Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Radio: Conquerors' Isle (Escape)


Based on the story by Nelson Bond, originally published in Blue Book, June 1946.

Originally broadcast on CBS 60 years ago yesterday, March 5, 1949.


Nelson Bond (1908-2006) wrote science fiction for only about twenty years of his nearly century-long life, from 1937 to the late 1950's. His fiction appeared in Thrilling Wonder Stories eight times in 1940-43.

Several of his stories were adapted for radio, with "Mr. Mergenthwirker's Lobblies" not only presented at least six times, but also made into a series in 1938. The adaptation of his stories led to a new career in that medium, first by adapting his stories himself, then by writing originals for such series as Dr. Kildare and Hot Copy.

Similarly, his first television script was an adaptation of "Lobblies." Although he couldn't have entered television any earlier—his was the first play ever broadcast by a television network, in 1946—it took him a few years to write for the medium regularly, since at the time radio paid better.

Marshall University houses not just his personal papers, donated in 2002, but a replica of his home office.

Bond's life closely coincided with Jack Williamson's. Born almost seven months after Williamson, in 1908, Bond died six days before him.

Considering Williamson was 98, and Bond was less than three weeks short of it, I've tried not to feel responsible that just as I was seeking them out for the first volume of the new Thrilling Wonder Stories, they were compelled to leave this earth.

Source: Wikipedia

I don't have a copy of the original story, but I hope this exchange from this radio episode doesn't appear in it:

"A gas, perhaps?"
"No, because it had no form, and no odor, no taste."

That's true of many gases.

This file is very clear. As with a couple others we've presented, you can clearly hear when the music records they were using had crackles and pops of their own. And, at about 19:24, there's the unmistakable sound of an actor turning the page of his script.

2 comments:

MikeA said...

I own a copy of the collection that contains that story, and I can assure you no such exchange appears in it. I can just imagine how Nelson (whom I counted as a friend) would have chafed when he heard that. Still, thank you for finding this!

The Editor said...

That's a relief! Thanks for setting my mind to rest.