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BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi

keberoxu 04 Jun 18 - 01:32 PM
robomatic 04 Jun 18 - 09:09 PM
Donuel 04 Jun 18 - 09:19 PM
keberoxu 04 Jun 18 - 09:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jun 18 - 03:38 PM
Donuel 05 Jun 18 - 04:07 PM
keberoxu 06 Jun 18 - 09:04 PM
Rapparee 06 Jun 18 - 09:15 PM
EBarnacle 06 Jun 18 - 11:35 PM
keberoxu 07 Jun 18 - 12:07 AM
Joe Offer 10 Jun 18 - 10:18 PM
Steve Davidson-Amazing Stories 11 Jun 18 - 09:39 AM
Steve Davidson-Amazing Stories 11 Jun 18 - 09:55 AM
Nigel Parsons 11 Jun 18 - 10:09 AM
keberoxu 11 Jun 18 - 03:58 PM

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Subject: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Jun 18 - 01:32 PM

Mudcat members of different generations have made posts on past threads,
regarding "Amazing" magazine in their childhood/youth.

Correct me if I'm wrong,
but you all were referring to "Amazing Stories," yes?

Founded and published in the United States in the 1920's,
the founder was a highly literate European who noted
that Europe was already publishing periodicals with
science fiction in them, while the US had yet to catch up.

So, that was then.
Now, if there is a paper-and-ink "Amazing Stories" out there,
I hope someone will post and say so, because
I'm not aware of it, now, in 2018.

However, "Amazing Stories," in one form or another,
refuses to give up the ghost entirely.

Steven Spielberg, no less, grew up listening to
his father reading from "Amazing Stories" to him.
In the 1980's, Spielberg made a rather noteworthy deal with NBC television.
Under this contract, Spielberg was in charge of "Amazing Stories,"
a weekly network-television show with a different episode every week.
The contract specified something like 44 episodes UPFRONT,
so that whether or not the show was widely viewed and generating numbers, and income,
the show would not be taken off the air early.

At the same time, the magazine "Amazing Stories" was in print and for sale.
Of course a license had to be officially agreed to.
"The Sci-Fi Encyclopedia" article reports
that when the magazine received the money from this agreement,
the publishers put the money into the magazine's existing accounts
and did not use the money to try anything new.
In any case, the "Amazing" magazine was past its prime mostly,
and a losing battle was being waged
between editors, with writers, who wanted quality,
and the publishers who wanted success.

Spielberg served out his NBC contract, then moved on.
"Amazing Stories" was revived, as a television show,
in more recent years. Was it NBC that had that last version?
Also a brief engagement.

Today, away from network television,
Apple is preparing an online series program.
And the showrunners contracted for this latest iteration,
it has been announced in TV-Line,
are Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz,
who have spent years at the ABC television network
writing and/or in charge of "Lost" and "Once Upon A Time."


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: robomatic
Date: 04 Jun 18 - 09:09 PM

I remember the TV show, which I think aired in the 80s. I don't remember any individual shows, but I remember the show intro, with the 'early people' 'round the campfire riveted to the expressive story-telling elder.


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jun 18 - 09:19 PM

I've got reams of sci fi short stories or outlines for short sci fi stories.


The evil of Scientology has roots in the author L Ron Hubbard writing hundreds of Amazing stories. nuff said


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Jun 18 - 09:48 PM

Donuel isn't kidding, for those of you who have your doubts about Donuel.
L. Ron Hubbard's short-story publications in magazines like "Amazing Stories" are well documented.

Further thread drift:
I'm visiting Arizona for part of the month of June.
While driving through southeast metro Phoenix, I wondered
"what is THAT building..." then I saw "Scientology"
across the front. Skin crawling, I drove on.


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jun 18 - 03:38 PM

Hubbard was more associated with Astounding Science Fiction (later retitled as Analog)


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jun 18 - 04:07 PM

McGrath, I did not know that but I do know how Hubbard's last step in the expensive steps to "being clear" is sci fi trash.

