[January 30, 1963] Escape Velocity (February 1963 Analog)

[If you live in Southern California, you can see the Journey LIVE at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego, 2 p.m. on February 17!]


by Gideon Marcus

The latter half of January was filled with fanac (Fan Activity), and oh what a joy it was.  The third weekend in January, the Journey once again attended ConDor, San Diego’s SFF convention.  And once again, we were guests, presenting on the state of current science fiction both Saturday and Sunday.  It was a chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones.  ConDor is always a fun event.

The highlight of that weekend, however, was a Saturday night trip up to San Juan Capistrano to watch Dick Dale and his Del-Tones perform.  If you’re not familiar with the King of the Surf Guitar by now, he is easily the most exciting instrumental musician these days.  He puts on a hell of a show.

If the January’s fanac was superlative, the February 1963 Analog, though beautifully illustrated by Schoenherr, was anything but.  Not that the stories were bad, mind you.  They just all had some significant flaw that kept them from being truly good. 

Code Three, by Rick Raphael

For those not in the know, “Code Three” is police-speak for a high speed chase.  It’s an appropriate title for this Highway Patrol tale of the future, when North America is criss-crossed by mile-wide superhighways whose cars zoom at speeds of up to 400 miles per hour.  Raphael writes in a lovingly technical fashion that is oddly compelling but gives short shrift to its three human characters, who are so much cardboard.  I don’t find Raphael’s futuristic freeways particularly plausible, either, but they are fun to read about.  Three stars.

Hilifter, by Gordon R. Dickson

This is five sixths of a great yarn about a futuristic spaceship hijacker, who relies on daring and ingenuity to pull off a caper against all odds.  Dickson portrays his protagonist deftly and with subtlety, but the ending… hoo boy.  I’m not sure if Dickson wrote the expositional fatuity for editor Campbell, of if the editor sliced the original ending to bits, but it is the mustache on the Mona Lisa.  Three stars.

Something Will Turn Up, by David Mason

Stories with a lot of Beat jargon can often fall flat, but Mason does a good job of writing a poet/TV-repairman who pits forces against a hexed idiot box.  Cute.  Three stars.

“The Sound of Gasping”, by Mel Sturgis

If you read (as I do) Aviation Week, then you’re familiar with technical advertising.  It’s made with the slick standards of any Madison Avenue product, but the subject matter is abstruse engineering.  Sturgis’ piece is presumably on the growth and importance of technical advertising, as well as his experiences observing same at the recent convention, WestCon.  But if you get anything out of this article, you’re doing better than me.  One star. 

(The title is an obscure reference indeed — a riff on Isaac Asimov’s article The Sound of Panting in the June 1955 Astounding (that being this magazine’s name before it became Analog).  The article was on the difficulty of keeping up with current technical literature.)

The Topper, by Arthur Porges

Cockroaches made sentient by radiation?  It must be a joke… right?  Well, probably.  A bit of improbable fluff, just long enough to entertain rather than annoy.  Three stars.

With No Strings Attached, by David Gordon (Randall Garrett)

A fellow markets an amazing new power source as a battery (it isn’t, and you should know what it is right off) to prevent poaching and ensure exclusivity.  I’ve been around long enough to recognize most of Randy Garrett’s pseudonyms, so I cracked into “David Gordon’s” latest with trepidation.  Turns out Strings isn’t bad (just devoid of women, like most Garrett stories).  Three stars.

Space Viking (Part 4 of 4), by H. Beam Piper

This last installment of Piper’s latest is arguably the best of the bunch.  It contains the payoff of Prince Trask of Tanith’s quest to forge a civilized empire out of the wreckage of the Old Federation.  Though Trask started as a Space Viking, plundering half-civilized planets, by the end of the book, his league of planets has surpassed the feudal Sword Worlds whence he came and is a local power center.

As I’ve stated in prior reviews, the problem with Viking is its sketchiness.  We hardly get to know any of the characters, interesting episodes are glossed over, giant spans of time are leaped without transition.  This is an epic series of books compressed to a novel-length outline.  I hope Piper gets a chance to expand on this genuinely interesting saga at some point, or perhaps open up his universe to collaborative efforts (has that ever been done before?)

As is, this is a four-star installment of a 3.25-star book.

Now it’s time for the best part of the month, where we get to add up the numbers!  Galaxy is a clear winner at 3.3 stars, followed by F&SF with 3.1.  All of the other mags fell below the 3-star mark with Fantastic at 2.9, Analog at 2.8, Amazing at 2.4, and New Worlds at 2.3. 

But all of the magazines, with the exception of New Worlds, had at least one four-star story.  In fact, if you collected all the four and five-star stories, you could almost fill two magazines — twice as much material as last month. 

Finally, women wrote 3.5 of 37 fiction pieces.  Not a good showing, but again — better than last month.

Speaking of showings, next week I’ll let you know if The Twilight Zone is worth watching in its new format (hint: so far, not so good…)

[P.S. If you registered for WorldCon this year, please consider nominating Galactic Journey for the “Best Fanzine” Hugo.  Check your mail for instructions…]




[January 27, 1963] The Freeze Continues (New Worlds, February 1963)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]


by Mark Yon

The Big Freeze of December has continued into January. As I type this, towards the end of the month, things have begun to thaw, especially in the south of Britain, but there are still areas unchanged. It is a surprise to see even London’s Trafalgar Square frozen.

Here in the colder Midlands, the melting is not as advanced, yet we seem to have settled into a routine. I’m just pleased that the postal services have not been too affected and this month’s copy of New Worlds has managed to arrive here.

I Like It Here, by Mr. James White

This month’s guest editorial is from a New Worlds regular, who I know you will recognise in the US for his Sector General stories. With characteristic humour he adeptly summarises the contradiction in the current argument in s-f, between writers who don’t care what they write (as long as it sells) and writers who do not produce the sort of s-f that readers want. In typically droll manner, the many trials and tribulations of the modern writer is recognised in this editorial, determined to amuse. For a slightly less amusing consequence of this we also have Mr. John Carnell’s ‘View from the Hill’ at the end of this issue, of which more later.

