TOMORROW #4 (Winter 1938)
TOMORROWVol. 1.No. 4
THE ENDLESS QUEST..........................................................8
Hiking & Camping in A.D. 20,000...........................................13
Unification of Progress.............................................................17
The Mystery of the Mitogenetic Rays.......................................20
6d. per copy.................................Per year, 1/9
Once again we cannot resist the urge to indulge in a little "pep talk". As most readers will be aware, this issue completes the first volume of TOMORROW - "The Magazine of the Future" -- and, as announced in our last issue, commencing with Volume II -- if sufficient support is forthcoming - the magazine will undergo considerable improvement. A printed issue, on good-quality paper, with illustrations and a two-colour cover are some of the physical changes we hope to make.
As for the contents, the character of these will depend entirely on the wishes of our readers. Would you care to read dynamic notes and views by some of science-fiction's leading personalities? A first-rate short s-f story (5,000 words) in each issue? A couple or so pages devoted to rocketry news? An expanded "Quarterly Cavalcade" giving a graphic account of all important events of the quarter in the style of TIME, or NEWS REVIEW? Illustrated articles on hitherto little-considered aspects of the future? A series of views by leading fans on some debatable question? Science articles like "Mitogenetic Rays" or progressive articles like "Unification of Progress"? Book and magazine reviews, dealing not only with science-fiction, but with allied topics?
If you want any of these, by all means let us know, and we will be glad to provide them. Or if there is any other feature you consider would improve the magazine, drop us a postcard and let us start moving heaven and earth to secure it.
Our policies will remain unaltered. As far as we can express our aims in words,
we are out to present a high-class progressive magazine, relaying to its readers news and views on science-fiction, science, scientific progress, rocketry, the future, and scientific-sociology. Our attitude will always be active, rather than passive - remember our motto! By our leading and other articles we shall do our best to support the SFA in its determined efforts to promote and improve science-fiction, and a variety of progressive schemes will be launched. Above all, our aim will be to provide our readers with an interesting selection of material well worth reading, considering and saving.
Will you help us to secure this by ensuring a reasonable circulation? Mention the magazine to your friends -- even if they are not s-f "fans", perhaps they are interested in rocketry, in sociology, in the future, or in scientific progress, and will therefore find something in the magazine to attract their attention. The subscription rates will be unaltered, namely 1/9 per year or 6d. per copy. In U.S. coinage, 50 and 15 cents respectively.
"WHAT IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR TODAY
IS MUCH TOO BAD FOR
Out of the womb of time the following events, making science-fictional history during the last three months..... London SFA Branch launches constructive criticism campaign.., and commences work on own s-f story... Leeds.SFA Branch secures new, up-to-date clubroom.......New scientifi-sociological movement, "Michelism", started in U.S.A..... In Leeds, Sociological Group formed to consider such ideas.
H. G. Wells' fourth 1937 novel, entitled CAMFORD VISITATION, tells of visitor from another space and time....Other new s-f books include M.P. Shiel's YOUNG MEN ARE COMING and THE WORLD ENDS by by William Lamb.......Xmas Annual, BOYS WORLD OF ADVENTURE, contains several reprints from SCOOPS.
S-f film FLIGHT KEY featuring. Boris Karloff, released ..... New science-fictional music includes Raymond Scott's "Celebration on the Planet Mars" and Sid Phillips' "Message from Mars".......Article by Sir James Jeans published in TWS.... possibility of TWS quarterly annuonced...... S-f short-story, ROBOT REVENGE by I.O. Evans, published in PASSING SHOW.
New series on life in 1963, by Ritchie Calder (originator of the now international "Magna Charta" of science) runs for fortnight in DAILY HERALD.....New "Mutant" issue of ASTOUNDING published....Editor John W. Campbell, Jnr, accepts Honorary Membership of SFA...... NOVAE TERRAE announces ASTOUNDING STORIES will shortly become ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION.....SCIENTIFICTION announces second issue of TALES OF WONDER......IMAGINATION reports death in motor accident of Joseph W. ("Posi & Nega") Skidmore.
What will the future bring?
THE FELICITOMETERby Maurice K. Hanson.