I'm a combination of a Verne and Serling fan. (psychological tech possibilities)


Everything old is new again, given enough time.


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: keberoxu
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 09:04 PM

Do you guys know what this is all about?
Because I find it a bit confusing.
Back issues, current issue ...
but NOT, it appears to me, in stock at any bookstore.
What's going on here?


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 09:15 PM

Not surprising, but you can get a subscription for $34.95 a year. It costs money to sell in bookstores: printing costs, mailing/sending the issues to a distributor at a cut rate (generally at the most 50% of the cover price), dealing with unsold issues, etc. etc. Direct subscription is cheaper for the publisher.

Experimenter Publishing was founded by Hugo Grensback; eventually is published Amazing Stories.


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: EBarnacle
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 11:35 PM

My uncle once did an illustration for Gernsback--who stiffed him.


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 12:07 AM

was it a science-fiction illustration,
or some other genre?


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 10:18 PM

Scientology Founder L.Ron Hubbard was a pretty good science fiction writer in his day, and I believe some of his stories were published in Amazing Stories. The author list for Amazing Stories reads like a Who's Who of science fiction writing.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: Steve Davidson-Amazing Stories
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 09:39 AM

wow. I was multi-paragraphs in and then lost everything.

I hate recaps, but -

The magazine, founded in 1926 by Hugo Gernsback, defined the SF genre.
It was published continuously from 1926 until 1995; resurrected in 98, 04 and again in '12 by me.

I have licensed NBC to use the name for a re-do of the Spielberg show of the same name, which is being produced by Apple Inc (Spielberg executive producing). The deal was signed in 2015 (to give you some idea how long these things take); last year I terminated the agreement over breach of contract: NBC/Apple announced their deal and I went on the online warpath, asking how NBC could sell something they didn't own. About four hours after that, my attorney got a call, asking him to shut me up and informing him that certain companies and individuals were very upset.
We subsequently re-negotiated the licensing deal.

Now, to respond to some previous statements:

Keberoxu: "that Europe was already publishing periodicals with
science fiction in them, while the US had yet to catch up. "

Yes and no. The genre did not exist as a "thing" until the publication of Gernsback's first editorial in Amazing, where he defined the new genre. Other magazines, both in the US and abroad didn't publish SF (wasn't so sech thang), they published macabre, gothing, scientific romances and other forms of "proto" SF; nor were any of those prior publications devoted entirely to the new genre. I refer anyone interested to Mike Ashley and Gary Westfahls works on the subject for more detail.

"Spielberg served out his NBC contract, then moved on.
"Amazing Stories" was revived, as a television show,
in more recent years. Was it NBC that had that last version?
Also a brief engagement."

The 1983-1985 TV show is the only incarnation, so far, of that vehicle. There was a Japanese film made under license (never released in North America) and the feature film Batteries Not Included was originally to have been a TV show episode.

Donuel: "The evil of Scientology has roots in the author L Ron Hubbard writing hundreds of Amazing stories. nuff said"

Hubbard was primarily published in Astounding Stories of Super Science (later Astounding Stories, Astounding Science Fiction and now Analog); Campbell, the editor, championed Dianetics in some of his editorials and a handful of authors went along.

Amazing's claim to infamy is the "shaver mysteries", claimed to be "true life stories", written by a schizophrenic who believed there were inimical, brain controlling robots living in caverns in the Eartth. Ray Palmer (editor of the first SF fanzine) championed that and other woo woo like UFOs (as in "they come to steal our womenz"); the SF community largely abandoned the magazine during this period, although it was the publication's second most successful financial period. (Hint: it wasn't SF fans who were spending the quarters.)

I understand it's pretty easy to confuse scientology woo-woo with shaver mystery woo-woo, but they are two distinctly different woo-woos.

Keberoxu: "Do you guys know what this is all about?
Because I find it a bit confusing.
Back issues, current issue ...
but NOT, it appears to me, in stock at any bookstore.
What's going on here?"

