#RIP: Hugh Hefner, who created #Playboy magazine, has died at age 91. While usually associated with adult pictures of women, Playboy magazine published #SciFi stories from a variety of authors, including well-known sci-fi authors Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Arthur C. Clarke, J.G. Ballard, and Ursula K. Le Guin. This includes the publication of a serialized version of Ray Bradbury’s famous book “Fahrenheit 451” in the March, April & May editions of the magazine in 1954.
Other sci-fi authors whose stories were published in Playboy include Margaret Atwood, Michael Crichton, Philip K. Dick, Harlen Ellison, Joe Haldeman, Frank Herbert, Stephen King, Dorris Lessing, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike and many others.
Playboy helped to give science fiction something that the community didn’t have before the magazine began publishing sci-fi stories: respectability. It was also very useful in the late 1950’s as other sci-fi publications began to fade away. In his book “Transformations: The Story of the Science Fiction Magazines from 1950 to 1970“, author Mike Ashley wrote this regarding Playboy magazine:
“Not only did it [Playboy magazine] maintain a high profile for science fiction, it became something of a sanctuary during the lean years that hit at the end of the fifties.”
Playboy also published several science fiction books & anthologies separately from the magazine:
- The Playboy Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy (1968)
- Playboy’s Stories of the Sinister and Strange (1969)
- The Dead Astronaut (1971)
- The Fiend (1971)
- From the “S” File (1971)
- The Fully Automated Love Life of Henry Keanridge (1971)
- Last Train to Limbo (1971)
- Masks (1971)
- Transit of Earth (1971)
- Weird Show (1971)
- The Playboy Book of Science Fiction (1998)
Our condolences to the family, friends & fans of Hugh Hefner. May he rest in peace.