Cents of Wonder: Science Fiction’s First Award Winners Anthology Published by Experimenter Publishing Company

In 1926 in Amazing Stories, and again in Science Wonder Stories, publisher Hugo Gernsback conducted the science fiction field’s first two writing contests. Both contests centered on original Frank R. Paul cover illustrations and tasked the contestants with centering a story on that illustration. The winner would get $250 USD.  Cents of Wonder: Science Fiction’s First Award Winners presents all fourteen stories that either won, placed or earned honorable mentions in those two contests.

Among those entrants was Clare Winger Harris, the first female author of science fiction to be published under her own name, and a handful of other authors who would revisit the field — A. Hyatt Verrill, John Pierce, Charles R. Tanner, Bob Olsen, names likely recognized by historians in the field.

The anthology’s title is a play on the low word rate paid for early sf stories, and the oft-cited but little clearly understood companion to science fiction’s “willing suspension of disbelief” that often follows successful suspension — the Sense of Wonder, that feeling you get as your mind expands to encompass visions, concepts and possibilities previously unimagined or experienced.

Prepare to have your mind blown as 14 authors new to the field help explore and define the elements that would become staples of the science fiction field. Fourteen tales of other-worldly adventure, undiscovered countries, amazing technologies and fabled inventions!

With an introduction by Hugo Award winning author Allen Steele and accompanied by Hugo Gernsback’s contest introductions, rules and commentary and also including the original story illustrations, Cents of Wonder is an eye-opening glimpse into the science fiction field’s earliest moments of self-discovery and definition.  These are the very stories that would thrill and excite young readers named Isaac and Ray, Leigh and Judith, Arthur and Ursula….

Cover design by Kermit Woodall.  Introduction by Allen Steele. Notes and commentary by Steve Davidson. Additional material by Hugo Gernsback.  Stories by —

  • Cyril G. Wates 
  • Geo. R. Fox 
  • Clare Winger Harris 
  • S. Maxwell Coder
  • Hyatt Verrill 
  • Cecil B. White
  • D. B. McRae 
  • Charles R. Tanner
  • John R. Pierce
  • Frank J. Brueckel Jr.
  • Harold A. Lower
  • Bob Olsen 
  • Victor Endersby
  • Arthur G. Stangland

Cents of Wonder, from The Experimenter Publishing Company, LLC, publisher of Amazing Stories magazine and website and publisher of Amazing Selects has made their latest release available in the Amazing Stories store (EBook or Print) and on Amazon.

[Based on a press release.]

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3 thoughts on “Cents of Wonder: Science Fiction’s First Award Winners Anthology Published by Experimenter Publishing Company

  1. Thank you.

    We wanted to find a good project that presented older science fiction in a slightly different orientation: we’re not saying to readers “this is the greatest award winning sf ever!”, we’re saying “back when the genre was being formulated, when everyone, from editors to authors to artists and publishers, were still figuring out what this “thing” they’d grabbed ahold of was, these are the stories – styles, concepts, limitations, excesses, that were considered exemplary enough to receive special mention. Maybe by reading them, the reader will get a glimpse of the evolution of the genre in action.

    We had fun doing it.

    Anyone wanting to review it, let me know.

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