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 honoured by having a literary prize named for him – the Hugo Awards, still selected every year.
Nowadays Amazing Stories is well-known for its colourful, 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 ghettoised an already marginalised 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 collectability, 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 £300 - £450 for copies of the Annual, and rarer, older individual issues in top condition often fetch into the hundreds of pounds), 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 quid each.