Magazine Reviews and Features

Explorations & Readings in Old SF Magazines

Click links below to read articles and reviews from and about old SF magazines from my small personal collection 

Individual Old Magazines

  ​ >  Amazing Stories - June 1926
   >  Astounding Stories - December 1933 & January 1934  -  Thought-variant stories
   >  Astounding Science Fiction - October 1943
   >  Thrilling Wonder Stories - December 1946
  ​ >  Planet Stories - January 1951


Complete Year Explorations  - Single Story Per Issue 

   >  Astounding Stories - 1936
 ​  >  Analog Science Fiction Science Fact - 1973
 ​  >  Analog Science Fiction Science Fact - 1976
   >  Analog Science Fiction Science Fact - 1979
  ​ >  Analog Science Fiction Science Fact - 1983
 ​  >  Analog Science Fiction & Fact - 2014  -  for comparison with older years
 

Complete Year Explorations - Multiple Stories Per Issue 

 ​  >  Astounding Science Fiction - 1958
   >  Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - 1971
   >  Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction - 1986

Magazine Resources from ISFDB

Astounding Stories - Issue Grid 1930-1937 
Astounding/Analog Science Fiction  Issue Grid 1937-19​71
Analog Science Fiction & Fact - Issue Grid 1972-current
Asimov's Science Fiction - Issue Grid 1977-current
Amazing Stories -  Issue Grid 1926-2019
Galaxy Science Fiction- Issue Grid 1950-1979
If / Worlds of If - Issue Grid 1952-1974
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction - Issue Grid 1949-2020
Planet Stories - Issue Grid 1939-1955

Reviews of New SFF Magazines Upon Publication

I read and review some new SFF magazines as they are published - and I currently review for Tangent Online
Full reviews on that site will be linked to here, along with short summaries of my thoughts on the stories I particularly liked in the magazines I read. 

Strange Horizons - May 13, 2024
My Tangent review can be found here. One story, about grief, which was okay.

Flash Fiction Online #128 - May 2024
My Tangent review can be found hereThree new genre stories, none especially recommended.

Strange Horizons - May 6, 2024
My Tangent review can be found here. One story, which I really didn't care for.

Reactor - Apr 2024
My Tangent review can be found here.
The novelette 
Blackjack by Veronica Schanoes is the best story here, while a new Judge Dee story from Lavie Tidhar will also appeal to many.

Reactor (formerly Tor.com) - Feb 2024
My Tangent review can be found here.
The novelette Nine Billion Turing Tests by Chris Willrich was pretty good.

Lightspeed #164 - Jan 2024
My Tangent review can be found here.
A pretty good issue, with my favourite story being Shadow Films by Ben Peek.

Eric Flint's 1632 & Beyond, Issue 3 - Jan/Feb 2024
My Tangent review can be found here.
This would mostly be of interest to fans of Flint's Ring of Fire books, as the stories would lack something without that context.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact - Nov/Dec 2023
My Tangent review can be found here.
There were some good stories here, especially the novella Flying CARPET by the late Rajnar Vajra and the short stories Wasted Potential by David Lee Zweifler The Disease Collector by Tom Jolly (excellent - do seek it out), The Far Dark by Gregory Benford, An Infestation of Blue by Wendy N. Wagner and Family Business by Andrew Dana Hudson & Corey J. White.


Aurealis #165 - Oct 2023
My Tangent review can be found here. I wasn't very impressed with the three new stories.

Tor.com - Sep 2023
My Tangent review can be found here.
One tale stood out as being especially good:  The Tale of Clancy the Scrivener by Ramsey Shehadeh

Fantasy #94 - Aug 2023
My Tangent review can be found here . No stories in this issue particularly appealed.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact - Jul/Aug 2023
My Tangent review can be found here.

Quite a mixed bag, and not the best issue, perhaps. I liked The World in a Ramen Cup by Jayde Holmes, Gin and Rummy by Eneasz Brodski and Skin Job by Gregor Hartmann as being the best stories.

Tor.com - Jun 2023
My Tangent review can be found here.

Three stories - and all worth reading - which is an unusual but very welcome occurrence. These are The Star-Bear by Michael Swanwick, After the Animal Flesh Beings by Brian Evenson and Ceffo by Jonathan Carroll.


Tor.com - May 2023

My Tangent review can be found here.
Only two stories; I particularly liked the horror tale Pretty Good Neighbor by Jeffrey Ford. 

Lightspeed #156 - May 2023
My Tangent review can be found here.
The best story was actually a piece of flash fiction (which is often poor): The Belfry Keeper by S. L. Harris, is truly excellent.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact - Mar/Apr 2023
My Tangent review can be found here.
Quite a mixed bag, this month, with the magazine showing an increasing propensity to showcase work that is very short, or barely SF. The best stories were the two novelettes The House on Infinity Street by Allen M. Steele (good) and Immune Response by Robert R. Chase (excellent) and the short story The Problem with Bargain Bodies by Sarina Dorie.


