Monday, June 20, 2011

Amazing Stories #2 c2c

The Internet Archive has added several more early issues of Amazing Stories to their collection, including #2 which contains some of the earliest sf fan mail.

"And it was with a feeling of gratification that we noted the almost unanimous condemnation of the so-called "sex-appeal" type of story that seems so much in vogue in this country now. Most of our correspondents seemed to heave a great sigh of relief in at last finding a literature that appeals to the imagination, rather than carrying a sensational appeal to the emotions. It is that which justifies our new venture — our expenditure of time and money.

The letters, extracts from which are printed below, seem to best express the general trend of opinion.

Mr. George W. Anderson, of Fairmount, W. Va., in addition to giving us a good suggestion, says: "Print all scientific facts as related in the stories, in italics. This will serve to more forcefully drive home the idea upon which you have established your magazine. Personally, when I have some such system blazing forth before my eyes I am inclined to stop and consider what I have learned, for future reference."

A. Lee Gladwin, of Ames, Iowa, writes: "....Amazing Stories is entertaining and has food for thought that no other fiction work could begin to compete with."

Raymond E. Dickens, Air Mail Radio Station, Iowa City, Iowa, says: "I can read these stories over several times and each time get something new from them."

Michael H. Kay, Brooklyn, N, Y., says : "You will generally find that when one has read your magazine he will become so enthusiastic, so elated over his discovery, that he will deem it a pleasure to extol its virtues to his friends. Even now my wife is anxiously waiting for me to finish this first issue, so that she may read it herself."

Lack of space precludes adding to the list indefinitely."

I'm very appreciative of the Archive's efforts, but it has to be said that while the "Read Online" version is fine, the PDFs are rather poor quality and the text conversions are a bit garbled. Hopefully the volunteers at Project Gutenberg will pick them up and give us some properly proofread versions.

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