Search this site:

type "exact title in quotes",
or author's name




More than 10,000 books and stories rated and reviewed! - About this site

Home A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z Pen names
reviews of books and stories by author's name
SF&F Timeline 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000-Now Best!
retrospective look at sf&f year-by-year
The Ultimate Guide to New SF&F Writers (from 1990 till now)

Ray Cummings




Artwork by Frank R. Paul

Pen-names: Ray P. Shotwell
------------------------

"Arton's Metal"
© Super Science Stories, Sep 1940
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


"Bandits Of Time"
© Amazing Stories, Dec 1941
Fantastic, Oct 1968
--/ third place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ awesome scale
--/ rare find


"Beyond the Stars" (nv)
© 1928, original
Argosy All-Story, 1935
Future Stories, 1942
book: 1961, Ace Books
--/ third place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ idea award
--/ awesome scale


"The Derelict of Space"
(with William Thurmond)
© Wonder Stories Quarterly, Fall 1931
Wonder Story Annual, 1950
--/ cool space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

----------------------------------------------

Ray Cummings
"A Fragment of Diamond Quartz"
(as Ray P. Shotwell)
© Super Science Stories (Can), Aug 1944
Super Science Stories, Anthology 1950
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


How much more obscure can you get? Hidden under rarely-used pen name, published in the one of the hardest to find magazines, and what's more, inside the issue not found in any index or catalog of this magazine! "Super Science Stories", Canadian edition, published some unique and original content, which was NOT duplicated south of the border. It's impossible to find even cover images for these issues, not to mention the tables of contents. So... this neat adventure from the premier sf writer of the "wonder" era got buried in obscurity - and became all the more interesting for it!

----------------------------------------------

"The Great Transformation"
© Wonder Stories, Feb 1931
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find


----------------------------------------------



"The Man on the Meteor" (nv)
© Science & Invention, Jan-Sep 1924
Future Fiction, Oct 1941
Science Fiction, Jan-Mar 1942
--/ cool sf novel
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find

Rare early novel of the "master of miniaturization" Ray Cummings (a sizable amount of his fiction deals with adventures in a micro-, or even sub-atomic world) This time around, probably before he found his groove, he unfolds pretty dated (meaning very predictable) adventure on some exotic asteroid - but it might as well have taken place under my couch, or in Zambia. Of course, there are many underwater monsters and sensual "mermaids", and by the standards of the dawning age of wonder it was pretty packed, but alas, it does not read as "space adventure", or any kind of memorable adventure at all (probably because of the total lack of characterization). I can see how such escapist fantasy romps might have influenced Edgar Rice Burroughs (whom I could not bring myself to read, mostly because of the total 2-dimensionality of his writing). Cummings here, arguably, stretches his wings - to become a serious source for the colorful, thrilling adventures in the 30s.
review: 25-Dec-07 (read in 2007)

----------------------------------------------

"Monster of the Moon"
© Super Science Stories, Nov 1941
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


"Murder In The Fog"
© Popular Detective, Dec 1937
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

"The Scalpel Of Doom"
© Ten Detective Aces, Feb 1947

"Science Can Wait"
© Fantastic Story, Aut 1952
--/ cool sf story

----------------------------------------------



Ray Cummings
"Secret of the Sun"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Aug 1939
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

This is not the best example of wonder-laden stories by Ray Cummings, but Forrest J. Ackerman's right when he (as a lucky collector of infinite amount of pulps) laments the absence of any short story collection of this prominent pulp writer. It could be that some small press did issue a collection recently, or even put some of his stories online; but the fairy dust of obscurity has already touched Cummings' literary output since the 50s, and once touched, it's hard to shake it off.

----------------------------------------------

"Stamp of Doom"
© Crack Detective Stories, Mar 1946

"The Thought Machine"
© Marvel Stories, April 1941
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ idea: un-thought realm
--/ awesome scale
--/ rare find

"Two Proposals"
© Droll Stories, Mar 1923

"The World Beyond"
© Amazing Stories, Jul 1942,
Amazing Stories, Apr 1956

--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ awesome scale


----------------------------------------------

Click to go to "Dark Roasted Blend" site



COMMENTS:

1 Comments:

Blogger Victor Steerup said...

How about "Brigands of the Moon"?
references:
http://www.darkfantasy.org/spectre/ImageGuide.html
Brigands of the Moon J.W. Campbell, 1944 {uncredited}“ scarce digest featuring awful, juvenile cover art. Erroneously credited to Campbell, really is Ray Cummings novel.

The Guide to Paperbacks,
The host of this site, Morgan A.
Wallace, complains about the juvenile art on #194 -
"Brigands of the Moon", when it was reprinted in 1944.
It is a repainted cover of the earlier Popular
Mechanics 1941-May issue, showing electrical
linesmen trying to clear a short in overhead power
lines!

