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January 22, 2013 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Amazing Stories, "the World's First Science Fiction Magazine", founded by Hugo Gernsback in 1926 and cancelled in 1995, and resurrected in 1998 and again in 2004 before being cancelled again by Paizo Publishing in 2006, is back -- again. Amazing is now a website, claiming to have "more than 50 bloggers covering the field from more than 50 different perspectives". The idea is to develop an online following and release a print version. Bonus cover galleries from the Golden Age
posted by Mezentian (13 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Scientifiction!
posted by LarryC at 6:37 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why even bother to release a print version? It's 2013, why is a science fiction magazine of all things fetishizing dead-tree printing? I would love a website that simply showcased great new short stories in science fiction with careful editorial curation, as well as did the other things like conducting interviews with SF celebrities, announcing major fandom events, covering conventions, etc.

Why does it need a print version when virtually its entire audience has access to the online one? Maybe they could have an ereader-friendly version of the site if people are cranky about reading stuff off the screen, and make articles available as PDFs or in some other printer-friendly format for those who absolutely must read off of paper.

Yeah? Sounds good to me.
posted by Scientist at 7:18 PM on January 22, 2013


I wish them all the best, and it's great to see Amazing Stories revived, but no women on the editorial committee? C'mon, this is 2013!
posted by misterbee at 7:59 PM on January 22, 2013


Amazing is back? Or will be back? That's potentially good news, but I'll have to reserve judgement until after checking out the site in more detail. Famous magazines have "returned" online before (like Galaxy), but they were ultimately more mirage than real. Maybe it's ironic, but dead trees are still the ultimate test for a science fiction magazine. If they can publish for a while, then they may have some staying power and not be a vanity project, and Amazing will truly be back.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:37 PM on January 22, 2013


Amazing will probably last about as long as Gygax Magazine.
posted by Mezentian at 9:59 PM on January 22, 2013


Ah, I remember hearing about this when that guy bought it back at the end of 2011! It is interesting to see how it's changed over the years, though it seems to have been in a downward spiral for nearly forever.

One things that's interesting is to look at how the publication formats changed over the years - I pulled the data for every issue (page count by article type) off the ISFDB and started (but never finished) a graph of it. I can post the normalized data later if anyone would like it.
posted by 23 at 10:10 PM on January 22, 2013


Oh Scientist, you are such a joker. An internet-only magazine is just a bunch of science-fiction. Really!
posted by Goofyy at 5:34 AM on January 23, 2013


Man, that cover gallery takes me back; I'd forgotten how good Amazing got in the mid-'60s. I remember vividly their going bimonthly in '65, and in particular I remember buying this issue (32 MORE PAGES!).

> Why even bother to release a print version? It's 2013, why is a science fiction magazine of all things fetishizing dead-tree printing?

While of course I understand your point, as a relic of the 20th century I myself cannot take seriously any publication not printed on dead trees.
posted by languagehat at 8:52 AM on January 23, 2013


That cover is awesome, languagehat.

I've read Amazing Stories sporadically since the early 80's, but my era as a subscriber started when the magazine embiggened itself and became a slick in '91. This cover was the beginning of that time. Good memories. Hard to believe it only lasted three years.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:05 AM on January 23, 2013


Back again, Amazing? That's Unusual, Uncanny even. Imaginative, Astounding, a Wonder. And it's Startling, Weird, Fantastic. A Paradox, like Infinity, Eternity.
posted by Twang at 11:18 AM on January 23, 2013


> I've read Amazing Stories sporadically since the early 80's, but my era as a subscriber started when the magazine embiggened itself and became a slick in '91.

That was all after I'd pretty much stopped reading sf; was Amazing still (regardless of how good or bad its current incarnation might be) considered The Crappy One? Because that was definitely its rep in the '60s; people might argue over the respective merits of F&SF, Galaxy, and ASF (that ordering will give you an idea of my own allegiances), but Amazing was the one you were inherently a little ashamed to be seen with.
posted by languagehat at 12:00 PM on January 23, 2013


This was pre-Internet, so I'm not sure what the general consensus of fans was, but I liked Amazing Stories. Kim Mohan was paying competitive rates and you'd often see the same names in Asimovs, F&SF and Amazing. It didn't feel pulpy or less serious than the other magazines. Asimovs is generally the leader, quality wise, and Analog is the place where you can still get the pure "bolts and all" SF, but the other magazines have each had distinguished turns in the last thirty years or so.

But the thing I remember best about mid 90's Amazing was the nonfiction. Robert Silverberg's ongoing "Reflections" column (sort of his blog in printed form) started there, before moving to Asimovs. And there was this incredible multi-part history of the magazine (written by Thomas M. Disch, I think) that was as gripping as any novel. It was so cool.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:31 PM on January 23, 2013


Twang: "Back again, Amazing? That's Unusual, Uncanny even. Imaginative, Astounding, a Wonder. And it's Startling, Weird, Fantastic. A Paradox, like Infinity, Eternity."

Galaxy! ...no, wait, that doesn't work.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:35 PM on January 23, 2013


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