The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (usually referred to as F&SF) is a U.S. fantasy and science fiction magazine first published in 1949 by Fantasy House, the first issue was titled The Magazine of Fantasy, but the decision was quickly made to include science fiction as well as fantasy, and the title was changed correspondingly with the second issue. F&SF was quite different in presentation from the existing science fiction magazines of the day, most of which were in pulp format: it had no interior illustrations, no letter column, and text in a single column format, which in the opinion of science fiction historian Mike Ashley "set F&SF apart, giving it the air and authority of a superior magazine"F&SF quickly established itself as one of the leading magazines. Ashley describes it as bridging "the attitude gap between the slick magazines and the pulps"', and argues that it made the genre more respectable.The fantasy side of the magazine attracted writers who had been regular contributors to Weird Tales and Unknown, two of the best-known fantasy pulps, and in Ashley's opinion, it soon found a "middle ground" between those pulp traditions and fantasy written for the slicks. It was known as the most literary of the science fiction and fantasy magazines, and it published the most diverse range of material. In a 1978 review of New Wave sf, Christopher Priest agreed that F&SF has a bias for literary work, and added that "it has been a sort of New Wave of its own ever since its inception”.

The magazine has also resulted in a number of anthology works, we have a couple of these in the Anthology section.

There’s a wealth of information on the series on the web and we’ll be finding interesting side lines as we set out on building a complete series

 As of March 2017, the editorial succession is as follows:

  •     Anthony Boucher & J. Francis McComas, Fall 1949 – August 1954
  •     Anthony Boucher, September 1954 – August 1958
  •     Robert P. Mills, September 1958 – March 1962
  •     Avram Davidson, April 1962 – November 1964
  •     Joseph W. Ferman, December 1964 – December 1965
  •     Edward L. Ferman, January 1966 – June 1991
  •     Kristine Kathryn Rusch, July 1991 – May 1997
  •     Gordon Van Gelder, June 1997 – January 2015
  •     Charles Coleman Finlay, March/April 2015 – present

One of the major contributing cover artists for F&SF was David A.Hardy, considered one of the greatest Science Fiction artists. Hardy and cartoonist Anthony Naylor co-designed ‘Bhen’, a whimsical alien that was first featured on the cover of F&SF in 1975.  He was frequently seen putting NASA hardware to unorthodox uses on nearly a dozen covers between 1975 and 1994. So far we have nine of the twelve covers featuring Bhen! As we find more we’ll put them up here:

   

    

Related Books:

Aside from anthologies there are studies, reviews and a host of other materials generated around the magazine. We’ll surely get hold of more stuff but we’ll start off with this off beat special from F&SciFi which is a collection of competition entries to quirky competitions such as: Near miss SF titles or Misprints caused by the addition of one letter. Hilarious!