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Title: Futuria Fantasia, Winter 1940
Author: Bradbury, Ray
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Futuria Fantasia, Winter 1940" ***

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                           FUTURIA FANTASIA

                             Winter 1940

                           By Ray Bradbury



LAST ISSUE: We made a mistake that we will try not to repeat again very
soon. We printed the editorial page three weeks ahead of the remainder
of Futuria Fantasia, thereby creating no end of humorous confusion. We
babbled glibly, in the editorial, about two or three yarns that we later
decided were unprintable, and, at the same time, threw in some horrible
mistakes in grammar that must have left Shakespeare doing nip-ups in his
shroud.

[Illustration]

THIS ISSUE; J. Harvey Haggard bows into what we hope will be a regular
spotlight in Futuria Fantasia.... Emil Petaja, whose verses have
appeared in Weird Tales, makes his self known with a neat little weird
yarn and a poem.... Again H.V.B. comes to the fore with a sequel to THE
GALAPURRED FORSENDYKE--THE VOICE OF SCARILIOP ... and, in case you have
wondered about or will wonder about these two unusual yarns, we are
printing them for no other reason than that we like their description,
they tickle our mental palate, they are word pictures of surrealistic
dreams ... and anyone who guesses who H.V.B is will get the next edition
of Futuria Fantasia gratis.... Henry Hasse blows in and blows up with a
rebuttle against Foo E. Onya and does himself right proud by
science-fiction.... Ross Rocklynne, prominent Eastern schlameel, offers
us a pitiful excuse for an article, HOW TO GET ABOUT.... Ron Reynolds,
we have no doubt, will manage to get into the magazine somehow with his
horrendous FIGHT OF THE GOOD SHIP CLARISSA, but if we can do anything at
all we'll print it on invisible paper.... Anthony Corvais, if you start
guessing who did it, wrote the short story in the rear by the title of
THE SYMPHONIC ABDUCTION.... Hannes Bok, who has another cover on Weird
Tales for March, has drawn our cover again and many inside
illustrations, including a large advertisement for Hell, under which you
will find a descriptive poem written by Guy Amory. Unlike Finlay, who
draws pictures from poems, we procure pictures from Bok and write poems
about them. In fact, I blushingly admit, I even wrote a ten thousand
word novelette around that little creature on the cover of the first
Futuria Fantasia ... which, no doubt, will have its share of rejections
very soon, in which case I will foist on my poor unsuspecting public,
both of them, this story now titled LORELEI. I would have included it in
this issue, but Russell J. Hodgkins threatened me so venemously that I
gave in told him to put down his gun. It might be a good idea, by the
way, if more of you readers wrote us letters criticizing FuFa. So far we
have heard nothing from Madle, Baltadonis, E.E. Smith, Kuslan,
Marconette, Taurasi, Dikty, Wilson, or Speer. How in hell, we ask you
guys, can we improve if you won't write in and tell us if and why we
stink? Co-operation, please....

       *       *       *       *       *

NEXT ISSUE: Robert A Heinlein, of the LA SFL, whose _noval_ is now
current in Astounding, will begin the first of a series of short stories
written on order for Futuria Fantasia. Ross Rocklynne, also, takes an
encore with a thot-provoking, accent on provoking, story or article.
Henry Hasse will be here in company with Ross Hodgkins. Hodgkins
possibly writing on Technocracy. And, if schedules go through, an
article to end all articles, by Charlie Hornig, fresh and sassay from
New Yawk. Other possible bets are Fred Shroyer, Guy Amory, Anthony
Corvais, Emil Petaja, Willy Ley, Doug Rogers, August Derleth, Ackerman
and T. Bruce Yerke. Send your dime for the Spring Edition now--or a
quarter for the Spring, Summer and Fall issues. Introduce FuFa to your
friends and help us grow.



