Astounding Stories of Super-Science June 1931: VOL. VI, NO. 3 - The Readers' Corner by@astoundingstories

Astounding Stories of Super-Science June 1931: VOL. VI, NO. 3 - The Readers' Corner

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Since sending you "Manape the Mighty," I have read of a Russian scientist who removed the brain from a dog and kept both alive for some hours, which only goes to prove that science outstrips the wildest dreams of the fictionist, and a yarn that may be astounding and unusual when written, may be commonplace, and the knowledge of the man in the street, by the time the story goes to press. People read every day of "miracles" and scarcely give them a second thought, while a hundred years ago their perpetrators would have been destroyed as witches.
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Astounding Stories

Dare to dream. Dare to go where no other has gone before.

Astounding Stories of Super-Science June 1931, by Astounding Stories is part of HackerNoon’s Book Blog Post series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here. VOL. VI, NO. 3 - The Readers' Corner


What Say Our Co-Editors?

Dear Editor:

Since sending you "Manape the Mighty," I have read of a Russian scientist who removed the brain from a dog and kept both alive for some hours, which only goes to prove that science outstrips the wildest dreams of the fictionist, and a yarn that may be astounding and unusual when written, may be commonplace, and the knowledge of the man in the street, by the time the story goes to press. People read every day of "miracles" and scarcely give them a second thought, while a hundred years ago their perpetrators would have been destroyed as witches.

Far be it for me, or anyone else, to say that the main transposition used in "Manape the Mighty" is absurd and impossible. For while you, or I, may shrug shoulders and dismiss even the thought of it as being the dream of a madman, somebody, in some laboratory somewhere, may already have successfully managed it. So given the premise that the thing may be possible, I've sort of let myself go on this idea, and a whole new train of thought has been opened up, a whole new vista of astounding things in the realm of Science Fiction. In parenthesis, I must thank you for getting me started on the thing, for had you not suggested the idea from the throne-like fortress of your editorial chair, "Manape" might never have been born. I confess that I would perhaps have been afraid of it, both because of the possibility of the charge of following in the footsteps of the internationally famous Edgar Rice Burroughs, and of re-vamping the incomparable Poe tale, "Murders in the Rue Morgue."

But, even so, both are interesting to dally with.

Given the premise that the brain transference is possible, what would happen:

(1) If the brain of a terrible criminal were transferred to the skull pan of an unusually mighty ape—and the ape transplanted from his arboreal home in Africa to the streets of London, Paris or New York whence the criminal whose brain he has originated? Suppose his man's brain harbored thoughts of vengeance on enemies, and he now possesses the might of the great ape to carry out his vengeance?

(2) If Barter somehow escaped destruction at the hands of the apes in "Manape the Mighty," and continued with his work of brain transference—building up a mighty army of great apes with the idea of avenging himself on civilization for wrongs real and fancied? Apes with broadswords and chained mail, with steel helmets on their heads—men's brains, savages' brains, perhaps, as their guiding intelligence—and the tenacity of apes when mortally wounded? Suppose they swept over Africa like a cloud of locusts? Or is this too feeble a simile? Suppose, Africa, to be laid waste by them, led by Barter, the latter styling himself a modern Alexander of horrible potentiality, and extending his scope of conquest to the Holy Land, India, Asia—the Pacific littoral? Holy cats!

(3) Suppose that Barter managed, by purchase or otherwise, to acquire an island close to the American continents, within reach of either or both, and managed to transfer his activities there, using the natives of those islands—say Haiti, Cuba, Porto Rico, etc.—for his experiments, training his cohorts as an army, and starting a navy by capturing all vessels putting into these places? Fancy the consternation of the Western Hemisphere when ships suddenly go silent, as regards radio, after sudden mysterious SOS's—and all trace of vessels is lost. Suppose the U. S. Navy went to investigate, and also vanished. More holy cats!

