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Vintage Sci-Fi Shorts

Vintage Sci-Fi Shorts

By Matt Montgomery

Short science fiction stories from pulp and digest magazines of the '40s, '50s and '60s.
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"An Empty Bottle," a short story by Mari Wolf
"An Empty Bottle," a short story by Mari Wolf
"An Empty Bottle" is a short story written by Mari Wolf and published in the September 1952 issue of If magazine. Mari Wolf’s influence on science fiction is one that has endured over the past 70 years: She’s the first person to use “droid” in describing a robot. “An Empty Bottle” is just one of a handful of stories she had published. She also wrote about science fiction fandom. In addition to her fiction writing, she worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
37:53
February 13, 2022
"The Last Gentleman," a short story by Dorothea Magill Faulkner
"The Last Gentleman," a short story by Dorothea Magill Faulkner
"The Last Gentleman" is a short story written by Dorothea Magill Faulkner and published in the January 1953 issue of If magazine. Dorothea Magill Faulkner, writing as Rory Magill, had just two short science fiction stories and a handful of poems published in the early 1950s. She was also a prominent member of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society.
19:04
February 06, 2022
"Welcome, Martians!," a short story by S.A. Lombino
"Welcome, Martians!," a short story by S.A. Lombino
"Welcome, Martians!" is a short story written by S.A. Lombino and published in the May 1952 issue of If magazine. S.A. Lombino (later, Evan Hunter) was a prolific science fiction and mystery writer. His best-known effort may be in the form of a screenplay adaptation for The Birds, which sparked a long friendship with Alfred Hitchcock.
18:49
January 30, 2022
"Resurrection Seven," a short story by Stephen Marlowe
"Resurrection Seven," a short story by Stephen Marlowe
"Resurrection Seven" is a short story written by Stephen Marlowe published in the May 1952 issue of If magazine. Stephen Marlowe was a prolific science fiction and mystery writer. Born Milton Lesser, he later adopted one of his pseudonyms as his legal name.
32:02
January 23, 2022
"The Stowaway," a short story by Alvin Heiner
"The Stowaway," a short story by Alvin Heiner
"The Stowaway" is a short science fiction story written by Alvin Heiner and published in the March 1952 issue of If magazine. Alvin Heiner is recorded as having published just two short stories, both of which were published in If magazine in 1952.
15:39
January 16, 2022
"You, Too, Can Be a Millionaire," by Noel Loomis
"You, Too, Can Be a Millionaire," by Noel Loomis
"You, Too, Can Be a Millionaire" is a short story written by Noel Loomis published in the Nov. 1952 issue of If. Noel Loomis wrote a number of science fiction stories, but it was his work in westerns, both in short story and novels, in addition to television writing, that brought him the most prominence.
37:40
January 09, 2022
"The Skull," a short story by Philip K. Dick
"The Skull," a short story by Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick is an author who needs little introduction. His works have influenced generations of readers, and his stories have been adapted into countless works of cinema. “The Skull” is one of a handful of his stories that is in the public domain. "The Skull" was published in the September 1953 issue of If.
54:26
January 02, 2022
"Time Enough at Last," a short story by Lyn Venable
"Time Enough at Last," a short story by Lyn Venable
Lyn Venable's "Time Enough at Last" is one of the enduring short science fiction stories published in If, owing in part to its appearance in The Twilight Zone in a classic episode starring Burgess Meredith. Though she only had seven short stories published, Lyn Venable's impact on the legacy science fiction is unmistakable. "Time Enough at Last" was published in the January 1953 issue of If. Lyn Venable's story “Homesick” was featured in Season Two of Vintage Sci-Fi Shorts.
16:08
December 26, 2021
"The Last Supper," a short story by T.D. Hamm
"The Last Supper," a short story by T.D. Hamm
The fourth season of Vintage Sci-Fi Shorts starts on Sunday. To tide you over until then, here's a short story from our featured publication this season, the first volume of If Magazine. "The Last Supper" is a short science fiction story written by T.D. Hamm. Thelma D. Hamm wrote and published 11 short stories from 1952 to 1961, and she was an uncredited collaborator with her husband, fellow science fiction writer E. Everett Evans.