THE VOICE OF SCARILIOP

H. V. B.


Four pillars, arising out of the stone like strange growing things of
demoniac shape--these Redforth saw and comprehended, knowing full well
that Tarath had always abounded in monstrosities. "But what," he asked
himself, "will knowing of such as this, be of use to me, as I search for
Ghiltharmie?" For he had at last come to realise, to admit even to
himself, that he was a lost thing. The Yulphog had taken his soul. They
had exiled him to this lost land of dread. But they'd hinted of escape,
if he could find it. "Si Yamlon," he had told him, pointing to a
writhing belt of suns, lifting and lowering at the horizon like the
yellow crest of a flaming wave. And he had nodded his head. They had
vanished, disintegrating, it seemed. He didn't then know that they were
related to Topper's friends and the jeep in one thing: that their
Typonisif and Tregoifer was applicable to the atmosphere.

The four pillars were bending from their own weight. Strange
colors--like an idiot's conception of a spectrum, spectrally rippled
like irid waves across the columns. Like music in color. Assailed by
their complex harmonies, Redforth could only stand speechless, hands
thrust defensively forward. IT WAS THEN THAT HE SAW EIRY.

The pillars split. From each of then drifted a whiff of steam. They
united into a wavering cloud which shimmered an instant in mid-air, then
settled to the ground. And as it touched the metallic grass blades which
stretched on and on like the upraised swords of a midget army, the
vapor-cloud condensed into a woman's body. EIRY. Queen of Scariliop!

He recognized her at once, tho he had only read of her. She was not
human. Her body was like a snake's, and she had bat wings. From a
cluster of writhing worm-tentacles leered her face, like a mask in the
heart of a seething flower. It was oval, and the scarlet mouth was like
a velvet cushion--disproportionate--waiting for some priceless burden.
Her nose was negligible, but her lone eye was vast and blue; like a
doorway opening upon a sky too blue to belong to our world. Like blue
incarnate: and blue is the color of MYSTERY.

She opened her mouth, and her tongue unrolled, uncoiled toward Redforth.
Three feet long, the tongue was filamental, like a strand of red cobweb,
tipped by a touch of fluff like a dandelion's seed. This member wandered
lightly over Redforth's cheek, and for the first time EIRY spoke: "It
comes to me that here is the man for whom we have been seeking,
Yasgorphitove." Her voice was soft as clouds. Redforth in vain peered to
behold her companion. "Now shall we enlighten him as to the ways of
escape? In return for a favor, of course."

The air about her, for a fleeting instant, had turned blue. Then she
nodded. She leaned forward, to whisper, but suddenly there was a
crackling. "The rock!" she cried. "The rock! I must return before it is
too late and I too am trapped!" She writhed, became coiling wreathes of
smoke, and the smoke flowed back to the rocks, hovered over it. The four
pillars quivered and joined into one and then, in a twinkling, had
crumbled to powder.

But there was an uncanny blueness in the air about Redforth. And that
night he had a dreadful dream.

For he had become--Yrthicaol! And EIRY had been merely--THE BAIT!



AW G'WAN!

_HENRY HASSE_


THERE! If "Foo E. Onya", in the last issue, could use a pseudonym so can
I. I read his article, I'M THROUGH, with varying degrees of interest. If
an answer were really necessary, it could be found more appropriately in
the two words of my title above, than in any words that might follow.
And that brings up my first point in my rebuttal--

Why is it that people, including the lowly science-fiction fan, (to
paraphrase Mr. Onya) always feel it necessary to hide behind a pseudonym
when they have something to say which they think will displease someone?
I've seen this happen so many times! And, coincidently, why SHOULD Mr.
Onya take such pains to be unpleasent in print? Why should he feel it
necessary to make one final, grand broadcast to the effect that he will
no longer read paltry science-fiction? Does he think that any real lover
of sci-fic gives a damn whether there is one less reader, especially a
reader who crawls behind such a silly pseudonym as "Onya"? I've seen
other broadcasts such as Mr. Onya's, and they always puzzled me. It
surely can be nothing else but the egotistical urge.

But I'm convinced that Onya isn't half so bitter really against
sci-fiction as he tries to pretend. He's not really through. Because
anyone really bitter against and through with sci-fic would simply stop
reading it, not start deriding it! And I doubt if any person, once a
fan, has ever completely broken away from sci-fic, THEY ALWAYS COME
BACK.