(4) Suppose, in connection with all the suppositions above, that Barter desired to give an ironic twist to his experiments, and kept his human victims alive—but with apes' brains—as slaves of their man-ape conquerors? Suppose that out of the horror into which the world would be thrown, another Bentley should arise to help the imprisoned humans to escape their ghastly bondage? I can fancy his trials and tribulations, trying to manage a host of human beings with the brains of apes.

(5) And what about the training of internes and medicos to help a potential Barter, when the trade got beyond his sole ability—and apes with men's brains to perform his experiments?

Do you suppose we'd all get locked up for experimenting with this sort of thing fictionally? I wouldn't care to take the entire responsibility myself, nor I fancy would you—because somebody might be inspired by our stories to attempt the thing—so might I suggest that all possible conspirators, in the shape of readers of this magazine, write to you or me and let us know whether they'd like to see it happen fictionally? If the idea appeals—and of course we can't go too heavily on horror—I'll do my best to comply. Always within limits, however—utterly refusing to perform any experiments that can't be done with a typewriter and the usual two fingers.—Arthur J. Burks, 178-80 Fifth Ave., New York City.

"Like in Story Books"

Dear Editor:

Here I am again! This time I'm offering suggestions. Let's you and I and others get together and do something to these chronic kickers. It seems I can't start to enjoy our "Readers' Corner" without someone raising a halloo. Darn it! Why in heaven's name do they buy A. S. if they don't like it? They are not compelled to do so.

I also don't understand why people are knocking the size and quality of the paper used. It suits me O. K. All the mags I read are the same way, and I pay five cents more for them, too!

I surely enjoyed Mr. Olog's letter in the March issue. Gee, it gives one the creeps. I agree with him, too, that we ought to have a little something about the authors. I'm sure we'd all like to know a little more about these talented persons.

"When the Mountain Came to Miramar" was a great deal to my liking. I think it would be a great adventure to discover some secret cave and explore it. Of course, I'd like to wiggle out of danger, too, just like in story books.

I certainly wish to congratulate you on publishing "Beyond the Vanishing Point." It just suited me to a "T." Heretofore, all stories dealing with life upon atoms have been "just another story," but this one beats all. I enjoyed it to the utmost, and I congratulate Mr. Cummings on writing my favorite kind of story.

All in all the March issue was indeed grand. If "Brown-Eyed Nineteen from Coronado, Calif.," will send me her full name and address, I'll promise to answer her letter immediately upon receiving it.—Gertrude Hemken, 5730 So. Ashland Ave., Chicago, Ill.

And So Do We

Dear Editor:

It certainly is a swell idea of yours to answer letters to "The Readers' Corner" personally instead of taking up a lot of room answering them underneath as do most Editors. Not only that, but it builds up a feeling of friendship, between the Reader and the Editor, besides affording more room to publish letters and avoiding some of the bad feelings sometimes directed upon Editors when they do not publish someone's letter.

Now, with your kind permission, I will burst into the little (?) ring of discussion about size, reprints, covers, artists and authors.

First, about the size and edges: The size is O. K., but I wish you would change the edges from a "rocky mountain" to a "desert" state. In other words, I would like straight edges in the near future.

Next, reprints: In two letters, an N O—No! If the Readers want reprints why doesn't Mr. Clayton publish an annual chock full of reprints for these reprint hounds?

Covers and artists: The covers have all been great. Not too lurid. Just right. As for the artists, Wesso is the best by a long shot. Nuff said.

Authors: Ah, that's a problem. Who is the best? I could rack my brain for hours and still not decide, so I'll have to give a list of my favorites: R. F. Starzl, Edmond Hamilton, Harl Vincent, Sewell Peaslee Wright, Jack Williamson, S. P. Meek, Miles J. Breuer and Ray Cummings.

Before I close there is one little thing I would like to mention. Did you ever notice that 75% of all the Readers who say they do not care for science in their stories are women? Besides that, the only ones at school who think I'm "cracked" for reading Science Fiction are females. Figure it out for yourself.

I hope you, Mr. Bates, will continue to be our able Editor for many years to come.—Jim Nicholson, Ass't Sec'y., B. S. C., 40 Lunado Way, San Francisco, Calif.

