Amazing Stories

Amazing Stories was founded in April 1926 by Hugo Gernsback and was the first magazine devoted to sf and was published continuously until 2005. Gernsback lost ownership of the magazine in 1929 during a bankruptcy.

Amazing's history is studded with controversy: Gernsback made the books balance by avoiding payments to authors as much as possible; Palmer used the infamous Shaver mystery to boost circulation; and SFWA threatened to boycott Amazing over non-payment for reprints.

However, Gernsback's practice of giving space to a lettercol and printing the addresses of the letter writers made it possible for readers to write to each other, and that correspondence was the beginnings of fandom. His failure to pay authors led to the founding of the Futurians, after Donald Wollheim and John Michel visited SFL chapters to complain.

Under Cele Goldsmith Amazing was nominated for the 1961 Best Professional Magazine Hugo and under Ted White it was nominated for the 1971 Best Professional Magazine Hugo and the 1972 Best Professional Magazine Hugo.

"The Club House" was Amazing's long-running fan column.

In 2011, Steve Davidson resurrected the lapsed trademark and launched a new semiprozine Amazing online, recruiting scores of writers to contribute blog entries. No fiction has appeared as yet and, following in the Gernsback tradition, perhaps, he doesn't pay the writers.

A critical history of the magazine by Jon D. Swartz was published in the November, 2016 issue of The National Fantasy Fan (Volume 75, Number 11).


Years Editor Publisher Notes
1926 T. O'Connor Sloane Hugo Gernsback Non-payments to authors
1929 T. O'Connor Sloane Teck Publications
1938 Raymond A. Palmer Ziff-Davis The Shaver Mystery
1949 Howard Browne, William Hamling, and Lila Shaffer Ziff-Davis Attempt to go up-market
1952 Howard Browne Ziff-Davis
1956 Paul W. Fairman Ziff-Davis
1958 Cele Goldsmith Ziff-Davis
1965 Joseph Wrzos Sol Cohen SFWA threatens boycott
1967 Harry Harrison Sol Cohen
1968 Barry Malzberg Sol Cohen
1969 Ted White Sol Cohen
1979 Elinor Mavor Sol Cohen
1980 Elinor Mavor Sol Cohen Merges with Fantastic
1982 George Scithers TSR
1986 Patrick Lucien Price TSR
1991 Kim Mohan TSR
1995 TSR Ceases publication
1997 Kim Mohan Wizards of the Coast
2000 Wizards of the Coast Ceases publication
2005 Paizo Publishing Acquired, two issues published, ceased publication.
2008 Trademarks lapse.
2011 Steve Davidson starts new Amazing online.

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