And right here I'd like to say that a good deal of my doubt as to Onya's
sincerity is because I'm fairly certain of the fellow's real identity.
The general tone of his article, and several clues he divulged, convince
me I'm right. And if I AM right, I can assure you, Brad, and any other
readers who nay have been picqued at Onya's tone, that he shouldn't be
taken seriously, and the less attention paid to his rantings, the
better. I'm sure Onya would feel flattered if he thot someone took his
article so seriously as to answer it. Yet here I am answering it, and
damned if I know why, except that I think I took some of Mr. Onya's
phrasing personally, almost. I don't think he should have gone to the
extent of calling names and using words such as "moronic", "arrogant",
etc.

Aside from this his piece seemed to me a conglomeration of
contradictions, inconsistencies, praises here, derisions there, pats on
the back, exaggerations, sneers and scorn, and, oh yes, a book review.
Yes, I liked and appreciated and mostly agreed with Onya's comments on
BRAVE NEW WORLD. It's a book which I'm sure sure many of the _moronic_
sci-fic fans appreciated as well as Mr, Onya. But here's where Mr.
Onya's and my tastes differ slightly, for I _also_ liked PLANET OF THE
KNOB HEADS in the Dec. issue of SCIENCE FICTION, whereas Mr. Onya
probably wouldn't deign to read it because it's in one of the pulp mags.
that he so deplores; thereby Mr. Onya would be missing a really
entertaining and meaningful piece of writing, but that's all right,
since Mr. Onya's own words said: "There is so much else of importance
that has been written--".

You know, somehow I cannot bring myself to be as vitriolic against Mr.
Onya as he was against sfn at moments. He tried hard to work up a case
against sfn, poor fellow, and became (to me at least) amusing instead of
convincing. Do you know what I saw? I saw a person who is temporarily
_satiated_, as he said, with sfn,--but more than that, a person who is
merely trying to persuade _himself_, more than other people, that sfn is
as bad as he painted it! Naturally every fan has his likes and dislikes
of the various stories, authors and magazines. Some have more _dislikes_
than likes. I think even I do. But it must be admitted that every once
in a while, usually unexpectedly, there pops up a story which is a
delectable gem and a masterpiece, either of ingenuity or writing or
both. Then one is exultant, and one continues reading sfn, even some
trite and bad sfn, knowing that regularly he will encounter one of the
gems which he wouldn't have missed reading for the world! Meanwhile we
have with us Clark Ashton Smith, C. L. Moore, Stanton Coblentz
(delightful sometimes, not always), A. Merritt, and an occasional few
others, whose work I doubt if even Mr. Onya could glibly pronounce as
ordinary pulp. And we did have Lovecraft, Weinbaum, Howard, and others
of whom the same thing can be said.

Naturally, too, a lot of criticism can be directed against sfn and sfn
readers. A lot of criticism can be directed against _everything_, and
usually is, by certain people who take an unholy delight in it. I myself
have sometimes snorted in wrath at the gross egotism and, yes, stupidity
and childishness, of certain fans. I would have taken great delight in
kicking their blooming teeth down their bloody well bally throats. But
did I do this? Did I succumb to this desire? No, I did not. I never got
close enough. A more important reason is that I had the patience to
realize this type of fan is a minority (_not_ a majority, Mr. Onya, by
any means!). But what I did _not_ do was write bitter articles about it.

Here is only one of Mr. Onya's inconsistencies: he makes such
statements as "fans are arrogant, blind, critically moronic", etc.--and
"editors and writers as well cannot see anything beyond their own
perverted models." In virtually the next breath he admires P. Schuyler
Miller's intellectuality. Yet P. Schuyler Miller continues to write
sfn, reads it, and is one of the active fans.

