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Fantastic realms: Golden days

Is Golden Age SF still relevant for modern writers? Alex Davis highlights much to learn from the early masters of the genre

The very fact of calling something ‘The Golden Age’ immediately evokes a kind of nostalgia, the sense of a better time, or perhaps even something more innocent and naïve. The Golden Age of science-fiction is certainly something that many who lived through it have fond memories of, as well as many titles from the era being rightly hailed as classics and still very much part of the genre’s make-up and psyche. It was pretty much the first time science-fiction – or ‘scientifiction’ as it was initially known – began to take on its own identity.

These were the days of science-fiction growing and finally becoming recognised as a force in its own right, with the great magazines such as Astounding Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Planet Stories and plenty more besides selling huge quantities and publishing new authors who would become titans of the genre – Arthur C Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg to name but a few. Science-fiction has probably never known greater popularity than those magazine days, although the paperback era for the genre was yet to come.

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