Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

SHORT STORY WEDNESDAY: THE SLAMBANGAREE

 "The Slambangaree" by Richard K. Munkittrick (from his collection The Slambangaree and Other Stories, 1897; any earlier publicatin not known)


An enchanting juvenile fantasy, reminiscent of Winsor McCay's later Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend and with overtones of the much, much later The Cat in the Hat.

Reginald, a young boy, wakes up with a strange looking person standing by his bed.  Reginald is afraid that this person might be a robber, but the strange figure uts his fingers on each side of its muth and stretches the mouth extraordinarily, eventually hooking one side of the mouth to a bureau on the other side of the room, then letting go, slamming the mouth (sans creature).into the bureau.  this naturally disconcerts young Reginald, so the being places its moth back in its proper place.

The creature is a Slambangaree, a spirit from a can of plum pudding, come to give nightmares to those who overeat the plum pudding.  The Slambangree informs Reginald that it will remain until, the plum pudding Reginaald ate that evening (and he ate a lot of it) is fully digested.  The name, by the way, comes from being slammed and banged about while inside the can of pudding.  The creature, wondering what Reginald might have in his pockets, stretches his eyeball across the room to peek into the pants pockets, finding all sorts of treasures a young by might have within.  He takes a piece of string and drops it in a pitcher of water, drawing out a very large talking (and singing) fish -- the Capecodger, who, when he sings, the notes come out of his mouth as pieces of candy which drop on the floor, whereupon the Capecodger eats them (there was no five-second rule in those days).  The fish's fins grow into wings and he gives Reginald a ride around the bedroom.  

Then the Slambangaree conjures up a Cariftywhifty -- a large monster with two heads.  When it opens one eye, birds fly out, flit across its face, and fly into the other eye.  When the Criftywhifty grows and spins around, Reginald's room seems to grow with it.  The Slambangaree tells Reginald the Cariftywhifty eats people -- which is what it about to do to Reginald.  The monster grabs Reginald, pops him into his mouth and closes its jaws, trapping Reginald in its giant teeth.  Our yung her soon finds himself sliding down the monster's throat, which turns into a staircase.  At the bottom of the staircase is a large beautiful garden with papiere-mache great bullfrogs which threaten to put Reginald into a box and feed him flies.  Reginald flees up the long staircase and finds himself once again in the mouth of the Carifywhifty and then, surprisingly, in his own bed.  The Slambangaree was by then very. very tiny and Reginald knew that the plum pudding was almost digested.  The now tiny creeture jumped into the mouth of the Cariftywhifty, which then jumped through the bedrom window without breaking it.

The plum pudding was digested.  The Slambangaree was gone.  And Reginald went into his father's bedroom to tell him of the adventure.  Reginsld's fsther then wrote down the story in the hopes that young boys will no longer vereat on plum pudding, but always eat just the right amount.

Surprisingly charming.


Richard Munkittrick (1853-1911) was an english author, editor, and "natural born lotus eater" who claimed to be descended from "a race of clergymen and drunkards."  He spent much of his life in America but when The Slambangaree and Other Stories was published he was working at the British humor (Whoops!  I mean humour.)  magazine Punch.  He later was the editor of Judge from 1901-1905.  He had earlier published another fantasy collection, The Moon Prince and Other Nabobs (1893).  Other books include Yum-yum! (1878), Farming (1892), and Some New Jersey Arabian Nights (1892).  Munkittrick also wrote song lyrics.  Here are two of his songs (composed by Margaret Ruthven Lang and sung by tenor Donald George, with Lucy Mauro on piano:  https://songofamerica.net/composer/munkittrick-richard-kendall/

The Slambangaree and Other Stories is available to read online.


MUSIC FROM THE PAST: TWO FROM THE BEACH BOYS

Their first big hit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s4slliAtQU


And one from 1988:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJWmbLS2_ec

OVERLOOKED OATER: KNIGHT OF THE TRAIL (1915)

 William s. Hart was one of the first great cowboys stars if the films.  He began his acting career on the stage in 1888 when he was inn his twenties and first appeared in film in 1914 when he was 49.  He had had some success on Broadway in Shakespearean roles and appeared in the original 1899 production of Ben Hur.  He had two supporting roles in 1914 and became a star with that year's The Bargain.  In 1915, Hart began a series of two-reeler westerns for producer Thomas Ince.  These shorts became so popular that they led to th production of feature films, beginning in  late 1915.  Knight of the Trail was one of the last of the two-reelers Hart made.  Hart went on to rule the western box office until the early 1920s, when flashier, more action-oriented films began featuring the likes of Tom Mix.

In Knight of the Trail, Hart plays Jim Treen, a cowboy who has been secretly terrorizing the town as a road agent.  He falls in love with pretty, innocent waitress Molly Stewart (Leona Hutton) and vows to himself to go straight.  Before the two were to be married, Molly discovers Jim's secret and breaks the engagement.  She then bounces right into the arms of cad W. Sloan Carey (Frank Borsage), who steals Molly savings on the eve of their wedding and flees town on an eastbound train.  Jim takes a perilous shortcut to overtake the train and forces Sloan to return the money to Molly.  Molly sees the good in Jim and marries him.

The rather simplistic plot, written by Hart, is compensated for by superb acting by Hart and Borzage (who appeared in over one hundred silent films and became the noted director of Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford, A Farewell to Arms, and The Big Fisherman).  Decent production values, intuitive direction, realistic western sets and costumes, and interesting locations also help make this short worth-while.

Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8a1pXVJjO4

BITS & PIECES -- A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT EDITION

 Openers:  I dropped into Jack's place the other night for a slice of tongue -- some of it in a sandwich and some from between Jack's lips.  The place was pretty crowded,  but I managed to find a booth as Jack glided over to take my order.

:What'll it be?" he asked.  Then -- "Well, I'll be damned!" said Jack.

"Probably," I observed.

But Jack didn't hear me.  He was staring at the tall thin man who elbowed his way toward the booth.

I stared, too.  There was nothing remarlable about the gentleman's thin, somewhat dour face, but his suit was enought to attract anyone's attention.  It isn't often you see a horse blanket walking.

"See that guy?" Jack whispered, hurriedly.  "He's a number for you.  Used to be an upper bracket in the rackets."

"He looks it," I confided.  "Is he dangerous?"

"No.  Reformed, completely reformed.  Ever since he divorced his third wife he's led a simple life, playing the races.  But I never expected to see him in here -- he hasn't been around for months.  Wait -- I'll see if can steer him into your booth.  You'll enjoy it -- he's the biggest liar in seven states.

-- Robert Bloch, "Time Wounds All Heels"  (Fantastic Adventures, April 1942)


The stranger is Lefty Feep and "Time Wounds All Heels" was the first in a series of twenty-three tales in Fantastic Adventures about the hapless hero, from April 1942 to July 1950.  The first eight stories (plus one original, "A Stich in Time")  were reprinted in Lost in Space and Time with Lefty Feep (1987) -- the first of a proposed three-volume collection from John Stanley's Creatures at Large Press.  The other volumes never appeared.

The Feep stories were tailored to the Fantastic Adventures audience -- young, undisciminating teenagers.  Feep, a race track tout who never seems to get a break, relates his tales in the first person, using a Damon Runyon-esque dialog, complete with slang, tortured puns, and other crimes against the English language.  The themes come from folklore by way of Thorne Smith -- thus you have flying carpets, a genie in a bottle, the Pied Piper, the Ariabian nights, Jack the Giant Killer, and a zillion riffs on time travel -- all about as corny as you can get.

Understand, these stories are not good.  They are strained and predictable and written to order.  Bloch himself had no particular fondness for then and, indeed, did not remember writing some of them.  But they were popular, and --doggone it -- I really like them.  Just not in heavy doses.  Reading more than one or two at a time would be too much of a mediocre thing.

Fantastic Adventures ran a lot similar stories, comic far-out fantasies with a humorous bent and a befuddled hero.  Dwight V. Swain gave us Henry Horn; William McGivern, Tink, as well as Philip Ppiuncare & the Three Musketeers; James Norman, Oscar, Detective of Mars; Leroy Yerxa, Freddie Funk; Elroy Arno, Willowby Jones; Harold Lawlor, Bill Mitchell; And Charles F. Myers, Toffee.  Not quite in the same vein was Nelson F. Bond's stories of Bullard; Bond would use the same formula for eom of his stories in Bluebook and Pat Pending, Squaredeal Sam McGhee, and (in Astounding, Horse Sense Hank).  And, in Astounding, there were the stories of Gallagher, who created the wackiest inventions imaginable while drunk and has no idea wht they were designed to do when he sobered.

Fantastic Adventures began in May 1939 by Ziff-David Publications as a companion to Amazing Stories.  Its first managing editor was Raymond A. Palmer, who had great success in turning around the moribund Amazing Stories, by aiming at a strictly juvenile audience.   The "official" editor was B. G. Davis, who held that post unitl 1947.  Assistant editor Howard Browne began as managing editor with the March 1947 issue, while Palmer was named editor.  Browne was soon replaced by associate editor William Hamling beginning in 1948.  Browne came back  as editor in January 1950,; Lila E, Shaffer served as managing editor for a few months in 1953.  The last issue of Fantastic Adventures in March 1953, making way for the far more adult-oriented digest Fantastic.  Browne was never a fan of science fiction or fantasy; his interest lay in mysteries and in Hollywood, where he made a name for himself.  Hamling went on to edited a number of low-level science fiction magazines and to find financial success in soft-core porn publishing.  FAs last associate editor, Paul W. Fairman became managing editor of Fantastic in 1953, beginning (with Browne) the magazine's quick slide into mediocrity which was only reversed with the appontment of the talented Cele Goldsmith (later, Cele G. Lalli) as editor in December 1958.  Fairman, BTW, went on to become the editor of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine; Lalli left Fantastic in 1965 to become editor of Bride's Magazine.

Fantastic Adventures was noted for introducing Thornton Ayre's The Golden Amazon and for publishing a number of  stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  It had the distinction of publishing Theordore Sturgeon's first novel, The Dreaming Jewels, as well as long stories by Lester del Rey, Willian Tenn, and Walter J. Miller, Jr.  Most of the magazine's contents were written by a stable of Chicago-based writers such as William P. McGivern, Leroy Yerxa, David Wright O'Brien, Don Wilcox, and Berkeley Livingston, along with Hamling and Palmer, all writing under a plethora of house pseudonyms to provide the word count the magazine needed.  The magazine also dipped into Tarzanesque adventures with novels about Jongor (by Robert Moore Williams) and Toka (by Palmer under his J. W. Pelkie pseudonymn.

