Science-fiction, like all great literature, deals with classic themes of conflict, typically transposed to a different, often fantastical setting: Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. the Supernatural, Woman vs. Little Green Men from Mars . . .
Apparently, the male 18 to 35 year old demographic hasn’t changed much in the last half-century; boys of all ages still thrill at thoughts of bizarre monsters and scantly clad damsels in distress; and this selection of classic science-fiction magazines from the 1950s and 60s proves the point.
Political correctness and feminist grievances aside, the genre has certainly created some original cover-art! But beyond the titillation, closer examination reveals an ironic, self-effacing humor in these images; a mocking, tongue-in-cheek commentary on the desires and depravations of mankind.
Once essentially dismissed as an unimportant fringe element, sci-fi (and, of course, fantasy) fans and fiction now easily hold their own, and command a significant portion of the market in both bookstores and cinemas. This would never have happened without pulp mags like these in which once little known authors like Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Phillip K. Dick got their start, and inspired generations of future storytellers. Science-fiction is now a definitive part of popular culture — and our modern mythology, as well.
status: 145 volumes, sold