Amazing Stories


The Slan Shack

The Clubhouse: Five words every fan should know

“I have a Cosmic Mind — now what do I do?” Fanspeak is what we call the jargon of fandom that grew up in fanzines and is still in use in the internet age. It’s full of terms that apply to sf, often taken from the pages of novels and stories, as well as words coined to describe things unique to our community. Slan is a good example of both: In A.E. Van Vogt’s 1940 novel of the sam... Read More »

Science Fiction Poetry

Unlike most of the other bloggers here at Amazing Stories, I’m just a fan-girl. Not a writer. And I don’t claim to be a particular expert on anything (except maybe Hildegard von Bingen and Baroque vocal music – but that’s not really what you’re here to read about, is it?). However, I have a passion. And a mission. And that is to disseminate information on and get people excited about science ficti... Read More »

Steve Stiles A Retrospective

Steve Stiles is a living double entendre:  not only does he draw icons of the field, he is an icon of the field. If brushing twilltone off your lap after reading is a familiar experience, Mr. Stiles will need no introduction.  You have no doubt marvelled at his art.  You’ve also probably laughed your posterior off.  If PDF zines are more your experience, no doubt you have seen his illustrati... Read More »

Amazing News Addendum, January 24th

Tomorrow will be the very FIRST (and totally unplanned) FANNISH FRIDAY here at Amazing Stories! We’re going to try to put an emphasis on all things fannish every Friday.  This week we kick off with Leah Zeldes’ Clubhouse and a lesson in vocabulary. MD Jackson talks us through the Aliens amongst us (Fans often feel like aliens;  maybe some of them are.) Diane Severson introduces us to S... Read More »

Time Travel Defined: A device for repairing a poorly thought out plot. Usually.

Time travel is one of those devices that seems to turn up eventually in most long running Science Fiction shows, particularly in the later seasons when they’ve worked out their main story arc already. I’ve come to recognize a particular sort of plot that shows up in most Science Fiction shows.  You know it’s coming, because many characters who have been alive for years will sudde... Read More »

Amazing News January 24

Frank Wu and his wife Brianna ‘Spacekat’ Wu have designed a game called REVOLUTION 60.  It looks quite awesome!  The back-story sees the resurrection of a cold war environment, though this time with China, a return to space, Secrets-in-Space and the adventures of a crew of female operatives from the shady, quasi-governmental agency known as Chessboard.  Hmmm.  Could we all be pawns in ... Read More »

What is the Optimal Human Population? Lessons From the Novels of Stephen Baxter

What is the Optimal Human Population? Lessons From the Novels of Stephen Baxter

Are there too many people on the planet? Science fiction bears much of the responsibility for spreading this meme, which can be unpleasantly tinged with racism. But now and again a great science fiction author develops a more inspiring and pro-human approach to the population question. Read More »

Crossroads: A Genre Darkly

World-building, extrapolation, analogy, conceptual breakthrough, thought experiment - these are science fiction's basic methods. Other genres might occasionally borrow them, but SF has sharpened them to a razor's edge. So what happens when this set of tools works alongside the themes, styles, and plot structures of noir? Read More »

To the Dadcave!

Whether you’re a new dad, or a dad starting out the new year, it’s time to think about yourself. Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween before the New Year were all about the kids. But they’re over. Now you’ve got a few quiet months with hopefully no yard work and some time to actually relax.  Do you have somewhere to do that?  Dads, we need our own place. We need a Dad Cave. A place we can call ou... Read More »

Amazing News January 23, 2012

Dave Truesdale from Tangent Online (a very, very, very long-running review publication) wrote in to let us all know that the Tangent Online Recommended Reading List has been published and can be found here A little closer to home:  Frank Wu’s stunning cover for our first issue can now be seen on the site.  (View).  This will be the cover for Volume 75, Number 1 (Whole Number 610), continuing... Read More »