Furthermore, I disagree outright and violently with Onya's statement,
"When literature becomes possessed of _ideas as such_, it is no longer
literature." And I'd like to challenge Onya to a further debate on this,
if he _dares_. Also his statement about Wells' early stories. It so
happens (what a coincidence!) that I also read Wells' EXPERIMENT IN
AUTOBIOGRAPHY--and yes, while Wells did admit his early sfn stories were
a preparation for his later and more serious writing, he did _not_
disclaim them as not being literature of their own type. The trouble
with Mr. Onya, I'm afraid, is that he has (deliberately?) lost sight of
the fact that there is literature _and_ literature. Instead, he wants
everything to conform precisely to his own rather peculiar conception of
literature. I'll make a statement right here that will undoubtedly shock
Mr. Onya: I'll go so far as to say that pulp fiction, even the pulpiest
of pulp fiction, is really and truly LITERATURE, insofar as it has its
own special niche, its own certain purpose for being. There, I've said
it! I'll admit, Mr. Onya, that it took a little courage to say it. But I
ask all who read this, isn't it true when you come to think of it?

I have not dealt with Onya's article nearly to the extent that I might,
but I don't think it's really necessary, mainly because, as I said, I
have a very strong idea who Foo E. Onya is. I wish I could hazard my
suspicion right here, but I'm so sure I'm right, and both the editor and
Onya seem so determined to keep it secret, that I cannot be otherwise
than silent. I will merely conclude by reiterating my doubt that you,
"Foo E. Onya", are really disclaiming sfn. At least I hope you will
continue both reading and writing it. But I swear, if I ever hear of you
doing so, I shall feel sorely tempted to broadcast what a hypocrite you
were with that article!



THE FIGHT OF THE GOOD SHIP CLARISSA

by one who should know better


The space rocket Clarissa was nine days out from Venus. The members of
the crew were also out for nine days. They were hunters, fearless
expeditionists who bagged game in Venusian jungles. At the start of our
story they are busy bagging their pants, not to forget their eyes. A
sort of lull has fallen over the ship (Note: a lull is a time warp that
frequently attacks rockets and seduces its members into a siesta). It
was during this lull that Anthony Quelch sat sprawled at his typewriter
looking as baggy as a bag of unripe grapefruit. ANTHONY QUELCH, the
Cosmic Clamor Boy, with a face like turned linoleum on the third term,
busy writing a book: "Fascism is Communism with a shave" for which he
would receive 367 rubles, 10 pazinkas and incarceration in a cinema
showing Gone With The Wind.

The boys upstairs were throwing a party in the control room. They had
been throwing the same party so long the party looked like a worn out
first edition of a trapeze artist. There is doubt in our mind as to
whether they were trying to break the party up or just do the morning
mopping and break the lease simultaneously. Arms, legs and heads
littered the deck. The boys, it seems, threw a party at the drop of a
chin. Sort of a space cataclysm with rules and little regulation--kind
of an atomic convulsion in the front parlor. The neighbors never
complained. The neighbors were 450 million miles away. And the boys were
tighter than a catsup bottle at lunch-time. The last time the captain
had looked up the hatch and called to his kiddies in a gentle voice,
"HELL!" the kiddies had thrown snowballs at him. The captain had
vanished. Clever way they make these space bombs nowadays. A few minutes
previous the boys had been tearing up old Amazings and throwing them at
one another, but now they contented themselves with tearing up just the
editors. Palmer was torn in half and he sat in a corner arguing with
himself about rejecting a story for an hour before someone put him
through an orange juice machine killing him. (Orange juice sorry, now?)

And then they landed on Venus. How in heck they got back there so quick
is a wonder of science, but there they were. "Come on, girls!" cried
Quelch, "put on your shin guards, get out there and dig ditches for good
old W.P.A. and the Rover Boys Academy, earth branch 27!"

Out into the staggering rain they dashed. Five minutes later they came
back in, gasping, reeling. They had forgotten their corsets! The
Venusians closed in like a million land-lords. "Charge, men!" cried
Quelch, running the other way. And then--BATTLE! "What a fight; folks,"
cried Quelch. "Twenty thousand earth men against two Venusians! We're
outnumbered, but we'll fight!" BLOOSH! "Correction--ten thousand men
fighting!" KERBLOM! "One hundred men from earth left!" BOOM! "This is
the last man speaking, folks! What a fight. I ain't had so much fun
since--Help, someone just clipped my corset strings!" BWOM! "Someone
just clipped me!"

