Why the July 1942 Astounding will be an important moment in my Vacation in the Golden Age

Today, I get started with my reading of the March 1942 Astounding in preparation for Episode 33 of my Vacation in the Golden Age, which will appear two weeks from today, February 20. (Episode 32 was just released.) But it is the July 1942 issue of Astounding (Episode 37) that will provide a truly significant moment in this Vacation of mine.

Up until now, through 33 Episodes, corresponding to nearly 3 complete years of Astounding (July 1939-March 1942), every writer who has appeared in the pages of the magazine, whether writing fiction or nonfiction, is no longer alive. These issues first appeared 70 years ago, which means the youngest writers were, perhaps, 19 or 20. There hasn’t been an instant yet where I’ve come across a story or article by a writer who is still alive.

But the July 1942 issue (Episode 37, to-be-posted on April 16) contains a story by a writer who is, at this moment, still very much alive. That writer’s name: Ray Bradbury.

The July 1942 issue contains a Probability Zero story by Bradbury titled “Eat, Drink and Be Wary.” Assuming Mr. Bradbury can hang in there for a few more months, he’ll take the place of being the first writer to appear in this Vacation who is still alive.

And it’s quite a coincidence, really, because he will also be the only writer to appear in this Vacation that I have ever met in person.

I just thought this was a cool enough thing to be worth mentioning.


  1. There is a chance that some of the pre-War Brass Tacks correspondents are still among the living. And wasn’t there a letter from (F me)Ray which you commented on in an earlier report?

    1. Mark, yes, you are correct, there was a letter from Ray Bradbury in an earlier episode. I’d forgotten about that. (And sorry for the delay in your comment appearing, it got snagged by the spam software as a false-positive. That spam software has been acting strangely the last few days.)


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