A Big Money Cast Doesn’t Always Make For A Hit

You’d think that fronting a new TV show with a well known cast would equal a hit. Especially in the sci-fi sector. There are a few actors who are rolled out for several shows, the most obvious is Summer Glau. However, if the show behind them isn’t great then people will still switch off. 666 Park Avenue is the latest example of that. With an all star cast including Terry O’Quinn ... Read More »

Synthetic Voices #13 – December 2012 Top Picks

Synthetic Voices #13 – December 2012 Top Picks

This month has been a tumultuous one – travel, holidays, and illness.  Podcasted fiction seems to have also had a hard time, December representing the weakest month for fiction that I have yet seen.  Even so, we shake off the snow from our cloaks and gather round the fire to discuss the best stories from December and the year at large! Click Here to Listen to Synthetic Voices Ep. #13 Discuss... Read More »

PULPED! A Blog About Pulp And All The Places To Find It

Although I’m sure that there’s certain decorum for writing blog posts that prohibit fanboy type moments, I am choosing at this point-if such rules do exist- to completely ignore them. I do not have nearly enough verbage to clearly explain just how cool it is that I have been invited to be a part of the latest incarnation of AMAZING STORIES. It’s even made more incredible by the fact that I am maki... Read More »

Weird Tales For Winter

Weird Tales For Winter

  If you’re anything like me, you have long since exhausted the established canon of weird, speculative, and mainstream horror fiction. You’ve read every Stephen King novel in triplicate, and are starting to wish that H. P. Lovecraft at least attempted to describe the indescribable horrors appearing on his pages. Philip K. Dick’s paranoid schizophrenic revelations elicit bored ya... Read More »

Amazing News for Tuesday, January 22

Today – Matt Mitrovitch looks at Balkanized America in Alternate history, Adam Gaffen interviews Kevin J. Anderson, and J Simpson reviews the audio work Weird Tales for Winter. Tomorrow – Samantha Henry takes a look at the effect of big name casts and genre show success, Jimmy Rogers reviews podcasts from around the geek-o-sphere, and Astrid Nielsch looks at fan art treatment of LoTR&#... Read More »

These Fractured States: An Overview of Balkanized Americas

Adventure and excitement waits for those travelers brave enough to explore Anglo-America… Treasure troves of colonial history await in the eastern aristocracies, but current events in the region make this a destination for only experienced travelers. The crusaders from the Christian Confederation of Carolina march north seeking to convert all to their way of life. The Burgesses, the lords of the C... Read More »

A Conversation with Kevin J. Anderson

We’re heeeeere! Today’s interview is with Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times Bestselling author. Probably best-known for his contributions to the Star Wars universe and his Dune prequels with Brian Herbert, Kevin is currently hard at work on the first book in a new trilogy, The Dark Between The Stars., a follow-up to his bestselling SF epic, The Saga of Seven Suns. Adam Gaffen for Amazi... Read More »

Audio column #1: “An Introduction….”

Greetings! This is the Science Fiction audio section of the Amazing Stories Blog section. In it you will see a great deal of interesting and unique information. “But what,” you ask, “is Science Fiction audio?” Well, thank you for asking that question! Off the top of the head for most people, this would probably mean soundtracks. Many will come up with audiobooks. Some smaller number will think of ... Read More »

Tarzan, Celebrating the Centennial:  A Review

Tarzan, Celebrating the Centennial: A Review

Christmas 2012 was very good. And one of the reasons it was so good was that among the presents that Santa (in this case my son, J. Michael) left under the tree was a hard-cover, coffee table-sized book entitled Tarzan the Centennial Celebration: The Stories, the Movies, the Art. Published by Titan Books, it is an eye-dazzling, mind-blowing collection of cover art and descriptive essays all about ... Read More »

Five Military SF Novellas by Five Authors

Five by Five Aaron Allston Kevin J. Anderson Loren L. Coleman B. V. Larson Michael A. Stackpole WordFire Press electronic only $4.99 Kindle B&N Kobo Smashwords I thought I’d look at some good old fashioned military science fiction for my first review here at Amazing Stories.  Five by Five is an anthology of five short novels by five well known science fiction authors who have reputations... Read More »

