NOVAE TERRAE #12 (May 1937)
Other SFA publications this month:
NOVAE TERRAE...............NEW WORLDS
VOLUME 1.......................NUMBER 12
NOVAE TERRAE...............NEW WORLDSMAY.............................1937
VOLUME 1.......................NUMBER 12
Editor Maurice K. Hanson, 95, Mere Road, Leicester, England.
Narrated by Edward J. Carnell
As mentioned in the last NOVAE TERRAE, "a good time was had by all" at the New York Science Fiction Conference, and the incident has probably been forgotten by all except those who took part in it. However, it remains prominent in my mind because it seems to have denuded America of fan news, and, perforce there is little to write about from that country. The meeting of enthusiasts there certainly patched up many differences of opinion which had been in the melting-pot for months, even years, and the line "All Quiet on the Western Front" can still be used to good effect.
Practically no new fan mags have made their appearance and there is no news of any old ones going out of circulation, but what‘s happened to the long awaited new FANTASY? Nothing seems to have been said about it since Willie Conover took over control from Julius Schwartz, and if any issues have been published they haven't been seen in London.
Harry Dockweiler of New York is planning a new fan gossip magazine entitled FANTASY MIRROR which will be the official magazine of the FANTASY LEGION formed last year, and Olon Wiggins' SCIENCE FICTION FAN has put in a belated appearance after eight months absence and has dropped from print to hektograph.
Leaving the "quiet before the storm" of America, let's discuss the spring fever in England. For the benefit of those British fans who missed all the quarter page ads and our American friends (who wouldn't see them anyhow) Odhams Press published No. 1 of MODERN WONDER on Wednesday May 19th "The New Wonder Paper for Boys" price 2d (4 cents). Having heard about this paper some time ago, I had hoped that, even with the fate of SCOOPS still fresh in our memories, it would be a similar paper. Odhams, however, are not taking any chances. The new paper is a combination of science, science fiction, and the usual "blood and thunder" of the twopenny variety.
The first issue contains the first instalment of John Beynon Harris's "The Space Machine"
(serialised in "The Passing Show" as "Stowaway to Mars" and published as "Planet Plane"
in book form). Perhaps a science fiction serial will be a regular feature, if so, the
thin edge of the wedge is still being driven home. Two other stories are included "Half
a Mile 'Under the Sea" by Dr. William Beebe and "The Flying Bomb" author (?). Science
articles on the Moon, Boulder Dam, and the Rockies.
Not quite in the science fiction class, but way ahead of all the other "boy‘s" books that are on the market at the moment.
By the way, I recently visited John Beynon Harris in London and found that he is even more likeable than his biography in SCIENTIFICTION would have one believe. He is proud of the possession of a Weinbaum Memorial Volume and was busy writing a review of it for SCIENTIFICTION when I intruded. Has several ideas for future science fiction yarns, but nothing definitely planned yet. Let out the secret of how he obtained payment for his WONDER yarns, which would make American authors kick themselves if they knew.
"Cosmic Rays Thus Far"
In the realm of scientific fiction there appears to be a good deal more finality attached to statements of the nature of cosmic rays than is warranted by the state of present-day knowledge. It is the general practice of authors to represent the cosmic ray as a radiation of extremely small wavelength whereas it is now established to be of a more complex nature, probably a mixture of several kinds of charged particles as well a very high frequency radiation.
The origin of the rays, a subject of much conjecture, is discussed in science-fiction with
hardly a mention of the energy contained in them. "Until the value of the energies of
cosmic rays is really known, hypotheses as to the origin of that energy -- especially
hypotheses of a quantitative nature – are but little better than pure speculation: and is
such speculation what we get is primarily a function of human frailty."' That is the opinion
of Professor H. B. Lemon of Chicago University expresses in "Cosmic Rays Thus Far" (Heinemann).
He presents a lucid account of the development of research on cosmic rays and the conclusions
that have been drawn from it.
