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I've got a long-running feud going on with Mike Glyer, editor of the popular fanzine, File 770. Well, feud is probably too strong a word given that we're good friends and avid mutual readers. In fact, we usually get along quite well. All fans are united by love for the genre and our status as oddballs, after all. But Mike and I just can't seem to agree on Analog, a monthly science fiction magazine.

Here are the indisputable facts: Analog is the elder statesman of the digests; it pioneered real sf back when all the other outlets were pushing pulp adventure. Analog has the biggest circulation of any of the current digests, somewhere around 200,000 per month.

Now for the disputable ones. Analog is the most conservative of the mags. It's generally Terran-centric, with Earthlings portrayed as the most cunning, successful beings in the galaxy (which is why, of course, most aliens look just like us). While the serialized novels in Analog are often excellent, the accompanying short stories tend to be uninspiring. The science fact columns are awful. Editor John Campbell's championing of psionics and reactionless engines (in real-life, not just fiction), crosses into the embarrassing. All these factors make Analog the weakest of the Big Three magazines, consistently lagging in quality behind Galaxy and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Of course, Mike disagrees He's even wagered that Analog will take the Hugo award for Best Science Fiction Magazine this year. I think he's dreaming. F&SF has won three years in a row, and barring some unexpected decline in quality, it will do so again.

I'll take that bet, Mike Glyer! Two beers to your one.

As evidence for my case, I present this month's Analog, dated June 1961.

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)


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