Shasta Publishers was a science fiction and fantasy small press specialty publishing house founded in 1947 by Erle Melvin Korshak, T. E. Dikty, Mark Reinsberg, who were all science fiction fans from the Chicago area; the name of the press was suggested by Reinsberg in remembrance of a summer job that he and Korshak had held at Mount Shasta. As science fiction fans and book collectors, Mel Korshak, Mark Reinsberg, Ted Dikty, Fred Shroyer recognized the need for a comprehensive list of science fiction and fantasy published up to that time. In 1940 they made plans to compile such a list and began writing letters to the readers' letter columns in the science fiction and fantasy pulp magazines, asking for help with the project; these materials were put into storage when Dikty was drafted for service in World War II. After the war, the file and manuscript were unable to be located, the work would have to begin again from scratch. Korshak and Dikty began a book selling business in 1946, while still eager to publish the earlier attempted list.
Korshak soon after met Everett F. Bleiler through a newspaper ad offering books for sale. Bleiler expressed interest in their project, he took it over. Planning to publish reference books on science fiction and fantasy, the new specialty press instead went on to publish fiction by John W. Campbell, Jr. L. Ron Hubbard, Robert A. Heinlein, A. E. van Vogt, others. However, they were not successful and ceased publishing in 1957, having produced 19 volumes under the Shasta imprint. According to Robert Weinberg, "Using an involved, multicolor printing process, Shasta featured some of the finest color jackets done in the small press field; some of these were the jackets for The Wheels of If by L. Sprague de Camp, Slaves of Sleep by L. Ron Hubbard and Kinsmen of the Dragon by Stanley Mullen, with the art for all three by Hannes Bok; the Checklist of Fantastic Literature, by Everett F. Bleiler Who Goes There?, by John W. Campbell, Jr. Slaves of Sleep, by L. Ron Hubbard The Wheels of If, by L. Sprague de Camp The World Below, by S. Fowler Wright The Man Who Sold the Moon, by Robert A. Heinlein Sidewise in Time, by Murray Leinster Kinsmen of the Dragon, by Stanley Mullen Space on My Hands, by Fredric Brown The Green Hills of Earth, by Robert A. Heinlein Cloak of Aesir, by John W. Campbell, Jr.
This Island Earth, by Raymond F. Jones Murder in Millennium VI, by Curme Gray The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester Space Platform, by Murray Leinster Revolt in 2100, by Robert A. Heinlein Science Fiction Carnival, edited by Fredric Brown and Mack Reynolds Space Tug, by Murray Leinster Empire of the Atom, by A. E. van Vogt Chalker, Jack L.. The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998. Westminster, MD and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd. pp. 588–597. Clute, John; the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. P. 1093. ISBN 0-312-13486-X. Eshbach, Lloyd Arthur. Over My Shoulder: Reflections on a Science Fiction Era. Philadelphia: Oswald Train. Pp. 225–249. OCLC 10489084
Anthony Boucher was an American author and editor, who wrote several classic mystery novels, short stories, science fiction, radio dramas. Between 1942 and 1947 he acted as reviewer of mystery fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle. In addition to "Anthony Boucher", White employed the pseudonym "H. H. Holmes", the pseudonym of a late-19th-century American serial killer. In a 1981 poll of 17 detective story writers and reviewers, his novel Nine Times Nine was voted as the ninth best locked room mystery of all time. White was born in Oakland and went to college at the University of Southern California, he received a master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. After a friend told him that "William White" was too common a name, he used "H. H. Holmes" to write and review mysteries and "Anthony Boucher" for science fiction, he pronounced Boucher phonetically, "to rhyme with voucher". Boucher wrote mystery, science fiction, horror, he was an editor, including science fiction anthologies, wrote mystery reviews for many years in The New York Times.
He was one of the first English translators of Jorge Luis Borges, translating "The Garden of Forking Paths" for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. He helped found the Mystery Writers of America in 1946 and, in the same year, was one of the first winners of the MWA's Edgar Award for his mystery reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle, he was a founding editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction from 1949 to 1958, attempted to make literary quality an important aspect of science fiction. He won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Magazine in 1957 and 1958. Boucher edited the long-running Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction anthology series, from 1952 to 1959. Among Boucher's critical writing was contributing annual summaries of the state of speculative fiction for Judith Merril's The Year's Best SF series. Boucher wrote short stories for many fiction magazines in America, including Adventure, Black Mask, Ed McBain's Mystery Book, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Galaxy Science Fiction, The Master Detective, Unknown Worlds and Weird Tales.
