To Buy Amazing Stories

By Christian
August 21, 2000 - 9:17 PM

Locus Online is reporting that Wizards of the Coast has suspended publication of Amazing Stories, its science fiction magazine. Since a few years, Amazing also featured short stories based in the Star Trek universe.

Amazing Stories was founded in 1926 by Hugo Gernsback as the first magazine dedicated solely to science fiction. Despite being the first SF mag, in later years it wasn't always as successful as its competitors, and most recently it was shut down in the mid-nineties. In 1998, the magazine was resurrected by Wizards of the Coast, which had obtained the rights to the magazine when they purchased games company TSR. Besides stories set in original universes, it would now also feature media tie-in stories, and over the past two years it's included stories from franchises such as Babylon 5, Dune, and of course Star Trek. Most of these were written by experienced Trek novel writers, such as A.C. Crispin, John Gregory Betancourt and Dean Wesley Smith, including most recently an original Captain Proton story by Smith.

Unfortunately, even this new strategy didn't perform well enough for Wizards of the Coast to keep publishing the magazine. In an announcement posted on the magazine's main page, publisher Johnny Wilson said single sales of the magazine, as well as advertising sales, increased over the last few issues, but not enough to justify WotC's continued investment in Amazing.

"Wizards of the Coast is a game publisher which happens to publish magazines to support our customers who play our games and other games", said Wilson. "AMAZING Stories is the world's oldest and, arguably, most famous, science fiction magazine. It isn't really a game magazine, even though you may have noticed a few experiments in game and story tie-ins over three of the last four issues."

According to the Locus report, negotiations are currently underway to sell the magazine's assets, including material in inventory, to SF site GalaxyOnline. There it will become an online publication under editor-in-chief Ben Bova, joining the site's already-existing Writer's Corner, headed by Rick Wilber. It is not known whether this means GalaxyOnline will also be publishing original Star Trek fiction.

Thanks go out to John Ordover for posting about this to Psi Phi's Star Trek Books BBS.

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