Back to the Archive

Having a second chance to explore City Tech’s Science Fiction Archive was such an amazing opportunity. Luckily, this time around the class had more time to process everything. Unlike, the first time where we only had like twenty minutes to look at one specific series. This time we got the freedom to view the different kinds of series the science archive held. While I was in the archive, I came across some of Isaac Asimov’s works throughout his years. It was interesting to find out that he created his own science fiction magazine.
The image above is the second issue of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. I picked this up first because of my interest in Asimov and his previous works. “The Last Question” by Isaac Asimov was such a short text but it was so meaningful. I wanted a bit more of Asimov and I came across this magazine and I was hooked. I sat down and started to flip through the magazine. The pages felt a bit dusty. But I could tell there were all sorts of interesting stories and advertisements that were within this almost 200 paged magazine. 
Above is the table of contents. This magazine included all kinds of short stories and even stories by the man himself, Isaac Asimov. The first thing I read was the short story “About Nothing” by Isaac Asimov. It was extremely short. Like it was only a page. But it included all the essentials. It had characters, conflict, a setting, and a not so typical ending. I think that what is so great about Asimov. He can write about something so small but create a concept that is so impactful. Below is the short story:

Also, while flipping through this specific magazine, there were some pages that caught my attention. Below this is a crossword activity and an advertisement for Newport cigarettes. I guess a magazine would not be a magazine if it did not have advertisements.

When I was finished with this magazine, I shifted my attention to the If series. Ever since my first trip to the science fiction archive, I have been interested. The first If magazine that I looked at was from the year 1966. This time I looked at the one from 1974. Although that is only eight years apart, there are a few differences I noticed. The 1974 issue is twenty-five cents more. The structure of the cover is different. And there are more advertisements.

One thing about the If series that I like is their cover art. The artwork is just so remarkable to look at. The colors are dynamic. Artists back then were so driven to make their art stand out. Another thing that I like about the If series is the interaction it has with its fans. In this magazine series, fans have the ability to ask questions about previous stories they have read from previous issues.

This the link to the magazine itself:

If I had more time inside City Tech’s Science Fiction Archive, I would gladly want to run through the entire If series. I would probably spend several months reading through everything but it would have been worth it. There is one question I still have. How come there some magazines that are in worse condition than others not in the protective sleeve? I think that any magazine that is in a worse condition should be placed in a protective sleeve just so that nothing bad can happen.

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