Reference Sources - Web Sites

Above all, the reference I have relied on in compiling the magazine index and issue lists is

The Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazine Index, 1890-2001, by Stephen Miller and William G Contento (SFFWF)

You can find the main index here. It covers more than 900 titles and 13,000 issues, so it is a good deal more extensive than my own index. The main reason is that it indexes many fanzines and other publications I have ruled out of the scope of this database. Only the checklists of titles and issues are on-line, however. If you want to see the contents of each issue indexed, you will have to buy the CD from Locus. Go here for the Locus web-site, which will point you at other publications and on-line resources of interest. Locus maintain a running update for the current year of the SFFWF index and they update the CD each year. I have the CD, and it has proved absolutely invaluable.

Contento has another site here which has some very useful links to more Locus indexes and other reference sites.

Another extremely useful and accessible on-line index is:

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database, founded and edited by Al von Ruff. (ISFDB)

It indexes only 95 titles (as of September 2004). However, it includes the most important ones and the significant advantage over SFFWF is that the contents of each magazine are indexed on-line and available free. I would still use SFFWF as my final authority, but ISFDB is extremely useful in a more limited scope. Moreover, it has a search engine and provides many interesting statistics.

The third on-line site I have depended heavily on is:

Galactic Central, by Phil-Stephensen-Payne (GC) (This, too, has moved recently, so check your bookmarks.)

This extraordinary site catalogues 4,000 magazines of every genre. In PS-P's own words, "This... attempts to document all known fiction magazines, in varying degrees of detail." Of course, many of these are far outside the field of SF, fantasy and weird fiction. A particular strength of GC is its extensive catalogue of bibliographic sources and indices. It also contains representative images of many of the magazines, though it does not attempt to be comprehensive, and I have included it below under "galleries" as well. Though it gives no issue or contents lists, it does give a brief summary of the publication history and issue frequencies of each title.

Reference Sources - books

The most important book I have drawn on for this site is:

the Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, by Donald H Tuck (Tuck), in particular Volume 3 of the three-volume set, published by Advent, 1982.

Before the Internet age and to some extent even now, Tuck was one of the defining authorities in the history of the genre. The first 78 pages of Volume 3 contain a comprehensive, issue-by-issue checklist of the magazines known up to 1968. It does not attempt to index the contents of the magazines, though it does highlight some of the more notable stories, and of course it is no help after 1968. Most of its scope is now covered by the on-line sources mentioned above, but not all. It identifies many magazines in languages other than English, for example, and it describes and lists many UK, Canadian and Australian reprint editions not covered, as far as I know, anywhere else. It also has extensive sections on paperback titles, series and publishers, authors and pseudonyms. And that's just Volume 3...

A much more modern reference work, probably the best printed source currently available, is:

The Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction, John Clute and Peter Nicholls, St Martin's Griffin 1993, revised 1995 (CN95). I believe there may have been a further update in 1999, but I have the 1995 edition. This is a vast work, nearly 1400 pages covering the whole field of science fiction. It doesn't attempt to give a complete catalogue of magazines or index any issues, but I have used it primarily for background and biographical information on magazines, publishers and artists

There is a comparable work called:

The Encyclopaedia of Fantasy, by John Clute and John Grant, Orbit 1997, revised 1999 (CG99). A similarly huge volume and I had assumed, as it is nearly identical in format, that it was a sister work of CN95, but on checking the publication information, it seems not. I have used this much less than CN95 as it has much thinner coverage on magazines, though it has helped me track down a couple of titles that are not referenced elsewhere.

Recently, I acquired a copy of Graham Stone's Index to British Science Fiction Magazines 1934-1953, Australian Science Fiction Association (IBSFM). This is an invaluable resource for early British magazines, especially the reprint editions, which are not always fully covered in modern sources. It is particuarly useful for identifying those frustrating issues that carry neither number nor date, as it has a full story index both by issue and by author. It has been out of print for many years, but second-hand copies still regularly turn up.

There are many illustrated books about - SF art is a field that lends itself to lightweight, coffee-table specials, and there are plenty of those. Here are three that I have found useful as well as attractive.

Science Fiction Art - The Fantasies of SF, by Brian Aldiss, New English Library 1975 (Aldiss). Probably long out of print but you might come across a secondhand copy. Reproduces many magazine covers and interior illustrations, some of them as much as twice the size of the originals, giving you the opportunity to see them in much finer detail than ordinarily

Infinite Worlds - The Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art, Vincent di Fate, Wonderland Press 1997 (di Fate). This is a huge and beautifully produced book and di Fate is, of course, a Hugo-award winner and one of the world's foremost SF artists. Magazine art is just part of the vast territory covered here and di Fate's professional insight into the styles and methods of his fellow artists is as fascinating as the historical and biographical background.