The field was silent. The ship lay gleaming in the pink light of dawn
that was just blooming over the mountains like a pale flower. The two
Venusians stood weeping over the bodies of the Earthlings like onion
peelers or two women in a bargain basement. One Venusian looked at the
other Venusian, and in a high-pitched, hoarse, sad voice said: "Aye,
aye, aye--THIS--HIT SHOODEN HEPPEN TO A DOG--NOT A DOIDY LEEDLE DOG!"
And dawn came peacefully, like beer barrels, rolling.



_The Intruder_

_emil petaja_


It was in San Francisco, on the walk above the sand and surf that
pounded like the heart of the earth. There was wind, the sky and sea
blended in a grey mist.

I was sitting on a stone bench watching a faint hint of distant smoke,
wondering what ship it was and from what far port.

Mine was a pleasent wind--loneliness. So when he came, wrapped in his
great overcoat and muffler, hat pulled down, and sat on my bench I was
about to rise and leave him. There were other benches, and I was not in
the mood for idle gossip about Hitler and taxes.

"Don't go. Please." His plea was authentic.

"I must get back to my shop," I said.

"Surely you can spare a moment." I could not even to begin to place the
accent in his voice. Low as a whisper, tense. His deep-set eyes held
me ... his face was pale and had a serenity born of suffering. A placcid
face, not given to emotional betrayels, yet mystical. I sat down again.
Here was someone bewilderingly strange. Someone I wouldn't soon forget.
He moved a hand toward me, as tho to hold me from going, and I saw with
mild curiosity that he wore heavy gloves, like mittens.

"I am not well. I ... I must not be out in the damp air," I said. "But
today I just had to go out and walk. I had to."

"I can understand." I warmed to the wave of aloneness that lay in his
words. "I too have been ill. I know you, Otis Marlin. I have visited
your shop off Market Street. You are not rich, but the feel of the
covers on a fine book between your hands suffices. Am I right?"

I nodded, "But how...."

"You have tried writing, but have had no success. Alone in the world,
your loneliness has much a family man, harassed might envy."

"That's true," I admitted, wondering if he could be a seer, a fake
mystic bent on arousing in me an interest in spiritism favorable to his
pocket-book. His next words were a little amused, but he didn't smile.

"No, I'm not a psychic--in the ordinary sense, I've visited your shop. I
was there only yesterday," he said. And I remembered him. In returning
from my lunch I had met him coming out of my humble place of business.
One glimpse into those brooding eyes was not a thing to soon forget, and
I recalled pausing to watch his stiff-legged progress down the street
and around the corner.

There was now a pause, while I watched leaves scuttling along the oiled
walk in the growling wind. Then a sound like a sigh came from my
companion. It seemed to me that the wind and the sea spoke loudly of a
sudden, as tho approaching some dire climax. The sea wind chilled me as
it had not before, I wanted to leave.

"Dare I tell you? DARE I!" His white face turned upward. It was as
though he questioned some spirit in the winds.

I was silent; curious, yet fearful of what it might be he might not be
allowed to tell me. The winds were portentously still.

"Were you ever told, as a child, that you must not attempt to count the
stars in the sky at night--that if you did you might _lose your mind_?"

"Why, yes. I believe I've heard that old superstition. Very reasonable,
I believe; based on the assumption that the task would be too great for
one brain. I...."

"I suppose it never occurred to you," he interrupted, "that this
superstition might hold even more truth than that, truth as malignant as
it is vast. Perhaps the cosmos hold secrets beyond comprehension of man;
and what is your assurance that these secrets are beneficent and kind?
Is nature rather not terrible, than kind? In the stars are
patterns--designs which if read, might lure the intrepid miserable one
who reads them out of earth and beyond ... beyond, to immeasurable
evil.... Do you understand what I am saying?" His voice quivered
metallically, was vibrant with emotion.

I tried to smile, but managed only a sickly grin. "I understand you,
sir, but I am not in the habit of accepting nebulous theories such as
that without any shred of evidence."

"There is, sad to say, only too much evidence. But do you believe that
men have _lost their minds_ from incessant study of the stars?"

