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Amazing Stories

 
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filmdetective
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Joined: 16 Mar 2020
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:31 am    Post subject: Amazing Stories Reply with quote

Did a Search of this magazine title and got 18 pages of threads, but no thread in the list of Sci-Fi magazines.

I obviously don't have time to read all those 18 pages for passing references to Amazing Stories, so I'm starting a thread here on that magazine itself.
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filmdetective
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Joined: 16 Mar 2020
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:41 am    Post subject: Over the Past 3 Years Reply with quote

Over the past 3 years, I have read a lot of the 1940s issues of Amazing stories, specifically looking for the Ray Palmer and Richard Shaver, "I Remember Lemuria" stories and their relation to the 1947 start of the modern Flying Saucer era.

This is somewhat controversial among SFans, some finding Ray Palmer and his publishing the works of Richard Shaver as highly influential in the Saucer Phenomenon, but others claiming the Amazing Stories works of these 2 authors of little importance.

And, some authors greatly lament that some current writers on the Saucer Phenomenon totally ignore the Palmer/Shaver connection.

When a person says that something is controversial, they are acknowledging that not everyone agrees with their own beliefs or opinions, whereas a person who does not admit that something is controversial probably believes that their own opinions and beliefs are the only correct ones.
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Gord Green
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Joined: 07 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the best overviews of THE SHAVER MYSTERY is presented on the AMAZING STORIES website :

https://amazingstories.com/2013/02/the-art-of-the-shaver-mystery/

In 1943 Richard Sharp Shaver began writing letters to the then publisher of Amazing Stories, Ray Palmer detailing the existence of a sinister, ancient civilization living below the earth’s surface. In caverns deep underground these beings, called Deros, harbored fantastic technology and occasionally kidnapped people from the surface and performed unspeakable tortures upon them.

Shaver’s semi-coherent ramblings, which he claimed were delivers to him telepathically through his welding machine in the factory in which he worked (I’m not making this stuff up, I swear) caught Ray Palmer’s attention. Instead of referring him to a psychiatrist, Palmer contacted Shaver and encouraged his delusions, prompting him to write more and more about this fantastic story.



Perhaps it started out as an amusing diversion, but Palmer published Shaver’s letters. He re-wrote Shaver’s 10,000 word letter, originally entitled “A Warning to Future Man” he added 20,000 more words of exciting plot and retitled it “I Remember Lemuria”. It was published in the March 1945 issue. The issue sold out and generated a significant response. People wrote letters attesting to the truth of Shaver’s claims. Sales increased and soon over 75% of the magazine’s content was given over to writings about the Shaver Mystery.





Whatever you feel about the right or wrong about the Shaver Mystery, the phenomenon produced some amazing art during its run in Amazing Stories and when it eventually moved to its own dedicated publication, The Shaver Mystery Magazine in 1947.

The first Shaver Mystery cover was the March 1945 edition which featured “I Remember Lemuria” as the cover story. The cover for that issue was by Robert Gibson Jones and depicts a metal bikini-clad woman (a ubiquitous sight on pulp covers of the time) in black rubber gloves preparing to throw a massive switch while regarding a green bat-like creature in a glass cage. One would assume that the switch will do something nasty to the critter and the critter seems to know it, judging by its expression.

The artwork looks pretty standard for a pulp cover. I imagine readers were anticipating an exciting science fiction story. What they got was an assurance that this was all real!

Some called it a hoax. Perhaps it was. I’m certain that Palmer had little doubt that Shaver’s hold on reality wasn’t all that firm. Nevertheless, he certainly wasn’t above exploiting it for his own purposes. When the issue sold out, there was no turning back.

No holds barred now. The bold title is THE SHAVER MYSTERY, and the subtitle boldly states that it is “THE MOST SENSATIONAL TRUE STORY EVER TOLD”! The cover shows a sleek red vehicle traveling through a weird landscape under the baleful gaze of a group of giant and fearsome creatures.

Well, a good thing can’t last forever. Palmer himself claimed that the thing just ran its course and stories having to do with the Shaver Mystery just weren’t moving magazines off the racks like they used to. It had nothing to do with the backlash of longtime Amazing Stories readers and writers (including a young Harlan Ellison who claimed that he badgered Palmer into admitting the whole thing was a “publicity grabber”) who wanted the magazine to go back to publishing real SF and not this tabloid dreck.

Undaunted by the loss of Amazing Stories as a venue, Richard Shaver and his wife decided to publish their own pulp magazine. The Shaver Mystery Magazine published irregularly and suffered without Ray Palmer’s “sweetening”. Nevertheless, the magazine did feature some very high quality artwork my H. W. McCauley as well as illustration by Virgil Finley, a perennial illustrator of the pulps.
Eventually public interest waned. The wild tales of Richard Shaver were replaced by more believable stories of flying saucers and little men from outer space.

Seriously.

It is a fascinating story, though, and interesting to look back on the hysteria that it produced. Even today little remnants of Shaver’s mythology still show up in odd places today, particularly in the work of artist Jermaine Rogers who uses his version of Shaver’s Deros in his concert posters and art prints. His Deros designs have even been made into a line of vinyl toys.





As for Shaver himself, he spent the last decade of his life exploring the mystery of “rock books” – stones that he believed had been created by the advanced ancient races and embedded into rocks with legible pictures and texts.

Richard Shaver died in 1975 in Summit, Arkansas.

All of the AMAZING STORIES pulps are available to read or free download from the Internet Archive here:

https://archive.org/details/amazingstoriesmagazine

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:47 am    Post subject: Re: Amazing Stories Reply with quote

filmdetective wrote:
Did a Search of this magazine title and got 18 pages of threads, but no thread in the list of Sci-Fi magazines.

I hate to say it, but our "search" feature is not very useful. If you tell it to search for "Amazing Stories" it will give you all the uses of the words "amazing" and "stories", both separately and together — not just the phrase Amazing Stories with the two words together. Sad

Obviously that will inflate the number of results you'll get and make it hard to find the thread you want . . . even if it does exist.

The best way to find a thread for the magazine Amazing Stories (or whatever magazine you want) would be to go to this section (Sci-Fi magazines and fanzines) and use your browser's "find" feature to quickly look for a thread with the magazine's title on each page.

In fact, even when your looking through one of the other sections that has 10 or 20 pages of threads, it's a quick and easy way to find a thread with the title your looking for. But of course, it must be the title of the thread, not just a use of the words in somebody's post.

As for movies, be sure to always check our Alphabetical Indexes at the top each movie forum. They make it very easy to quickly find the thread for any movie, if we already have one.

Cool, huh? Cool

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Gord Green
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Joined: 07 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grand master comicbook artist Jack Kirby adapted the Shaver Mystery concept into his ETERNALS storyline. The MARVEL movie version of them will hit the screens this winter. Here is Jack's version of the "Deros"-Devients and the "Teros"-Eternals.



The Shaver Mystery continues....

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