To the stories. There’s a couple about alien species this month:

Twice Bitten, by Mr. Donald Malcolm

The first of these is Mr. Malcolm’s tale of first contact with an alien lifeform which Planetary Ecologist Paul Janeba has to tame before colonisation can occur. There’s a nice touch with the unusual aliens, but the story’s not a patch on Murray Leinster’s Colonial Survey stories. There’s also a strange military interlude in this story that tries very hard to evoke Mr. Robert Heinlein, but seems clumsy and irrelevant here. Two out of five.

Live Test, by Mr. Peter Vaughan

I found that this story of a misfunctioning spaceship built up a sense of peril nicely at the start but the whole story hangs on a situation that is so improbable that it ruined the story for me. The circumstances just wouldn’t happen in the first place, and I felt that there were easier ways of obtaining the result required that were just as effective as the method employed here. Two out of five.

Pet Name for a World, by Mr. Gordon Walters

Another New Worlds newcomer (or at least one unknown to me), Mr. Walters gives us the second of this month’s alien stories. Of the two, this is the stronger. On planet Angstrom Veema, our nameless and reluctant toxin specialist is sent to rid the planet of a vampyrric resident, so that a colony can survive. It’s a little wobbly in its logic (what would the effect of the removal of this key carnivore on the rest of the ecosystem be? Has nobody in the future read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring?) and the solution to the problem is rather extreme, but I appreciated the author’s attempt to write an unusual take on a tired concept. Three out of five points.

Till Life Do Us Part, by Mr. Robert Presslie

An author appearing with regularity recently, Mr. Presslie’s latest short story is one of his best to date (although that may not be saying much, admittedly.) I liked the idea of this story, though, that in a future where people live extended lifespans the rich live in the Earth’s oceans or in other people’s bodies as ‘deathmembers’ or ‘liferenters’, whilst the majority struggle to eke an existence.  It doesn’t quite hold together in places, though, and the ending is resolved far too quickly. Three out of five.

Dawn’s Left Hand, by Mr Lan Wright

After last month’s debut, the second part of this serial begins after the cliff-hanger ending of last month, where our ‘hero’ Martin Regan has become Manuel Cabera, son of a gangster. This middle part of the trilogy involves Regan trying to gain control of a power struggle situation and as a result there’s a big reveal (that’s not that revealing, to be honest) and a lot of running about.  Once beyond this, when it boils down to it, it’s a typical middle part of a story, still lacking logic. Still two out of five.

Survey Report of 1962, by Mr John Carnell

Although this is not a story, it is an important summary that reflects how things are and perhaps where things are going to be in the future in British s-f. To sum up, it was a good year on a broad scale, but whereas the US market has been ‘more of the same’, there has been a noticeable growth in markets and sales of hardbacks and paperbacks in Europe. The present debates we have been seeing over the last few months (and indeed in this month’s Guest Editorial), are because s-f is being increasingly changed by outside influences. Whether this is a reflection of s-f moving to the mainstream, or the mainstream becoming more accommodating of s-f, I guess has yet to be seen. Signs of greater exposure in film and television suggest that these may be the places we will notice s-f in 1963.

In summary, compared with last month’s issue of New Worlds, this one is the weaker. I suspect that when it comes around to December and I’m considering the stories I’ve liked in 1963, there’s little here I will remember. Hopefully it will be better next month.

[P.S. If you registered for WorldCon this year, please consider nominating Galactic Journey for the “Best Fanzine” Hugo.  Check your mail for instructions…]




[January 25, 1963] Astonishing!  Amazing!  Fantastic!  Strange!  (March 1963 Marvel Comics Roundup)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]


by Gideon Marcus

The Journey tries to cover as many media as possible to be a complete one-stop shop for science fiction and fantasy fans.  Thus, we’ve long since branched out from sf magazines to cover books, movies, television shows, and comic books.

Interestingly, my journey with comic books mirrors my experience a decade ago with science fiction digests.  At first, I just had the one subscription to Galaxy, and I picked up odd issues of other mags as they caught my fancy.  Years passed, and by the time I started this column, I was regularly purchasing F&SF, IF, Astounding, and Satellite.  As of today, the Journey covers every American sf mag and a British one (New Worlds) to boot!

Similarly, a few years back, I purchased random issues of Marvel and National Comics, but in no sort of set schedule.  These last several months, I’ve found the constellation of Marvel’s output very compelling, and my collection has expanded considerably.

This month looks to be the crest of a wave, with Marvel’s superhero introductions reaching a fever pitch, pushing the fare of Girls’ Comics and Westerns to the background.  And what a crop of heroes these are!

First up is the Amazing Spiderman.  Since his first appearance just a few months ago, he’s become popular enough to earn his own mag!

Unfortunately, the fans are the only folks this new hero is popular with.  Everyone else thinks he’s a menace, a phoney, a hoodlum, or some combination of all three.  Leading the lynch mob is J. Jonah Jameson, editor of The Daily Bugle.  Even Spiderman’s death-defying rescue of Jameson’s son (an astronaut) does nothing to rehabilitate his image.

That’s a raw deal by anyone’s standard.  I wouldn’t be surprised if ol’ Spidey knocked over a few banks just for spite! 

Undaunted, Spiderman decides that, if a solo gig won’t work, perhaps he should join a team.

Of course, the Fantastic Four are sort of the glue that holds the Marvel-verse together, so it’s inevitable that Spiderman should run into them.  But it turns out that the F4 aren’t taking applications.

I have to say that I like Spiderman, and a downer superhero is certainly a switch, but I don’t know if I’m masochistic enough to put up with too much of this.  I hope Peter Parker finds his feet soon.

Speaking of crossovers, look who makes an appearance in Fantastic Four #12?  Noneother than the Hulk, now green instead of gray, and able to change into his titanic form and keep the brain of Dr. Bruce Banner (Hulk’s human form) at will with the help of a machine.


Nothing like a bit of shameless self-promotion…

In this particular issue, the Hulk is blamed for a series of attacks on military bases throughout the country.  But Banner is a sharp cookie, and through incredibly sophisticated sleuthing, finds the true culprit.

Fantastic Four continues to be my least favorite comic, in large part thanks to exchanges like this:


Charming as ever, Richards.

In this month’s Hulk, Dr. Banner’s form-changer machine is becoming more erratic.  Will it last much longer?  Also, the villain is the Master of Metal with… mastery over metal.  Interesting power.  I wonder if we’ll see his like again.

