Front cover Amazing Stories: Volume 1.

Front cover Amazing Stories: Volume 1.

Gernsback creates Amazing Stories, which is the first speculative fiction pulp magazine in America.


Compelling narratives became widely available as soon as cheap paper made mass production affordable. Through the speculative fiction pulp magazine, Gernsback encouraged the development of imagined communities that revolved around the commonality of fandom and the appeals of science. As more and more creative stories were shared, more and more creative and compelling narratives were created.

George Kubler explains why this is the case when he writes The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things. He tells us, "Our ability at any moment to accept new knowledge is narrowly limited by the existing state of knowledge...The more we know, the more new knowledge we can accept" (59). We can take his assertion a step further and argue that the more we know, the more new knowledge we can create. In this way, the complex and fantastical narratives of the modern comic book or graphic novel are only possible because of the earlier creativity of comic artists and speculative fiction pulp writers.

Amazing Stories persisted in the print medium into the twenty-first century. In 2011, Steve Davidson acquired its rights and began publishing it digitally. Two online editions are available from 2012. The magazine's appeal is also transmedial, with materials being adapted for a television series directed by Steven Spielberg from 1985-1987, as well as a project related to Star Trek from the early 2000s.

Disch, Thomas M. The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000.  

Moskowitz, Sam. The Immortal Storm: A History of Science Fiction Fandom. Westport: Hyperion Press, 1974.  

Images: Amazing Stories; Pulp Science Ficiton and Detective Fiction Periodical Collections; MSS 145; Fales Library and Special Collections; New York University Libraries.