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

Writers: 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
reviews of books and stories by author names and pen names

SF&F Timeline! 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000-Now
retrospective look at sf&f year-by-year
Best SF&F Lists! Recommended Reading
by genre, topic and length category
The Ultimate Guide to New SF&F Writers (from 1990 till now)


->

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

Year

Best!
















































->

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

Year

Best!

Planet Stories, Summer 1946





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

Leigh Brackett
& Ray Bradbury
"Lorelei of the Red Mist"
© Planet Stories, Sum 1946
--/ third place space sf novella
--/ adventure award
--/ wonder award
--/ style award
--/ emotion award


Undiluted, guilty pleasure of the vintage pulp adventure... full of dark (somber and even macabre) tones, bathed in rays of soaring, brittle light - a heady brew, an experience not unlike a pint of complex English stout (paired with an aged cheese), enjoyed on the stepstones of a looming cathedral, not far away from an ancient cemetery, watching the purple haze and glorious golden-lined clouds of a dying sunset. The plot is not that important; the intensity of the narrative is. One of the most "sword-and-sorcerish" tales of Brackett develops into an underwater ghost story, complete with weird ocean-tree gardens and hallucinogenic seascapes. Half-way through the story Ray Bradbury takes the reins and steers this incredible novella to even loftier poetic and heroic heights.
review: 28-Jul-06 (read in 1999)



One of the very few times this novella has been reprinted: in this anthology, by great Leo Margulies (I like the cover...) -



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



Ray Bradbury
"The Million Year Picnic"
(The Martian Chronicles)
©  Planet Stories, Sum 1946
The Martian Chronicles, 1950
--/ cool sf story

A rocket lands on Mars. It carries a husband and wife and three boys. Dad has a mysterious smile on his face, and his sons try to understand what is happening. Suddenly, they hear an explosion, and their rocket self-destructs. Dad explains that he has brought them away from Earth to start a new life on Mars. Dad lets his boys pick out a city to live in, and he burns a number of papers he brought from Earth, even a map of Earth. He then takes his boys to see some "Martians" - he has them look into the canal at their own reflections. A perfect pioneer tale.
review: 28-Jul-06 (read in 1983)

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

George Whittington
"Space-lane Of No-return"

© Planet Stories, Sum 1946
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


I had not heard of George Whittington before, and it is not a pen-name, although it easily could've been... of some cool space adventure master like Leinster - it is a hidden gem. A gritty tale of survival against space piracy, this one is as exciting as they come. Well, it could be better, but the story hits home run here and is very adequate for a reader, say, bored in a "Starbucks". Continuing the analogy, this rabid tale of the Asteroid Patrol will blast the reader out of the coffee-shop velvet chair into a vacuum-cold crazy space warfare, giving him little chance to finish his espresso. A minor classic.
review: 28-Jul-06 (read in 2002)

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

Ross Rocklynne
"Captives of the Weir-Wind"

© Planet Stories, Sum 1946
--/ cool sf novella
--/ rare find

A very rare novella, good excitement, awesome illustrations (will scan some in, when I have time). Planetary adventure with a love triangle, damsel in distress, space wrecks, etc. However, this is not a healthy example of such sub-genre. Something is missing, and it's called "wonder". Rocklynne is a dependable writer, but this one he wrote for the money.
review: 28-Jul-06 (read in 2002)

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

Bryce Walton
"Prisoner of the Brain-Mistress"

© Planet Stories, Sum 1946
--/ cool sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


Oh my gosh, did you notice the titles in this pulp issue?? An epitome of cheese for some, and a quintessence of pulp "delirium" for others, it masks quite a wide range of quality. Bryce Walton whipped out his double-shooter and (grinning widely, with carefully measured cynicism) unloaded on a reader a barrage of cliche ideas, simple-minded adventures, heroes "par excellence" and dames "magnifique", shooting up an army of crazed robots along the way. It's useless to debate his ultimate intent in writing this story. Sell it. Get money. Load the double-shooter again.
review: 28-Jul-06 (read in 2002)

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


Vaseleos Garson
"The Shadow-Gods"
© Planet Stories, Sum 1946

Undecipherable "something" about the end of the world and aliens. An obvious filler.
review: 28-Jul-06 (read in 2002)

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

Carlton Smith
"The Pumpkin Eater"
© Planet Stories, Sum 1946

Run-of-the-mill "criminal on a spaceship" tale. A filler.
review: 28-Jul-06 (read in 2002)

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

Overall an amazing issue, testament to an era, mixing up some utterly cheesy stories with the very good ones, even containg a Bradbury classic from "The Martian Chronicles".

Labels:


Click to go to "Dark Roasted Blend" site

COMMENTS:

1 Comments:

Blogger Blue Tyson said...

With 'Lorelei', a nice one to have.

Cool. :)

2:53 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

LATEST POSTS:

Collecting Pulp Magazines

Ephemera Interview with Avi Abrams

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

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.