtime California! Yesterday was a vacation of sorts. Having dashed off (I mean to say "meticulously crafted") my review of the June 1960 Galaxy, I thought it high time to hit the beach with some nice non-fiction. My favorite shoreline happens to be in Carlsbad, a sleepy community in northern San Diego ...

[Apr. 29, 1960] A Banks Shot (June 1960 Galaxy, Part 2)

(04/29/2015 12:11 PM)

Without preamble, let's get to the second half of this month's Galaxy, the June 1960 issue. I hope you've all been reading along with me because there will be a quiz next period. by Wood Jack Sharkey is a prolific newcomer who started out in the lesser mags. His The Dope on Mars, the first-hand ...

[April 27, 1960] Galactic on Galaxy (June 1960 Galaxy)

(04/27/2015 4:17 PM)

It's that happy time of year when the sun is up late and the weather is perfect. Of course, the weather is usually perfect here in the nicest unincorporated part of northern San Diego County (though there are rumors that our little farming community is going to vote on incorporation soon). One of my favorite ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 57

(04/26/2015 5:37 PM)

Paul Furio (from SyncBuildRun) stops by to talk about his upcoming episodic cyberpunk game V.Next. We also talk Lifeline, Apple Watch games, The Sheltered, Marvel teaming up with TellTale, and Skyrim mods costing money.

[April 25, 1960] Long distance fix (The Repair of Pioneer 5)

(04/25/2015 9:54 AM)

Imagine doing brain surgery by remote control. That's just what STL engineer, Robert E. Gottfried, did over the weekend, on an ailing deep space probe. Pioneer 5 blasted off on March 11, and it recently passed the 5 million mile distance mark on its way to the orbit of Venus. For more than a month, ...

[April 23, 1960] Unseen Companion (Radio in transition)

(04/23/2015 8:08 AM)

Radio-is her heyday waning? For three decades, she was the Queen of media. Families gathered around her dials for the latest news, music, and programming. Listeners closed their eyes and were transported across the globe. Some programs allowed them to travel across the universe, like the fairly recent X Minus Zero. Then radio's upstart little ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 56

(04/22/2015 10:51 PM)

Holly Green (

[April 21, 1960] Roads not taken (May 1960 IF)

(04/21/2015 9:08 AM)

If there's anything this month's IF, Science Fiction proves, it's that you get what you pay for. Last year, Galaxy editor, H. L. Gold, cut story rates in half to 2 cents a word. Shortly thereafter, he took over the helm of the promising but unsuccessful digest, IF. Its quality has been in steady decline ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 55

(04/19/2015 6:34 PM)

Steve Haske (from Unwinnable and Vice) sits down and talks about his experience with Bloodborne, Final Fantasy 15, and how it felt to play ALL the Resident Evil games back to back. We go on an Alien Isolation tangent and [spoiler!] are unimpressed with Nintendo's 3DS Street Pass updates.

[April 19, 1960] Where we are (Space News Round-up)

(04/19/2015 7:04 AM)

Remember the years before Sputnik when space news comprised semi-annual rocket launch reports, annual Willy Ley books, and the occasional Bonestell/Von Braun coffee table book? Even after Sputnik, weeks would go by without a noteworthy event. But, slowly but surely, the pace of space launches has increased. Just this last week, I caught wind of ...

[April 17, 1960] Stiff Upper Lips (Fletcher Pratt's Invaders from Rigel)

(04/17/2015 10:50 AM)

It is said that dead men tell no tales; but don't tell that to Fletcher Pratt, who has managed to publish a book four years after his death! I must confess, I did a double-take when I recently saw Invaders from Rigel at the bookstore. The beloved Fletcher Pratt, one of the genre's titans, and ...

[April 14, 1960] Onward and Upwards!  (A new location)

(04/14/2015 7:59 PM)

Dear valued readers of Galactic Journey: Now that I can count my daily readers on more than two hands, I've decided on trying out a new venue so that y'all can get automatic electronic updates whenever a new article is published. How's that for convenience? If you're here, that means you've already left the old ...

[April 13, 1960] An unfulfilled promise (May 1960 F&SF)

(04/13/2015 10:31 AM)

Every month, there is the perennial hope that this will be the month a truly great story will be published. Every month, a stack of science fiction digests arrives at my door. There are few moments as exciting as that day (my postman holds them all so they arrive at once; I like big events). ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 54

(04/12/2015 7:06 PM)

Kinsey and I sit down and catch up and talk games and game news. Also, Kinsey drinks really weird beer.

[April 11, 1960] A Steady Flame (Twilight Zone wrap-up)

(04/11/2015 4:33 AM)

Some shows start with a bang and quickly lose their spark; some are a slow burn, taking a while to find their stride; The Twilight Zone has remained a class act from the beginning. As of Friday, April 8, 1960, there have been 27 episodes. They have ranged in quality from fair to outstanding, and ...

[April 7, 1960] Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair (The Haunted Stars)

(04/7/2015 5:37 AM)

From the stars comes a warning... and a challenge. Time permitting, I like to read a new science fiction book at least once a month. The digests are reliable sources of good stuff, but there is only so far a writer can develop an idea in the space of a novella or short story. Sure, ...

[April 6, 1960] First Test (Wisconsin Primary results)

(04/6/2015 9:19 AM)

Provided by the Journal Sentinel In an upset that no one saw coming (except every pollster in the nation), Massachusetts Senator Jack Kennedy defeated Michigan Senator Hubert Humphrey in a close Wisconsin primary, April 5. It took most of the night for the final results to come in, but in the end, Kennedy took six ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 53

(04/5/2015 9:42 PM)

Conor Murphy (Big Fish Games) and I sit down to talk Car Simulation in games, Rocksmith and guitars, how GTA could be better, and mobile games. We go over some of what happened in the newest Nintendo Direct, and I talk about how much I love Pillars of Eternity.

[April 5, 1960] 8th Wonder of the World (Wondercon, 1960)

(04/5/2015 1:29 AM)

No man is an island; but without conventions, the moat can be pretty broad. Humans are social creatures. Most of us have a natural desire to share our passions with others. When we read (or watch) science fiction and fantasy, we are receiving a broadcast from an author, but the communication stops there. If we ...

[April 2, 1960] Aeolus Chained (TIROS 1)

(04/2/2015 1:55 AM)

"Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." Mark Twain That sage 19th century observation may not hold much longer if NASA has anything to say about it. Last year, Vanguard 2 was touted as the first weather satellite because it had a pair of photocells designed to measure the amount of ...

[March 31, 1960] What goes up… (May 1960 Astounding)

(03/31/2015 2:02 AM)

Every science fiction digest has a flavor. Part of it is due to the whimsy of the editor, part of it is the niche the magazine is trying to fill, and part of it is luck of the draw. Astounding can be summed up in just a few words: psionic, smug, workmanlike, crackpot, inbred. Not ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 52

(03/29/2015 12:06 AM)

[March 28, 1960] Calling all Stars! (Project Ozma begins)

(03/28/2015 2:26 AM)

Imagine installing telephone service in your home for the first time only to have it ring almost immediately. This is the hope of scientists working on the colorfully named "Project Ozma" at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. Simultaneously with humanity's first steps into space, we are developing brand new methods ...

[March 26, 1960] Among the Best (April 1960 Fantasy and Science Fiction)

(03/26/2015 6:54 AM)

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction regularly beats out the other regular digests in terms of consistent quality. This month's, April 1960, is no exception. There's a lot to cover, so let's dive right in: Daniel Keyes, who wrote the superb Flowers for Algernon, has returned with the issue's lead novelette, Crazy Maro. Our ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 51

(03/25/2015 7:33 PM)

I sit down with long time twitter friend, and all around awesome dude Andrew Crews. Also, if you like UFC stuff you'll get a little helping of that in this podcast as well. We're MMA nerds.

[March 23, 1960] Sergeant goes AWOL! (Explorer S-46 fails)

(03/23/2015 5:43 AM)

So far this month, it's Air Force: 1, Army: 0. The latest Explorer probe, launched today atop an Army contractor-made Juno II booster failed to orbit. This is in contrast to Pioneer 5, launched March 11 on an Air Force contractor-built Thor Able, which is still beeping merrily away to the orbit of Venus. Both ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 50 [LIVE]

(03/22/2015 3:34 PM)

We bring our podcast out on the road, and drink mayyyybe too much? Enjoy!

[March 21, 1960] Conservation of Quality (April 1960 Astounding)

(03/21/2015 1:00 AM)

I believe I may have discovered a new physical law: The Conservation of Quality. Last year, Galaxy editor Horace Gold decided to slash writer pay in half. The effect was not immediately apparent, which makes sense since there was likely a backlog of quality stuff in the larder. But the last issue of Galaxy was ...

[March 18, 1960] A million miles from Earth! (Pioneer 5 update #1)

(03/17/2015 8:31 PM)

Who calls a press conference at 2:00 in the morning? And what sort of fool journalist covers a 2 A.M. press conference? NASA and me, respectively. Dr. Keith Glennan, NASA's administrator, admitted that it was an unorthodox time to gather scientists and reporters together, but given the unprecedented nature of the event to be discussed, ...

[March 16, 1960] Four More! (Twilight Zone Wrap-up)

(03/16/2015 11:02 AM)

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 49

(03/16/2015 10:29 AM)

Kinsey and I sit down with Holly Green and drink a lot, while talking DLC, Pokemon Shuffle, violence in video games, and cooking.

[March 13, 1960] Shineless shoe (April 1960 Galaxy, Part 2)

(03/13/2015 11:06 AM)

Mediocre magazines are always the hardest to plow through. When I've got a good issue in my hands, reading is a pleasure, and I generally tear through in nothing flat. Bad issues are unpleasant, but I also feel no compunctions in skimming. But it's those middle-of-the-road, "C Minus" magazines that drag you down. Each story ...

[March 11, 1960] Venus (orbit) or Bust! (Pioneer 5)

(03/11/2015 10:53 AM)

The Space Race headlines were anything but exciting last month, but today's news makes up for February's doldrums in spades. Last year, there was a great deal of fanfare regarding last August's launch of Explorer 6. This testbed of an orbital spacecraft was developed by Los Angeles based Space Technology Laboratories (STL), the Air Force's ...

[March 9, 1960] First shoe of the month (April 1960 Galaxy)

(03/9/2015 11:31 AM)

Good old Galaxy magazine. Dependable, occasionally brilliant, very thick. So thick, that I traditionally break down my review of each bi-month's issue into two articles, and who am I to buck tradition? Without further ado, the April 1960 Galaxy. First up is Earl Goodale's Success Story, a surprisingly entertaining satire on an interstellar soldier's life ...

Hart to Heart with Dan Hart - Episode 48

(03/8/2015 9:10 PM)

Carlos sits down with sketch comedy guy Dan Hart to discuss Hearthstone, Hand of Fate, and GDC stuff. Also, there's tangents about quantum physics and comedy.

[Mar. 8, 1960] Where did he go?

(03/8/2015 9:50 AM)

My apologies. I lost my hand brace again, so the typewriter is impossible for me today. I'll have an article for y'all tomorrow. Thank you for your patience! This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth, where it has comments. Please comment here or there.

[Mar. 5, 1960] Interlude with clippings

(03/5/2015 10:23 AM)

Here's an inconsequential entry as I put my thoughts on the new Galaxy together. I clipped it from the kids' section of the local paper. I like how space travel has fired up the imagination not just for adults but for kids, too. This will be their moonbase in twenty years... - Galactic Journey is ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 47

(03/1/2015 5:20 PM)

[March 1, 1960] The Slow Sibling (March 1960 IF)

(03/1/2015 6:31 AM)

It is March Oneth, as my father would say, and it's time to review the last of the March 1960 science fiction digests. Last on my plate was IF Science Fiction, which in 1959 had proven a slightly erratic but worthy sibling to Galaxy Science Fiction, also edited by Horace Gold. Sadly, this current issue ...