Science Fiction - The Illustrated Encyclopedia, by John Clute, Dorling Kindersley 1995 (SFIE). This is as it says, an encyclopaedia (I'll have to agree to differ about the spelling) of the whole field of Science Fiction, though a very comprehensively illustrated one. It has a chapter specifically on magazines and illustrations drawn from magazines scattered elsewhere through the book. It won the 1996 Hugo Award for best non-fiction book.

Finally, I should mention the work of Michael Ashley. I believe he has published some very detailed and scholarly work but most of it is out of print and hard to get hold of and I have not had access to it. However, I do have his paperback "History of the Science Fiction Magazine" in three parts. These combine an outline history of the genre with an anthology of stories from the period and some useful, if brief, reference sections. I have long since found much more detailed sources but these books kindled my interest in the subject and I have a special fondness for them.

Image Galleries

There are already a number of web sites that offer very extensive galleries of magazine cover images, most much larger than this and some larger than this is ever likely to be.

I have already mentioned Galactic Central, Phil Stephensen-Payne's extraordinary catalogue of magazines of every description. It contains several thousand images, and quite a few are of SF, F &WF interest.

Much the largest gallery I have found is The Pulp Gallery. This is a compilation of images from a fan and collector, drawn mostly from magazines traded on eBay. The last time I looked, it had nearly 8,000 images covering a wide range of genres, including crime, Western, adventure, pin-up and sports pulps as well as SF and Fantasy. It is a remarkable resource. Its main disadvantages are that it is hosted on what appears to be a very slow and heavily-loaded ISP and that the images are organised in an approximately alphabetic sequence that can make it tedious to find what you want.

There a a number of galleries dedicated to specific artists on the Net. One of the most important is Frank Wu's official Frank R Paul Gallery. Paul was, of course, one of the giants of pre-war SF illustration and one of the most important SF artists of any age. In my own, admittedly incomplete, database of cover artists, he comes third after Ed Emshwiller and Kelly Freas in numbers of front covers painted and, when you add in the numerous back covers he did as well, he overtakes Freas and comes nearly level with Emsh. His influence has been as least as great as the sheer numbers suggest. Frank Wu is himself an SF Artist and his web site, apart from presenting an enormous and well-organised gallery of Paul's work, is rich in artistic insight into the nature of Paul's work.

Magazine-specific Links

First, you should know about sfsite. This is a gateway to many magazines still in publication, including Asimov's, Analog, Interzone and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It also provides a wide range of other interesting SF-related links.

Of all magazines to have a dedicated web site, most unexpected is Nebula, the British - or more precisely, Scottish - magazine published in the 50s. Find it here. There is a complete gallery of front cover images.

Finally, you may find further links on the magazines page of the Ultimate Science Fiction Web Guide. Many of the links here are broken or out of date but, every now and again, I come across some buried treasure.

Foreign Sources

I have tried hard to avoid getting drawn into non-English language magazines as that would further complicate an already enormous task. However, I have come across several extremely interesting foreign sites and I am happy to add links to more. First there are three French sites:

Revues SF, by Eric Bretenoux, is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in French SF. It has a very comprehensive image gallery, including a complete run of the distinguished magazine Fiction, which started as a French reprint edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, likewise complete runs of the two reprint editions of Galaxy as well as the most important native French magazines. It is entirely and unapologetically in French but you don't need to speak much of the language to find your way around a web-site.

Pages Francaises de Science-Fiction has a magazines section which shows some covers of current and recent French magazines. You really do need to look at this site - the quality of some of the artwork being done in France right now is stunning.

Collectors Showcase, despite its name, is again almost entirely in French but still fairly easy to find your way around. Recognising that Revues SF has already covered the ground fairly comprehensively, it only has a modest selection of French magazines but a very large one of American magazines, including a lot of pre-war pulps. In many cases, the images are better than you will find in the US sites I have already mentioned. The owner of this site is Jacques Hamon.

There are two Italian sites I have come across that are of interest. First, there is Fabio Femino's page at He has some galleries of covers and other work by Frank R Paul and by Chesley Bonestell, the latter with the official sanction, apparently, of the Bonestell estate. Mostly in Italian, but occasional snatches of English help you find your way around.

Then there is Catalogo Fantasy, SF e Horror, also hosted on This appears to be - my Italian is near non-existent, so I am pretty much in the dark here - a complete catalogue of SF &c published in Italian, whether original or translated. It includes books as well as magazines. When I follow the links through on magazines whose titles I recognise (there were Italian editions of Analog, Asimov's, Galaxy and F&SF, at least), I get tiny images of the covers, not much bigger than thumbnail size. From what I can tell from these small images, a lot of the covers carried original Italian artwork.

I haven't attempted to push my researches into non-English SF any further than that but I know that there are substantial bodies of SF in Spanish, German and Swedish, to mention only a few, and I would be very happy to include here links to magazine art sources in these and other languages.