Analog

Tagged: Publication

The name since 1960 of the SF Magazine launched in 1930 as Astounding (which see). Published by Street & Smith (Astounding's publishers since October 1933) through the 1960 name change to January 1962; Condé Nast February 1962-August 1980; Davis Publications September 1980-August 1992; Dell Magazines, September 1992-current (as a division of Crosstown Publications from September 1996). Edited by John W Campbell Jr (editor of Astounding since December 1937) to December 1971, Ben Bova January 1972-November 1978, Stanley Schmidt December 1978 until his retirement in August 2012 (matching Campbell's thirty-four years in the editorial chair), Trevor Quachri following on from Schmidt. Analog had retained an unbroken monthly publishing schedule since its Astounding days in October 1933, but from January 1981 this became four-weekly, giving 13 issues per year. The weekly cover date seemed to cause confusion and from May 1982 it reverted to a monthly cover date but added an extra mid-September issue, which changed to mid-December from 1984 and remained until 1995. In 1997 the schedule dropped to 11 issues per year with a combined July/August double issue and to ten issues a year from 2004 with a further combined January/February issue.

The 1960 title change from Astounding to Analog Science Fact Analog symbol Science Fiction took place gradually over eight issues, February to September: during this period the initial A remained unchanged while the remainder of "Astounding" faded down and "Analog" steadily became more visible. (In the British reprint editions, with their variant covers, the transition did not begin until June.) "That little symbol . . . is a home-invented one," wrote Campbell (January 1964): "In all mathematics, etcetera, there [is] . . . no symbol meaning 'is analogous to'. We invented one . . . We do not expect our readers to enunciate our title as clearly as 'ANALOG – Science Fact is analogous to Science Fiction' but we thought you might be interested in why we did not use the traditional ampersand – &." With the April 1965 issue the order of the two elements changed, without explanation, so that it became science fiction analogous to science fact. June 1966 saw a slight change of cover design, with the symbol dropped: "science fiction" and "science fact" now appeared above the lower-case title "analog", separated by the riser of the L. Later variations included placing "SCIENCE FICTION" above the main title and "SCIENCE FACT" below; this was generally parsed as "Analog Science Fiction and Science Fact". Since November 1991 it has been simply "Analog Science Fiction & Fact" with the original significance of the title not only long lost but, in the new digital age, sounding faintly anachronistic.

The change in publisher to Condé Nast, effective from the February 1962 issue was important because it assured Analog of excellent distribution (as one of a group which included such titles as Good Housekeeping) at a time when its rivals faced increasing difficulties in getting distributed and displayed. In March 1963 the magazine adopted an elegant letter-size format but, lacking the advertising support such an expensive production required, it reverted to Digest size in April 1965. The large issues are most notable for Frank Herbert's first two Dune serials: "Dune World" (December 1963-February 1964) and "The Prophet of Dune" (January-May 1965), combined as Dune (fixup 1965); both superbly illustrated by John Schoenherr, who became one of the magazine's regular artists of the 1960s. Other authors who were frequent contributors included Christopher Anvil, Harry Harrison and Mack Reynolds.

The magazine won its first Hugo as Analog in 1961, repeating this win in 1962, 1964 and 1965. Although it maintained a circulation above 100,000 (nearly twice that of its nearest rival) it continued on a slow decline. Campbell died in July 1971, being replaced as editor by Ben Bova (the first issue credited to Bova was that for January 1972). Not surprisingly, the magazine gained considerably in vitality through having a new editor after nearly 34 years. Authors such as Roger Zelazny, who would not readily have fitted into Campbell's magazine, began to appear. While the editorial policy remained oriented towards traditional sf, a more liberal attitude prevailed, leading to some reader protest over stories by Joe Haldeman and Frederik Pohl, which, though mild by contemporary standards, were not what some old-time Astounding readers expected to find in Analog. New writers like Haldeman and George R R Martin established themselves. The range of artists was widened with the addition of Jack Gaughan and the discovery of Rick Sternbach and Vincent Di Fate. A first for Analog (and Astounding) was the special women's issue (June 1977), which contained a Hugo winner, "Eyes of Amber" by Joan D Vinge, and a Nebula winner, "The Screwfly Solution", by Raccoona Sheldon (better known as James Tiptree Jr). Bova won the Hugo for Best Editor (which had replaced the award for Best Magazine) every year 1973-1977 and again in 1979. The magazine's circulation recovered and remained healthy, its yearly average peaking at just over 116,500 in 1972/3.

