I was in a used bookstore a while back and saw a collection of Galaxy Sci-Fi magazines. I liked the cover art, so I bought them. The cover of this one, in particular, reminded me of the album cover of the Trapeze Medusa album. Great album! Came out the year after the original self-titled Black Sabbath album. More about that later.
This Galaxy pulp sci-fi book (magazine) came out in 1959. The cover art represented the top story in the book called Someone to watch over me, by Christopher Grimm. I finally read it. That was after researching the magazine and finding out that this was some of the best science fiction of the era. They published Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and many other greats.
This story by Grimm has a plot about a spaceman falling in love with a prostitute. These new sci-fi stories in Galaxy did not revolve around technology as most earlier sci-fi did. This magazine took up social issues in the sci-fi genre for the first time. The editor H.L. Gold was the main reason for this new direction. Because of Gold, this was one of the most highly regarded science fiction magazines of the time.
This one short story was so good that now I’ll be going to find all those old Galaxy magazines and read as many as I can. The spaceman got the girl, and the life he wanted, but of course he had to make many compromises. Spoiler alert. I am going to give you the last line of the story.
After gaining all he wanted in life, the main character philosophized about the materialistic existence he had bargained for. In the last line, he was thinking, “Oh, well, perhaps an artful illusion is the truest form of reality.”
Does that not describe the times in which we now live, to a T?
In the next installment of my blog, later this week, I will review the album Medusa by Trapeze and talk more about the cover art.