An alphabetic index to the magazines in Visco
is not quite as straightforward as you might imagine.
- First, some magazines changed their titles
during their life, several times in some cases. "Astounding" and
"Analog" is a case in point.
- Next, some titles were used more than once,
sometimes by completely unrelated titles, and it isn't immediately clear from
the bare title which magazine you are talking about
- Then, some magazines are complicated by having
reprint editions as well as the original. There were several British and Canadian
reprint editions of Weird Tales, for example, and If had no less than five
British reprint editions under different publishers (though some sources list
- Then again, certain magazines are commonly
known by a name which isn't actually their real name - how often do you call
"Fantasy & Science Fiction" by its full name of "The Magazine
of Fantasy and Science Fiction"? Strictly, it should be filed under M,
not F, and some authorities do just that.
- Finally, and most confusingly, certain titles
merged into single titles, or split into more than one, or even did both at
different times in their lives. The merger of "Air Wonder Stories"
and "Science Wonder Stories" to form "Wonder Stories",
later changing to "Thrilling Wonder Stories", is almost the simplest
example. The contortions of the Ultimate family of reprint magazines in the
60s and 70s are almost too bewildering to follow.
Perhaps you are beginning to see the problem. What I have done in the following
index is this:
- I have assigned every separate series of issues a
distinct alphabetic code, which is the basis of the database that lies behind
this website. You will also see that the names of the image files include
- Changes of title don't affect the code - Astounding
has remained ASF throughout its life and through all its title changes, for
example. In the index, the title variations are listed and you will find a
reference from each back to the main title I have adopted to identify the
whole series. The abbreviation VT means "variant title", meaning
either that the magazine changed its title during its life or that some alternative
title is sometimes used, for example on the index page but not on the cover
- Where there has been some continuity of identity and/or numbering through
the life of a magazine, despite breaks in publication or changes of publisher,
I have tried to keep the same code. The most prominent examples are
New Worlds (NW) and Weird Tales (WT)
- Separate editions of the same title do get
separate codes, however, so the British reprint edition of Astounding gets
ASF1. So do quarterly reissues, anthologies, &c - thus, AMZ for Amazing
and AMZQ for Amazing Quarterly. These are spelt out separately in the index
- Where a title has been used more than once, each gets
a distinct code and a separate entry and I will give enough information about
the publisher and dates to identify clearly which is which
- Where titles merge or split, I have tried to identify
a main route through the sequence which has been more or less continuous throughout,
then give each of the other branches of the family a separate code. I can
often use the publisher's volume and serial numbers to give me a lead. Science
Wonder/Wonder Stories/Thrilling Wonder were numbered sequentially throughout,
for example, and they all get the code WON. Air Wonder Stories was numbered
separately and effectively disappeared after the merger, so it gets the distinct
So, although there are about 400 entries in the index, there are only 330-odd
I hope that's clear...
To Locate a Magazine
In summary, to locate a particular issue of a magazine, here's what you do:
- Click on the first letter of the magazine title in
the left hand navigation bar
- That will take you to the section of the index in
which your magazine is located; look up the full title in the index. There
may be more than one entry - look up "Science Fiction Monthly",
- If you are using a variant title, the index will tell
you and will redirect you to the main title in use for that magazine
- Click on the link in the title code column (or in
the notes, if it is a variant title); you will be taken to the introductory
page for the title which has a short description of the magazine
- The navigation bar will now point you to the thumbnail
index for that magazine. The exact form this takes depends on the length of
the magazine's run. If there were only a few issues, the thumbnails will be
included on the introduction page. For longer runs, there will be one or more
separate thumbnail pages and the navigation bar will show an index by date
or issue number.
- Click on the thumbnail for the issue you are interested in and you will
get a larger image.
For practical reasons of download time and storage space, and for other reasons
which I have explained elsewhere,
the images are limited in size to a height of 500 pixels. On most screens, this
should be good enough to read all the main text as well as enjoy the artwork.
They come from a variety of sources, of which the most prolific has been the
eBay auction site, though many have been scanned from my own collection.
A word of warning about the quality of the images. The originals from which
those you see here have been derived vary very widely in quality. Apart from
obvious factors such as size, lighting and so on, you can expect a wide range
of variation in colour and contrast depending on how they were made and subsequently
processed. Even when I have scanned the images myself from magazines in fine
condition, it is extraordinarily difficult to get the scan to look exactly like
the original magazine. For many of the images here, I have no idea of their
history. The original magazine may have been dirty or sun-faded, the scanner
or camera badly set-up or there may have been ham-fisted adjustments made later
to brighten the images up.
Wherever possible, I have looked for more than one image to get a comparison
and have sometimes made adjustments myself, using white or flesh-toned areas
of the image as benchmarks. Nevertheless, you need to remember that what you
see here may not be exactly the same as any individual copy of the magazine
you may see, still less like a new copy fresh off the news-stand in 1936.
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