Bova resigned in 1978, soon afterwards joining Omni as fiction editor. His replacement, Stanley Schmidt, was a Hard-SF writer whose debut had been in Analog in with "A Flash of Darkness" (September 1968). His editing style was quieter and more modest than Campbell's and Bova's, with a penchant for humour, but he continued the magazine with dignity. Magazine publishing, however, was becoming a less important component of the sf-publishing business (> Anthologies; SF Magazines), and, while subscription sales continued to hold up through the 1970s and 1980s, newsstand sales, which traditionally accounted for over half of all sales, were dropping. By 1980 this proportion had switched over to subscriptions. In 1980 Condé Nast decided Analog no longer fitted their list, but they had no trouble finding a buyer. Davis Publications (whose owner, Joel Davis, was the son of B G Davis, one-time partner in Ziff-Davis, the former publisher of Amazing) had already begun publishing sf digest periodicals in 1977 with Asimov's Science Fiction. In 1980 Davis bought Analog, and soon changed the publication schedule from 12 to 13 issues a year, presumably in a bid to gain more newsstand space. In fact newsstand sales did not increase, a decline that has affected the whole field, but under Davis subscriptions increased dramatically with total sales reaching another near peak of just under 110,000 in 1982/3 and remaining reasonable for the rest of the 1980s.

Increasingly during the 1980s there was a feeling that Analog, with its image as the last magazine bastion of the hard-sf "problem" story, was becoming a dinosaur: a still formidable anachronism, but an anachronism nevertheless. The paid circulation oscillated, but the general direction was down, to 83,000 in 1989/90; newsstand sales dropped from 45,000 to 15,000 during the same period. Analog nevertheless retained the highest sales of the pure sf magazines. Analog has held its own against an intense rivalry from Isaac Asimov's SF Magazine, which rivalled it briefly for circulation and has certainly bettered it for award-winning stories, but has never toppled Analog from its niche as the guardian of Hard SF, despite running material by many of the same authors. Though fewer of Analog's stories have appeared in "Best of the Year" anthologies and lists of award winners, it still presents occasional very good work. Award winning stories are listed below, and include "The Saturn Game" (February 1981) by Poul Anderson; "Blood Music" (June 1983) by Greg Bear, the ground-breaking story of nanotechnology; "Cascade Point" (December 1983) by Timothy Zahn; "The Crystal Spheres" (January 1984) by David Brin and "The Mountains of Mourning" (May 1989) by Lois McMaster Bujold. Bujold was one of Analog's most popular writers during the 1980s and 1990s, chiefly with her character Miles Vorkosigan. Her Analog serial, Falling Free (December 1987-February 1988; 1988) went on to win a Nebula in its book edition. Robert J Sawyer's Hominids (January-April 2002; 2002) also won a Hugo award after its magazine appearance. Analog remains one of the few magazines to continue serializing full-length novels.

Other writers often associated with Analog under Schmidt, many of whom made their debut there, include Catherine Asaro, Maya Kaathryn {BOHNHOFF}, Stephen L Burns, Joseph H Delaney, Julia Ecklar, Michael Flynn, Stephen L {GILLETT}, Daniel Hatch, Jeffrey D Kooistra, Geoffrey A Landis, G David {NORDLEY}, Jerry Oltion, David R Palmer, Grey {ROLLINS}, Charles Sheffield and Harry Turtledove. Their work continues to encompass the Campbellian Analog ideal of humankind using technological advance to overcome problems which other technologies may impose, whilst recognizing the social and ecological conundrums that have become more thoroughly understood in the last thirty years. It also perpetuates Campbell's desire to perceive science and societies from an original angle: a regular column in Analog was "The Alternate View", which began as a series of varying opinions between Jerry Pournelle and G Harry Stine and has continued with various contributors seeking variant perspectives. Whilst Schmidt's editorial persona was evident in the magazine, chiefly with a vein of humour but also with strong views on a wide variety of subjects, Analog/Astounding has managed to achieve a remarkable consistency for over seventy years. After his retirement Schmidt won a 2013 Hugo as best editor (short form) for his long stint at Analog.

Analog retained its digest size until May 1998 and then, with a change in printer, shifted to a slightly larger digest format (8.25 x 5.25 in; 210 x 135 mm) to allow greater visibility on the newsstands. A further change was made in December 2008 to an even larger digest format, close to review size (8.5 x 5.75 in; 217 x 148 mm) again with the hope of increased visibility. A more significant change, however, was the growth of the ebook edition, which first became available in January 2000 and which now accounts for a growing proportion of all sales, figures not reflected in the annual statement of circulation which the magazine publishes. The internet, which Will F Jenkins (Murray Leinster) foresaw in "A Logic Named Joe" (March 1946 Astounding) may yet prove to be the salvation of the print magazines, but it is still too early to tell.

Campbell, Bova and Schmidt all edited a number of anthologies drawn from Astounding/Analog (see their entries for further details). Many other anthologies have drawn extensively on the magazine; several are listed under Astounding. A useful index is The Complete Index to Astounding/Analog (1981) by Mike Ashley.