[Feb. 26, 1960] Fair Warning (a mystery launch)

(02/26/2015 11:21 AM)

Something took off today from Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, not far from Cocoa Beach. There was no official announcement, and the mission was almost assuredly solely military in nature. An Atlas ICBM, clearly modified for satellite launch (note the second-stage booster), took off around 10:30 AM, Florida time. After a flawless take-off, observers ...

[Feb. 23, 1960] Cepheid Oscillations (March 1960 Fantasy and Science Fiction)

(02/22/2015 9:46 PM)

From the depths of mediocrity to the peaks of quality, it looks like our long literary winter may finally be over. Perhaps the groundhog didn't see a shadow this year. First, we had an uncharacteristically solid Astounding. This month's Fantasy and Science Fiction is similarly exceptional without a clunker in the bunch, and some standouts ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 46

(02/22/2015 9:18 AM)

On this episode of VGB we talk briefly about The Order 1886 (and games journalism in general), old school games, a terrible Law & Order SVU episode, Alien Isolation, and Final Fantasy 15. And we do voices.

[Feb. 21, 1960] A birthday treat (A Tale of Two Space Programs)

(02/20/2015 11:27 PM)

Happy birthday to me! In celebration of the second anniversary of my Jack Benny birthday, here's my gift to you: a quick stop press of some recent military space endeavors, with a side of jocular sarcasm. You may remember a certain Dr. Von Braun, formerly of the German Third Reich, lately of the Army Ballistic ...

[Feb. 19, 1960] A missing step

(02/19/2015 9:33 AM)

Hello, all! I'd looked forward to keeping up the three articles per week pace throughout the whole month, but I find myself with a sick family to tend to. A big dose of space news on the 21st (my 39th birthday... or at least the 2nd anniversary thereof) and then the F&SF wrap-up. See you ...

[Feb. 16, 1960] 1 in 4 (February Twilight Zone round-up)

(02/16/2015 9:12 AM)

Unless you're watching the rather dull Men Into Space, the putatively "realistic" tales of astronaut Colonel MacCauley and his lunar mission crew, there isn't a lot of science fiction or fantasy on television. Thank goodness we have Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone to tune into every Friday night. This is a mature show for adults, ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 45

(02/15/2015 7:14 PM)

Brad Gallaway joins Kinsey and Carlos to talk Dying Light, Monster Hunter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Nintendo YouTube business.

[Feb. 14, 1960] A Valentine's Day gift (...In Distress, original fiction)

(02/14/2015 9:53 AM)

Today's post is going to be a change of pace. This column is usually reserved for comments on the work of other persons. Today, you get to see the first publication ever of an original piece. If this is a successful experiment, more may follow. Happy Valentine's Day! -- ...In Distress by Gideon Marcus illustrated ...

[Feb. 12, 1960] Pulling up (Mar. 1960 Astounding)

(02/12/2015 10:12 AM)

It had to happen some day-Astounding has pulled itself out of a nose dive, for now. Last time, I discussed the most excellent serial, Deathworld. Still, a single good serial does not a good issue make. Thankfully, Campbell has at long last, and after a merciless rough patch, delivered a quite readable book. J.T. McIntosh ...

[Feb. 9, 1960] Fighting the World (Harry Harrison's Deathworld)

(02/8/2015 10:26 PM)

Every now and then Astounding (excuse me-"Analog") surprises me. The end of last year saw some of the worst issues of the digest ever, with stories as poor as any that used to populate the legion of now-defunct science fiction pulps. Then along comes Harry Harrison, a brand-new writer, so far as I can tell, ...

Dragon Age Inquisition Spoilercast - VGB Episode 44

(02/8/2015 8:49 PM)

We sit down with Kinsey Burke, John Fitzgerald, and Darcie King to discuss our time with the EPIC Dragon Age Inquisition.

[Feb. 7, 1960] The sports that matter (Discoverer 9 and solar radar)

(02/7/2015 1:01 AM)

The score for this week-Civilian Space Science: 1, USAF Space Science: 0. In the Little Engine That Couldn't department, we have the Air Force's Discoverer project, ostensibly for sending up biological specimens in a returnable capsule, probably for launching recoverable reconnaissance film capsules, actually not much good for anything. The ninth in the series didn't ...

[Feb. 6, 1960] Finding my way (February 1960 Fantasy and Science Fiction)

(02/6/2015 8:28 AM)

Science fiction is my escape. When the drudgery of the real world becomes oppressive, or when I just need a glimpse of a brighter future to make the present more interesting, I turn to my growing collection of magazines and novels to buouy my spirits. I like stories of interstellar adventure filled with interesting settings ...

[Feb. 4, 1960] Nurturing Nature (The First Men, by Howard Fast)

(02/4/2015 9:27 AM)

How do you attract the intelligent fan? Why, appeal to her/his sense of mental superiority, of course. Science fiction magazines do it all the time; The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is particularly fond of showcasing the brainy cultured notables who have subscriptions. There is some justification to this conceit. After all, science fiction ...

[Feb. 1, 1960] Sand in my shorts (On the Beach movie review)

(02/1/2015 5:24 AM)

With the Hugo nominations already afoot, I felt I could not advisedly give my vote for Best Science Fiction in Media (1959) without giving last year's post-apocalyptic sleeper, On the Beach a watch. It's just now leaving the theaters, so I caught it in the nick of time. I did not take my daughter with ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 43

(01/29/2015 10:00 PM)

Two guests who were on our early version of the podcast come back to talk indie games, virtual reality, games they're working on, what they're playing, and discuss some game news.

[Jan. 28, 1960] But how do you really feel? (February 1960 Astounding)

(01/28/2015 7:01 AM)

I've devoted much ink to lambasting Astounding/Analog editor John Campbell for his attempts to revitalize his magazine, but I've not yet actually talked about the latest (February 1960) issue. Does it continue the digest's trend towards general lousiness? For the most part, yes. Harry Harrison's serial, Deathworld, continues to be excellent (and it will be ...

[Jan. 27, 1960] Hail Mary (Astounding's mid-life crisis)

(01/27/2015 10:34 AM)

Maturity is both a blessing and a curse. With age comes wisdom, knowledge, and respect. But advanced years also bring narrowmindedness and physical decay. Astounding, the eldest of the Big Three (or Four, depending on how you count them) science fiction digests, is having a bit of a mid-life crisis. It is no longer on ...

[Jan. 23, 1960] Of Missiles and Monkeys (Little Joe 1-B and a Soviet ICBM)

(01/23/2015 6:17 AM)

It has been several weeks since either superpower has announced an orbital launch, but space news still manages to fill the front pages of my local newspaper: One story that has been building for several days is the impending (and now historical) launch of a Soviet missile into the Pacific Ocean. To the unitiated, such ...

Video Game Break - Episode 42

(01/22/2015 10:48 PM)

Kinsey Burke and Evie Powell join me to discuss Minecraft, Saints Row IV Re-Elected and Gat Out of Hell, Microsoft news, The Walking Dead, and Hunie Pop.

[Jan. 21, 1960] Siamese, if you please (February 1960 Galaxy)

(01/20/2015 10:40 PM)

I made fun of Galaxy editor Horace Gold for the slightly panicked tone in this month's editorial. It's clear that he has concerns that the quality of his magazine might dip unless he can tap a reservoir of new talent. That said, the February 1960 Galaxy finishes as it started (and as did its sister, ...

[Jan. 18, 1960] The Winds of Change (Predictions for the 1960s)

(01/18/2015 12:13 AM)

There should be nothing significant about the turn of a decade. After all, years that end in zero are a completely artificial construction. Yet, there is a powerful reductive element to the human psyche that demands that decades be put into descriptive boxes. Perhaps we even shape events to create self-fulfilling prophecies. Thus, the '30s ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 41

(01/15/2015 9:30 PM)

Sean Richer (Big Fish) and Atticus Wiman join me to talk Nintendo Direct, mobile games, Wasteland 2, Skylanders, Steam machines, Fallout, and also eat pizza. On the mic.

[Jan. 14, 1960] Twin Stars (February 1960 Galaxy)

(01/14/2015 9:27 AM)

Galaxy editor Horace Gold is hard up for writers these days now that he's cut payment rates. In this month's (February 1960) editorial, he notes that he's getting all kinds of low-quality stuff, and would these would-be authors please try reading a scientific journal or two to get better ideas! Be that as it may, ...

[Jan. 12, 1960] Twilight of the 60's (Twilight Zone monthly wrap-up

(01/12/2015 9:35 AM)

I was asked by a dear reader if I had stopped watching The Twilight Zone on Fridays, it having been a month since I last discussed that delightful science fiction/fantasy/horror anthology. Well, fear not. I just like to let four episodes get into the queue before describing them. In fact, if anything the show has ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 40

(01/8/2015 7:57 PM)

Kinsey and Carlos talk about what they're playing (Game of Thrones, Peggle 2, DuckTales, Fantasy Life, Rollers of the Realm) talk some news, and discuss carlos's love for his new emulator device.

[Jan. 08, 1960] Between Peaks (January 1960 If)

(01/8/2015 8:30 AM)

I've finally finished the January 1960 IF and can report fully on its contents. January has been a decidedly uninspiring month for digests. They're all in the 3-star range (though for Astounding, that's actually a good month!) with no knockouts in the bunch. Perhaps this is the calm before the storm. The reliable if stolid ...

[Jan. 5, 1960] Perpendicular to Up (4D Man)

(01/5/2015 8:22 AM)

What is it that separates schlock from the sublime in a science fiction movie? To the nondiscriminating, I suppose they all look the same. The same may go for the discriminating, but for opposite reasons. I know I have very high standards when it comes to my science fiction. This is the price I pay ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 39

(01/1/2015 11:22 PM)

Laruen and Nate joined me (after a trip to Pizza Hut) to talk games we're playing and new games coming out in 2015.

[Jan. 2, 1960] Happy New Year! (January 1960 F&SF)

(01/1/2015 10:34 PM)

Good Lord, is it already 1960? When I started this endeavor in 1958, I had only a vague notion what it would look like and how long it would last. Over the past year 14 months, Galactic Journey has settled into what I hope is a consistent, yet varied, mature column. Moreover, I have suspicion ...

[Dec. 25, 1959] Merry Christmas!

(12/24/2014 11:53 AM)

I'll be taking a week-long break for the holidays, but I will return on January 2nd. Thank you all for reading, and during my hiatus, please feel free to catch up on any older articles you might have missed. Have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year! This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth, ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 38

(12/22/2014 6:25 PM)

Kinsey Burk and John Fitzgerald join me to talk Christmas gaming memories, Dragon Age Inquisition (again), and game news.

[Dec. 22. 1959] Put a finer point on it (Starship Troopers)

(12/21/2014 10:52 PM)

It is common practice for serials published in science fiction digests to get turned into stand-alone novels. Not only does this constitute a nice double-dip for publishers and authors, but it offers the writer a chance to polish her/his work further. Sometimes, the resulting product ends up something of a bloated mess. In the case ...

[Dec. 19, 1959] Like Water for Rockets (The testing of the XLR115)

(12/19/2014 8:59 AM)

In other news, the XLR-115 rocket was successfully tested on December 7, 1959. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/31535 I see you scratch your head. "Is that important?" you wonder. "Aren't rockets tested all the time?" Yes and yes. You all have heard of Newton's Third law, "For Every Action, there is an Equal ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 37

(12/18/2014 7:09 AM)

Anthony Gallegos and Nathan Martin join us to talk about The Talos Principle, Pizza Hut, Dragon Age Multiplayer, Hatred, monetization in games, Sears, Xbox in China, and game journalism.

