Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Scientifiction: The Transformation of Professor Schmitz

(Click on thumbnail to read pdf file in your browser. Right-click [or control-click if you have a one-button mouse] and select "Download Linked File" to save pdf file to your computer. Feel free to distribute the unaltered file.)

You may have noticed that I've been presenting a lot of material here on the blog with connections to Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume 2. The Star Trek New Voyages episode "World Enough and Time" (subject of a 21-page feature article) for YouTube Tuesday. Stories by authors in the volume for Friday Radio. And, of course, previews for Thursday Preview. If I could find games with a connection for Monday Game, or a serial with a connection for Saturday Matinee, you know I'd be right on it.

But I really didn't expect to find a connection for Sunday Scientifiction. I found it pretty much by accident; I simply found the earliest story by an author we haven't seen before in my (small) pre-Amazing Stories Gernsback magazine collection, and gave it a read. And hey presto.

This may be the earliest story to deal scientifically with the idea of teleportation—the notion that entered the public mind most indelibly with Star Trek's transporter. And did I mention that all the fiction in Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume 2, is by writers from the various Star Trek television series? I did? Oh.

Anyway, its primacy forgives it some sins. Like many of the stories in the early Gernsback magazines, it mostly exists to present a scientific idea. And once it's done that—in this case, just when it feels like a plot is about to break out, it kind of slams to a close.

By the way, as a cat owner, I don't think I'd put mine to the use that Prof. Schmitz does his. I find it difficult enough to keep track of them without beaming them all over the place.

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