Robert Bloch needs no introduction.  The author of such classic stories as Psycho, "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper," and "The Hell-Bound Train," Bloch was a master of the suspense, horror, fantasy fields, often with a sly humorous twist.  For many of my generation, Bloch was the entry point to a lifetime of fantastic reading.





Incoming:

  • Philip Jose Farmer, Flesh/Lord Tyger.  Reprint of two fantsy novels.  Flesh is an expanded edition of a book originaly published as a Galaxy Novel.  "After 800 years of exploring the stars, Space Commander Stagg had returned to Earth,  But Earth had become a new world.  Where science and technology had reigned, now there were agriculture and tribal warfare.  And mankind worshipped the Goddess and was content.  They named Stagg 'Sunhero" and performed secret rites.  Endowed with the virility of a nation, and with foot-high antlers throbbing on his his head, he set out on a cross-country jaunt.  He was the Sunhero, king of the Earth and all its will women." As for Lord Tyger, "My mother is an ape.  My father is God,  I come from the Land of Ghosts.  So sings Ras Tyger, Philip jose Framer's monumental incarnation of a moder-day Jungle Lord.  Savage, heroic, and beautiful, he is master of the world.  And he rules his kindom with sex, savagery, and sublime innocence.  Unitl one day, with the landing of the great whirlinh 'birds,' the insane reality of his existence begins to unfold...and plunges him into an incredible quest for truth whic cannot end until he comes face to face -- with God."  Few people have played with ideas as Farmer has.
  • L. Ron Hubbard, The Red Dragon.  Adventure novella, one of eighty volumes put out by Galaxy Press, LLC (a Scientology division) to cover Howard's pulp stories.  This one was published in Five-Novels Monthly, February 1935.  "Flame haired Michael Stuart's career as an officer in the US Marine Corps abruptly ended after a failed attempt to return the Chinese Imperial Dynasty ro power in 1930s Asis.  Abandoned by his country, he's unable to find safe passage out of china by Land or sea.  Now Stuart, also known as the 'Red Dragon,' has a new occupation:  he intervenes in matters for the good of the people.  Despite the danger, Stuart agrees to help a beautiful woman search for a mysterious black chest which her father hid in Manchuria before his murder.  Their quest takes them from Peking north to the Grt Wall of China and beyond.  With enemies coming at him from every corner, Stuart finds he;s playing a most deadly game of hide-and-seek.."  Now known as the creator of Dianetics and the father of Scientology, Hubbard has always been a giant in his own mind and is now considered one of the most well-rounded geniuses in history by his followers.  There seems to be nothing Hubbard had not done and nothing he had not mastered.  Hubbard was actually a talented pulp writer who produced a few outstanding stories.  He was also a mythomaniac, and egoist, and a bullshit artist.  He once said the surest way to become rich was to invent a religion.  Well, guess what?  A somewhat innocuous philosophy cobbled from diverse sources has now grown beyond all recognition into a money-making monster, as has Hubbard's reputation.
  • Richard Laymon, After Midnight.  Horror novel.  "alice has quite a story to tell you.  That's not her real name, of course.  She couldn't givr you her real name, not fter all the things she reveals about herself in this book.  All of her...adventures.  And all that killing.  She wouldn't want the police to find her, now would she?  It started out so nice.  Alice was house-sitting for her friend, enjoying having the whole place to herself, with the sunken bathtub and the big-screen television.  But everything went wrong the first night, when she looked out the window and saw a strange man jumping naken into the swimming pool.  Alice knew he would be coming to get her, like all those other men before.  But she would never be a victim again.  Not after she remembered the old Civil War saber hanging in the living room..."  Laymon was one of the best horror writers of his generation, junfortuinately far more admired and respected in ??England than in his native America.
  • Paul Tremblay, The Cabin at the End of the World.  Horror novel.  "Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin in Northern New Hampshire.  Far removed from the bustle of city life, they are cut off from the urgent hum of cell pones and the internet.  Their closest nieghbors are two miles away in either direction.  On a summer day, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard. a stranger unexpectedly appears.  Leonard is the largest man she has ever seen, but he is friendly, with a warm smile that wins her over almost instantly.  Leonard and Wen continue to talk and play, until three more strangers, two women and a man, all dressed like Leonard in jeans and button-down shirts, come down the road carrying strange, menacing objects.  In a panic, Wen tells Leonard that she must go back inside the cabin.  Before she goes, her new friend tells her,"None of what's going to happen is your fault.  You haven't done anything wrong, but the three of you will have to make some tough decisions.  I wish with all my broken heart you didn't have to."  As Wen sprints away to warn her parents, Leonard calls out, "Your dads won't let us in, Wen.  But they have to.  We need your help to save the world."  Tremblay is an author worth seeking out.




Guinn v. United States:  Juneteenth, our newest federal holiday, marks the practical end of slavery in the United States.  As we all know, the battle for racial justice did not end there.  Then Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution was ratified in 1870, declaring that the right to vote could not be dnied by any state due to "race, color, or previous condition of servitude."  Not surprisingly,  that did not sit well with a number of Southern states, which began enacting reach-arounds that, in effect, could negate the Fifteenth Amendment while not specifically violating it.  One way this was done was through "grandfather clauses."

Oklahoma ("where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain") entered the Union in 1907 with a state Constitution that apeased the Fifteenth Amendment by allowing men (sorry, ladies) of all races to vote.  Like many other states, Oklahoma had a literacy test that had to be passed in order for an indiviual to vote.  Such tests were one way to keep black citizens from voting.  But there were an awful lot of white citizens who were also illiterate.  What to do?  Well, you just "grandfather" them in through an amendment that waived the lteracy test if you or an ancestor were allowed to vote or had served as soldiers before a certain date...let's say, 1866.  Since slaves were not allowed to vote back then, nor were allowed to serve as soldiers, the literacy test could not be waived.  Also, most states thatb had allowed free persons of color to vote in the early 19th century had rescinded that right by 1840, so even those blacks whose ancestors were not slaves were basically out of luck.

Frank Guinn and J. J. Beal were both Oklahoma (where "the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet") election officials who had been indicted and convicted of "having conspired unlawfully, willfully, and fraudulently to deprive certain negro citizens on account of their race and color, of the right to vote at a general election held in that state in 1910."  Their case was argued before the Supreme Court on October 17, 1913, where the plaintiffs argues that they were following the state's grandfather law.  The decision, handed down on June 21, 1915, vehemently denied their argument on an 8-0 rulling (with one Justice taking no part in the determination or the consideration of the case, having come to the Courtin 1914).  Chief Justice Edward Douglass White delivered the opinion that the grandfather clause was clearly designed to interfere with the voting rights granted by the Fifteenth Amendment even though it appeared to be racially neutrl on its face.  the grandfather clause "was repugnant to the Fifteenth Amendment and therefore null and void."  It should be noted the Guinn v. United States was the first case in which the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People filed a brief before the Supreme Court.

Things did not end there and institutional racism was not stopped in its tracks.  State legislatures continued to craft and pass laws designed to restrict voting rights for blacks and others.  Much of the focus today comes from the Republican party's efforts to restrict voting -- not only of blacks -- to maintain their political hold.  The GOP has also declared was on critical race theory being taught in public schools, their claims at not being racist or that they are not  using this opposition as a political power grab notwithstanding.





Lincoln Logs:  One of the most popular toys in the twentieth century was Lincoln Logs, notched wooden (usually redwood) toy beams that could be assembled to make small cabins, such as replicas of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and Abraham Lincoln's log cabin.  The toy was invented by John Wright, the son of architect Frankin Lloyd Wright, in 1918 (probably, the date varies).  On a visit to Japan Wright noted that the use of interlocking wooden beams in the construction ot Tokyo's  Imperial Hotel gave the building more stability and security.  Lincoln Logs soon became popular, but not before Wright sold the rights to the toy.

The name of the toy did not come from Abraham Lincoln, as many believe.  Wright named to toy after his father's middle name.  Originally Frank Lincoln Wright, the architect changed his middle name to honor his mother's family after his father left the family.

Here's a video of an elaborate castle being built with Lincoln Logs:     https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lincoln+logs+history&&view=detail&mid=6468FCE579DD54671BF86468FCE579DD54671BF8&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dlincoln%2Blogs%2Bhistory%26FORM%3DVDRESM

Did you play with Lincoln Logs as a kid?





Maria Marten; or, Murder in the Red Barn:  One of the most popular plays of the 19th century was a domestic melodrama based on the real-life murder of Maria Marten in 1827 in Suffolk, England.  The play had no real author; instead, it was a "devised" play that changed depending on the actors, where it was performed, and who produced it.  The villain is one William Corder, who murdered his lover Maria and buried her in the "Red Barn" in Polestead, Suffolk.  Corder left the area but sent letters to Maria's family claiming she was in good health.  Maria's stepmother later claimed to have dreamed that she had been murdered.  After Maria's body was uncovered in the barn, a search went out for Corder.  and he was found in London, where he had married and had started a new life.  Brought back to Suffolk, Corder was tried and found guilty.  He was hanged in Bury St. Edmund in 1828 before a large crowd of what I assume to be enthusiastic witnesses.

The crime, the trial, and the execution was widely played out in the popular press.  A national sensation, it was the subject of mny songs and plays.  "Fit-up" companies, or traveling theater groups, performed the plays in music halls, drinking houses, and fairgrounds across the country.  Actors who moved from company to company often took their better bits with them and gradually additions became an integral part of the play's traditional structure.  By 1840, the play was being performed in theaters and it remained one of the most popular melodramas of the Victorian Age.

