Astounding Stories of Super-Science August 1931: VOL. VII, NO. 2 - The Readers' Cornerby@astoundingstories
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Astounding Stories of Super-Science August 1931: VOL. VII, NO. 2 - The Readers' Corner

by Astounding StoriesJuly 17th, 2022
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Too Long; Didn't Read

Dear Editor: This month's issue, May, has the best collection of letters you've ever published. All it lacked was a letter from Bernard J. Kenton, that master of epistles and super-science stories. One of your Readers would like to have "The Readers' Corner" omitted. For heaven's sake, don't take it out! I recognize it as one of the best features of our mag, and whenever I open the covers, turn to it directly after having glimpsed the table of contents and the announcement of the stories to appear in the forthcoming issue.

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Astounding Stories of Super-Science August 1931, by Astounding Stories is part of HackerNoon’s Book Blog Post series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here. VOL. VII, NO. 2: The Readers' Corner

Likes the "Corner"

Dear Editor:

This month's issue, May, has the best collection of letters you've ever published. All it lacked was a letter from Bernard J. Kenton, that master of epistles and super-science stories. One of your Readers would like to have "The Readers' Corner" omitted. For heaven's sake, don't take it out! I recognize it as one of the best features of our mag, and whenever I open the covers, turn to it directly after having glimpsed the table of contents and the announcement of the stories to appear in the forthcoming issue.

Mr. Joseph R. Barnes—whose letter I enjoyed immensely, incidentally—will be interested in knowing that "The Mascot Deep" is already in book form and that "The Disintegration Machine" and "When the World Screamed," all by the same author, are under the same covers. He also will be interested in learning that Ray Cummings' fine story, "Sea Girl," is also between hard covers.

The idea of putting out a quarterly is a dandy. The other science fiction quarterlies are mere text-books; there are, occasionally, of course, a few exceptions. The thought of the sort of fantastic action stories Astounding Stories publishes, put together in a magazine doubly thick, is a pleasing one to contemplate. Reading a story the length of "Brigands of the Moon" and of such literary merit, complete in one issue, is a thrill to be looked forward to. By all means put out such a magazine and have stories by Jack Williamson, R. F. Starzl and Edmond Hamilton, three of your best writers, in the first issue.

I'm glad to see that Starzl is coming back with the next issue. More from him, please. And Hamilton and Williamson should appear more frequently, too.

A question, Mr. Cummings: Shades of Polter and Tugh!—why must you always have a deformed character in your stories? Do they appeal to your dramatic sense?

The news that we're going to have a story from Francis Flagg brings raptures of delight to my homely face. If it's a dimensional story, I'll cheer twice. When it comes to writing that kind of a story, Flagg's the king of them all. For sheer interest and originality, he's got his contemporaries in that field outdistanced with a distance that can only be counted by light-years.

A pat on the back for Booth Cody and Sears Langwell, two staunch supporters.

All our magazine needs is a story about time crusaders, or a planet of mechanical men.

Omitting the authors already mentioned, I considered my favorites to be Rousseau, Eshbach, Diffin, Ernst, and Hal K. Wells.

The best story you ever published? Who am I to answer? Why not put it up to the Readers for popular vote?—Jerome Siegel, 10522 Kimberley Ave., Cleveland, Ohio.

Explanation Wanted

Dear Editor:

This is my first letter to you, but I am a consistent Reader of Astounding Stories, and look forward to all of the coming issues. I have in mind a question, a friendly one, not one that I expect to or hope will seem to be trying to dampen any theories. This rocket-ship propulsion: as I understand it, there is a void between all planets, etc. If this is the case, how then can a rocket-propelled space ship go across this void? Since the exhaust of the rockets must rely on some material of a sort, or rather some sort of resistance to push the ship along, how does it push on nothing? Of course, near Earth it has the ground and then the atmosphere to push from, but out in the void, why not cut off and save fuel, therefore saving an extra heavy load of explosives, if rocket-ships were really practical in space flying? Yours for a thicker Astounding Stories—H. M. Crowson, Jr., Sumter, S. C.

Better Than Love Stories

Dear Editor:

I have started to read the Astounding Stories and enjoy it very much, although I do not find very many girls writing in to the "Corner." This mag is a thousand times better than all those love story magazines, and besides these stories are educational.

I would rather read Astounding Stories than eat. They are not too scientific to be boresome, but they are just good enough to be real interesting.

I wish you would publish some more stories like "The Lake of Light," "Dark Moon," etc. I especially like stories of the future and interplanetary novels.

Anyone wishing to correspond with me will be welcome, as I love to write letters, and especially to anyone interested in the same things that I am.—(Miss) Bernice Goldberg, 147 Crescent Drive, Mason City, Iowa.

Kidding the Editor

Dear Editor:

I have just finished your January, 1932, issue of Astounding Stories. It was superb.

Imagine my delight and surprise when I purchased the first issue this year! Smooth edges! Good quality of paper! I had a few other articles to purchase but I forgot all about them when I saw your magazine and rushed home to read it.

