Friday, March 25, 2011

10 May, 1938: Tuesday

Asimov's first letter written to Astounding appeared in the December 1937 issue. "I had the extreme pleasure of seeing my name and address (as well as my immortal words) appearing in microscopic print at the back of the magazine.

After that," Asimov continues, "I wrote other letters and, indeed, began to write them monthly."

For years Astounding had been published regularly on the third Wednesday of each month.

On May 10, 1938, Tuesday (the day the magazines arrived at his father's store, to be put out on the shelves officially for Wednesday) there was no issue of Astounding.

On mMay 11 Asimov wrote in his diary, "Another day has gone by, and no Astounding. I never realized before how much these science fiction magazines mean to me."

He was afraid that the magazine had ceased publicaton. On May 12, he invested a nickel in a phone call to the Astounding offices, and was assured that the magazine was still publishing. But when another week went by and there was no magazine, he decided to take drastic measures.

Asimov took the subway into Manhattan, to the Street & Smith offices at 79 Seventh Avenue. There he was informed that the magazine had simply changed its publication schedule. It now came out on the third Friday.

On Thursday, May 19, the June issue of Astounding came (to be set out officially on Friday.)

"It was raining that day, but the sun shone brilliantly for me. It was the day of my chemistry finals, but I bothered with no last-minute studying. Until the moment I had to leave for school, I read the magazine.

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