04:60
December 21, 2021
"The Album", a short story by Amelia Reynolds Long
"The Album", a short story by Amelia Reynolds Long
The story of a strange and direful doom that lurked within the pages of an old book, bound in human skin This episode features "The Album", a story by Amelia Reynolds Long. It was first published in the December 1936 issue of Weird Tales. The Album is a story by Amelia Reynolds Long, who wrote science fiction stories throughout the 1930s, while detective fiction dominated her work in the 1940s.
19:37
October 31, 2021
"Creation Unforgivable," a short story by David H. Keller
"Creation Unforgivable," a short story by David H. Keller
A tragic story about an author who lived altogether too vividly in his literary work. This episode features "Creation Unforgivable," a story by David H. Keller. It was first published in the April 1930 issue of Weird Tales. Keller, a psychiatrist by trade, wrote for many of the early pulp magazines, including Amazing Stories and Weird Tales.
20:23
October 30, 2021
"The Planet of the Dead," a short story by Clark Ashton Smith
"The Planet of the Dead," a short story by Clark Ashton Smith
A unique story of stargazing — a bizarre tale of life in two planets and the splendor of a far world. "The Planet of the Dead" is a story by Clark Ashton Smith first published in the March 1932 issue of Weird Tales. Smith was a prolific writer who helped pioneer weird fiction, and he was one of the "big three" writing for Weird Tales, alongside Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft.
31:34
October 29, 2021
"Hall of Mirrors," a short story by Fredric Brown
"Hall of Mirrors," a short story by Fredric Brown
"Hall of Mirrors" is a short story written by Fredric Brown. It was published in the December 1953 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. Fredric Brown was a science fiction and mystery writer whose influence extends to numerous prominent storytellers, including Guillermo del Toro, Stephen King and Umberto Eco. While he never won a prominent science fiction award, he did win an Edgar award for his first full-length novel, The Fabulous Clipjoint. He also wrote a short story adapted into the classic Star Trek episode "Arena."
15:52
October 24, 2021
"The Celestial Hammerlock," a short story by Donald Colvin
"The Celestial Hammerlock," a short story by Donald Colvin
"The Celestial Hammerlock," a short story written by Donald Colvin. It was published in the October 1951 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. "The Celestial Hammerlock" is just one of two published works known to be written by Donald Colvin.  If you know anything about Donald Colvin's life or career, please send me a note on Twitter at @SciFiShortsPod.
19:48
October 17, 2021
"Warm," a short story by Robert Sheckley
"Warm," a short story by Robert Sheckley
"Warm" is a short story by Robert Sheckley. It was published in the June 1953 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. Robert Sheckley was one of science fiction's prolific short story writers, with well over 200 credits to his name. He was a Hugo nominee for his short story writing in 1956 and 1959, and his only Nebula nomination for his writing came in 1965. In the 2000 Nebula awards, Sheckley was given a Special Author Emeritus award.
21:38
October 10, 2021
"The Trap," a short story by Betsy Curtis
"The Trap," a short story by Betsy Curtis
"The Trap" is a short story by Betsy Curtis. It was published in the August 1953 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. Betsy Curtis wrote a handful of short stories between 1950 and 1973, earning her only major award nomination in 1969: A Hugo nomination for "The Steiger Effect."
27:30
October 03, 2021
"The Reluctant Heroes," a novelette by Frank M. Robinson
"The Reluctant Heroes," a novelette by Frank M. Robinson
"The Reluctant Heroes" is a novelette written by Frank M. Robinson. It appeared in the January 1951 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. Frank M. Robinson wrote numerous short science fiction stories in the 1950s, with his later work turning longer form. He won his first major award in 1991: A Lambda award for The Dark Beyond the Stars. In addition to his fiction work, Robinson wrote extensively about science fiction. He was also a speechwriter for Harvey Milk, and he later played a small role in a film about Harvey Milk's life. He wrote a memoir about his life, released posthumously as "Not So Good a Gay Man."