It had a most admirable cover design by your best artist, H. W. Wesso. I turned to the Contents Page. The first story was by my favorite author, Ray Cummings, and called "The Space Car to Mars." Hot dog! My favorite theme, interplanetary travel.

All the rest of the Authors were my favorites too! Edmond Hamilton, Capt. S. P. Meek, S. P. Wright, A. J. Burks and a short story by Jack Williamson.

I turned to the next page and lo and behold, what do I see but an editorial. Wonders after wonders! It was called "The Possibilities of Space Travel." I was by this time beginning to think that at last the Editor had achieved a perfect magazine, and when I turned to the first story, the one by Ray Cummings, I knew it. There was a double-page illustration by Wesso in soft and realistic colors! Think of it! Colored illustrations for each story!

Well, I was so excited that I could hardly read, but at last I began. Boy, can Ray Cummings write interplanetary stories! Y como! (And how!) He wove scientific explanations into the story so very skillfully that one learned the scientific facts without knowing it. When he thought that the explanation of some invention would be boresome, he put a little note at the foot of the page. This, I remembered, was an admirable feature in his story "Brigands of the Moon," which you published two years ago.

I then turned to "The Readers' Corner" only to discover that its name had been changed to "The Observatory." (I expect this name was taken from the suggestion of P. Leadbeater in the March, 1931, issue.) I discovered also, to my delight, that at the end of each letter the Editor made a few comments. I finished reading the Readers' letters and on the next page I found this leadline: "Science Questions and Answers." I read these with enthusiasm.

I forgot to mention the raise in the price to twenty-five cents, but that is immaterial to me now since I have the perfect science fiction magazine. You have surely hitched your wagon (magazine) to a star now!—Clay Ferguson, Jr., 510 Park St. S. W., Roanoke, Va.

Sugar Candy

Dear Editor:

It is very seldom that I write to any page like "The Readers' Corner" but I have gotten rather tired of all those knocks. So I am writing to say that I have missed only one of your issues since the second, (Feb. 1930) and have found only one not to my liking, and I have forgotten what that is.

I have no comment to make on your Authors. I don't care who writes it or what his literary reputation is—as long as the story is good; and you wouldn't print it if it weren't.

As for exact scientific data—away with it. Some may wish to be bored with it, but I prefer action. I like your pictures. They are bizarre and give one an idea of what the Author is trying to convey. And they intrigue the interest before the story is read. I also like the size, because it is not awkward, and I like the edges because they make the pages easy to turn.—Mrs. Margaret M. Phinney, 1632 W. 3rd, Plainfield, N. J.

"Becoming a Habit"

Dear Editor:

The May Astounding Stories seems to have nothing but complimentary letters in it. Mr. Magnuson probably tore out his hair when he saw all those letters. Not that Astounding Stories fully deserves all that praise. As one Reader said, words are inadequate to describe how wonderful your magazine is; however, I do not agree with those who denounce some of the Readers for making criticisms and suggestions. No magazine can be absolutely perfect, although Astounding Stories comes pretty near it. Even if it were perfect, the Readers would have to keep on making criticisms and suggestions in order to keep it that way. Besides, "The Readers' Corner" would become pretty dull and lifeless if you printed nothing but flattering letters. Most of the Readers who make unfavorable criticisms really have the welfare of the magazine in mind, else they wouldn't write at all. All of them aren't grouches. For example: a certain person sent one of the Science Fiction magazines about the most vicious and uncomplimentary letter that magazine had ever received. Yet in this issue of Astounding Stories he jumps on the knockers for daring to say anything against Astounding Stories! So you see that all knockers are not hopeless!

I notice that you have complied with one of my requests, and have published an autobiography of Mr. Wentzler, although there is no picture. Perhaps, as Mr. Wentzler suggests, that is for the best. The readers of Astounding Stories are accustomed to pictures of grotesque and weird-looking inhabitants of other planets, but a picture of Mr. Wentzler may prove to be too much. Or, if you do put it in, you might entitle it "Wesso's Conception of a Martian."

I hope Mr. Wentzler does not take the above paragraph too seriously. Like him, I was hit on the head when I was but a babe. In my case, it was a bronze statue that proved to be my undoing. Unfortunately, they were never able to straighten out the bend in that statue, which was the result of its contact with my dome.

As for the stories in the May issue, they were all perfect, every one of them. Having all the stories perfect in each issue is becoming a habit with you. Keep up this habit. For first place I nominate "When the Moon Turned Green." I considered Mr. Wells' previous story, "The Gate to Xoran" the best short story you had ever printed, but the later one surpasses it. You will not be making a mistake if you give us many more stories by this Author. I do not need to say anything else about the rest of the stories—they are all excellent.

Don't you think that it is about time for Astounding Stories to become a semi-monthly?—Michael Fogaris, 157 Fourth Street, Passaic, N. J.

Located at Last

Dear Editor:

I read every Science Fiction magazine on the market, and can truthfully say that yours is the best of them all.

Of course, there is always room for improvement, and some of the stories published in the May issue were not so hot. Meek always gives me a pain in the neck, but Cummings is an ace, though the installment in this issue dragged considerably. In Diffin you have a master writer; and I was tickled to death to see finally in "our" mag a story by that peerless team, Schachner and Zagat.