The only manner in which the presence of the rays can be calculated is in their property of inducing normally non-conducting gasses to become conductors of electricity, and it is necessary when doing research on the rays to eliminate all other factors giving rise to ionization –- ultra-violet rays, radioactive compounds etc. The existence of cosmic rays was first suspected as a result of experiments by Geitel in 1900, and others, in which it was found that no matter what precautions a charged electroscope in the course of time always lost its charge. This meant that the air surrounding the instrument had been rendered a conductor of electricity; it was suggested that this was due to a trace of some radioactive substance in the surroundings of the instrument, an argument that was frequently used in later years, or conversely, was due to the action of some hitherto unknown radiation. In 1903 S.F. Thomson put forward the hypothesis that this effect might be due to charged particles driven from the sun by light pressure and a little later Mme. Curie with surprising insight suggested the existence of penetrating radiation disseminated throughout the universe.
At one time the radiation was known as 'Hess rays' being named after the German scientist who had conducted much research on them in which he measured the intensity of the rays at altitudes by means of balloon ascensions. From this work it was established by 1913 that the intensity of the rays
increased at high altitudes which seemed to imply that they more of extra-terrestrial
origin. The source of the rays was naturally presumed to be the sun but when it was found
that there was no variation in intensity throughout the day and night the theory had to
be discarded. Owing to the general disagreement as to the origin of the rays and to the
fact that the measurement of their intensity by various workers produced widely differing
results there was little reliable information about the rays by 1915. From then until 1925,
the War and its aftermaths effectively prevented much being done on the problems that the
From 1925 until today two workers in particular Millikan in America and Kolhorster in, Germany have done much towards the elucidation of those problems. On entering the field Millikan was responsible for many improvements in technique which had been badly needed, for at the best of times cosmic ray research entails particularly delicate work.
Millikan studied the amounts to which the rays were absorbed by the atmosphere at different altitudes, and bearing in mind the suggestion of two Russian scientists that the continual variation of atmospheric pressure should be taken into account in calculation of the absorption coefficient of the atmosphere, was able to account for some of the discrepancies in earlier results. If cosmic rays (also occasionally known by this time as ‘Millikan rays') were other waves, Millikan found that they fell into waves of four distinct wavelengths, and that those of shortest wavelength were most penetrating. Thus at different levels in the atmosphere the intensities of the waves of different wavelength would vary. Moreover by a quantitative study of the absorption of the rays Millikan was able to form a vague idea of the magnitude of the four wavelengths, and which, according to his calculations were roughly the wavelengths of the radiation which one would expect to be formed if helium, oxygen, silicon, and iron atoms respectively, were built up from hydrogen atoms. Since these elements are the most abundant in the universe one would expect to find the signs of their formation before those of any other elements.
Concerning the Future of Man
by D.R. Smith
Mr. Pragnell wishes us to see the working man of the future as a jerky little runt, while his gaffers grow bigger and lazier and dozier. His arguments, while superficially logical, seem to have been developed in support of his idea, with the result that they contain obvious weaknesses.
He is convicted of error out of his own mouth, for after arguing that all physical defects are the result of poor food, he points out that statistics show that on the average brain-workers are bigger and heavier than labourers, with the exception of the agricultural workers. Now anybody with any extensive acquaintanceship with farmers is affectionately aware of the excellence and size of their larders, and obviously if statistics prove anything they prove that when labourers live healthy open air lives and are consistently well fed they develop into better men physically than the brain workers.
After all, who are the better nourished, the brain workers, who include all the wealthier classes, or the labouring classes who include all the poorest classes? What chance has a boy to develop fully who is born and reared in the putrid soot-laden air of a city, with a chance to fill his starved lungs with real air only once or twice a year at the most, always poorly fed, starting to work at fourteen and working eight to ten hours a day at a machine or bench in an ill-ventilated, factory? The average brain worker has at least an extra two years at secondary school, an invaluable two years of ease, inevitably better fed and inevitably has far more chances of leading a healthy life. When you compare the poorest class of brain workers, the clerks and office boys, with the labourers of the same standard of living there is no average extra development of one compared with the other.