Marvel’s anthology mags continue to increasingly become vehicles for new superheroes.  Journey into Mystery is the home of Thor, Asgardian God of Thunder.

Tales to Astonish is Ant-Man’s vehicle.

Strange Tales might as well be titled Fantastic Four #12 and a half.

Tales of Suspense features the exciting debut of Iron Man, a superhero borne of crisis.  Tony Stark, a millionaire playboy engineer, is captured in North Vietnam after an explosion lodges shrapnel near his heart.  Tasked to make weapons by the nefarious Communist Wong-Chu, Stark instead builds himself a metal suit both to keep his heart going and to make an escape.

I don’t know if Iron Man will be a recurring character, but I’d certainly like to see more.

So that’s Marvel Comics for March 1963.  A pretty exciting and momentous twelfth of a year, and reason to keep subscribing.

As for National Comics, well… anyone else want to write an article?

[P.S. If you registered for WorldCon this year, please consider nominating Galactic Journey for the “Best Fanzine” Hugo.  Check your mail for instructions…]




[January 22, 1963] Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (February 1963 Fantastic)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]


by Victoria Silverwolf

January was full of ups and downs here in the United States.  Early in the month, the price of a first class stamp jumped from four cents to five cents.  That’s a twenty-five percent increase, and it’s only been five years since the last time the cost went up.


And postcards are now four cents.

At least we could forget about inflation for a while when Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece La Gioconda (more commonly known as Mona Lisa) was put on exhibition in the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.  Thanks to the diplomatic charm of First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, the French agreed to let the most famous painting in the world travel across the Atlantic.


President Kennedy, Madame Malraux, French Minister of State for Cultural Affairs Malraux, Mrs. Kennedy, Vice-President Johnson.

Not even this great artistic event, however, could distract Americans from the most important social problem facing the nation.  Because I live about twenty miles from the state of Alabama, it hit me hard when I read the inauguration speech of George C. Wallace, newly elected Governor of the Cotton State.

In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny and I say: segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.


Wallace delivering a speech written by Asa Carter, a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Given this fiery defiance, I am terrified of the possibility of my country facing a second Civil War over Civil Rights.

It’s understandable that, in these uncertain times, Americans turned to the soft crooning of Steve Lawrence’s syrupy tearjerker Go Away, Little Girl, which hit the top of the charts this month.

Appropriately, the latest issue of Fantastic is a mixture of the good and the bad.

Dr. Adams’ Garden of Evil, by Fritz Leiber

It seems likely that Lloyd Birmingham’s bizarre cover art provided the inspiration for this strange story of supernatural revenge.  The antihero is the publisher of a girlie magazine.  A woman holds him responsible for the coma that robbed her sister of her mind after she was the magazine’s Kitten-of-the-Month.  We quickly find out that this isn’t just paranoia on her part.  Through methods that combine Mad Science and Black Magic, the publisher grows miniature copies of women, which have harmful effects on the real ones.  He soon faces his just deserts.  Stylishly and elegantly written, with a great deal of imagination, this is a weird tale that always holds the reader’s attention.  Four stars.

The Titan in the Crypt, by J. G. Warner

The narrator enters a labyrinth of catacombs beneath the city of New Orleans, where he witnesses arcane rituals by cultists offering a disturbing sacrifice to a gigantic idol.  A horrible being chases after him as he makes his way back to the outside world.  This pastiche of H. P. Lovecraft doesn’t offer anything new.  The best thing about it is another outstanding, if grotesque, illustration by Lee Brown Coye.  Two stars.

Let ‘Em Eat Space, by William Grey Beyer

This issue’s reprint comes from the November 4, 1939 issue of Argosy.  Two insurance investigators travel to a distant solar system in order to find out why the metabolism of everyone on Earth is slowing down.  They find a planet inhabited by giant intelligent blobs, some of whom have mutated into evil creatures that prey on the others.  Our pair of wisecracking heroes manage to save humanity and the aliens.  This is a wild, tongue-in-cheek pulp adventure yarn with a lot of bad science.  Two stars.

Final Dining , by Roger Zelazny

An artist paints a portrait of Judas, using a strange pigment he found in a meteorite.  The painting has a life of its own, and tempts the painter into evil and self-destruction.  This is a compelling story by a prolific new writer.  It’s slightly overwritten in places, and the meteorite seems out of place in a tale of pure fantasy, but otherwise it’s very effective.  Four stars.

The Masters, by Ursula K. LeGuin

This is only the second genre story by another promising newcomer.  It takes place centuries after the fall of modern civilization.  Instead of returning to a completely pre-technological society, however, the people in this post-apocalyptic world are able to build steam engines and other moderately advanced devices.  The plot begins when a man undergoes a grueling initiation, allowing him to join the rigidly controlled guild of machinists.  A fellow engineer tempts him to violate the rules of their order through such forbidden activities as trying to measure the distance to the Sun and using Arabic numerals.  This pessimistic tale is much more original than most stories set after a worldwide disaster.  Four stars.

Black Cat Weather, by David R. Bunch

Editor Cele Goldsmith’s most controversial author offers a brief story set in a future where people have many of their body parts replaced with metal.  A little girl not yet old enough to require such procedures, assisted by a robot, brings something from a cemetery to her father.  Told in a dense style that requires close reading, this is a dark, disturbing tale.  Four stars.

Perfect Understanding, by Jack Egan

A man’s spaceship crashes on Mercury while racing away from hostile aliens.  The ethereal beings track him down, but he captures them and forces them to reveal their secrets in a way not revealed until the end of the story.  This space opera reads like something rejected by Analog.  It throws in a lot of implausible details, and the twist ending is predictable.  One star.

Like life in these modern times, this issue was a real rollercoaster ride.  Maybe it’s best to follow the advice of the old Johnny Mercer song and accentuate the positive.

[P.S. If you registered for WorldCon this year, please consider nominating Galactic Journey for the “Best Fanzine” Hugo.  Check your mail for instructions…]




[January 20, 1963] The Big Freeze (news from a UK fan)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]


By Ashley R. Pollard

The new year has brought snow. Lots of snow. So much snow that parts of Britain have been brought to a standstill. I thought last year was bad, but this year puts last years snow into perspective, in much the same way as downing a yard of ale as compared to a good old British pint of beer does.