I was wondering how long it would take you to locate them, as you have done with most of the other stars in Science Fiction.—Bill Merriam, Ocean Front, Venice, Cal.

"Stories Aid Considerably"

Dear Editor:

I cannot rightfully say what story was the best in Astounding Stories. For the man who balances stories for their values is just kidding himself. That is my theory and I am ready at all times to stand in back of it.

Though I have only been reading Astounding Stories since January, I am a thoroughly convinced fan. For the past two years I have been puttering with chemistry and physics in a laboratory of my own, and the science mentioned in these stories aids considerably.

I would sincerely appreciate letters from Readers of Astounding Stories. I will answer all.—Lawrence Schumaker, 1020 Sharon St., Jamesville, Wis.

To the Rescue, Somebody!

Dear Editor:

You're getting better all the time. The April number was the best yet, and the May issue is not far behind it. The cover on the May issue was wonderful.

"Dark Moon" is the best story by Diffin that you have yet printed. "When the Moon Turned Green" and "The Death Cloud" are both masterpieces.

"The Exile of Time" is a fine story, but I cannot understand the explanations. How could the murder of Major Atwood be mentioned in the records of New York? Why could not one see events in which he participated? Of course, Ray Cummings perhaps knows more about it than I, but I think a lot of his ideas are the bunk.

I do not think that your stories should be full of science and nothing else, but they should at least observe known scientific facts.—J. J. Johnston, Mowbray, Man., Can.

A "Two-Timer"

Dear Editor:

I was surprised but pleased to receive the answer to the question I asked in my letter to you. It is indeed a pleasure to read a magazine that takes enough interest in its patrons to personally answer a letter written to it. Thank you very much.

And I am certainly glad that we are to get a sequel to "Dark Moon." I wish that I could personally tell Mr. Diffin what I think of his writing.

I am anxiously awaiting the next issue of "our mag." It certainly does seem a long time between issues. When are you going to start putting it on the stands twice a month? I know that thousands of Readers would bless the day you did it.

Please keep up the good work; and I know you will, for the longer I read A. S. the more I enjoy it.

The serial, "The Exile of Time," is a story par excellence. But I know the forthcoming sequel to "Dark Moon" will be a super-story.

My idea of reading is that if a story is worth reading once it is worth reading twice, and I have never seen any story in your book that was not worth reading once. Nuff said.

I will answer any letters written me. I hope to hear from plenty of Readers—C. G. Davis, 531 S. Millard, Chicago, Ill.

And Sequel It Has

Dear Editor:

I have just finished the May number of Astounding Stories, and want to send my contribution to "The Readers' Corner."

The novelette, "Dark Moon," by Diffin, is rather an outstanding story, in my opinion. It is plausible and convincing, and the literary quality is high. I have a feeling that this should have a sequel, and wonder if others will not agree with me. That Astounding Stories is the best of the Science Fiction Magazines is something that scarcely lends itself to argument. Without questions, it leads them all. Take the present number for instance: Diffin, Meek and Cummings, three top-notchers, all in one issue.—A. J. Harris, 1525 Bushnell Ave., South Pasadena, Cal.

I'm Afraid Not

Dear Editor:

I have read every one of your Astounding Stories and think there is no other magazine on the market like it. Only one kick: it doesn't appear often enough. I should like to see it every week; every two weeks, anyway. I like every story you print, and I think the size of your magazine is perfect. I have saved every issue I read, and now have seventeen of them.

"Phalanxes of Atlans" and "Marooned Under the Sea" were especially good. "The Readers' Corner" is fine, but I don't like so many brickbats thrown. I should like to see more bouquets given to you.

There is one thing I'd like to see you print. You probably have heard of the Fox Movietone picture, "Just Imagine," an interplanetary story of 1930. I'd like to see it printed in Astounding Stories more than anything else. It would make a fine serial. I don't suppose it would be possible for you to print it, though, would it?—Ernestine Small, 1151 Brighton Ave., Portland, Ore.

Better to Verse

Dear Editor:

Astounding Stories can't be beat;Its every issue is a treat.The finest authors of the ageAppear upon Astounding's stage.There's Diffin, Cummings, Leinster, Burks;An all-star cast that's sure the works.Harl Vincent, Wells, and Starzl, too,Belong among this famous crew.Ed Hamilton and Vic RousseauWith Captain Meek complete the show.Together they are sure the best;That's why Astounding leads the rest!

—Booth Cody, Bronx, N. Y.

Another "Two-Timer"

Dear Editor:

I have just finished reading the May issue of Astounding Stories for the second time. I have been reading Astounding Stories for over a year, and so far I can find only one thing wrong with it, and that is that it is not thick enough. In other words, you do not put enough stories in it.

Some people who write in to the "Corner" say that the paper is rotten. I still have all my magazines, and the paper is as good as new. The paper is also good on the eyes, as it does not reflect light like a mirror, as some paper does. Some people say the pages are uneven and hard to turn. Like Mr. H. N. Snager, I become so interested in the stories I do not notice such trifles. Anybody who yells about the color of the cover, the durability of the paper, is not very interested in Astounding Stories.

