Sci-Fi Sundays: Amazing Science Fiction, April 1958

This week I got a chance to un-pack this collection. I've had it for about 10 years now and it has been in boxes the whole time.

I absolutely love this cover. It is unabashedly silly. What is that boy even doing with that dog? Why lug that iron lung so far from your home-dome if the dog can't even walk around? That thing has to weigh a ton. All joking aside, there's something delightful about all the space covers from before 1961, when Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. Interestingly though, the first dog in space was Laika, in 1951, so I guess they really have no excuse!

This issue has a particularly interesting letter to the editor, at least one that I found compelling in its suggestions.

Dear Editor:

I have just finished the February Issue of Amazing. I liked it. There were three really top quality stories and the remainder were fair reading. I have a comment to make on a recent suggestion that you publish a "combozine." I hope you are not really considering this. It would not be practical. Your "novels" are doing a better job than a "combozine" would do.

Sorry the Space Club is changing magazines. Amazing won't be the same. Oh, well, I read Fantastic, too, luckily.

How about putting some of those pretty females from the stories in Amazing on your covers? Or at least on the inside cover? Why doesn't somebody publish a "Space Pin-Ups" picture magazine with female and male science fiction story characters? Then the female readers will like it as much as the male readers.

How about a story by Ray Palmer in Amazing?

Marvin Pfeifer
Paw Paw, Illinois

It is interesting that this reader is pointing out something that we currently struggle with as publishers on the internet; short form vs long form publishing. We're constantly juggling the urge to give short snippets of interesting stuff, a method that tends to have low time investment and high return, or delivering longer thought out and researched content. Often we, the publishers, feel that the longer content is somehow higher quality (is that just our ego speaking?), but we know that people crave both.

My mind is drawn more to the space pin-ups suggestion. I have to admit that I think a glass bubble helmet clad pinup is a glorious thing. It could be argued that pinups are sexist symbols from the past, but I guess I'd have to just say that if I have one publicly known flaw, maybe I'm fine with it being an appreciation for pinups. Here's an entire pinterest board full space pinups.

Publication:Amazing Science Fiction

Issue: April 1958, volume: 32 No. 4

Cover art:Edward Valigursky from Space Breed

The back cover.

Back when the term "Shanghaied" was common lexicon.  

by Scroeder from Space Breed

These bubble helmets are so wonderful. It seems that the artist can't quite decide whether or not the suit needs to fully protect the body or not though. Note the dogs bare legs here.

by Waldman for The Last Citizen

Val Kilmer? Is that you?

By Martinez for The Stars Fought Back

by Duncanson for Venutian, Get out!

This comic was uncredited, but we can see the signature "Frosty" on the table cloth.

uncredited from One Of Our Cities Is Missing

Strangely, the longest and most illustrated story in this issue doesn't have any illustrator credit. One Of Our Cities Is Missing, is touted on the cover, has 10 illustrations, but zero credit to the artist. I suspected that maybe the author, Irving Cox, was also the illustrator but I can find no evidence to back up that theory. The illustrations also bear no signature or obvious identification.

uncredited from One Of Our Cities Is Missing



uncredited from One Of Our Cities Is Missing

uncredited from One Of Our Cities Is Missing

uncredited from One Of Our Cities Is Missing

uncredited from One Of Our Cities Is Missing

uncredited from One Of Our Cities Is Missing

uncredited from One Of Our Cities Is Missing

uncredited from One Of Our Cities Is Missing

uncredited from One Of Our Cities Is Missing


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Notable Replies

  1. jonbly says:

    Might be a futuristic super alloy, rather than iron. Might be a low-gravity world. Might be equipped with an anti-gravity unit.

    Heck, the kid probably wanders around with it floating on a string...

    Welcome to the World of Tomorrow!

  2. Six years off on Laika:

  3. So... what happened to their city?

  4. dfaris says:

    I just watched a man struggling while carrying a bin, and then 10 minutes of him putting books on a shelf. I'd have been better off watching myself put books on a bookshelf. That way, at least my office would be picked up a little.

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