[Daily article] February 15: Fantastic (magazine)

Fantastic (1952–1980) was an American digest-size fantasy and science
fiction magazine, founded by Ziff Davis as a fantasy companion to
Amazing Stories. Within a few years sales fell, and Howard Browne, the
first editor, was forced to switch the focus to science fiction rather
than fantasy. At the end of the 1950s Cele Goldsmith took over from Paul
W. Fairman as editor of both Fantastic and Amazing, bringing in many new
writers and making the magazines, in the words of one science fiction
historian, the “best-looking and brightest” in the field. She helped to
nurture the early careers of writers such as Roger Zelazny and Ursula K.
Le Guin, but was unable to increase circulation. In 1965 the magazines
were sold to Sol Cohen, who hired Joseph Wrzos as editor and switched to
a reprint-only policy. This was financially successful, but brought
Cohen into conflict with the newly formed Science Fiction Writers of
America. After Ted White became editor in 1968, the reprints were phased
out. White worked hard to make the magazine successful; his budget for
fiction was low, but he was occasionally able to find good stories from
well-known writers.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


James McBrien made the first official discovery of gold in
Australia at Fish River in New South Wales.


Second Boer War: British cavalry under Major-General John
French defeated Boer forces to end a 124-day siege of Kimberley,
present-day South Africa.


Canada adopted the Maple Leaf flag, replacing the Canadian Red


The current Constitution of Cuba, providing for a system of
government and law based on those of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc
countries, was adopted by a national referendum.


A fire at the National Penitentiary at Comayagua, Honduras,
killed 361 people, making it the deadliest prison fire ever.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

Homer nods:
Alternative form of even Homer nods (“not even the most vigilant and
expert are immune to error”).

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  One half of the people of this Nation today are utterly powerless
to blot from the statute books an unjust law, or to write there a new
and just one.  
–Susan B. Anthony

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