Why don't you either print a full page picture at the beginning of each story or else keep the half page picture at the beginning and put another picture halfway through the story?—Wm. McCalvy, 1244 Beech St., St. Paul, Minn.

A Buttercup for Paul

Dear Editor:

Congratulations! Astounding Stories has scored again! Not satisfied with illustrations by the mighty Wesso only, you have secured a drawing by the equally mighty Paul! May we see many more by him?—Thomas L. Kratzer, 3595 Tullamore Rd., Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Nerves Now Better?

Dear Editor:

In Gould you have a fine illustrator; in Wesso a better one, but as I skip the page on which the story, a truly remarkable one by R. F. Starzl, "The Earthman's Burden" is on, my eye is caught by—yes! a drawing by Paul, good old reliable Mr. Paul, the king of Science Fiction illustrators. Now that you have him on your artist's staff I wouldn't feel at all bad seeing a painting of his on the cover.

The June issue was a dazzler. "Manape the Mighty" held me spellbound. The others were all excellent stories. The cover painting by Wesso was good, but I have already seen one of that sort in a previous issue. Why not give us more interplanetary illustrations of space ships and the like as in "Brigands of the Moon"?

Another thing, it is nine-thirty. I must be asleep by eleven-thirty in order to start for school early the next morning. I allow myself two hours in which to read Astounding Stories. I turn to the contents section; I see a story there which I wish to read. It is on page 604. I turn the pages: 599, 601, 607 come in rapid succession, all but the page I look for. This goes on for some time until at last the roughened edge of 604 comes into view. By then my nerves are on edge and I find it is almost eleven-thirty!

But I cannot say that you do not stand up with the foremost of all magazines, and the way you are improving now you'll soon forge far in front.—Arthur Berkowitz, 763 Beck St., New York City.

Some Goal!

Dear Editor:

Permit me to congratulate Mr. Diffin on his latest masterpiece, "Holocaust."

Every once in a while Mr. Diffin produces a story that bids fair to eclipse all its contemporaries. His former story, "The Power and the Glory," could also be placed in that category. Somehow, that story has become indelibly written on my memory. The philosophy expressed in it was overwhelming. It would have done justice to a Shakespeare.

And now, you can imagine how delighted I am to learn that Mr. Diffin has once again graced us with a yarn of the same class.

Man, if you continue to publish such stories as these frequently, you'll have the public terming Astounding Stories literature of the highest grade! However, I won't entreat Mr. Diffin to write these stories spasmodically, as the long wait between tales adds lure to the stories.

And now for Mr. Burks. Ah—here is an extraordinary chap! Mr. Burks is your most versatile author. Of his several stories, each has opened up a new vista in the field of Science Fiction, and he is a thoroughbred in each endeavor. If you want to be convinced, read the opening chapters of "Manape The Mighty," and I will wager any sum you won't lay down the story until you've read every word.

As a matter of fact, all the stories are good. And the bill for next month appears to be exceptionally unusual. It is very evident that you are on the road to perfection. Smooth cut edges, the acquisition of the greatest of artists, Paul, all point to the accelerating progress Astounding Stories is achieving.

We Readers are frequently asked as to how we would run the magazine if we were Editors. Well, here is my conception of the ideal magazine:

Smooth paper, no advertisements whatsoever, the interior illustrations done by an artist with the talent of a Paul and a Wesso combined, and made in water colors, too. Then I would only have such renowned Authors as Burroughs, MacIsaac and a few others. I suppose that's the eternal dream of the modern Editor, but who can say that you, Mr. Bates, won't evolve Astounding Stories in the same manner. At any rate, there's a goal to aim for.—Mortimer Weisinger, 266 Van Cortlandt Ave., Bronx, N. Y.


Dear Editor:

You are hereby summoned to appear in Court on attempt of murder. Following are the charges: Stopping my heart from beating when I saw the smooth edges in Astounding Stories, and making my heart miss five beats when I saw "The Earthman's Burden" illustrated by Paul!

I now think Astounding Stories has reached its highest peak. Arthur J. Burks' story was a wow. I hope he works on a story as he said he would in "The Readers' Corner" if he gets enough requests.

And Charles Willard Diffin! Here's a writer for you. I think the first story he ever wrote was published in Astounding Stories. Don't lose him. His "Holocaust" is his best, with the probable exception of "The Power and the Glory." I don't think the last mentioned ever got enough praise. I expect to see it reprinted some day in The Golden Book Magazine. It's distinctly smooth paper style.

And of course Sewell Peaslee Wright's "John Hanson" stories are top-notchers.

And Ray Cummings. Must we mention his story? We all know what to expect when we read one of his stories. I hope you have another serial by him soon.

I'm sure you'll be deluged with letters because of the even edges and the illustrations by Paul (who should draw at least two in every issue), but I hope you'll print my letter, because I never had a letter of mine in print, and want to get a thrill seeing this published.—Anthony Caserta, 4575 Park Ave., New York, N. Y.

