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Women and SF Pulp Covers 1930s-40s. Paul, Amazing Stories, December, 1926.

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Presentation on theme: "Women and SF Pulp Covers 1930s-40s. Paul, Amazing Stories, December, 1926."— Presentation transcript:

1 Women and SF Pulp Covers 1930s-40s

2 Paul, Amazing Stories, December, 1926

3 Paul, Science Fiction, December 1939

4 Paul, Science Fiction, March 1940

5 Paul, Science Fiction, June 1940

6 Paul, From Science Fiction, October 1940

7 Paul, Science Fiction, June 1941

8 Paul, Planet Stories, Fall 1941

9 Women on SF Pulp Covers, 1950s

10 Amazing Stories, Aug 1948

11 Amazing Stories, Sept 1952

12 Amazing Stories, May 1952

13 Startling Stories. (Chicago : Better Publications, )

14 Fantastic adventures. “The Man Who Stopped at Nothing,” 1951 (Chicago, Ziff- Davis, ) 15 v.Thrilling wonder storie(New York, N.Y. : Beacon Magazines 1936; Better Publications, Aug ; Standard Magazines, fall )

15 Covers for Astounding Science Fiction, 1930s-40s

16 Astounding Science Fiction, ed. John Campbell, December, 1938 (contains Lester Del Rey, “Helen O’ Loy”)

17 Astounding Science Fiction, ed. John Campbell, June, 1940 (Heinlein, “The Roads Must Roll”)

18 Sciene Fiction,Dec 1939 Astounding Science Fiction, June, 1940

19 Astounding Science Fiction, ed. John Campbell, August, 1954 (Contains Godwin’s “The Cold Equations)

20 Astounding Science Fiction, ed. John Campbell, April, 1941 (contains “Microcosmic God”)

21 Astounding Science Fiction, June 1939

22 Astounding, May 1938

23 The major distinction between fantasy and science fiction is, simply, that science fiction uses one, or a very, very few new postulates, and develops the rigidly consistent logical consequences of these limited postulates. Fantasy makes its rules as it goes along...The basic nature of fantasy is "The only rule is, make up a new rule any time you need one!" The basic rule of science fiction is "Set up a basic proposition--then develop its consistent, logical consequences." John Campbell, Analog, 1966 John Campbell Hard SF v. Fantasy

24 Letters to the Editor of Astounding Science Fiction

25 Dear Editor, In the last six or seven publications females have been dragged into the narratives and as a result the stories have become those of love which have no place in science-fiction. Those who read this magazine do so for the science in it or for the good wholesome free-from-women stories which stretch their imaginations. A woman's place is not in anything scientific. Of course the odd female now and then invents something useful in the way that every now and then amongst the millions of black crows a white one is found. I believe, and I think many others are with me, that sentimentality and sex should be disregarded in scientific stories. Yours for more science and less females —Donald G. Turnbull, Toronto Canada Astounding Science Fiction July 1938 p. 162

26 Dear Editor, Three rousing cheers for Donald G. Turnbull of Toronto for his valiant attack on those favoring mush. When we want science-fiction, we don't want swooning dames, and that goes double. You needn't worry about Miss Evans, Donald, us he-men are for you and if she tries to slap you down, you've got an able (I hope) confederate and tried auxiliary right here in the person of yours truly. Come on, men, make yourself heard in favor of less love mixed with our science! —Isaac Asimov, 174 Windsor Place, Brooklyn, N. Y. Astounding Science Fiction September 1938 p. 161

27 After reading Isaac Asimov’s letter... I feel the necessity of taking the issue of “swooning dames” up with him. To his plea for less hooey, I give my wholehearted support, but less hooey does not mean less women; it means a difference in the way they are introduced into the story and the part they play.... There is a larger percent of famous men than famous women... but remember that women haven’t been actually included in the sciences except for the past hundred years or so. Not the number of successful women today, though! Mary Byers, Astounding Science Fiction, December 1938

28 Dear Mr. Campbell: Having barely survived the bludgeonings of Miss Byers in the December issue, I return undaunted to the fray. First, I wish to point out that she herself considers the "sex theme" as unadulterated "hokum." She tries to get out it, though, by bringing in the idea of "feminine interest" and saying that it's not women in themselves, but the way they are handled that causes the whole trouble. Very well, granted! Women are pretty handy creatures! (What would we do without them, sniff, sniff?) But, how in tarnation are you going to enforce a rule that the "feminine interest" must be introduced in an inoffensive manner? There are certain authors (very few) that can handle women with the greatest of ease. The great Weinbaum simply permeated his stories with women and yet I never read a story of his that I didn't enjoy (may his soul rest in peace). E. E. Smith's women are swell, and I find I get along with them. Jack Williamson is pretty good, even when he brings in his goddesses. However, that about exhausts the list. The rest of the authors, while all very good in their way, can't bring the "feminine interest" into a story without getting sloppy. There is an occasional good one ("Helen O'Loy" is a beautiful case in point) but for every exceptional one there are 5,739 terrible cases. Stories in which the love interest drowns out everything, in which "swooning damsels" are thrown at us willy-nilly. Notice, too, that many top-notch, grade-A, wonderful, marvelous, etc., etc., authors get along swell without any women, at all. John W. Campbell, Jr., himself, is the most perfect case of all. Nat Schachner has very few indeed. Clifford D. Simak has none. Ross Rocklynne has none. The list can be extended much further. The point is whether we can make every author a Smith and Weinbaum or whether we cannot. What do you think? Therefore, let Smith and Williamson keep their women, but for Heaven's sake, let the rest forget about them, partly anyway. I still say we're after science-fiction. Of course, we could have women-scientists. Madame Curie is immortal, so are many others. Unfortunately, instead of having a properly aged, resourceful, and scientific woman as a savant, what do we have? When there is a woman-scientist (which is very rare in fiction, believe me) she is about eighteen and very beautiful and, oh, so helpless in the face of danger (gr-r-r-r). Which is another complaint I have against women. They're always getting into trouble and having to be rescued. It's very boring indeed for us men. I should think the women themselves (proud creatures) would be the first to object. In the third paragraph, Miss Byers wants to know whether I think girl-fans are interested in the adventures of an "almost-ridiculous hero." Oh, don't I? How about Robert Taylor and Clark Gable? I'll bet all the females swoon just reading their names in Brass Tacks. Besides, if they don't go for heroes, what are they doing reading science-fiction? Let them go back to love stories (which are written by women for women) and they'll find even slap-happier heroes there. Furthermore, Miss Byers is very ill-advised in her attempt to bring up the greater influence of women as against men in the course of history. Let me point out that women never affected the world directly. They always grabbed hold of some poor, innocent man, worked their insidious wiles on him (poor unsophisticated, unsuspecting person that he was) and then affected history through him. Cleopatra, for instance. It was Mark Antony that did the real affecting; Cleopatra, herself, affected only Mark Antony. Same with Pompadour, Catherine de Medici, Theodora and practically all other famous women of history. But I'll quit now before I create a national vendetta against myself on the part of all female science-fictioneers in the United Stated. (There must be at least twenty of them!) This answer may be taken as a defense of Donald Turnbull's courageous stand against the ace menace to science-fiction as well as a defense of my own stand. I say this, because Donald may not find time to answer, and I have promised to defend him against attack with all the power of my good right arm —Isaac Asimov, 174 Windsor Place, Brooklyn, N. Y. Astounding Science Fiction, February, 1939 pp

29 Paul, Fantastic Novels, Sept. 1940


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