[Dec. 17, 1959] Same ol' Same ol'? (January 1960 Astounding)

(12/17/2014 10:13 AM)

There are times that I feel I could trot out the same Astounding review every month. It would go something like this: "Editor John Campbell continues to showcase Human-First, psionic stories with young male protagonists and virtually no female characters. The table of contents features Randall Garrett, Robert Silverberg, Poul Anderson, and Murray Leinster. Yet ...

[Dec. 15, 1959] Between Superstition and Knowledge (Twilight Zone 4-week wrap-up)

(12/14/2014 10:26 PM)

This Friday night was a bit of a repeat performance of last week's: another trip to the German delicatessen in Escondido, another beer, another coffee and dessert. This time, I was in the most enjoyable company of my wife, and we had an avid discussion of what it is to be a "fan." A mutual ...

[Dec. 12, 1959] Beeping its last (The end of Vanguard 3)

(12/11/2014 9:59 PM)

Two days ago, there were three active satellites-two Vanguards and one Explorer. Yesterday, there were two: Vanguard 3 has gasped its last beep. For 84 days, the last of the Vanguards circled the Earth, returning data from its solar X-Ray detectors, its magnetometer, and its micrometeoroid sensors from an orbit higher than that of its ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 36

(12/11/2014 9:25 PM)

Kinsey and I podcast about Dragon Age, Playstation Experience, The Game Awards, and Tomb Raider while a massive storm rages outside.

[Dec. 8, 1959] Best of the Best! (The Galactic Stars Awards, 1959)

(12/8/2014 8:45 AM)

Science fiction is dead. Long live science fiction. Naysayers have been predicting the end of the genre since 1953 when the first post-war boom started to lose momentum. Since then, I've read a lot of science fiction (and fantasy). It's true that a lot of the lesser magazines have folded in the past 6 years, ...

[Dec. 5, 1959] Sam and Joe (The successful launch of Little Joe 2-A)

(12/5/2014 10:45 AM)

I admit it. I splurged last night. I'm not the poorest of people, but I am thrifty. Last night, however, I took a detour on the way home. I ended up at my favorite cafe off Grand Avenue in downtown Escondido. They sell pizza, which I've noticed is becoming as commonplace as burgers these days. ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 35

(12/4/2014 11:16 PM)

Kinsey and I blab about Dragon Age Inquisition a LOT. Paul chimes in and schools us on competitive score battle gaming. Kinsey eats a sandwich, and I compain about being on meds (and that I can't drink).

[Dec. 02, 1959] The Menace from Earth!

(12/2/2014 9:56 AM)

With only four science fiction digests coming out per month (really three if you count Galaxy and IF as one monthly magazine instead of two bi-monthlies), I often fill my reading time with anthologies and novels. Robert Heinlein has a new anthology of his works out, The Menace from Earth, which largely features stories I ...

[Nov. 28, 1959] Broken nose (Atlas Able and Discoverer 8)

(11/28/2014 2:24 AM)

It's enough to make a fellow cry. There she stood, a proud and lovely Atlas Able booster, with the largest American lunar probe ever built at its tip. Well, perhaps it wasn't so lovely. The Atlas ICBM is impressive enough, with three mighty engines at its base and a hot temper that has resulted in ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 34

(11/27/2014 10:05 PM)

I sat down with my good buddy Cor Bader and Jason Sacks (of Comics Bulletin) and we discussed video games based on comics, and a few comics based on video games.

[Nov. 26, 1959] Happy Thanksgiving! (December 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction)

(11/26/2014 7:46 AM)

Happy Thanksgiving! This season, we have much to be thankful for, but I am particularly thankful that I ended this publishing year on a high note-the December Fantasy and Science Fiction. If anything could get out the taste left by this month's Astounding, particularly the Garrett story, it's F&SF. In this case, the lead novelette, ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 33

(11/25/2014 9:05 PM)

Returning (some might say regular) guest Robby Zinchak and I discuss the anatomy of an RPG, RPG Maker, Robby's recent PewDiePie game jam, and create a game on the show .. sorta. Subscribe to us on the iTunes or Stitcher and leave a hello!

[Nov. 22, 1959] …with a whimper (December 1959 Astounding wrap-up)

(11/22/2014 12:58 AM)

Good morning, dear readers. Based on the incidence of fan mail, it appears you now number nearly half a dozen (unless, of course, it's just you, Laurose, writing in under a number of pseudonyms; if that be the case, I'm still grateful). And now comes the moment you have all been waiting for: my review ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 32

(11/20/2014 9:09 PM)

Kinsey Burke (back in action!) and Brad Gallaway (gamecritics.com) and I talked Dragon Age Inquisition, Escape Dead Island, Far Cry 4, Game Awards, and more.

[Nov. 20, 1959] Despoiler of Astounding Magazine (The Destroyers, by Randall Garrett)

(11/20/2014 9:32 AM)

Here's a short update before I fully review this month's Astounding. Remember my piece on Despoiler of the Golden Empire? Well, good old Randy Garrett is at it again with his historical parables. I kept waiting for the shoe to drop in his lead novella of this ish, The Destroyers, and it did in a ...

[Nov. 17, 1959] Dead Center (December 1959 Galaxy and wargames)

(11/17/2014 8:44 AM)

Hello, fellow travelers! As promised, here's a round-up of this month's Galaxy magazine. Or should I say Galaxy Science Fiction? According to editor Horace Gold (and I somehow missed this), Galaxy was misprinted last month with the old logo and the old price! They really lost their shirt on that issue, sadly. On the other ...

[Nov. 14, 1959] Disappointments and Weirdness (Martin Marietta and The Twilight Zone)

(11/14/2014 9:20 AM)

Have no fear, for The Traveler has returned from Orlando safe and sound. My apologies for not submitting this article earlier, but I did not have easy access to a typewriter or my editor while on my vacation. I have come home to my brand new typewriter, however, and it is time to tell you ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 31

(11/13/2014 10:06 PM)

I sat down with Atticus Wiman (with our new podcast setup + drinks) and talked old school RPGs, Mother 4, Home, difficult games, Fallout, Playstation Vue, Assasins Creed Unity, Luftrausers, and more.

[Nov. 10, 1959] Orlando Oranges and Space Slips

(11/9/2014 11:57 PM)

Greetings from sunny Orlando, Florida! I know what you're thinking: why travel across the country to central Florida, which at first glance has little to offer to the tourist? Firstly, my only first cousin on my father's side lives here with her family. Secondly, Orlando is home to the Martin Marrietta manufacturing plant-and guess who ...

[Nov. 6, 1959] In someone else's skin for a while (December 1959 Galaxy)

(11/6/2014 10:25 AM)

Whenever I read the book review columns by Floyd Gold, Damon Knight, Groff Conklin, etc., or the science articles by Willy Ley and Isaac Asimov, I'm always as fascinated by the little personal details they disclose as the information and opinions they provide. It's a glimpse into their lives that humanizes their viewpoint. Anecdotes make ...

[Nov. 2, 1959] Technical Difficulties II

(11/2/2014 11:32 AM)

Hello, all. My editor is nice enough to let me publish a quick note in lieu of an article. My typewriter has given up the ghost, which has made it prohibitively difficult to submit for the column. I'll have a new one in the next couple of days, after which I promise I shall make ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 30

(10/30/2014 9:29 PM)

Joined by my unofficial official co-host Kinsey Burke (@KinsZilla ) and guest Lauren Hall-Stigerts (@hallstigerts) we talk scary games, mind control, the uncanney valley, Lords of the Fallen, Vib Ribbon, and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

[Oct. 30, 1959] Tricks and Treats (November 1959 if Science Fiction

(10/30/2014 9:31 AM)

The new IF Science Fiction magazine, now under the Galaxy aegis, is an odd duck. Not quite a literary book, like F&SF, not an antediluvian throwback like Astounding, and not as polished as its older brother, Galaxy, IF is nevertheless generally a worthy read. I don't think it's just a repository for substandard Galaxy submissions-the ...

[Oct. 24, 1959] Bleah! (November 1959 Astounding–the worst yet!)

(10/24/2014 12:02 PM)

I've found the bottom, and it isn't the Mariana Trench. They say fifty cents won't buy you what it used to, and that's certainly true of Astounding, a science fiction digest. The November issue, which has a hastily pasted price of four bits on its cover (replacing the original 35 cents) is, without a doubt, ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 29

(10/24/2014 7:59 AM)

I sat down with show regular Kinsey Burke and semi-regular Tadhg Kelly to discuss The Evil Within, arcade games, the Playstation Experience, and GamerGate.

[Oct. 22, 1959] Fiat Libro! (A Canticle for Leibowitz)

(10/22/2014 9:12 AM)

Walter M. Miller Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz is a melancholy masterpiece. Every so often, a science fiction novel comes around that transcends the genre and gives lie to the assertion that non-mainstream fiction is somehow literarily inferior. When this happens, the field gains a bit of respectability and, hopefully, attracts more great authors to ...

[Oct. 20, 1959] The Twilight Zone and the Far Side (Television and Luna 3)

(10/19/2014 10:46 PM)

Twilight Zone, the new television science fiction/fantasy serial program, continues to be excellent. As a result, Friday night's activities now revolve around ensuring that the family can tune in. Here's a quick recap: Episode 2, One for the Angels features aged sidewalk peddler Lou Bookman, beloved by the neighborhood children. Unfortunately for all concerned, his ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 28

(10/16/2014 10:09 PM)

Sat down with Atticus Wiman (guest on our very first episode of the podcast) and show regular Kinsey Burke to talk Shadow of Mordor, Rainbow Moon, Destiny, beer, mac & cheese, and Bob's Burgers Porn.

[Oct. 15, 1959] Space to Grow (Explorer 7 and some naysaying)

(10/15/2014 12:24 PM)

Here's a couple of interesting space news items: Firstly, a new Explorer (#7) has soared into the sky. This one was launched at the tip of the Juno II rocket, the one that sent Pioneer 4 past the Moon and into solar orbit. Whereas Explorer 6 was known as "The Windmill," the quite different Explorer ...

[Oct. 12, 1959] Seattle's finest (GGC, a fairer science fiction convention)

(10/12/2014 10:58 AM)

Seattle really knows how to throw a science fiction convention. I had been saddened that I hadn't gotten to join Bjo Trimble in her caravan across the country to Detention last month. After once again experiencing the joy that is GGC (the acronym was never explained to me), all of my regrets disappeared. I mentioned ...

[Oct. 10, 1959] Middle Ground (Nov. 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction)

(10/10/2014 2:26 PM)

It's going to be a dreary month, if October's selection of digests is any indication. Of course, my mood isn't buoyed by the fact that I must compose this article in long-hand. I hate writing (as opposed to typing; and typing on an electric is sheer bliss). On the other hand, I'm the one who ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 27

(10/9/2014 10:37 PM)

I brought on my friend (and neighbor!) Cor Bader and podcast regular Kinsey Burke to talk about Shadow of Mordor, Destiny, Diablo 3 Seasons, Harvest Moon, Unity, Beer, GTA 5 online pacifism, Welcome to the Dungeon, Mario Clones, and other random stuff.

[Oct. 8, 1959] Shooting Stars (Heinlein's Starship Soldier)

(10/7/2014 11:03 PM)

Robert Heinlein newest short novel is out, and my feelings toward it are much mixed. If you have a subscription to The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy (FASF), you've no doubt read Heinlein's Starship Soldier, by turns a coming-of-age story, a depiction of boot camp life, and a clearing house for Heinlein's unique socio-poltical ...

[Oct. 6, 1959] Shooting the Moon's backside (The flight of Luna 3, first part)

(10/6/2014 9:02 AM)

The Soviets have done it again, reaching yet another milestone in space exploration before the Americans. This time, the goal was the Moon's far side, which had never been seen before. The reason for this is that the Moon is tidally locked in its orbit around the Earth such that it cannot rotate (much as ...