In view of the measurements that have been made of cosmic and atomic distances, masses and forces, it does not seem too rash to speak of a quantitative study of the human mind, though such a step will doubtless invite criticism from those who like to regard human emotions as incalculable, sacred, and in no way to be interfered with. Even these individuals share with their more fortunately disposed follows a profound interest in the achievement of happiness, and some means of actually measuring happiness is an essential in any researches devoted to this end. Sooner or later, the felicitometer, the instrument for measuring happiness (scientific instruments have never been noteworthy for pleasing names) will probably be as ubiquitous as the gas-meter.
Happiness is defined as "a state of well-being characterised by dominantly agreeable emotion and by a natural desire for its continuation" and emotion as "a vivid feeling and state of excitement". Feeling can be studied by its various physiological accompaniments - muscular contractions, changes in blood-pressure, pulse, breathing, volume of a limb and electrical resistance, and a certain amount of work has already been done towards making accurate measurements of these changes. Measurement of changes of electrical resistance have given most fruitful results, though muscular contractions provide an interesting illustration of the way in which mental activity is manifested physically, since in joy man tends to throw out his arms and chest and in sorrow he takes up a reverse attitude.
Remembering past achievements of science it does not seem a particularly difficult task to measure the amount of happiness experienced by an individual under any given circumstances, but some satisfactory unit would first need to be defined. Cubic centimetres might serve, perhaps, being a measure of volume of alcohol consumed, but the happiness obtained from its consumption is not in the long run directly proportional to the volume, and the unit would not be applicable to members of temperance societies, so that a much more fundamental unit would seem to be necessary.
The physical accompaniment of the application of heat to a body is a rise in temperature, and the unit of heat is defined as that amount necessary to raise the temperature of a fixed body a certain amount. The unit of happiness, the felix, might similarly be defined as that amount of happiness necessary to cause various physiological, changes of a certain magnitude in some given person. The feiicitometer would then be merely an apparatus for measuring these changes, coordinating the results obtained, and indicating the final value. It could be designed to measure the intensity of happiness experiericed by the individual at a moment, and if applied continuously throughout the experience, could be fitted with an integrating mechanism enabling, the sum total of happiness resulting from the experience to be registered. The felix, if properly defined, would be applicable to, say, the soldier, stockbroker and scientist as the calorie -- the unit of heat -- is to bone, borax and beryllium.
It is interesting to reflect that observers under Professor Flugel of London University have made records of their experiences according to an agreed scale and discovered that on the average 50% of their time was passed pleasantly, 22% unpleasantly and 28% indifferently. By such an expedient valuable results are obtained; with the aid of the felicitometer, representing a very great refinement of their methods, proportionally more important results would be obtained. It is not altogether impossible to form a picture of society governed by accurate measurements of experience, with laws and institutions based on the felicitometer, ensuring without any shadow of doubt the greatest well-being of the community. I am content to leave the drawing of such a picture to the acknowledged masters of science-fiction.
Details of the experimental process for the synthesis of sugar -- the process that inspired E.C. Large's "SUGAR IN THE AIR" - were revealed recently at The Calcutta Science Congress by the inventor, Prof. E.C.C. Baly, late of Liverpool University. Known as the "photosynthesis of carbo-hydrates", the process reproduces in the laboratory the natural process by which plants convert Carbon Dioxide and water into sugars and starches. The first stage of the process is promoted by blue light. The product of this reaction, when acted on by red light, gives carbo-hydrates.
So far, the syrup carbo-hydrate has been obtained, by Prof Baly only in very small quantities, and its food value has not yet been tested.
THE ENDLESS QUEST.This quarter's Leading Article.
In almost everyone there is a jackdaw instinct to collect. Varying with each individual, the objects collected range from postage-stamps to suits of armour, tram-tickets to antiques, pottery to pipes. Swelling the ranks of these specimen grabbers are most science-fiction fans, in whom the urge to collect is naturally of primarily a science-fictional character. Thus we have fans throughout the world rivalling each other in an endless quest for science-fiction magazines and books, fan-mags, "stills" from s-f films, and so on. Rapidly becoming an important commercial feature of science-fiction is the trade in "back-numbers", and this article will be devoted to a consideration of some of the points involved.
