Although no longer publishing, Amazing Stories was a pioneering science fiction magazine launched in 1926 by Experimenter Publishing. The magazine helped established the science fiction genre and started the careers of many accomplished writers and illustrators.
Scientific advancements were plenty in 1926. Amazing Stories took the idea of a futuristic world to the next level, inspired by events such as the launch of the first liquid-fueled rocket, the advent of the Air Commerce Act, and the first television broadcast of a weather map. The idea for a magazine dedicated to science fiction storytelling came from inventor, publisher, and science fiction visionary Hugo Gernsback. Having published science fiction-based stories in some of his other magazines, Gernsback was among the first to recognize the genre’s burgeoning popularity. However, his dream was cut short. Gernsback was forced to relinquish control of Amazing Stories in 1929 due to bankruptcy.
While the magazine’s format, publishing frequency, and name changed throughout the years, the handful of publishers that took the reins stayed close to Gernsback original vision. “Great stories foretelling the future,” the magazine cover once proudly boasted. Fascinating stories captured the attention of readers, and new fans were drawn in by the intriguing artwork that graced the magazine’s covers. Writers such as Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Roger Zelazny honed their craft writing for Amazing Stories while illustrators such as Frank R. Paul and Harry Garo earned a devoted following with their original artwork. So significant was Gernsback’s contribution to the world of science fiction, each year Worldcon – World Science Fiction Convention – celebrates outstanding science fiction writing at the Hugo Awards, a ceremony named after him.
Amazing Stories went on to be the first and longest-running science fiction magazine. Many publishers attempted to replicate the influence of the magazine, but none had the success of Amazing Stories. While the magazine ceased publishing in 2005, there were two online issues published in 2012, and a 2018 crowdfunding campaign signals hopes of more print issues. A rich archive of Amazing Stories is available on Internet Archives, a non-profit digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts.
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