[Oct. 3, 1959] Entering the Twilight Zone (Twilight Zone's first episode)

(10/3/2014 8:10 AM)

It never ceases to amaze me how far technology can progress in such a short time. Think about it: a thousand years ago, the pace of history was pretty placid. Sure, there was plenty of turbulence in the span of a life, from war to plague to famine, but the background of civilization (or lack ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 26

(10/2/2014 11:16 PM)

Kinsey Burke and Robby Zinchak join me to discuss Shadows of Mordor, Sex Olympics, Japan, TGS, Team Indie, text adventures games, and more!

[Sep. 29, 1959] Watch the birdie! (First photo of the Earth from orbit)

(09/29/2014 9:10 AM)

For more than a month and a half, Explorer 6 has been a busy bee, happily conducting the most advanced science in orbit to date thanks to its highly eccentric orbit, taking it several thousand miles above the surface of the Earth, and its battery of sophisticated instruments. What has this intrepid little fellow reaped ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 25

(09/27/2014 1:37 PM)

I'm joined by Kinsey Burke and Nathan Martin to discuss what we're all playing, what we're DONE with playing, what we're excited to play, and some news. Also, we do top 10 lists and drink. A lot.

[Sep. 26, 1959] Coda with mathematics (October 1959 Astounding)

(09/25/2014 10:50 PM)

Ah, the beginning of a new month. A stack of magazines fresh off the newstand and in the mail. An average of 30.4166 days of reading pleasure (mostly) to look forward to. But I haven't read them yet. Does that mean I've nothing to discuss? Of course not. We've still got to do the numbers! ...

[Sep. 24, 1959] Cruising at the bottom (October 1959 Astounding)

(09/24/2014 10:21 AM)

I had planned on breaking up the rest of this month's (October 1959) Astounding into two parts, but seeing how there are only four pieces of fiction, albeit long ones, I've decided to give it all to you in one blow. Chris Anvil continues to put out the most mediocre stuff imaginable. These are the ...

[Sep. 19, 1959] Anchors Aweigh! (The Navy's Transit and Vanguard launches)

(09/19/2014 11:21 AM)

A bit of a stop press on the Space Race as I wade through this months Astounding, which I unwisely saved for last. You should never eat dessert first... Have you ever noticed how a train's whistle seems to rise in pitch as the locomotive approaches and then the pitch lowers as the train departs? ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 24

(09/18/2014 9:45 PM)

Kinsey joins Carlos to talk about Destiny, Diablo 3, and TGS news. Also, they both admit they don't like Minecraft. Spoiler. Also .. please don't hate them. They know not what they do.

[Sep. 17, 1959] A hike and a flight (Oct. 1959 Astounding and two Space Races)

(09/17/2014 10:55 PM)

The big news this week is Astounding is raising its price from 35 cents to four bits. It's a big jump, but I'm sure it's a necessary move given that Galaxy and F&SF also cost 50 cents (though IF is still at 35 cents). It is significant that I have nibbled around the edges of ...

Hello world!

(09/16/2014 10:32 AM)

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

[Sep. 15, 1959] Bullseye!  Second Lunik hits the moon.

(09/15/2014 9:29 AM)

The Soviets have accomplished another space first, striking the moon with a probe yesterday, September 14, 1959, after a speedy day-and-a-half flight. To all accounts, the mission payload was identical to Mechta, which sailed past the moon in January. I'm still not sure whether we're to call the thing Mecha, Lunik, or Luna, but no ...

[Sep. 12, 1959] Best of the Best (October 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction, second part)

(09/12/2014 12:22 PM)

Statistics are (is?) fun. There is a simple joy to compiling data and finding patterns. Since the beginning of the publishing year, i.e. issues with a January cover date, I have been rating stories and magazine issues in aggregate. This is partly to help me remember the stories in times to come and also to ...

[Sep. 9, 1959] WorldCon Report! [Detention, the 17th WorldCon]

(09/8/2014 10:05 AM)

Twenty years ago, something lovely happened. Two hundred science fiction and fantasy fans got together in New York City and had what was (I believe) the first convention of their genre: Worldcon. It has been an annual Labor Day tradition ever since, with the exception of the war years, from 1942-45. It travels from city ...

[Sep. 5, 1959] The Best (October 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction; 1st part)

(09/5/2014 11:43 AM)

Not too long ago, I lambasted the September 1959 issue of Astounding as the worst science fiction magazine I'd read in a long while. This is not to say that it's the worst of the bunch-I'm sure there are plenty of issues of B and C-level mags that constitute the nadir of written science fiction, ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 23

(09/3/2014 8:41 PM)

I sat down with Jason (Metal Jesus Rocks) after a taping of my new show Crazy Time Video Games, and we discussed old school games, collecting, british accents, powerful drinks, and the life itself. Ok, maybe not that heavy duty .. but we do find out how he became known as the Metal Jesus.

[Sep. 3, 1959] Out the other side (September 1959 IF Worlds of Science Fiction, Part 2)

(09/3/2014 9:41 AM)

We left off on a cliff-hanger of sorts, half-way through my review of the second issue of IF under Gold and Pohl's management. In brief, it ends as it began: with a strong start and a fairly middlin' finish. Gordy Dickson is back to form with Homecoming, a quite nice novelette about a fellow running ...

The third leg of the nuclear triad (The new Polaris sub-launched missile; 9-01-1959)

(09/1/2014 2:26 AM)

Let me tell you the story of a missile, one that should make us (ironically) a bit safer. Wehrner von Braun and his German team of scientists in Alabama developed a short-ranged nuclear missile called the Redstone back in 1953. It was an evolution of the wartime V-2. Then his team created the Jupiter intermediate-ranged ...

One IF by land… (September 1959 IF; 8-29-1959)

(08/29/2014 12:27 PM)

September is almost over, and it's not even the end of August. Confused? It's standard practice to date magazines with the month that they are to be taken off the shelves. Thus, I got all of my September 1959 issues in late June. I also got my October Galaxy around then, too, but that's because ...

On handling the data (October 1959 Astounding coda; 8-27-1959)

(08/27/2014 12:08 PM)

Addendum: I almost forgot to report the Analytical Laboratory numbers for this month (reader reviews covering the June 1959 issue)! Per the lab, the breakdown was as follows: Dorsai Part II by Gordy Dickson: 1.81 Transfusion by Chad Oliver: 2.14 Cat and Mouse by Ralph Williams: 2.35 All Day September by Roger Kuykendall: 4.10 Unborn ...

A real turkey (October 1959 Astounding; 8-27-1959)

(08/27/2014 7:50 AM)

When last we left off with the September 1959 Astounding, things were looking awfully bleak. The star-o-meter stood at a limp 2 stars, and I had poor hopes of raising the needle. I am happy to report that things got better. Well, "happy" is too strong a word. I can honestly say that the quality ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 22

(08/26/2014 11:59 PM)

I sat down with Nathan, Kinsey, and Robert after a shoot for the Kickstarter video for Videogames Northwest, and we talked castles, beer, video games, and collecting.

What happened to 1-6? (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad; 8-25-1959)

(08/25/2014 9:22 AM)

Some movies are made with a huge budget and are expected to be big blockbusters. Others are made on a shoestring and have much more variable luck. I've taken a chance on a lot of "B-Movies" simply because their subject matter included science fiction and or fantasy topics. I'm happy to announce that the lastest ...

Big and Little Booms (Discoverer VI and Little Joe 1; 8-22-1959)

(08/21/2014 11:32 PM)

You certainly can't fault the Air Force for lacking persistence. The flyboys launched yet another in the ill-fated Discoverer series on the 19th. This was the sixth time a "biological specimen" capsule was sent up for the purpose of catching it when it came back down, not that the Air Force has put anything living ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 21

(08/20/2014 10:46 PM)

I skyped with Jordan Greer of

The Worst (September 1959 Astounding; 8-20-1959)

(08/20/2014 11:56 AM)

People seem to enjoy extremes. The first to do this. The best at doing that. The most exciting. The brightest. The darkest. If you're wondering why I failed to write on schedule, day-before-yesterday, it's because I was wrestling with the worst. Specifically, the worst magazine I've had to trudge through since I began this project ...

Trifecta (Discoverer V; Beacon 2; Titan failures; 8-15-1959)

(08/15/2014 12:42 PM)

The Air Force launched the fifth in its Discoverer series on August 13. Like the last one, there were no passengers on-board (though the recovery capsule was bigger this time around). Unlike the last flight, this one actually made it into polar orbit after its early afternoon launch from the deserts of California. The second ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 20

(08/14/2014 9:47 PM)

I recently skyped with Ray Carsillo (Reviews Editor for EGM) and had a groovy talk. We talked about magazines, his job at EGM, EA and 2K (and sports game competition), anonymous commenting, Transistor, Shovel Knight, and childhood gaming memories.

Momentum stalled (October 1959 Galaxy; 8-13-1959)

(08/13/2014 9:25 AM)

I really enjoy the broadness of Galaxy's 196-page format. It allows for novellas and novelets, which is a story size I've come to prefer. F&SF has lots of stories per issue, too, but they tend to be very short. Astounding likes serials, which can be fine if they're good, but dreary if they're not. I ...

The momentum of quality (October 1959 Galaxy, first part; 8-11-1959)

(08/11/2014 8:05 AM)

Last year, Galaxy moved to a bi-monthly format. Coincident with that was a drop in writer rates per word. I had had concerns that there would be a corresponding drop in quality. Thankfully, this year's issues have been of consistently high quality. All pictures by Dick Francis Moreover, Galaxy really isn't a bi-monthly anymore. Inside ...

Earthbound Pioneer (Explorer VI; 8-08-1959)

(08/7/2014 11:22 PM)

We are now in the second phase of the Space Race. Decades from now, people will debate over the exact date of the turning point. Some will argue that it started when countries started sending rockets to the moon, leaving the shackles of Earth's orbit. Others will say that spaceflight didn't leave its infancy until ...

East meets West (September 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction, second half; 8-04-1959)

(08/4/2014 10:33 AM)

A thousand pardons for my lateness. It is partly to blame on mundane matters taking precedence, and partly to blame on my magazines showing up late this month. Perhaps laziness is also a factor. It's languidly warm this Summer. We left off half-way through this month's Fantasy and Science Fiction. Fifth in the line-up is ...

Dreams of Summer (September 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction, first half; 7-28-1959)

(07/28/2014 11:42 PM)

Hello, all. I'd meant to report on the newest issue of IF, but the fershlugginer thing hasn't arrived yet. My Fantasy and Science Fiction is in my hot little hands, however, and it is off to a strong start. Fasten your seatbelts! The cover is quite lovely, and in fact, it is available for purchase ...

Loveliest of Bodies (Venus, 7-25-1959)

(07/25/2014 9:58 AM)

from Timothy Gleason Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus-whatever you call it, the brightest of star-like objects in the sky has mesmerized humans for the entirety of recorded history, and likely beyond. It was among the first subjects of telescopic study, and you can bet it will be the first planetary target for space probes. It is astonishing ...

Exploring the ground (7-22-1959)

(07/22/2014 11:19 PM)

Just a quick stop-press today while I wait for the new magazines to come in. Apparently, NASA tried another satellite launch last week on the 16th. A Juno II rocket, which is a modified Jupiter Intermediate Ranged Ballistic Missile, had the latest in the Explorer series installed at its tip. Weighing 42 kilograms (that's 92.4 ...

