Tales of Wonder (magazine)

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The first issue of Tales of Wonder

Tales of Wonder was the first professional British science fiction magazine. It was published from 1937-1942 and was edited by Water Gillings. Although it was preceded in 1934-1945 by Scoops, that was more of a boy's newspaper than a magazine.

Publication historoy[edit]

The first U.S. science fiction (sf) magazine, Amazing Stories, was imported into the U.K. from its launch in 1926, and other magazines from the U.S. market were also available in the U.K. from an early date. However, no British sf magazine was launched until 1934, when Pearsons launched Scoops, a weekly in tabloid format aimed at the juvenile market. Soon Haydn Dimmock, Scoops editor, began to receive more sophisticated stories, targeted at an adult audience; he tried to change the magazine's focus to include more mature fiction but within twenty issues falling sales led Pearson's to kill the magazine. The failure off Scoops gave British publishers the impression that Britain could not support a science fiction publication.[1]

Tales of Wonder ended in the Spring 1942 with Issue #16. On the cover of that issue the publishers explained the reason for the magazine's demise:

"Since this issue went to press, we have been obliged - owing to paper restrictions and war conditions generally - to discontinue this magazine while the war lasts. No further issue will appear until peace comes when we hope to resume publication as before."

Bibliographic details[edit]

Winter Spring Summer Autumn Winter
1937 1
1938 2 3 4 5
1939 6 7 8 9
1940 10 11 12
1941 13 14 15
1942 16
Issues of Tales of Wonder, showing issue number.
Walter Gillings was editor throughout.[2]


  1. ^ Ashley, Time Machines, pp. 127–131.
  2. ^ "Tales of Wonder", in Tuck, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Vol. 3, p. 598.