Popular Mechanics 1902-1952/Cover Gallery - Popular Mechanics.htm
The PM cover is 194105

Librivox has an audio recording at the Internet Archive of just "Brigands. . ."
and the audio transcript of the March, 1930 Astounding Stories Magazine.
Text files for e-readers are at Internet Archive.
I can't seem to load images or actual html addresses in this comment, but I am sure it will be edited. I am NOT a Ray Cummings fanatic, I just came across those two pictures that are amusing in comparison to each other. Internet search came up with several other book covers when story was originally published.


7:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

LATEST POSTS:

Enchanting Victorian Fairy Tale Art

"Then world behind and home ahead..."

Exceptional British Scifi Artwork from the 1950s

Space Pulp Art by Ron Turner and other British artists

Pulp Pleasures: Eando Binder

Great space adventure fiction from the 1930s
"Where Eternity Ends" and other rare gems

Epic Fantasy: the Start of the Journey

Part 2 of our "Best Classic Fantasy" series
incl. works by Henry Kuttner, Tolkien, etc.

Strange Shadows: Best Classic Fantasy

Fantasy "glitches in the matrix",
...lovely baroque magical lands, and more

Classic Cyberpunk SF Novels: Reviews

Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, K. W. Jeter, et al
(awesome must-reads)

10 Possible Sources of "Avatar" in Classic Science Fiction

Going beyond the obvious "Dances with Smurfs"...
(many stories worth reading)

"Steampunk" Anthology: Full Review

some truly crazed stories in there...
(plus artwork by John Coulthart)

"Dune", Plus Often-Neglected
Other Novels by Frank Herbert


"Dune", plus some overlooked gems:
"The Santaroga Barrier" and "The Green Brain"

Universe at Play:
Two Must-Read Novels of the Fantastic


"The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon...
and David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas"

Two of the Most Entertaining SF Novels from the 1980s

"Vacuum Flowers" by Michael Swanwick...
and Tim Power's "The Anubis Gates", of course!

"The Body Snatchers" and Other Alien Pods

Fiction by Jack Finney, Vance, Simak and Bloch
mind impostors and emotion imitators

Exploring the Noir and the Grotesque

Jack O'Connell "The Resurrectionist"
and other newest examples of the bizarre

Overpopulation, Sex and Sensibility

Robert Silverberg's "The World Inside"
and other classic sf blasts

H. P. Lovecraft "At the Mountains of Madness"

and other masterpieces of terror
including original illustrations

"Constellations", edited by Peter Crowther

original anthology, 2005
full review: mind-bending stories

The Ultimate Guide to New Writers of SF&F

more than 2,000 writers, 1990-2009
Ratings, awards, web links

The Surreal Office

"The Situation", "The Cookie Monster"
Weird fiction by Jeff VanderMeer and Vernor Vinge

Mind-shattering Novels of Philip K. Dick

"UBIK", "Now Wait for Last Year", etc.

Theodore Sturgeon's "More Than Human"

There’s a problem with this new gestalt being:
...it needs a conscience.

Jack Williamson's "Legion of Space" Series

Classic Space Opera
The ultimate weapon, controlled by a gorgeous woman

Astounding Stories, August 1934

Jack Williamson, Nat Schachner, "Doc" Smith
Epic space opera gems and horror surprises

Rare Pulp SF&F, Issue 3

Leigh Brackett, Fritz Leiber, Vic Phillips
Rediscovered gems of wonder & adventure

William Gibson's Novels

"Pattern Recognition", "Neuromancer"
A Fractured Delight...

Alfred Bester "The Computer Connection"

"Bester was the mountain, all the rest of us..."
Pyrokinetic writing in one neat package

Two Novels by Samuel R. Delany

"Nova" and "Babel-17"
New Wave Milestones, and then some.

Theodore Sturgeon's "The Cosmic Rape"

(and more reviews of his fiction)
Classic SF at its best and most humane

Travel Distant Worlds!

Vintage Space Travel Posters, and more.
Part 3 of Pulp Sf art series...

Alastair Reynolds' Epic Novels

"Chasm City" and "Revelation Space"
And it's only the beginning...

Rare Fantasy Gems by C. L. Moore and Henry Kuttner

Hidden Gems of Pulp Fiction
When two star writers become husband and wife

Grand Old Times... in the Future

Overview of Pulp Art
A Loudly Lurid Universe of Sci-Fi Illustration

Exclusive: Interview with Nancy Kress

From High Fantasy to Hard Science Fiction
A Spectrum of Wonder

Jack Vance

"To Live Forever"
and other Vance extravaganzas

Alastair Reynolds

"Pushing Ice"
Cosmological "noir" chase across space

Charles Stross

"Missile Gap"
Mind-bending Cold War world-building

Hidden Gems of Pulp SF, Part 2

Rare stories from the "Age of Wonder"
incl. David Keller, Horace Gold etc.

