Amazing Stories Quarterly

The first issue of Amazing Stories Quarterly, dated Winter 1928. The cover art is by Frank R. Paul[1] for H.G. Wells' story When the Sleeper Wakes.[note 1]

Amazing Stories Quarterly was a U.S. science fiction pulp magazine that was published between 1928 and 1934. It was launched by Hugo Gernsback as a companion to his Amazing Stories, the first science fiction magazine, which had begun publishing in April 1926. Amazing Stories had been successful enough for Gernsback to try a single issue of an Amazing Stories Annual in 1927, which had sold well, and he decided to follow it up with a quarterly magazine. The first issue of Amazing Stories Quarterly was dated Winter 1928 and carried a reprint of the 1899 version of H.G. Wells' When the Sleeper Wakes. Gernsback's policy of running a novel in each issue was popular with his readership, though the choice of Wells' novel was less so. Over the next five issues, only one more reprint appeared: Gernsback's own novel Ralph 124C 41+, in the Winter 1929 issue. Gernsback went bankrupt in early 1929, and lost control of both Amazing Stories and Amazing Stories Quarterly; his assistant, T. O'Conor Sloane, took over as editor. The magazine began to run into financial difficulties in 1932, and the schedule became irregular; the last issue was dated Fall 1934.

Authors whose work appeared in Amazing Stories Quarterly include Stanton A. Coblentz, Miles J. Breuer, A. Hyatt Verrill, and Jack Williamson. Critical opinions differ on the quality of the fiction Gernsback and Sloane printed: Brian Stableford regards several of the novels as being important early science fiction, but Everett Bleiler comments that few of the stories were of acceptable quality. Milton Wolf and Mike Ashley are more positive in their assessment; they consider the work Sloane published in the early 1930s to be some of the best in the new genre.

Publication history

Winter Spring Summer Fall Winter
1928 1/1 1/2 1/3 1/4
1929 2/1 2/2 2/3 2/4
1930 3/1 3/2 3/3 3/4
1931 4/1 4/2 4/3 4/4
1932 5/1 5/2 5/3
1933 6/4 7/1
1934 7/2
Issues of Amazing Stories Quarterly from 1928 to 1934, showing issue numbers, and
indicating editors: Gernsback (blue, first six issues), and Sloane (yellow,
remaining sixteen issues). Note that the apparent error in numbering starting
in 1933 is in fact shown correctly.[2]

Although science fiction (sf) had been published before the 1920s, it did not begin to coalesce into a separately marketed genre until the appearance in 1926 of Amazing Stories, a U.S. pulp magazine published by Hugo Gernsback.[3] The new magazine was successful, and in 1927 Gernsback brought out a double-sized Amazing Stories Annual, which also sold well. These successes convinced him to start a companion magazine to Amazing Stories, titled Amazing Stories Quarterly.[4] The first issue, dated Winter 1928, appeared on newsstands on January 5 that year.[5]

Gernsback went bankrupt in early 1929, and lost control of both Amazing Stories and Amazing Stories Quarterly. After a short period in receivership, they were acquired by Bergan Mackinnon, who sold them on to Bernarr Macfadden's Teck Publications. T. O'Conor Sloane, who had worked on both magazines for Gernsback, took over as editor. In 1932 the magazine, which was probably never very profitable, began to suffer from financial problems, and the quarterly schedule became irregular after the Winter 1932 issue. The last two issues were filled completely with reprints from early issues and from Amazing Stories. The last issue was dated Fall 1934, though the decision to discontinue the magazine was not taken until some time later, as an editorial comment in the May 1935 issue of Amazing Stories mentioned that further issues might still appear.[1][2]

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