Here's Murder in the Red Barn, the 1935 film based on the case, featuring Tod Slaughter and Sophie Stewert, and directed by Miltn Rosmer:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026743/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0





Florida Man:
  • Florida Man Jeffrey Hein, 25, of Tampa, was searching for egladon shark teeth in the Myakka River but found teeth of an entirely different sort when a nie-foot alligator chomped on him.  "I thought it was a propellor.  It hit me so hard.  I realized I was inside its mouth and if the alligator hadn't decided to let me go on its own, there was really nothing I could do about it."  Hein received 34 stitches in his head and was left with a minor skull fracture and bite marks on one of his hands.  A somewhat similar incident happed with Massachusetts (not Florida) Man and lobster diver Michael Packard, who was swallowed by a humpbacked whale earlier this month.  The whale also ejected Packard after a few seconds, leading one to assume that Florida and Massachusetts men taste pretty funky.
  • Although I doubt it will become an Olympic event, the Florida Baby Toss was performed on May 26 by Florida Man John Henry James III, 32.  James was spotted driving erratically by a deputy in Vero Beach.  This led to a wild 40-minute pursuit  by Florida deputies and a police helicopter.  James smashed his Nissan Rogue into the front end of a deputy's car, dodge roadblocks and an attempted stop stick, and ran over another stop stick before being boxed in by police cars.  He then fled the vehicle, taking his two-month-old child with him.  He threw the baby at deputies before attempting to flee.  He was caught.  And the infant was also caught -- by Deputy Jacob Kurby (who may or may not have played football in school).   The baby was safe, and Jmes was taken to a nearby fire house, and then to a local hispitl for medical treatment, and finally to jail, where he faced a number of charges, inventing a possible Olympic event not being one of them.
  • Florida Man and one of many Florida Men who didn't not get the message that Donald Trump lost the election Alexander Jerich, 20, decided to celebrate Trump's birthday by destroying a $16,000 LGBTQ crosswalk artwork in Delray Beach.  With an "All Aboard the Trump Train" flag on his pickup truck, Jerich deliberately did "burnouts" across the newly installed artwork.  He was arrsted and charge with criminal mischief over $1000, reckless driving, evidence of prejudice (i..e, a hate crime), and may well be charged with Florida's new "Combating Public disoreder Law," which ironically was passed by the Trumpist GOP stae legislative majority in response to Black Lives Matter protests...In a tragic accident this week, the driver of a pickup trunk hit to people just before the Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade just outside Fort Lauderdale started.  Both men were taken to a nearby hospital where one of the was pronounced dead.  The driver, a 77-year-old man whose ailments prevented him from walking and was thus chosen to drive the lead vehicle in the parade, and the two victims were members of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's chorus.  None of the three were immediately identified. 
  • An unnamed 14-year-old Florida Boy decided to steal a $200,000 Lamborghini in Miami Beach but only got a few blocks before abandoning the vehicle.  As he fled, he told an onlooker, "I stole a Lamborghini just now.  I can't drive.  I don't have a license."  The car's owner, Florida Man Chris Sander, had been home when he heard the car being started.  Sander ran outside, saw the Lamborghini tking off, and hopped on a motor scooter to take chase.  Meanwhile the onlooker had suggested to the boy that he give himself up peacefully.  By then, an officer on the other side of a fence was pointing his gun at both of them, so the boy took the onlooker's advice.  Sander said he had left the Lamborghini in his garage, along with the keys, when the boy stole the vehicle, leading some to question the wisdom of leaving the keys with the car.
  • Florida Man Ronnie Oneal III, of Tampa, was convicted of to counts of murder.  He had shot his girlfriend Kenyatta Brown with a shotgun and then beat her to death.  Oneal also killed his 9-yer-old disabled daughter with a hatchet and wounded his 8-year-old son with a knife before setting fire to their home.  The daughter had cerebral palsy and could not speak.  Oneal made the unwise decision to serve as his own lawyer, accusing the state of manipulating call logs and recordings.  He also accused a police detective who later adopted the 8-year-old of turning his sone against him.  Perhaps his greatest legal mistake was yelling and berating the jury during closing arguments -- the judge had to admonish Oneal severl times for using epithets -- and admitting to the jury that he had killed his girlfriend.  That sort of argument tends to prejudice juries.



Good News:
  • World's most premature baby celebrates first birthday after being given 0% chance of surviving     https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/worlds-most-premature-baby-has-celebrated-his-first-birthday/
  • Yemeni fishermen find $1.5 million prize in the belly of a floating sperm whale carcass       https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/yemeni-fishermen-discover-1-5-million-dollars-worth-of-ambergris-in-a-whale/
  • One-legged woman is a world-class salsa sncer (video at the link)     https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/one-legged-salsa-dancer/
  • Dad breaks record for 1.5 million pushups -- all for charity     https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/nate-breaks-31-year-world-record-for-1-5-million-push-ups-all-for-charity/
  • Two days after wedding, bride donates kidney to groom's ex-wife    https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/new-bride-donates-kidney-to-husbands-ex-wife-debby-neal-strickland/
  • Dengue disease rate cut by 77% with this new mosquito "hack"     https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/indonesia-mosquito-trial-cuts-dengue-fever-by-77/





Today's Poem
For Once, Then, Something

Others taunt me at having knelt at well-curbs
Always wrong to the light, so never seeing
Deeper down in the well than where the water
Gives me back in a shining surface picture
Me myself in the summer heaven godlike
Looking out of a wreath of fern and cloud puffs.
Once, when trying with chin against a well-curb,
I discerned, as I thought, beyond the picture,
Through the picture, a something white, uncertain,
Something more of the depths -- and then I lost it.
Water came to rebuke the too clear water.
One drop fell from a fern, and lo, a ripple
Shook whatever it was lay there at the bottom,
Blurred it, blotted it out.  What was that whiteness?
Truth?  A pebble of quartz?  For once, the, something.

-- Robert Frost

Sunday, June 20, 2021

DAD JOKES

 For Father's Day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAgYiERRDPY


What's your favorite "Dad joke"?  Better yet, what's the worst joke your Dad ever told?

HYMN TIME

 Cheerers of Faith with a Father's Day message.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHL7QFEExeU

Saturday, June 19, 2021

MUSIC FOR TODAY: OH. FREEDOM

 A Juneteenth song from Ruth Naomi Floyd.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqCSnb7wcJg

ALL-NEGRO COMICS #1 (JUNE 1947)

 There was only one issue of this ground-breaking comic.  "Every brush stoke and pen line in the drawings on these pages are by Negro artists....another milestone in the splendid history of Negro journalism."  The brainchild of Orrin C. Evans, a former reporter and editor in the Afro-American newspaper field, Evans was also a contributor to The Crisis, the official organ of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Here you will meet Ace Harlem, noted Negro detective.  You'll journey to the African Gold Coast, where Lion Man, a college-educated American has been sent by the United Nations to watch over the world's largest deposit of uranium -- and with the help of his young friend Bubba -- faces the minois of "any treacherous nation that might seek to carry away the lethal stuff for the purpose of war."  And you'll travel the rails with Sugrfoot and Snake-Oil, two roving minstels who bring a dash of unintentional humor to their journeys.  For the kiddies, there's the adventures of the Dew Dillies -- Bubbles and Bibber, two little sprites who live in a fantasy land.

All-Negro Comics is dated and somewhat stereotypical, but it was an important advance for its time.  For all of its hep cats, jive talk, and slurred English, the book goes a long way to portray the situation of African-Americans in the late 1940s and to provide wholesome entertainment to its readers.

"REMEMBER -- Crime Doesn't Pay, Kids!  Stick to the church, and use up your energy in good clean sports."

And a Happy Juneteenth to all!


https://comicbookplus.com/?dlid=37543

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

SHORT STORY WEDNESDAY: THE BALD SPOT

 "The Bald Spot" by H. G. Dwight  (from the collection The Emperor of Elam and Other Stories, 1920;  reprinted in Sunset:  The Pacific Monthly, September 1924)


A little tale of ego and pridefulness and of how one may set (or not set) artificial limits for purely artificial reasons.

[And, of course, the protagonist had to be named Jerry.  In fiction, very few heroes are named Jerry.  Jerry is more commonly either a buffoon, a villain, or (if he is lucky) a side kick to the story's hero; he may even be a third-string character.  Not that I'm complaining.  My wife, on the other hand, swears that every character ever written named Kitty is either the upstairs maid or a hooker with a heart of gold.  But enough of paranthetical remarks.  On to the story, such as it is.]

Our protagonist is a not quite young but at least youngish man who takes pride in himself and in his appearance.  On a regular trip to the barber. he refuses to use pomade, preferring to let his hair remain dry.  The barber makes some silly remark about Jerry's hair getting a bit thin.  Nonsense! Jerry thought.  His hair is as it always was.  When the barber takes out a hand mirror to show Jerry the finished haircut, there it is -- a bald spot.  Certainly that must be an error.

Back at home,Jerry uses a hand mirror to check out the back of his scalp.  The bald spot is still there.  Perhaps it is just a trick of the light.  But no.  No matter how he angled the mirror, the bald spot remained.

So it had come to this.  His youth had fled without Jerry even realizing it.  Jerry had gone blithely through life believing there was alway tomorrow.  If adventure did not come today, there was always tomorrow.  A thousand beautiful women to pursue?  Again, they would be there tomorrow; there was no rush because there was always tomorrow.  Now, instead of youth with its flowing hair and fast automobiles and pretty girls, there was a rapid slide away from youth to taking the elevated and having to perhaps settle for a less than beautiful woman -- the obvious fate of those who time has passed by.

Figuratively girding his loins, Jerry half-heartedly decides to face his fate and to saunter into the outside world with his bald spot.  Strangely, people do not stare at him or his bald spot, but Jerry feels they should.  He passes a group of children happily at play -- they all have full heads of hair.  The happy people he sees are young people with hair, not balding people.  Life seems to have passed the balding people by.

Jerry wanders through New York with these dark thoughts, finding himself on the George Washinton Bridge.  He stands by the edge of the bridge and contemplates suicide.  Why not?  Youth is gone and he only faces a helpless inexorable slide toward death.  He will never be able to be Important or do something Important now.  (When you are young and there is always tomorrow, the word deserves a capitol I.)  The darkness of the chasm below seems to be calling him.  Then a voice interrupts him, asking if he's thinking of jumping.

The voice belngs to an older policeman.  Jerry turns to him.  If he were thinking of jumping, shouldn't the policeman be trying to stop him?  No, the cop says, you.ve been standing there to long; if you were going to jump, you would have done it by now.  The cop asks him what his problem was.  Did he break up with his girl?  Did he lose his job?