Lightspeed #153 - Feb 2023
My Tangent review can be found here. The best story was His Guns Could Not Protect Him by Sam J. Miller

Strange Horizons - Feb 20, 2023
My Tangent review can be found here. Only one story, which was okay.

Clarkesworld #197 - Feb 2023

My Tangent review can be found here.
This was, in the main, pretty bad and represents a nadir in my recent SF magazine reading. One story was quite good, however: Silo, Sweet Silo by James Castles.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact - Jan/Feb 2023
My Tangent review can be found here.

Some good stories in this issue which was pretty consistent throughout. The best stories were the novelettes The Bends by Rajan Khanna and Hothouse Orchids by Harry Lang and the short stories The Area Under the Curve by Matt McHugh, A Real Snow Day by M. Bennardo, Party On by James Van Pelt and The Echo of a Will by Marie Vibbert.

Tor.com - Dec 2022
My Tangent review can be found here

Only one story this month - Burning Books for Pleasure and Profit by K.J. Parker- but it's recommended.

Future SF Digest #17 - Dec 22
My Tangent review can be found here. This was quite an enjoyable issue.

Fantasy Magazine - Nov 2022

My Tangent review can be found here. Okay, but none of the four new stories especially stood out.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies #369 - Nov 17, 2022
My Tangent review can be found here. The two tales in this issue were both quite readable.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies #368 - Nov 3, 2022
My Tangent review can be found here. Contains two decent fantasy tales, the better of which is Tithe the Bones, Sell the Blood by Auston Habershaw.

Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores - Oct 2022
My Tangent review can be found here. Of the two stories here, one was short but quite  enjoyable.

Clarkesworld #193 - Oct 2022
My Tangent review can be found here Nothing particularly recommended, and several stories were poor and boring.

Fantasy Magazine #83 - Sep 2022
My Tangent review can be found here. Nothing recommended in this issue.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact - Sep/Oct 2022
My Tangent review can be found here. Rather a mixed issue. The highlights for me are the novella Kingsbury 1944 by Michael Cassutt (certainly the best story in the issue), the novelette No One the Wiser by Tom Greene and the short stories Companion by Ron Collins, Bumblebot by Marie Vibbert and Each Separate Star by Jonathan Sherwood. 

Lightspeed #147 - Aug 2022

My Tangent review can be found here.
A very mixed bag, with several stories that really didn't appeal. Lightspeed can be good, but it can also be awful.

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - Jul/Aug 2022
My Tangent review can be found here.
It had some quite strong stories, though nothing really great. Quite a few horror stories this month too. The best stories in this issue, I thought, were the novelette The Song of Lost Voices by Brian Trent, and the short story The Wild Son by Rajeev Prasad.

Nightmare #117 - Jun 2022
My Tangent review can be found here. Three stories, none very good.

Asimov's Science Fiction - May/Jun 2022
My Tangent review can be found here.
Quite a strong issue. The best stories were the novelettes Rocket Girls by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and The Wine-Dark Deep by Sheila Finch and the short stories 30 by Rich Larson, Destiny Delayed by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki and First Fish by Bruce McAllister. The weakest story was the cover story Silverado, funnily enough.

Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #52 - May 2022
My Tangent review can be found here.
Four stories in this issue, and the best was Return to the Tower by Harry Piper.

Tor.com - Apr 2022

My Tangent review can be found here
This included some work that was hard to get through (i.e. not good), but The Dominion of Leviathan by Manish Melwani was quite good.

Lightspeed #142 - Mar 2022
My Tangent review can be found here.
I rather liked the comedic novelette Bhatia, P.I. by Shiv Ramdas and the SF short story The Historiography of Loss by Julianna Baggott.

Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores - Mar 2022
My Tangent review can be found here. Two stories to be found this month, both quite readable.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact - Mar/Apr 2022
My Tangent review can be found here.
This was a strong issue, containing several good stories, including  Exile’s Grace by Mark W. Tiedemann (excellent and reminiscent of Frank Herbert's work), In Transit by J. T. Sharrah, The Hard Law by D.G.P. Rector,  The Honeymooners by Brenda Kalt and The Big Day by A. T. Sayre.

Lightspeed #140 - Jan 2022
My Tangent review can be found here.​  Rather a disappointing issue, with no content to recommend.

Nightmare #111 - Dec 2021
My Tangent review can be found here The Plague Puller by Manish Melwani was the best of the three stories, and worth a mention.

Fantasy Magazine #74 - Dec 2021
My Tangent review can be found here. Nothing stood out that I would recommend.

Lightspeed #138 - Nov 2021
My Tangent review can be found here. There wasn't any content I'd particularly recommend from this issue.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact - Nov/Dec 2021
My Tangent review can be found here.
There were three pretty good stories I recommend - A Sports Story by Brenda Kalt, From the Maintenance Reports of Perseverance Colony, Year 12 by Jo Miles and Caoimhe’s Water Music by Mjke Wood; and one story I thought was very good and highly recommend - An Hour to Ames by Dan Reade.


Tor.com - Oct 2021
My Tangent review can be found here. Baby Teeth by Daniel Polansky, a vampire tale, was the best story this month.