Again, where is the proof that physical liveliness is of any decided advantage to a
working man? Messenger boys are the only people who need to trot about the place, the
average working man is pinned down to a machine, a bench, a pick or shovel. Strength
is far more valuable than quickness, for a strong man with a long reach can make his
movements more economical, he can yank over a lever that a smaller man has to throw
his weight against, the controls are easier for him to reach, and he does not tire
so easily. The tendency in present machinery is to make the operations as easy and
as few as possible, but this is only the transitional stage between machines that
needed much attention and those that will need none.
Long before science or time have vitally altered the human race the automatic machines will have extended their sway into all realms of labour. They will require very little attention while they're running, but when they break down, when they need repairs, or when they have to be set up for another job, they will need human attention, and very highly skilled indeed will be those mechanics of the future. They will be tall and strong, for length of reach and power of hand are great aids to easy rapid work; they will be quick, for speed may mean safety in the most perfect machine shop; and they will have brains second to none in extent of knowledge and of inventive thought. Even extra senses may develop. How many lives would an electrical sense save, even today?
The brain workers, the scientists, rulers, organizers, may not change so quickly. We have often been told that the capacity of our brains even today is far beyond our requirements. Nor has any limit been set on the size of brain our present bodies would support. Einstein is not a physical colossus, nor have I heard of the exceptional size of Sir James Jeans‘ head. And while the scientists of the future may be dreamers the rulers, the doctors and the business men will have to be very much alive to worldly affairs.
"On the True Scientific Attitude"
The Editor, NOVAE TERRAE
It is my humble opinion, to the detriment of the noble aims of science-fiction fans that some effusions of theirs in NOVAE TERRAE do not show that essential scientific temper and attitude of mind necessary to logical thinking. I hope that Mr. Carnell will forgive my taking his article in the April NOVAE TERRAE as an example- - not because it is the only one, but because it is the latest, and shows this self-satisfied attitude most clearly.
At the present moment, there are many theories as to the future development of the investigation of space - rocketeers and the like. Evidence can be brought to show that such a picture as Mr. Carnell has painted may be true. But on the other hand he may be entirely wrong, and it is the total ignoring of other scientific possibilities that is so irritating to me. Until science-fiction fans realise that there are other points of view; and until they are prepared to admit other pictures of the future developments of space, their own expansion must be limited. It is only then they view both their own and other theories dispassionately and weigh the evidence carefully that they can hope to be of benefit to themselves and to posterity.
I remain, sir,
R. Malcolm Plant ("Plantagenet")
(While fully realising the privilege of hearing from such a master of phraseology as Mr. Plant, we feel that his letter is, to say the least, a trifle ill-considered. In the matter of interplanetary travel the rocket has been selected as a means of propulsion only after a dispassionate consideration of the few possible modes of propulsion. Unwieldy as it may seem today it is more practical than anything else and it is being developed as the scientist develops his most practicable hypothesis, continue to use it til a better comes along. Thus it is that writers pay most heed to the rocket in the matter of the development of space travel. - -Ed.)
WELL DONE, WELLS!
by Douglas W.F. Mayer
As if to confound the words of those who credited him with now being merely a sociological writer, and who constantly referred to the "Father of Modern Science-Fiction" in the past tense, Herbert George Wells, the seventy year old British novelist, has at last reverted to the type of story that made him famous and, for the first time since the War, has written a story which stands out as one of the finest examples of modern science-fiction - STAR-BEGOTTEN.
Now running as a three part serial in THE LONDON MERCURY, and scheduled to be published in book form by Chatto & Windus in June, the story reveals Mr. Wells at his best -- a Wells who is no longer a Victorian schoolmaster, but a convincing 1937 writer, who mentions "The Green Pastures" and who refers to Stapledon's LAST AND FIRST MEN as "an exercise in speculative general psychology".