In April, 1926, Hugo Gernsback issued the first real science-fiction magazine, AMAZING STORIES. In June 1929 and in January 1930, respectively, its two competitors, WONDER. and ASTOUNDING STORIES took the field. Fans who had subscribed from the start began to amass a pleasant-sized collection, from which they would, occasionally reverently take the early issues, to re-read once more some of the first masterpieces. They referred affectionately to these in their letters to the current magazines, and new readers, equally obsessed by the desire to read more and more science-fiction, were smitten by an urge to obtain these early issues. And so there arose the practice -- now a recognised custom -- of collecting s-f magazines, with the ultimate aim of obtaining a complete set.
Soon, the only way to obtain backnumbers was to appeal for them in letters to the magazines, for the publishers had rapidly had their remaining stocks exhausted. Those letters usually evoked reponse from persons wishing to sell their sets. Another method was to haunt second-hand magazine stalls, where early copies of s-f magazines turn up from time to time, and can be bought for a few pence. Less than two months ago, a Manchester fan obtained in this manner the December 1926 and January 1927 issues of AMAZING - at 6d. each!.
Eventually the demand began to exceed the supply, and in accordance with the well- known law of economics, prices rose. Soon, certain fans and dealers in magazines realised that the buying of back-numbers from those who wished to sell, and selling them at a small profit to those who wished to buy could become quite a full-time business. And so the dealers in back-numbers of s-f magazines came into being.
In fan-mags too, the determined collectors began to advertise their wants, and as their sets became more and more complete, so did their desire to obtain the missing numbers grow and grow, and the prices of the magazines rose until the cost of the early AMAZINGS was five or six shillings per copy.
Let us now consider the case of a typical collector, Mr. E. C. Williams, Secretary of the London SFA Branch. Although introduced to science-fiction at the early age of nine, his first regular reading and buying of the magazines dates from 1930. He first obtained his magazines from Woolworths, and from a colleague. In 1932, he started collecting seriously, and has since managed to accumulate a reasonable sized collection.
The usual price for his first magazines was 4d, and even 6d. was considered rather high. Nowadays, he admits, he would be willing to pay up to 2/- for magazines of the 1930-31 era.
Mr. Williams, also, has succeeded in picking up 1926 issues at 6d. each, but regrets that he once refused a pile of early, coverless quarterlies -- probably. the first few issues -- at a price of 1d, each! From the experience of his friends and himself, he has found that the most elusive issue to obtain is the October 1931 AMAZING, containing Part 3 of "Spacehounds of the IPC ". He believes that the high prices now constitute a serious bar to present day collecting. Actually, the face value (in round figures) of a complete collection of the "Big Three" and their quarterlies would be about £20, whereas as the cost of purchasing them from dealers might range as high as £35.
Undaunted by the high prices of the early mags, however, fans still continue to collect, and a reasonable set of post-1930 issues can be obtained with moderate expenditure. Mr. D.A. Wollheim estimates that about 30,000 people regularly purchase all three science-fiction magazines, and that of these, about three to five thousand are collectors.
A large British dealer in American magazines is G. A. Final, 15, Nashleigh Hill, Chesham, Bucks. Although he finds the sale of s-f mags small compared with that of other types, many complete collections have passed through his hands, and he has received encquiries for these magazines from such places as Australia, India, Africa, Austria and Iceland. Commenting on prices, he believes
that the American dealers and the original sellers of collections are largely to blame. Six years ago he was able to sell even such mags as MIRACLE STORIES at 3/- per dozen. Now his minimum price is 1s 6d. per copy.
In many instances he has been surprised at the very fine state of preservation in which copies bought from collectors have been kept, and has also found that collectors will purchase damaged copies and carefully repair them, whereas the general reader would not accept a copy without a cover.
As an ardent reader of science-fiction himself, he deplores the fact that there is little demand for science-fiction from the general public. He has twice issued catalogues of s-f mags only, with the object of specialising, but has been forced to abandon this owing to the number of resulting enquiries being less than 6%. He finds that most people have never even heard of science-fiction, and quotes the following example: "a short time ago my advert appeared in a periodical dealing with general literature. The advert read, as follows:- THOUSANDS AMERICAN BOOKS. MAGAZINES. TECHNICAL. SCIENCE. RADIO. AVIATION. BOXING. ASTOUNDING. WONDER. AMAZING. HUMOUR, etc. From this advert I recieved a reply saying; 'P.O. enclosed please send me samples of your Amazing Humour Magazines.'"