And just to make things clear, when I say snow, I don’t mean a few fluffy flakes falling on London.

Parts of the country have been cut-off by the amount of snow that has fallen here. A blizzard left up to 20 feet of snow in some places. The BBC news shows images of the sort of thing one might see in some Hollywood extravaganza set in the Antarctic wastes.

One almost expects to see penguins or Polar bears. I could easily imagine Polar bears swimming here to enjoy our climate. It’s a snowpocalypse I tell you. Send food parcels now! 

OK, I jest, but not by much.

Really, it started snowing on Boxing Day and has continued to snow pretty much until now. A waterfall has frozen in Wales, I know Niagara Falls freezes, but this is Britain, we haven’t experienced these conditions for a very long time. How long ago you might ask? The Met Office says this has been the coldest January since 1814.

That’s a long time ago.

Also, the sea in Whitstable Bay froze. The sea water froze out to four miles at Dunkirk. I knew theoretically it can happen, but…

As I’m writing this, the forecast for tonight is for temperatures to drop to minus eight degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, I work and live in London. So I may moan and grumble, but I don’t have to face the hardships of those people living in the countryside cut-off by snow drifts.

But, there is a promise of a thaw in a few days time. I can only hope that the Met Office is correct in their prediction.

I’m sure they’re right, after all, Cliff Richard’s new musical film, Summer Holiday, premiered the other week in London. Surely this presages warmer weather to come? Cliff Richard and The Shadows are a popular young persons band, for those who have not heard of him or them.

This is, as always, only the backdrop to the wonderful world of the science fiction, like myself and my friends in The London Circle.

Oh, what jolly japes and fun were had as we sat drinking, discussing the mood of the general population. We fans talked about stories set in snowy wastelands. Frankenstein was mentioned as the prime setting. Lovecraft’s, At the Mountains of Madness, was also deemed germane.

And, of course, the horror of starvation as food ran out with the railways and roads snowbound. SF fans have a great imaginations, and the amazing ability to create stories from whole cloth. It was almost like we were re-enacting the Shelley, Byron, and Polidori’s competition to write a scary story. 

Then somebody mentioned we’d all have to live by eating pork pies supplied by Brian Burgess. That leavened the tone of the conversation, making everyone present burst out in laughter. A laughter with a slight hollow ring to it, as anyone who has survived the experience one of eating one of Brian’s famous pork pies can attest.

Brian, a rather large man, who can appear intimidating when you first meet him, can best be described as one of fandoms great eccentrics. Which is saying something when it comes to fandom. Though, after thinking about it for a moment, British people in general can be rather eccentric. Or so my American friends tell me.

I blame the war, but war stories will have to wait for another time.

Last month I mention That Was The Week That Was. This month, in a more serious vein, befitting the serious weather we’re facing, another news show I recommend people to try and catch, if they can. The commercial broadcaster, Grenada Television, launched The World in Action. An unorthodox current affairs programme that investigates more thoroughly what That Was The Week That Was mocks.

Already there are rumblings in the House as the news team’s probing into underhand dealing and corruption threaten to expose the great and the good. I shall be making time to watch The World in Action and report back.

And on another serious note, the leader of the Labour Party, Hugh Gaitskell, died suddenly at the age of 56 from heart failure. His sudden passing has shocked the establishment, being labelled a national tragedy.

He was certainly a more moderate politician than some of his more left wing party colleagues, and I admired his appeals to reason. Though my psychological background always makes me doubt that such appeals will be effective. In the words taken from the short story collection, Assignment in Eternity, Robert Heinlein said, “Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal.”

I couldn’t agree more.

So that’s it for another month. I promise to wrap up warm and stay safe. You do the same, please.

[P.S. If you registered for WorldCon this year, please consider nominating Galactic Journey for the “Best Fanzine” Hugo.  Check your mail for instructions…]




[January 17, 1963] Things of Beauty (February 1963 Fantasy and Science Fiction)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]


by Gideon Marcus

The beautiful and talented Betty White turned 41 today.  Of what is this apropos?  Nothing in particular.  Just a piece of pleasant news amidst all the Asian war talk and tax cut squabbling and racial disharmony one must contend with in the paper and on the TV.  Ms. White is always so charming and cheerful, but in an intelligent (not vapid) way.  She reminds me, in her own way, of Mrs. Traveler, this column’s esteemed editor.  Though she, like Jack Benny, stopped aging at 39…

One entity that has not stopped aging, and whose aging I have whinged upon quite frequently, is Fantasy and Science Fiction, a magazine now in its 14th year and third editor.  Editor Avram Davidson has given me a decent issue this time around, for which I am grateful.  See if you enjoy the February 1963 Fantasy and Science Fiction as much as I did…

The Riddle Song, by Vance Aandahl

Young Mr. Aandahl continues to, after an auspicious beginning, produce stuff that disappoints.  I’m not sure of the point of this tale, about an old besotted bum with poems for anecdotes.  Perhaps you’ll get the reference — I didn’t.  Two stars.

Counter Security, by James White

Ah, now this is what I read sf for.  This largely autobiographical piece features a young, underemployed night watchman in a British department store who must solve the mystery of (what appears to be) a spiteful, peppermint chewing, floor-spitting, Black-hating skulker before the staff quit en masse from worry and fear.  I finished this novelette in one sitting on the beach at Waimea as the sun rose, and I’m not sure a more perfect half hour was ever spent.  Five stars.

Punk’s Progress, by Robert Wallsten

A take on The Rake’s Progress with a decidedly modern tone.  Nothing new, but the journey is fun.  Three stars.

Gladys’s Gregory, by John Anthony West

A Modest Proposal meets marriage in suburbia.  A wicked piece, but kind of fun.  Three stars.

The Nature of the Place, by Robert Silverberg

Ever wonder where you go when you die?  What if your own personal hell is more of the same?  Of course, being a cup is half full sort of guy, that sounds more like the other place to me.  But I understand Silverbob is the melancholy type.  Three stars.

The Jazz Machine, by Richard Matheson

Don’t let the poetic layout fool you — this is pure prose, but Matheson turns it into a song.  A harsh Blues song tinged with the pain of the oppressed.  Four stars.