His short story "The Quest for Saint Aquin" was among the stories selected in 1970 by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the best science fiction short stories of all time. As such, it was published in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964. Boucher was the mentor of science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick and others, his 1942 novel Rocket to the Morgue, in addition to being a classic locked room mystery, is something of a roman à clef about the Southern California science fiction culture of the time, featuring thinly veiled versions of personalities such as Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard and rocket scientist/occultist/fan Jack Parsons. Boucher scripted for radio and was involved in many other activities, as described by William F. Nolan in his essay "Who Was Anthony Boucher?": The 1940s proved to be a busy and productive decade for Boucher. In 1945 he launched into a spectacular three-year radio career, plotting more than 100 episodes for The Adventures of Ellery Queen, while providing plots for the bulk of the Sherlock Holmes radio dramas.
By the summer of 1946 he had created his own mystery series for the airwaves, The Casebook of Gregory Hood. With respect to his scripting of the Sherlock Holmes radio dramas, Nigel Bruce, who played Dr. Watson, said that Boucher "had a sound knowledge of Conan Doyle and a great affection for the two characters of Holmes and Watson." Boucher left dramatic radio in 1948, "mainly because I was putting in a lot of hours working with J. Francis McComas in creating what soon became The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. We got it off the ground in 1949 and saw it take hold solidly by 1950; this was a major creative challenge and although I was involved in a lot of other projects, I stayed with F&SF into 1958." Throughout his years with the magazine, Boucher was involved in many other projects. He wrote fiction for mystery markets, he taught an informal writing class from his home in Berkeley. He continued his Sunday mystery columns for the New York Times Book Review, while writing crime-fiction reviews for The New York Herald Tribune as Holmes and functioning as chief critic for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
He edited True Crime Detective, supervised the Mercury Mystery Line and the Dell Great Mystery Library. As part of his reviews of mystery novels, he published a list of Best Crime Fiction of the Year from 1949 to 1967, listing from 12 to 15 titles each year, he published his list as Anthony Boucher. Boucher was a devoted poker player, a political activist, a rabid sport fan, an active Sherlockian in The Baker Street Irregulars and a spirited chef. In the years 1964-65 Boucher worked as a story consultant for the Kraft Suspense Theatre. Boucher died of lung cancer on April 29, 1968, at the Kaiser Foundation Hosp
The Number of the Beast (novel)
The Number of the Beast is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1980; the first edition featured a interior illustrations by Richard M. Powers. Excerpts from the novel were serialized in the magazine Omni; the book is a series of diary entries by each of the four main characters: Zebadiah John Carter, programmer Dejah Thoris "Deety" Burroughs Carter, her mathematics professor father Jacob Burroughs, an off-campus socialite Hilda Corners. The names "Dejah Thoris", "Burroughs", "Carter" are overt references to John Carter and Dejah Thoris, the protagonists of the Barsoom novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs; the four travel in Zebadiah's modified air car Gay Deceiver, equipped with the professor's "continua" device and armed by the Australian Defence Force. The continua device was built by Professor Burroughs while he was formulating his theories on n-dimensional non-euclidean geometry; the geometry of the novel's universe contains six dimensions. The continua device can travel on all six axes.
The continua device allows travel into various fictional universes, such as the Land of Oz, as well as through time. An attempt to visit Barsoom takes them to an different version of Mars under the colonial rule of the British and Russian empires. E. R. B.'s universe is no harder to reach than Mars is in its usual orbit. But that does not mean that you will find Jolly Green Giants and gorgeous red princesses dressed only in jewels. Unless invited, you are to find a Potemkin Village illusion tailored to your subconscious.... In the novel, the biblical number of the beast turns out to be not 666 but 6 or 10,314,424,798,490,535,546,171,949,056, the initial number of parallel universes accessible through the continua device, it is theorized by the character Jacob that the number may be the accessible universes from a given location, that there is a larger structure that implies an infinite number of universes. The novel lies somewhere between parody and homage in its deliberate use of the style of the 1930s' pulp novels.
Many of the plot lines and characters are derived directly from the pulps, as referenced by the first line of the novel: He's a Mad Scientist and I'm his Beautiful Daughter. The Number of the Beast contains many references to the author; the name of every villain is an anagram of a pen name of Robert or Virginia Heinlein. As in many of his works, Heinlein refers to the idea of solipsism, but in this book develops it into an idea he called "World as Myth" — the idea that universes are created by the act of imagining them, so that all fictional worlds are in fact real and all real worlds are figments of fictional figures' fancy, why Heinlein uses the Ouroboros symbology in works like The Cat Who Walks Through Walls; this plays into the ideology of "Thou Art God" from Heinlein's earlier work Stranger in a Strange Land. Jack Kirwan wrote in the National Review that the novel is "about two men and two women in a time machine safari through this and other universes, but describing The Number of the Beast thus is like saying Moby Dick is about a one-legged guy trying to catch a fish".