"Perhaps some have, I don't know," I returned. "But in the South of this
state in one of the country's leading observatories, I have a friend who
is famous as an astronomer. He is as sane as you or I. If not saner." I
tacked the last sentence on with significant emphasis.

The fellow was muttering something into his muffler, and I fancied I
caught the words "danger ..." and "fools ..." We were silent again. Low
dark clouds fled over the roaring sea and the gloom intensified.

Presently, in his clipt speech, the stranger said, "Do you believe that
life exists on other planets, other stars? Have you ever wondered what
kind of life might inhabit the other stars in this solar system, and
those beyond it?" His eyes were near mine as he spoke, and they
bewitched me. There was something in them, something intangible and
awful. I sensed that he was questioning me idly, as an outlander might
be questioned about things with which the asker is familiar, as I might
ask a New Yorker, "What do you think of the Golden Gate Bridge?"

"I wouldn't attempt to guess, to describe, for instance, a Martian man,"
I said. "Yet I read with interest various guesses by writers of
fiction." I was striving to maintain a mood of lightness and ease, but
inwardly I felt a bitter cold, as one on the rim of a nightmare. I
suddenly realized, with childish fear, that night was falling.

"Writers of fiction! And what if they were to _guess too well_? What
then? Is it safe for them to have full rein over their imaginations?
Like the star-gazers...." I said nothing, but smiled.

"Perhaps, man, there have been those whose minds were acute beyond most
earthly minds--those who have guessed too closely to truth. Perhaps
_those who are Beyond_ are not yet ready to make themselves known to
Earthlings? And maybe THEY, are annoyed with the puny publicity they
receive from imaginative writers.... Ask yourself, _what is
imagination_? Are earth-minds capable of conceiving that which is not
and has never been; or is this imagination merely a deeper insight
into worlds you know not of, worlds glimpsed dimly in the throes of
dream? And whence come these dreams? Tell me, have you ever awakened
from a dream with the sinister feeling that all was not well
inside your mind?--that while you, the real you, were away in
Limbo--_someone_--some_thing_ was probing in your mind, invading it and
reading it. Might not THEY leave behind them in departure shadowy
trailings of _their_ own minds?"

Now I was indeed speechless. For a strange nothing had started my
neck-hairs to prickling. Authors who might have guessed too well....
Two, no three, writers whose stories had hinted at inconceivable yet
inevitable dooms; writers I had known; had recently died, by accident.

"What of old legends? Of the serpent who shall one day devour the sun.
That legend dates back to Mu and Atlantis. Who, man, was and is Satan?
Christ? And Jehovah? benevolent and all-saving, were but a monstrous
jest fostered by THEY to keep man blindly content, and keep him divided
among himself so that he strove not to unravel the stars?"

"Man, in my foolish youth I studied by candleflame secrets that would
scorch your very soul. Of women who with their own bare hands have
strangled the children they bore so that the world might not know....
Disease and sickness at which physicians throw up their hands in
helpless bafflement. When strong men tear at their limbs and heads and
agony--seeking to drive forth alien forces that have netted themselves
into their bodies. I need scarcely recount them all, each with its own
abominable significance. It is THEM. Who are eternal and nameless, who
send their scouts down to test earth-man. Don't you realize that they
have watched man creep out of primal slimes, take limbs and shamble, and
finally walk? And that they are waiting, biding their time...." I
shivered with a fear beyond name. I tried to laugh and could not. Then,
bold with stark horror, I shouted quite loudly: "How do you know this?
Are you one of THEM?" He shook his head violently. "No, no!" I made as
to go, feeling an aching horror within me.

"Stay only a moment more, man. I will have pity on you and will not tell
you all. I will not describe _them_. And I will not assay that which,
when upon first seeing you here by the sea, _I first intended_...." I
listened. Not daring to look at him; as in the grip of daemonaic dream.
My fingers clutched at the edges of the bench so tightly that I have
been unable to write with them until now. He concluded thus:

"So you see that I am everywhere a worldless alien. Sometimes this
secret is too great for one mind to contain, and I must talk. I must
feel the presence of someone human near me, else I shall attempt to
commit suicide and again fail. It is without end--my horror. Have pity
on me, man of earth, as I have had pity on you."