The Lost Generation, by Isaac Asimov

In which the Good Doctor sidesteps his lack of knowledge of “Information Retrieval” to discuss the importance of networking — and recognizing opportunity when it bites you in the hinder.  It’s about this history of the Theory of Evolution, by the way.  Four stars.

The Pleiades, by Otis Kidwell Burger

When immortality and beauty are universal, it takes a most unusual girlie show to make an impact.  This is the first story by Ms. Burger I really liked.  Four stars.

Satan Mekatrig, by Israel Zangwill

…and then the magazine slides downhill.  The bulk of the last quarter is taken up with this reprint from 1899, in which a hunchbacked Lucifer tempts the pious Moshe from his orthodoxy.  It’s not bad, but it is dated and doesn’t really belong in this magazine (though I can see why it appeals to Davidson).  Two stars.

Peggy and Peter Go to the Moon, by Don White

A trifle, written like a children’s story but barbed like a cactus.  Fine for what it is, but not my thing.  Two stars.

3.1 stars!  It doesn’t sound like much, but given F&SF‘s recent slump, this is a breath of fresh air.  Plus, five-star stories are quite rare.  Do check it out.

And, if you get the chance, come out this weekend for ConDor, a San Diego SFF convention at which yours truly will be presenting both Saturday and Sunday (the latter is the Galactic Journey panel). 

[P.S. If you registered for WorldCon this year, please consider nominating Galactic Journey for the “Best Fanzine” Hugo.  Check your mail for instructions…]




[January 15, 1963] Venus’ true face (Scientific Results of Mariner 2)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]


by Gideon Marcus

Remember five years ago, when Explorer 1 was launched?  At first, the big news was that America had answered Sputnik and joined the Space Age, but it soon became clear that the flight had larger significance.  For Explorer discovered the giant bands of hellish radiation that girdled the Earth, particles trapped by the Earth’s magnetic field.  Until 1957, these “Van Allen Belts” had been virtually unsuspected.  With one flight, our conception of the universe had drastically changed.

It’s happened again.

Mariner 2 is humanity’s first successful mission to another planet, and the scientific harvest is absolutely enormous.  Moreover, thanks to recent changes in policy, the initial results of this harvest were released unprecedentedly quickly (scientists are now reporting upon submission and acceptance of papers rather than publication).  Just one month since the probe’s encounter with Venus, the flood of information has been almost too much to parse; nevertheless, I think I’ve gotten the broad strokes:

Getting there is half the fun

Before I talk about Mariner’s encounter with Venus, it’s important to discuss what the spacecraft discovered on the way there.  After all, it was a 185 million mile trip, most of it in interplanetary space charted but once before by Pioneer 5.  And boy, did Mariner learn a lot!

For instance, it has finally been confirmed that the sun does blow a steady stream of charged particles in a gale known as the “Solar Wind.”  The particles get trapped in Earth’s magnetic field and cause, among other things, our beautiful aurorae. 

Mariner also measured the interplanetary magnetic field, which is really the sun’s magnetic field.  It varies with the 27-day solar rotation, and if we had more data, I suspect the overall map of the field would look like a spiral. 

Why is all this important?  Well, aside from giving us an idea of the kind of “space weather” future probes and astronauts will have to deal with, these observations of the sun’s effect on space give us a window as to what’s going on inside the sun to generate these effects. 

One last bit: along the way, Mariner measured the density of “cosmic dust,” little physical particles in space.  It appears that there’s a lot of it around the Earth, perhaps trapped by our magnetic field, and not a lot in space.  It may be that the solar wind sweeps the realm between the planets clean.

Unattractive planet

Given how magnetically busy the Earth is, and since Jupiter fairly crackles on the radio band thanks to its (likely) magnetic dynamo, one would expect Venus to impact its local space environment.  Nope.  In fact, Mariner 2 flew past the second planet without detecting a trace of Venusian magnetic field, nor any concentration of space dust around the planet.  Now, it’s possible that Venus has a weak field, or that its field is so oddly shaped that Mariner just hit a low patch, but the simplest explanation is usually the right one — Venus has no magnetic field.

Taking her temperature

Right up until December 14, some scientists (and many writers!) had held out hope that the thick clouds of Venus hid a reasonably hospitable surface, potentially teeming with life.  Earth-based sensors had indicated that the Venus was unbearably hot, but such could be explained by an unusually active Venusian ionosophere.  But as Mariner 2 turned its microwave and infrared radiometers across the face of Venus, it was clear that the edges of the planet were cooler than the center.  This is what one would expect from a hot surface, cooler atmosphere; the reverse would be expected of the “hot ionosphere” model.

So how hot is Venus?  At least 400 degrees Kelvin (260 degrees Fahrenheit), and probably a lot more.  There’s no way there is any liquid water under that hellish greenhouse of carbon dioxide.  Moreover, it’s not any nicer at night time.  There appears to be no real difference in temperature between the illuminated and dark halves of Venus, probably for the same reason the Earth’s oceans run a fairly consistent temperature – Venus’ atmosphere is thick enough for efficient distribution of warmth. 

Amtor dispelled

Mariner 2 and terrestrial radar have determined that the Venusian day incredibly long (~250 days, backward with respect to the other planets), but the Venusian winds blow across the planet far faster than the planet rotates; clouds have been seen racing around the disk of Venus in just 4-5 days.  Recent radar observations indicate that Venus’s surface is smoother than that of the Earth or the Moon. 

This, then, is our new picture of Venus.  It is a truly hellish place, more worthy of its less common moniker, Luciferos — a bleak, half-lit world scoured by hurricane-strength sandstorms hot enough to melt lead.  Bradbury’s All Summer in a Day, not to mention Burroughs’ “Venus” series’, will need some serious revision. 

Details, details

One of the nice things about sending a probe far from Earth is it allows for more accurate measurement of basic units – like the distance of the Earth and Venus from the sun.  This will help in future expeditions, manned and unmanned.  Another bit of bounty from Mariner’s flight is a refinement of the mass of Venus.  It is 81.485% that of Earth – one of the few ways Venus remains “Earth’s Twin.”

What’s next?

Opportunities to explore Venus occur every 19 months, when the second and third planets of the solar system are aligned in their orbits for easy travel.  Mariner 2 was so successful in its mission that NASA has canceled plans for a repeat flight in 1964.  Rather, the space agency will focus on Mars that year and follow up with Venus later, perhaps 1965. 

