Thursday, May 17, 2007

1940 Continues, March.

The March issue of Startling Stories features a cover by an unidentified artist (who is also unidentified in Day's Index). It illustrates Oscar J. Friend's story "Station Death". I admit to being surprised how few Startling covers to date have illustrated the issue's novel.

Thumbing through the opening pages we are greeted by numerous advertisements that reek of nostalgia. Wilson Chem Co., Inc. has an entire page devoted to the fabulous items you can earn by selling jars of Cloverine Salve. Movie projectors, watches, a 22 cal. rifle and other tempting goodies. You have to wonder how many people were inflicting salve on their friends and neighbors. The product is still available today. And for a look at Cloverine's golden age, check out this site

"Meet The Author" features an autobiographical note by Henry Kuttner, complete with photograph. "I was born in Los Angeles, to my intense satisfaction, and as a moppet spent most of my time sleeping under the counter of my father's bookshop."

Review of the Science Fiction Publications is next featuring "Spaceways" by James Avery and Harry Warner, Jr.; "New Worlds" from Ted Carnell and Arthur C. Clarke; "Golden Atom" by Larry B. Farsaci, J. Litz, Elmer E. Weinmann, Rosana Barson and Bernard A Seufert, marking its first issue. Next Jack Agnew and Robert A. Madle are represented with "Fantascience Digest"; "The Fantast" by C. S. Youd from Britain; "scientifan" from J. J. Fortier, Paul X. Savage, Robert Millar and James Bush; "Ad Astra" by Mark Reinsberg, Erle Korshack, Leslie A Croutch and Richard I. Meyer; "Fantasy News" comes from New York courtesey of James V. Taurasi, Sam Moskowitz and Mario Racic. "Science Fiction Collector" by John V. Baltadonis has "too much space devoted to petty political arguements between fans". "Luna" by V. Johsworth comes from Australia; another issue of "Fantascience Digest" is sent in by Madle, Agnew and Fischer; "Polaris" arrives from Pasadena and Paul Freehafer; and the final 'zine reviewed this issue is "Fanfare" by Francis Paro, William Zimmer and Harold V. Gruhn.
When New York Vanished by Henry Kuttner is this issue's novel. "Madness rules when the world's greatest city is catapulted into another dimension--while civilization ponders the enigma of a lost metropolis!" (I know that city was here a minute ago.) Illustrations are by Alex Schomburg.
Next, Manly Wade Wellman contributes a guest editorial on the human element of Science Fiction.
Jack Binder's illustrated feature, "They Changed the World" is "The Life Story Of Sir Issac Newton who discovered the Laws of Gravitation".
The Scientifiction Hall of Fame story is "The Phantom Teleview" by "Bob" Olsen. "Denker's Machine Could Work Miracles." It was first published in the November, 1929, issue of Science Wonder Stories.
At last we come to the Prize-Winning Letters. These were written in response to the cover illustration on the September, 1939, issue.The prizes were "big cash payments for the three best letters explaining the cover scene". First Prize, $25.00, went to Lewis A. Griffin, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Second Prize, $15.00, was awarded to Clarence Granoski of Browns Valley, Minn. (What's with Minnesota here? I smell a fix.) Third Prize, $10.00, went to Eleanor N. Hutchens of Philadelphis, Pa. Honorable mentions received one-year subscriptions to Startling Stories, and were awarded to Mearl F. Carson, Denver, Colorado; A. D. Adams of Helena, Ark.; W. K. Verniaud of Michigan City, Indiana; Fred W. Fischer of Knoxville, Tenn; and Homer C. Mitchell of Galveston, Texas.
The next short story is "Station Death" by Oscar J. Friend. "The Wilderness Held a Strange Scientific Secret--But the Black Jungle Doesn't Mix with White Man's Magic!" The illustration is signed with initials that look like JPD.
The Science Question Box fields the querries, "Will The Sun Die?", another wanting proof that the Earth is round, and a third about the concept of controlling the weather.
Mort Weisinger's feature, Thrills In Science, has tales of Jean Baptiste Perrin, Nobel Prize winner in physics; James Couch Adams and the discovery of the planet Neptune; and Edward Muybridge's experiments in photography.
Next comes "Guinea Pig, PH.D." by Alfred Bester, illustrated by Marchioni. "All Life's Secrets Are Revealed on Dr. Winter's Lab. Tables--But Then the Tables Are Turned."
The Ether Vibrates promotes the next issue of SS and Thrilling Wonder Stories. Letters this time are from Al McGrew, John Cunningham, Willard E. Dewey, James Doherty, Marie Bowell and Robert Foster.And rounding out this issue is The Scientific Crossword Puzzle.
All-in-all, another good issue, but the best was yet to come. Next time we will look at the May, 1940 issue.