Jerry notices the policeman's hair.  It is slicked down.  The cop says that his hair "stared droppin like leaves in the fall o' the year, when I was about as young as you."  He goes on to say that he uses plain castor oil on his hair.  It's just as good as the "high falutin' " stuff they try to sell you at a barbershop.  And the missus, he goes on, "says a bald spot's worse inside the bean than out. an' there ain't no oil that'll help it."

Jerry considers that wisdom for a while.  Then the policeman offers to "go over to a place I know an' let me treat you to a shot of something wet."  That sounds good to Jerry and off they go.


Sometimes you just have to look at things from another's viewpoint.

Harrison Griswald Dwight (1875-1959) was born in Constantinople, where his father was connected to a school there.  Dwight entered the consuar service after graduating from Amherst.  He served as a translator with the Supreme War Consul in Versailles and in 1919 was the secretary to General Tasker Bliss at the Paris peace conference.  He later worked as the assistant drafting officer for the State Department in Washington, D.C.,  moving to the protocal department a few years later.  Frm 1935 t 1947, he served as assistant director for the Frick Collection in New York.  In addition to four collections of short stories, along with books reviews, poems, and  a handful of articles, Dwight's short story "In the Pasha's Garden" was the subject of an opera produced by the Metropolitan Opera Company in 1934.  Dwight also published a book about the Frick Collection of art.

Regarding The Emperor of Elam and Other Stories, Edmond J. O'Brien wrote in The Best Short Stories of 1920:  "Those who read Mr. Dwight's earlier volume 'Stamboul Nights' will recall the very real genius for the romantic preservation of adventure in exotic backgrounds which the author revealed.  Every detail, if studied, was quietly set down without undue emphasis, and the whle was a finished composition.  In the title story of the present volume, and in 'The Emerald of Tamerlane," written in collaboration with John Taylor, Mr. Dwight is on the same familiar ground.  I had occasion three yers ago to repint 'The Emperor of Elam' in an earlier volume of this series, and it still seems to be worthy to be set beside the best of Gautier.  There are other stories in the present collection with the same rich background, but I would like to call partiular attention to Mr. Dwight's two masterpieces, 'Henrietta Stackpole Rediviva' and 'Behind the Door.'  The former ranks with the best half-dozen American short stories  and the latter with the best half-doxen short stories of the world.  I regard this volume as the most important which I have encuntered since I began to publish my studies of the american short story."

High praise, indeed.

The Emperor of Elam and Other Stories is available to be read online.

MUSIC FROM THE PAST: HOPELESSLY DEVOTED TO YOU

 Olivia Newton-John.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhOn4oPn3Bw

OVERLOOKED NOIR: THE GUILTY (1947)

 Bonita Granville, now a bit older from her Nancy Drew days, plays twins Linda and Estelle -- one nice and one not so nice.  Army veterans and roommates Don Castle and Wally Cassell become involved with the twins and Estelle plays one man against the other.  Then Linda's body turns up in a barrel of gravel.  Regis Toomey plays the detective in charge of the case.

Based on Cornell Wollrich's story "He Looked Like Murder" (from Detective Fiction Weekly, February 8, 1941), the film was adapted by Robeert Presnell, Sr. (The Kennel Murder Case, Meet John Doe, Hurricane Smith).  Vienna-born John Reinhardt directed this B-movie for Poverty Row Monogram Pictures.  Granville's husband Jack Wrather produced The Guilty; she and Wrather went on to produce the Lassie television series.

Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAUnpfIDJjA

Monday, June 14, 2021

BITS & PIECES

 Openers:  The clock in the tower of the Record struck two.  Although I didn't know it then, the clock of my destiny struck at the same time.

Hard on the throb of the chime Smithson stuck his head out of the door of his den, and swept his eyes over the local-room.  He found nobody but me.  Every one else was absent.  As for me, I was having a smoke after a light lunch, and waiting for something to do.

"Nobody here but you, eh?" said Smithson.  "Well, c'm'ere."

Smithson was city editor of the Record.  Therefore, I cast aside my cigarette and complied with his request.

He bobbed back into his room, withdrawing his head from the door very much like a turtle drawing into its shell.  I followed him and stood waiting his next remark.  When it came I didn't know just what to make of it after all.

Said Smithson:  "Know anything about Semi Dual?"

-- "The Occult Detector" by J. U. Giesy and Junius Smith B. Smith (first published in three parts -- February 17, February 24, March 7, 1912 -- in The Cavalier)


Ah...Semi Dual, aka Prince Abdul Omar of Persia.  Psychiatist, telepath, mystic, astrologer, and an early "occult detective."

The occult detective mixes the mystery/crime story with the superntural, fantasy,  or horror genres.  Perhaps the first was Fitz-James O'Brien's Harry Escott, who appeared in two stories beginning in 1855.  soon the floodgates were open for the likes of Bram Stoker's Abraham van Helsing, Sheridan Le Fanu's Martin Hesselius, Algernon Blackwood's John Silence, E. and H. Heron's Flaxman Low, William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki, Sax Rohmer Morris Klaw, Dion Fortune's Dr. Taverner, Seabury Quinn's Jules de Grandin, Joseph Payne Brennan's Lucius Leffing, and so many more, leading up to the present day with such characters as F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack, Brian Lumley's Titus Crow, Mike Mignola's Joe Golen, Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, and Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden.  Even Sherlock Holmes has moved into occult territory by confronting Dracula, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, H. P. Lovecraft's Old Ones in reimaginings written by other authors.

Geisy and Smith wrote 33 Semi Dual adventures from 1912 to 1943.  The character gained his nckname from the dual nature of his investigations -- part material and part occult.  Semi Dual lives and operates in a skyscaper that he owns. A later tenant of the office building is the detective firm of Glace and Bryce.  Glace is Gordon Glace, the former Record reporter who narrates many of the stories; his partner in the detective agency is retired police detective James Bryce.  In most of the storie, it is one or the other of these two who first encounter the mystery or menace du jour; Semi Dual, like Nero Wolfe, seldom leaves his home.

In "The Occult Detector," Grace follows smithson's orders and goes to interview the mhyysterious Semi Dual.  During the interview, the detective learns enough about a recent murder to solve it.  Many of the early stories involve "small-scale" cases, kin which Semi Dual helps individuals.  Later stories have the detective going aginst occult forces that threaten the world, especially the Devil-inspired Black Brotherhood.  Semi dual also takes on criminal gangs in the later stories.

The series, though popular, was never reprinted during the pulp era, perhaps because to their length -- most of the stories were novella-length or greater.  Altus Press is releasing the entire series in nine volumes, and nine of the stories are avaiable to read online at Roy Glashan's Library (http://freeread.com/au/index.html)

Pro Se Press has revived the character in The New Adventures of Semi Dual, a collection of three stories by I. A. Watson, Kevin Noel Olsen, and James Palmer.

J. U. Giesy (1877-1947) was a physician, astrology enthusiast, and pulp writer, best known for his Json Croft trilogy of fantasy books, beginning with Palos of the Dog Star Pack.  Fellow astrology believer Junius B. Smith (1883-1945) began his fiction career co-writing "The Occult Detector" with Giesy; in addition to the Semi dual series the pair collaborated on at least eight other stories.  Smith published another sixteen stories on his own and contributed a regular column, "My Stars," to Ainslees (later retitled as Ainslee's Smart Love Magazine, and then as Smart Love Stories) beginning in 1934.





'Tis Himself:  Today, Flag Day, we also celebrate the birthday of my late father-in-law, Harold A. Keane.  More than one person has said that you could tell Harold's family came from County Cork because he was built like a fireplug.  I don't know what happened on that long-ago day in County Cork when three brothers decided to emigrate the same day -- one to Canada, one to Australia, and one -- Harold's father -- to America, but I suspect someone was close on their heels.  Harold's father ended up in Rockland, Massachusetts, working in a shoe factory.  He evidently once had a chance to become a partner in a new shoe company, Thom McAn, but felt it was too risky,  

Harold was one of eight kids.  There was not much money and Harold's youngest borther Don (who passed away several months ago in his nineties) always felt close to Harold because Harold has scrimped and saved to buy Don a bicycle in the days when Don thought his family would never be able to afford one for him.  When World War II broke out, Harold dropped out of high school and joined the Navy with his cousin Eddie.  Harold and Eddie switched temporarally identities so that each would pass the parts of the physical the other couldn't.   Harold fell in love with Eileen, whose fiance had been killed earlier in the war.  When Harold proposed, Eileen put him off by saying she would marry him once the war was over, and -- son of a gun! -- the war was suddently over within a week, so with a wife and a Bronze Star, Harold went off the Georgia Tech, studying engineering.  Soon , there were three of them (Michael had been born), living in a trailer while Harold studied and sold newspapers outside of Sunday mass to get along.  (He had had a chance to run bootleg liquor but Eileen put the kibosh on that, despite the easy money.)  Shortly before he graduated, the school tried to kick him out when they discovered that he had never graduated high school, saying that Harold had entered Georgia Tech on false pretenses.  Harold made them dig out the original application he had made to the school, pointing out that the space for year graduated from high school was blank.  Harold was scrupulously honest and had made no false pretenses.  They allowed him to graduate.

Harold worked for various companies subcontracted to the defense industry one rockets and the space program.  Because of security concerns he could never really say what he did and Kitty and her brothers used to make up extrvagrant stories about what he did.  One night, while they were living in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Harold woke the kids up and said it was a beautiful night for a walk.  They ended up on a sand bar watching the original Gemini rocket take off; he just could not tell them why they were really out that late at night.

Harold was quiet, patient, and good-humored, but he remembered the time when "no Irish need apply."  He could be feisty and quick to anger when he felt someone was taking advantage of him; I once saw him walkout on a shady car dealer just moment before the deal was to close.  (And it was a sight to see when the woman who was making Kitty's wedding dress decided she couldn't/wouldn't make the dress agreed upon.  Kitty got married in wedding dress she wanted, one that was as perfect as she is.  Thank you, Harold.)

