Friday, June 01, 2007

A Startling Debut-July 1940

The July, 1940, issue of Startling Stories was heralded with the arrival of a new cover artist, Earl K. Bergey. His cover art for this issue depicted a scene from Oscar J. Friend's story "The Worms Turn". (I apologize for the quality of this installment's cover, but a previous owner used a lot of tape to attach a label right in the middle of the cover.)
This issue opens with a lot of the usual ads and then leaps to the novel, Five Steps To Tomorrow by Eando Binder and illustrated by Wesso. "Exiled to a mighty prison in the sky, Richard Hale revisits Earth to mete out scientific justice to the future's crime syndicate." The story, which begins in the year 2000, is a variation on The Count of Monte Cristo.
Next up comes Jack Binder's feature "They Changed The World". This installment concentrates on "Luther Burbank Master Of Plant Life". This is actually an enjoyable and useful series if extremely basic.
The Scientifiction Hall of Fame story first appeared in Science Wonder Stories, May, 1930. "The City of the Living Dead" is a novelet by Laurence Manning and Fletcher Pratt, illustrated by Paul. "A Machine World Yields the Secret of Its Doom and Foreshadows the Destiny of Man!"
"Thrills in Science" by Mort Weisinger offers thumbnail sketches of Blaise Pascal and geometry, Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleeff the Russian chemist and the invention of the stethoscope by Sr. Rene Laennec.
Next comes Oscar J. Friend's short story "The Worms Turn", a sequal to his earlier story "Mind Over Matter". "Deimos and Phobos Belonged to the Planet Mars But They Saved Earth From Destruction and Chaos". The previous story appeared in the January, 1940, issue of Startling. The unsigned illustration appears to be a stock clipart graphic.
Science Question Box deals with the mass of stars, origin of the moon and planetary orbits.
The Ether Vibrates announces the arrival of Earl K. Bergey. "Mr. Bergey has been illustrating covers for our various companion magazines for several years. And many of you have probably seen his work on the covers of such leading magazines as the Saturday Evening Post...Mr. Bergey is a newcomer to the field of scientifiction..." He had previously painted to cover for the Summer, 1940, issue of Captain Future.
Before we come to this issue's letters we first encounter the Scientific Crossword Puzzle and Meet The Author, featuring Eando Binder.
Review Of The Science Fiction Fan Publications reviews "Stardust" edited by W. Lawrence Hamling, Neil DeJack, Chester S. Geier, Harry S. Warner and Howard Funk; "Golden Atom" out of Rochester, NY, by Larry B. Farsaci; "1939 Yearbook Of Science, Weird and Fantasy Fiction" from Bob Tucker; "Spaceways" by the team of Avery, Warner and Marconette; "Science Fiction Collector" by J. V. Baltadonis; "The Alchemist" edited by Charles Ford Hansen, Lewis B. Martin and Roy V. Hunt; "Science Fiction Weekly" from Robert W. Lowndes, Dick Wilson, Leslie Perri and Chet Cohen; and "Fantasy-News" edited by Will Sykora, Jimmy Taurasi, Sam Moskowitz and Mario Racic, Jr.
At last we get to the letters from the readers. Billy Homes of Houston, TX, praises Wellman's "Twice In Time". Sam Moskowitz weighs in on praising Wellman's story while Charles Hidley, a New Yorker, praises the artists. Walter E. Marconette, Dayton, OH, joins in praise of Wellman. J. Pepper, Golden, Co, nitpicks Wellman's science, and Edward L. Corton, Jr. writes from Waterloo, Iowa, praising the Scientifiction Hall of Fame stories.
This issue closes out with a review by "C. S. S." of Will Garth's novelization of Dr. Cyclops. He liked the book and the movie both.
And once again we bid farewell to another good issue of Startling Stories.


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