I’ve been trying an experiment on the weekends–not going online on Saturdays. I spend so many hours on the computer during the week writing and networking and tweeting that I often don’t give myself a chance to read the many books and magazines I have, and which I love. So it was nice for the last two weekends to take a break from the online universe on Saturdays (not turning the laptop on at all) and simply walking around town, hanging out with my book dealer friends on the street in Greenwich Village, and then coming home to read. Yesterday I perused an old pulp magazine I got in a trade for another magazine.
In the trade I selected THRILLING WONDER STORIES June 1951 for two reasons: I loved the cover of the elegant gloved glamour girl posed as a kind of “muse” for rocket ships, and I also wanted a magazine that is almost exactly as old as I am. Given how publication schedules work, this issue was conceived probably right around the time I was. I was born in October 1951, and this magazine, dated June of the same year, was probably assembled in February or March.
The mag is fragile, so I cautiously took a couple of pix with my digicam to show it to you.
I read a couple of the shorter stories, and enjoyed “Girl from Callisto” by Roger Dee best. It’s a funny tale about an earth scientist who makes interplanetary television contact with a beautiful girl on one of the moons of Jupiter…
She is absolutely dazzling on the screen in his lab, he falls instantly in love, and she is also taken with him; and coming from a highly advanced civilization, she immediately gets into her personal rocket ship to come visit him on earth. Unfortunately, the black-and-white image that he sees of her on his interplanetary television screen fools him; it turns out that although she comes from a far-advanced scientific society, she is only one inch tall, and her spaceship only about ten inches long! Her lack of height is not revealed in the screen image–she seems terrestrial-sized on the tv since the transmission doesn’t make any compensation when it comes to height and she looks the same size as earth gals. It’s a romance that’s not meant to be, and she blasts off to return to Callisto at the end of this cute little story of fantasy fulfillment foiled by fate. As Andrew Marvell put it in his poem “The Definition of Love,” their passion is “the conjunction of the mind, and opposition of the stars.” But not quite as portentously phrased as that! 😉
If you’d like to read more about this particular magazine, check out this post on a cool pulp-related blog called Laurie’s Wild West.