One reason to launch a new probe to Venus sooner rather than later is, despite the wealth of information passed back by Mariner 2, we did not get a single photograph of the planet.  That’s because the spacecraft was too small to carry the transmitting equipment required to send back pictures from so far away.  But by ’65, the new Centaur booster stage will have replaced the weaker Agena, which will allow a beefier payload. 

In the meantime, telemetry is worth a thousand pictures.  For now, let us revel in this scientific bonanza. Venus may not be a great place to live, but visiting has paid off tremendously.


(that’s rolls of data, not paper towels)

[P.S. If you registered for WorldCon this year, please consider nominating Galactic Journey for the “Best Fanzine” Hugo.  Check your mail for instructions…]




[January 13, 1963] LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT (the February 1963 Amazing)


by John Boston

Last month’s issue raised high expectations, but this February Amazing reminds me of an infantile and scatological joke which I believe I heard in fifth grade, the punchline of which is “Coffee break’s over, squat down again.” If you never heard it, count your blessings.

Daniel F. Galouye’s novella Recovery Area comes highly touted.  Last month’s Coming Next Month squib described it as “destined to become a classic” and “brilliantly original, and with a depth of meaning and emotion”; the story blurb says “There is no reason to write a blurb that will try to lure you into being interested in this story.  It will grip you of itself within ten lines, and hold your mind and heart far beyond its last sentence.”

Actually, it’s a decent and well-meaning pulp novella, recalling the beginning of Galouye’s career in SF: 20 of his first 21 published stories appeared in Imagination, that most pulpish of digest magazines, in the space of two years.  But it’s a step backward from the much more sophisticated Dark Universe

On Venus, it’s proposed, there is a species of giant humanoids (hideously illustrated on the cover by Vernon Kramer) featuring “quazehorns.” Say what?  Horns that quaze, obviously—that is, they endow the bearer with a not-well-defined extrasensory power to perceive objects and entities at a distance, read personalities and attitudes if not quite thoughts, and perceive the nature of the contents of closed containers (i.e., the supply capsules for the Earth expedition that is about to land, which are dropped at various points near the landing site; hence the title.)

The Venutians (author’s spelling [others are using it, too.  (Ed.)]) are materially primitive but highly philosophical, as attested by the extensive deployment of capital letters.  In the first couple of pages, we encounter Meditative Withdrawal, Cognitive Posture, Ascetic Ascendancy, the First Phase of Ascendancy, the Dichotomy of Endlessnesses (comprising Upper and Lower), and the Eternal Day (where the Venutians live, squeezed in between the two Endlessnesses).  These are the preoccupations of K’Tawa, the Old One, who is constantly beset by interruptions from the youngster Zu-Bach, always Materialistic.  Right now Zu-Bach is concerned with Presences from the Upper Endlessness, who of course are the Earth explorers, and who Zu-Bach is convinced are malign after he sees one of their dropped capsules snatching an animal specimen which later turns up dead.  Matters escalate when the explorers arrive and the Venutians quaze hate, scorn, treachery, and greed, mostly from one misfit member.  Violent conflict ensues.  Meanwhile, K’Tawa is achieving Phase Eight Meditation, putting him in touch with the memories of his ancestors, which murkily reveal a local cosmological history reminiscent of the theories of Immanuel Velikovsky, and suggest a startling provenance for the Venutians and a revised view of the universe.  Understanding triumphs, facile happy ending follows.  It’s competent and well-intentioned product, but we’ve come to expect better, from Galouye and everyone else, especially from something that is presented (and presents itself) as a major work.  Three stars with a side of nostalgic indulgence.

The biggest name here, also featured on the cover, is Philip Jose Farmer, with his short story How Deep the Grooves, which is pretty terrible.  In a future police state, Dr. Carroad has, through the magic of electroencephalography, devised a machine that can turn thoughts into audible words, thereby unmasking deviationists.  Now, with high officials watching, he’s going to use it to transmit, not receive, and indoctrinate his own unborn child to be unable to question the dictates of the state.  Instead, the machine keeps receiving, and broadcasts the child’s thoughts at various future ages, demonstrating that we are all automatons programmed to play roles, and ending with an unsavory revelation about the futures of father and son.  It’s reminiscent of an old silent movie filled with posturing and mugging, and all for the sake of an idea that would have seemed pretty silly even in the days of Hugo Gernsback.  One star.

Speaking of Gernsback, he was six years gone from Amazing but his spirit was clearly still around when this month’s Classic Reprint was published (February 1935 issue).  The Tale of the Atom, fortunately the only story by Philip Dennis Chamberlain, rings another silly change on the silly universe-as-atom theme, the silliness of which has been apparent since before this story was published.  One star.

A higher class of silliness, maybe, is represented by Phoenix, a short story by Ted White and Marion Zimmer Bradley.  Protagonist Max is standing swathed in flames, which it says here “feels like satin ice,” when his girlfriend walks in.  Extinguishing himself, he says, “Hell of a time for you to show up, Fran,” noticing that the carpet is singed and smoking where he’s been standing on it.  Oops!  Max has had a sudden accession of psi powers, or something, including levitation and the ability to heat up his coffee by thinking about it and to dress himself psychokinetically, in addition to cloaking himself in flames and perceiving all of reality at the molecular level, or something like that.  The story is his losing effort to maintain some human contact in the face of this transcendent experience, and his surrender to the latter.  Something might have been made of this at greater length and with more writerly competence (Bradley’s been around but this is White’s first professionally published story), but in this form it’s alternately risible and merely inadequate.  Two stars for ambition.

The remaining item of fiction is Jack Sharkey’s The Smart Ones, which is reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode, both generally and specifically.  (You’ll know the one.) Nuclear war is on the way, and ordinary people!  just like you and me! are trying to figure out what to do.  The story proceeds in a series of scenes that are both strongly visual and carried by dialogue—whether to go to the fallout shelter, whether to take the opportunity to get onto a Moon-bound ship—the best of which is the couple arguing about whether Vanity Fair and Coningsby should get space on the fallout shelter bookshelves.  Later, after the bombing:

“ ‘I think the baby needs a change, or something,’ said Corey, looking down at his infant son.

