The original aim of the Visco project was just a tiny bit ambitious.
It was no less than to collect and make available over the Internet a cover image of every science fiction, fantasy, weird and horror magazine ever published in the English language.
I wanted to create a wonderful visual resource for SF fans and researchers that would be an astonishment and delight to all who see saw it. I worked on Visco for three years between 2002 and 2005 before other concerns made it difficult to continue with its development and its final state fell well short of that ambition. Nevertheless, I felt it was still worth preserving and now, with the help of Phil Stephensen-Payne, it lives on. It still contains some content which, as far as I know, is not available in this form anywhere else on the Net. And it offers some 3,600 images, perhaps 35-40% of what it initially aimed for, with a strong emphasis on British Reprint Editions, some of them not documented elsewhere.
The question of what should be in the Visco database and what should be left out was one of the toughest and most contentious I had to tackle. I am not an academic and I did not want to invest time and energy in arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. What I did was rely on existing expertise - you can see here the main sources I used - and make my own mind up where it's a question of taste. I tended to include things rather than not when they are on the boundaries.
Basically, my definition of the magazines to be included in Visco covered:
The last is the hardest to justify but - well, they just don't interest me and, to me, they are not real SF.
If you want a better idea of exactly what my home-made and self-imposed rules embrace, look at the alphabetic magazine index. It shows 330 distinct titles comprising more than 9,000 issues.
Finally, I included
I am very sensitive of the ownership of the images reproduced here and well aware of how often and how casually copyright is abused on the Net. When I first began to plan Visco, I had no wish to commit any abuses of my own and I resolved that I would not publish any image for which I had not got explicit permission from the copyright owner. I then realised what an impractical and idealistic notion that was. Many of the artists are long since dead and many of the publishers have long since gone out of business. It would be impossible to trace the ownership of every image, at least with the resources I have. So my policy was this:
I was never sympathetic to complaints of "Hey, that's an image of my copy of the magazine!" The copyright belongs, as I understand it, to the artist or the publisher, depending on what kind of contract they signed, their heirs and successors. Having a copy of the magazine doesn't get you any special privileges. I asked permission before borrowing images directly from other people's web sites, even though it was clear to me that many of these had been borrowed from somewhere else in the first place.
This is version 2.11 of the database, issued 1st November 2005
|2.09A||3-03-2005||Unchanged||FSF text corrected and leading artist table revised|
|2.09||25-02-2005||330||94||9265||2566+92||BWT, CSS, DMM1, DMM2, FAYA, FAYB, HOR1, FST, PHA,SAS, SCO, SIN1, SMM1, STLB, STV, TER1, THS, WOU, WSI, WSM1, WSM2, YAN added; SWA moved; ASF1, FSF, INZ, NW2, SSS3, VEN1, WTK3 updated; charity appeal added|
|2.08||25-10-2004||325||72||9230||2459+92||AMZ4, ASS, PLN1, PLN2, SFQ1, SFQ2, STS1, STS2, WON1, WON2, WON3, WTC1, WTC2, WTK1 ,WTK2, WTK3 added|
|2.07||2-10-2004||324||56||9155||2335+92||DYN1 ,FAD1, FAD2, FAN1, FNV1, FNV2, MSS1, SFN1, SSS1, SSS2, SSS3, SWA
Structure of artist attribution index changed
|2.05||20-03-2004||324||43||9155||2232+90||ASF British Edition added. FSF updated. Minor maintenance changes|
|2.04B||1-08-2003||Unchanged||Reissued on new hosting service|
|2.04A||6-06-2003||Unchanged||Reissued to correct artist index|
|2.04||4-06-2003||324||42||9155||2006+90||GXY and WIF British editions added|
|2.03||22-04-2003||324||33||9155||1802+88||FSF complete. FSF3, IMG, IMT, AUT added|
|2.02||14-03-2003||324||29||9155||1308+79||First full release of version 2 - all 1.12 content restored plus further FSF to 1976|
|2.01||28-02-2003||324||6||9155||268+3||Moved to new site with extensive internal changes - trial version|
|1.12||31-01-2003||324||29||9155||1176+63||INZ complete. FSF to 1966|
|1.11||16-01-2003||324||29||9155||1040+46||AMZ1, AMZ2, AMZ3 added. More FSF and INZ|
|1.10||7-01-2003||324||26||9155||857+39||FSF, INZ added (first batch)|
|1.9||18-12-2002||324||24||9149||766+32||OUT, SNS added. Updates to FSS, FUT1, TOT, WOFA, WSP|
|1.8||13-12-2002||324||22||9149||643+32||FSF2, FSS, TOT, VEN1, WOFA, WSP added|
|1.7||6-12-2002||324||16||9149||533+32||AME and FSF1 added. Wants page added. Some updates to NEB1, NW and VST|
|1.6||9-11-2002||324||14||9149||480 + 32 backs||COV and NEB completed. FUT1, FUT2,SFN2, SFS1, TOW added.|
|1.5||3-11-2002||324||9||9149||421 + 30 back covers||NEB and NEB1 added|
|1.4||27-10-2002||324||7||9149||378||COV, NW1, NW2, VST added. NW, SFA and SFY updated. Minor corrections to the main index.|
|1.3||21-10-2002||332||3||9149||342||New Worlds complete but for five issues|
|1.2||15-10-2002||332||3||9149||203||First batch of New Worlds. Image sizes increased to 500 px|
|1.1||9-10-2002||332||2||9149||125||No new content - minor corrections to headings, text sizes and scrolling|
|1.0||2-10-2002||332||2||9149||125||First release - partial coverage of Nova titles. No publisher or artist data.|
If you have any queries about the content or origins of Visco itself, please contact while any technical questions or matters relating to the hosting of the site should be addressed to