The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

A Farewell To Analog

Posted on | August 29, 2019 | 1 Comment

— by Wombat-socho

I grew up with Astounding/Analog SF, which for many years was the science fiction magazine, and am old enough to remember the end of John W. Campbell’s tenure as editor there. ASF and Campbell (and to a lesser extent, his successor Ben Bova) shaped my tastes in SF, as they did for so many other readers, and Campbell’s imprint on the genre as a whole is undeniable.

For the magazine he rescued from obscurity and built into the best SF magazine of the Golden Age to take a public shit on his memory like this is cowardly and vile. It is, perhaps, understandable in the wake of this year’s winner’s ignorant yawp about what a horrible person Campbell was by [CURRENT YEAR] standards, and the wretched soyboy Trevor Quachri’s desire to please people who cannot be pleased, but that makes it no less cowardly and vile. No, John W. Campbell Jr. probably wouldn’t be welcome in SFWA or at Worldcon these days, but I doubt Mary Kowal would have been welcome in the field back in the 1930s and 40s either, not least because her writing is terrible and not worth a penny a word on publication.

I have not had a subscription to Analog since the 1980s, shortly after Stanley Schmidt replaced Bova, and I needed the money more for other things (like a family). I wasn’t impressed by the few issues I saw, and I gather from the declining publication frequency and subscription numbers that I’m not the only one. There are still some good authors being published there, but most of the fiction is the kind of depressing crap I turned to SF to get away from. After this, I’m not touching anything having to do with Analog. The magazine and its current editor can die in a fire as far as I’m concerned.

On a happier note, Hans Schantz informs me that a number of conservative and libertarian authors have books for sale this weekend for 99 cents in honor of Dragon*Con. Your irascible neighborhood wombat says check it out!

As for me, I’ve been rereading some of the older Monster Hunter International novels: Monster Hunter Vendetta, wherein Owen Pitt is targeted for kidnapping and sacrifice by a bunch of necromancers working for the Old Ones, and Julie’s childhood playmate Mr. Trash Bags saves the day, and Monster Hunter Alpha, where Earl Harbinger goes to meet an ancient enemy in Copper Lake, Wisconsin, only to find himself having to team up with said enemy to prevent an outbreak of werewolves – and worse – from taking the little mining town as a springboard to apocalypse. Not going to lie, I enjoyed these a lot more the second time around, because some of the characters in them play much bigger roles in subsequent MHI books. Also reread Sharpe’s Rifles, Sharpe’s Eagle, and Sharpe’s Company by Bernard Cornwell, which are great adventure stories set in the Peninsular Campaign against Napoleon’s armies, and chock-full of historical goodness as well. Pity they didn’t stick with the Sean Bean-inspired covers.


One Response to “A Farewell To Analog”

  1. DragonCon Book Sale | 357 Magnum
    August 30th, 2019 @ 4:11 pm

    […] tip to Wombat-socho at The Other McCain who […]