He goes on to say that Heinlein celebrates the "competent person". Sue K. Hurwitz said in her review for the School Library Journal that it is "a catalog of Heinlein's sins as an author. It's garbage, but right from the top of the heap". Heinlein buff David Potter explained on alt.fan.heinlein, in a posting reprinted on the Heinlein Society, that the entire book is "one of the greatest textbooks on narrative fiction produced, with a magnificent set of examples of HOW NOT TO DO IT right there in the foreground, constant explanations of how to do it right, with literary references to people and books that DID do it right, in the background." He noted that "every single time there's a boring lecture or tedious character interaction going on in the foreground, there's an example of how to do it RIGHT in the background." On 1 February 2019, it was announced that a novel entitled'Six Six Six' would be published from an unpublished Heinlein manuscript. The text of 185,000 words mirrors the Number of the Beast for the first third but deviates from this.
The Number of the Beast title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database The Number of the Beast on Open Library at the Internet Archive
J. Francis McComas
Jesse Francis McComas was an American science fiction editor. McComas wrote several stories on his own in the 1950s using both his own name and the pseudonym Webb Marlowe, he entered publishing in 1941 as a salesman and editorial representative, spending two years in New York with Random House. He returned to California in 1944, working as the Pacific Coast editorial representative for Henry Holt and Company. For Simon & Schuster he became their Northern California sales manager and general editorial representative. McComas was the co-editor, with Raymond J. Healy of one of the first major American anthologies of science fiction, Adventures in Time and Space. Within a few years, he was the co-founding editor, with Anthony Boucher, of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, he edited the magazine from its inception in 1949 as The Magazine of Fantasy. In the fall of 1954 he left the magazine as an active editor but continued in the role of advisory editor until 1962. During the 1950s, McComas reviewed science fiction for The New York Times.
He left to the San Francisco Public Library his collection of 3,000 volumes of fiction and 92 science fiction magazines dating from the 1920s. Works by J. Francis McComas at Project Gutenberg Works by or about J. Francis McComas at Internet Archive J. Francis McComas at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database McComas Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction at San Francisco Public Library J. Francis McComas at Library of Congress Authorities, with 6 catalog records
Future History (Heinlein)
The Future History, by Robert A. Heinlein, describes a projected future of the human race from the middle of the 20th century through the early 23rd century; the term Future History was coined by John W. Campbell, Jr. in the February 1941 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Campbell published an early draft of Heinlein's chart of the series in the March 1941 issue. Heinlein wrote most of the Future History stories early in his career, between 1939 and 1941 and between 1945 and 1950. Most of the Future History stories written prior to 1967 are collected in The Past Through Tomorrow, which contains the final version of the chart; that collection does not include Common Sense. Groff Conklin called Future History "the greatest of all histories of tomorrow", it was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series in 1966, along with the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Lensman series by E. E. Smith, the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien, but lost to Asimov's Foundation series.
For the most part, The Past Through Tomorrow defines a core group of stories that are within the Future History series. However, Heinlein scholars agree that some stories not included in the anthology belong to the Future History series, that some that are included are only weakly linked to it. James Gifford adds Time Enough for Love, published after The Past Through Tomorrow, "Let There Be Light", not included in The Past Through Tomorrow because the collection editor disliked it or because Heinlein himself considered it to be inferior. However, he considers Time Enough for Love to be a borderline case, he considers The Number of the Beast, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, To Sail Beyond the Sunset to be too weakly linked to the Future History to be included. Bill Patterson includes To Sail Beyond the Sunset, on the theory that the discrepancies between it and the rest of the Future History are explained by assigning it to the same "bundle of related timelines" in the World as Myth multiverse.
However, he lists a number of stories that he believes were never intended to be part of Future History though they were included in The Past Through Tomorrow: "Life-Line", "The Menace from Earth", "—We Also Walk Dogs", the stories published in the Saturday Evening Post. He agrees with Gifford; the story "—And He Built a Crooked House—" was included only in the pre-war chart and never since. The Heinlein juveniles do not hew to the Future History outline. Gifford states that "Although the twelve juvenile novels are not inconsistent with the Future History, neither do they form a thorough match with that series for adult readers, it is not recognized that they are a reasonably consistent'Future History' of their own... At least one major story specified in the Future History chart, the revolution on Venus, ended up being told in the framework of the juveniles as Between Planets." The novel Variable Star, written by Spider Robinson from Heinlein's detailed outline, incorporates some elements of both the Future History and the universe of the Heinlein juveniles.