The story starts off in the April issue of the magazine, with Mr. Joseph Davis, a writer of popular historical works (and who, apparently, is a deliberate caricature of Wells himself} worried over the fact that his wife is a peculiar, detached woman, and that she is expecting a child. He becomes involved in a discussion on cosmic rays at the Planetarium Club, where one of the members (who seems to be a science-fiction reader, since he says "Some of you may have read a book called ‘The War of the Worlds' -- I forget who wrote it -- Jules Verne, Conan Doyle, one of those fellows) presents the hypothesis that cosmic rays are generated by intelligent beings on Mars, and are responsible, by their action on the genes, for producing people who stand out from the common stock of humanity. He suggests that since the Martians cannot live on the earth with their own bodies, they are trying to "Martianize" the earth, then "when they have started a race here with minds like their own and yet with bodies fit for earth, when they have practically interbred and ousted our strain, then they'll begin to send along their treasures, their apparatus -- grafting their life on ours."
Mr. Davis obsessed with the idea, relays to his doctor, Dr Holman Steddy, and suggests that
Confucius, Buddha ---- or even, he fears, his wife --- were "Star-Begotten". His son
is born and appears perfectly normal, not as Mr. Davis had feared a strange replica of
a Martian! Mr. Davis commences to conduct sociological research, and visits schools to
study mentally precocious children. However, Harold Rigamey, a popular scientific
journalist "spills the beans" to the world. Lord Thunderclap a newspaper magnate, is
at first terrified by the idea of a Martianized people and demands that all progressive
individuals should be arrested. He then decides to ridicule the matter, and it is on
this note that the second instalment ends in the May issue.
The story will end in the June issue of THE LONDON MERCURY. All fans requiring a fine piece of Science-fiction should purchase the three copies (1/- each), or else wait for the publication of the book. Mr. Wells maintains interest throughout by presenting the novel ideas only through the conversation of Mr. Davis, the Doctor, etc., but the evidence which the excited Mr. Davis brings to light makes the reader feel that at this very moment it is a great probability that Martians are bombarding us with rays, and Mr. Davis' theory concerning mentally-aloof, advanced-thinking Martianized people will give every fan who reads the story the firm conviction that all us fans are "Star-begotten"!!
Once more unto the breach, dear friends
The estimable and high-minded editor having first bribed this person with commendably
corpulent bags of gold, then having tortured him with sundry delicacies such as sulphur
poultices, scorpion vats, boiling, roasting, und elongation kicked this totally superfluous
person on his unshuffled physiognomy and bade him pick up his badly-filled brush.
Under pressure, therefore, do his works appear in the commendable printed leaves new before
the handsome and honourable disciple of that doctrine known as
The estimable and high-minded editor having first bribed this person with commendably corpulent bags of gold, then having tortured him with sundry delicacies such as sulphur poultices, scorpion vats, boiling, roasting, und elongation kicked this totally superfluous person on his unshuffled physiognomy and bade him pick up his badly-filled brush.
Under pressure, therefore, do his works appear in the commendable printed leaves new before the handsome and honourable disciple of that doctrine known as imagined-tales-to-which-is-alloyed-a-smattering-of-science.
This one, however, finds it a matter of no difficulty in selecting a subject in which to
demonstrate his undisputed extensiveness of not-knowledge.
On perusal of the estimable printed leaves which appear with the regularity of the great Sky-lantern, this one is impressed to a not inconsiderable degree by the absence of matter of a gravity-removing nature. Indubitably speaks this one's inner being, this deplorable condition should not be permitted to continue in such ill-favoured existence. Alas, is said, how can the being-existing-in-the-space-between-two-parallel-rows-of-dwellings be attracted by those printed leaves, even if the quantity of knowledge is considerable, if the gravity-dispelling content of the imagined-tale is in a condition of no existence? The gravity-removing content is to the imagined-tale as leaven is to an excellently-stirred mixture of suitable quantities of rice and water. Without certain portions of no-gravity, masses of learning, however virtuous, fails to interest the one who seeks to improve his manifold talents. Let us, then, see greater quantities of no-gravity in this benevolent and undeniably virtuous daughter of the Classics.
To revert from the removal of gloom to the attraction of the fair to the honourable and heroic: again is said in this person‘s inner being with a view to this constituent of practically every imagined-tale, alas! For this inconsiderable and quite superficial person is nauseated to a degree which is really very surprising; in fact, many times has he been compelled to retire to the Middle Air. What can be the state of the mentality of the members of the well-arranged and very celestial empire across the Bitter Water?
