Amazing Stories: The Anthology

Kim Mohan, Editor Tor Books $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85882-7
The magazine Amazing Stories has been around for nearly seven decades. As editor Mohan points out in his introduction, though, something is either amazing or it's not, and what amazes one person is just as likely to befuddle or bore the next. While it would be hard to describe any of these 13 stories as boring, the opener, by Paul di Filippo, could certainly be considered befuddling. A bizarre and convoluted take on an alternate universe (where Philip K. Dick is wedded to Linda Ronstadt), it contains so many ``in'' references to the life of the author of Blade Runner that the neophyte will soon be lost. The rest of the collection (with the exception of Janet Berliner Gluckman's and George Guthridge's equally confusing alternate Holocaust story) is not as risky, making the stories somewhat less ``amazing,'' perhaps, but infinitely more accessible. There are predictable but eminently enjoyable works by R.A. Lafferty, Robert Bloch, Mark Rich and Kathe Koja and well-done philosophical-treatises-cum-stories by Gregory Benford and George Zebrowski. Heavy hitter Ursula K. LeGuin adds weight to the collection with a strange and lovely piece about how perception affects our place in the universe, and Alan Dean Foster does a surprising star turn with his amusing take on virtual reality and low-class thievery, while Thomas Disch takes on a very different sort of afterlife in ``The Burial Society.'' In the nostalgic afterword, Robert Bloch reminisces about the magazine's early history and reminds us just how amazing it is that anything of quality ever manages to get published. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
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FORMATS
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-312-89048-3
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