The 1950s were the Golden Age of Science Fiction. You may recognize the names of zines like Astounding Science Fiction, Thrilling Wonder Stories, and Imaginative Tales. But there were many more.
I recently found a couple real gems: fantascience magazines Peon and LEER, both published by Charles Lee Riddle. Independent publishing didn’t start with ebooks and Amazon – it was well underway with only snail-mail to rely on. These magazines were true labors of love, since Riddle was active duty military and so forbidden to make a profit on his zines.
Peon and LEER could have been lost, but Riddle’s son Bob Riddle has posted their history and several almost-lost editions.
Publishing in those days involved typing the stories on a mimeograph stencil master with a manual typewriter. He had his own mimeograph machine and equipment but still had problems with the print quality or transferring artwork to the stencil, as he pointed out in several issues.
There were pen-like tools, with points and wheels and ball-shaped knobs on the ends that looked like they belonged in the hands of a dentist. Plastic templates were his source for clipart.
[Look for] some familiar names from the world of Science Fiction that appear as contributing authors.
Don’t spend another minute reading this blog post. Instead, download pdfs of these wonderful magazines with their articles and stories from scifi’s past. They’re delightful, and I thank Bob Riddle for sharing them with us.