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Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines, 1970-1980 (Liverpool University Press - Liverpool Science Fiction Texts & Studies) by Mike Ashley
Cover Artist: Kelly Freas
Review by Sam Tomaino
Liverpool University Press Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 1846310024
Date: 15 March, 2007 List Price $75.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

Gateways to Forever – The Story of the Science Fiction Magazines, 1970-1980 by Mike Ashley is a great history of the turbulent world of the science fiction short story from 1970-1980. Ashley writes about the death of John Campbell and the changes in Analog, the death of some major magazines, the rise of the original anthology, some small press and alternative magazines, the birth of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Omni and many other fascinating topics.

From official release/information:

Book Description: In the 1970s science fiction exploded into the popular consciousness, appearing everywhere along the cultural spectrum—from David Bowie's alien stage persona to the massively successful global juggernaut that was Star Wars. This proliferation of other worlds and alternative futures reflected the uncertain mood of the times. With the American involvement in Vietnam reaching its bitter conclusion, the Apollo moon program ending, and awareness of humanity's destructive impact on the environment increasing, our planet began to seem a smaller, lonelier, more fragile place—and the escapist appeal of science fiction grew.

Corresponding with these tumultuous events was a period of significant American economic decline, and, as Mike Ashley shows in Gateways to Forever, the once enormously popular science fiction magazines struggled to survive. The third volume of this award-winning series chronicles the publications' most difficult period so far. The decade began with the death of John Campbell, Jr., the man who launched the magazine Astonishing, and with it science fiction's prominence as a genre. The widespread popularization of sci-fi imagery reflected a newly diversified market—new anthologies, fanzines, role-playing games, comics, and blockbuster films all fought for the attention and money of sci-fi fans. Ashley shows how the traditional magazines coped with these setbacks but also how they, as always, looked to the future, as the decade closed and the earliest precursors to the Internet emerged.

Unique in its depth of analysis, Mike Ashley's ground-breaking history is a monument to science fiction's evolution. As the genre continues to infiltrate mainstream literature—witness acclaimed novelists like Kazuo Ishiguro and Jonathan Lethem freely employing sci-fi tropes—Gateways to Forever is essential reading for anyone interested in seeing how it all began.

About the Author: Mike Ashley is the author or editor of over sixty books including the preceding volumes in this series, Time Machines and Transformations, also published by Liverpool University Press, and The Random House Book of Fantasy Stories.

(Source: Liverpool University Press)

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