Are these honourable and benevolent members of such a high-minded empire the possessors of such stomachs that they desire such a thing in every imagined tale? Surely, such must be the case, or otherwise there would not be so many imagined tales of this description. For in this ill-omened and unsymmetrical kingdom imagined-tales possess but a very small proportion of the appeal of the fair to the honourable and heroic. We, in this effete and not large country are therefore very easily
overcome by such an excessive proportion of this means of making an imagined-tale longer
than it actually is.
Hence this and other impoverished individuals, although their pigtails are depressingly short, make one desperate and profound appeal: O authors and creators of imagined-tales, acquire a more wide-headed and versatile view, and do not write quite such a large number of imagined-tales with quite such a large proportion of the appeal of the fair to the honourable and heroic! Remember the unforgettable words of the venerable and revered philosopher Wang-Kwo.
How now, Mr. Ackerman!
THE SCIENCE-FICTION ASSOCIATION NOTES AND JOTTINGS
We have pleasure in welcoming seven new members, namely: H.J. Blakeley (Harrow); F.W.F.
Dobby (Leeds); E.G. Lane (Rugeley); E. Hiller (Wembley); S. Nyman (Dalston); R. Stevens
(Putney); P.F. Wober (Pimlico).
This brings our membership up to 52; we trust that all members will collaborate in ensuring
that the hundred mark is passed before the end of the year.
For various reasons we have decided to postpone the closing date for receiving information
for the bibliography until July 3lst; the complete work will be published about the middle
of August. Full details as to the method of obtaining it, etc., will appear in the July
NOVAE TERRAE. Meanwhile we repeat the invitation that all members with knowledge of any
science-fiction books published in this country should communicate with us. The chief
thing we wish to know about each book is its title and theme, other data can be obtained
from suitable reference works. Members who have promised us lists are requested to let us
have them as soon as possible, so that we may commence classifying, etc, and to track down
any additional information required.
We regret to announce that the Barnsley SFL Chapter which it was hoped would become a
We have pleasure in welcoming seven new members, namely: H.J. Blakeley (Harrow); F.W.F. Dobby (Leeds); E.G. Lane (Rugeley); E. Hiller (Wembley); S. Nyman (Dalston); R. Stevens (Putney); P.F. Wober (Pimlico).
This brings our membership up to 52; we trust that all members will collaborate in ensuring that the hundred mark is passed before the end of the year.
For various reasons we have decided to postpone the closing date for receiving information for the bibliography until July 3lst; the complete work will be published about the middle of August. Full details as to the method of obtaining it, etc., will appear in the July NOVAE TERRAE. Meanwhile we repeat the invitation that all members with knowledge of any science-fiction books published in this country should communicate with us. The chief thing we wish to know about each book is its title and theme, other data can be obtained from suitable reference works. Members who have promised us lists are requested to let us have them as soon as possible, so that we may commence classifying, etc, and to track down any additional information required.
We regret to announce that the Barnsley SFL Chapter which it was hoped would become a branch
of the Association
has been completely dissolved, the leading members, having for one reason or other, left
the field of science-fiction. A similar fate seems to have overtaken the Belfast Chapter,
since the Director -- Hugh Carswell -- is now in the R.A.F. at Aylesbury. Let us hope that
to replace these defunct groups new ones can be formed. Mr.Williams, the energetic organiser
of the proposed London branch, informs us that although several members have expressed a
desire to co-operate, none seem to be free at the same time and the arrangement of a meeting
is a difficult proposition. We recently heard from Mr.Johnson (Liverpool) who endeavoured
to arrange a meeting of Liverpool fans on April 16th. The meeting unfortunately, was not a
great success. All fans in this area
are invited to communicate with Mr. L.J. Johnson, 46, Mill Lane, Liverpool, 13.
The Secretaries will be glad to hear from anyone member or otherwise, who wishes to dispose of back numbers of science-fiction magazines, published prior to 1934.