Four to One

Dear Editor:

Congratulations to Wesso! His March cover for "our" magazine is Astounding!

Ray Cummings' novelette, "Beyond the Vanishing Point," is absolutely the most marvelous of all his short stories. I can't rave over it enough. I never read his "The Girl of the Golden Atom" but I imagine this must be something like it. It's certainly the best of the "long short stories" that's ever graced the insides of Astounding Stories.

"When the Mountain Came to Miramar" is a very good story in my opinion. "Terrors Unseen" is a wow! No foolin'. As for "Phalanxes of Atlans," well, I simply can't get interested in it. I thought the first part very uninteresting and decided not to bother to read the rest of it. But Wesso's splendid illustration made me do so. But I still think it is a rather poor story. But, true to form, someone will no doubt think it the most wonderful story ever written.

Last, but not least, of all the stories comes "The Meteor Girl." It's by Jack Williamson: need more be said? No!—Forrest J. Ackerman, President-Librarian, The B. S. C., 530 Staples Avenue, San Francisco, Calif.

That Awful Thing Called Love

Dear Editor:

Upon the occasion of my first visit to "The Readers' Corner," I wish to say that Astounding Stories leads the field in Science Fiction stories as far as I am concerned, though at first I found them to be just so-so.

"Beyond the Vanishing Point," by Ray Cummings, proved interesting through-out. "Terrors Unseen," by Harl Vincent, was fairly good, as was "Phalanxes of Atlans," by F. V. W. Mason.

But now comes the rub. Just why do you permit your Authors to inject messy love affairs into otherwise excellent imaginative fiction? Just stop and think. Our young hero-scientist builds himself a space flyer, steps out into the great void, conquers a thousand and one perils on his voyage and amidst our silent cheers lands on some far distant planet. Then what does he do? I ask you. He falls in love with a maiden—or it's usually a princess—of the planet to which the Reader has followed him, eagerly awaiting and hoping to share each new thrill attached to his gigantic flight. But after that it becomes merely a hopeless, doddering love affair ending by his returning to Earth with his fair one by his side. Can you grasp that—a one-armed driver of a space flyer!

But seriously, don't you think that affairs of the heart are very much out of place in "our" type of magazine? We buy A. S. for the thrill of being changed in size, in time, in dimension or being hurtled through space at great speed, but not to read of love.

Right here I wish to join forces with Glyn Owens up there in Canada in his request for plain, cold scientific stories sans the fair sex.

Otherwise your "our" magazine is the best of its kind on the market—W. H. Flowers. 1215 N. Lang Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa.

Brickbats for Others

Dear Editor:

Brickbats and plenty of them are coming, but not your way. I'm throwing mine at those guys that want reprints, more science, etc. The only one I agree with is the fellow who would like a thicker magazine with more stories.

Now for the brickbats. I'll bet a great many of your Readers have read some of these reprints that some of our Readers are crying for. I'll also bet that reprints would not help your friendly connections with a lot of your Authors. The stories that are written now I find good. Let the present authors make their living from the stories their brains think up.

As for more science, bah!—your present amount is enough. In another magazine I read a story and just as it reached its climax they started explaining something! If any Reader wants to write to me my address is below.—Arthur Mann, Jr., San Juan, California.

Wants Interplanetary Cooperation

Dear Editor:

C'n y'imagine, I have my Astounding Science magazine two whole hours and the cover is still on!

Let's have some more stories like "Beyond the Vanishing Point," by Ray Cummings in the March issue.

Another thing, let's have more interplanetary stories than we do. I think they give you something to really think about.

Why is it that in every interplanetary story the other race is always hostile. Just think, would we, if we received visitors from space, make war on them? Also, when our people make an interplanetary flight, would we go with intent to kill? Let's have some stories, where the first interplanetary flight leads to cooperation between the planets involved.—Dave Diamond, 1350—52nd St., Brooklyn, N. Y.

In Every Way, True

Dear Editor:

I want to rejoice again over Astounding Stories. Reprints or no:—and I hunger for them—the magazine must be described in superlatives.

