Wednesday, June 04, 2008

And Then There Were Three

The end of the hunt draws near. I have found the March, 1942 issue of Startling Stories and now need only three issues to go. This is almost feeling exciting.
The cover is by Bergey, illustrating this issues novel. Advertisements in the front offered lessons for various musical instruments and the opportunity to bulk up and stomp the beach bullies flat. Sarge Saturn promotes the next issue and then gets to the letters. But we shall skip ahead and return to the letters somewhere below.
Tarnished Utopia by Malcolm Jameson (1891-1945) is the novel this time around. "Racked with Pain in the Torture Chambers of the Moon, a Brave American Plots a Terrible Death for Prince Lohan, Dictator of the Solar System." Lohan? The dictator is a descendant of a Hollywood starlet? Who knew? There is also a Princess Chen Chin, being one of the sillier names for a pulp character I have encountered for a while. The illustrations are by Wesso.
"Thrills in Science" by Oscar J. Friend is next. First he tells the story of Edward Emerson Barnard, the astronomer who discovered Jupiter's fifth moon. I found this especially interesting as Barnard was from Nashville, Tennessee, location of my present abode. Also covered are Gutenberg's development of movable type and the development of an improved oil lamp wick by Aime and Johann Argand.
The first short story is "Silent Eden" by Henry Kuttner. "A Superhuman Being Shackles Two Mortals in a Private World Where Only Thought-Power Can Triumph!" The illustration is unsigned.
"Science Question Box" deals with German dust bowls, the end of the world and how A Star Is Born (which has nothing to do with the movie of the same name). And then we come to the Hall of Fame selection, "Hornets of Space" by R. F. Starzl. "The 'Coward' of the Space Lanes Proves His Worth to the Interplanetary Police!" The illustration is unsigned. This first appeared in Wonder Stories for November, 1930. Roman F. Starzl was the editor and publisher of the Globe Post of Le Mars, Iowa. His son, Thomas Starzl performed the first human liver transplant in 1963.
"Mister John Doe, Earthman" by Joseph J. Millard (1908-1989) is the next short story. "A Cosmic Cloud Threatens to Destroy the Sun-and Only an Alien Visitor with a Nebulous Memory Can Save It!" The illustration is by Marchioni.
Mow we come to the letters. Paul Carter, Blackfoot, Idaho, nitpicks on Belarski. Norman Hempling of Brooklyn also complains about Belarski but approves of Millard and Wellman. Milton Lesser, also from Brooklyn, did not enjoy Wellman's "The Devil's Planet", did not like the cover or Gallun and Asimov shorts. Gerry de la Ree, Jr., Westwood, NJ, also complained about Belarski's cover (we seem to be detecting a trend here) but liked Millard's "The Gods Hate Kansas (as did I). Ernest R. Elliot, of Kikimo, Indiana, was quite happy with the November issue. Bee Helena Clark Leeds went on about astrology, which she taught, complaining the subject was being maligned. By the way, she was from San Francisco. Edward C. Conner, Peoria, announced the formation of a science fiction fan club and closed out this issue's letters.
"Review of the Science Fiction Fan Publications", by Sergeant Saturn covered the following titles, all of which had been mentioned previously. Fantasy News, Fantasy Times Fantasy Fiction Field, Pacificonews (the newbie this time), Spaceways, Sun Spots, Ultra, Voice of the Imagi-Nation and Ackermaniac Presents Hoffmania. Thus another issue of Startling Stories goes back on the shelf and we shall go our merry way until next time. Any comments or questions will be welcome.


Blogger Joe Blow said...

Guys in spacesuits with rayguns, half clad female in trouble and an icky that is a good pulp cover!

1:37 PM  

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