Some notable SF/F from 1942
February 10, 2018 6:48 AM   Subscribe

At Worldcon 76 in San Jose this August, the 1943 Retro Hugo Awards will be presented for works of SF/F from 1942. An announcement video has suggestions. The Hugo Award Book Club has discussed options for novel and graphic story. FANAC has prepared material helpful for judging fan categories (including work by a key figure on whom #MeToo helped shine more light). Many works of fiction eligible for the award are available online.

Most of these texts are shown in the announcement video or have been discussed as possibilities in the F&SF forum or were previously selected as great SF stories of 1942 or have a record of anthologization at ISFDB. Their categorization by length derives from ISFDB also.


Hannes Bok, "The Sorceror's Ship." Unknown Worlds, December 1942.
L. Sprague de Camp, "Solomon's Stone." Unknown Worlds, June 1942.
Robert A. Heinlein, Beyond This Horizon. Astounding, April-May 1942 [first three chapters at Baen; synopsis plus part two in Astounding].
C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters. The Guardian, May-November 1941 [noted as a Retro Hugo candidate in the promotional video, but with 1941 as its first year of eligibility and a first US publication apparently dated 1943, a link to the extended eligibility rules may be relevant].
Vita Sackville-West, Grand Canyon [excerpt]. Doubleday, Doran 1942.
Curt Siodmak, Donovan's Brain. Black Mask, September-November 1942 [link goes to reprint in Fantastic Mysteries; the radio adaptation starring Orson Welles is also available].
E.E. "Doc" Smith, Second Stage Lensmen. Astounding, November-December 1941 and January-February 1942.
Olaf Stapledon, Darkness and the Light. Methuen 1942.


Alfred Bester, "Hell is Forever." Unknown Worlds, August 1942.
Alfred Bester, "The Push of a Finger." Astounding, May 1942.
Otto Binder [as Eando Binder, but really only O. Binder], "Via Jupiter." Thrilling Wonder Stories, February 1942.
Anthony Boucher, "The Barrier." Astounding, September 1942.
Anthony Boucher, "The Compleat Werewolf." Unknown Worlds, April 1942 [link goes to 1948 reprint].
Edgar Rice Burroughs, "The Return to Pellucidar." Amazing, February 1942.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, "Men of the Bronze Age." Amazing, March 1942.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, "Tiger Girl." Amazing, April 1942.
Lester Del Rey, "Nerves." Astounding, September 1942.
Robert A. Heinlein [as John Riverside], "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag." Unknown Worlds, October 1942.
Robert A. Heinlein [as Anson MacDonald], "Waldo." Astounding, August 1942.
Henry Kuttner, "Secret of the Earth Star." Amazing, August 1942.
A.E. Van Vogt, "Asylum." Astounding, May 1942.
A.E. Van Vogt, "Recruiting Station." Astounding, March 1942.
A.E. Van Vogt, "Secret Unattainable." Astounding, July 1942.


Isaac Asimov, "Black Friar of the Flame." Planet Stories, Spring 1942.
Isaac Asimov, "Bridle and Saddle." Astounding, June 1942.
Isaac Asimov, "Foundation." Astounding, May 1942.
Isaac Asimov, "Runaround." Astounding, March 1942.
Alfred Bester, "Life for Sale." Amazing, January 1942.
Robert Bloch, "Hell on Earth." Weird Tales, March 1942.
James Blish [as Arthur Merlyn], "Sunken Universe." Super Science Stories, May 1942.
Leigh Brackett, "Child of the Sun." Planet Stories, Spring 1942.
Leigh Brackett, "Cube from Space." Super Science Stories, August 1942.
Leigh Brackett, "The Sorcerer of Rhiannon." Astounding, February 1942.
Fredric Brown, "The Star Mouse." Planet Stories, Spring 1942.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, "Beyond the Farthest Star." Blue Book Magazine, January 1942.
Hal Clement, "Impediment." Astounding, August 1942.
Lester Del Rey, "Lunar Landing." Astounding, October 1942.
Lester Del Rey, "My Name is Legion." Astounding, June 1942.
Edmond Hamilton, "The World with a Thousand Moons." Amazing, December 1942.
Robert A. Heinlein [as Anson MacDonald], "Goldfish Bowl." Astounding, March 1942.
Henry Kuttner, "Compliments of the Author." Unknown Worlds, October 1942.
Henry Kuttner, "We Guard the Black Planet!" Super Science Stories, November 1942.
Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore [as Lewis Padgett], "Piggy Bank." Astounding, December 1942.
C.L. Moore, "There Shall Be Darkness." Astounding, February 1942.
Jane Rice, "The Elixir." Unknown Worlds, December 1942.
Eric Frank Russell, "Mechanistria." Astounding, January 1942.
Clifford Simak, "Tools." Astounding, July 1942.
George O. Smith, "QRM - Interplanetary." Astounding, October 1942.
Theodore Sturgeon and James H. Beard, "The Hag Séleen." Unknown Worlds, December 1942.
Theodore Sturgeon, "Medusa." Astounding, February 1942.
A.E. Van Vogt, "Co-Operate - Or Else!" Astounding, April 1942.
A.E. Van Vogt, "The Ghost." Unknown Worlds, August 1942.
A.E. Van Vogt, "The Second Solution." Astounding, October 1942.
A.E. Van Vogt, "The Weapon Shop." Astounding, December 1942.
A.E. Van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull [as E.M. Hull], "The Flight that Failed." Astounding, December 1942.
Jack Williamson, "Breakdown." Astounding, January 1942.
Jack Williamson [as Will Stewart], "Collision Orbit." Astounding, July 1942.