The reasons is pretty clear to me. After years in an experimental stage, Science Fiction suddenly turned up with a clash of cymbals in the shape of a definite magazine. It had to cover the whole field, and its successors tried to do the same. Due to its ancestry its logical scope was the more technical Science Fiction farthest removed from sheer fantasy, but, none-the-less, one of the most important branches. Now it is specializing in that type.

When Astounding Stories appeared many of us were apt to be skeptical, particularly when we noticed that an established corporation was backing it, one that had been limited to westerns and the like. The first few issues came and there was a dubious tinge of the occult, the "black-magical." This petered out, and we noticed that no matter how poor the subject matter from the point of view of Science Fiction, the style of writing was almost always on the highest level.

Then we realized that this magazine was no menace to the literature of Science Fiction, but a valuable addition. It could afford the better writers and hence keep up the quality of work of every writer. It was adopting as its own a type of Science Fiction that the rest minimized, and that demanded good writing—a type having a skeleton of science, like the girders of a great building, holding it erect and determining its shape, yet holding the skeleton of less importance than the vision of the completed edifice. Stories with emphasis on the fiction rather than the science.

But enough of that. Here is a hopeful thought for the time-travelers. There is nothing in physics or chemistry to prevent you from going into the past or future—at least, the future—and shaking hands with yourself or killing yourself. We will eliminate the past, for it seems that it cannot be altered physically. But take the future: not so very far from to-day the matter of your body will have been totally replaced by new matter; the old will disappear in waste. Physically, you will be a new man, and physically the matter of to-day may destroy that of to-morrow and return in itself unaltered. But none-the-less there will be some limiting interval during which "you" have not been entirely transformed to new matter, so that an atom would have to be in two places at once.

Maybe time-traveling progresses in little jumps like emission of light. And maybe an atom can be in two places at once. If you are going to treat time as just another dimension, there seems to be no reason why an object which can be in one place at two times cannot be at one time in two places. This is all physics. The paradoxes of time-traveling arise more particularly from its effect on what we call consciousness, the something that makes me "me"—an individual. We can imagine an atom in two places at once, but not a soul, if you will. This will not bother the materialist who considers a living creature merely a machine, but it will most of us. So I must be content with offering a materialistic possibility of traveling in time.

The Science Correspondence Club wishes to extend its invitation to all Readers in other nations to join with all privileges save that of holding office. The latter may later be changed as our international membership increases. We have laboratory branches here, and we want them abroad in addition to scattered members. Then, it will be necessary to have a governing body and director in every country. At present all matters pertaining to foreign membership pass through my hands and I will do my best to supply information to all who seek it. We will also be glad to hear of the work and plans of other similar organizations in other countries, as we are doing with the German Verein für Raumschauffert. Address all inquiries to me at 302 So. Ten Broeck St., Scotia, New York, U. S. A.—P. Schuyler Miller, Foreign Director, S. C. C.

"A Wow!"

Dear Editor:

Astounding Stories magazine is a wow! I can hardly wait until next month for the April issue. "The Phalanxes of Atlans," "Beyond the Vanishing Point" and "The Pirate Planet" are perfect. Every time I start a story I never stop till it's finished. I hope that there will appear even better stories in later issues.

Here's wishing you the best of success,—Fred Damato, 196 Greene St., New Haven, Conn.

Is Zat So!

Dear Editor:

Just a word or two. I have read several issues of Astounding Stories and I notice that you have taken the word "science" off the cover. It's just as well, for it was never inside the cover, anyway. If you thought to attract Readers from real Science Fiction fans you were all wet, for they would never fall for the kind of things you printed. Besides, "what," a real fan wants to know "how." There may be, I'll admit, a class of Readers who like your stories, but for me I think that you ought to print real Science Fiction or abandon the attempt and publish out and out fairy tales. Is everybody so pleased with your book that you receive nothing but commendatory letters? That appears to be all you print, at any rate. So long—Harry Pancoast, 306 West 28th St., Wilmington, Delaware.

