Galaxy Books/Publishing was once a bustling enterprise. The Galaxy Novel series, ran for 31 editions as digest-sized paperbacks. Then there were four more (#32–35) produced in the standard paperback-size of the day, aka 1958. A year later, Beacon Books continued the series with eleven more editions in paperback-size that extended the series through 1961.
And finally, in 1963, a short-lived series of three digest-sized book/magazines appeared. Dubbed a “Magabook” each edition included two compete novels. The first was The Sky is Falling and Badge of Infamy, both by Lester Del Rey, with cover artwork by Virgil Finlay.
See indexes at Internet Speculative Fiction Database and Galactic Central.
Both series of digest-sized novels are covered in depth by Steve Carper and Gary Lovisi in TDE4.
Tyrannosaur Faire by Steve Carper
Steve Carper has turned in a terrific article for The Digest Enthusiast about the Ellery Queen Selects series. It’s a fascinating read, loaded with background information about Frederic Dannay’s pet project with highlights about each edition. The article is in layout now—7600 words—and will run about 22 pages.
The past is Steve Carper’s future. He created the Flying Cars and Food Pill website to bring the past future of technological marvels back into life. A long-term collector of digests, other paperbacks, mystery and science fiction and about 10,000 other books, he’s writing a new history and bibliography of the seminal f&sf publisher Gnome Press. A collection of his own published science fiction, Tyrannosaur Faire, is available in paper and electronic format.
Steve’s part articles for The Digest Enthusiast include:
“The Dashiell Hammett Digests” (TDE3 Jan. 2016)
“The Galaxy Science Fiction Novels” (TDE4 June 2016)
Galaxy May 1952, cover by Jack Coggins titled “Mining an Asteroid.”
An ambitious editor and imaginative writer, H.L. Gold, who spearheaded the groundbreaking Galaxy digest, suffered from agoraphobia from his experiences in World War II, and confined himself to his apartment. There, over the phone and in meetings with visitors, he was able to gather a talented pool of writers for his magazine.
During its first decade Galaxy presented cutting edge work by authors such as Ray Bradbury (whose story “The Fireman” later expanded into Fahrenheit 451) and Damon Knight (whose “To Serve Man” was adapted into a memorable episode of The Twilight Zone).
C.M. Hornbluth, Alfred Bester, Brian Aldiss, Robert Sheckley, Curt Simak, Evelyn E. Smith,
Isaac Asimov, William Tenn and a host of other notables in the science fiction field were all featured in those early issues.
Excerpt from Larry Johnson’s “Galaxy Science Fiction: The H.L. Gold Years” from The Digest Enthusiast #1, reprinted as “Into the Galaxy” in Nostalgia Digest Autumn 2015.
Galaxy Jan. 1957
“Ed Emshwiller had the knack for applying a different style to practically every story he illustrated—from pen and ink work, to airbrush, to scratchboard technique, to pencil, to paint—and his depiction
of the characters and action in the stories was always accurate.
“In fact, his first commercial work appeared on the cover of Galaxy for the June 1951 issue. Many
covers ensued, including imaginative Christmas issues featuring an alien four-armed Santa Claus.”
“Galaxy Science Fiction: The H.L. Gold Years” by Larry Johnson
The Digest Enthusiast book one, January 2015
Larry Johnson’s article on Galaxy Science Fiction in the Nostalgia Digest Autumn 2015
Hardy congratulations to Larry Johnson! Picked up the Autumn 2015 issue of Nostalgia Digest which contains his fine article on H.L. Gold’s Galaxy Science Fiction, reprinted from The Digest Enthusiast Book One. Nostalgia Digest is on select newsstands now.
Matthew Wuertz reviews Galaxy Nov. 1952 at Black Gate.