On Amazing Stories Quarterly Issue 2

SecondSwarm2My series on vintage Amazing Stories magazine is still carrying on its way. This time I’m heading back to the sunny spring of 1928 to see what the second issue of Amazing Stories Quarterly has to offer.

The issue in question appears to be remembered mainly for inspiring the film The Amazing Colossal Man and for containing a story called “The Vibrator of Death”, but it turned out to be a pretty interesting read.

For one, the geopolitical anxiety shown by a number of stories is hard to miss. Whether it’s concern over a second World War, the subversion of capitalism by communism or the rise of dictatorships around the world, the stories offer an interesting snapshot of interwar fears about the shape of the world.

Also included is a very early example of space opera by J. Schlossel. I missed Schlossel’s work when I did my space opera archaeology series a while back, so I’m pleased to have got round to covering him. His story “The Second Swarm” is obviously dated today, but looked at in the context of 1928, it was very much ahead of its time. Meanwhile, “The Nth Man” by Homer Eon Flint manages to prefigure both American superhero comics and Japanese mecha manga!

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