Jamie Todd Rubin "Vacations" Back To The Golden Age of Sci Fi
Earlier this year, science fiction author Jamie Todd Rubin re-visited the Golden Age of science fiction, an era in which science fiction gained notoriety during the first half of the 20th century, by looking at one of the most influential publications of the time period — Astounding Science Fiction magazine. In a series of blog posts on his website, Rubin examined every aspect of the magazine — from the short stories to the ads — issue by issue, and reflected on how the magazine defined the Golden Age and how the era has influenced and molded contemporary science fiction writing. This week Amazing Stories, the digital re-boot of another classic science fiction magazine, will be hosting Rubin’s reflective journey on their website.
The Golden Age of science fiction is marked by the pulp magazines printed from the 1920s through the 1950s, and defined by the short stories printed in these publications like Astounding Science Fiction and the original Amazing Stories magazine. These magazines served as the home for many now-famous science fiction authors before they gained notoriety. Orson Scott Card, Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury are among the list of authors who got their start writing pulp-y tales, often penning the “space operas” that the era was known for. Melodramatic tales of romance and adventure, often taking place in futuristic settings (usually in, you guessed it, space), space operas, such as E.E. Smith's Skylark series and Asimov's Foundation series, were the hallmark of the Golden Age and aided in the budding popularity of science fiction during the early 21st century.
These epic tales filled with human emotion and relatable characters, as well as dash of social commentary, helped spawn a slew of contemporary science fiction worlds that we know and love. The Ender's Game series, the Star Trek universe, and many Sci Fi Westerns such as Firefly and Star Wars could have never come into frution if it weren't for the early stories of the Golden Age. To read Rubin's posts on the Golden Age, re-printed at Amazing Stories, click here. And if you've never explored these pulp magazines or picked up an anthology of a Golden Age writer, here are my suggestions for where to begin:
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein