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1936 - Year in SF&F: July



THE WONDER TIMELINE: SF&F RETROSPECTIVE
1936 - July

Read other issues here

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Edmond Hamilton
"Horror on the Asteroid
& Other Tales of Planetary Horror" (coll)

© London: Allen, 1936
--/ fourth place sf collection
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

A collection true to the spirit of "the romance of the spaceways", a wonderful piece of Hamilton entertainment. The title novella is as hard-boiled adventure as they come, and the rest just sings up a "hymn to wonder" in a joyous choir of space-happy pulp stories. They should keep this in print, for the sheer intensity and color of the material contained here. I would've bought this book in 1936 and I'd buy it now if I saw it.
review: 13-Jul-06 (read in 2005)

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C. L. Moore
"Lost Paradise"
(Northwest Smith)
© Weird Tales, Jul 1936
Northwest Of Earth, 1954
--/ cool sf story

Space adventurer Northwest Smith learns about the downfall of a mighty alien race; there is certain bittersweet mood to the story, just like to all Moore's space stories - almost like a heavy-layered chocolate cake with rum and cognac flowing over the crumbling black filling, with orchid flowers sleepily bending over the ornate plate, mixing their heady smell with the soaring aroma of the vanilla topping and caramel lace. So here you have it.
review: 13-Jul-06 (read in 2004)

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A. MacFadyen, Jr.
"The Time Decelerator"
© Astounding, Jul 1936
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

It's a pleasant enough pulp story. Ultimately forgettable, but when eating it first time, it tastes not bad and quite chewable.
review: 10-Jul-06 (read in 2002)

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Two offerings from the "wild and wooly" realm of the weird menace pulps for July:



Paul Chadwick
"Mistress Of Snarling Death"
 © Ace Mystery, July 1936

Paul Chadwick writes wonderful science fiction stories, but in his non-sf adventures he is too predictable. Here is the PulpGen blurb: "Paul Chadwick's stories could be plenty weird, but this is his only known tale in a weird menace pulp. His motley collection of characters and surprising plot twists don't disappoint in this entertaining effort." The atmosphere of the story is similar to "The Hound of Baskervilles"
review: 10-Jul-06 (read in 2002)

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Richard Tooker
"Zenith Rand: Planet Vigilante"
(Zenith Rand series)
© Mystery Adventure Stories, Jul 1936
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


Zenith Rand was one of the first space adventure super-heroes, but he starred in an average quality series. Mostly appearing in saucy & spicy pulps, the adventures consisted of very straight-forward "damsel-in-distress" scenarios. But wait, there is more... some inspired, imaginative episodes: starring a lusty race of satyr women, carnivorous plant growths, part-griffin part-dragon creatures, trees made of rock, sandstorms, desert planet bases, etc. It's certainly not Edgar R. Burroughs already, and not a "Thrilling Wonder Stories" adventure yet.
review: 10-Jul-06 (read in 1988)

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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
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--/ 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.