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More Amazing Stories
edited by Kim Mohan
Tor Books, 320 pages

Kim Mohan
Kim Mohan is the author (with Pamela O'Neill) of the Cyborg Commando trilogy (Planet in Peril, Chase Into Space and The Ultimate Prize). He is also the editor of Amazing Stories magazine.

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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steven H Silver

More Amazing Stories bills itself as "The very last issue of Amazing Stories!" For a magazine whose death knell has already rung several times, that may (we hope) be going out on a limb. Unfortunately, the current situation indicates that this is more than just hype. Perhaps fittingly, therefore, editor Kim Mohan has elected to reprint five stories which were first published in Amazing Stories as a way of looking back at where the magazine has been. These stories, marked with an asterisk in the table of contents below, are good enough that the reader can't begrudge the fact that they are taking up space which otherwise might have gone to new fiction.

The new fiction is readable, although much of it is a far cry from what magazine founder Hugo Gernsback would have considered appropriate for his magazine. There are occasional stories of which Gernsback would no doubt have approved, such as Mike Curry's "Genesis: An Overview," in which the missing matter from the universe is a test by God regarding humanity's right to exist.

Other stories don't work as well. Mohan opens the book with Nancy Springer's "The Time of Her Life," about a Yuppie who finds a year of extra time. The path of the story is somewhat predictable, however, and the character never becomes particularly sympathetic. Springer's tale is followed by "Scipio," by Daniel Hood and "The Flood," by Linda Nagata, both of which seem to have been written to demonstrate the futility of human action or resistance in the face of predestination.

Reprinting older stories, particularly Philip K. Dick's "The Builder," which was published several years before Mohan had anything to do with the magazine, demonstrates one of the reasons Amazing Stories consistently lost market share until it was forced to cease production.

More Amazing Stories, unfortunately, does not maintain the standards which were reflected in the magazine for much of its seventy-year history. Nor does it live up to its predecessor, Amazing Stories (1995), which included such strong original stories as William Barton's "In Saturn Time" or R.A. Lafferty's "Happening in Chosky Bottoms."

With TSR's purchase by Wizards of the Coast, it seems unlikely that Amazing will again be resurrected from the dead to reclaim its title as oldest science fiction magazine. This most recent incarnation of Gernsback's vision is not, in my opinion, the most worthy way to remember the magazine which existed for seventy years. A retrospective volume may, in fact, have been a more appropriate way to honor that history.

Table of Contents
Nancy Springer The Time of Her Life
Daniel Hood Scipio
Linda Nagata The Flood
Philip K. Dick The Builder *
Robert Silverberg Quantity and Quality: The Short Fiction of Philip K. Dick
John Morressy The Persistence of Memory
Martin E. Cirulis Stiletto
Eleanor Arnason The Gauze Banner
S.N. Dyer The Experiment
Arlan Andrews, Sr. Parameters of Dream Flight
Howard Waldrop Household Words, or, The Powers-That-Be *
Mike Curry Genesis: An Overview
L.A. Taylor Visitors
James Alan Gardner Hardware Scenario G-49 *
Kiel Stuart Eat at Joe's
Don Webb Tamarii Notebook
Marti McKenna Perchance to Dream
Gregory Benford The Dark Backward *
Frank C. Gunderloy, Jr.Sooner
Michelle Knowlden Where Old Kings Gather
Ursula K. Le Guin Unchosen Love *

Copyright © 1998 by Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is one of the founders and judges for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. He sits on concoms for Windycon, Chicon 2000 and Clavius in 2001 and is co-chair of Picnicon 1998. Steven will be serving as the Programming Chairman for Chicon 2000. In addition to maintaining several bibliographies and the Harry Turtledove website, Steven is trying to get his short stories published and has recently finished his first novel. He lives at home with his wife and 3200 books. He is available for convention panels.

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