Amazing Stories Magazineby Beth Carswell
Amazing Stories Magazine (also sometimes known as Amazing Science Fiction Magazine) was an American science fiction pulp magazine which ran monthly - if occasionally intermittently - from its inception for almost 80 years. Brought to life in April 1926 by Hugo Gernsback, an American (originally from Luxembourg) inventor and writer, Amazing Stories was the first magazine dedicated exclusively to science fiction. Gernsback’s contributions to the genre were so extensive that he was honored by having a literary prize named for him – the Hugo Awards, still selected every year.
Nowadays Amazing Stories is well-known for its colorful, often kitschy covers featuring everything from little green men and alien spacecraft to berserk robots and gargantuan oversized lizards and beyond. And naturally, a healthy dose of voluptuous vixens ranging from villainous to vulnerable.
From early on, Amazing Stories was not without problems – it first changed hands in 1929 when Gernsback lost rights to the magazine after a bankruptcy lawsuit. The publication went through 17 editors and changed hands numerous times during its run, finally being bought by Paizo Publishing in 2004.
After Paizo Publishing purchased Amazing Stories in 2004, attempts to continue its publication were unsuccessful. Its last print issue was published in February 2005, and an online issue was released in PDF format in March 2005. A year later, in March 2006, the demise of the magazine was announced. While opinions on the respectability and influence of the magazine varied greatly among members of the literary and science fiction communities (many of whom felt it trended toward pulp too much, and further ghettoized an already marginalized genre) at the time of its end, the magazine had amassed over 600 issues. During its run, its pages had contained stories by big league science fiction greats such as Jules Verne, Wells, Isaac Asimov, Howard Fast, Ursula K. Le Guin, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, Roger Zelazny, and Thomas M. Disch.
These magazines vary hugely in collectibility, particularly with a print history of almost 80 years. Keen collectors have paid quite high prices for rarer issues of Amazing Stories on AbeBooks (including from $500 - $650 for copies of the Annual, and rarer, older individual issues in top condition often fetch into the hundreds of dollars), while science fiction fans simply wanting to read the stories and not too concerned with condition can easily pick up most copies for a few dollars each.
A Selection of Amazing Stories Magazines
Amazing Stories 1928 Volume 3, #5
Features first print appearance of Buck Rogers.
Amazing Stories 1929 Volume 4 #3
Contains conclusion of “The English at the North Pole” and Part 1 of “The Desert of Ice” by Jules Verne.
Amazing Stories 1964 Volume 38 #6
Includes article about John Wyndham and "Tin Lizzie" (novelet) by Randall Garrett.
Amazing Stories 1986 Volume 61 #4
Stories by Sharon N. Farber, Lillian Stewart Carl, Reginald Bretnor, Gene DeWeese, Robert Coulson & others.
Amazing Stories 1966 Volume 40 #6
Cover art by James B. Settles, fiction by Walter M. Miller Jr., Arthur C. Clarke and more.
Amazing Stories 1929 Volume 4 #2
Part 1 of “The English at the North Pole” by Jules Verne, “The Moon Strollers” By J. Rogers Ullrich and more.
Amazing Stories 1965 Volume 40 #2
Contributors include Ray Bradbury, John Wyndham, Murray Leinster and more.
Amazing Stories 1931 Volume 6 #8
Stories by Abner Gelula, David H. Keller, A.R. McKenzie, Jack Williamson and more.
Amazing Stories 1944 Volume 18 #5
Featuring Undersea Guardians by Ray Bradbury and fiction by Berkeley Livingston, Lester Barclay and more.
Amazing Stories 1931 Volume 5 #10
Contains stories by Jack Williamson, Charles Bowers, Samuel Garfinkel and more.
Amazing Stories 1927 Volume 2 #1
Frank Paul cover art. Includes story by Edgar Allan Poe, with H.G. Wells story “The Remarkable Case of Davidson’s Eyes”.
Amazing Stories 1971 Volume 45 #2
Contributions by Robert Silverberg, William F. Nolan, James Tiptree, Jr., and others. Cover art by Dan Adkins.
Amazing Stories 1941 Volume 15 #1
Includes the first appearance of the Edgar Rice Burroughs story, John Carter and the Giant of Mars.
Amazing Stories 1954 Volume 28, #3
Includes the Philip K. Dick story “Small Town”, published one year before Dick’s first book.
Amazing Stories 1991 Volume 66 #8
Contains The Devil His Due by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff; The Long Fall by Ben Bova; Gunfight at Bertha's Saloon by Thomas R. McDonough and more.
Amazing Stories 1927 Volume2 #9
Contains “Below the Infra Red” by George Paul Bauer, stories by Verne, Wells and more.
Amazing Stories 1948 Volume 22 #7
Stories include Emptiness by Robert Newton; What is Mathematics by M. Casey; Mystery of the Midgets by A.K. Jarvis and more.
Amazing Stories 1951 Volume 25 #4
Includes stories by Isaac Asimov, Kendall Foster Crossen, Charles Creighton and more.
Amazing Stories 1964 Volume 38 #8
Cover art by Richard McKenna. Fiction by Ursula K. LeGuin, Robert F. Young, Gordon Walters and more.
Amazing Stories 1984 Volume 57 #5
Contributors include Robert Bloch, Frederik Pohl, Keith Roberts. Phyllis Eisenstein and more.
Amazing Stories 1929 Volume 4 #1
Features stories from Alpheus Verrill, Miles Breuer, V. Orlovsky and more.
Amazing Stories 1927 Volume 2 #3
Contains part of “The Moon Pool” by A. Merritt and stories by Cyril G. Wates, H.G. Wells and more.
Amazing Stories 1942 Volume 16 #2
Includes an Asimov ‘Robot’ story, and first appearance of the Edgar Rice Burroughs story, The Return to. Pellucidar
Amazing Stories 1979 Volume 52 #2
Contains The Grooves of Change by Charles Sheffield; Leaves by Steven Utley; Journey's End by A. Bertram Chandler and more.
Amazing Stories 1928 Volume 3 #7
Featuring the conclusion of Edward Elmer Smith’s “The Skylark of Space” and “To the Moon by Proxy” by J. Schlossel