Friday, August 31, 2012

Forgotten Books: Amazing Stories, the Anthology -- Kim Mohan, Editor


The items in this volume are, for the most part, from the mid-'90s incarnation of Amazing Stories.  The two exceptions are the Bloch story and the Bloch essay.  The story is from 1953, and the essay (which I remember having read in the original magazine) is from 1984. The essay is very entertaining, with Bloch recalling any number of things, such as his first WorldCon and meeting David H. Keller, PhD.  Bloch has some fun with a few other writers, too, including Robert Silverberg.  The only story that I recall having read previously is the hilarious "Linda and Phil," a dead-on pastiche/parody/homage of the works of Philip K. Dick by Paul de Flippo, in which Dick winds up living in Arizona and married to Linda Ronstadt.  You should read it.

Steve Davidson has acquired the Amazing Stories trademark and has done, I believe, a couple of "pre-launch" issues, so it might be returning soon.

8 comments:

Todd Mason said...

I should grab a copy of this one. "The Pin" is one of those stories that should've been in FANTASTIC rather than AMAZING, if Howard Browne had cared enough...excellent story, not sf at all (rather as with Sturgeon's "A Way of Thinking," another horror fantasy in AMAZING instead). Then again, Ted White would later replicate this kind of thing at least once, putting a fantasy by Steven Utley in AMAZING and a straightforward sf story, even given it had time travel, in the corresponding/almost simultaneous issue of FANTASTIC.

I wonder how much Paul was nudged into considering his couple by Bruce Sterling's wistful "Dori Bangs," in which comix artist Dori Seda and rock critic Lester Bangs don't die young, but instead marry and live reasonably long, happyish lives instead.

Todd Mason said...

Or, together. Sleep is a good thing. Shall have to look into it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Interesting that Todd sees a difference between stories in FANTASTIC vs. AMAZING. I would expect them to be similar.

Todd Mason said...

FANTASTIC was always touted as the fantasy-oriented title, even for the few years it was called simply FANTASTIC SCIENCE FICTION STORIES (for the rest of its run, it always carried the cover tag of "fantasy" somewhere). AMAZING was always essentially meant to be an sf magazine (it was, after all, the first indisputable sf magazine that wasn't a mixed-appeal fantasy magazine like THE THRILL BOOK or a boys' paper like HUGIN or a dime novel like a variety of sfnal items from the latest 1800s), even though even (particularly) founder Hugo Gernsback was willing to publish fantasy along with very engineering-possible notional sf. Subsequent editors would with greater or lesser alacrity mix things up...and Elinor Mavor onward had the excuse that AMAZING had absorbed FANTASTIC...

It's about as if you found a cozy Marple story in MIKE SHAYNE MM in 1978, and a slightly raunchy hardboiled detective story, peppered with "adult" language, in EQMM the same month.

Todd Mason said...

In fact, even during Paul Fairman's tenure at FANTASTIC, with the sf tag only, several issues devoted to mildly ribald (very mildly) wish-fulfillment fantasies seemed to do very well, so a third magazine, DREAM WORLD: STORIES OF INCREDIBLE POWERS, was added to the stable for a few issues.

Bill Crider said...

I have those issues.

Todd Mason said...

Anything worth reading in them?

Bill Crider said...

Well, having them and reading them are two different things.