FROM THE VIBRATING ETHER
Dear Lovely Luna –
How ‘bout this? I’m writing my own mag a letter! The idea behind it is that SOME people might not be aware of the importance letter columns had on fandom back in the pulp days. And others, like me, might have forgotten some details. I dug around some and, with a lot of help from Ted White and rich brown, came up with this:
In the 1940s, lettercolumns in pulp magazines – primarily Planet Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Startling Stories and CAPTAIN FUTURE – were the focus of sf fandom. Because of the war, there was a paper shortage which greatly reduced the number of fanzines available.
PLANET STORIES – The Vizigraph
As many remember, Sarge Saturn ruled in TWS and SS, and was in Captain Future as well. He edited The Ether Vibrates, (in SS) which suggested our lettercol name. (I know, I know; then why is our name Planetary Stories? Good question. Someday, I might have an answer.)
The following taken from Timebinders. Began, I think, about August 5, 2005. Summed up in this letter from Ted White, August 8, 2005:
TWS also had a fanzine review column called "The Frying Pan." I broke down and went upstairs to my collection to research all this. First, Sarge Saturn appeared from the beginning of 1941 and lasted through the end of 1946, and a short bit into 1947 (going by the dates on the magazines). Specifically, he makes his first appearance (in my collection) in CAPTAIN FUTURE #5, dated "Winter 1941" -- but just to give you a better idea of how those magazines were dated, Winter 1941 is *followed* by Spring 1941. That is, it is the first issue dated 1941. (I have the previous four issues of CAPT FUTURE; Sarge Saturn is not in them.) My TWSs and STARTLINGs are spottier in that era, and the first TWS I have with Sarge in it is dated November, 1941 -- but I lack all earlier issues dated 1941. (Interestingly, there's a letter in that November, 1941 issue by "D. W. Boggs" of Minneapolis, whom I sure we all recognize as Redd Boggs.) I assume that Sarge appeared simultaneously in all three magazines around the beginning of 1941. The Sarge was in the February, 1947 issue of TWS. He was *not* in the March, 1947 issue of STARTLING. I assume his last appearance was in issues dated February, 1947.
So there you have it!
Thanx for the complement (AND the info.)
The next isn't a fan letter -- it's a very welcome offer of assistance. You've seen what he can do -- it's this issue's cover!
I saw your note about starting up this modern pulp, and thought I'd offer my services. I enclose some examples of my art, mostly from superhero apazines or RPGs. At present I don't have a lot of other stuff on my comptuer, but if you would like to see otehr examples, I will send some.
Now, a letter from a fan who knows what he's talking about. (He likes us; that proves he knows what he's talking about!):
Wow! I really don't think I could express it more clearly than that. I've just finished reading the first issue of Planetary Stories and am very impressed. You've managed (in this youngster's opinion) to recapture the spirit of the Golden Age pulps, bringing back the sensawunda that so much modern SF lacks.
I enjoyed every story, each one more than the last. (Almost literally - with the exception of having prefered "Moult Revolt" to "Neutron McGuirk," the stories are in increasing order of how much I enjoyed them.)
Jason K. Burnett
Here's a brief one that just came in, from one of our favorite people:
Pulled your latest up and gave it a brief glance. Loved the cover! I am really looking forward to reading it all, because I greatly enjoyed your first issue.
D Gary Grady