It was then that I gripped him by the shoulders and looked with pleading
desperation into his staring eyes. "Why have you told me? What--" My
voice broke. My hands fell to my sides. I shuddered.

He understood. Shrieked one word: "PITY!" into my insensible ear, and
was gone.

That was 3 nites ago and each nite since has been hell. I cannot
remember how long it was after the STRANGER left that I found myself
able to move, to rise, hobble home, suddenly ancient with knowledge. And
I cannot--WILL NOT--reveal to you all that I heard.

I thot myself insane, but after an examination, a physician pronounced
me that I had been strained mentally. I am competent. But I wonder if he
is wrong.

I view the silken stars tonight with loathing. HE sought to master their
inscrutable secret meaning, and succeeded. He imagined, he dreamed; and
he fed his sleep with potions, so that he might learn where his mind
might be during sleep, and himself probe into the mind that wandered
from space into his resting body-shell. I am no scientist, no
bio-chemist, so I learned little of his methods. Only that he did
succeed in removing his mind from Earth, and soaring to some remote
world over and beyond this universe--where THEY dwell. And THEY knew him
to be a mind of Earth, he told me. He but hinted of the evil he beheld,
so potent with dread that it shattered his mind. And THEY cured him, and
sent him back to earth.... "They are waiting!" he shrieked, in his
grating skeleton of a voice. "They are contemptuous of man and his
feeble colonies. But they fear that some day, like an overgrown idiot
child, he may do them harm. But before this time--when Man has
progressed into a ripeness--THEY will descend! Then they will come in
hordes to exploit the world as THEY did before!"

Of his return, and his assuming the role of a man, the Alien spoke
evasively. It was to be assurred that this talk of his was not some
repulsive caprice; to know that all of it was true, that I gripped him
and beheld him. To my everlasting horror, I must know. Little in itself,
what I saw, but sufficient to cause me to sink down on the stone bench
in a convulsive huddle of fear. Never again in life can I tear this
clutching terror from my soul. Only this: That when I looked into his
staring eyes in the dimness of murky twilight, and before he understood
and quickly avaunted, I glimpsed with astoundment and repugnance that
between the muffling of his coat and black scarf _the INTRUDER wore a
meticulously painted metal mask--to hide what I must not see_....



[Illustration]

ASPHODEL:

by E. T. PINE


    Down where skies are always dark,
    Where is ever heard the bark
    Of monstrous ebon hounds of hell,
    In a dreadful fearsome knell,
    Never fading, ever bright,
    With a weird and spectral light,
    Blooms a flower of ancient days,
    Shining in a crimson maze;
    When the black bat shrilly screams
    Asphodel, you haunt my dreams--

    From the lands of distant death
    Steals the perfume of your breath:

    Some night soon the wind will blow
    Saffron seeds to fall and grow
    By my casement window, where,
    Sleeps my loved one, still and fair;
    Then, the night you are to bloom
    I shall creep from out my room,
    From your blossom by the wall
    Shall I hear her dear voice call:
    Mournfully the wind will cry,
    And shadows cover all the sky--
    My lips will touch the loved dead
    When where you nod I lay my head....



MARMOK

by Emil Pataja


    Sleep that doth harbour a dream of dread,
    Whence come the fingers that beckoned and led
    My dream-stung soul from my canopied bed--
    Whither dost take me, ere I am dead?
    Beyond the skull-grinning mid-March moon
    Over the phosphorous-lit lagoon
    Out past the darkest pits of the night,
    Fast thru the stars in this evil flight;
    Lead thee me out past the rim of space,
    Show me that ravenous, pain-black face,
    Marmok, whose myrmidons ever are questing
    For souls who wander at nite, unresting.
    Then shall I know an ultimate bliss
    Tasting the fury of that cosmic kiss,
    Whilst my earth-cloak lies limply on the floor
    To waken and gibber forevermore.