Those are electronic versions of the few issues we have released so far, free for the reading (as is the entire website).

We will NOT be selling this magazine through traditional venues, and deliberately so. Retailers take a cut, distributors take a cut - and sharing - if we want to have a quality publication and pay professional rates (which we do) is not in the cards.

We have alternate means of distribution (for example, giving everyone attending this year's Worldcon a FREE copy) and while selling through Amazon or B&N would definitly provide us some exposure, we have the books for that (Search "Amazing Stories" and you'll find "The Best of Amazing Stories 1926, 27, 28, 29....: please note that there are infringers out there as well, so look for "authorized edition" with the 'R' trademark symbol...and yes, we're doing our best to deal with the infringement)

You can purchase a print or electronic subscription through the website. ALL magazine content will also eventually be available through the website, for FREE. (Did I mention that membership in the website is FREE? Did I also mention that we only take the bare minimum info AND have an absolute policy against re-selling user date?)

Ebarnacle: "My uncle once did an illustration for Gernsback--who stiffed him."

He's in good company; Gernsback also "stiffed" Donald Wollheim AND H. G. Wells. The latter may very well have been miscommunication over whether payment was in pounds sterling or american dollars; the resolution was, Wells accepted the deal.
By way of additional explanation, there's good reason to believe that Gernsback was on the Aspberger's Spectrum and "money" was something he didn't really understand or care about (which probably contributed to the bankruptcy). For an interesting take on this, read Steve Silberman's "Neurotribes", or at least the chapter devoted to Aspberger's and the Science Fiction Fan Community.

Sorry about your uncle getting stiffed.

Joe Offer: "Scientology Founder L.Ron Hubbard was a pretty good science fiction writer in his day, and I believe some of his stories were published in Amazing Stories. The author list for Amazing Stories reads like a Who's Who of science fiction writing."

Well, this (incomplete) bibliography shows no Amazing Stories credits. My memory says he never appeared in Amazing under the Hubbard name and the bit of checking I've done so far seems to be confirming that.

So, go ahead and hang Shaver around Amazing's neck, but not Scientology's. :)

The website can be found at www.amazingstories.com (and www.amazingstoriesmag.com) and I'm happy to answer questions both about the history of the magazine and our on-going plans for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: Steve Davidson-Amazing Stories
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 09:55 AM

sorry. here's the link to the bib: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._Ron_Hubbard_bibliography

Wollheim (one of the field's best editors and a founder of SF fandom, was stiffed for the rental price of a meeting hall. He later helped destroy Gernsback's "Science Fiction League", which was an early commercialized version of SF fandom. This actually worked out for the best, as it helped establish that SF Fandom would not be beholden to ANY commercial interests, so, kinda, bonus.

I never addressed what we're trying to do with the magazine. Bascially, we recognize that SF is an evolutionary kind of literature, each succeeding generation "standing on the shoulder's og giants" as they say. We maintain a connection to the origins of the genre, through all of its generations, and we are atttempting to reintroduce the "positive future" kind of story (rather than the dystopic ones that have been so popular of late); we are hoping to publish the same kinds of stories that inspired an earlier generation to go into space - futures that people might actually want to live in. (Though I have to admit I have a personal fondness for imagining an Earth where the few survivors can live luxurious scavenger lives....). It's not for no reason that we are currently "living in a science fiction world". Its because golden age SF inspired an entire generation to make those fictional visions real. We're looking to do the same for our future.


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 10:09 AM

Steve:
Thanks for the information 'from the horse's mouth' (No, not Mr Ed).
Nice to see free issues to be available at the Worldcon.
Shame I've yet to get to a convention in USA.
But I was in Helsinki last year, and I'll be in Dublin next year.


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Subject: RE: BS: the many lives of Amazing Stories sci-fi
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 03:58 PM

The Amazing Stories Police!


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Mudcat time: 21 October 12:46 PM EDT

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