The separate UK edition of Astounding/Analog, published by Atlas, continued to appear until August 1963. There was a short-lived Italian edition (> Italy), Analog Fantascienza published in Bologna which saw five issues, Summer 1994 to Summer 1995. [MJE/PN/DRL/MA]

Editors

  • John W Campbell Jr, December 1937 to December 1971 (continuing from Astounding)
  • Ben Bova, January 1972 to November 1978
  • Stanley Schmidt, December 1978 to August 2012 (retirement date; date of last edited issue to be confirmed)
  • Trevor Quachri, managing editor of both Analog and Asimov's, took over the Analog editorship from Schmidt

Awards for fiction

  • December 1960: Poul Anderson, "The Longest Voyage" – short story Hugo
  • December 1963-February 1964: Frank Herbert, "Dune World" – Hugo and Nebula for novel version Dunesfgateway.com (fixup 1965), also including "The Prophet of Dune" below
  • January-May 1965: Frank Herbert, "The Prophet of Dune" – see above
  • May 1966: Gordon R Dickson, "Call Him Lord" – novelette Nebula
  • October 1967: Anne McCaffrey, "Weyr Search" – novella Hugo
  • December 1967-January 1968: Anne McCaffrey, "Dragonrider" – novella Nebula
  • March 1971: Katherine MacLean, "The Missing Man" – novella Nebula
  • March 1972: Frederik Pohl, "The Gold at the Starbow's End" – novella Locus
  • June 1972: Joe Haldeman, "Hero", opening the irregular Analog serialization of The Forever War (June 1972-January 1975; fixup 1974) – Hugo and Nebula for novel version
  • October 1973: Vonda McIntyre, "Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand" – novelette Nebula
  • January 1974: Larry Niven, "The Hole Man" – short story Hugo
  • June 1974: George R R Martin, "A Song for Lya" – novella Hugo
  • January 1975: Larry Niven, "The Borderland of Sol" – novelette Hugo
  • May 1975: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle, "The Storms of Windhaven" – novella Locus
  • November 1975: Roger Zelazny, "Home is the Hangman" – novella Hugo and Nebula
  • July 1976: Joe Haldeman, "Tricentennial" – short story Hugo and Locus
  • November 1976: Spider Robinson, "By Any Other Name" – novella Hugo
  • March 1977: Spider and Jeanne Robinson, "Stardance" – novella Hugo, Nebula and Locus
  • June 1977: Raccoona Sheldon (James Tiptree Jr), "The Screwfly Solution" – novelette Nebula
  • June 1977: Joan D Vinge, "Eyes of Amber" – novelette Hugo
  • November 1978: Poul Anderson, "Hunter's Moon" – novelette Hugo
  • August 1979: Edward Bryant, "giANTS" – short story Nebula
  • April 1980: George R R Martin, "Nightflyers" – novella Locus
  • April 1980: Clifford D Simak, "Grotto of the Dancing Deer" – short story Hugo, Nebula and Locus
  • August 1980: Gordon R Dickson, "The Cloak and the Staff" – novelette Hugo
  • February 1981: Poul Anderson, "The Saturn Game" – novella Hugo and Nebula
  • 12 October 1981: George R R Martin, "Guardians" – novelette Locus
  • June 1982: by Spider Robinson, "Melancholy Elephants" – short story Hugo
  • June 1983: Greg Bear, "Blood Music" – novelette Hugo and Nebula
  • December 1983: Timothy Zahn, "Cascade Point" – novella Hugo
  • January 1984: by David Brin, "The Crystal Spheres" – short story Hugo
  • December 1987-February 1988: Lois McMaster Bujold, Falling Free (1988) – Nebula for novel version
  • May 1989: Lois McMaster Bujold, "The Mountains of Mourning" – novella Hugo and Nebula
  • July-October 1991: Lois McMaster Bujold, Barrayar (1991) – Hugo for novel version
  • September 1991: Isaac Asimov, "Gold" – novelette Hugo
  • January 1993: Charles Sheffield, "Georgia on my Mind" – novelette Hugo and Nebula
  • January 1993: Harry Turtledove, "Down in the Bottomlands" – novella Hugo
  • mid-December 1994-March 1995: Robert J Sawyer, "Hobson's Choice" – Hugo and Aurora (> Awards) for novel version as The Terminal Experiment (1995)
  • December 2000: Larry Niven, "The Missing Mass" – short story Locus
  • December 2000: Jack Williamson, "The Ultimate Earth" – novella Hugo and Nebula
  • January-April 2002: Robert J Sawyer, Hominids (2002) – Hugo for novel version
  • July/August 2002: Geoffrey A Landis, "Falling onto Mars" – short story Hugo
  • December 2002: Michael Swanwick, "Slow Life" – novelette Hugo
  • October 2003: Vernor Vinge, "The Cookie Monster" – novella Hugo and Locus
  • March-May 2004: Joe Haldeman, Camouflagesfgateway.com (2004) – Nebula for novel version
  • March 2008: Catherine Asaro, "The Spacetime Pool" – novella Nebula
  • September 2010: Eric James Stone, "That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made" – novelette Nebula

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