Jim Emerson is engaged in a monumental task: to gather and disseminate the key elements that mark the history of the science fiction genre over the course of the 20th century.
He’s chosen as his name for this endeavor Futures Past, which was what originally drew my attention because as you may know, Futures Past Editions is the name of the publisher that is producing the Amazing Stories Classics anthologies.
The name is apparently evocative of the concept: bringing the rich and varied history of our collective science fiction pasts into sharper focus. It’s an important task – each and everyone of us owes a debt to and draws inspiration from that past. Those pasts are our maps to the unfamiliar terrain of the future.
Futures Past: A Visual History of Science Fiction is an ambitious undertaking that we’ll let Jim Emerson describe:
FUTURES PAST: 1926 is the is the first of a 50 volume series covering the years 1926 to 1975. Each yearbook-styled volume will cover all the SF books, films, magazines, people, etc. in exhaustive detail, with a great number of full color illustrations. We have enlisted the help of many great SF authors, editors, publishers, historians, collectors, etc. to make this the finest authoritative reference work possible. When completed, this series will be the most comprehensive history of the field ever undertaken. The 64 page first issue (no ads) is available at our website sfhistory.net as a PDF download for $6.00, as well as a limited content sampler for FREE. FUTURES PAST will be published on a quarterly basis with FP:1927 coming in November 2014
Amazing Stories is extensively covered in that first volume (something that gives us great confidence that Futures Past will contain a great deal of historical accuracy) and we’ll be reviewing this first volume in the near future right here on Amazing Stories; our preliminary read through strongly suggests that Jim Emerson’s description is accurate – there’s quite a lot of information, delivered in a visually appealing manner, packed into this offering.