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Magazine editor Hugo Gernsback created the science fiction magazine industry from scratch, beginning with the addition of a regularly appearing science fiction story to the pages of his earliest "Popular Science/Mechanics" type of magazines. Noting his initial successes with these additions, Gernsback decided it was time to start a magazine dedicated solely to that literary genre. Under his editorial guidance the first of the true science fiction magazines was born. It was entitled Amazing Stories and it debuted with a cover date of April, 1926. Its sister magazine, Amazing Stories Quarterly, would appear almost two years later, and other fiction titles would also bear the Gernsback imprint in the following years. Out of respect for his many contributions to the now-enormous field of science fiction publishing, Gernsback's name has been adopted by one of that industry's highest awards, the coveted "Hugo." This collection of Gernsback's various Amazing Stories publications contains 165 issues in all, including:
A complete run of the early bedsheet-sized editions (V.1#1 through V.8 #5—89 issues, spanning the dates of April, 1926 to August, 1933), and the first 58 issues that were done in the size of a standard pulp (V.8 #6 through V.14 #2, spanning the dates of October, 1933 to February, 1940, plus one slightly later example—V.14 #10 from October, 1940)—an uninterrupted run of the first 147 issues, plus one slightly later example.
Amazing Stories Annual from 1927 (Poor/Fair, missing back cover),
Amazing Stories Quarterly is represented here by 13 of the title's first series of 22 bedsheet-sized issues (V.1 #1 to V.2 #4—all eight issues, plus V.3 #'s 2 and 4, V.5 #'s 2 and 3, and V.6 #4, spanning the dates of Winter 1928 to Spring 1933), as well as three of the title's second series of telephone book sized issues (includes V.1 #1, V.3 #3 and V.4 #1—the final issue).
Please note that only the first issues of each title, as well as the two Buck Rogers issues, were given a thorough inspection for internal problems, such as missing coupons or pages. Due to time constraints, the rest of these issues were given only a quick flip-through to see if any problems were immediately noticeable and to make sure they all had both covers, a complete table of contents page, and the leading and trailing ad pages. Any discovered problems in these areas have been detailed in the following breakdown, but please keep in mind that the rest of the content was not checked, and be aware that these are being sold "as-is," with no guarantee of completeness. We invite all interested parties to view these large runs at our offices in Burr Ridge, IL.
Amazing Stories (standard title)
• The issues from 1926 and '27 (the first 21 issues) average Fair or slightly higher, primarily due to clear-taped spines, heavy cover wear, missing sections of spine paper, plus a few instances of loosening pages or missing covers: V.1 #'s 1, 8 and 10 are missing their back covers; V.1 #5 is missing its last story page and part of the one before it; V.1 #'s 8, 10 and 11 are missing their last ad page; V.2 #'s 4, 5, 7 and 9 are missing both covers; V.2 #4 is also missing its first and last ad pages, and V.2 #7 is missing its last ad page. The page quality fluctuates wildly in this earliest sub-group, ranging from creamy and supple to brown and flaky. Every issue's contents page has been signed at the top by the original owner. The first issue is complete, except for its missing back cover. It displays creamy pages and a taped spine that is missing 1/2" of paper at its head. This rare pulp displays frontally as a GD condition copy.
• The 12 issues from 1928 average about Good, with most displaying clear-taped spines, cream to light tan pages that are darker on their edges, and the same original owner autograph at the top of every content page. Small sections of missing paper appear at the head and foot of most example's spines. A couple of specimens have some edge chipping or tape on their covers, while V.2 #10 is missing both covers and V.3 #3 is missing its back cover. The famous issue that introduced Buck Rogers is in this group (V.3 #5, August). It is complete and has the look of a GD/VG copy, with a neatly taped spine and creamy pages with light tan edges.
• The total of 24 issues from 1929 and 1930 average GD/VG, with most displaying clear-taped spines and light tan pages, and all but a couple have the same original owner autograph at the top of every content page. Small sections of missing paper appear at the head and foot of most example's spines, and a few of the issues from 1930 are missing some sections from the edges of their covers. Buck Rogers second and last pulp appearance before he made the jump to the funny pages appears within this group (V.3 #12, March of 1929). It is complete and has the look of a GD/VG copy, with a neatly taped spine, a 1/4"-tall chip of missing paper at the head of the spine, the original owner's signature at the top of the content page, and light tan pages throughout.
• The total of 24 issues from 1931 and 1932 average GD+, with most displaying light tan pages. All but a couple have the same original owner autograph at the top of every content page, and some have some clear tape on their covers. Small sections of missing paper appear at the head and foot of most example's spines. The complete taping of the spines disappears from the run completely after the first issue for 1932, but six others from that same year display partial taping in that area, as do most of the issues from the previous year. V.6 #4 is missing its back cover, while V.6 #5 is missing its front cover.
• The final 8 bedsheet-sized issues for Amazing Stories appeared in the earliest months of 1933. This octet grade VG on average, with light tan pages and the original owner's name penned in at the top of every content page. Only three of the issues from 1933 have any spine tape at all, and in all three cases it is minimal. The back cover for V.8 #4 is detached but still present.
• The remaining 59 issues for the run are in the standard pulp format, with overhanging cover edges and untrimmed pages. As a group they average VG, generally displaying creamy pages that are slightly darker at the edges. The only evident problem is that V.10 #11 is missing its back cover, and a couple of others have detached covers that are still present.
Amazing Stories Annual
• The venerable sci-fi title only ever had one annual issue to its credit, and this is it. Featuring a first printing of Edgar Rice Burroughs' brand new Master Mind of Mars novella, plus a couple of other tales, this is one of the most sought-after science fiction pulps ever made. All 128 interior pages are here, as is the front cover with its classic Frank Paul image. Unfortunately, the back cover and the response coupon from an ad page (that Gernsback used to determine future demand for this new, pricier 50¢ format) are both missing, producing no effect on the stories. a layer of yellowing clear tape has preserved most of the spine paper and kept the front cover attached. Poor to Fair condition.
Amazing Stories Quarterly
• Series I - This run is primarily a low grade group of reading copies. All have spines that are partially or completely covered with clear tape. They also display tanning pages with delicate edges (although the later issues display lighter internal coloration), and many are missing one or both of their covers: V.1 #'s 1 (coverless), 2 (coverless), 3 (GD/VG), and 4 (coverless), V.2 #'s 1 (coverless), 2 (no back cover, otherwise GD), 3 (GD/VG), and 4 (no back cover, otherwise Fair/GD), V.3 #'s 2 (GD/VG), and 4 (no back cover, otherwise GD), V.5 #'s 2 (GD/VG), and 3 (no back cover, otherwise GD), and V.6 #4 (GD/VG).
• Series II - Each of these "telephone book" issues contains three remaindered pulps, bound under thin paper covers that could never withstand the physical stress of someone reading their bulky content. Spine splits are generally the rule with these giants. This copy of V.1 #1 grades GD/VG with a nice spine, while the other two are only Fair/GD—V.3 #3 and V.4 #1 (missing its back cover).