Sci-Fi Sundays: Analog Science Fiction, February 1970


Originally published at:


My father’s core job was to pick up Analog from the station newspaper stall. Well, that was how I saw it as a 12 year old.


Damn, this art is rad.


I utterly adored Poul Anderson stories in my teens and 20s. Still have a few of his books, autographed! I’m pretty sure I read “Birthright,” but can’t say I remember it.

I think that renaissance-looking fellow is Van Rijn, Anderson’s merchant character.


Yay Kelly Freas!

I have that issue, probably in a box in the basement.


I love the final advert, “including, if you wish…” such a gentle call for a sale.


I actually have that issue (and a decade or so both directions) – thanks for inspiring me to look it up.

A year or two after that was in print I discovered that the University of Arizona library had a complete collection of Astounding (later Analog) going back to the late 30s, including the entire from the first John Campbell issue to when my own collection picked up with the last few bedsheets. I wasted (?)


So do I – but others, alas, are missing while yet more are dupes.

Would you consider trades?


Early forties here, and I too was lucky enough to inherit an Analog collection - about a metre of shelf’s worth from mid 60s to the 80s.

Pretty sure I’ve read most of it, since I consider the SF short story to be the highest form of fiction.

As for scanning illustrations, I’m a bit torn over whether they should be tweaked with the histogram tool to remove the page colouration… I’m leaning towards yes.


so are these images being archived somewhere, like a flickr account or Instagram…something i can follow?


I really appreciate the effort to include the B&W interior art. For some reason, collections and retrospectives tend to exclude a lot of the interior work.

I grew up on this stuff, and still pore over some of these same issues (or similar). I have boxes and boxes awaiting their turn on the shelves in the library. Being an illustrator myself, I really favor the … storied nature of these illustrations.

(And Frank Kelly Freas rules.)


No duplicates, I’m afraid.


Yes, although as I recall, he’s not the main character. He’s checking post-facto to see if the solution to the problem was a thumb-fingered accident or inspired crisis-management when hell comes for tea. Hokay, he likes!


It might be a fun exercise to take a random Kelly Freas illustration like this bizarre cover and try to come up with a story for it. I never had an Analog subscription but I was a member of the Science Fiction Book Club for a good long while, through which I discovered a lot of stuff I never would have heard of otherwise.


In 1970 they probably didn’t “scan in” illustrations; rather they would have photographed them with a process camera and a screen mask, and then stripped the halftone into the negative (also made with the process camera) into the composite negative from which the offset plate was burned.


The Analog site has a page of vintage illustrations. Spot the sandworm …


In the early to mid 1980’s I was in a second-hand bookshop in north London and saw a pile of these. Never heard of them before despite being an avid SF reader. About a hundred of them sitting there staring at me. I negotiated to take them all (I seem to recall he wanted £1 each and I got him down to 50p to take the lot off his hands, but memory invents a lot of shit sometimes - maybe I imagined those prices).

Anyway, I’ve still got them and a while later I started subscribing. Started 1986 and only ended a year or two ago when I realised I could not keep up and would be lucky to read all the unread back issues before I shuffle off…

The job lot included copies from 1962 through to 1979. I have all of 1970 except the one described here - February - and March is also missing.
I have to say the editing has got a lot worse in recent years. I’m one of those readers who absolutely hates to be jolted out of my imaginary world by typos and grammar errors that jump off the page and shout rudely at me. (The past participle of dive is dived. Dove is a bird. Yeah - I’m British.) :wink:

But those first hundred or so… one of the best impulse buys I ever made.

(PS Hint. IMHO BoingBoing blog page works best when there is a teaser and a link to the full post. Scrolling forever past umpteen metres of screen to get to the next post is not a good user experience. Several of the newer contributors seem not to get this.)


I love the final advertisement. So much text! I was always intrigued by the pulp covers but read very few of them. Now whenever I find one in an old bookstore I grab it so I can finally read it.


I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Freas a handful of times. From my admittedly limited experience and what others have said and written he was a fine man.

I took a photo at one WorldCon of Kelly and my longtime fannish friend Samanda Jeude talking. When they realized this, they both politely asked for copies. Somehow, both 4X6 prints went missing in the mail! I wound up sending them 8X10 prints to compensate, and got thank-you letters from both. :slight_smile:


OMG, it’s like you crawled inside my 10 year old brain. My dad also had a huge wall of science fiction (and was a dedicated Analog subscriber) that I likewise found impenetrable, at least until I was a little older. Has anyone every tried to do a The Foundation Trilogy, Illustrated For Kids? Like a science fiction series version of Classics Illustrated.