Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yes, Virginia, women really did read SF in the 1930's: Letter # 5

Dear Ye Ed.:

That sounds rather medieval a little for the editor of so novel a magazine, but nevertheless let's forget that and talk about some astounding stories.

First, I would suggest that you eliminate all stories of interplanetary travel (I would be different), as there are already several magazines on the market which deal almost exclusively with such stories. Now, tales like “The Beetle Horde," and those written by Murray Leinster, and those concerning that Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Bird, and those about the deep sea, like "Into the Ocean's Depths,"—such stories are astounding, and good. And once in a while let's have a humorous story. You know: "A bit of humor now and then—"

Well, anyhow, publish any kind of astounding story, just so it is different and does not deal with interplanetary travel.

Now, about the magazine. I think it is a good publication and I like it werra, werra mooch. I bought it on impulse and happened to be lucky enough to get the first issue, and nary an issue have I missed since. Although I possess an abject horror of any kind of insect, I enjoyed "The Beetle Horde" to the fullest extent. But here's hoping nothing like that will really happen.

Another thing I'd like to state is this: Some reader made a remark about not publishing any of Verne's works. I say you should. Why should any such great author be disregarded in so good a magazine? And is it not interesting to note that some of his stories have become actual realizations? Even Poe's should be published. All those dead authors whose stories would be considered good were they living. Why should any person ask not to have such good stories in your magazine? Perhaps there are some people who would enjoy them, but do not have the means nor time to buy these great works in book form. Think it over, ye Ed., think it over.

And now, to finish up, I'll say: are there any readers like me—a girl—or do only men and boys read Astounding Stories?

Gertrude Hemken, 5730 So. Ashland Ave., Chicago, Ill.

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