Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Beyond Fantasy Fiction

US digest Magazine, 10 issues, bimonthly, July 1953-[January] 1955, published by Galaxy Publishing, New York; ed Horace L Gold.

A companion to Galaxy Science Fiction, BFF sought to bring the same sophistication to fantasy as Galaxy had to sf. It succeeded to a large extent, and is generally acknowledged as the natural successor to Unknown though, because it was shorter-lived and had a lower circulation, it was less influential. Along with Fantasy Magazine and the early issues of Fantastic, it encouraged a brief but abortive revival of interest in fantasy, bringing a level of originality and quality to the field that would not be equalled for the next 25 years. BFF's Surrealist covers sought to rival the slick magazines on the stalls, and most of the fiction had pretensions to be Slick Fantasy. Among its 77 stories are such classics as "... And My Fear is Great" and "Talent" by Theodore Sturgeon, "Babel II" by Damon Knight (1922-2002), "The Wall Around the World" by Theodore Cogswell (1918-1987), "Can Such Beauty Be?" by Jerome Bixby, "The King of the Elves" by Philip K Dick (1928-1982), "The Real People" by Algis Budrys (1931-2008), "Sorry, Right Number" by Richard Matheson, "The God Business" by Philip José Farmer and "Sine of the Magus" (exp vt The Magicians 1976) by James E Gunn (1923-    ), a diversity which shows that the magazine was prepared to publish a range of stories of Fantasy, Horror and Supernatural Fiction, including Dark Fantasy and Low Fantasy – although the closest it ventured to Heroic Fantasy was the Harold Shea story "The Green Magician" by L Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. Today the magazine is remembered more for what it stood for than for its individual contents, and there is much excellent material still to be rediscovered. Only one anthology has been chosen exclusively from BFF's pages: Beyond (anth 1963) ed (uncredited) Thomas A Dardis (1926-    ). The first four issues were reprinted in cut form in the UK, November 1953-May 1954 (undated). [MA]


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.