It was pancreatic cancer that got Harold.  We suspect it might hve been a result of radiation from the various secret places he worked.  (Toward the end of each week, he and many of the other workers would remove the radiation counter all employees were requred to wear to ensure they were not exxposed to dangerous levels.)   Harold appeared to beat the cancer twice, but that evil, evil disease kept coming back.  He passed away just weeks before the birth of his first grandson, Mark.  For that reason I have also considered Mark as living proof that the circle continues.

It's a blessing Harold never knew he shared a birthday with Donald Trump.  He would have hated that son of a bitch.




Flag Day:  Today has always been an important holiday to me.  It's a time to reflect on what the promise of our imperfect country is and what we can do to come closer to achieving that promise.  The flag, and what it stands for, and the people who have sacrificed to stand behind it are all part of the core of who I am as a human being.  I hold no truck with idiots who demean the flag by mugging while hugging it on stage, just as I hold no truck with those who selfishly and stupidly use it as an excuse for their own deplorable actions.  For me, the flag and what it stands for is sacred, which is why I support the protester's right to burn it -- but not to desecrate it.

Here's a ten-minute documentary from 1939 that tells The Story of Our Flag:  https://archive.org/details/0841_Story_of_Our_Flag_The_E01383_14_27_16_16

And somewhat off topic:  Here's a 1917 film titled Betsy Ross, a totally non-historic melodrama whcich includes a "blink and you'll miss it" scene where Betsy creates the flag.  The rest is the film is a silly, but somewhat enjoyable, love triangle between Betsy, her sister, and a British soldier.     https://archive.org/details/0985_Betsy_Ross_01_00_36_00




The Big Chick with the Big Roscoe in the Kentucky Diner:  Just because every once in a while you need a Jean Shepherd fix.  Here's The Jean Shepherd Show from Febraury 26, 1965:

https://archive.org/details/TheJeanShepherdShowWOR19650226TheBigChickWithTheBigRoscoeInTheKentuckyDinerTrixRadioEdit




Gowrow:  The Gowrow is a lizard-y thing/With nasty jaws.  It cannot sing./It's horn-like spikes run down its back./A sweet nature it does does lack./So if you're down in Arkansas/Visiting your sister or your Maw,/Avoid the Gowrow. (Note: He or she/Often comes after a moonshine spree.)

https://cryptoresponse.weebly.com/gowrow.html





R.I.P. Lt. Col. Sam Lombardo:  Sam Lombardo wan an Italian immigrant who cme to America when he was ten and later served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, died Friday at Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  He was just one month shy of his 102nd birthday.  He was one of four World War Ii veterans who, at age 100, participated in the coin toss for Super Bowl LIV in Miami Gardens to commemorate the NFL's 100th season.  The four rolled onto the field in golf carts, passing a group of cheerleaders.  ("They wouldn't let us stop by them," Lombardo recalled with a wink.  "they kept going.  I said 'Why don't you stop for a minute?  I just want to shake some hands.' ")

Lombardo served as the executive officer of an infantry company following the battle of the Bulge in World War II.  As they advanced across the German countryside, Lombardo noted that he had not seen any American flags.  He asked the company commander for a flag but the request ws denied by headquarters.  Well, that got Lombardo's back up.  "If they won't give us one, we'll make one."  That's just what he and his comany did.  They used pieces of white cloth surrender flags hanging from German windows, and found pillows made of red fabric.  A blue curtain was added and the stars were cut from the surrender flags using the medic's scissors.  It took weeks to make the flag, using sewing machines found or borrowed during their march across Germany.  The flag was finished three weeks before the war in Europe ended and was carried proudly by the men in Lombardo's company.  The hand-made flag is now prominently displayed at the Fort Benning museum.

I am of the firm belief that every genertion is the greatest generation, but some may be more "greatest" than others.

Lombardo, an avid golfer, is now Somewhere where there are no greens fees.





Florida Man:   Just one item today because ti happened in mmy neck of the woods.

  • It began when Florida Man Marcus Lavoie of Escamvia County told another man that his tires had been slashed.  When the other man came out to investigate, only to find his tires had not been slashed, Lavoie pulled out a samrai sword and began chasing him down the street.  A deputy arrived and was told that Lavoie was known to also carry a weapon.  Lavoie was told to put down the sword.  He didn't; rather, he threatened the deputy and reached toward his waist. and was tasered for his efforts.  Turns out there was a loaded 9mm handgun in Lavoie's waist, with a bullet in the chamber.  According to WEAR-Pensacola, "Lavoie has a license to carry the weapon."  By weapon, I assume is meant the handgun and not the samarai sword.  Florida may be strange, but even it would not stoop low enough to force its citizens to get a samarai sword license -- that would go against the Second-and-a-Half Amendment, or something.





Some of the Good Stuff:
  • Firefighters get creative to rescue a baby raccoon with its head stuck in a sewer grate     https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/firefighters-rescue-raccoon-with-head-stuck-in-sewer-cover/     (with the cutest photo of a stuck baby raccoon evah)
  • Rsearchers create AI device to sniff out cancer in blood samples with a 95% accuracy for hard to find cancers     https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/ai-device-sniffs-out-hard-to-detect-cancer-in-blood-with-95-accuracy/
  • Pregnant mom saves four kids from drowning     https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/pregnant-mom-gets-hailed-a-hero-after-saving-4-kids-from-drowning/
  • Quick-thinking kayakers save a pait of rare eagles from drowning in the Danube     https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/quick-thinking-kayakers-save-pair-of-rare-eagles-from-drowning-in-danube-river/
  • Teacher swaps shoes with student to save him from missing his graduation     https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/student-had-the-wrong-shoes-for-graduation-teacher-gave-shoes/
  • Now you can download free coloring books from 102 museums, libraries, and collections     https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/download-free-coloring-books-from-102-museums/





Today's Poem:
The Star-Spangled Banner

O say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red galre, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner still wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream;
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so valiantly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, nor the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spagled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it  is just,
And this be our motto:  "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triump shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

-- Francis Scott Key

Sunday, June 13, 2021

BOB NEWHART: APPREHENSIVE BOMB SQUAD

The Buttoned-Down Mind strikes!

Enjoy this bit from The Dean Martin Show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luymZY23-b4

HYMN TIME

 Michael W. Smith.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE_M9noEhNE

Friday, June 11, 2021

MUSIC FROM THE PAST: BIG BOTTOM

 SpinalTap with a song about a certain fixation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qDgCmzh5ao

AMERICA'S GREATEST COMICS #5 (DECEMBER 1942)

Captain Marvel!

Spy Smasher!

Bulletman!

Commando Yank!

Mr. Scarlet!

Minute Man!

No wonder they asked for an extravagant 15 cents for this comic book!

Enjoy.


https://comicbookplus.com/?dlid=78767&comicpage=&b=i

MUSIC FROM THE PAST: BLACK COFFEE AND CIGARETTES

 Mighty Mo Rodgers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5lFLtQ-wNc

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: TWO BY 4SJ

The Expanded Science Fiction World of Forrest J Ackerman & Friends PLUS by Forrest J Ackerman (2002)

Ackermanthology:  65 Astonishing, Re-Discovered Sci-Fi Shorts, edited by Forrest J. Ackerman (1997)


Forrest J Ackerman was a giant in science fiction fandom and it could be safely said that he was a major influence in getting young readers hooked on the genre.  From age nine he was obsessed with this strange type of literature and all its many offshoots.  He entered fandom early and never looked back.  He was good friends with most of the professionals in the field, amassed a 300,000-item library and a collection of mememorabilia in his home (the Ackermansion) that was the envy of many.  Ackerman also:  was a literay agent for many SF writers, edited a number of magazines (including the horror-movie related Famus Monsters of Filmdom, published hundres af articles, was the proud coiner ofd the term "sci-fi," was given a 1953 Hugo Award for "#1 Fan Personality" (the only time that particular award was given),  among his other awards were two Retro-Hugos for fanzines, and both the Bram Stoker Award and th World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement,   over the years entertained over 50,000 people -- including astronaut Buzz Aldrin -- at his home, authored or co-authored 50 short stories, named the comic book character Vampirella (nd wrote the very first Vamperella story, appeared in more than 210 films (mainly B movie SF flicks, but he also appeared in Michael Jackson's Thriller), appeared as a character in a Man from U.N.C.L.E. novel and in a novel  by Philip Jose Farmer, enjoyed atrocious puns and wordplay (incorporating many into his writings), a fervent promoter of Esperanto, an even more fervent promoter of science fiction, and one-half of a spontaneous duo (along with my bride) belting out their rendition of "42nd Street" at our table during a long-ago world Science Fiction Convention

After a life in science fiction, in which he was known as "Mr. Science Fiction" or "Mr. Sci-Fi," Ackerman died in 2008, at age 92.  During his illness he had vowed not to die before voting for Barack Obama in the presidential election.  He kept that promise.

Ackerman edited a number of anthologies, including the retrospective best-of-the year The Gernsback Awards, Volume 1: 1926 (there was no Volume 2;  1926 was the year the first science fictionmagaine, Amazing Stories, was pubished), Best Science Fiction for 1973 (continuing Ace Books' best of the year series by Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr, and then by Frederik Pohl), and such wordplay titles as Martianthology, Womanthology, Ackermanthology, and Rinbow Phantasia:  35 Spectrumatic Tales of Wonder, and one who's title was an obvious bow to the twelve-yer-old in all of us, Gosh!  Wow!  (Sense of Wonder) Science Fiction.  Most of Ackerman's anthologies were derived from old pulp chestnuts and inor shaggy dog, pun-filled stories by little heard of authors.  (Ackerman took great pride in nurturing and promoting new authors to the field,)

In 1969, Ackerman began editing the Perry Rhodan series for Ace books, a popular German juvenile science fiction series by various writers and the longest-running science fiction series in history.  Most of the stories were translated by Ackerman's wife, Wendayne.  Each of these "bookazines" contained a Perry Rhodan novel or novella, along with other material, usually short stories or articles, to pad out the page count. .Ackerman used this extra space to print many stories by new or unknown authors.  Many of these stories found their way into other Ackerman anthologies, such as the one listed below.

So here are two books by Ackerman.  The first, a collection of stories often in collaboration with others.  (And when Ackerman says collaboration, at times the word i squeezed pretty hard.)  The secons, an anthology of 65 short-short stories, a number of them original to, or reprinted in, the various Perry Rhodan books.

Strap yourselves in, gang!

