It’s not quite true to say Amazing folded and never returned - it did return and has been published as a quarterly or annual magazine in most years. The latest publication was summer 2020 and in theory it’s an electronic quarterly now. It’s fair to say it’s monthly print publication that it enjoyed for 65+ years has stopped though.This thread brings back some fond memories indeed.... Sadly, Amazing went under and never returned. I do believe it was the oldest commercial SF mag, started in 1926?
I rather like the definition attributed to Damon Knight: Science fiction is what I'm pointing at when I call something science fiction.
Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine May 1986
"Chance" by Connie Willis. An unhappy woman seems to have encounters with people and events in her past, and realizes that small choices can have large consequences. This is a subtle story, with frequent changes in narration from present to various times in the past, often within a single paragraph. It can be interpreted as the protagonist's mental breakdown, or as a time fantasy. The fact that the woman keeps getting colder and colder as the story goes on (in the last paragraph: "The back of her hand was covered with ice crystals.") leads me to believe that there may be some implication that this is someone experiencing her past while dying.
"Inventions Bright and New" by R. A. Lafferty. Typically mad Lafferty story. As best as I can tell, some oddly named folks (Anna Thursday-Dawn and John Rain-Tomorrow, to name a couple) on a train when the world is seven seconds old (but we are told the world is always seven seconds old) invent everything from playing cards to the hangman's noose. With Lafferty you just have to go along for the ride.
"For a Place in the Sky" by Richard Paul Russo. In the near future, when things are falling apart and the elite are escaping to space colonies, a South American who did some shadowy work for American agents fights to collect his reward: a place on the space shuttle. This reads kind of like a lighter version of a Lucius Shepard story, although he wouldn't have ended it so suddenly, and would have probably made it a full novella.
"The Difficulties Involved in Photographing Nix Olympica" by Brian Aldiss. In a future when Mars is inhabited by the military, two guys set out to get photographs of the planet's giant mountain. Other authors would have made this a "hard" science adventure story, but Aldiss makes it a delicate character study.
"The Shadow on the Doorstep" by James P. Blaylock. Under the influence of reading Jules Verne, the narrator wonders about the mysterious shadow on his doorstep and has memories of three strange aquarium stores he visited at various times in his life. Written in long sentences and long paragraphs, this appears to be a pastiche of Lovecraft (there are tiny hints of the fish-like humanoids found in some of his tales) although it can be read as simply the feverish imaginings of the narrator.
"Collision" by James Tiptree, Jr. One of three deep space novellas by the author, later collected as The Starry Rift. This one involves the possibility of interstellar war between humans and aliens, due to mutual misunderstanding and distrust. The story has a Star Trek feel to it (the humans even have a Federation.)
Interestingly, if you read the old Asimov editorials in the magazine, some of Isaac's comments seem to be somewhat withering, regards the selection methods employed by the "Chestertonian Dozois". I wouldn't be at all surprised if The Good Doctor felt some of the stories weren't to his taste (though he never says so directly of course).BTW, there is a mention of some controversy regarding Dozois' collections in the April 1988 Analog Greg Easton column.
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