Flawed jewel(s) (August 1959 Astounding, last part; 7-21-1959)

(07/21/2014 9:31 AM)

Before I finish my review of the August 1959 Astounding, let's look at the issue's "Analytical Laboratory" and what the readers thought of the May 1959 ish (and compare it to my findings). Interestingly enough, no story got higher than a 3.00, which means the readers had trouble picking a favorite. That indicates a good ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 19

(07/18/2014 3:42 PM)

I got to Skype with Nathan of the Dead Pixels Podcast - during a pretty insane heat wave. We talked early Sega Master system, Dragon Age, working crappy jobs to pay for games, his podcast, games journalism, Kinect. difficult games, and old video game commercials.

Bad History Repeats (August 1959 Astounding, second part; 7-18-1959)

(07/18/2014 11:44 AM)

All right, all right. There is no putting off at least an initial review of this month's Astounding. Actually, I'm more than half done, but I covered The Aliens earlier, so there was much reading to do to have anything of substance to report. Randall Garrett's Dead Giveaway literally put me to sleep several times ...

They sure make kids old these days… (Teenagers from Outer Space; 7-16-1959)

(07/16/2014 1:04 PM)

I know I promised the dope on the latest Astounding, but it took me several sittings to get through the Garrett. Like children at a Passover, I kept falling asleep. Had I known there would be another Chandler Rim story after the Garrett, I might have persevered more strenuously. Ah well. Instead, I took my ...

Space Dogs and opportunity costs (7-14-1959)

(07/14/2014 7:27 AM)

It's another flight for Otvazhnaya, the daring Space Dog, in another zoological journey. This time Otvazhnaya was joined by a different dog from last time (named "Pearl," or the Russian equivalent thereof) as well as a bunny, whose name I do not yet know. The flight, which took place on July 10, appears to have ...

Kookie Aliens (August 1959 Astounding, first part)

(07/11/2014 11:49 AM)

I'm a bit of an etymology nut, so when I recently heard the hit song, "Kookie, Kookie (Lend me your Comb)," I became intrigued by the provenance of the final lyric, "Baby, you're the ginchiest." Turning to my Dictionary of American Slang, I found that ginch was 30s slang for a woman, a rather unflattering ...

Space Bunnies! (July 9, 1959)

(07/9/2014 9:03 AM)

It's time for a Space Race update! I hear mixed cheers and groans. Well, it takes all kinds to make a column... The Soviets have launched a rocket into space, apparently on a sub-orbital path using an equivalent to our Jupiter IRBM, with several living passengers. They are the dogs, Otvazhnaya and Sznezinka, as well ...

IF Returns! (July 1959 IF; 7-07-1959)

(07/7/2014 10:11 AM)

There is a certain perverse joy to statistics. Think of the folks who spend hours every week compiling baseball scores, hit averages, etc. It's a way to find a pattern to the universe, I suppose. To date, I've sort of off-handedly rated issues on a 1 to 5 star scale. Last weekend, I went through ...

Cats, IF, and Yankee Doodle (7-04-1959)

(07/4/2014 10:32 AM)

If you have a cat, you know what impediments to constructive activity they can be. Perhaps you're purposefully striding to your next chore; the cat will rub up against you or flop on the floor in a coy manner, and you will have no choice but to stop and give it a good petting. Maybe ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 18

(07/3/2014 2:37 PM)

I sat down with Scott Sizemore (Moonlight Press) to discuss the new RPG-ish engine/system he's building, Valiant Hearts, Far Cry 4, Silent Scope, Turbo-Express, and a super battle stage of the C-64 vs. NES.

The Bomb, the Clock, and the Devil (August 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction; 7-02-1959)

(07/2/2014 10:22 AM)

In this month's F&SF editorial, editor Doug Mills reports that he's gotten a number of complaints regarding the oversaturation of stories in the post-apocalyptic, time travel, and deal-with-the-Devil genre. Mr. Mills' response was that any genre can be oversaturated, but quality will always be quality, and F&SF will publish quality stories in whatever genre it ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 17

(06/30/2014 4:57 PM)

I sat down with my buddies Tadhg Kelly and Robby Zinchak and talked retro games on a side stage at the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo. People quietly watched as we discussed old game memories, 5 1/4 inch disks, and gave our thoughts on the retro movement within the game industry.

I am Cyrus, King of the World (August 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1st half; 6-30-1959)

(06/30/2014 9:48 AM)

For most people, the beginning of the month coincides with the 1st (or, as my late father might say, the "oneth"-i.e., May the "oneth" followed by May the "tooth"). For me, and doubtless for most of my science fiction loving sistren and brethren, the month starts around the 26th, which is when the science fiction ...

Two for two (Vanguard and Discoverer failures; 6-26-1959)

(06/26/2014 9:51 AM)

It's another Space Race update from The Traveler! A Vanguard went up on the 22nd, but I decided to hold off on writing a column as I knew a Discoverer was set to launch on the 25th. I'm afraid I've got a double-whammy of disappointment for my good readers. This new Vanguard had two thermistors ...

Less than astounding…  (July 1959 Astounding; 6-23-1959)

(06/23/2014 10:12 AM)

I suppose it was too much to hope for two good issues of Astounding in a row. The magazine that Campbell built is back to its standard level of quality, which is to say the bar is not very high. Still, I read the stories so you don't have to (if you don't want), so ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 16

(06/21/2014 8:53 AM)

I sat down with Nick McCandless of

Cardboard hero for hire (Dorsai!;6-18-1959)

(06/18/2014 10:21 AM)

by Von Dongen Gordy Dickson's newest novel, serialized in the last three Astoundings, has already created a stir in the community. Dorsai! is the tale of Donal Graeme, youngest member of a mercenary family from a planet of mercenaries, who starts at the bottom and works his way into the most senior military post in ...

The World, The Flesh and the Devil (6-16-1959)

(06/16/2014 10:06 AM)

I wasn't sure what to expect going in to see The World, The Flesh and the Devil. All I knew was that it was a doomsday flick, and that it starred the incomparable Calypso crooner, Harry Belafonte. Let me tell you, it is one excellent movie. It's really a three-act piece. In Act 1, Ralph ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 15

(06/13/2014 6:26 PM)

For the last episode of our E3 week I Skyped with my buddy Dan (Shoe) Hsu to discuss what he saw on the show floor. We talk Evolve, Morpheus, and Nintendo.

Starting strong (July 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction;6-13-1959)

(06/13/2014 9:12 AM)

It's those haunting, evocatively written F&SF stories that keep me a regular subscriber. July's issue opens with Robert F. Young's To Fell a Tree, about the murder (mercy killing?) of the tallest tree imaginable, and the dryad that lived within. It'll stay with you long after you turn the last page, this sad, but not ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 14

(06/13/2014 8:54 AM)

Every day this week we're talking with a different person, and getting their thoughts on E3 2014.

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 13

(06/12/2014 8:53 AM)

Big Man ($100 contest; 5-11-1959)

(06/11/2014 11:31 AM)

Want to make a quick $100? Fantasy & Science Fiction is running a contest this month (July 1959) related to one of the stories in the latest issue. Of course, I immediately turned to page 87 to read the story. Success Story is the tale in question, and it's by a fellow whose work I'd ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 12

(06/10/2014 9:20 PM)

The Dregs (August 1959 Galaxy; 6-09-1959)

(06/9/2014 12:42 AM)

Writing a column is 50% inspiration and 50% deadline. Normally, I get pleny of ideas for articles from the fiction I read, the movies I watch, the news I hear. But sometimes, nothing seems to spark that desire to put fingertips to typewriter, and I wrack my brain trying to thing of something interesting to ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 11

(06/8/2014 7:41 PM)

For E3 2014 we're recording a podcast for each day of E3 (including the day before and after) with different people. Giving us a wide variety of ideas and opinions around the big show.

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 10

(06/8/2014 8:06 AM)

Four blind mice (Discoverer III;6-04-1959)

(06/4/2014 10:49 AM)

It's a bad time to be an experimental animal, if there ever was (or will be) a good one. The Air Force launched Discoverer III last night with a payload of four plump black mice. As you know, if you read the papers or my column, Discoverer is a satellite program for shooting missions into ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 9

(06/4/2014 8:49 AM)

The pen is mighty painful (August 1959 Galaxy, Part 1; 6-02-1959

(06/2/2014 9:35 AM)

Just what is this world coming to? Reading this month's edition of Galaxy, it was hammered home just how far our linguistic standards have fallen. Have you ever read a letter from the last century? Even the prose from the most humble of fellows is lyric and articulate. And while the published fiction might sometimes ...

Something new (June 1959 Astounding; 5-28-1959)

(05/28/2014 10:40 AM)

One of the main reasons I read science fiction is to see something truly new. I don't just want to see a view of the future-I want to see a brand new culture, or a completely alien creature, or an innovative take on psionics. Only science fiction (and fantasy) really can do this, and even ...

Let's do the numbers (June 1959 Astounding; 5-23-1959)

(05/23/2014 9:45 AM)

I'm about half-done with this month's Astounding, but since that half largely comprises the second third of Dorsai!, and because I don't want to give anything away before it's complete, there's not much fiction on which to report today. But that doesn't mean I'm out of material... Four months ago, I wrote about Astoundings unique ...

Approaching midnight (Alas, Babylon; 5-21-1959)

(05/21/2014 9:57 AM)

Two years ago, the Soviet Union demonstrated the ability to lob an H-bomb across the globe. Overnight, it was clear that anywhere on the planet could be destroyed with just 15 minutes' notice, if that. This year, the United States will base Thor and Jupiter IRBMs in Europe within range of the Soviet Union, and ...

The Walking Dead! (Invisible Invaders; 5-19-1959)

(05/19/2014 9:55 AM)

What could be better than a trip to the movies? A trip to a good movie, I suppose. Well, beggars can't be choosers. A few days ago, my daughter and I went out for what has become a routine treat: a night flick at the drive-in. We arrived too late for the main feature, but ...

The shape of things to come!  Part 2 (New rockets; May 17, 1959)

(05/17/2014 1:36 AM)

My cup runneth over! When I started this column, I had worried that the increasing paucity of new science fiction would mean I'd run out of things to write about. Now, here we are seven months later, and I have a back-log of items on which to report. I suppose I shall just have to ...

No hands, ma! (5-16-1959)

(05/16/2014 12:41 PM)

Like a doofus, I washed two of my left-handed braces without washing my rights. I can't type long without them, so tonight's update will have to wait until tomorrow. Sorry, folks! Instead, I shall saunter to the drive-in with my daughter. Maybe I'll catch a late-night sci fi flick to write about... This entry was ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 8

(05/16/2014 12:19 PM)

A podcast about video games! Skyped with indie game developers Dean Tate and Brian Chan, and talked Captain Forever Remix (the game they're currently working on), Dark Souls, old school movie adaptation games, Sega vs. Nintendo, and the Mega Drive.

Farewell, older brother (June 1959 Fantasy & Science Fiction;5-14-1959)

(05/14/2014 10:46 AM)

We live in such exciting times that it's no wonder science fiction is flourishing. It seems not a month goes by without some kind of space shot, and yet we're still perhaps years away from the first manned orbit (not to mention a lunar jaunt). Science fiction lets us see the headlines of tomorrow long ...

The shape of things to come! (New rockets; May 12, 1959)

(05/12/2014 10:10 AM)

I had planned to write about science fiction today, but then I found an article by Homer Newell, Assistant Director of Space Sciences at NASA, talking about the new stable of rocket boosters about to come into use. So, it's time for the science-fiction-into-fact column! For the first year of the Space Race, the United ...

A break from it all (June 1959 F&SF, first half; 5-09-1959)

(05/9/2014 1:54 PM)

by Erich Lessig It's been heavy reading following the papers these days what with the Communist siege of Berlin seemingly without end. These potential flashpoints between East and West get more frightening every day, particularly as both sides perfect methods of delivering atomic weapons across the globe. Thankfully, I can rely on my monthly installment ...