**********


[Just a couple of notes on the contents list below.  Ackerman sometimes signed his middle initial with a period and sometimes not.  Since the cover of the book had no period after the J, I have whimsically followed that pattern even when an original story by-line may have included one.  Where I have included the phrase "first publication thus," I am referring to either this this expanded 2002 edition OR to the original 1969 edition, whichever had published the story first; it would involve too much typing for me to do otherwise.  I have not included all the publications where many of the stories appeared (again, too much typing -- my fingers tire) but I have included a note when to stories have also appeared in the Ackerman edited Perry Rhodan series for Ace Books.]

Expanded Science Fiction Worlds of Forrest J Ackerman & Friends PLUS (2002) 

The contents:

  • "Earth's Lucky Day" by "Francis Flagg" and Forrest J Ackerman (first published in Wonder Stories, April 1936; included in Perry Rhodan #46, May 1974)   Flagg was the pseudonym of Henry George Weiss, who published pulp science fiction stories from 1927 to 1937.  He published about 25 storoes and is best known for his first published story, "The Machine Man of Ardathia", and The Night People. a rare chapbook published in 1947.
  • "Dwellers in the Dust" by Forrest J. Ackerman (first published in Fantasy Book #4, November 1948; revised for S.F. Digest #1, February 1954; included in Perry Rhodan #48, June 1974)
  • "Micro-Man" by Forrest J Ackerman (first published in New Worlds #2, October 1946, as by "Alden Lorraine"; reprinted in Fantasy Book #1, July 1947, as by "Weaver Wright"; included in Perry Rhodan #43, April 1974, AS BY "Weaver Wright")
  • "A Martian Oddity" by Forrest J Ackerman.  (first published without author credit as "Behind the Ate Ball:  A Martian Oddity" in Marvel Science Stories, November 1950; included in Perry Rhodan #17, September 1972, as by "Weaver Wright")
  • "Confessions of a Science Fiction Addict" (essay) by Forrest J Ackerman (first published in After Hours #4, 1957)
  • "The Big Sleep" by Forrest J Ackerman (first published in Other Worlds Science Stories, May 1950)
  • "Metropolis Uber Alles" (essay) by Forrest J Ackerman (first published as an introduction to a 1963 edition of Thea von Harbou's Metropolis)
  • "Born Witch, Burn!" (essay) by Forrest J. Ackerman (first published in Sex & Censorship, 1958)
  • "And Then the Cover Was Bare" by Forrest J Ackerman (first publication thus; originally planned for a cover contest for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, then reworked many times over the years)
  • "The Lure and Lore of The Blind Spot" (essay) by Forrest J Ackerman.  (first published as the introduction to the 1951 edition of Auston Hall and Homer Eon Flint's The Blind Spot)
  • "Task of the Temponaut" by Norbert F. Novotny & "Van del Rio" (Forrest J Ackerman) (first published in Perry Rhodan #33, November 1973, as by Novotny alone)  There is no information for Novotny in ISFDb except for two short stories published in the Perry Rhodan series.  The FictionMags index notes three stories in Perry Rhodan and one in Adam, alng with three stories by other authors that Novotny translated for Perry Rhodan
  • "Yvala" by C. L. Moore and "Amyrillis Ackerman" (Forrest J Ackerman) (a "Northwest Smith" story first published in Weird Tales, February 1946, as by Moore alone; Ackerman provided the plot and the name of the character for the story; C. L. (Catherine) Moore was one of the most popular science fiction and fantasy authors of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, creator of Northwest Smith and Jirel of Joray; she was married to Henry Kuttner and the two collabrated seamlessly on many stories, to the point that it is difficult (and sometimes impossible) to determine who wrote what
  • "The Cosmic Kidnappers" by Christian Vallini & "S, F, Balboa" (Forrest J. Ackerman) (first publication thus)  There is no information on Christian Vallini in ISFDb beynd this story; the FictionMags index does not refence Vallini at all.
  • "The Girl Who Wasn't There" by "Tigrina" (Edythe Eyde, or Eide), William F. Nolan, Charles E. Fritch, and Forrest J Ackerman (revised from a story titled "The Lady Takes a Powder" -- see the next item -- by Tigrina and Ackerman published in Inside, 1953, without credit to Tigrina; then published under the present title in Gamma #1, 1963, as by Ackerman alone, with editorial tinkering by William F. Nolan and Charles E. Fritch so the the final result was "75% Tigrina, 15% Fritch, 9% Nolan, and 1% Ackerman;" IMHO, the editorial work therein much improved the tale.)   Tigrina was a well-known science fiction fan, fanzine writer, one-time secretary of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, poet, musician, ardant lesbian (often writing under the name "Lisa Ben" (rearrange the letters), and a good friend of Ackerman (who reportedly once proposed to her before he realilzed she was a lesbian).  She published a few professinal science fictin tales.  Just for the heck of it, here's a recording of a lesbian song she wrote, along with her versin of "Frankie & Johnnie":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AatohqFOGmo
  • "The Lady Takes a Powder" by "Tigrina as told to Karlon Torgosi" (the earlier verson of "The Girl Who wasn't There" -- see above.  This was evidently slightly revised by Ackerman -- there is a passing reference to Dark Shadows.)
  • "The Atomic Monument" by Forrest J Ackerman and Theodore Sturgeon (Sturgeon gave permission for Ackerman to translate into Esperanto the "essence" of his April 1946 Astounding Science Fiction story "Memorial" for Fantasticonglomeration [or Glom], a mimeographed fanzine for the Fantasy Amateur Press Association.  Ackerman later translated it back into English and it appeared kin the Mexican magazine Los Cuentos Fantasticos.  The story is a mere 400 words.)
  • "Nyusa, Nymph of Darkness" by Catherine L. Moore and Forrest J Ackerman (a Northwest Smith story, first published in Fantasy Magazine, April 1935, as "Nymph of Darkeness" and as by C. L. Moore and Forrest J Ackerman; an expurgated version appeared in Weird Tales, December 1939; this version adds the name Nyusa to the title.)  Also inclulded here is an afterward by Ackerman "The Genesis of an Invisible Venusienne," as well as an article, "The ;Nymph' O' Maniack" [from the January-February 1948 issue of Shangri-LA] which details "the story behind the story," and in which Ackerman explains that he had provided the outline for the story..
  • "Time to Change; or, Mirror Image" by Forrest J Ackerman and Marcial Souto.  (first publication  thus; originally published -- most likely in Argentina, but possibly in Uruguay -- by Souto and later translated by the author into English; Ackerman added about fifty words to make the English translation more clear)  Souto edited a landmark anthology of Argentine science fiction, La scencia ficcion en la Argentina and he won the Karel Prize for science fiction translation.
  • "Great Gog's Grave" by Forrest J Ackerman and Donald A. Wollheim (first published in Fantasy Book, December 1981)  Wollheim was the legendary publisher and editor (Avon Books, Ace Books, DAW Books) who also compiled the annual World's Best SF series from 1965 to 1990; among the books he has written are the eight volumes of the Mike Mars juvenile science fiction series and three books in the juvenile (now, we'd call it young adult) Winston Science Fiction series.
  • "The Naughty Venusienne" by "Otis Kaye" (Ackerman) and "Morgan Ives"  (first published in Caper, December 1956, as by Morgan Ives" and ""Spencer Strong" (Ackerman); Ackerman provided the plot for this story, noting that "Ives" was a now-deceased professional wirter who preferred anonimity; but everybody nows that "Morgan Ives" for Marion Zimmer Bradley, right?)  Bradley, of course, was the once-popular author of the Darkover series and the best-selling novel The Mists of Avalon; in 2014, she was posthumously  accused by two of her children of child sexual abuse and rape, a charge made more serious because of her complicity in former husband Walter H. Breen's pedophilia.  Nonetheless, she was very sweet in 1974 with Jessamyn when she was just a few months old.
  • "The Time Twister" by "Francis Flagg"(George Henry Weiss) and "Weaver Wright" (Forrest J Ackerman) (first published in Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1947:  Ackerman's title, Ackerman's plot; Flagg's prose)
  • "Dhactwhul -- Remember?" by Robert A,. W. Lowndes and Forrest J Ackerman (from Super Science Stories, April 1949, as by "Wilfred Owen Morley" [Lowndes] and "Jacques DeForest Erman" [Ackerman]; included in Perry Rhodan #44, April 1974, under the authors' own names; Ackerman's main contribution was some high-falutin' phrasing, including 'lustrum,' which has always been one of his favorite words)  Doc Lowndes, former Futurian and sporadic author, is best remembered for his editorial work, wherein he produced readable magazines on a budget smaller than a shoestring -- Science Fiction, Science Fiction Quarterly, Science Fiction Stories, Future Science Fiction, Future cpommbines with Science Fition Stories, Dynamic Science Fiction, Magaz nine of Horror, Startling Mystery Stories, Famous Science Fiction, Bizarre Fantasy Tales, Weird Terror Tales, Thrilling Western Stories, World-Wide Adventure, and a long string of crime, detective, western, and sports pulp magazines for Columbia Publications, as well as a number of nonfiction magazines for Heath Knowledge, and the Gernsback Publiations Sexology.  He published first stories by Stephen  King, F. Paul Wilson, Edward D. Hoch, and others.
  • "Tarzan and the Golden Loin" by Forrest J. Ackerman (evidently first published in a French girly magazine, V, some time in 1948)
  • "Count Down to Doom" by Forrest J Ackerman and Charles Neutzel (first published in Famous Monsters of Filmdom, Jamuary 1962)  Nuetzel was a prolific writer of soft-core sex novels undr a variety of pseudonyms, as well as a number of paperback original science fiction and fantasy novels.  He edited a line of science fiction books for paperback publisher Powell Books.  He wrote the five-volume Noomas series, and his paperback novelization of the film Queen of Blood is highly sought after by collectors, and currently goes for $300-400 on abebooks.  I once had a copy of that one but it went walkabout and I doubt I'll ever afford another copy.
  • "The Far-Out Philosopher of Science Fiction" (essay) by Forrest J Ackerman (this id "basically' the back cover dust jacket blurb for 1949 collection Worlds of Wonder, three short novels by Olaf Stapledon)
  • "Laugh, Clone, Laugh" by Forrest J Ackerman and A. E. Van Vogt (first publication thus)  Van Vogt was one of the greats from the Golden Age of science fiction, the author of Slan, The Weapon Shops of Isher, The Worlds of Null-A, and many other classics.
  • "When Frighthood was in Flower, and Monsters Were a Boy's best Friend"  (essay) by Forrest J Ackerman (first publication thus; originally commisioned by Playboy but never published; an article about the grat horror movies of the past)
  • "The Record" by Forrst J. Ackerman, "with an assist by ?" (first ;published in Ray Bradbury's teen-age fanzine futria fantasia, Summer 1939: the ? who assisted in the story was Bradbury, who editorially [and anonymously] added to the story; Bradbury's contributions are printed in italics here)
  • "The Man Who Was Thirsty" by Forrest J Ackerman (first publication thus, althougAckerman notes that he once submitted this short-short to Anthony Boucher 'Via Western Union in TELEGRAM form!')
  • "The House in the Twilight Zone" (essay) by Forrest J Ackerman (first publication thus; another commssioned article, this time from Esquire, that never saw print; FJa gives a tour of the Ackermansion)
  • "The Radclyffe Effect" by Forrest J. Ackerman (first publication thus; rejected by Sam Merwin for the Wonder Stories group of science fiction magazines in 1947, the story was published as "de Soledad" in the Mexican science fiction magazine Los Auentos Fantasticos, July 8, 1948; the current version was significantly revised
  • "Letter to an Angel" by Forrest J. Ackerman (first publicstion thus; originally submitted [and rejected] by the nostalgia magazine P.S. because they did not run fiction)