Ultra-Rare Serials from "Fantasy Magazine"

"Cosmos" + "Challenge From Beyond"
incredible line-up of writers

Hidden Gems of Pulp SF, Part 1

Neat & Rare Stories
incl. the mad rally story "The Racer"

Astounding Stories, June 1935

Full Issue Review
incl. Gallun, Schachner, Campbell

Astounding Stories, May 1941

Full Issue Review
incl. Heinlein, Asimov, Eric Frank Russell

Horace Gold; P. Schuyler Miller

"Apocalyptic Blockbusters"
"Inflexure" and "Spawn": guilty pleasure

Exclusive:
Interview with John C. Wright


Plus his advice to new writers
Adventures in Space & Magic

Frank Belknap Long

"The Horror from the Hills"
Great Lovecraftian Weird Novella

Exclusive:
Interview with Jeff VanderMeer


Plus his Recommended Reading List
A Triumph of the Bizarre

Alastair Reynolds, Part 2

More "Galactic North" Stories
A Mixture of Hard Sf, James Bond & Jaws...

Alastair Reynolds Review

"Galactic North"
staring down infinity...

Most Shocking Article

"Holey Fools" by M. Christian
Warning: Gross Subject Matter

Alfred Bester Review

"The Stars My Destination"
"...nail it to the Retro Hugo voting board..."

Larry Niven Review

"Neutron Star"
"better get GP alien ship hull"

Poul Anderson Review

"Ensign Flandry"
"or how to start a sub-genre..."

Thomas M. Disch Review

"The Squirrel Cage"
"...seriously mind-bending stuff..."

Henry Kuttner Review

"Mimsy Were the Borogoves" (The Last Mimzy)
"...great storyline for a pretty average movie..."

Robert A. Heinlein Review

"The Moon is the Harsh Mistress"
"...it caused a tooth ache, and put my brain on freeze..."

Frank Herbert Review

"Destination: Void"
"...a layered cake of ideas and a scientific extrapolation on a genius level..."

Harlan Ellison Review

"The Abnormals"
"...editors slapped the most outrageous titles on his stories..."

James White Review

"All Judgement Fled"
"...the tension is palpable, soon to grow almost unbearable..."

Grand Adventure Strikes Again

Space Opera Article, by Avi Abrams
Based on Arthur Clarke's "Against the Fall of Night"

William Gibson Review

"Burning Chrome"
"...sheer pyrotechnics and exuberance of style..."

Ace Double: Murray Leinster

"The Pirates of Ersatz /The Mutant Weapon"
"...the characters might as well be cats or hamsters..."

Astounding Stories, May 1935

Pulp SF Magazine Review
with many original illustrations

Also read recent posts:
Author's Pen Names - Most Complete List Ever
The Wonder Timeline: SF&F Restrospective
Space Adventure Article


SEE OUR MAIN PAGE FOR MORE!


EXPLANATION OF THE RATING SYSTEM:

"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!

Most reviews are written by Avi Abrams, unless otherwise noted. Reviews also appear on our unique historical retrospective page Wonder Timeline of Science Fiction. Feel free to submit your own review, if a particular story is not listed here.


All major OFFICIAL AWARDS are highlighted in BLUE
("winner" has a letter "W" by it, otherwise it is a runner-up only)

Our PERSONAL AWARDS (ratings) are highlighted in RED and PURPLE:
--/ first place :
--/ second place :
--/ third place :

--/ fourth place :

--/ cool : (equal to fifth place)
ALL "BEST OF" LISTS ARE LOCATED HERE

These awards are given in the following categories:
- novel :
- series :
- novella :
- story :
- collection :

Also, there are our personal STYLE / GENRE SPECIFIC AWARDS. These reflect the story's content and the lasting impression on the reader:

--/ wonder award
sense-of-wonder, "visual intensity" and inventiveness

--/ idea award
originality of idea / concept

--/ adventure award
exhilarating plot, excitement / action

--/ style award
outstanding literary qualities, inimitable style

--/ romance award
intense and beautiful love / relationships

--/ humour award
funny and cool

--/ emotion award
touching, lasting impression, sensitivity

--/ shock value
altogether wild

--/ awesome scale
mind-boggling; further enhances sense-of-wonder

--/ rare find
very hard to locate, mostly from old pulps, never reprinted, etc.

Again, please feel free to leave your own review or comment under every writer's entry; also recommend us other stories you liked.