“ ‘Read him Coningsby,’ said Lucille.  Then she started laughing again, until Corey was forced to slap her face crimson to quiet her.”

You just know this guy wants to write for TV, or at least the stage, and he’d probably be pretty good at it.  The more I look at this the better I like it in its black-humoresque way.  Four stars, if only by comparison to its company.

Sam Moskowitz is back with another SF Profile, Arthur C. Clarke (guess he couldn’t think of a snappy title or subtitle), which bears the usual virtues and faults: interesting biographical material, sometimes dubious critical judgment, and a close focus on Clarke’s earliest work at the expense of the more recent.  In Clarke’s case this is less jarring than in some of the other profiles, since Clarke didn’t start publishing SF professionally until 1946 and all but one of his novels are from the ‘50s and later, so Moskowitz has to discuss some recent work (he even mentions the 1961 A Fall of Moondust a couple of times, though he can’t get the title straight).  Three stars.

So: a step forward, a step back.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

[P.S. If you registered for WorldCon this year, please consider nominating Galactic Journey for the “Best Fanzine” Hugo.  Check your mail for instructions…]




[January 10, 1963] (February 1963 Galaxy)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]


by Gideon Marcus

The Traveler family has now been on the island of Kaua’i (in the newest state of the Union, Hawai’i) for five days, and I can feel the shackles of the mainland loosening.  We are staying in a vacant worker cottage on the Waimea Sugar Plantation, guests of one of the manager’s, and it’s just lovely.  Timeless beauty surrounds us.  There’s no question but that this state is destined to be a tremendous tourist attraction some day – but I hope this island never loses its virgin charm.

It’s hard to describe the relaxation that comes with visiting this sub-tropical paradise.  In the main room of our three-room cottage, the Young Traveler plucks away at her ukelele, singing Elvis’ recent Hawai’ian hit, I can’t help falling in love with you, and then the apt Jamaican Farewell popularized by Belafonte not long ago.  Last night, we were guests of the Gaylord family at their Kilohana estate.  After a sumptuous meal of meticulously prepared fish and delectable desserts (including a half-coconut), we dallied in the Sitting Room as one of the family played Scott Joplin tunes on the piano. 

Of course, even in this Westernmost bastion of America, modern civilization is encroaching.  We flew into the new small but international airport at Lihue (and commerce is already relocating from its traditional center here at Waimea to that burgeoning mini-city).  The grocery chain, Safeway, is building a supermarket on the island. 

And then there are the relics of the Mainland we’ve brought with us in the form of the books packed in our suitcases.  The Young Traveler has been devouring Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People (Watch out World!), while I have just finished this month’s Galaxy.

Its editor, Fred Pohl, has spilled much ink over the role of the science fiction writer.  He insists that our job is not to predict the future, and indeed, we’re pretty bad at such things, statistically speaking.  Rather than saying, “This is what will happen,” we really say, “This is what will happen if.”

The timing is no coincidence.  The February 1963 Galaxy is filled with “what will happen ifs,” — have a look:

Home from the Shore, by Gordon R. Dickson

Dickson’s story asks, “What will happen if the nascent trend of undersea living is carried to its logical conclusion?”  The result is, as we’ve seen previously explored in The Underwater City, a nation of humans living underwater.  Living in Castle-Homes and Small-Homes on the ocean floor, some six million people, enhanced by genetics and technology, thrive alongside their dolphin companions.

It is an uneasy existence, the Landers resenting the independence of their former brethren (who they’d hoped to use primarily as stock for space exploration).  As Home from the Shore begins, one of the sea people’s leaders, Johnny Joya is defecting from the astronaut corps to rejoin his people.  It turns out that the precipitous action is the spark that provokes war between the Landers and the mermen.  Willy-nilly, this fight will catapult the sea people to the next phase of their existence.

Dickson pens a vivid piece, but it feels more prologue than complete tale, and the details are a bit too oblique to follow in places.  In particular, I’m never quite sure just how life underwater works or how it’s sustainable.  I found myself stalling at the beginning a number of times.  I think Shore earns three stars, but just barely.

Think Blue, Count Two, by Cordwainer Smith

This latest tale of the “Instrumentality,” Smith’s unique far future, explores the ramifications of centuries-long space flight given an unchanging temperament for humans.  How will we keep our sanity, our morality, when faced with the yawning vastness of space, divorced from the society that keeps us civilized.

Think Blue, Count Two is a sequel, of sorts, to The Lady who Sailed the Soul, which introduced us to the concept of interstellar sailing ships and deep frozen passengers.  This latest edition stars an ingenue colonist, chosen solely for her beauty, and details how she manages the increasingly neurotic attentions of her two male co-passengers.

It’s another beautiful Smith tale, but Think Blue is less about what the protagonist does but what happens around and to her.  Riveting but somehow unsatisfying stuff.  Four stars.

For Your Information: First Flight by Rocket Power, by Willy Ley

To project where we’re going, one has to know where we’ve come from.  This month’s science department traces down the very first rocket powered human flight and then describes the important ones since.  Three stars.

(Anyone want to lay odds on whether the Russians will beat Gordo Cooper to be the first person in space in 1963?)

Comic Inferno, by Brian W. Aldiss

Aldiss makes a bold prediction in this story of robots and people: As life gets easy, our breeding instinct will wane, and a hundred years from now, the world will be a fraction as populated.  Mechanical people will fill in the gaps, being our servants and our underclass.  But what if the romen tire of their inferior position?

There are great concepts in here, but Comic Inferno is rather rough sledding, what with its Extremely British satirical style.  Much like the Dickson, it takes time to get into, but in retrospect, the trip was rewarding.  Three stars.

Pollony Undiverted, by Sydney J. Van Scyoc

Here is another journey into an indolent future, in which all needs are met save for the ones that matter most – those that give us emotional satisfaction.  Van Scyoc gives us a tale from a feminine perspective that captures the frivolity of existence and the fleeting nature of happiness in a world made infinitely small by teleportation.  Three stars.

Day of Truce, by Clifford D. Simak

Did you just put up a fence to keep tykes from riding their bicycles and scooters on your property?  Maybe a menacing “No Trespassing” sign?  What if these are the first unplanned shots in an escalating war between the Homeowners and the Punks?