41:01
September 26, 2021
"Later Than You Think," a short story by Fritz Leiber
"Later Than You Think," a short story by Fritz Leiber
"Later Than You Think" is a short story by Fritz Leiber. It was first published in Galaxy Science Fiction in October 1950. Fritz Leiber was one of science fiction's prolific short story writers in the Golden Age and New Wave eras. He was nominated for numerous awards, including 13 Hugos and 11 Nebulas. He won six and three, respectively, all for novellas and short stories. Leiber went on to become the fifth Grand Master of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and he's even said to have invented the term "Sword and Sorcery." He remains one of the most influential science fiction and fantasy writers of his time.
16:42
September 19, 2021
"Know Thy Neighbor," a short story by Elisabeth R. Lewis
"Know Thy Neighbor," a short story by Elisabeth R. Lewis
"Know Thy Neighbor" is a short story by Elisabeth R. Lewis. It was first published in the February 1953 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. This is the only recorded work from Elisabeth R. Lewis, and it's a real shame. This is one of my favorite works I've read in the two seasons of Vintage Sci-Fi Shorts. If you know anything about Elisabeth R. Lewis' life or career, please send me a note on Twitter at @SciFiShortsPod.
22:16
September 13, 2021
"Homesick," a short story by Lyn Venable
"Homesick," a short story by Lyn Venable
"Homesick" is a short science fiction story by Lyn Venable. It was first published in the December 1952 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. Lyn Venable was not a prolific writer, but she achieved lasting success in her short writing career. She's best known for her story "Time Enough at Last," which was later adapted into a classic episode of The Twilight Zone featuring a book-obsessed Burgess Meredith.  "Homesick" is Lyn Venable's first story. She is recorded as having written only seven short stories in her writing career, but her influence has undoubtedly inspired countless works.
15:37
September 05, 2021
"The End," a short story by Charles E. Fritch
"The End," a short story by Charles E. Fritch
Today's story is "The End," a story written by Charles E. Fritch and published in the first issue of Universe Science Fiction. Charles E. Fritch, a prolific science fiction writer, had his first story published in 1951 and his final published in 1999. He also wrote mystery novels and was the editor of Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine from 1979 to 1985. All issues of Universe Science Fiction are available on the Internet Archive at archive.org. This episode marks the conclusion of season one of Vintage Sci-Fi Shorts. Let me know what you'd like to hear in future seasons of this show. Thank you for taking the time to listen, and enjoy the hunt for more fascinating science fiction.
12:29
July 04, 2021
"The Soluble Scientist," a short story by Charles Muñoz
"The Soluble Scientist," a short story by Charles Muñoz
"Wherein the old and evil Professor devises a new and horrible fate for John." Today's story is "The Soluble Scientist," a story written by Charles Muñoz under the pen name T.P. Caravan. It was published in issue 4 of Universe Science Fiction. "The Soluble Scientist" is just one story in a series entitled "John & the Evil Professor" written Charles Muñoz under the pen name T.P. Caravan. In addition to writing science fiction, he was a poet, with a collection of his work published in 2001 entitled "Fragments of a Myth." He was also the poetry editor for multiple years at the Jewish Spectator. All issues of Universe Science Fiction are available on the Internet Archive at archive.org.
16:35
June 27, 2021
"Minor Miracle," a short story by Richard O. Lewis
"Minor Miracle," a short story by Richard O. Lewis
"Kate and Mike had caused the trouble, so the professor reasoned that it was up to them to do something about it." Today's story is "Minor Miracle," a story written by Richard O. Lewis and published in issue 8 of Universe Science Fiction. "Minor Miracle" is a story written by Richard O. Lewis, a prolific short story writer. While I came into contact with his work through science fiction, he's had plenty of mystery work published, too. Little information is available online about Richard. If you know more about Richard O. Lewis, drop me a note on Twitter at @SciFiShortsPod. All issues of Universe Science Fiction are available on the Internet Archive at archive.org. All issues of Universe Science Fiction are available on the Internet Archive at archive.org.