Many of the same caveats above apply to this anthology.  I used the 1997 edition, although a "Millenium Edition" appeared in 2000.  Although given a separate listing in ISFDb, the Millenium Edition lists exactly the same stories as the 1997 edition.  The page count differs by two pages between the two editions.  I am acting on the assumption that these two editions are exactly the same book.  Again, I have made specific not of any stories that appeared (or were reprinted) in the Ackerman-edited Perry Rhodan series.  Re: the book's title -- please remember that it was Ackerman who coined the dreaded term sci-fi.

Ackermanthology:  65 Astonishing, Rediscovered Sci-Fi Shorts, compiled by Forrest j Ackerman, Mr. Sci-Fi (1997)

The contents:
  • "I (Alone) Stand in a World of Legless Humans" by Dennis Palumbo (first piubished in Perry Rhodan #105, October 1976)  This is Palumbo's only short story listing inn ISFDb; he has 24 stories and articles listed in the FictionMags Index, mainly in mystery, susense, and crime publication, and most from 2000 on.  He published one science fiction novel, City Wars, in 1979.
  • "Under the Lavender Skies" by Adrian Hayworth (from Perry Rhodan #51, August 1974)  Another "one and done" author in ISFDb; ditto for the FictionMags Index.
  • The Cat & the Canaries" by Helen M. Urban (first published as "The Cat and the Canaries" in Fantastic Universe, February 1957; included in Perry Rhodan #54, September 1974, using the ampersand in the title)  Urban published five genre stories kin the late 50s/early 60s.
  • "Eye of the Beholder" by Shirley Parenteau (first published in Perry Rhodan #103, September 1976)  This is the author's only science fiction short story listing in ISFDb; FictionMags index lists six stories in Adam and Adam Bedside Reader in the early 60s. she has written at least one science fiction novel (The Talking Coffins of Cryo-City, 1979) and one romnce novel (Hot Springs, 1983).
  • "Litter of the Law" by J. Douglas Burtt (first published in Perry Rhodan #69, April 1975)  Ackerman evidently confused this author (born 1947) with J. Lewis Burtt, who wrote for Amazing Stories in the 1930s, including the six stories comprising the then-popular "Lumerian Documents" series.
  • "Traders in Treasures" by C. P. Mason (first published in Wonder Stories, May 1934, as by "Epamindondas T. Snooks, D.T.G.")  Mason was the associate editor of Air Wonder Stories, Space Wonder Stories, and Wonder Stories in the early 1930s; he published three stories as by "Snooks," as well as three articles under his own name in Wonder Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories.
  • "Pressure Cruise" by Andrei Gorbovskii (most likely first published in Serbian as "Ualudnost" in 1985 as by Andrej Gorbovski; first English translation published in Vortex:  New Soviet Science Fiction, edited by C. G. bearne, 1970; this English translation by Norbert F. Novotny and Forrest J Ackerman firt appeared in Perry Rhodan #58, November 1974)  Gorbovskii (1930-2003) had four science fiction stories translated into English between 1970 and 1981.
  • "Alien Catastrophe" by Henry Melton (first published in Perry Rhodan #52, August 1974)  Henry Melton has been writing science fiction since the 70s and has published over 25 books, including the Small Towns, Big Ideas series and the The Project Saga.
  • "The Tweenie" by Isaac Asimov (first published in Astonishing Stories, February 1940, under the title "Half-Breed")  Asimov needs no introduction; this is an early story from him.
  • "Deathrace 2000" by Ib J. Melchior (first published in Escapade, October 1956 as "The Racer" by Ib Melchior;included in Perry Rhodan #97, June 1976; adapted twice as a film -- the cult classic Death Race 2000 in 1975 [with David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone, among others], and as Death Race in 2008 [with Jason Statham and Joan Allen])  Melchior was the son of famed opera.  In addition to being a novelis, Melchior was a film writer, producter, and director, mainly for low budget science fiction films, including The Angry Red Planet, The Time Travelers, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Reptilicus, and Journey to the Seventh Planet.  He provided the English script for Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires, and claimed to have come up with the original concept for the Lost in Space television series although he received no screen credit.
  • "The Swordsmen of Varnis" by Clive Jackson (first published in Slant, Spring 1950, as by "Geoffrey Cobbe" -- the table of contents had the story "The Swordsman of Varnis" as by "Geoffrey Cobb"; reprinted as by Clive Jackson in The Science Fiction Carnival, edited by Fredric Brown and Mack Reynolds, 1953; included in Perry Rhodan #16, August 1972)  Jackson published eleven short stories in the 60s, mainly in fanzines.
  • "Starburst" by Robert Lulyk (first published in Perry Rhodan #97, June 1976) As far as I can tell, Lulyk published only one other story (in Ed McBain's 87th Precinct Mystery Magazine in 1975)
  • "The Cosmic Kidnappers" by Christian Vallini and "S. F. Balboa" (Ackerman) (also included in Expanded Science Fiction Worlds of Forrest J Ackerman & Friends PLUS; see above)
  • "Cosmic Parallel" by Arthur Louis Joquel II (most likely first published in 1941, possibly in a fanzine)  Joquel was the editor of the fanzine Sun Trails, Summer 1941; it's likely that that isnwhere the story first appeared.  [that issue, BTW, featured artwork by Ray Bradbury.]
  • "The Sky's an Oyster, The Stars Are Pearls" by Dave Bischoff (first published in Perry Rhodan #66, March 1975)  David Bischoff (1951-2018) was a popular science fiction writer with about seventy-five original novels published, as well as numerous film novelizations and tie-ins.
  • "And Satan Came" by Robert A. W. Lowndes (first published in Polaris, December 1940, as by Robert W. Lowndes)  Lowndes added the "A," -- for Augustine -- to his name later in life.
  • "Experiment" by R. H. Barlow (first piublished a "The Experiment" in Unusual Stories, May 1935; included in Perry Rhodan #32, March 1974)  Robert H. Barlow was young friend and correspondent of H. P. Lovecraft, who made several expended visits to the Barlow Florida home where the teenager lived with his parents.  Barlow was active in fan publications, and co-authored a few stories with Lovecraft.  He typed many of Lovecraft's manuscripts for him an exchange for original autographed manuscripts.  Lovecraft named Barlow his litersry executor.  Barlow went on to become went on to teach at Mexico City College, eventually becoming Chairman of that school's Department of Anthropology (the author William S. Burroughs studied junder him).  Barlow committed suicide in 1944 at age 32, apparently fearing exposure as a life-long homosexual by a disgruntled student.
  • "Golden Nemesis" by David H. Kyle (first published in Stirring Science Stories, February 1941)  Kyle was an active member of science fiction fandom, the co-founder of Gnome Press, the author of two pictoril histories of science fiction, and the author of three licensed novels set in the "Lensman" universe created by E. E. Smith.  He dies in 2016 at age 98, his life spanning that of his favorite genre.
  • "Secret of the Sun" by Ray Cummings (first ;piublished in Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1939; included in Perry Rhodan #98, July 1976)  Cummings was an amaxingly prolific pulp writer.  In the science fiction field he is best known for The Girl in the Golden Atom and other stories about micro-universes as part of his "Matter, Space, and Time" series.  In the 40s he also wrote comic book stories about Captain America, the Human Torch, and Sub-Mariner.
  • "Pallas Rebellion" by Donald A. Wollheim (first published in Out of This World Adventures, July 1950, as by "W. Malcolm White"; included in Perry Rhodan #22, March 1973, as by Wollheim)  
  • "The Curious Adventure of Thomas Dunbar" by G. M. Barrows (firt published in The Argosy, March 1904; included in Perry Rhodan #84, December 1975)  Ackerman speculates that the ajuthor was Gertrude Barrows, better known under her pseudonym of "Francis Stevens" as the author of several classic fantasy novels such as The Heads of Cerebus, Claimed, and The Citadel of Fear.  This speculation appears to be correct because both ISFDb and FictionMags Index agree with it.
  • "A Scientist Rises" by Harry Bates and Desmond Winter Hall (first published in Astounding Stories, November 1932 as by "D. W. Hall"); included in Perry Rhodan #83, November 1975, under the authors' full names)  Bates was the editor of Astounding Stories (1930-1933) and the co-author (with Hall) of the Hawke Carse series under the name "Anthony Gilmore;" he also wrote the classic stories "Alas, All Thinking!" and "Farewell to the Master" (which was the basis of the film The Day the Earth Stood Still).  Hall was the assistant editor of Astounding under Bates, continuing in that position for a year when F. Orlin Tremaine took over the editorship; Hall was then  promoted to editor of Madamoiselle.
  • "Homecoming" by J. Harvey Haggard (first published in Fantastic Universe, August 1955; included in Perry Rhodan #55, October 1975)  Haggard was a popular science fiction author in the 1930s and 40s, often publishing in Wonder Stories and Astoundng Stories.
  • "The Impossible Invention" by Robert Moore Williams (first plublished in Astonishing Stories, June 1942)  Moore was a prolific science fiction pulpster who also had a string of novels published from Ace Books.  His Tarzan-like Jongar series of novels from Fantastic Adventures was republished by Lancer, for which he also did four original novels about Zanthar, a superscientist.
  • "The Smile" by Ray Bradbury (first published in Fantastic, June 1952)
