The one thing I love even more than 50s SF stories are advertisements from the 50s for Space Age promises. I bought a few copies of "Astounding Science Fiction" at a secondhand book store in Paddington (that’s a suburb of Brisbane) today. The owner told me that she picked them up in a deceased estate. They are all from the 50s and in near perfect condition.
I love this back cover of the November 1954 edition which promises "A Bona Fide Opportunity to have your name "On File" with the first company embarking on commercial flights to the moon!"
Working in advertising these days, I’m often trying to think up innovative prizes to offer people for taking part in competitions but I’d never thought about guaranteeing a trip to the moon. These guys were WAY ahead of their time. I wonder if the Science Fiction Book Club in NY still have those names on file? Maybe they will pass them onto Virgin Galactic? Assuming, of course, that the people who added their names to the list in 1954 still want to travel to the moon….
The inside cover offers readers a copy of the book "Across The Space Frontier" written by "seven of the greatest living space experts", including former Nazi and then director of NASA Dr Werner von Braun.
One of the other copies of ASF I picked up (December 1950) had this advertisement on the inside front cover which reads:
"Dianetics – the first true science of the mind. Dianetics started in Astounding Science Fiction. It is not the first, nor will it be the last time, Astounding Science Fiction precedes science generally."