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Fantastic Adventures, November 1941





"FANTASTIC ADVENTURES", November 1941

Typical issue of this pulp magazine, sort of poor-man's clone of the "Uknown Worlds" pulp - entertaining, light-hearted assortment of P.G.Wodehouse-styled tales.

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

Edgar Rice Burroughs
"The Living Dead"

(Carson of Venus series)
© Fantastic Adventures, Nov 1941
Escape on Venus, 1946
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

This story is part of the last Burroughs series: "Carson Napier on Venus". Reminded me of Alan Burt Akers "Scorpio" series, with the strange flying machines, fantasy-like aliens and clockwork primitive plot. Of course, Akers (pen name of Kenneth Bulmer) imitated Burroughs, but... Akers did it more engagingly, me thinks. Here, formulaic adventure is not as exotic and lush, as one might expect from Burroughs - however, it does contain one the future staples of space opera: putting our heroes on display (hanging from a hook) in an alien museum, and their subsequent inevitable escape.

It seems the movie is in the works based on "Pirates of Venus" series. Should be a colorful CG experience. By the way, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a term "Sword and Planet" used to describe the whole subgenre in science fiction. Very convenient; I am going to use it now on a ton of pulp and paperback fiction reviews (Robert Moore Williams, Lin Carter, Akers, etc.)



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

Nat Schachner
"Eight Came Back"

© Fantastic Adventures, Nov 1941
--/ cool time sf story
--/ rare find

Eight historic personalities come back to save the world... This was written in 1941, when America was soon to plunge into WW2 (this pulp issue is full of curious ads like "Do you know why German submarines can get so close to the American shores? - find out in this popular science text"), so such stories are a dime a dozen in the pulps - and I expected better from Schachner. He can routinely infuse a good dose of wonder into his (even run-of-the-mill) stories, but here he decided to stick to a boring formula. The giants of thought and famous generals are talking up a storm, each pushing an ego-maniacal or ideological agenda, but it all gets tiring very quickly. The idea somewhat resembles Philip Jose Farmer's "Riverworld" and Kelvin Kent Time Travel series (by Henry Kuttner and Arthur K. Barnes).

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

William P. McGivern
"Al Addin and the Infra-Red Lamp"

© Fantastic Adventures, Nov 1941
--/ cool f story

An inept and fumbling Genie brings his master only headaches and problems, instead of cold hard cash. The storyline is more than familiar: from ancient Arabic tales to Disney, and even famous Russian story for children "Old Man Khottabych" - and many, many stories in the fantastic pulps. Tells you that there are countless ways to screw up your "three wishes", and like in a bad dream, you never get ahead with Genie setup.

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Don Wilcox
"The Man from the Future"

© Fantastic Adventures, Nov 1941

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

David Wright O'Brien
(as Duncan Farnsworth)
"The Genius of Mr. Pry"

© Fantastic Adventures, Nov 1941
--/ cool f story

Breezy pulp-style "mafia vs. future prediction gone wrong" tale. Neat mafiosi characters, speaking funny. Not bad, entertaining fare.

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

Dwight V. Swain
"Henry Horn's Super-Solvent"

(Henry Horn series)
© Fantastic Adventures, Nov 1941
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ awesome scale
--/ rare find

Surprise! Dwight V. Swain's output in the 1950's pulps mostly left me unimpressed, but here he tackles good old "mad scientist unleashes a doom upon the world" story with great enjoyment. Sometimes there is a place and a craving for the classic fare, and this Wells / Gernsbeck-styled offering hits all the sweet spots. A universal solvent is unleashed this time, pretty impossible to contain, catch or eradicate. It dissolves, perfectly, everything in its path, and even when it hits the Rocky mountains, it does not stop there. Great visuals, and unexpectedly smooth entertainment from this writer.

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

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