Tag Archives: Medium

connotations of the medium

I know that the pulp magazine was a newer medium at the time Amazing Stories was initially published; perhaps the lack of a longer history of the medium itself (as opposed to print books) made the physical item itself seem conceptually connected to the genre of the stories within–it’s not difficult to imagine a reader getting caught up in the feeling of participating in the same kind of exciting, forward-thinking novelty that defined ‘scientifiction.’ The paper quality, font choice, and columned layout also seems to recall newspapers: while a magazine for fictional works, Amazing Stories may have drawn a line of association from itself (which will become cold hard fact) to informative journalism (which already is).

Fiction, Grounded with a Scientific Attitude

The medium of telling science fiction stories through the Pulp Magazine presents itself to its readership as a topic and interest that is not foreign but perfectly normal and intellectual. Magazines can be found in a multitude of places; by placing a science fiction magazine on a rack of other magazines, a passerby may get the impression that maybe these science fiction stories are more than just fantasy but grounded by authors with a scientific attitude. During the pretext of Jules Verne’s short story “Off on a Comet” the introduction mentions that Jules Verne focuses on scientific concepts that are known to exist. An allegory that I noticed during the introduction stated that “moreover several people are carried off the by the comet and returned uninjured,” which is the purpose of presenting science fiction stories in a magazine. It reassures the reader that they will be taken to a far off place, but will return. The Editor also states that if the reader is confused by any scientific matter mentioned in the story they can write to the magazine and their questions will be answered scientifically. Lastly the advertisements at the end of the magazine were for an Electrical School and homes available in Northwest Florida. The magazine believes that its readership will be well educated and able to afford a gorgeous home on the water. The subtle hints from the editor, the advertisements, and the pretexts declare to the reader that they are an intellectual and the science fiction presented within its pages is not fantasy but science.