The adult short story "The Long Watch", included in Future History story collections, connects to Space Cadet through the character of Ezra Dahlquist, the central character of the first, memorialized in the second. The following is a chronology of the Future History. Years are included to indicate. Stories that were planned but never written are noted. "Life-Line" "Let There Be Light" Word Edgewise"The Roads Must Roll" "Blowups Happen" "The Man Who Sold the Moon" "Delilah and the Space Rigger" "Space Jockey" "Requiem" "The Long Watch" "Gentlemen, Be Seated!" "The Black Pits of Luna" "It's Great to Be Back!" "—We Also Walk Dogs" "Searchlight" "Ordeal in Space" "The Green Hills of Earth"Fire Down Below"Logic of Empire" "The Menace from Earth"The Sound of His Wings Eclipse The Stone Pillow"If This Goes On—" "Coventry" "Misfit" "Universe" Methuselah's Children "Universe" Time Enough for Love To Sail Beyond the Sunset The chart published in the collection Revolt in 2100 includes several unwritten stories, which Heinlein describes in a postscript.
"Fire Down Below," about a revolution in Antarctica, would have been set in the early 21st century. Three more unwritten stories fill in the history from just before "Logic of Empire" in the early 21st century through the beginning of "If This Goes On—". "The Sound of His Wings" covers Nehemiah Scudder's early life as a television evangelist through his rise to power as the First Prophet. "Eclipse" describes independence movements on Venus. "The Stone Pillow" details the rise of the resistance movement from the early days of the theocracy through the beginning of "If This Goes On—". These stories were key points in the Future History, so Heinlein gave a rough description of Nehemiah Scudder
The Roads Must Roll
"The Roads Must Roll" is a 1940 science fiction short story by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, it was selected for The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964 anthology in 1970. The story is set in the near future, when "roadtowns" have replaced highways and railways as the dominant transportation method in the United States. Heinlein's themes are social cohesion; the fictional social movement he calls functionalism, advances the idea that one's status and level of material reward in a society must and should depend on the functions one performs for that society. In the first section of the narrative, the protagonist Larry Gaines is entertaining Mr. Blenkinsop, an Australian, looking into Road technology on behalf of his government. Gaines's explanation of the Road machinery to Blenkinsop is a device to bring the reader into the world of the Roads. Larry Gaines, Chief Engineer of the Diego-Reno roadtown, is dining with a guest from Australia, Mr. Blenkinsop, in a moving restaurant on the road, when one of the moving sidewalk strips unexpectedly stops.
This causes a chain reaction of people falling from the stopped strip onto the fast moving strips next to it, vice versa. The entire length of the Road becomes a scene of carnage. Gaines learns that the stoppage was sabotage and that the technicians who maintain the Stockton section of the road are responsible, they have been persuaded by a radical social theory, that their role in maintaining the nation's transport infrastructure is more important than that of any other workers and that they should therefore be in control. Blenkinsop is left behind at one of Road stations as Gaines takes charge of the advance on the Stockton office; the roads are managed by the Transport Cadets, an elite paramilitary organization formed by the US Military to keep this crucial infrastructure running. The rebels have stopped the strip as a demonstration to encourage their fellow technicians around the country to rebel against the Cadets, start the Functionalist Revolution. Going into the machinery under the roadway that runs it, Gaines takes command of the response.
He doesn't order the Road stopped, since that would leave millions of commuters stranded, but instead has the military evacuate the riders, a time-consuming procedure. In command of a hastily gathered corps of armed cadets, he proceeds up the underground access tunnel toward Stockton, on "tumblebugs," motorized and gyroscopically stabilized unicycles much like the real-life Segway; as the military advance proceeds, they arrest rebel technicians and cross connect the wiring of the machinery, motor by motor, to take control away from the rebels in the Stockton office. Gaines calls the Stockton office and learns that the leader of the rebellion is "Shorty" Van Kleeck, the chief deputy engineer of the Sacramento sector. Over the videophone Shorty threatens to kill millions of people with a button that he has rigged to blow up the Road if Gaines doesn't capitulate. Gaines doesn't understand. Gaines realizes that Deputy Shorty was able to move revolution-prone workers into his sector because, as deputy, Shorty had access to the psychological files on the technicians.