Nothing New Under the Sun

How does an editor manage to still be moved by a story when she has to sift through ever-growing stacks of unsolicited manuscripts, looking for a nugget of something new? I mean, how many ways can you write a romance? Or a murder mystery, a space opera or zombie invasion? Sure, there are tried and true formulas that readers will follow in endless serials because of popular characters or variations... Read More »


At this great and wonderful moment it would be very easy for me to descend into cliche, quote oft-quoted lines from well-known television shows or gush all over myself about how fortunate I am, have been and hope to continue to be. I will resist that temptation except for this homage to the Science Fiction Book Club’s paperback book advertising inserts: “Order Any Ten Books for a Dime!... Read More »

What You Will Find Here

Since January 2nd of 2013, members of the Amazing Stories blog team (you’ll find them all listed under Staff where you can learn more about them) have been writing away on their favorite subjects.  Chances are, you’ll find a few whose favorite subjects are your favorite subjects. In addition to the new content being added every day, there is a wealth of previously published posts avail... Read More »

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 3)

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 3)

Why Short Fiction?: The benefits of the short game to a writing career Welcome back. This is the third in my weekly series of posts on how to market and sell short fiction. This week, I discuss the benefits of short fiction to a writing career. Personally, I love short stories, both to read and to write. You may or may not agree. If you’re in the latter group, don’t worry. I’m no... Read More »

Life on the Fringe

Fringe finished it’s five year run the ot her night and I am grieving it’s loss. At the same time though, as I watched the two hour finale, I was left with a deep sense of closure and satisfaction which you seldom find when shows finish. These days, most good TV shows seem to be canceled before they reach their natural conclusion, Fringe though, it endured and ended on its own terms. I was at SDCC... Read More »

What Is All This Then?

EXTREMELY SHORT SUMMARY Lots of fans sign up for free memberships to read cool, fannish, free stuff: Advertisers pay to advertise: Ad revenue is used to fund a magazine:  The magazine purchases content from authors and artists:  The content is published on the site (and in print).  Member fans read it and see it all for free!  (Mundanes pay the bill.) SHORT AND SWEET SUMMARY In order to survive an... Read More »

To Be Continued . . .

Back in the old days you could read a novel in a series and pretty much enjoy that one novel as a stand-alone. The Asimov’s Foundation novels work this way, so do the novels in James Blish’s Cities in Flight. Both E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensmen and his Skylark series work as stand-alones. In fact, when I read those way back in the Neolithic era (in high school) I read them in a scattershot manner, jum... Read More »

No. 3 – Jules Verne, From The Earth To The Moon, and Space Opera.

Jules Verne hovers between number two and number three on the list of the most translated books worldwide and I think it’s deserved. He became one of the earliest science fiction writers to make it financially from book sales. He is frequently referred to as the “Father of Science Fiction,” a distinction he shares with H. G. Wells and Amazing Stories founder and publisher, Hugo Gernsback. Also not... Read More »

Digital Only Publishing – Think Twice Before You Sign

Digital Only Publishing – Think Twice Before You Sign

Not long ago, my publisher (Orbit) released a new work by Lilith Saintcrow, The Hedgewitch Queen and they released it ONLY in ebook format priced at $2.99. This was the first time I had seen a major publishing house do a digital-only release, but predicted there would be a lot more in the future.  And I was right. Harper Voyager (the fantasy/science fiction imprint of Harper Collins) had an open c... Read More »

A Defining Moment for Science Fiction

A Defining Moment for Science Fiction

The word Science Fiction is recognizable to the average fan, but the definition can be indistinguishable from other genre and cause confusion. Perhaps from the standpoint of the fandom, this vague categorization is by design and allows readers to broaden their focus. Read More »

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