Edward M. Wysocki, Jr.
ASTOUNDING / ANALOG
On December 12, 2019, I attended a Symposium at the New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn. The title of the Symposium was “An Astounding 90 Years of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.” The first issue of Astounding Stories of Super Science, the predecessor of Analog, was dated January, 1930.
As a side note, when I left Orlando, Florida on December 11, the temperature was 80 degrees. On the 12th, as I walked from my hotel to the site of the Symposium (suitably dressed, of course) the wind chill was 16!
Why did I travel to Brooklyn to attend the Symposium?
I have been a reader of Analog since 1968. In recent years, I have been submitting works of non-fiction and short fiction, in the hope of getting published in Analog. Without any success, I might add.
I was in contact with Alec Nevala-Lee as he was writing ASTOUNDING: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction. We discussed by email a number of topics, including some material concerning devices developed by Campbell. When Alec’s book appeared in October 2018, I noticed that it did not contain the Campbell material we had discussed. No mystery as to the absence of the material. As anyone who has done some writing knows, you cannot include everything. Something has to be cut.
A bit later, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I wondered if Alec would be interested in writing an article with me based on the unused material. He thought it was a good idea and we got to work on it. We finished the article, submitted it to Analog and then waited. At the end of July 2019, we learned that they wished to purchase the article and that it would appear in the January/February 2020 issue, the 90th Anniversary Issue.
By this time, I had learned of the Symposium scheduled for December. I immediately planned to attend. A request was made for proposals for presentations to be made at the Symposium. I submitted a proposal and it was accepted.
What happened at the Symposium?
Unfortunately, Alec was not able to attend. In addition to other attendees, I met Professor Jason Ellis of City Tech; Trevor Quachri, the Editor of Analog; Emily Hockaday, the Managing Editor of Analog and Stanley Schmidt, who had been Editor of Analog from 1978 to 2012. I heard a range of panels and presentations, and had many interesting conversations.
My presentation was scheduled last, just before the Keynote Address by Mike Flynn. It was titled “Just the Facts: Articles in Campbell's Astounding and Analog. ” You can view the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2OM9Vy2Fqc and judge how well I did. My talk starts about 47 minutes in. The playlist for all Symposium videos is at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWEFb3DcsZdkdhxgP_rTr6cf9Fme3sfsl
Copies of the Anniversary issue were made available at the Symposium, so I was able to hold a copy in my hands. There it was. Our article! I finally made it into Analog!! And as a further touch, Alec and I were among the authors listed on the cover!!!
If you have a subscription to Analog or have purchased a copy, please read the article “Making Waves: The Inventions of John W. Campbell,” which starts on page 44. The article also appears on the "Makings Waves" page of this website.
Let me know what you think, using the Contact Me page on this website.
My thanks to Professor Jason Ellis at City Tech and to Trevor Quachri and Emily Hockaday at Analog for making it all possible. And to Alec, of course.