However, specialising as it does in science- fiction, the V.H. Johnson Science-Fiction Service is perhaps this country's biggest dealer in back-numbers. Its stocks include nearly all issues of AMAZING and (THRILLING) WONDER for some years back. Unlike many other dealers, the service charges no more for
early issues than it does for recent ones, and all copies since 1931 are priced uniformly at 8d, the price including postage to any part of the world. The service has found that the biggest demand is for ASTOUNDING, but naturally the early WONDERS, AMAZINGS and the Quarterlies, are eagerly sought after. An interesting fact is that a surprisingly large number of persons using the service are over 30 years of age.
Prominent American dealers are Yvette & Odette Pois, of 2101, Grand Concourse, New York, who claim to be the world's largest holders of science-fiction magazines. Their prices range from $1.25 for 1927 AMAZINGS to 20 cents for 1935 magazines. Double prices are charged for Quarterlies. Almost every magazine published in the USA can be obtained. A 10% discount is allowed to all SFA members.
Realising the terrible complexities of back-number collecting, and the exorbitant profiteering by small dealers, shortly after its formation the SFA itself took a hand in the matter, and inaugurated its "Back Number Supply Service", a non-profiteering service run for the benefit of its members. The service works as follows: Members requiring back-numbers send to Headquarters a complete list of the issues, they require, their "wants" being entered in a register. Similarly, persons with magazines for disposal should also send in their lists, quoting prices. This data, too, is registered. As soon as a seller has several books required by buyers, they are purchased from him in one group by the service, and the would-be buyers are notified that some of their wants can be satisfied, the prices required being ment-
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page 16 appears to omit a line. This is|
as per the original fanzine and not something lost while putting it online.
HIKING AND CAMPING IN A.D. 20,000by I.O.Evans
"Thirteen hours - change shift!" blared the loud-speakers. All over the great factory came a shuffle of feet as the workers at the atomic machines changed places with the new-comers, and jumped onto the conveyor-belts along the floor. One of them, noticeable in spite of his ray-proof armour and oxygen mask, pushed his way rapidly along. Arrived in the open air, he was first to strip off his trappings, revealing a simple khaki shirt and shorts beneath; hastening in to the street, he crossed the Moving Ways to the high-speed platform in the centre. A short journey brought him to the bachelor flats at the edge of the town.
Soon he was on the ways again, this time with a hefty pack on his back -- a pack that made all around gaze at him in wonder - hastening to the great air-mail despatching station. The attractions beside his path, flashing in letters of flame, or howled at him from metal trumpets, left him unmoved - "This way for the Feely Films. . . "See the rocket race by television......"Try Dreamo, the great Dream Drug." Not even the announcements of personally conducted tours to Honolulu, ' the Himalayas, or the Heights of Honduras aroused his interests.
Now he was on the great rocket-plane bound eastwards for Constantinople and now in the tiny tender, swooping downwards in a spiral curve, that was to land in Victoria. And now he had cast loose and was floating through the air on his own glider-plane. For a time he beat upwards on the mournting currents of wind for the pleasure of drifting down, delighting in the ever-changing views of mountain
and valley, snow-capped peak and wood and distant lake. Then, feeling the need for more strenuous exercise, he sailed lighltly to earth, furled his wings and stowed them in his capacious pack. He cut himself a hefty stick from the woods and stalked gaily along the mountain paths. No longer was he Citizen ZQ73926/17 alpha 10 (Unmarried-Male) of the Board of Energy Supply - he was Ginger Mick, so called because of the pigmentation of the tonsorial appendages which, in defiance to the prevailing custom he had preferred to retain.
Hill-path and grass-covered slope, wooded dale or riverside -- these had altered little in spite of the development of the towns, and his joy in them was like that of his forerunner of 1938 A.D. or 20,000 B.C. But now the sun was setting -- he would make his evening camp. Beneath the pile of twigs he placed a fragment of chemical from his pack; touched with a damp finger it burst in to flame and soon he had a cheery blaze glowing in the darkness of the night. Two tablets placed in a cook-pot full of water hissed and crackled and expanded, growing from tiny scraps of unappetising brown jelly to a well-cooked rasher and a supply of chips. Soon after he was curled up and asleep, wrapped in the folds of a shect of blanket substitute as warm as eiderdown but as thin and as light as silk.
