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. The title underwent numerous minor changes, appearing as Fantastic Science Fiction (1955-1958), Fantastic Science Fiction Stories (1959-1960), Fantastic Stories of Imagination (1960-1965) and Fantastic Stories at various periods.

Editor Howard Browne originally intended Fantastic to attract a wider audience than Amazing, and published tales under bylines famous outside the sf field, including Raymond Chandler, Truman Capote, and Evelyn Waugh. After 1953, when it absorbed the much older Fantastic Adventures, Fantastic deteriorated to become a downmarket sf magazine indistinguishable from Amazing, running material by Harlan Ellison, Randall Garrett, Milton Lesser and Robert Silverberg under a variety of pseudonyms. But from 1958, under the more adventurous editorship of Cele Goldsmith, it improved dramatically, becoming arguably the best fantasy magazine existing, in the words of one science fiction historian, [one of] the "best-looking and brightest" magazines in the field.

Fritz Leiber revived his Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series for the magazine, and other Sword and Sorcery series appeared, notably the Brak stories by John Jakes and the Dilvish stories by Roger Zelazny. Authors whose first published stories appeared in Fantastic under Goldsmith include Piers Anthony, Thomas M. Disch, Ursula K. Le Guin and Roger Zelazny. David R. Bunch was also a regular (and controversial) contributor. Following a bad period in the mid-1960s after the magazine was sold, Fantastic improved again under Ted White, featuring a notable series of articles by Alexei and Cory Panshin, Science Fiction in Dimension (1970-1973), publishing much early work by Gordon Eklund and some excellent covers by Stephen Fabian. Circulation continued to decline however, and in 1980 then remaining owner Arthur Bernhard decided to close down Fantastic, merging it with Amazing, which had always had slightly higher circulation.

Sources: SFE and wikipedia.