I've mentioned before, I'm sure, my youthful tendency to read the low-rent SF magazines. While I very much enjoyed the stories in F&SF, Galaxy, and Astounding, my real affection was for the stuff in Amazing, Fantastic, Original Science Fiction Stories, Imagination, and Imaginative Tales. So the other day I pulled this mag off the shelf to see how the stories held up.
Big mistake. While I still love the cover, I have to admit that the stories are pretty dreadful. Most of them would never see print today. Maybe all of them. The lack of sophistication, the wretched science, the poor writing would all doom them. I can see why a naive kid in East Texas 55 years ago would love them, but not now.
"Blessed Are the Murderous" is still fairly entertaining. It's narrated by a post-apocalyptic teenage boy (great hook for me back in '54), and while it's a brutal story, it has a good bit of humor, not that the narrator realizes it. It's the old Huck Finn approach, with the reader seeing things a lot differently from the way he does. Okay, it's not The Road, but you know what? It has a lot of the same themes. I'm glad I re-read this one. Note: I have no idea who was behind the Ivar Jorgensen pseudonym this tie.
The "challenging new fiction" is a laughter. The earth is being invaded, this time by aliens who look just like us but who are different on the inside. They have, for example, two brains, one of which is located where we have an appendix. The rest of the story is equally goofy, with an invasion of privacy that reminds me of nothing so much as current airport security.