Next day, after a stimulating drink made from a pinch of blue powder, he was striding on, up a rough track to the mountain top. Now it was dinner-time; for food he was alright, but alas, there was not a stream or lake for miles - he must try some of his new fangled Deliquescent Soup. He crumbled a cake in his
fingers "as instructed on the label", and placed it in his food tin; then he sat down to watch developments. Really, it was very interesting; attracting moisture from the air, it was dissolving into a plate of watery looking gruel. Pooh - what a taste - like nothing in particular; but anyway, it was wet and filling.
He had reached the top and was enjoying the view and smoking a strength-giving cigarette, when a steady throbbing made itself felt in his brain. "Hullo" -- someone trying to telepath him. Carefully he fished out his Thought-Wave Amplifyer and diligently he "thought-in". What -- an accident? Right - he was coming. Noting the bearings of the transmitting brain, he was soon circling again on his outspread wings.
A pool of red, and a gleam of grey fabric. He dropped gently to the ground, and knelt beside. the prostrate figure. "H'm, rather a bad case-" the arm crushed and pounded to fragments by a falling mass of rock. First an anaesthetic -- the operation he had to perform was rather drastic; then an oxy- hydrogen blowpipe to burn off the shattered limb and sear the torn blood-vessels; now a stimulant and a blood--restorer; and now an injection' of Crustacean Gland Extract. Good - a new arm was growing already; and in five minutes the injured hiker, restored to health and bubbling over with thanks, was eagerly, clamouring for food.
Ginger had hitherto been something of a woman hater. The girls he had met at the Board of Energy, their minds apparently given only to the gadgets on a machine and the thrill of the feelies, had left him cold. But a girl hiker was a different proposition, and a much more attractive one...
Three weeks later a newly-married couple, provided with all the improvements in the way of pioneering gear, were setting out on the great interplanetary rocket-plane to the new colonies being established among the canals and the deserts of the planet Mars.
(Reprinted from "The Good Companions" - A Guide to Hiking and Camping, by permission of Thos. Black & Sons (Greenock) Ltd.)
The Endless Quest. (Cont. from page 12).
books are sent on receipt of the money. In no case is the would-be buyer forced to make a purchase, and in all cases the money will be refunded if the buyer is dissatisfied.
In order to avoid listing any "wants" that have been satisfied, or any "for sales" that have beer sold, a new register will be commenced on March 1st, and all members wishing to make use of it are invited to submit their apropriate lists, whether they have done so before or not.
Much more could be said if only space permitted. An obvious suggestion is that some recognised price-list should be drawn up, to avoid any excess profiteering. The best place to do this is at a national conference. Meanwhile, all persons are strongly recommended to utilise the Back- Number Supply Service which, since its inauguration has handled hundreds of books, ranging in price from 6d, to 6/-, and in date from 1926 to the present day. Persons using other dealers, or private individuals selling off collections, are advised to pay no more than
UNIFICATION OF PROGRESSby F. V. Gillard.
The forces of progress manifest themselves in two ways. There are people who, being discontented with the existing state of affairs, want them altered, and there are people who confidently believe that any change will, as far as they personally are concerned, be for the worst, or, as they usually prefer to put it; "contrary to the will of God." The former type are reformers; the latter, reactionaries. The former are filled with the spirit of progress; the latter, with prejudice.
But however prejudiced one may be in general, nearly everyone desires some reform or other. Many such desires have purely selfish motives, but the staunch Conservative who periodically writes to the local press to demand a tram- stop in front of his house is as much a reformer as the advocators of a scientific world-state.
A natural, and customary action of some earnest reformer, who is prompted by an urge to improve our civilization, is to contact others who share his beliefs, and to inaugurate a society whose object is "the abolishment of this.." or "the promotion of that.." These societies all endure much the same existence. They are generally short of funds; they are filled with enthusiastic reformers who either delight in each others company, or quarrel if their creeds diverge; they pour out leaflets and pamphlets and hold meetings in an attempt to arouse public interest, and they issue earnest publications run at a financial loss. There must be hundreds of such societies in existence.
It is a strange thing about all these societies, that although each of them is progressive, they all regard each other with indifference, rivralry or even mistrust. The idea of a pacifist society co-operating with a birth-control movement, or of the National Secular Society supporting some society for the preservation of the countryside, has never hitherto received the serious consideration it deserves. But it is an indisputable fact that persons who are earnestly in support of major reforms; and who we can term "progressive individuals", morally support not only the reform they are pledged to secure, but many other progressive schemes as well.
