So the 1,000th issue of Analog pulls a cutesy trick by revisiting the cover of the first issue, except this time with the sexes reversed.
You know, this might be another one of those “get off my lawn” moments for me, but I’m just not that impressed. And there are any number of things to complain about here: the lack of a beard on the cave man, his waxed chest, his unreasonable muscles. Then there’s the awkwardness of the punch, the dumpy clothing on the space princess, the complete lack of any skin showing on her and (worse) the fact that you can’t even discern the slightest hint of her curves.
This is space fantasy that would evidently satisfy the exacting standard of both the PMRC and the shareef. Seriously, how is that a good idea?
All snarkyness aside, things generally go downhill fast once they pass the point of self-parody. Think how bad the Batman movie franchise got after Michael Keaton left it. Think about how Arnold Schwarzenegger went from being the ultimate heavy to being a running joke.
The attitude here is like a small town kid that comes back from a couple years at college all ready to let everyone back home how they are such hicks. You know… you can go on to bigger and better things if you want. That’s great. But I don’t think it’s necessary to show such contempt for your roots, though. And I know that the editor probably thinks that this might even be a celebration of those roots. I see it as more of a mockery.
As to the Magazine itself? No thanks. Not when there’s several A. Merritt novels left for me to dig into. If there are any others that are on par with Dwellers in the Mirage or Creep, Shadow!, then there’s not much that this magazine can do to compete with that.
And while I would be ecstatic to be proven wrong, I think it’s safe to say that Analog Magazine will never come close to being as awesome as this:
That’s how it’s done.
Update: The editor has this to say: “You may notice that there’s one big difference between this cover and the original–there’s no cowering cave-woman being protected by a two-fisted adventurer; this time, she’s more than capable of handling the bug on her own. Taking the things that work without being beholden to the things that don’t is about as Futurist a concept as there is.”
Obviously, I’m going to have to disagree here. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, and E. C. Tubb’s stories all work just fine today.