Short and Sweet

Dear Editor:

I agree perfectly with Gertrude Hemken, of Chicago. Astounding Stories is O. K. Why do we want a lot of deep science with our stories? We read for pleasure not to learn science.

I have been reading Astounding Stories since the first issue, and I have enjoyed every story. I read several Science Fiction magazines but yours is the best.—Stephen L. Garcia, 47 Hazel Ave., Redwood City, Calif.

Shorter and Sweeter

Dear Editor:

The only good things about Astounding Stories are as follows:

The cover design, the stories, the size of the magazine, the illustrations in the magazine and the Authors.—John Mackens, 366 W. 96th St., New York City.

Sequels Requested

Dear Editor:

I was out of reading matter so I bought the August issue of Astounding Stories, and it was so good that I have been buying it ever since. The only things I don't like about the magazine are the quality of the paper, which I think could be improved, and the uneven pages. The other Science Fiction magazine that I read has its pages even.

Astounding Stories has a much better type of stories than the other magazine. There are only a few stories I have seen in your magazine which do not belong there. They are: "A Problem in Communication," which is not so much fiction and does not have much of a plot, and "The Ape-men of Xloti," which was very well written and very interesting, but did not have enough science in it.

I would like to see sequels to the following stories: "Marooned Under the Sea," "Beyond the Vanishing Point," "Monsters of Mars," telling about another effort of the crocodile-men to conquer Earth, "The Gray Plague," telling of another attack by the Venusians, and, most of all, "Vagabonds of Space." I would like to see a story about their further adventures about every three months, just as I see the stories about Commander Hanson.

I wish the best of luck for Astounding Stories.—Bill Bailey, 1404 Wightman St., Pittsburgh, Pa.

Come Again

Dear Editor:

Although I have been an interested Reader of Astounding Stories since its inception, this is the first time that I have written; but "our" magazine has been so good lately that I just had to write and compliment you on your good work.

There are just two criticisms I have of Astounding Stories. The first is that the binding sometimes comes off; the second is the rough edges. I join with many other Readers in complaining that uneven edges make it hard to find a certain page and also give the mag a cheap looking appearance.

In my opinion the two best serials you have printed are "Brigands of the Moon" and "The Pirate Planet." The four best novelettes are: "Marooned Under the Sea," "The Fifth-Dimension Catapult," "Beyond the Vanishing Point" and "Vagabonds of Space."—Eugene Bray, Campbell, Mo.

How Simple!

Dear Editor:

Just a few lines to set Mr. Greenfeld right on that question of how a man could be disintegrated and then reintegrated as two (or more) similar men.

Briefly, the atomic or molecular structure of the original man could serve as a pattern to be set up in the reintegrating machine or machines while he is being dissolved by the disintegrating machine. Thus, the reintegrators could reconstruct any number of similar men by following the pattern of his molecular structure and drawing on a prearranged supply of the basic elements.

As for the "soul," that is merely the manifestation of the chemical combinations in the man's body, and when said chemical combinations are duplicated, the "soul" simply follows suit.—Joseph N. Mosleh, 4002 Sixth Ave., Brooklyn, N. Y.

Both in One Issue

Dear Editor:

I think it's about time to let you know what I think of your wonderful magazine. Of course, I have my dislikes but they are very few. I wish you would make up your magazine larger and even the pages up. The best complete novelettes I have read were both in the same issue. They were "Monsters of Mars," by Edmond Hamilton and "Four Miles Within," by Anthony Gilmore. Wesso is by far your best artist. Please keep him. All the other Science Fiction magazines have quarterlies. Why don't you have one?

Good-by, and keep Astounding Stories up to its present standard.—Frederick Morrison, Long Beach, Calif.

"Good As Is"

Dear Editor:

I have been reading your mag for about five months and I like it very much. I don't see what those guys want a quarterly for. This mag is good as it is and there is no use to spoil it. Wesso is a swell artist, and the best story I read was "The Wall of Death."

I'd like to get acquainted with some of your Readers. How about it, boys?