Over the Mountain, Across the Sea (The City in the Sea;5-07-1959)

(05/7/2014 10:32 AM)

Every so often, I find a piece of fiction so compelling that I hate to give away too much about it for fear of spoiling the experience. Going through my stack of Galaxy novels, the ones I picked up cheaply not too long ago, I came upon The City in the Sea, by Wilson Tucker, ...

The Funny Papers (Tales to Astonish and Tales of Suspense; 5-05-1959)

(05/5/2014 11:46 AM)

What?! The Traveler is reduced to buying comic books? The same fellow who reads Fantasy & Science Fiction, like so many prominent intellectuals do? Surely you jest! Well, I couldn't resist. I pass these lurid covers at the grocery every week, and I decided it was time to plunk down two bits and see what ...

What is IT?! (IT! The Terror from Beyond Space; 5-02-1959)

(05/2/2014 1:46 PM)

Last week afforded my daughter and I another sci-fi movie night, and you, dear readers, get to hear all about it. The mini-traveler was keen on trying out the new Drive-In, so I took the Chevy to the outskirts of town and pulled in between the screens. To my surprise, it seemed most of the ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 7

(05/1/2014 8:48 AM)

A podcast about video games! Carlos recently hung out with Sean Gubelman (indie game developer and founder of Drizzly Bear Games) and talked Adventurer Manager, old computer games, Alan Wake, swordsmithing, Kid Icarus, Destiny, Every Book Ever, and Crackdown 2 vs. Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts.

Last of the old-time Satellites (May 1959 Satellite; 4-28-1959)

(04/29/2014 11:24 AM)

It's another one of those bittersweet months, much like when I discovered IF only to see it die. This month's Satellite (the best in science fiction) is a fair bit better than last month's issue, which makes the magazine's fate all the more tragic. But we'll talk about that at the end. The lead tale, ...

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered (May 1959 Astounding, second part; 4-24-1959)

(04/24/2014 12:02 PM)

Sorry about the wait, friends, but I promise to make it up to you. I had a lovely night at the drive-in that precluded my fingers hitting the typewriter keys, but I'll have movies to discuss in short order as a result. In the meantime, let's wrap up this month's Astounding. shall we? After all, ...

With a grain of salt… (May 1959 Astounding, first half; 4-21-1959)

(04/21/2014 10:28 AM)

The penultimate magazine offering this month, at least that has made it into my house for review, is Astounding. As always, my bar is pretty low with that mag, though last month's issue made me dare to hope. In fact, I'm not quite sure how I feel about the May issue. This may come out ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 6

(04/20/2014 11:55 AM)

A podcast about video games! Carlos met up with Kinsey Burke and Nathan Martin (both from Seattle Retro Gaming) at Sakura-Con, and talked Steam, old school peripherals, turn based vs. action rpgs, local gaming shops, the TransVibrator, and game development tools.

Gone fishin'!

(04/17/2014 11:02 PM)

Hello, everyone. I'd intended to stretch my review of this month's Galaxy to cover two articles. Instead, I only had an article's worth of material. As a result, the weekend has come, and I have little to say! So I'll be back on April 21st with my thoughts on the new Astounding, which I'm zipping ...

Earth: 0, Space: 3 (Atlas, Discoverer, and Vanguard; 4-16-1959)

(04/16/2014 10:51 AM)

It's been an exciting though disappointing week in the world of space exploits. Here is a summary of what you've missed if you haven't been following the papers: DISCOVERER 2 SOARS INTO ORBIT; LAYS EGG NO ONE CAN FIND The Air Force launched another Discoverer on April 13. After 17 orbits, the satellite ejected a ...

Double-size equals Double-good (June 1959 Galaxy, second part; 4-14-1959)

(04/14/2014 10:43 AM)

There's been big news in the space world over the weekend, but I want to talk about it next time so I can see how things shake out. Thus, without further ado, I move onto the rest of the extra-thick Galaxy June 1959. Avram Davidson is a bit of a writing fiend-it seems I find ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 5

(04/13/2014 8:52 PM)

Whatever Counts (June 1959 Galaxy;,First Part; 4-11-1959)

(04/11/2014 10:04 AM)

I mentioned last week that Satellite no longer prints full-length novels between its covers anymore. It looks like that role is now going to Galaxy, which, in its new, 196-page format, can accommodate longer works more comfortably. In short order, it looks like Galaxy will specialize in two-part serials, responding to reader requests for same. ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 4

(04/11/2014 8:30 AM)

Lucky Seven! (The Mercury astronauts; 4-09-1959)

(04/9/2014 10:22 AM)

The results are in! NASA has picked its first seven astronauts, dubbed "The Mercury Seven" since they will be flying the new one-man spacecraft when it debuts for piloted missions, perhaps next year. The newspaper mistakenly described them as "GI"s the other day, but they are, in fact the best of the best American military ...

Star Dim.. (May 1959 Fantasy & Science Fiction, second part; 4-07-1959)

(04/7/2014 10:34 AM)

How scary is a truly dark night sky? In Asimov's Nightfall, a certain planet's orbital situation ensures that there is always a sun overhead. On the rare occasion that all of the nearby stars align on the opposite side of the planet, the planet's population is consumed with hysteria. I suppose it's a justifiable extrapolation ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 3

(04/5/2014 8:53 AM)

A podcast about video games! Carlos and Robby Vidchak talk about 8-bit MMO, indie game development, old computers, Game Genie, meeting your idols, Game of Thrones, and couch surfing. Go check out his game at

Diverting fare (May 1959 Fantasy & Science Fiction; 4-03-1959)

(04/3/2014 12:28 PM)

There are months when The Magazine of Fantasy AND Science Fiction is filled with sublime stuff. Then there are months when F&SF is just mildly diverting. This is looking to be one of those months. Things could be worse, of course. Editor Robert Mills opens things up by asking if we'd like longer short stories ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 2

(04/1/2014 8:12 PM)

A podcast about video games! Carlos and Tadhg Kelly talk about GDC, Virtual Reality, OUYA, Titanfall, Fallout 3 DLC, old European computers, and Mario vs Link.

Too close to home? (I Married a Monster from Outer Space; 3-31-1959)

(03/31/2014 10:20 AM)

Remember how I went to the flicks to see a double feature of science-fiction horror the other day? The follow-up to The Blob was I Married a Monster from Outer Space. You would think that, with a title like that, this was the B-movie stinker of the bunch. As it turns out, while definitely having ...

Earthbound Satellite (April 1959 Satellite; 3-29-1959)

(03/29/2014 3:30 AM)

by Ray Pioch And now for something a bit different. Back in '56, famed pulp editor, Leo Margulies, launched Satellite, a bi-monthly science fiction digest with the gimmick that it contained a full-length short novel as well as a few short stories. I always had a soft spot for that mag. One of my favorite ...

Video Game Break Podcast - Episode 1

(03/28/2014 12:21 AM)

A podcast about video games! Carlos, Justin, and Atticus go through 3 stages of gaming discussion. Hard Retro Games, Dragon's Dogma and ESO, Sega Genesis vs. Turbografx, and Facebook and Oculus Rift.

Kaboom! (Project Argus; 3-26-1959)

(03/26/2014 8:35 AM)

This is what happens when you let scientists play with toys. Apparently, last summer, the Air Force detonated three atomic bombs high above the South Atlantic... just to see what would happen! That's actually a little too glib. Dr. N.C. Cristofilos, of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, has always wanted to trace the lines of magnetic ...

Space Opera Redux! (The Alien, Galaxy Novel No. 6; 3-24-1959)

(03/24/2014 9:57 AM)

Sorry for the long delay, folks! It's not for lack of things to talk about, that's for sure. As you know, I am an avid fan of Galaxy (formerly Galaxy Science Fiction-retitled, perhaps, for those embarrassed to be science fiction buffs). I recently discovered that Galaxy, in addition to publishing a monthly (now bi-monthly) digest, ...

Anderson breaks the mold! (April 1959 Astounding; 3-18-1959)

(03/18/2014 12:40 PM)

Good gravy! Two good Andersons in a row? This month's Astounding opens with Wherever you are, by "Winston P. Sanders." If it wasn't the swashbuckling yet science-adoring prose, it was the heroine protagonist's name and ethnicity (Ulrica Ormstad-couldn't get more Swedish!) that suggested Mr. Sanders might well be the well-known nordic science fiction writer, Poul ...

Beware the Blob! (The Blob; 3-15-1959)

(03/15/2014 4:40 AM)

Hello, again, dear readers. As you know, I had planned to write an article for this column yesterday, but I was unable to do so because I'd misplaced my wrist braces. Manual typewriters have very stiff keys, and composition is difficult without braces (shall I take up a collection for a lovely electric?) Adversity always ...

Whoops! (3-14-1959)

(03/14/2014 12:05 PM)

Sorry, everyone! I can't find my wrist braces, so typing is out of the question tonight. I will be back on the 16th! The Traveller This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth, where it has comments. Please comment here or there.

A Free Gift! (The Pirates of Ersatz; 3-12-1959)

(03/12/2014 11:11 AM)

And now, my gentle readers, a free gift. As you know, I am well-acquainted with Mr. Murray Leinster, science fiction writer extraordinaire. His newest novel, The Pirates of Ersatz has just finished its serial run in this month's Astounding, and the nice fellow has given me permission to distribute it freely amongst my readers. That's ...

Fire from the Sky (March 1959 Fantasy & Science Fiction; 3-10-1959)

(03/10/2014 10:43 AM)

Last time on this station, I informed all of you that Part 2 of this (last) month's Fantasy & Science Fiction review would have to wait since I'd wanted to get through the Poul Anderson novelette before reporting. Well, I'm glad I did. Damn that Anderson, anyway. How dare he write a good story! Now ...

Where's my script? (F&SF Part... um... Pioneer IV update!; 3-08-1959)

(03/8/2014 12:58 AM)

Isn't it frustrating when you try to tune into your favorite program and hear nothing but static? Sorry folks! I'd planned to give you Part 2 of this (last) month's F&SF. Well, the last third of the issue is taken up by a Poul Anderson novelette, and I know I won't be able to devote ...

Second chances (March 1959 Fantasy & Science Fiction; 3-6-1959)

(03/6/2014 1:39 AM)

I promised a book review today, but then I misplaced my book. Life is like that. So, for your reading pleasure, I instead offer my meanderings through the March 1959 Fantasy & Science Fiction (you know, the one I was supposed to have done last month instead of the prematurely secured April issue). As with ...

We're Number Two! (Pioneer IV; 3-04-1959)

(03/4/2014 1:48 AM)

In any nascent endeavor, it is human nature to trumpet even the most modest of achievements. Sure, Pioneer I, didn't make it to the moon, but it went pretty high and confirmed the Van Allen Belts. Sure, Vanguard I was the size of a grapefruit, but it taught us that the Earth is pear-shaped. In ...

Fool's Satellite (Discoverer 1; 3-02-1959)

(03/2/2014 2:03 AM)

Something went into orbit on the 28th. Maybe. Normally, I herald each new space launch with strident fanfare. After all, when Vanguard or Explorer go up, it's big news and everybody knows about it. But the Air Force's announced launch of "Discoverer" on February 28 has that same sort of strangeness and after-the-fact quality I've ...

Five Tomorrows (Nine Tomorrows, second half; 2-28-1959)

(02/27/2014 11:53 PM)

And here we are with Part Two of our journey through Isaac Asimov's latest opus, the anthology Nine Tomorrows! One of my readers made the observation recently that if Asimov has a flavor, it's "light vanilla." It's not outstanding, but neither is it objectionable. I think that's an astute observation (though I really like vanilla, ...

Four Tomorrows (Nine Tomorrows, first half; 2-26-1959)

(02/25/2014 11:14 PM)

For twenty years, Isaac Asimov (spelled with an "s") has been a name synonymous with science fiction. Quite recently, Asimov has been making a name for himself as a science fact writer a la Willy Ley. It's a natural transition, I think, so long as you can swing it. Thus far, I've preferred Asimov's defunct ...

