Astounding Stories Database

As my final project for Dr. Lauren Coats’ course “Text+: An Introduction to Digital Humanities,” I put together an online database of the fiction from the first years of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, which was originally called Astounding Stories of Super-Science. When it was first published in January, 1930–a time when no professional science-fiction writers existed–Astounding Stories became the first science-fiction pulp magazine. The first iteration of the magazine folded under financial pressures in 1933, leaving the copyrights unsecured.

You can view the database and the accompanying text files here.

In this database, which I’m making available as a Google Sheets document with an accompanying folder of text files, you’ll find all 192 short stories, novellas, and serialized novels from the first 34 issues of Astounding Stories. The database includes basic metadata for each story, including author, month/year of publication, and title, as well as true-false metadata related to the setting of each story. These true-false fields refer to different traits of each story. For instance, “TRUE” under “HasUndergroundSetting” means that a significant part of that work is set underground, while “FALSE” under “HasSpaceSetting” means that the work does not have space as a setting. These binary fields can be combined to narrow down categories, for instance to select only stories that are set both underground and in space (note that not every story that has “TRUE” for both values is necessarily set underground in space since many stories have multiple settings).

Feel free to poke around the Google Sheets version of the database and to read the text files. If you’d like to use this data for any reason, you can download the database in many formats, including as an Excel Spreadsheet or in comma-separated value format. All I ask is that you let me know that you’ve downloaded the database by commenting on this post. In these forms, the database can be used in many ways. As an example, two visualizations I made by feeding the data from Excel copy of the spreadsheet to Tableau are below.

Tableau for Presentation 2Tableau for Presentation