"Very Pretty Problems Here"

Dear Editor:

The letters by P. Schuyler, J. N. Mosleh, and Jackson Gee in the last number sure do raise some very neat possibilities in Science. Anent travel in time, just what would you, Mr. Schuyler, expect to see if "John Doe" at 40 years (1931) went back to 1892 and met "John Doe" of that date on Main Street of his old home town? I suspect that two bodies cannot simultaneously contain the same ego, constant-entity, personality, or soul.

Which brings me to Mr. Mosleh, to ask: Just how is the self-realizant ego, which is conscious that "I am I" unchangingly for life, in any sense a derivative of the unstable, rapidly changing body?

Mr. Burks and Mr. Lee elucidate a very pretty little problem on the same lines. The cranial transplantation and the "atomic patterns" are admittedly scientifically and reasonably possible. But there is a real point of doubt: Would the personality accompany the brain in transplantation? True, the brain is the control room; but—?

And would the "atomic patterns," perfectly as they could duplicate a body, which is unstable by nature, work on the essentially stable ego (relatively) with its inherent capacity for continuity?

If not, would not the synthetic "Extra Man" be a human being minus personality? Some very pretty problems here. I'd much like to see a story along the lines of item 3 in Mr. Burks' letter.—L. Partridge, Box 84, Cornish, Me.

What Price Smoothness?

Dear Editor:

I have just finished the June issue of Astounding Stories. The cover was excellent, as were all the illustrations, except perhaps Manape's arms should have been a little larger.

I see that the edges of the paper are now smooth, but still the leaves stick out beyond one another, so what good does that do?

"Manape the Mighty," by Arthur J. Burks, was superb, gripping. I suppose a lot of Readers will rise violently against the love interest, but, I ask you, just where would this particular story be without the romance in it? This particular story, you understand; not every story.

"Holocaust," by Charles Willard Diffin, was next best with "The Man from 2071" a close second.

"The Earthman's Burden" was at least entertaining, which this installment of "The Exile of Time" was not.—Robert Baldwin, 359 Hazel Ave., Highland Park, Ill.

Time Trouble Answers Wanted

Dear Editor:

I have read your magazine for nearly two years, but this is my first letter to the "Corner." The first and second installments of Ray Cummings' "Exile of Time" prompted me to write this. There is a story you can well be proud of. I should like to obtain it in book form. Mr. Cummings is a wonder. I have read many time stories, but his is at the top of my list.

If there is any other "time" fan in A. S.'s "Readers' Corner" I should like to have a letter discussion on it with him. None of my acquaintances care a whoop about that type of story, so I have to thrash out all my problems by myself.

There are some questions I would like to ask about "The Exile of Time."

1—In the event of the appearance of the time-traveling cage, the story ran, to use Ray's own words: "Suddenly before me there was a white ghost. A shape. A wraith of something which a moment before had not been there. The shape was like a mist. Then in a second or two it was solid."

Why should the cage appear as a mist at first? If there is any amount of time separating two things, those two things are invisible to each other, are they not? Any amount of time would include a second, and even a millionth part of a second. In that case, the cage should suddenly appear in the twinkling of an eye, with no trace of a blur.

2—Supposing I were standing at a spot five feet from a time-traveling vehicle. The latter would be traveling through time at 3 P. M., while I am at 2 P. M.—an hour's difference between us. It would be invisible to me then, but an hour later when I would be at 3 P. M. and the machine at 4 P. M., then I would see it as it appeared at 3 P. M. Whatever movement it would make in space, I would not see until an hour later. Is that right? Then is it not possible that each individual is existing in a different time realm? And we see them, or I see the other fellow as he appeared when my time caught up with his? I had better quit before I get hooted off the stage.

3—If a man invented a time-traveler and went back to the year of the beginning of the World War, knowing all he has read in history, could he not take steps to prevent a war that has already happened? Or would that power be denied him? Somewhere in the story is said that the past cannot be changed, and that any effort to do so would be useless. In my belief, no matter where or when a man goes into the past, if he appears in a year or day that has already gone by, he is changing the past. Then there should be no room for doubt: time-travelling is impossible. It never will be done (An Astounding Stories fan should be kicked for using the word "impossible"!).

Let's have more good thought-provoking time tales. And get lots of stories from Cummings—he's a wow. I sure would like to spend an evening at a campfire with him.—Allen Spoolman, 613—4th Avenue, W., Ashland, Wisc.

"Eh, What?"

Dear Editor:

Just got my June issue of our good mag, Astounding Stories, and I think that it is great. One thing you should do, however, is have a more mechanical cover design.

In regard to Miss Gertrude Hemkin's letter in the June issue of A. S., let me say that I just wonder what she would like to expect in our "The Readers' Corner" if she does not like to hear what others think of our Astounding Stories. Maybe she would like to read about checker debates or the like. Eh, what?

If Rex Wertz of Oregon, who is now located somewhere in Los Angeles, will drop me a line, perhaps we can become acquainted as he suggested.—Edward Anderson, 123 Hollister Ave., Ocean Park, Cal.

Hope He Does

Dear Editor:

I have never been interested before in a magazine enough to write to their departments, like "The Readers' Corner," and I have read plenty of magazines.

