Saturday, August 6, 2011

Free Fiction: The Ideal

Spring cleaning continues here at Thrilling Wonder Stories.  (It's typical of me that I shouldn't get around to "spring cleaning" until July.)

Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume 1 (easier to find under its original title, Thrilling Wonder Stories – Summer 2007) featured the classic 1935 novelette "The Worlds of If," by Stanley G. Weinbaum, who had one of the most brilliant short careers in science fiction history.  "The Worlds of If" was the first of three adventures involving the inventions of the brilliant Professor Haskel van Manderpootz, and how they complicate the life of lovelorn young Dixon Wells in the distant future of about 2020.

I  prepared the second, "The Ideal," for print in Volume 2, and was mostly done before I decided to make it a Star Trek-themed issue.  And that's how it was left, an unfinished Quark file... until today, when I polished it up for your cost-free reading pleasure.

In today's Free Fiction, Dixon learns the hard lesson that, to coin a phrase, you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find... you can't get what you need, either.  It strikes me that, for comedies, the endings of these van Manderpootz stories are kind of downers.  But, even more than three-quarters of a century after his extremely untimely death, the writing of Stanley G. Weinbaum remains so intelligent and vibrant, it's a great read even though we wouldn't to be this story's hero.

(If there's a question mark below, instead of a thumbnail image, OpenDrive is having one of its moods again, and you should try again later.)

click image to download story (2.06MB pdf)

Notice, by the way, the reference to the "market crash of 2009."  Boy, I'm glad in the 76 years since this story first appeared, we've learned enough about economics to keep that sort of thing from happening in real life.  (Breaks down sobbing.)


Kevin Martin King said...

Winston! So glad to see you're back! TWS is my favorite blog in the entire cyber-verse!

I'm very much looking forward to reading the Weinbaum. Thanks so much for making it available.

P.S. Are you back to publishing yet? Hope so!

The Editor said...

I'm not publishing anything right now, and I don't have immediate plans, but who knows about the future?

For the other, oh, five or six people reading this blog: Kevin wrote a great story for Volume 1/Summer 2007. It was about this secret, additional Apollo mission to the Moon. Sound familiar? And we had it first, first, I tell you!

Kevin Martin King said...

Oh, yeah-- that Apollo 18 thing? Argh. You did have it first. YOU were the visionary.

The Editor said...

Well, YOU were the visionary. I just recognized vision when I saw it.

(Okay, mutual admiration society developing, here.)

Kevin Martin King said...

A regular League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

I haven't seen APOLLO 18 yet (Sept. 2, I think, is the release) but I was a bit disappointed at the filmmakers' apparentl lack of research into the Apollo program.

Apollo 18 was, technically, Apollo-Soyuz-- in this timeline, our timeline.

However-- and I haven't seen the film-- I can only assume APOLLO 18 exists in an alternate universe where Apollo-Soyuz never happened.

And maybe I'm thinking too much.