Gaines accesses Shorty's psychological profile and studies the neurotic traits that have made him a demagogue. Asking for a parley, Gaines faces Shorty. There he uses his knowledge of Shorty's psychology to push him into a nervous breakdown, overpowers him, gaining control of the'suicide' button; the Cadets attack the rebellion is ended. Gaines ponders the changes that will have to be made to make sure there is never a recurrence of these events: more psychological testing, more careful oversight, more esprit de corps, he concludes. Damon Knight, in his introduction to the paper-back edition from the New English Library edition of The Past Through Tomorrow, Vol 1. Compares the story to the then-current power of Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters Union, he notes that Heinlein predicted urban sprawl driven by cheap and efficient transport, as well as the development of'pseudopods' of urban development between communities. "The Roads Must Roll" was adapted for the radio shows Dimension X in 1950 and X Minus One in 1956.
Slidewalks Moving walkway Silverberg, Robert, ed. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964, Tom Doherty Associates, ISBN 0-7653-0537-2 "The Roads Must Roll" title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Astounding Science Fiction, June 1940, scan of issue including full text of "The Roads Must Roll" The Roads Must Roll - Radio Play from 1950
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction dealing with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, extraterrestrials in fiction. Science fiction explores the potential consequences of scientific other various innovations, has been called a "literature of ideas." "Science fiction" is difficult to define as it includes a wide range of concepts and themes. James Blish wrote: "Wells used the term to cover what we would today call'hard' science fiction, in which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to known facts was the substrate on which the story was to be built, if the story was to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of them."Isaac Asimov said: "Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology." According to Robert A. Heinlein, "A handy short definition of all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world and present, on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method."Lester del Rey wrote, "Even the devoted aficionado or fan—has a hard time trying to explain what science fiction is," and that the reason for there not being a "full satisfactory definition" is that "there are no delineated limits to science fiction."
Author and editor Damon Knight summed up the difficulty, saying "science fiction is what we point to when we say it." Mark C. Glassy described the definition of science fiction as U. S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart did with the definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it." Science fiction had its beginnings in a time when the line between myth and fact was arguably more blurred than the present day. Written in the 2nd century CE by the satirist Lucian, A True Story contains many themes and tropes that are characteristic of contemporary science fiction, including travel to other worlds, extraterrestrial lifeforms, interplanetary warfare, artificial life; some consider it the first science-fiction novel. Some of the stories from The Arabian Nights, along with the 10th-century The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and Ibn al-Nafis's 13th-century Theologus Autodidactus contain elements of science fiction. Products of the Age of Reason and the development of modern science itself, Johannes Kepler's Somnium, Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, Cyrano de Bergerac's Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon and The States and Empires of the Sun, Margaret Cavendish's "The Blazing World", Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Ludvig Holberg's Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum and Voltaire's Micromégas are regarded as some of the first true science-fantasy works.
Indeed, Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan considered Somnium the first science-fiction story. Following the 18th-century development of the novel as a literary form, Mary Shelley's books Frankenstein and The Last Man helped define the form of the science-fiction novel. Brian Aldiss has argued. Edgar Allan Poe wrote several stories considered science fiction, including "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" which featured a trip to the Moon. Jules Verne was noted for his attention to detail and scientific accuracy Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea which predicted the contemporary nuclear submarine. In 1887, the novel El anacronópete by Spanish author Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau introduced the first time machine. Many critics consider H. G. Wells one of science fiction's most important authors, or "the Shakespeare of science fiction." His notable science-fiction works include The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds. His science fiction imagined alien invasion, biological engineering and time travel.
In his non-fiction futurologist works he predicted the advent of airplanes, military tanks, nuclear weapons, satellite television, space travel, something resembling the World Wide Web. In 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs published A Princess of Mars, the first of his three-decade-long planetary romance series of Barsoom novels, set on Mars and featuring John Carter as the hero. In 1926, Hugo Gernsback published the first American science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in which he wrote: By'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision... Not only do these amazing tales make tremendously interesting reading—they are always instructive, they supply knowledge... in a palatable form... New adventures pictured for us in the scientifiction of today are not at all impossible of realization tomorrow... Many great science stories destined to be of historical interest are still to be written...
Posterity will point to them as having blazed a new trail, not only in literature and fiction, but progress as well. In 1928, E. E. "Doc" Smith's first published work, The Skylark of Space, written in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, appeared in Amazing Stories. It is called the first great space opera; the same year, Philip Francis Nowlan's original Buck Rogers story, Armageddon 2419 appeared in Amazing Stories. This was followed by the first serious science-fiction comic. In 1937, John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding Science Fiction, an event, sometimes conside