Cover to Cover: Analog, March 1973

Posted: February 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | 3 Comments »

Early on, I found myself addicted to science fiction, crime and other types of pulp genres in much the same way most people get hooked on their drug of choice — I was given free tastes in small, easy to swallow doses. In my case, I’ve been mainlining digests and anthologies since elementary school.

Spending time in my aunt’s bookstore meant hours of going through old copies of Analog and Asimov’s Science Fiction. After watching Psycho for the first time, I became hooked on Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and that eventually led to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (more imagination went into the stories than the name on the covers, I guess). My aunt, gruff but generous, always sent me home with at least a couple of digests to pore through, and they introduced me to more writers and concepts than I can begin to pin down.

Years later, I found myself in junior high and hating almost everything about it. The school was different (not its fault), the teachers sucked (totally their fault), and isolation was at an all-time high (totally my fault). But the library was like this little, ignored jewel in the middle of a crappy crap-pile, and I’d find the most amazing stuff there. I remember one book about a kid who gets lost in some snowy woods and sees a vision of Socrates, and decides he’ll never lie again; the rest of the novel is about the fallout of his choice. There was another book that told the story of a young girl going through her sexual awakening, and discovering that she is a lesbian in love with her friend (surprisingly for the time, the falling in love was the dramatic part, not the fact she was gay). Unfortunately, the titles of both of these books are long gone now.

Those books I found by accident — but I gravitated toward the anthologies like the USS Cygnus into a black hole. For some reason the school library had all my favorites in big, hardcover collections and I tore through them. If it would have been possible to OD on Hitchcock and sci-fi, I’d have been found twitching on the floor of that library.

So fast-forward to a few months ago, and my wife and I are in my hometown visiting my family for the holidays. At one point during the trip we were browsing through a little bookstore/gallery in near-by Mesilla when I noticed a small bookshelf full of digests; Analog, Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Fantastic Stories, and some I’d never even heard of like Worlds of If. I asked how much they were per copy and while the seller was coming up with a number my mom, in her usual generous and spontaneous way, made an offer for the whole batch, telling me, “It’s your Christmas present.” Mom has always encouraged my habit.

Which is how I came to have a large box of sci-fi paperback novels, best-of anthologies and digests in my closet, including this issue of Analog. One of the things I always enjoy about these digests is trying to figure out what the hell is going on in these images, but this issue has the added pleasure of sporting one of the most bizarre combinations of image and story title I’ve ever seen. ‘Cause, man, that guy is pissed at those kites, and he really wants to know what happened to his purse.

(And just for the record, I … er … might’ve joined one or two sci-fi book clubs, too.)

Analog: Science Fiction/Science Fact
Cover by John Schoenherr
March 1973 issue

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3 Comments on “Cover to Cover: Analog, March 1973”

  1. 1 Scott said at 6:38 pm on February 16th, 2012:

    I love those. I still prefer to read short story collections than most novels — especially short horror stories. I think I’ve got more short horror anthologies than any other kind of book… 🙂

  2. 2 Maxo Romero said at 8:41 pm on February 16th, 2012:

    I love short stories, both for the format and the craft it takes to do it well. I think it’s why I tend to really like collections of essays, too.

  3. 3 jonathan briggs said at 1:25 pm on February 19th, 2012:

    “Gruff”? She damn near chased me outta her store!!!!

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