Amazing Stories magazine (sometimes also named Amazing Science Fiction) was first published in April 1926.
The events in Boston at the beginning of this week were an awful tragedy and, naturally all our hearts go out to the victims. Whether we pictured a shining utopia or a grungy dystopia, cities usually figure fairly prominently in science fiction stories and novels. From this same era, comes Fritz Lang’s famous expressionistic silent film METROPOLIS.
The city as a concept was pushed to its extremes by Isaac Asimov in his Foundation series where he introduces us to Trantor, the city that covers an entire planet. The concept of the city that encompasses a world was new and exciting when Asimov originally wrote the stories that would eventually make up the Foundation series, but the idea has since been co-opted by many science fiction writers, comic book artists and moviemakers. Dystopic cities are also favorite tropes of science fiction writers, particularly the grungy, broken down cityscapes depicted by authors such as William Gibson.
My favorite depictions of future cities are the shining, wild and beautiful cityscapes like this one depicted by Donato Gincola.
We're hosting a writing contest with cash prizes and judged by SFWA pros - Cat Rambo, Dave Creek and Jack Clemons.
A Time to Share, a Time to Enjoy – The Closing Ceremony of the 8th Shanghai Science Fiction & Fantasy Festival.
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It became the first magazine devoted exclusively to publishing stories in the sci-fi genre, and it's regarded as the first science fiction magazine ever.
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the US and, like all cities, it has a character and a resilience just like people do. Whether they are on a future earth, or another earth or floating out in space the futuristic urban environment is one of the great subjects that science fiction artists have fun depicting.
In it the future of the world is depicted as a giant city redolent with expressionistic design. From Trantor, the heart of Asimov’s future galactic empire, Hari Seldon sees a vision of the future and the downfall of these marvelous edifices. George Lucas swiped the concept for the planet of Coruscent in the Star Wars prequel movie, The Phantom Menace.
In his novels of the future such as Neuromancer or Mona Lisa Overdrive, Gibson eschews the shining core of the cities, the heart of the business district, for the edges, the periphery, the places where construction projects have failed and the homeless and disenfranchised have repurposed it for their own uses. Here is a cityscape bathed in light and decorated with beautiful, art-deco inspired designs. Thinking about the city of Boston this week has gotten me thinking about how we used to imagine the cities of the future.

Lang’s future is a sprawling city whose workings are powered by steam and the sweat of workers pushed to the brink of exhaustion. Here is one of my favorite images of Trantor as painted by the amazingly talented Michael Whelan. Perhaps the woman wrapped in the white sheet has a robot body underneath — her flesh being the cost of living in this gleaming utopia. Here he depicts Hari Seldon sitting in front of the sprawling city of Trantor, it’s massive towers almost reaching into the upper atmosphere. Paul was working from the age of radio and that technology influenced much of his design of futuristic cityscapes. Abrams also depict what appears to be gigantic structures, vaguely scene in the background of Iowa that hints at some mammoth urban development just over yonder from the wheat fields. Indeed much of his architecture resembled the inner workings of a 1920’s radio laid out and made large.

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