Odds and Ends (April 1959 Fantasy & Science Fiction; 2-24-1959)

(02/24/2014 1:02 AM)

A bit of a grab bag today as I finish off the odds and ends before the new (diminishing) crop of magazines comes in. Firstly, the sad news regarding Vanguard II has been confirmed: the wobbly little beachball has got the orbitum tremens and is unable to focus its cameras on Mother Earth. So much ...

A study in contrasts (April 1959 Fantasy & Science Fiction, Part 2; 2-22-1959)

(02/22/2014 1:42 AM)

Happy birthday to me! I entered my fifth decade of life yesterday; I hope middle age will be kind to me. This month's F&SF certainly has been. I have an interesting mix of stories about which to relate. It has often been said that, to be a good writer, one must be an avid reader. ...

Flowers for Algernon (April 1959 Fantasy & Science Fiction; 2-20-1959)

(02/20/2014 8:07 AM)

Wow. The April 1959 Fantasy & Science Fiction opens with a bang. The lead novella, Flowers for Algernon, is destined to go down as a classic, I'm sure. But first, a quick detour to Asimov's column for the week. The old polymath (older than me-I don't turn 40 until tomorrow!) has been on a gloom ...

Vanguard does it again! (Vanguard II; 2-18-1959)

(02/18/2014 2:36 AM)

At long last, the Vanguard team has launched the satellite it had always wanted to. Vanguard II soared into orbit atop its 3-stage launcher yesterday joining four other satellites (three American, one Soviet) around the Earth. It is expected to orbit for the next 300 years. The Navy and NASA have been trying for almost ...

Technical Difficulties (2-16-1959)

(02/16/2014 1:47 AM)

(Due to an acute flare-up of tendonitis, the next update will be on February 18th, 1959. Thanks for your patience!) This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth, where it has comments. Please comment here or there.

The shoe drops.. (March 1959 Astounding wrap-up; 2-14-1959)

(02/13/2014 11:39 PM)

Now that you've all read Despoilers of the Golden Empire, I imagine you'll want to know my thoughts. I feel as if I waited an inordinate amount of time for the shoe to drop only to be hit in the ear with a wet sock. As I read Garrett's piece, I kept thinking to myself, ...

A challenge to you (Despoiler of the Golden Empire; 2-12-1959)

(02/11/2014 11:49 PM)

Today's article is going to be quite brief, not because I don't have much to say, but because I want your input, and saying anything about the topic at hand will spoil it. Suffice it to say, I have schlepped the March 1959 Astounding with me to Hawai'i in back (and the paper, as I ...

The first toehold (Project Mercury: 2-10-1959)

(02/9/2014 11:35 PM)

For a little over a year, both Superpowers have lobbed unmanned payloads of various (generally increasing) sizes into orbit. But the real question in the public's mind is when either side is going to get around to sending a person into orbit. After all, things that go beep-beep are all very well, but can a ...

Interstellar eavesdroppers (April 1959 Galaxy wrap up; 2-08-1959)

(02/8/2014 2:37 AM)

Since the second decade of this century, humanity has been indiscrimately pouring out a star's worth of electromagnetic waves. First with radio and now television, there is a sphere of information heading out to the stars at the speed of light that has already passed Arcturus, Capella, and is just now reaching Alderamin. Imagine what ...

The City of Force (April 1959 Galaxy; 2-06-1959)

(02/5/2014 11:51 PM)

If you are a devout follower of my column, you know that I love First Contact stories. From Arthur C. Clarke to William Tenn, I love a good yarn about the meeting of two races. Lucky for me, Daniel Galouye (a fairly seasoned writer from Louisiana), has delivered a solid, if not outstanding, addition to ...

When the music died (2-03-1959)

(02/4/2014 12:52 AM)

The music died yesterday. When I started reading science fiction back in 1950, we were in what I called a "music blight." The bouncy swing tunes of the war years had gone overripe. Schmaltzy ballads and crooning filled the airwaves. For a while, I didn't even bother to turn the radio on, so sure was ...

Ol' Reliable (April 1959 Galaxy, First Part; 2-02-1959)

(02/2/2014 1:10 AM)

Reading Galaxy is like coming home. Galaxy is the only science fiction magazine that I have bought consistently since its inception. For nine years, I have read every story, enjoyed every Willy Ley article, perused every Bookshelf column, reviewed every Gold editorial. There are some who say that Galaxy's heyday was the first half of ...

What IF (the bad news; 1-31-1959)

(01/31/2014 12:28 AM)

Wow! I do declare, the February 1959 IF really is something else. Not a stinker in the book, and some truly excellent stuff. If if had always been like this, I think it would have dislodged Astounding and jostled its way into the top tier of science fiction digests. Without further ado... The other day, ...

IF only… The Good News (1-29-1959)

(01/29/2014 1:14 AM)

Wrapping up my tour of Kaua'i, here are some pictures I took on the south shore estate of Robert Allerton, whose hospitality is as tremendous as his philanthropy (science fiction-related stuff to follow). For this installment, I've got something a little different. It's also the good news half of a good/bad news combination. If is ...

F&SF-for the Right kind of people (February 1959 wrap-up; 1-27-1959)

(01/27/2014 2:03 AM)

Do you know who reads The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction? Clifton Fadiman, writer, editor, judge of the Book-of-the-Month Club does. It supplies him his "special escape-reading...the finest the field has to offer in the way of short fiction." Spring Byington, famous star of the Broadway Stage does. It improves the imagination, she says. ...

On the Beach! (February 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction, Part 2; 1-25-1959)

(01/25/2014 1:10 AM)

Aloha from America's prettiest territory. Kaua'i is particularly pretty, and one of the less-developed islands. Just last year, the hit musical South Pacific was filmed here, and I've gotten to see its location, the lovely town of Hanalei. Yet such is my devotion to all five of my fans (up 25% over last month!) that ...

The Mixed Men by A. E. Van Vogt (1-23-1959)

(01/23/2014 12:50 PM)

The best-laid plans of mice and men... So here I am on a DC-7C turbo-prop headed for the emerald isle of Kaua'i. A full week of lying out on the beach with nothing but my family, my typewriter, and a large backlog of books and magazines. I had intended to write, today, about the rest ...

First Impressions (February 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction;1-21-1959)

(01/21/2014 12:20 AM)

The February 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction has left me with a variety of impressions, so I preemptively beg your pardon for the scattered nature of this piece. Firstly, the cover. It's a pretty Emswhiller, for certain, but "Under Jupiter's Red Spot"? It has been some 250 years since anyone last thought that the Red ...

Par for the course (February 1959 Astounding; 1-19-1959)

(01/19/2014 12:57 AM)

It is still truly a man's world, at least between the covers of Astounding magazine. I recognize that we live in a culture where men aren't allowed to take cooking or shorthand classes (these are women's topics, after all), but I'd like to think that science fiction writers are more progressive. Perhaps I'm the one ...

Send the Marines! (1-17-1959)

(01/16/2014 11:42 PM)

It's time for a little timely flag-waving. Last year, around the time I started this column, Operation Blue Bat wrapped up. It was one of our better moments, foreign policy-wise. Who'd even heard of Lebanon before 1958? But when that country came to the brink of civil war in the aftermath of the Iraqi revolution, ...

Tabulating the data (February 1959 Astounding; 1-15-1959)

(01/14/2014 10:21 PM)

It's Astounding time again! One thing I like about Astounding is that editor John Campbell publishes the results of his reader surveys in the magazine's "Analytical Laboratory." Thus, he (and we) can all see what the reading faithful think of the prior issue's stories. Of course, while the technique can be good at better-pleasing your ...

Interlude.. with picture (1-14-1959)

(01/14/2014 6:06 AM)

A timely message. Is Eisenhower taking the Space Race seriously? Is anyone? From the NEA Service, Inc., run in today's paper. (Confused? Click here for an explanation as to what's really going on) This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth, where it has comments. Please comment here or there.

"Doctor, Merchant" (Murray Leinster and the February 1959 Astounding; 1-13-1959)

(01/13/2014 12:44 AM)

Have you heard of Murray Leinster? Of course you have, though he also writes under "William F. Jenkins," which happens to be his real name. Leinster/Jenkins is one of the few authors with a shot at the title of "Dean of Science Fiction." He's one of the old guard-a veteran of World War One, the ...

After midnight (43,000 Years Later; 1-11-1959)

(01/11/2014 2:58 AM)

It has been two minutes to midnight since 1953. According to the Federation of Atomic Scientists, we have been teetering at the brink of nuclear destruction since the Soviets detonated their first H-Bomb. Now that both East and West have demonstrated the ability to launch, without warning and without possibility of resistance, H-bomb-carrying missiles from ...

My aching (egg)head (January 1959 F&SF, second half; 1-09-1959)

(01/9/2014 2:37 AM)

I tried. I really tried. When last we left off, I had saved Fritz Leiber's The Silver Eggheads for last. It comprises a good third of the January F&SF, and I thought it would be worth an article all to itself. I suppose it does, at that, but not the way I had thought. For ...

Moon Maidens (Missile to the Moon; 1-07-1959)

(01/7/2014 12:08 AM)

Seeing how the moon has been front and center in the headlines and in this column for the past week, I thought it a good idea to round out things with a movie about a trip to Earth's celestial neighbor. As my faithful reader(s) know, I spare no expense when it comes to securing only ...

A near miss? (Dream in flight; 1-05-1959)

(01/5/2014 1:47 AM)

For those of you waiting on tenterhooks, here is the news: Mechta, a.k.a. Dream a.k.a. Lunik has soared past the moon. Skimming just 4,700 miles over the surface of the Earth's celestial neighbor, Mechta has become the first artificial object to escape Earth's gravity and enter solar orbit, where it will remain for the foreseeable ...

Red Moon? (The launch of Mechta; 1-03-59)

(01/3/2014 7:20 AM)

Bet on the Russians to throw us a curve. Last month, I crowed that America had won the Space Race in 1958 with the launching of Score, the first communications satellite, and of the mildly successful Pioneer series. Well, the Soviets apparently just wanted to give us a false feeling of security, because they have ...

Ring in the New Year!  (January 1959 Fantasy and Science Fiction; 1-01-59)

(01/1/2014 2:24 AM)

Happy New Year! 1959 promises to be stellar in all senses of the word. My apologies for the hiatus. Those of you who are familiar with manual typewriters know the strain pressing down on those keys can have on your hand muscles. I am fairly drooling over the idea of trading in my Smith Corona ...

Holiday Break (12-26-1958)

(12/26/2013 2:28 AM)

Galactic Journey will be on hiatus until the New Year. Thank you to everyone for reading, and stay tuned for new posts in 1959! This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth, where it has comments. Please comment here or there.

Dreaming of a White Christmas (12-24-1958)

(12/24/2013 1:10 AM)

Are you dreaming of a White Christmas? I know I am. San Diego has beige Christmases at best. If we want snow, we have to head for the mountains or manufacture the stuff. That said, a growing consensus of scientists is concerned that White Christmases may become a rarity for everyone, not just the privileged ...

America SCORES! (12-22-1958)

(12/22/2013 12:40 AM)

Unless the Soviets can pull a rabbit out of their hat, it looks like the United States will come out the winner in the Space Race for 1958. It was only a matter of time before we finally used our Atlas rocket, the nation's first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), to launch a satellite. With the ...

If we're not alone, will we be lonely? (12-20-1958)

(12/20/2013 12:54 AM)

Are we alone in the universe? That's a question that has been asked with greater frequency and intensity recently, corresponding with Humanity's first faltering steps into outer space. Are we about to enter an interstellar community? If you ask me, the answer is "no." The time scales involved are just too immense. Allow me to ...