"Beyond the Vanishing Point" stands head and shoulders above any story I have ever read. I have only one thing to say about your other stories: they are almost as good as the one I just mentioned.

I have a few words to say about these people who throw brickbats at every story they read. I wouldn't be surprised if they just read the story so they could find something wrong with it. There's one in particular who wrote a few lines in the June issue about your taking the word "science" off the front page, saying there was no science in the magazine, anyway. What does the title say? Well that's what 90% of the Readers want, anyway. I hope that chap reads this.

Well, I'll sign off. Here is a little toast to the magazine: "Long may it live."—Earl Rogers, 409—16th St., Galveston, Tex.

Two, Better Than One?

Dear Editor:

The two outstanding stories in the May issue of A. S. were "The Death Cloud," by Nat Schachner and Arthur L. Zagat, and "Dark Moon," by Charles W. Diffin. Common reasoning tells me that the heads of two Science Fiction writers can formulate a story better than one. I couldn't help admire Mr. Schachner and Mr. Zagat when I read their story because of the cleverness shown in it.

Please give us a story by them every month.—Ray Y. Tilford, Rockport, Ky.

"And Here I Am"

Dear Editor:

It's about time for me to concede that your or "our" magazine is the best I have read. Ten issues have come into my hands and I am perfectly well satisfied with the line of fiction that you publish. I have read about fifty different magazines on the market, and I am sure that Astounding Stories is the best of them all. I have followed the magazine for seven months and that is the best amount of reading any magazine can boast for me. In your case, if the magazine lasts seventy years, you can be sure that I will read it for that period of time (provided I live that long).

I notice that several brickbats have come into your hands and that you have printed them. Well, that shows sportsmanship on your part. I would suggest to those who are not satisfied with Astounding Stories to duck their head in a pail of water and pull it out after a period of ten minutes. Those who criticize the stories because of the lack of science have no idea what it takes to write a story. Please be willing to concede the Author the right of way. He is giving his theories and not yours. However, in some cases where the truth is an established fact, I can see where the Readers may present a justified argument. But they should remember that we are not all perfect and that mistakes are made by all. It is not fair to criticize an Author by denouncing him.

I don't favor reprints at all, but I can stay with the majority if they do. It is a foregone conclusion that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all the time. In this case substitute the word "please" in the saying for "fool."

I am at present reading Charles W. Diffin's novel "The Pirate Planet." It is one of the best interplanetary novels that I have ever read. Give us some more of Diffin; he has the goods. I must say that you have an immensely long list of popular authors, and it must cost quite a little amount of money to maintain them.

Keep the size of the magazine as it is now; it fits conveniently into my bookcase, and I believe many of your Readers will say the same.

Now some of my favorite stories. "The Ape-Men Of Xlotli" was one of the best stories that I have read in years. Give us some more along this line. It offers rest after one has just finished reading an interplanetary novel.

"Monsters of Moyen" was another story that I greatly enjoyed. Very few people believe that the world shall ever have a conqueror again, and I am one of them; but it is interesting to see if there ever will be a conqueror and what means he shall employ to get that title.

"Brigands of the Moon" was the worst story I read in your magazine. That must have been Mr. Cummings' off story. But he certainly has come back fine through his later stories.

"The Tentacles from Below" was another great masterpiece. Anthony Gilmore's tale was the first that I have read of that author, and I will be delighted to see more.

Funny how I developed into a Reader of Science Fiction. I exhausted all other fields of reading, and having nothing else to read I delved into a science magazine and here I am.—Michael Racano, 51 Brookwood St., East Orange, N. J.

Turns to It First

Dear Editor:

The June issue of Astounding Stories can't be beat. What an issue! As it seems to be the usual thing, I'll start at the front and go to the back.

The cover: very colorful: another proof of Wesso's talent. And speaking of artists, I was very pleasantly surprised at the unexpected illustration by Paul. I certainly hope you can get him, if not for cover pictures, at least for the inside illustrations. (Too bad you are modest about printing complimentary letters, for I mean this to be all roses, no brickbats.)

"The Man from 2071"—another good story of "John Hanson's." "Manape the Mighty," although somewhat like the Tarzan series, is a wonderfully fine story. "Holocaust"—good. "The Earthman's Burden," as all of Starzl's, was exceptionally good. "The Exile of Time"—getting better every issue.

"The Readers' Corner" as usual was one of the most interesting parts of the magazine. I always turn to it first, for I know I will have an enjoyable time reading every letter. And, by the way, the significance of "Manape" just came to me. Don't know why I didn't see it before.—Linus Hogenmiller, 502 N. Washington St., Farmington, Mo.

Likes the "Joke"

Dear Editor:

Although I have read only two issues of Astounding Stories, I feel the urge to write a line. The June number was better than the May issue. Arthur J. Burks' story, "Manape the Mighty," was excellent, though I am not so strong for the idea of having Barter escape the apes and carry on his experiments as suggested by the Author. It would be against common sense to have the apes allow him to make a getaway. The prize winner in the May issue was "Dark Moon." There might be a sequel to that, and I'd like to see it.