Short Stories

Isaac Asimov, "Christmas on Ganymede." Startling Stories, January 1942.
Isaac Asimov, "Robot AL 76 Goes Astray." Amazing, February 1942.
Isaac Asimov, "The Imaginary." Super Science Stories, November 1942.
Isaac Asimov, "Victory Unintentional." Super Science Stories, August 1942.
Robert Bloch, "Black Bargain." Weird Tales, May 1942.
Robert Bloch, "The Little Man Who Wasn't All There." Fantastic Adventures, August 1942.
Hannes Bok, "Letter to an Invisible Woman." Unknown Worlds, October 1942.
Jorge Luis Borges, "Funes the Memorious." La Nación 7 June 1942.
Anthony Boucher, "The Ghost of Me." Unknown Worlds, June 1942.
Leigh Brackett, "Out of the Sea." Astonishing, June 1942.
Leigh Brackett, "Outpost on Io." Planet Stories, Winter 1942.
Ray Bradbury, "The Candle." Weird Tales, November 1942.
Fredric Brown, "Etaoin Shrdlu." Unknown Worlds, February 1942.
Fredric Brown, "Starvation." Astounding, September 1942.
Fredric Brown, "The New One." Unknown Worlds, October 1942.
Hal Clement, "Proof." Astounding, June 1942.
Lester Del Rey, "The Wings of Night." Astounding, March 1942.
August Derleth, "Here, Daemos!" Weird Tales, March 1942.
Raymond Z. Gallun, "The Eternal Wall." Amazing, November 1942.
Robert A. Heinlein [as Lyle Monroe], "Pied Piper." Astonishing, March 1942.
C.M. Kornbluth [as Kenneth Falconer], "Masquerade." Stirring Science Stories, March 1942.
Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore [as Lewis Padgett], "Deadlock." Astounding, August 1942.
Henry Kuttner, "Masquerade." Weird Tales, May 1942.
Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore [as Lewis Padgett], "The Twonky." Astounding, September 1942.
Fritz Leiber, "The Hound." Weird Tales, November 1942.
Fritz Leiber, "The Phantom Slayer." Weird Tales, January 1942.
Murray Leinster, "The Wabbler." Astounding, October 1942.
Frederik Pohl [as James McCreigh], "Daughters of Eternity." Astonishing Stories, March 1942.
Jane Rice, "The Idol of the Flies." Unknown Worlds, June 1942.
Theodore Sturgeon, "The Jumper." Unknown Worlds, August 1942.
Donald A. Wollheim [as Martin Pearson], "Mimic." Astonishing, December 1942 [link goes to 1950 reprint in Fantastic Novels].
Donald A. Wollheim [as Martin Pearson], "The Planet Called Aquella." Super Science Stories, November 1942.
posted by Wobbuffet (14 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
the golden age! P
posted by kliuless at 7:17 AM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Fantastic! Reminds me of the Victorian Hugos series.
posted by q*ben at 9:13 AM on February 10, 2018

Yay! Someone finally linked to The Classic Horror Film Board!
/clicks link

Despite the Acker-Monster (oh how that takes on a new meaning), we really are a bunch of very nice classic horror nerds, and usually on our best behavior. A small crew of us have been together since it was on AOL, lo, these many years ago. If you love classic horror, mystery and other things that go bump in the night, I do hope you'll stop by; the place is a veritable treasure trove of knowledge and sharing.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 10:14 AM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Curious how we mentally class authors by different decades. Boggles my mind that Heinlen and Asimov cross over in time with CS Lewis and Vita Sackville-West. It's not like the Screwtape Letters is a particularly unknown late work but there it is, still surprising me.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 11:34 AM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seeing Edgar Rice Burroughs on this list trips me out the same way. I (rightly) associate him with the 1920s, and his earliest famous works came out over 100 years ago, but he was writing near his death in 1950.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:08 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Been decades since I read The Compleat Werewolf, and I remember being irritated by the relentlessness of gender stereotyping even then, but I still had warm feelings about it.

Yet now, misogyny seems to be almost the whole point of the story and I couldn't finish it -- and Boucher was probably my favorite editor of them all!
posted by jamjam at 1:16 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I really thought 'Nerves' was more recent than that.
posted by ovvl at 1:32 PM on February 10, 2018

This is an incredible post! Thank you for writing it, Wobbuffet!

So many wonderful things to read...
posted by Kevin Street at 1:35 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I recall reading the EE Doc Smith Lensman books when I was 11/12 in the early 80's and my imagination conjured up a fancier/flashier more violent Star Wars. It was only recently I realised it was written in the early 40's and on reflection was more akin to Flash Gordon or Dan Dare.
posted by phigmov at 3:51 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've just noticed Gutenberg Canada has the full text of Vita Sackville-West's Grand Canyon. I think it's not available online, but Dorothy Macardle's The Uninvited is another interesting candidate.
posted by Wobbuffet at 4:18 PM on February 10, 2018

Thanks for that #metoo link. I had no idea...
posted by Catblack at 7:31 PM on February 10, 2018

The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag was the first Heinlein I've ever read, part of my personal golden age, one of the few times Heinlein did horror.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:13 AM on February 11, 2018

Nicholas Whyte has worked up a list of suggestions for Best Series.
posted by Wobbuffet at 2:13 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Most of the Screwtape Letters audiobook read by John Cleese (!) is available on YouTube.
posted by wittgenstein at 5:40 PM on February 11, 2018

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