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - Nov/Dec 2021
My Tangent review can be found here.
A very mixed bag of stories, with much I didn't like, but the fantasy
  Laki by Eleanor Arneson was excellent  and the SF noir thriller A Vast Silence T. R. Napper was also good.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies #339 - Sep 23, 2021
My Tangent review can be found here. Two fantasy stories, both concerned with nuns in monasteries, funnily enough.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies #338 - Sep 9, 2021
My Tangent review can be found here
Only two fantasy stories, neither dreadful, neither great.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact - Sep/Oct 2021

My Tangent review can be found here.
Quite a mixed bag of decent and weaker stories. The best story was probably Room to Live by  Marie Vibbert, who's work also seems to get recommended.
  The Soul is Ten Thousand Parts by Chelsea Obodoechina and the novella The Silence Before I Sleep by Adam-Troy Castro, are also worth a read.

Fantasy Magazine #70 - Aug 2021
My Tangent review can be found here.
I only really enjoyed one short story:
Ghost Riders at Hutchinson’s Two-Pump by Inez Schaechterle

Clarkesworld #179 - Aug 2021
My Tangent review can be found here.
A mixed bag, with some enjoyable stories, but also two poor translated stories. The best story was a steampunk tale: 
The Clock, Having Seen Its Face in the Mirror, Still Knows Not the Hour by Adam Stemple (which was better than the title suggests).

Lightspeed #134 - Jul 2021
My Tangent review can be found here.

Not a bad issue, all-told, with some appealing content. The best story was A Smell of Jet Fuel by Andrew Dana Hudson.

Asimov's Science Fiction - Jul/Aug 2021
My Tangent review can be found here .

This was a mostly disappointing issue, with several lengthy stories being a trudge to read. But one short story really stood out as a gem:  Tweak by Taimur Ahmad is highly recommended.

Lightspeed #133 - Jun 2021

My Tangent review can be found here.
One fantasy story is recommended:
A Tableau of Things That Are by Adam-Troy Castro.

Clarkesworld #177 - Jun 2021
My Tangent review can be found here.
Three stories by Hugo Award winning authors featured and all three are recommended: Little Animals by Nancy Kress, Poubelle, by Robert Reed and Bots of the Lost Ark by Suzanne Palmer. 

Strange Horizons - May 31, 2021 
My Tangent review can be found here .
This was a Transgender Special Issue, with 3 stories. No stories recommended.

Lightspeed #132 - May 2021
My Tangent review can be found here .

This 'issue' of Lightspeed was a cracker, with 3 very good stories.  Hypnopompic Circumstance by Gene Doucette, The Palace in the Moonlight by Howard Andrew Jones and especially Bones in It by Kristina Ten, are recommended.

Strange Horizons - May 2021 
Reviews for each weekly issue in the month can be found separately on Tangent:  3 May 2021 Issue, 10 May 2021 Issue, 17 May 2021 Issue
No stories published to my taste - all were flawed in my opinion.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact - May/Jun 2021
My Tangent review can be found here .
A slightly weaker issue than Apr/May, but with some good stories. The best were:  Dancing on Spun Sugar by Meghan Feldman, In-Flight Damage by Sara Kate Ellis and Absolutes by Jay Werkheiser.

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - May/Jun 2021

My Tangent review can be found here.
This issue was a bit hit and miss; quite a few stories I didn't like, but others were fine, and three were good and are recommended: Drunkard’s Walk by James Enge, The Plus One by Marie Vibbert and the novella Refugees by Robert Grossbach.

Tor.com - Apr 2021
My Tangent review can be found here. Only one story, which I didn't much care for.

Clarkesworld #175 - Apr 2021

My Tangent review can be found here.
This was a weak issue, containing poorly-written stories in the main, though I did like one: Sarcophagus by Ray Nayler.

Tor.com - Mar 2021
My Tangent review can be found here.
I thought the best story published on Tor.com this month was Masquerade Season by Nigerian writer ’Pemi Aguda.


Analog Science Fiction & Fact - Mar/Apr 2021
My Tangent review can be found here.
I thought the best stories in the issue were: Tail Call Optimization by Tony Ballantine, If a Tree Doesn’t Fall  by Jerry Oltion, Damocles by Sean McMullen and the novella Invasive Species by Catherine Wells. There were several other good stories and I only had to grit my teeth to get through a couple; overall I enjoyed the issue, and recommend it.


Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - Mar/Apr 2021
My Tangent review can be found here
This was a decent issue, and I particularly rated The Bletted Woman by Rebecca Campbell and The Pizza Boy by Meg Elison.


Tor.com - Feb 2021
My Tangent review can be found here .
The best story of the three published on Tor.com this month was The Tyger by Tegan Moore - a beautifully told slipstream tale.


Clarkesworld #173 - Feb 2021
My Tangent review can be found here
The best story in Clarkesworld #173 was Obelisker Adrift in the Desert by K. H. Meridian.

Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores - Jan 2021
My Tangent review can be found here. Only one story, aimed at young readers.

Strange Horizons - Jan 18, 2021
My Tangent review can be found here. Only one story, not to my taste.