Thus we find that many persons interested in securing better educational facilities will support pacificism, slum-clearance, abolition of literary, dramatic and film censorship, abolition of capital punishment, and the scientific development of the actual and potential resources of the world, whilst all these separate reforms are also morally, if not actively, supported by those who merely actively support one in particular.
With these facts in mind, four years ago, several leading thinkers and advocators of reform, including H.G. Wells, Olaf Stapledon, Aldous and Julian Huxley, C.E.M, Joad, Bertrand Russell, etc, drew up a scheme of revolutionary social and economic, reforms, which investigation showed would be supported in its entirety by any "progressive individual". To quote H.G. Wells., the scheme - or "Basis" as it is called - "is as acceptable to an intelligent man or woman in China or Chile as it is in Moscow or Glasgow."
Commenting further on the Basis, which in the space of about 500 words incorporates every progressive idea from the creation of a world-state to the, reform of the Divorce Laws and the provision of National Parks, H.G. Wells continues; "Is that what we want or is, it not? It is no answer to flick adjectives at the statement and say. that it is Utopian, remote, idealistic, and so forth. A man who is famishing in a desert wants food and drink, and it does not help him to say that such an idea is Utopian, remote, etc, and to offer him, as a practcal man, a nice handful of sand. However desperate it is, the only rational course before him is to try and get food and drink before he perishes."
It was thus found that all progressive societies had a common object - the effecting of some particular reform outlined in the Basis. Why not unite these societies in one vast progressive movement? The only answer was: "Why not?" - so, in December 1935, there came into being The Federation of Progressive Societies and Individuals, with the object of promoting contact and co- operation between societies and individuals working towards social and economic reconstruction, with a view to increasing the effectiveness of their efforts.
In many science-fiction stories, the idea has been mooted of coercive world reform by energetic scientists in organisations of the "Wings over the World" variety. That these stories have aroused a sympathetic desire in the hearts of science-fiction fans - who should be the most progressive of all progressive individuals -- is obvious from the tremendous enthusiasm with which the "Revolt of the Scientists" series was received. It is therefore to be hoped that
THE MYSTERY OF THE MITOGENETIC RAYSby Douglas W. F. Mayer
The mystery of the mitogenetic rays - one of the most puzzling mysteries confronting modern science - began in 1923, when the German scientist, Prof. Alexander Gurwitsch, announced that in experiments he had detected the emission of radiatioin from an onion- root tip which could stimulate mitosis (the splitting up of cells) in a second root tip nearby. Was this radiation some new electro- magnetic wave, akin to X-rays, infra-red rays, light, wireless waves, etc? Prof. Gurwitsch believed it was, and, claiming it had some wavelength of 190 - 250 millionths of a millimetre -- which would place it in the ultra-violet wave-band -- christened it "mitogenetic" radiation.
Further experiments by Gurwitsch and others showed that these rays were given off not only by onion-roots, but by many kinds of living tissue, and were capable of stimulating mitosis in nearby organisms. The standard method used to detect and measure the rays was to have two tubes containing a suspension of yeast cells, on one of which the radiation was allowed to fall. This would stimulate the division of the cells, so at the end of a definite period of time, the excess of cells in the radiated tube to those in the "control" tube gave a measure of the intensity of the radiation.
But now discrepancies began to occur thick and fast. Two research workers, in 1928, found that 340 millionths of a millimetre gave a more accurate measure of the wave-length, whereas Gurwitsch's figures were supported by others.
Furthermore, if the rays are of the ultra-violet type, they should be capable of being detected by purely physical methods. It is doubtful if this has been satisfactorily accomplished. Positive results obtained with a photo-sensitive form of the Geiger-Muller electron counter, the most sensitive apparatus available, are offset by numererous negative results.
And so a scientific mystery -- still unsolved -- began to arise. Did these rays actually exist, and if so, what were their functions and properties?
In 1932, however, Gurwitsch published further accounts of his experiments, and in April 1933, several Russian scientists announced some revoltionary discoveries. It was found that the radiation could be split up by means of a quartz spectrograph and the different of the "spectrum" so obtained examined by the yeast-cell method.
Experiments were conducted to examine the rays given off by nerve fibres with different kinds of stimuli. Surprising results were obtained, which lead Prof. A. V. Hall to hint at a meeting of the Royal Institution that there may be some connection between the "impulse" which travels up a nerve and those mysterious mitogenetic radiations.