An interesting idea comes from S.L. Birchby (Highams Park) who suggests that a small postcard-size duplicated leaflet "boosting" the SFA should be produced and copies distributed to all members for inclusion in their science-fiction correspondence. If members approve we can put the scheme into operation immediately.
Collectors of British fantasy may be interested to learn that stories by the late Howard Phillips Lovecraft, who recently died at the age of 46, have been published on odd occasions in this country. "The Music of Erich Zann, which he claimed to be his second best work, (his best being "The Colour Out of Space" described by Clark Ashton Smith as "going infinitely beyond anything of Wells in its sheer imaginative scope and creation of atmosphere") was published in the LONDON EVENING STANDARD, and later in an anthology entitled MODERN TALES OF HORROR, published by Gollancz. Another anthology NOT AT NIGHT (1931) contained his "The Rats in the Walls", which was rejected by ARGOSY as being too horrible, and was then twice published in WEIRD TALES.
The Science-Fiction Association is supported entirely by the subscriptions of its members, and its
various publications and activities entail no small expenditure. For this reason, therefore,
all members when notified by the Treasurer that their subscription has expired, are requested
to attend to the matter with the minimum of delay.
Finally we should like to remind all members who can afford to do so that they should support the publishers by buying their magazines through the proper channels and not from "remainder stalls".
The monthly meeting was held on May 2nd when it was decided that the branch should endeavour to complete a set of science-fiction magazines, and that a special meeting should be held in the club-room on June 6th to, mark the anniversary of the club's commencing to use that room.
Chairman: H. Warnes, 5, Florist Street, Leeds, 3
Chairman: Mr K. Hanson. 95, Mere Road, Leicester
"Cosmic Rays Thus Far" (cont)
Millikan derived the idea of cosmic rays as the "wail of newborn atoms" from the theories of MacMillan. MacMillan envisaged a universe passing through an endless cycle, a universe that winds itself up little by little, as little by little it runs down; he pictured radiation in some manner becoming transformed into matter in interstellar space, this matter being eventually drawn into stars to be transformed into radiation. But the Second Law of Thermodynamics does not admit of this process; the Law may not hold under the extreme conditions encountered, but there is the alternative hypothesis that cosmic rays are the "death-rattle of annihilated atoms".
lf, as was suggested, the rays consisted of streams of charged particles and were not a form of wave motion, they should be deflected by the earth's magnetic field, and their measured intensity should vary with the observer's distance from the magnetic poles in 1930 Clay made observations in Holland and Dutch India and his results coincided with what theory would Lead one to expect. Further experiments by Compton confirmed these results, showing that the rays must consist, in part at least, of electrically-charged particles. Work by several scientists demonstrated the existence of the positron and its association with the cosmic ray. Later, Compton made an exhaustive analysis of the results of many experimenters, which revealed the presence of three distinct corpuscular components of the cosmic ray.
The first is predominant above fifty thousand feet, is more massive than the electron, and seems to be either proton or the alpha particle (the nucleus of the helium atom), probably the latter. The second consists of electrons, both positive and negative – with a preponderance of the positive, while the third is extremely penetrating and is thought to be the proton.
Reviews – In a Nutshell
(compiled by D.R. Smith and the Eds.)
ASTOUNDING STORIES, MAY 1937
Cover: To people unfamiliar with science-fiction, it must be more amusing than much of "Punch".
Illustrations: Neither Dold, Flatos or (with one exception Wesso) are up to their usual standard, and all compare unfavourably with Thomson's "Strange Vision" illustration.
Ratings: Very good, good, fairly good, very fair, fair, readable, poor.
OTHER SPACE by Warner Van Lorne VERY FAIR
STRANGE VISION by Eando Binder VERY FAIR
SPORE TRAPPERS by R.R. Winterbotham FAIR
THE SHINING ONE by Nat Schachner FAIRLY GOOD
DIAMOND PLANETOID by Gordon A. Giles GOOD
SPAWN OF THE RED GIANTS by F.B. Long, Jr. VERY FAIR
BRAIN CONTROL by Dave Cummins VERY FAIR
NOVA IN MESSIER 33 by Chan Corbett FAIR
VISITORS FROM THE VOID by Willy Ley (non-fiction)
Clearly presents much very interesting and unusual information.