Simak writes a fun, barbed story about a battle deep in the course of the conflict at a time when a man’s home is truly a castle, and the teenage delinquents are armed with time bombs and Molotov cocktails.  Four stars.

The Bad Life, by Jerome Bixby

You may remember Bixby from his The Twilight Zone story, It’s a Good Life.  His latest story shares no similarities but for the titles and the overwhelming sense of feeling trapped in a hellish situation.

John Thorens is a do-gooder, a Hand of the Helping Hands dispatched to the Jovian artificial moon/penal colony called Limbo to bring solace to the criminals living there.  The extrapolation in this piece is, “How would a first generation Australia in space treat a well-meaning vistor?” 

Not well.  An intellectual among boors, a civilized man among animals, Thorens is hounded and beaten to the point of insanity. 

This is a brutal story, difficult to read, made compelling by Bixby’s sheer “writerliness” (as one of my readers might put it).  Not recommended for the easily disturbed, and perhaps Bixby overdoes the writing by 10%.  But it’ll sure stay with you.  Three stars. 

And that’s that.  A dense read, a hard read at times, but in many ways a rewarding one.  None of the futures depicted are pleasant ones, but they offer valuable signposts of potholes to avoid on the path of progress.

Next up – John Boston and this month’s Amazing!

[P.S. If you registered for WorldCon this year, please consider nominating Galactic Journey for the “Best Fanzine” Hugo.  Check your mail for instructions…]




[January 7, 1963] From Los Alamos to the Moon (Computing — the State of the Art)


by Ida Moya

[Meet our newest fellow Journeyer, Mrs. Moya, whose technical background is as enviable as it is fascinating.  Given the whirlwind pace at which computer technology is advancing, I thought our readers would like to get, straight from the source (as it were), an account of Where We Are Today…]

Hello, fellow Travelers. My journey to date has been both a long and short one. Long in that I’ve come a long way since I first started as a typist at an institution you might have heard of: Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.  And short in the fact that, well, I’m still here, now employed in the Lab’s technical library. I’ve been around these New Mexico labs for nearly twenty years, since they built the first atomic bombs which ended the war.
 
I started at Los Alamos as a typist, creating memos and reports for the scientists. I learned how to type in high school, a skill that has taken me a long way. I was on the Hill in the beginning, in 1943, when there were only a couple of hundred people were working there. By 1945, there were over 6000. I’ve done a lot of things in these twenty dusty years at Los Alamos. Most of my work has been in the library, helping the scientists and engineers find the documents and information they need in order to get their work done. I’ve seen a lot over these years, and learned quite a bit about science and computers to better help the scientists get things done.

I can tell you more about Los Alamos and Project Y, which until now have been the hush-hushiest of subjects, because just this year a book came out — Volume 1 of the History of the United States Atomic Energy Commission: The New World 1939-1946.

This blockbuster new report, designed by esteemed colleague Marilyn Shobaken of Penn State, where it was published, has all the science archives in New Mexico and beyond buzzing. She was so involved with the production of this document that her name is even included on the verso, right after the Library of Congress catalog card number 62-14633.
 
That’s just background. I promise I will tell you more stories of Project Y and the Hill later, but for now, let me tell you about my current work.  It involves the development of computation and how these new transistorized computers will take us into space. I’m not flying into space myself, but the work I do is helping those brave men get to the moon. This is an incredibly exciting project to be a part of, and I’m glad that NASA is not secret. So let me tell you about some of the competitive scientific and technical developments that Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory is leading.
 
Just last month, on December 7, 1962, the University of Manchester in the UK commissioned the Atlas computer, said to be faster than even the newest IBM computers — the Stretch, the 7090, and the 7094. However, one thing the Atlas computer doesn’t have is an industry behind it. Manchester made this one experimental machine, and have two others in the works; that’s it.

At Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, we acquired the first IBM Stretch computer in 1961. This new transistorized computer was supposed to be 100 times faster than IBM’s previous vacuum-tube based computer, the IBM 704. The Stretch turned out to be only about 35 times faster, so IBM considers it a failure.

Still, the Stretch is faster than the gals in the human computer facilities, pecking away on their baby-blue Marchant electromechanical calculators. I did this for a time before we got our electronic computers; a tiring and thankless job that had to be done accurately in makeshift buildings in the high desert. Now we program our computers in FORTRAN, in air-conditioned rooms. If you have the aptitude, I highly recommend you learn to program computers using this innovative formula translating language. The space race needs more capable computer programmers (and it’s not just for women, no matter what the engineers might tell you).

IBM made a few more Stretch computers, all for governmental customers. The National Security Agency has just installed the next one, and others are being prepared for our sister project at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, as well as the Atomic Weapons Establishment in England, and the US National Weather Service. That’s about it, though. As I said, IBM deems this marvel a failure.

However, IBM has learned from this exercise, and has turned their considerable manufacturing prowess to the IBM 7090 and IBM 7094 computers. IBM has factories churning these out by the dozen. As I write, two IBM 7090 computers are installed at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, calculating trajectories for NASA’s Mercury program. These 7090 computers are also being used by rocket scientist Wernher von Braun to simulate flight trajectories in aid of the design of the Saturn rocket system, the rocket that is going to take Americans to the moon. Four more IBM 7090 computers are being used by the Air Force for their Ballistic Missile Early Warning System. There is even an IBM 7090 installed at the Woomera Long Range Weapons Establishment, as part of the Anglo-Australian Joint Project, also used to calculate rocket and missile trajectories. America’s industries are not far behind; two more IBM 7090 systems are being used by American Airlines for their forward-thinking SABRE flight reservation system. Imagine, soon even regular people like us will be able to experience the glamour and sophistication of air travel, as new jet and computer technologies put the price of a ticket within affordable reach.

So, Manchester U.K. may have the “fastest” computer in the Atlas, but the United States has the lead in building an entire industrial infrastructure to deploy fast computers all over the country and free world. Healthy competition with our allies is fine, but what we really need to do is win the space race against those godless Russian communists. The American people will prevail in space, in no small part thanks to FORTRAN and IBM computers.

I’m proud to be a part of this adventure, and now, as part of the Journey, I look forward to bringing you along with me!

[P.S. If you registered for WorldCon this year, please consider nominating Galactic Journey for the “Best Fanzine” Hugo.  Check your mail for instructions…]