Excitement increased with the publication of the following data. One hundred girls working in an electrical factory were examined, samples of their blood being taken at eight in the morning, and at three and five in the afternoon. The blood was dried on filter paper, then dissolved in distilled water, and finally allowed to give out its radiation, which was measured as usual by the yeast cells. At eight in the morning the mean value of the radiation coming from their blood was 28, as
measured by the percentage increase, over the control, of the number of cells in the suspension. After seven hours work, the girls were apparently completely exhausted, for their blood gave out no radiation at all, except in a few isolated cases. After two hours rest, the radiation had risen to 28 again.
Since 1933, research workers have both confirmed and denounced the phenomena attributed to these rays. Owing to the contradictory nature on their reports, they are best approached chronologically, as recorded in the pages of that sober British journal, NATURE.
Jun. 9th, 1934. Dr. J. B, Bateman denounced a theory that the "luminous woman" of Italy might be due to mitogenetic radiation.
Oct. 6th, A. P. Brunn of Leningrad suggested that lipolysis (the decomposing of fats) is a source of the rays.
Nov. 3rd. 1934. M. Heinemann of Utrecht claimed to have detected thc radiation by purely chemical means, using charged colloidal solutions.
However, at the beginning of 1935, Dr. Bateman published a critical survey of the subject, and concluded that the evidence tended slightly against the existence of the radiation, and that there was no evidence in support of the idea that the radiation, if it did exist, had any connection with ultra- violet light.
Undaunted by such criticism, Prof. Gurwitsch published last autumn a further book, in which he extended his theories on the lines suggested by Prof. Hill. He
found that the radiation given off by a nerve could be used as an indication of the chemical processes occuring in the nerve, and that intermittent mitogenetic radiation could also be used to stimulate a nerve. Furthermore, he found that the retina of the eye will emit rays when light falls upon it. This discovery was supported by the discoveries of the Russian scicntists, who found, in the exper- iments with factory girls, that the radiation from the eyes varies in exactly the same way as that from the blood. If this can be believed, it seems we have only to look at living calls to stimulate their growth!
But the last word so far goes to the anti-radiationists, and is contained in a recently published Bulletin of the National Research Council of Washington. The authors of the paper had spent over two years in studying the subject, and have conlusively proved by both physical and biological methods that no measurable ultra-violet radiation is given out by "mitogenetic cells".
And so, after 600 papers have been published on the subject, we arrive at the position where we have a mysterious radiation, suspected to be connected with the problem of growth and nervous action, which have a wavelength of about 200 micro-millimetres, and yet which are NOT ultra-violet rays! Complicatcd as the problem is to chemists, physicists, biologists and psychologists, to the enthusiast of science-fiction it offers a new basis for extrapolation. An obvious, but revolutionary suggestion, is that these rays have no colnnection with electro-magnetic waves, but have an entirely different constitution, and possibly do not travel with the velocity of light. If this is to any extent true, it may be that we are
on the verge of discovering a whole new waveband of rays, as different from known radiation as sound differs from light. Will it be that these waves will contain the secret of nervous action, of thought, or even be the mysterious "Vital Force" of life itself? The answer to these intriguing problems will be eagerly awaited by all who are interested in the secrets of the cosmos.
The Endless Quest. (Cont. from page 16).
5/- for any monthly between 1926 and 28, 3/- between 1928 and 30, 2/- between 1930 and 34, and 1/3 from then onwards. The prices for quarterlies should similarly range from 7/6 to 2/-
Unification of Progress. (Cont. from page 19).
sufficient support will be forthcoming to the F.P.S.I. to enable it to secure for the world the "food and drink" for which it craves.
SUBSCRIPTIONS TO SINGLE ISSUES!
Subscribe, to your favourite magazines in advance. We guarantee receipt of magazines on or before publication date. AMAZING, ASTOUNDING, THRILLING WONDER, TALES OF WONDER @ 1/2 per copy, post free. Write for free Catalogue and Price List from:- V. H. JOHNSON, 46, Mill Lane, Liverpool 13:
|For those interested in such matters,
a 1938 V.H. Johnson Science-Fiction|
Service catalogue can be found here. At the end of the catalogue I've added
a page tabulating prices for a single magazine - AMAZING - across the short
run of Science-Fiction Service catalogues in the Vince Clarke Collection.