Wolfgang Baur (the_monkey_king) wrote,
Wolfgang Baur

Amaze Me

The new issue of Amazing Stories hit my mailbox yesterday, after an eight year hiatus. I'm delighted to see it (not least because it contains four of my book reviews), and I think it has a good chance of success. The stories feature writers like Bruce Sterling and Neil Gaiman, while the interviews take their shots at Larry Niven, George RR Martin, and David Goyer, the screenwriter for Batman Begins (2005) and the Blade trilogy.

The inclusion of a screenwriter is no aberration. Amazing offers fun, readable film reviews and lots of them Its overall emphasis on genre films that may seem a little odd to those who remember Amazing as a purely fiction-oriented slick, or maybe even as a pulp in the Neolithic era. But the change is overdue; much of fantasy and SF fandom (and certainly the mainstream audience) cares more about science fiction in TV and movies these days than they do about the latest short fiction. In Hollywood, SF is pretty much the definition of a mainstream summer movie. Magazines should reflect that reality, and cater to that audience.

My nitpicking is confined almost entirely to the look of the cover. I'm not crazy about the new logo. White, san serif minimalism seems to be the goal. And the big-name authors are listed in remarkably small type. In fact, the names are too small to read at any distance, such as on a newstand. And for a magazine so devoted to onscreen SF, there's a lack of anime coverage, limited to a single review of Steam Detectives. Not that I mind. The majority of anime is very weak tea.

I'm sure the graphic quibbles will be ironed out in an issue or two, and the welcome respite from anime-everything may change sooner than I'd like. In the meantime, Amazing Stories is well worth your entertainment dollar if you have any interest in genre film, books, or comics. The content is remarkably free of the pandering, fluffy tone of, oh, pretty much any other entertainment rag available.
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