I like a little variety in a magazine. The Readers who say they do not care for stories scientifically impossible may be right; in that case "The Exile of Time" is the greatest joke ever written—yet I like it immensely. One thing that is impossible is the destruction of matter. It can be broken up, or condensed as in "When Caverns Yawned," but not destroyed completely.

Mr. W. H. Flowers evidently has a grudge against the fair sex. The love interest is not necessary in short stories, it's true; but what kind of a long novel would it be if the hero had no incentive, nothing to risk his life for, except a possible word of praise from the scientific world?

No matter how much a man loves his work it is my opinion that he would not die for the purpose of proving his point.

Not being able to take a hint, the knockers still appear to mar an otherwise perfect day—this time in the person of Harry Pancoast. If Astounding Stories ever gets so bad that not even one story in it is of interest to me—I'll just drop out of the waiting line—and keep my mouth closed.—Richard Waite, 8 South Ave., Warsaw, N. Y.

Never Noticed That

Dear Editor:

Just bought my latest copy of Astounding Stories, and what an edition! First, the cover (Wesso has all others beat by a mile). Then, the stories. Well, take "Manape the Mighty": it is one of the best Science Fiction stories I have ever read. "The Exile of Time" was great.

Have you ever noticed that almost every critic of Science Fiction is either a teacher or a female? Jim Nicholson and I certainly know that.—Billy Roche, Sec. Interplanetary Dept. of the B. S. B., 101 St. Elmo, San Francisco, Cal.

Sunflowers for All

Dear Editor:

Miracles do happen! I was never so thoroughly astounded in all my life as when I received the great June issue of "our" magazine with straight edges! Thank you and all concerned for publishing "our" magazine sans rough edges. The smooth edges ought to cut the reading time of Astounding Stories down to an hour and forty-five minutes as we always used to waste a lot of time fumbling about with the pages.

But if I was astounded at the long awaited straight edges, I was still more amazed at the great innovation of an illustration by Paul! Let's have more and more of his remarkable drawings. Astounding Stories is truly great now with its fine Editor, splendid Authors, excellent stories, worthy illustrations, essential "Readers' Corner," Paul (Ah!) and good binding! Yes! You heard right! I said good binding! Of course it makes amusing material to write about the binding and remark that it comes off after once handling it, or that the paper is soon worn to shreds, but such matters shouldn't be honestly believed. I have every issue of Astounding Stories (eighteen great numbers!) and each and every issue is as good as new. I have never had any trouble with the covers departing from the rest of the magazine or the pages becoming moldy.

Sewell Peaslee Wright's "The Man from 2071" is just perfect. I enjoy nothing more than one of his realistic stories of Commander John Hanson. We want more! Arthur J. Burks' novelette, "Manape the Mighty," was clever. I had a premonition that I wouldn't like this story, and in fact told a friend so. It just goes to prove that hunches can be wrong. Charles Willard Diffin should be proud of his "Holocaust." I'm sure that most Readers enjoyed it as much as I did. Of course, Starzl's "The Earthman's Burden" was a peach. His stories of other planets are always weird, bizarre, and yet they seem to ring true. That is the magic of R. F. Starzl! Paul illustrated it in his own unapproachable style. "The Exile of Time," as everyone agrees, is Cummings' best. I am waiting for its thrilling conclusion.

I am one who would like Astounding Stories to be a large size magazine, but it can easily be seen that everyone can't be pleased. If you'll just leave it the way it is—i. e., straight edges, illustrations by Paul, same authors and same excellent Editor—I'll be satisfied.—Forrest J. Ackerman, 530 Staples Ave., San Francisco, Cal.

"Great Relief"

Dear Editor:

The story, "Manape the Mighty," by Arthur J. Burks, was by far one of the most thrilling and educational stories that ever appeared in Astounding Stories. Of course, others will disagree, but an Author cannot please all. It is of great relief to change from the monotonous every day kind of stories that appear in Collier's, Liberty and The Saturday Evening Post to the refreshing and soothing "impossible" type of A. S.

Ever since the January issue, I've been an ardent pursuer of Astounding Stories. To me it is even more astounding that I seem to like it more and more each succeeding issue. I find it, undoubtedly, the best magazine of its type. I've tried others of similar type, but it seems as if my mind couldn't grasp the knack of their stories, which were either boresome with scientific and technical explanations, or, as one might say, "not a darn thing to them."

R. F. Starzl is a wonderful author. Ray Cummings, Sewell Peaslee Wright, Charles Willard Diffin, Captain S. P. Meek, Edmond Hamilton, F. V. W. Mason and Murray Leinster are excellent.

There is one thing that I'd like to see in Astounding Stories, and I'm sure many of the Readers would, too. It is always my habit to read while eating. To finish the story in time, I pick the shortest one. Sad to say, Astounding has rather long stories. How about an occasional short story? I'm sure your readers will approve. They would go over with a bang!—P. Nikolaioff, 4325 S. Seeley Ave., Chicago, Ill.