19:15
June 20, 2021
"The Last Two Ships," a short story by Fred Samuels
"The Last Two Ships," a short story by Fred Samuels
"To Rachel it was no sacrifice; with no regrets she traded a possible forty years of life on Venus for two years of heaven on Earth." Today's story is "The Last Two Ships," a story written by Fred Samuels and published in issue 5 of Universe Science Fiction. "The Last Two Ships" is the only story written by Fred Samuels listed at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. If you know more about Fred Samuels, drop me a note on Twitter at @SciFiShortsPod. All issues of Universe Science Fiction are available on the Internet Archive at archive.org.
14:37
June 13, 2021
"Death Sentence," a short story by William C. Hoch
"Death Sentence," a short story by William C. Hoch
"They were gathered in secret to determine the fate of a world; for their decision would mean life or death to an alien people." Today's story is "Death Sentence," a story written by William C. Hoch and published in issue 10 of Universe Science Fiction. "Death Sentence" is one of just two stories William C. Hoch wrote and had published. I could find very little about him — so if you know more, drop me a note on Twitter at @SciFiShortsPod. All issues of Universe Science Fiction are available on the Internet Archive at archive.org.
10:40
June 06, 2021
"On Mars We Trod," a short story by Eando Binder
"On Mars We Trod," a short story by Eando Binder
"Some people say Alexander Graham Bell wasn’t really the inventor of the telephone. Here is a story of the first man to reach Mars — and who, like Bell’s unknown rival, didn’t get the credit — until he came back from the dead!" Today's story is "On Mars We Trod," a story written by Otto Binder and published in Issue 3 of Universe Science Fiction. This story was published under the pen name Eando Binder, used at the time by Otto Binder. Otto shared the pen name with his brother, Earl Andrew Binder. Otto later went on to create Supergirl and wrote early issues of Captain America, among other contributions to the world of comics. "On Mars We Trod" was published in Issue 3 of Universe Science Fiction. All issues of Universe Science Fiction are available on the Internet Archive at archive.org.
25:43
May 30, 2021
"MCMLV," a short story by Wilson Tucker
"MCMLV," a short story by Wilson Tucker
"When you have a door bell that goes ting ting thunk instead of ringing properly, you get accustomed to unusual visitors. At least, it seemed to Henry Mason that since his doorbell had taken to misbehaving his visitors had been anything but run of the mill." Today's story is "MCMLV," a story written by Wilson Tucker and published in Issue 8 of Universe Science Fiction. Wilson Tucker, the author of "MCMLV," lived from 1914 to 2006. In addition to his fiction writing, he also wrote about science fiction as a prominent fan, and he even coined the immortal term "space opera." "MCMLV" was published in Issue 8 of Universe Science Fiction. All issues of Universe Science Fiction are available on the Internet Archive at archive.org.
31:21
May 23, 2021
"Before the Fact," a short story by Zenna Henderson
"Before the Fact," a short story by Zenna Henderson
"Renwick, with too much time on his hands, was bored. He turned to Mead, in his discontent, only to discover some frightening aspects of his friend's hobby of collecting children's games and rhymes." Today's story is "Before the Fact," a story written by Zenna Henderson and published in Issue 9 of Universe Science Fiction. Zenna Henderson, the author of "Before the Fact," was born in 1917 and died in 1983. She was best known for her series of novels about "The People," in addition to over 30 years of work published in various science fiction magazines. She was nominated for a Hugo award in 1959 for her novelette "Captivity." "Before the Fact" was published in Issue 9 of Universe Science Fiction. All issues of Universe Science Fiction are available on the Internet Archive at archive.org.
18:53
May 21, 2021