The sad tale of Boardman Science Fiction, a victim of its own publisher revealed, in latest “1950s British Science Fiction” videocast

The Boardman Science Fiction series attempted to introduce quality science fiction into Britain in both hardcover and paperback. Why did it fail?

Back in the 1950s, the Boardman Science Fiction series attempted to introduce quality science fiction into Britain in both hardcover and paperback. Why did it fail?

That’s the question posed – and answered – by author and SF expert Philip Harbottle in his latest 1950s British Science Fiction videocast, revealing how the amazing work of authors such as E.E. “Doc” Smith and Isaac Asimov was victim to bad publishing decisions that had nothing to do with the quality of their work. It’s a great item, as ever, not only touching on 1950s censorship but as usual, offering sight of some incredibly rare books.


Philip Harbottle is a life-long science fiction fan, regarded as a world authority on the works of John Russell Fearn, whose credits encompass writing “Garth” for the Daily Mirror, and the “Golden Amazon” for Spaceship Away (adapting Fearn’s stories). He’s also very kindly contributed a number of synopses of early “Garth” stories to downthetubes, which we are adding as time permits.

Back in the 1950s, he adapted some of the Radio Luxembourg Dan Dare radio shows into comics at a young age – the only record of some of these tales known to exist, since very few recordings survive.

• Subscribe to 1950s British Science Fiction YouTube Channel here

• Check out books written or edited by Philip Harbottle on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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