Reviewed by Steven H Silver
More Amazing Stories bills itself as "The very iast issue of Amazing Stories!" For a magzine 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 fitting, therefore, editor Kim Mohan has elected to reprint five stories which were first published in Amazing Stories and 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 even 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 the sort of fiction magazine founder Hugo Gernsback would have considered appropriate for his magazine. There are occasional stories which Gernsback would have approved of, for instance, 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 consistantly 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 a 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.
|Nancy Springer||The Time of Her Life|
|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|
|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 *|
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