  • "The Far Way" by David R. Daniels (first publihed in Astounding Stories, July 1935; included in Perry Rhodan #77, August 1975)  Daniels published seven science fiction stories in 1935-6.  He died in 1936 at age 20 or 21 from a gunshot wound; it was never determined if his death was accidental or suicide.
  • "Parasite Lost" by Raymond James Jones (first published in Perry Rhodan #57, November 1974)  I know nothing about the author.  This is the only story listed by him in either ISFDb or FictionMags Index.
  • "Messenger to Infinity" by J. Harvey Haggard (from Science Fiction Quarterly, Winter 1942; included in Perry Rhodan #32, October 1973)
  • "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi" by George Allen (first publication thus)  The author is not mentioned in ISFDb or FictionMags Index..  the story was copyrighted by George C. Allen
  • "A Question of Priorities" by Allan J. Wind (first published in Perry Rhodan #65, March 1975)  Evidently one of only two stories credited to the author.
  • "The Banning" by Carmel Lou Rhoten (first published in Perry Rhodan #108, February 1977)  No information on this author other than Ackerman's note that she is an Oklahoman.
  • "The Last Poet & The Wrongness of Space" by A. Merritt. (first published in Fantasy Magazine, April 1934, as "The Last Poet and the Robots, " Chapter 11 of the round-robin story Cosmos; reprinted under the present title as Chapters 11a and 11b of Cosmos in Perry Rhodan #47 and #48, both July 1974)   Merritt was the author of a number of classic science fiction/fantasy novels, including The Moon Pool, The Face in the Abyss, and The Ship of Ishtar.  Cosmos was an 18-part serial, written by some of the biggest names in science fiction at the time:  Earl and Otto Binder, Arthur J. Burks, John W. Campbell, Jr., Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, Ralph Milne Farley, Francis Flagg, Abner J. Gelula, J Harvey Haggard, Edmond Hamilton, David H. Keller, M.D., Otis Adelbert Kline, Merritt, P. Schuyler Miller, Bob Olsen, Raymond A. Palmer, E. Hoffman Price, and Edward E. Smith.
  • "Let the Future Judge" by L. Lester Anderson (first published in Perry Rhodan #41, March 1973)  His only story.
  • "The Final Men" by H. G. Wells (an extract from an early magazine version of Wells' The Time Machine -- "The Time Traveler's Story" from The New Review, published in five parts from January-May 1895 -- the extract was not included in later printings; it was eventually published in 1940 in a chapbook published by Robert W. Lowndes [with the publisher's name misspelled as "Loundes;" it was republished in Satellite Science Fiction, August 1958, as ""The Missing Pages {from The Time Machine); the fragment was finally included ina 1960 edition of The Time Machine.)
  • "Navigational Error" by Steve Tymon (first printing thus)  This is probably Steven M. Tymon, who published a handful of stories and poems from the late 70s to the mid-90s.
  • "Devonshire's Song" by Matt Graham (first published in Perry Rhodan #48, June 1974)  Graham published five stories in 1973 and 1974, all in Perry Rhodan.
  • "A Martian Oddity" by "Weaver Wright" (also published in Expanded Science Fiction Worlds of Forrest J Ackerman & Friends PLUS, which see)
  • "Love" by Richard Wilson (first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, June 1952; included in Perry Rhodan #87, January 1976)  Wilson, a Futurian, was a talented science fiction writer who should have published far more than he did (Damn, those day jobs!)  His three novels, highly recommended, are The Girls from Planet 5, 30-Day Wonder, and And Then the Town Took Off.
  • "The Golden Pyramid" by Sam Moskowitz (first published in Fantastic Universe, November 1956; included in Perry Rhodan #56, October 1974)  Moskowitz was a longtime science fiction fan, occasional author, anthologist, magazine editor, and historian of science fiction.
  • "The Biography Project" by Horace L. Gold (first published in Galaxy Science Fiction, September 1951, as by "Dudley Dell"; reprinted in The Old Die Rich and Other Science Fiction Stories by H. L. Gold, 1955; included in Perry Rhodan #92, April 1976)  Gold publlished over three dozen science fiction stories, beginning in the mid-1930s and was the founding editor of Galaxy, which -- along with The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction -- helped change the field in the early 1950s.
  • "I'll Kill You Tomorrow" by Helen Huber (first published in If, November 1953)
  • "Police Action" by S. C. Smith (first published in Perry Rhodan #85, December 1975)  This is one of two stories Smith published in Perry Rhodan.  Not to be confused with two other authors of that name, or with Scott C. Smith -- all of whom are also listed in FictionMags Index.
  • "Where There's Hope" by Jerome Bixby (first published in If, November 1953.  Bixby a writer and magazine editor is perhaps best known for the story "It's a Good Life."  He also worked in film, where he provided the story for Fantastic Voyage.
  • "The Queen & I" by Steven Utley.  (first published in Perry Rhodan #31, October 1973; the story was retitled "Ants" when publlished in Utley's collection The Beasts of Love, 2005) 
  • "Untimely Interruption" by Matt Graham (first pubished in Perry Rhodan #54, September 1974)
  • Extenuating Circumstances" by Ann Orhelein (first published in Perry Rhodan #108, February 1977)  This is one of two stories the author published in Perry Rhodan.  There are no further listings for her in ISFDb or FictionMags Index.
  • "To Serf MAN" by "Coil Kepac" (Ackerman) (first published in Perry Rhodan #50, July 1974)  Also known as "To Serf Man")
  • "Theory or Fact?" by Michael R. Farkash (first published in Perry Rhodan, #81, October 1975)  FictionMags Index also lists Farkash as authoring two other stories, one in 1978 and one in 1983.
  • "Kiki" by "Laurajean Ermayne" (Ackerman) (first published in Lisa Ben's Vice Versa #7, December 1947)  As noted above, "Lisa Ben" (aka "Tigrina," aka Edythe Eyde) was a prominent lesbian friend of Ackerman, and he contributed many stoies, poems, and articles for her publications.
  • "For the Good of Society" by Terri E. Merrit-Pinckard (first published in Vertex:  The Magazine of Science Fiction, December 1973, as by "Terri E. Pinckard")  Her name has been spelled both Merrit-Pinckard and Merritt-Pinckard, the latter was her legal name.
  • "Twice Removed" by R. Michael Rosen (first published in Perry Rhodan #57, November 1974)  Rosen had one other story published in Perry Rhodan, and, in 1974, published a chapbook in Dutch, Dracula's triumf.
  • "Replacement Part" by Greg Akers (first published in Perry Rhodan #53, September 1974)  Akers authored three stories for Perry Rhodan in 1974; that's all I know about him.
  • "The Satellite-Keeper's Daughter " by Mark Reinsberg (first published in Fantastic Universe, December 1956)  Reinsberg was an active science fiction fn in the 1930s, and then again in the 1950s.  He was the author of ten short stories, complied the 1940 Worldcon Program Booklet with W. Lawrence Hamling, and was a book reviewer for Imagination for eleven months in 1953.
  • "Nymph of Darkness" by Catherine L. Moore and Forrest J. Ackerman (also in Expanded Worlds of Forrest J Ackerman & Friends PLUS as "Nyusa, Nymph of Darkness," as are the essays ""The Genesis of an Invisible Venusienne" and "The 'Nymph' o' Maniack," which see above,)
  • "Itself!" by A. E. van Vogt (first published in Scientific American, January 1963)
  • "Big, Wide, Wonderful World" by Charles E. Fritch (first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March 1958; included in Perry Rhodan #22, March 1973)  This was one of Fritch's better-known stories.
  • "The Door" by Oliver Saari (first published in Astounding Science-Fiction, November 1941; included in Perry Rhodan #99, July 1976)  Saari was a Finnish-born science fiction author and fan who was active in the field from the late 1930s to the mid-1950s.  He is pretty much forgotten and very much under-rated today.
  • "Racial Memory" by Ralph O. Hughes, Jr. (first published in Perry Rhodan # 51, August 1974)  Hughes had only one other story published, in Perry Rhodan #47.
  • "Tunnel" by Roger Aday ((first published in Perry Rhodan #107, January 1977)  Another "one and done" writer.
  • "Inferiority" by James Causey (piublished in Popular Science Fiction #5, 1954; included in Perry Rhodan #76, August 1975, and again in #82, November 1975).  James O. Causey was active in the science fiction field, publishing about a dozen stories from 1943 to 1955.
  • "Task of the Temponaut" by Van del Rio and Norbert F. Novotny (also published in Expanded Worlds of Forrest J Ackerman & Friends PLUS, which see above)
  • "Beauty" by "Hannes Bok" (Wayne Francis Woodard) (first published in Future Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1942)  Bok was one of the premier science fiction and fantasy illustrators of his time.  Bok is noted for his two fantasy novels, The Sorceror's Ship and Beyond the Golden Stair, as well as two posthumous novels with A. Merrit.
  • "The Shortest SF Story Ever Told" by Forrest J Ackerman (first published in Vertex:The Magazine of Science Fiction, June 1973; included in Perry Rhodan #29, September 1973}  also known as "Cosmic Report Card:  Earth."
  • "Final Victory" by Jill Taggart (first published in Perry Rhodan, #101, August 1976)  another "one and done."


Nothing earth-shaking here.  No literary pretensions.  Just a preponderance of shaggy dog tales, Feghoots, readily telegraphed endings, in-jokes, strained puns, and whatnot.  But, still...both books can be very entertainiing if taken in small doses.  More immportantly, they give a fairly accurate depiction of Ackerman's public persona, which, in itself, gives the reader a better understanding of why -- rightly or wrongly -- he was such an important figure in the science fiction scene his entire life.

**********

Yes, this [post did take me longer to write than it did for me to read the two books.