Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Leaping the Startling Gap

We now come to the first gap in my collection, so we will just plunge ahead and fill in the holes later.

Earle K. Bergey provides the cover for the May 1942 issue of Startling Stories, illustrating the issue's novel Blood On The Sun. The issue then leaps into "The Ether Vibrates". Featured is an announcement from the Futurian Society of New York. "The Futurian Society of New York declares its unswerving sympathy and loyalty to the great struggle being carried on by four-fifths of the population of Earth, headed by the alliance of the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and China, against the barbarian thrust of the Nazi-Facist-Japanese Axis. It makes this declaration in the firm conviction that the further progress of science and civilization, upon which the dreams and visions of science-fiction are mainly based, is dependent entirely upon an allied victory.The shape of the Future is being decided on the field of battle of the Present. Science-fiction readers, writers and enthusiasts have no other possible choice but to do all in their power to aid and speed the triumph of civilization over fascism. To this end, the Futurian Society appeals to all other science-fiction clubs, publications, and readers to issue similar declarations and to do all in their power to help the United States to absolute victory. John B. Michael, Director." (But, was he so concerned about the Nazis during the period following Hitler and Stalin signing the non-agression pact?)
Letters this time are from Paul Carter of Blackfoot, Idaho, faintly praising Bergey's cover for the previous issue. The letter writer also joyously immerses himself in Oscar J. Friend's Sergeant Saturn argot; Xeno galore. Ray Beebe writes from Butte, Montana, saying he was not impressed with Bergey's cover for the March issue, saying the hero "looks like a mattress ad". W. S. MacFarlane, Jr., from Mt. Vernon, NY, liked the March issue; Edwin C. Conner, Peoria, Ill., didn't like Bergey's cover. Thomas Regan, Jr., New Brunswick, NJ, calls for covers by Paul, Krupa, Finlay or Wesso. Harry Jenkins, Jr, (there are a lot of 'Jrs" this issue) Columbia, SC, gives thanks for the reviews of his fanzines. George Aylesworth, Lakewood, Ohio, compares and contrasts the January and March issues, especially praising Kuttner and Millard. LeRoy Tackett, Fountain, Colorado, expresses his dislike of Bergey, and Robert Sandberg, Chicago, likes Belarski.

The novel for this issue is Blood On The Sun by Hal K. Wells (any biographical information will be welcome) with illustrations by Virgil Finlay. "The Ancient Brain-Destroyers Prepare to Use the Bodies of Mankind for Their Own Sinister Purposes and Few Are Aware of the Threatening Menace!" You've got to love a story whose heroine is named "Amber Starr".

The first short story is "Alla-Beg's Genii" by Richard O. Lewis. "Alla-Beg, the Crooked Magician, Plays Abracadabra with the Wrong Dimension." The illustration is unsigned. This story would have made a good episode of The Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Or maybe even Amazing Stories.
Thrills in Science, Thumbnail Sketches of Great Men and Achievements by Oscar J. Friend now takes center stage. Covered this time are Dr. Thomas Morton and the search for painless dentistry; Sir Richard Owen successfully reconstructing the New Zealand Dinoris, a prehistoric bird, using only a leg bone; and Dr. John Boyd Dunlop invents the pneumatic tire.
Our next short story is Macrocosmic by G. L. Maddocks. "Jim Hughes is Resurrected from an Atom and a Drop of Water by the Massive Men of Rotana After His Body Absorbs the Entire Solar System!" The illustration is by Morey.
The Science Question Box tackles such questions as the lightest commercial metal, the expanding universe, using vitamins to restore color to gray hair and was powdered glass used as a poison.
The Scientifiction Hall of Fame story is The Making of Misty Isle by Stanton A. Coblentz 1896-1982). "In That Peaceful Generation before Pearl Harbor, Evil Men Strove to Turn the Pacific into a Seething Cauldron!" The illustration is unsigned. The story was first printed in Science Wonder Stories for July, 1929.

Closing out this issue is Review of the Science Fiction Fan Publications by Sergeant Saturn. "Avast there, you space bugs!" The old Sarge became very annoying very quickly. Tom Ludowitz of Everett, Washington, begs a plug for his upcoming Science Fiction News Monthly. Sarge then mentions another forthcoming publication called Fan Editor and Publisher. Then he complains about something called The Damn Thing of which he received only pages five through twelve.
We get down to business with Fantasy Fiction Field (weekly) which comes from Julius Unger of Brooklyn. Fantasy News, William Sykora's weekly newspaper, comes from Elmont, NY. Fantascience Digest from Bob Madle, Rust E. Barron and Jack Agnew comes out of Philadelphia on a bi-monthly schedule (certainly a lot more sensible than weekly). Fantasy Times is James V. Taurasi's monthly publication out of Flushingm NY. Jinx is a quarterly publication by Harry Jenkins of Columbia, SC. Nova is published by Al Ashley of Battle Creek bi-monthly.
Science Fiction Fan is Olon F. Wiggins' monthly (?) zine from Denver. Southern Star is another publication from Columbia, SC, this one from Joseph Gilbert on a bi-monthly schedule. Spaceways is Harry Warner, Jr's well-known and respected zine, published eight times a year in Hagerstown, MD. Sunspots is a bi-monthly put out by Gerry de la Ree in Westwood, NJ. Universe Stories comes from Everett, WA, courtesey of Thomas J, Ludowitz. And closing out this issue is Voice of the Imagi-Nation, edited in Los Angeles by Forrest J. Ackerman and Morojo.
So, another issue of Startling Stories comes to a close. Join us next time when Sergeant says, "[L]et a kindly and benevolent old spaceman consult with a fresh jug of Xeno".


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9:40 PM  

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