Fantastic was an American digest-size fantasy and science fiction magazine, published from 1952 to 1980. It was founded by Ziff-Davis as a fantasy companion to Amazing Stories. Early sales were good, and Ziff-Davis quickly decided to switch Amazing from pulp format to digest, and to cease publication of their other science fiction pulp, Fantastic Adventures. Within a few years sales fell, and Howard Browne, the editor, was forced to switch the focus to science fiction rather than fantasy. Browne lost interest in the magazine as a result and the magazine generally ran poor quality fiction in the mid-1950s, under Browne and his successor, Paul W. Fairman.
At the end of the 1950s Cele Goldsmith took over as editor of both Fantastic and Amazing, and quickly invigorated the magazines, bringing in many new writers and making them, in the words of one science fiction historian, the "best-looking and brightest" magazines in the field. She helped to nurture the early careers of writers such as Roger Zelazny and Ursula K. Le Guin, but was unable to increase circulation, and in 1965 the magazines were sold to Sol Cohen, who hired Joseph Wrzos as editor and switched to a reprint-only policy. This was financially successful, but brought Cohen into conflict with the newly formed Science Fiction Writers of America. After a turbulent period at the end of the 1960s, Ted White became editor and the reprints were phased out.
White worked hard to make the magazine successful, introducing artwork from artists who had made their names in comics, and working with new authors such as Gordon Eklund. His budget for fiction was low, but he was occasionally able to find good stories from well-known writers which had been rejected by the other markets. Circulation continued to decline and in 1978 Cohen sold out his half of the business to his partner, Arthur Bernhard. White resigned shortly afterwards, and was replaced by Elinor Mavor, but within two years Bernhard decided to close down Fantastic, merging it with Amazing, which had always had slightly higher circulation.
Read more about Fantastic (magazine): Publishing History