Sometimes Gets Mad

Dear Editor:

Although I have been an interested reader of Astounding Stories since its inception, this is the first time I have written. Astounding Stories have been so good lately that I just had to write and compliment you on your good work. There are, however, some criticisms I have to make. The first is: I think Mr. W. H. Flowers of Pittsburgh, Pa, is right when he says you sometimes have too much love in some of your stories. The second is, I think it would be a good thing to put notes at the end of a page to explain some of the terms for the Readers who read mostly for the science part. That is what I do, and I get mad when I read something that does not give me the inside dope on it. Outside of that I think Astounding Stories can't be beat.

One more thing before I close. Keep Capt. S. P. Meek on your staff or I will stop reading Astounding Stories, as much as I would hate to do that. I think he is your best author by a long shot.—Wilson Adams, Seat Pleasant, Md.

From a "Female Woman"

Dear Editor:

The comment of Jim Nicholson in the June issue that it is only "the females" who consider him "cracked" for reading Science Fiction, and only women who do not care for science in the stories, moves me to break into "The Readers' Corner" for the first time.

I happen to be a "female woman," and it is the men in our family and circle of friends who laugh at me for buying every Science Fiction magazine and book that I can find. They call them my "nutty magazines." I have to admit that I do not understand much of the scientific explanation, since my mind does not run along mathematical or scientific lines, but I do not mind having that in stories, for those who do care for it and can understand it, as I can simply skip over it, taking what I can grasp and letting the rest go. It doesn't spoil the story for me.

I have no criticism, constructive or otherwise, to make. I enjoy the stories with some romance involved, and enjoy those without equally well. My own preference would be that you continue using rough paper and your present mechanical construction, so that more money will be available to pay for the stories. Few of us keep the magazines anyway, so there isn't so much need for expensive paper. I like interplanetary stories best, I think; but I was intensely interested in "Beyond the Vanishing Point," "Manape the Mighty" and "Holocaust." All different, but all very good. I can't remember one I did not like.

My work requires much study and concentration. I have recommended to several men who do similar mental work that they follow my plan of securing delightful relaxation by losing themselves in another world through Science Fiction magazines. Most of them find it as restful as I do.—Berenice M. Harrison, Angola, Ind.

Likes R. F. Starzl

Dear Editor:

It has been my purpose to write to you before, but due to an extraordinary amount of detail work which I have had to do, I have been unable to.

I have read your marvelous magazine ever since the first issue came into my hands, and I can honestly say that there is no other book on the market which has held my attention as long as yours has. I congratulate you on your very interesting magazine.

Arthur J. Burks, in his latest story, has conceived an entirely new type of story, and I, for one, think it very interesting. Plenty of science for the laymen and enough interest for the others.

I liked R. F. Starzl's story, "The Earthman's Burden," very much, and I hope you will have more by this author soon. His stories are perfect. Starzl is a deep thinker, and I am right here to say that there is a man who understands men and men's longings and inhibitions.—A. W. Gowing, 17 Pasadena St., Springfield, Mass.

"The Readers' Corner"

All readers are extended a sincere and cordial invitation to "come over in 'The Readers' Corner'" and join in our monthly discussion of stories, authors, scientific principles and possibilities—everything that's of common interest in connection with our Astounding Stories.

Although from time to time the Editor may make a comment or so, this is a department primarily for Readers, and we want you to make full use of it. Likes, dislikes, criticisms, explanations, roses, brickbats, suggestions—everything's welcome here; so "come over in 'The Readers' Corner'" and discuss it with all of us!

The Editor.


A disembodied heart, not only still steadily beating but writing, as it throbbed, a permanent, minutely precise record of its pulsations, was exhibited recently at Princeton in a demonstration of the newest instrument developed by science for the advancement of medicine and psychology.

The device, invented by A. L. Loomis of Tuxedo Park, N. Y., and perfected in collaboration with Dr. Edmund N. Harvey, professor of psychology at Princeton University, is called the Loomis chronograph.

It will facilitate study of the phenomena of heart action and the effect of drugs on that vital organ. The chronograph opens the way to the accurate measuring and recording of the speed and variation of human heart beats over long periods, even during the sleeping hours of the subject, which is expected to prove of great value to physiologists and criminologists.

The heart of the recent demonstration was that of a turtle, removed from the reptile while alive, freed of all extraneous tissue and suspended in a physiological salt solution exactly duplicating body conditions. In this state the organ continues to beat for thirty-six hours, at the same time setting down, by means of the chronograph, a graphic history of the approximately 72,000 pulsations it makes in that time. With each beat the tiny organism pulled down a little lever that dipped a fine filament into a drop of mercury and made a contact that transmitted an electric impulse to the chronograph. There it was translated to a fraction of a second into a record inked on a chart.

Introduction into the solution of nicotine—one part in 10,000—and of adrenalin—one part in a billion—was immediately noted by a marked retarding of the heart tempo in the first case and swift acceleration in the second.

Use of the chronograph to study the action of any heart that can be removed from the living body is possible, the scientist said, adding that a comparatively simple adjustment will make possible recording of the human heart by a device applied to the chest.

Application of the instrument to tests of human nerve reactions and to psychological tests is forecast.

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Various. 2010. Astounding Stories of Super-Science, August 1931. Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved May 2022 from

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