John W. Campbell, Jr. and Murray Leinster, my favorite editor and my favorite short story writer, have been long dead and have left some of their work behind in the public domain. I am guessing that the magazines were slow to spend the money to renew copyrights and the authors were negligent in maintaining them. Writers like Andre Norton and H. Beam Piper may not have left wills and their estates were contested or left to the state. I can’t understand Campbell not providing for copyright renewal and I know Leinster had family, so I don’t know why these stories are available.
Here’s some good reading:
Islands of Space by Campbell
Gateway To Elsewhere by Leinster
The Duplicators by Leinster
A Logic Named Joe by Leinster
The Fourth-Dimensional Demonstrator by Leinster
The Pirates of Zan by Leinster
The Leinster stories are available at Baen and they are major stories, not obscure ones. The Islands of Space is a very good Campbell, and although #2 in a series, is readable as a standalone book. Campbell books are very much Gadget stories so those who like touchy feely fiction need not bother. I have the Islands of Space in an Ace books edition, but I am blogging it so I can go back and read it again online sometime when I have the computer on and I have no good SF within easy reach.