I'll sign off.—L. Sloan, Box 101, Onset, Mass.

Just Imagine!

Dear Editor:

To begin, I am a mechanic more or less skilled in the handling of tools. Now, while I have seen many builders with tools who were dubbed "spineless," "poor fish," etc., it was not because they remotely resembled the piscatorial or Crustacea families.

It seems to me that when an author endows reptiles, cuttlefish, etc., with superhuman intelligence, and paints a few pictures of them as master-mechanics in the use of tools, then I want to take the magazine I am reading, that allows such silly slush in its pages, and feed it to my billy-goat; he may be able to digest such silliness, but I can't!

However, there is a redeeming feature of this sort of story: although not written as comedy, they have a comic effect, when one uses his imagination. Imagine, for instance, a giant sea crab as a traffic cop! He could direct four streams of traffic at once while making a date with the sweet young thing whom he had held up for a traffic violation! Then think what a great, intelligent reptile, crocodile, or what have you, could do in our Prohibition Enforcement Service! He could place his armored body across the road, and when rum runners bumped into him he could take his handy disintegrator and turn their load of white lightning back into the original corn patch! And suppose a giant, humanly-intelligent centipede should make too much whoopee some night, and endeavor to slip upstairs without waking the wife. Even if he succeeded in getting off his thousand pairs of shoes, which is doubtful, he would have a sweet time keeping his myriad of legs under control after partaking of some of the tangle-foot dispensed nowadays!

I hope your Authors will read and heed the delicate sarcasm contained in the letter of Robert R. Young in your April issue.—Carl F. Morgan, 427 E. Columbia Ave., College Park, Ga.

"Craves Excitement"

Dear Editor:

I have been a silent Reader of your magazine for quite a long while, but have finally decided to come forth with my own little contribution to "The Readers' Corner." So far I have seen only two other women Readers' letters. I suppose most women are interested in love stories, though I fail to see anything very exciting in any that are written nowadays; and I crave excitement in my reading. I've read about most everything there is about this old earth, so I've decided to wander into new fields.

Now for a little discussion about Astounding Stories. I haven't any brickbats to throw. You seem to get more of them than is necessary. I like the size, the price, the cover, the illustrator, the authors, etc. Some stories don't exactly take my fancy but the average is 100% with me.

Some that particularly pleased me were "Marooned Under the Sea," way back in the September issue, "Jetta of the Low-lands" and "Beyond the Vanishing Point." "Gray Denim" and "Ape-men of Xloti" in the December issue rite A-1, too.

I congratulate Ray Cummings on his new story, even though I haven't started to read it yet. I always know I'll enjoy his work, no matter what it is. Time-traveling is one of my special dishes, too.

Here's a little dig. I'm sorry, I didn't think I'd have any, but I just thought of this. It seems to me that I never see any stories written by two authors. Of course the stories by single authors are O. K., but the particular two I am thinking of are Edgar A. Manley and Walter Thode. They wrote "The Time Annihilator," as you probably know. That was one of the best time-traveling stories I have ever read. I'm only sorry that it couldn't have been published by Astounding Stories.

Well, I don't want to make myself tiresome the very first time, so I'll sign off. Please excuse the rather unconventional stationary, but I'm writing this at the office in my spare time. Hope I haven't worn my welcome out, but I had so much stored up to say.

I'm waiting for the April issue, so please hurry it up.—Betty Mulharen, 50 E. Philadelphia Ave, Detroit, Mich.

A Daisy for S. P. Wright

Dear Editor:

Were good old President George Washington himself to travel through time to the present and look upon the April issue of Astounding Stories, I am certain he would only repeat what I say: "Editor, I cannot tell a lie. This is the best issue yet!"

The cover on this issue is unique in that Astounding Stories is written in red and white letters. I do not recall of ever having seen this done to any Science Fiction magazine before. Wesso's illustration leaves nothing to be desired.

