Retro Science Fiction

An Imprint of Gateways Books & Tapes

by Editor Iven Lourie

Under the editorship of E.J. Gold, Gateways Books and Tapes has launched its Retro Science Fiction imprint. The first release was a collection of legendary science fiction writer and editor Horace L. Gold's finest stories, complete with his writer's craft commentaries on how he got the ideas and plotted the tales: How to Write Great Science Fiction (trade paper, 6" x 9", $24.95, ISBN: 0-89556-125-5).

Horace Gold's son and heir to the Galaxy magazine (seminal sf magazine of the '50's and '60's) tradition, E.J. Gold, has added a Foreword to this edition, and he has edited several more volumes of stories by Horace L. Gold never before collected from his pulp magazine and mystery writing years. Perfect Murders, H.L. Gold's detective science fiction will soon be published by the University of Nebraska Press.

Another memorable masterpiece of the genre by Horace L. Gold will join the story collection -- the novel-length None But Lucifer (trade paper, 6" x 9", $19.95, ISBN: 0-89556-128-X).

With these titles, Gateways fully intends to bring back the fine wine of Golden and Silver Age science fiction for the pleasure of those fans who still remember it and the entertainment of younger readers—who may have the mistaken notion that Star Trek and Star Wars are the definition of science fiction for the new millennium.

Horace L. Gold—author, under several pen names of over six million words in print of mystery stories, adventure, fantasy, and the (then) newest genre, science fiction -— in 1950 became the founding editor of the celebrated Galaxy magazine. As one of the "big three" (Campbell, Boucher, Gold), his legendary editorial work for eight years, along with John W. Campbell's Astounding magazine, came to define the "Silver Age" of science fiction.

Gold also recast the space opera leanings of the genre into "social science fiction" and far-reaching satire. David Rosheim in his book Galaxy: The Dark and the Light Years (Advent Publishers, 1986) quotes Gold from a conversation stating "that he would not 'anthologize'"; that is, he would not let his personal taste dictate the kind of stories he would print. He operated on a less personal level and would choose a story on the basis of how well it worked, if it clicked along and got the reader somewhere.

Questions of preference in style and characterization were secondary to the ability of the story, whether short or long, to function properly. This is, of course, what made H.L. Gold an editor's editor whose devotion to the field of sf has not since been surpassed. (p. 14)

Gateways plans to re-cast and re-issue more collections of these brilliant and influential Galaxy stories, as it locates the agents, rights holders, and estates of these luminaries who published in Horace Gold's Galaxy magazine (which can claim more classics than any other sf publication). Those writers include such stars as Frank Herbert, Theodore Sturgeon, Clifford Simak, Damon Knight, Poul Anderson, Zenna Henderson, Kate Wilhelm, Margaret St. Clair, and many, many more! First in line is a collection of stories by veteran Robert Sheckley, another pro who made some of his first sales to H. L. Gold at Galaxy. Gateways Retro editions will certainly appeal to everyone who now enjoys TV series like Outer Limits and Twilight Zone or feature films such as Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury), The 10th Victim and Freejack (Robert Sheckley), The Thirteenth Floor (Daniel Galouye, a fine Galaxy author) , since much of the TV work and many, many movies are based on the classics of the '50's and '60's.

Gateways will also roam further back for the VERY retro 1930's and 1940's "scienti-fiction" as collected by beloved sf writer, editor, and agent Forrest J Ackerman in his Sense of Wonder anthology, issued as a deluxe art edition hardcover and scheduled to be re-issued in trade paperback format. Roaming forwards, Gateways will seek high quality, effective new fiction as well for another series, bringing the Golden Age up to the present. Recent works by Hugo and Nebula award winners are presently under negotiation.

Already boasting a generous web tribute to Horace L. Gold is the site, and content is being prepared for release through Gateways Retro SF has plans also to develop a recording and science fiction theatre section, featuring dramatizations of the best sf and fantasy stories, akin to the X minus 1 radio play series done by Horace L. Gold. Already produced in CD format is a collection of H. L. Gold's interviews and conversation, The World According to Horace.

E.J. Gold, whose work also extends to the non-fiction, sometimes cosmically-mind-expanding metaphysical genre, also works in the interactive game medium. His web development team is working on science fiction game tie-ins on the web gaming paradigm, so that alien environments and non-human species will be simulated in 3-D gaming environments based on sf stories.

For further information or to interview Imprint Editor E.J. Gold, or Gateways Managing Editor Iven Lourie, contact Gateways Books & Tapes at (530) 271-2239, fax (530) 272-0184, or contact us here.