WEATHER REPORT by John W. Campbell, Jr. (Non-fiction)
SCIENCE DISCUSSIONS: Not extraordinarily controversial.
THRILLING WONDER STORIES, June 1937
Cover: Arresting; an improvement on previous work.
Illustrations: Marchieni is only occasionally good; Wesso's two drawings are far superior to any yet appearing in the magazine.
THE MOLTEN BULLET by Anthony Rud FAIR
MENACE FROM THE MICROCOSM by John Russell Fearn FAIR
LOST IN TIME by Arthur Leo Zagat FAIR
DARK SUN by Raymond Z. Gallum FAIRLY GOOD
DARCONDRA by Richard Tooker FAIR
THE CHESSBOARD 0F MARS by Eando Binder FAIR
RENEGADE by J. Harvey Haggard READABLE
GREEN HELL by Arthur K. Barnes VERY FAIR
THE BLACK VORTEX by Frank B. Long, Jr. FAIR
ZARNAK continues on his devastating course.
THIS SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC...)
Science-fiction novels are less prominent at the moment than various books dealing non-fictionally with certain established science-fiction themes --the transmutation of elements and atomic energy, the conquest of stratosphere and of space, and time-travel. "The Newer Alchemy" by Lord Rutherford (Cambridge University Press, 3/6) and "The New Chemistry" by E. N. da C. Andrade (Bell 3/6) are both expanded versions of lectures and both give An account of the numerous transmutations already accomplished. Rutherford holds out no hope that atomic bombardment will ever be a profitable source of energy, but on the other hand, Andrade, without committing himself is more optimistic on the subject ..............C.G. Philp will be remembered for his "Strastosphere and Rocket Flight" published two years ago; he has now followed this with "The Conquest of the Stratosphere" (Pitmam 7/6). "Zero To Eighty" by E.F. Northrup is described as "A fictional autobiography introducing some applications of the electric gun, and offering the first strictly scientific solution to the problem of escaping the gravitational attraction of the earth." It is published in America (Scientific Publishing Co.) but can be obtained in this country at about 14/-.........Finally there is a book on metempsychosis surprisingly enough called "Practical Time Travel" by Colin Bennett (Rider 5/-). Assuming Reincarnation to be a fact, the author outlines various systematic methods used in occult circles to look back into past lives and gives practical details which will help the reader to experiment for himself..........In "Strange Houses" by Cora Jarrett (Heinemann 7/6) a physician experimenting with the effects of suggestion succeeds in transferring the mentalities of two of his patients – a cabaret dancer and a housewife............."Brother Petroc's Return" S.M.C. (Chatto and Windus )is written by a Dominican nun and perhaps has a claim to be mentioned here since the plot hinges upon the suspended animation of a monk who was buried in 1549 and awakes a year in 1936 when his vault is opened.............
Four authors not unknown in the pages scientific fiction magazines have had books published
over here during the last few weeks -- T. S. Stribling ("The Groom Splotches" by him appeared
in "Amazing Stories in 1927), J. M. Walsh (of "Vandals of the Void" fame), Victor MacClure
(who wrote "The Ark of the Covenant"), and R.H. Leitfred ("Astounding Stories published his
"Prisms of Space") . The new books with the possible exception of Leitfred's "The Corpse
That Spoke" (Harrap 7/6), do not seem to be science-fiction..........................On May
24th the first episode of a new science-fiction serial "The Moon Men" is broadcast in the
Western Children's Hour. It is written by J. D. Strange and has the characters as “The Man
from Mars", etc......
THE SCIENCE FICTION FAN: Colourfully hectographed; columns by Donald A. Wollheim, Olon Wiggins, etc. Subscription rates: 10 cents per copy, 30 cents three months, 60 cents half year, one dollar per year. Editor: Olon F. Wiggins, 2251 Welton Street, Denver, Colarado, U.S.A
FANTASIA: The new mimeographed fan magazine, five thousand words for five cents. Fifty cents a year's subscription. Edited by George Hahn, at 100 Rogers Ave., Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.