Going straight through the book: "The Monsters of Mars." Good old Edmond Hamilton saves the world for us again in the very nick of time—and we like it, too! Here's hoping there's a million more dangers threatening Terra for Mr. Hamilton to save us from! By the way, I wonder who drew the illustration for this story? I can't make out his name. Next: "The Exile of Time," by Cummings. Exciting and well illustrated. "Hell's Dimension" is well-written and very interesting. Would have liked it longer. "The World Behind the Moon" is splendid. More by Mr. Ernst, please. More from Mr. Gilmore, too, because of his novelette, "Four Miles Within." "The Lake of Light" by that popular author Jack Williamson surpasses his "The Meteor Girl" in a recent issue of "our" magazine. And now I come to the last and perhaps most interesting story of the issue: Mr. Sewell Peaslee Wright's record of the interplanetary adventures of the Special Patrol as told by Commander John Hanson. This series is unsurpassable in its vivid realness. I can't help but believe that these tales really occurred, or will occur in the distant future. And Mr. Wright is as expert at conceiving new forms of life as Edmond Hamilton is at saving our Earth.

"The Readers' Corner" is an interesting feature, and I am glad to hear that "Murder Madness" and "Brigands of the Moon" are now in book form.—Forrest J. Ackerman, 530 Staples Ave., San Francisco, Calif.

Mass Production

Dear Editor:

After reading Mr. Greenfield's letter in your April issue regarding my story, "An Extra Man," I feel that I should like to call his attention to a point which, it seems to me, he has overlooked, namely, that the reconstructed men were not composed of the original physical matter of the disintegrated man but of identical elements, all of which are at present known and available to science.

According to the hypothesis, Drayle could have produced as many entities as he desired and provided for, just as a radio broadcast is reproduced in as many places as are prepared for its reception. The vibrations alone are transmitted, and the reproduction is the result of a reciprocal mechanical action by physical matter at the receiving end. Any radio engineer knows that the original sound waves are not transported, but merely their impress upon the electrical radio wave. So, Drayle's disintegrating and sending apparatus only transmitted the vibrations which enabled his machines at the receiving end to select from a more than adequate supply of raw material, in due proportion and quantities, as much as was required for the reproduction of the disintegrated entities.

I think that if Mr. Greenfield will reread the story, noting the following references, he will agree that if the hypothesis is accepted the conclusion is logical:

1—It is only Jackson Gee and not Drayle who speaks of transmitting the constituent elements by radio (page 120).

2—The scientist, Drayle, says, (page 129) "We already know the elements that make the human body, and we can put them together in the their proper proportions and arrangements; but we have not been able to introduce the vitalizing spark, the key vibrations, to start it going." He does not say that tangible matter can be transmitted by radio.

3—In the account of Drayle's preliminary experiments (page 122) there is no statement to the effect that the original material composing the disintegrated glass was used in its recreation.

4—There is nothing in the story to indicate that the original physical composition of the disintegrated man was transported, in any manner to any outside location. The process of disintegration was necessary to obtain the vibrations that would make possible their repetition, which under proper conditions would induce a reproduction of the original, just as a song must be sung before it can be reproduced upon a phonograph disc, but which, once recorded can be repeated times without number.

5—Drayle's question (page 124) "Have you arranged the elements?" refers to the elements out of which all mankind is composed and which Drayle has previously mentioned (page 120).

6—The narrator emphasizes this aspect of the discovery when he says, on page 124, "I seemed to see man's (not the man's) elementary dust and vapors whirled from great containers upward into a stratum of shimmering air and gradually assume the outlines of a human form that became first opaque, then solid, and then a sentient being." And again (page 126), "The best of the race could be multiplied indefinitely and man could make man literally out of the dust of the earth." This does not imply a split-up of one individual into several smaller sizes or fractional parts, but rather the production of identical entities exactly as thousands of phonograph records can be created from the master matrix.

7—As to the question of soul, I suggest that inasmuch as what we call the soul of an individual is always judged by that individual's behavior, and that medical science now maintains that behavior is largely dependent upon our physical mechanism, it would follow that the identical human mechanisms would have identical souls.—Jackson Gee.

"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.

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

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