Pulp Fiction: The Internet Archive's "If" sci-fi magazine run
February 25, 2016 10:02 AM   Subscribe

"If was an American science fiction magazine launched in March 1952 by Quinn Publications, owned by James L. Quinn. The magazine was moderately successful, though it was never regarded as one of the first rank of science fiction magazines. It achieved its greatest success under editor Frederik Pohl, winning the Hugo Award for best professional magazine three years running from 1966 to 1968." The Internet Archive hosts 176 issues of If, as part of its pulp magazine archive.

From the Science Fiction Encyclopedia:
Pohl also drew in new blood establishing a feature which became known simply as the "If first", developing new writers. The most famous If first is almost certainly Larry Niven who debuted with "The Coldest Place" (December 1964), but others include Joseph Green, Bruce McAllister and Alexei Panshin. Larry Niven would soon win a Hugo Award with "Neutron Star" (October 1966), and it was If that ran Harlan Ellison's famous, award-winning "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" (March 1967). Other stories of interest included Gene Wolfe's "Mountains Like Mice" (May 1966), Samuel R Delany's "Driftglass" (June 1967), and Jacqueline Lichtenberg's "Operation High Time" (January 1969), her first story and the first of the Sime/Gen series.
posted by MonkeyToes (12 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
OK, Internet Archive, you get all my money (that is available for donations) and I'm going to name you prominently in my will (whenever I write that).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:14 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

This makes me almost unbearably nostalgic. The early to mid-'60s were the peak years of my sf fandom, and although I was a true-blue F&SF fan (the way I'm a Mets fan now), I loved Galaxy and If almost as much and bought all three regularly, and I didn't resent If getting those Hugos. When Niven got famous I had that smug "I read him before he was cool" feeling. Pohl was a great editor, and I have a lot of these issues in a box in the basement. Thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 10:25 AM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

It was first rank, actually. Galaxy, If, and F&SF were the standards.
posted by Peach at 10:29 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Diggity, I poked into one at random and dang if that wasn't a heavy one at random; Asimof, Delany and Ellison's "I Have No Mouth".
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:51 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

My memories of those magazines from the early 60's to around 1971 were: any of them could've published any of the others' stories, but you could always find one funny story in F&SF, one science-fictiony-profound story in Galaxy, and one extremely literate story in IF. I think that the name "IF" carried some unneeded 50's bug-eyed exploitation weight. Misleading.
posted by Chitownfats at 2:13 PM on February 25, 2016

I am happier knowing this.
posted by cleroy at 5:51 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

My hands are all sweaty and my heart is beating fast...just like they used to when I'd get a new issue. Now, though, the ink won't smear and stain my hands. I can almost, but not quite, smell the paper.

Look at those names!
posted by merelyglib at 10:22 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

I guess I need to run out and buy a printer now, or something.
posted by Mezentian at 12:39 AM on February 26, 2016

So cool!
posted by Kevin Street at 3:26 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh joy! Laumer! Lafferty! In one issue...
posted by arzakh at 3:38 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh! Which issue?

True story, I was so engrossed in the one Lafferty story I have ever read I missed by train stop for the first time in my life. I desire to read more.
posted by Mezentian at 5:13 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

This was a random find on my part (came across it while trying to answer this lost story question). I had a quick look around for a master list of contributors/titles, but no dice. If you know of one, please share--sounds like it might be useful to readers looking for specific authors.

And the pulp magazine archive? Ooooh.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:26 AM on February 26, 2016

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