Brrrr!  IGY wrap-up (12-18-1958)

(12/18/2013 12:53 AM)

Last time, I talked about some of the wonders of the International Geophysical Year. The term is a bit of a misnomer-it has actually lasted some 18 months, and the dividends from its successes will be paid out for many years to come. For those who don't know, the "IGY" is actually the third event ...

February 1959 Galaxy Wrap-up (12-16-1958)

(12/16/2013 3:15 AM)

At long last, the February 1959 Galaxy is done, and I can give my assessment of the new bi-monthly format. It is likely that this issue was composed of material the editor, Mr. Gold, had accumulated before the decision to reduce the number of annual issues. Therefore, the real proof of the pudding will happen ...

Fact and Fiction (February 1959 Galaxy, Part 2; 12-14-1958)

(12/14/2013 4:29 AM)

For your reading pleasure today, a piece in two parts. First a bit on fiction, and then a bit on the other stuff. Plowing on through the new maxi-sized Galaxy, the first story after Installment Plan is a slight bit of atmospheric by Charles A. Stearns called Pastoral Affair. If you've read the Wells classic, ...

The Incomplete Enchanter (12-12-1958)

(12/12/2013 12:44 AM)

It occurs to me that it has been a long time since I've given anything unreserved praise. Moreover, it's been a while since I've reported on anything really fun. To that end, I recently picked up and re-read my well-thumbed copy of The Incomplete Enchanter by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. Sprague is ...

The way it is (February 1959 Galaxy, Part 1; 12-10-1958)

(12/10/2013 2:44 AM)

December is here, and San Diego is feeling the uncommonly cold bite of near-winter weather. Why, temperatures barely make it into the upper 60s around noon-time. I'm not sure how we manage. My subscription copy of F&SF never arrived. I may have to pick it up at the newsstand, if there are any left. Luckily, ...

Oops, Part 4 (12-08-1958)

(12/8/2013 5:05 AM)

Well, at least we're consistent. The past few months, the newspapers have run headline after headline describing America's failures in trying to shoot the Moon. The Air Force had the first at-bat with its three Pioneers. #0 blew up so early that it wasn't even dignified with a name. #1 limped about halfway to the ...

Killing Time (Robert Sheckley's Timekiller; 12-06-1958)

(12/6/2013 12:45 AM)

Regular readers of this column know that I am unreserved in my praise of Robert Sheckley. Since bursting on the scene early this decade, he and his alter-ego, Finn O'Donnovan, have graced the pages of Astounding and Galaxy and probably more magazines. If you haven't read his three short-story anthologies, you need to plunk down ...

What's in a name? (12-4-1958)

(12/4/2013 1:58 AM)

I'm still waiting for my January F&SF to show up, so here's another topical scientific post. Just call me Willy Ley's poor cousin. The space stories in today's newspapers are filled with a mixture of alphabet soup and Roman mythology. Keeping track of what's what can be a headache. For instance, there has been a ...

Less is More; Rocket Clusters in Science Fiction (12-02-1958)

(12/1/2013 7:02 PM)

Science advances rapidly, and with it, our visions of the future. People have been dreaming about traveling to outer space for thousands of years, and their dreams have necessarily been based on extrapolations of the time. For instance, when Daedalus and Icarus made their flights, they used bird-like wings. What else was there? When Jules ...

To the Moon (Alice?); Wrap-up of January 1959 Astounding and more (11-30-1958)

(11/30/2013 2:48 AM)

I promised a wrap-up of this month's Astounding, so here it is. "Study in Still Life," by Astounding's resident satirist, Eric Frank Russell. It is a 20-page depiction of governmental bureaucracy whose only connection (I should say connexion; Russell is British) with science fiction is its having been printed in a science fiction magazine. I'm ...

January 1959 Astounding (2nd of 3 parts; 11-28-58)

(11/28/2013 12:48 AM)

Happy (day after) Thanksgiving from sunny San Diego! Sorry for the delay, but the travails of travel put a crimp in my bi-daily update schedule. I am now happily back at the typewriter and ready to tell you all about.... The January 1959 Astounding was particularly lackluster. Filled with turgid tales of men running world ...

Predicting the Future (hand-waves, Astounding, smoking, and women; 11-25-1958)

(11/25/2013 7:48 AM)

Writing good science fiction is hard. Writing good anything is hard, but science fiction multiplies the complexity. Science fiction requires a writer to project the effect that a scientific development will have on society. Moreover, the writer must portray this future society plausibly, which means distinguishing it from our current culture by extrapolating/inventing new mores ...

Running the Rim of Japan; January 1959 Astounding (11-23-1958)

(11/23/2013 8:44 AM)

Editors are often capricious creatures. Depending on the busyness of their schedules, they will one month wax poetic on some topic, and the next, they will give their columns short shrift. Forgive me, but this is going to be a brief column. "Why?" you ask. The answer is simple. Travel between cities in Japan is ...

Beyond this Horizon (11-21-1958)

(11/20/2013 8:25 PM)

The traveling circus has moved to Osaka, Japan's second metropolis. It's a grubby, earthy place, with a colorful dialect and brasher manners. For an American, it's actually kind of refreshing; the formality is less forced. Like Tokyo, the city is alive with new construction and industry. In contrast to cities back home, which have infrastructure ...

Pilgrimage to Earth (11-19-1958)

(11/19/2013 6:47 AM)

There is nothing that satisfies like a good collection of short stories. And there is nobody who consistently releases good collections of short stories like Robert Sheckley. A fellow lanzmann, Bob Sheckley emerged onto the science fiction magazine scene early in this decade, and he has elevated the standards of every digest for which he's ...

Godzilla raids.  Again.  (11-17-1958)

(11/17/2013 7:10 AM)

Greetings from Nagoya, Japan! This industrial city emerged from the Second World War a drab and gray place with little of the charm of the new Tokyo. Still, it is not without its attractions. For instance, Nagoya castle is a national treasure dating back to the warring fiefs period of Japan; it is the legendary ...

Astoundingly bad (11-15-1958)

(11/15/2013 7:12 AM)

I'm willing to concede that we (currently) live in a "man's world." Men make up most of the protagonists and characters in science fiction, and the vast majority of science fiction authors are men. This month's Astounding does not buck this trend-virtually every story has no, or at best a token, female presence. I suppose ...

The short flight of Pioneer II (11-13-1958)

(11/13/2013 7:08 AM)

Sometimes the third time isn't the charm. On November 8, NASA (read: The Air Force), sent the third of its "Pioneers" toward the moon. For those following the topic, the first one, launched in August, exploded. The second one, launched last month, strayed from its intended course and made it just halfway to its destination. ...

Gojira (Godzilla) 1954 (11-11-1958)

(11/11/2013 7:43 AM)

Greetings from the Orient! More specifically, hello from the Shinjuku area of Tokyo, Japan. It is hard to believe that, just thirteen years ago, the ward that is now Shinjuku had been virtually destroyed by American bombs. Shinjuku today is a bustling commercial and transport hub with a giant train station and every imaginable kind ...

Farmer in the Sky (11-09-1958)

(11/9/2013 8:32 AM)

When I started this column, I had not expected this to turn into a travelogue. Given that I do much of my reading on a plane heading somewhere glamorous and exciting, I suppose it can't be helped. I hope you can all bear with me. Northwest Orient, a Seattle-based airline, has been filling the air ...

December 1958: Astounding (1st half) 11-08-1958

(11/8/2013 2:23 AM)

With December's Galaxy and F&SF done and reviewed, I now turn to the last of the Big Three: Astounding. The elephant in this magazine is, of course, the second half of Poul Anderson's dreary short novel, "Bicycle Built for Brew." It lurks at the end of the magazine like an oncoming train at the end ...

December 1958 F&SF, 2nd half (11-05-1958)

(11/6/2013 5:22 AM)

Boy, am I glad I read from front to back this time! As my faithful readers (should that be plural?) know, the first half of this month's Fantasy & Science Fiction was pretty lackluster stuff. It turns out I was mistaken about Tony Boucher's story-it was not a new one, but some old thing from ...

Decmber 1958 F&SF, 1st half (11-03-1958)

(11/3/2013 4:22 AM)

I'm afraid this month's Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF) thus far has been a bit of a let-down. I recognize that this sister magazine to Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine has a reputation to uphold as the most "literary" of the Big Three science fiction digests (a lofty standing it shares with Galaxy and ...

Things to Come (10-31-1958)

(10/31/2013 7:08 AM)

These are exciting times we live in. The drop in published science fiction is (almost) made up for by the increase in space-related articles in my newspaper. I read an Associated Press piece yesterday that I thought was particularly interesting: "NEW YORK (AP) Colonies of Earthmen will occupy the Moon, Mars and Venus. Rockets will ...

Wrapping up the December 1958 Galaxy (10-30-58)

(10/30/2013 3:21 AM)

On a walk down the block on a warm autumn afternoon, I finished the rest of the December 1958 Galaxy. I'd worked my way backward from the end, as I'd wanted to finish the next installment of "Time Killer." Thus, I got to the lead novella, "Join Us" by Finn O'Donovan, last. Both the name ...

Make Room!  Make Room! (Musings on overpopulation; 10-29-58)

(10/29/2013 5:27 AM)

The December 1958 Galaxy came in the mail on the 26th, and I've read about half of it. Willy Ley's column, on the amazing alien world beneath the surface of the sea, is fascinating stuff. The third part (of four) of Sheckley's Time Killer is engaging, though not in the same class as most of ...

A Disturbing Sign (10-27-1958)

(10/27/2013 3:18 AM)

Uh oh. I received my December 1958 Galaxy magazine in the mail yesterday. I have a very set pattern when I read my Galaxies: I start with the editorial, move on to Willy Ley's science column ("For Your Information"), finish any serial novels in process, and then enjoy the rest. I was in for a ...

X Minus One!  (10-26-1958)

(10/26/2013 12:48 AM)

"X minus 5...4...3...2...X minus 1... Fire. From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future adventures, in which you'll live in a million could-be years on a thousand maybe-worlds. The National Broadcasting Company, in cooperation with Galaxy Science Fiction magazine, presents: ...

Amazing? November 1958 (10-25-1958)

(10/24/2013 11:45 PM)

When Galaxy came out in 1950, the old pulp magazines were still doing reasonably well, though they were clearly on the decline. Galaxy editor Horace L. Gold put out a one-page ad on the back of the first issue making fun of the Space Westerns that had typified the pulps since the 20's and promising ...

Astounding Science Fiction, November 1958 (10-24-1958)

(10/24/2013 12:40 AM)

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for: An actual review of an actual science fiction magazine! NOVEMBER 1958, ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION I usually save Astounding for last among my subscriptions. I have mixed feelings about this magazine. On the one hand, it is physically of the lowest quality compared to its competitors (F&SF ...

Childhood's End (10-22-1958)

(10/22/2013 12:04 AM)

Arthur C. Clarke has been a household name for a long time: The "ABCs of science fiction", Asimov, Bester and Clarke (or Asimov, Bradbury and Clarke, if you're so inclined, and I'm generally not) is a cliché. Yet, up to now, aside from a few random stories in lesser magazines, I'd read nothing by the ...

One year after Sputnik (10-21-1958)

(10/21/2013 10:40 AM)

On October 4, 1957, the world was stunned by the beep-beep of the first artificial satellite. Well, maybe stunned is the wrong word, because anyone following the papers throughout the summer saw that the Soviets had announced quite candidly that they had planned to do so. It didn't take long for good ol' American know-how, ...

October 21, 1958

(10/21/2013 9:50 AM)

I became an avid science fiction fan in February 1954 (about four and a half years ago). At the time, science fiction digests were multiplying, and business seemed to be booming. Even then, however, there was doom-saying about how the genre had already begun to die. Apparently, from an explosion that started in 1949 with ...

 
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