When the title says "Original" that's not just being used like "Astounding" or "Startling," it means that this digest-size magazine, which ran from 1953 to 1960, was the direct successor to a pulp magazine that called itself Science Fiction Stories, before being combined for a while into Future.


Robert A.W. Lowndes, who also appeared under the cunning pseudonym of Robert W. Lowndes, is rather under-rated these days, but as an editor of science fiction magazines he certainly made a solid contribution to the field, publishing many stories by leading authors of the time, or even before they reached their full prominence. He was the editor of the pulps Science Fiction and Future, which later returned as digest-sized magazines, with Science Fiction Quarterly continuing in the pulp format, and often cited as the very last American pulp magazine. Dynamic Science Fiction was another pulp, while Famous Science Fiction, Startling Mystery Stories, World Wide Adventure, and Magazine of Horror came along later, and were low-budget, saddle-stitched digests, which nobody else could have produced, I’m sure.

This particular issue of The Original Science Fiction Stories cover-features “Sunrise on Mercury” by Calvin M. Knox, alias Robert Silverberg; “The problem was: why was the sun rising a week ahead of schedule?” G.C Edmondson, Thomas N. Scortia, Carol Emshwiller (with “illustration by Emsh” naturally), and Winston K. Marks are other names in that issue that long-time sf readers are probably familiar with, as well as A. Bertram Chandler of course, who provided the first novelet, "Zoological Specimen." "No one liked the idea of a space voyage with a corpse - and this was a most unusual corpse..." The other novelet was by Russ Winterbotham, "Extra Space Perception" - "If there is such a thing as "telepathy", perhaps it will operate more along these lines, than on the traditional ones..."

As well as "Calbob M. Silverknox," the other short stories here are "The Demancipator" by G. C. Edmundson, "Fulfillment" by Thomas N. Scortia, "The Innocents' Refuge" by Theodore L. Thomas, "The Janus City" by Irving Cox Jr, "Pleasure Orbit" by Winston K. Marks, and "Hunting Machine" by Carol Emshwiller. The editorial was entitled "Prophecy" - it ended with "Science fiction is, or should be, serious entertainment; when and where it is, the effect will be prophecy."

Robert A. Madle's "Inside Science Fiction" column ran for five pages, plus a few paragraphs at the back (ahead of "Index to Volume 7"), with fannish history and reminiscences, plus fanzine reviews. The letters column was unusually short - and why start "The Last Word" on page 62, rather than at the back? Probably because there was most of a page to fill there, after the last few lines of "Fulfillment." Only two letters were featured, but the first one, from Isaac Asimov, is worth quoting. "Dear Bob, I want you to know that Randy Garrett's illustration for my "How to Succeed At Science Fiction Without Really Trying" was terrific. I've gone over it half a dozen times and found something new each time. Furthermore, he catches my spirit in that caricature of me, my bow-tie, my double-chin, the fiendish glitter in my eyes, my grin, etc. Only one thing: I don't keep ten dollar bills lying around on my desk and under books. I bale them neatly and stow them in my study closet."

Last Edited By: Custer1 Dec 2 16 1:07 PM. Edited 1 time.