I’ve been thinking about Baen’s venture into the ezine market all weekend. I went back and found the first editorial that I wrote for my version of Astounding Stories before I changed the name to Astounding Tales. I wrote this about two years ago:
What kind of magazine would you like to read? If you had any say in the matter, what would the perfect Science Fiction magazine be like?
For me, it would be Astounding Science Fiction from around 1940 to 1950. This was the true golden era of Science Fiction. The very best stories ever published appeared in Astounding during this period. Unfortunately, Heinlein, Asimov, and the great writers of this time are gone. John W. Campbell, Jr. has passed and there are no great editors left who know how to find the great writers.
I created AstoundingStories.Com with the intent of creating a space for stories like the ones in the original Astounding Science Fiction Magazine. AstoundingStories.Com is a tribute to that classic magazine.
Baen, in his guidelines writes:
Baen’s Astounding Stories has that name for a reason. Without trying to copy them, we want the magazine to have the same flavor as Astounding/Analog and Galaxy (along with IF and Worlds of Tomorrow) did in their heyday.
Interestingly, Baen, at least according to his guidelines, is trying to recreate Planet Stories, Super Science Fiction or the Amazing of the 1950s. These were the grade B zines of the time. While Cambell was trying to find literature and true innovation, Baen is not. Here is what Flint, the editor, writes:
I’m primarily looking for stories pitched at a popular audience, and the center of gravity of the magazine will be adventure stories. Please note that “adventure story” is a very broad term, and is _not_ synonomous with military SF, or, indeed, _any_ kind of “action story” as most people understand the term. I.e., a lot of guns (or rayguns) going off.
AstoundingTales pays $10 for one story each issue. Baen’s Astounding Stories will pay $1000 or more for every story. Baen would not publish work by Adrienne Ray, John Gilbert, Gary A. Markette or the other regulars at Astounding Tales, yet I feel that Arthur Sanchez has made the effort to find good quality SF, Fantasy and Horror that might have felt at home on John W. Cambell’s desk.
Arthur and I have published AstoundingTales.com on time for almost two years and expect to keep on going. How long will Baen’s Astounding Stories last?