Saturday, November 26, 2011

Imagination Science Fiction Magazine October 1957

Here’s a fun blast from the past, the October 1957 issue of Imagination science fiction magazine, published during that bygone era when readers bought magazines because the covers were simply too cool to turn down. Quite often the interior stories failed to realize the creative imagery found on the covers, but readers seldom complained. This issue is actually quite good, coming as it did at the tail end of the pulp era. And pulp is the key word here. The cover story, You Can’t Buy Eternity by Dwight V. Swain, even features chapter titles such as “Hunt the Man Down,” “Smell of Death” and best of all “Write it in Blood!” This is a pulp action story all the way. The second story, John Holder’s Weapon by Robert Moore Williams, is a futuristic thriller pitting the protagonist against communists; The Mannion Court-Martial by Randall Garrett involves a space officer charged with leading an android rebellion (but did he?); The Overlord of Colony Eight by Robert Silverberg, who was a regular contributor to Imagination, is a bon-bon among cashews, as is The Ambassador’s Pet by Alexander Blade. Barnstormer by Tom W. Harris, is the final story and the weakest. In the back pages editor Henry Bott reviews Robert A. Heinlein’s The Door into Summer, and Robert Bloch meanders through several pages of meaningless commentary in his regular feature “Fandora’s Box” which waxes less than eloquently on the state of science fiction fandom. Overall a minor issue but You Can’t Buy Eternity by Dwight V. Swain was pure pulp fun. And in addition to the cartoon reproduced here, you’ve gotta love the cover.

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