Friday, September 24, 2010

"Fantastic Universe", Vol 1 No 1 (June-July 1953) (ed Sam Merwin, Jr) (magazine, free): Annotated table of contents

Cover image by Alex Schomburg of Fantastic Universe magazine, June-July 1953 issue
Inaugural issue of the magazine. Going by sheer number of stories, this looks more like an anthology than a magazine! Its scans in CBR format are online as part of a larger package.

Table of contents. 

Links on authors fetch more fiction by author. Where I have a separate post on a story, link on story title goes there.

  1. [novella] Sam Merwin, Jr's "Nightmare Tower" (as by Jacques Jean Ferrat): "Lynne disliked the man from Mars on sight. Yet drawn by forces beyond her control she let him carry her off to the Red Planet."
  2. [novelette] A Bertram Chandler's "Vicious Circle": "It's bad to be trapped in a time warp with anyone. And when anyone is Malaprop Jenkins it can adder a man's wits peppermintly."
  3. [ss] Frank Belknap Long's "Little Men of Space": "The Children were very young--& the crisis they were called upon to face would have driven most adults into a straitjacket."
  4. [novelette] E Hoffmann Price's "The Fire and the Flesh": "Was Agni Deva flame? Or was she flesh? In either case, the woman of volcano was irresistible."

    Note: I wonder whatever made the author make "Agni Deva" female? In Hindu mythology, it's a male. Also, "Deva" (also written "Dev" in English) literally means "god" & is clearly male; "Devi" is "goddess" & female.
  5. [ss] August Derleth's "The Maugham Obsession": "All inventors seek success. Some few achieve it. And now & then, a Quintus Maugham is a bit too successful for his own health."

    From editor's introduction to story: author was the owner of Arkham press at the time the story was published.
  6. [ss] Arthur C Clarke's "The Other Tiger": "When a pair of strollers begin to ponder parallel worlds just about anything can happen. And this time about anything does."

    From Clarke's introduction to this story in his "Collected Stories": "Originally entitled 'Refutation', this story was retitled by Sam Merwin, editor of Fantastic Universe, as a nod to Frank Stockton's classic but now forgotten 'The Lady or the Tiger'".

    For me, it's among the forgettable stories of Clarke. It's very small though, probably just above the boundary of flash fiction.
  7. [ss] Gene L Henderson's "The Small Bears": "The aliens looked cute as Koalas. But there was a little matter of a graveyard of dead spaceships."
  8. [ss] Philip K Dick's "Martians Come in Clouds": "Among Man's noblest dreams is that of making friendly contact with other world creatures. But dreams may become nightmares..."
  9. [ss] Roger Dee's "The Minister Had To Wait": 'The Brass said, "Turn it on!" So Doc Maxey could but obey--which created one hell of a big mess.'
  10. [ss] Milton Lesser's "Finders Keepers": "Amhurst wanted to get married. But then an invisible ingenue moved in on his wedding day..."
  11. [ss] Ray Bradbury's "Time in Thy Flight": "The circus, Hallowe'en, the Glorious Fourth may go--yet eternal is their pull on a child's heart."
  12. [ss] Eric Frank Russell's "It's in the Blood" (B): "Space may flow in a young man's veins. But at times the laws of heredity can take tragic twists."
  13. [ss, reprint] Francis G Rayer's "Of Those Who Came" (as by George Longdon); New Worlds, November 1952: "The alien scheme was perfect--a night landing, infiltration, human disguises. Fortunately for us the Policeman was awaiting them."

See also.

  1. Fiction from Fantastic Universe.
  2. Fiction from old "pulp" magazines.
  3. Fiction from 1950s.


The Reviewer said...

just want to talk about this stories with someone who actually read it. you can reach me at @elcastillo on twitter or can email me

Concerning the first story, I didn't get it at all, can you explain it?