Back in 1932, Hugo Gernsback was in charge of the “Wonder Stories” magazines, such as this Fall issue of Wonder Stories Quarterly, which in its 96 8.4″ by 11.5″ pages gave its readers four interplanetary stories: “Emissaries of Space” by Nathan Schachner, “The Crisis With Mars” by Frank R. Kelly, “Guardians of the Void” by Arthur K. Barnes, and “The Electron Flame” by Jack Williamson, complete with some fine full-page illustrations by Frank R. Paul, who also drew the cover. This issue was half the price of its predecessors, as the fifty cent price had become “entirely out of keeping with economic conditions”, as Gernsback commented in the editorial. It was 48 pages slimmer than the previous issue, too.

“Our cover illustration, from Jack Williamson’s exciting story, “The Electron Flame”, shows the owner of the little Martian Moon flying off to safety in his space ship. He leaves the detective to be devoured by the onrushing flood of the electron flame, which is consuming the world.” Don't you just hate it when that happens? The story was included in a nice thick collection of Williamson stories from 1932-35 in 2000, "Wizard's Isle," which had an introduction by Ray Bradbury, and an afterword by the author himself, who was then a mere 92 years old. I see he had a new novel serialised in Analog in 2005, "The Stonehenge Gate," which must be some kind of record for the length of an author's career, given that his first serial, "The Green Girl," was in Amazing Stories in 1930.

The Wonder Stories history is a little complicated. After Hugo Gernsback lost control of Amazing Stories, he founded Science Wonder Stories, the first issue of which was cover-dated June 1929; it ran for twelve monthly issues. Air Wonder Stories started a month later, and ran for eleven issues. In June 1930, the combined Wonder Stories appeared. March-April 1936 saw the final issue under that title, and edited by Gernsback. The "Thrilling" group of pulps run by Beacon Magazines then took over, the home of Thrilling Detective and Thrilling Western, so that August saw volume eight number one under the new title of Thrilling Wonder Stories, edited by Mort Weisinger, probably best remembered for his editorial work on the Superman family of comics over subsequent decades. January 1955 saw the final, Winter 1955, issue. On the Quarterly side, Science Wonder Quarterly started in Fall (September) 1929, becoming just Wonder Stories Quarterly with its fourth issue, Summer (June) 1930, and finishing with the Winter (January) 1933 issue. I can't find a trace of any Air Wonder Quarterly issues, so presumably once a month was the maximum needed for conveying the thrills and, er, wonders, of aviation...