       *       *       *       *       *

What is the dim monstrosity that shimmers across the stars, what hand is
that to cradle planets, earth and mars. What misshapen gargantuan of
nebulous formed flesh, hurls out its flood of darkness, the systems to
enmesh. What is it walks across the universes chanting cosmic choruses
with endless verses--what thing unutterable has visited our Earth long
years ago, and now, tonite, returns, in the shadows lurking glow. What
ancient fear is with me, cold and terrible? Is that the shape of man
upon the constellations, blotting out the light--or something gasping in
hideous delight, plucking at the planets in insanity, at play, causing
suns to boil like cauldrons, meteors to sing upon their way with
mournful voices, lost ghosts upon lonely trails--wailing--wailing. Is
tonight our rendezvous with the Cosmos Thing, the Colossus bigger than
Andromeda that sits upon the throne of space--or are these fantasies
upon my aged eyes?



HADES

[Illustration]


    Upon the shores of molten seas stand men, stand men alone,

    And down below, in the molten flow, in the waves that cry and moan

    Are women bare with flaming hair, whose passions have no surcease.

    And in the air, midst the scarlet glare, are more who will never
    know Peace.



THE BEST WAYS TO GET AROUND


I don't mean socially; I mean off the Earth and between the planets.
There are a few really good ways, as invented by perspiring authors in
science-fiction magazines. And if I miss any, which is extremely
doubtful, remember that I'm writting from memory, that I hadn't read
_all_ the scientifiction magazines from 1926 and on, and that I am not
going to go researching through the tremendous stacks of old
scientifiction magazines that I now have in my possession.

Now, what DO I mean by THE BEST WAYS TO GET AROUND? Briefly, by the word
BEST, I mean so pseudo-logical that you could almost leave off the
"pseudo". See? (No)

For instance, Jack Williamson's geodesic machinery, wherein he warps
space around, appeals to me as being pure fairy tale stuff. He just
gives a lot of verbal hocus-pocus, and runs off reams of litterary
fertilizer until we throw up our hands in disgust and say; "O.K., O.K.,
Jack, to hell with that, let's get on with the 'story'. We'll grant you
that you _can_ get around."--And we're willing to grant E.E. Smith the
same privilege. He _DOES_ get around--anybody disagree? The question is;
how? Oh, by useing "X", and the inertialess drive. The same with brother
Burroughs. What do we care if dear old John Carter "yearns" himself to
Mars? He gets there, and we are happy, or were happy.

So, we exclude all those from THE BEST WAYS TO GET AROUND. They are very
nice and convenient to get people places; but, when we run across one of
the "BEST WAYS" we often wonder if it REALLY WOULDN'T be possible,
provided----. Of course, that word "provided" is the catch--the reason
why we really aren't going around that way.

Again--So, way back there, Edmond Hamilton, and a hundred others, have
used the idea of _light-preasure_ in an attempt to get away from
rockets. But he didn't tell us how, scientifictionaly. In direct
contrast to vauge statements made regarding the use of _light-preasure_
as propulsion, I remember the MOON CONQUORS, by R.H. Romans, in a 1931
(I think) (You're right, 4SJ) quarterly. You've seen radiometers. The
things with black and white vanes placed in a vacuum. The theory is that
the opposite shades cause unbalanced light preasure, so that the vanes
go around and around. Romans invented a pseudo-scientifically logical
way to use _light-preasure_, once he got his ship in space. His
scientist invented a compound of _absolute black_. (Which is also
obtainable in a darkroom) A small square of darkroom--or, I mean,
absolute black painted on the posterior of the ship, and regulated at
will, gave the same ship quite respectable speeds. Certainly it won't
work outside of a story--but, I'm talking scientifictionally. Romans
used his imagination, and we all had fun.

In the same story, Romans used a swell device to get the ship off the
earth. He used a mile-long tube, composed of circular magnets. It was a
_magnetic gun_. Each magnet pulled the ship towards it, and then, as the
ship passed it, the magnet's poles were reversed, and made to repel the
ship. With each magnet at maximum charge, either pulling or pushing the
ship, according to whether it was in front or behind the latter, the
same erupted from the tube with the necessary 7 M.P.S. velocity of
escape, and so was off on the way to the moon. What's wrong with the
idea? I dunno.

John W. Campell (Jr.) used to have brainstorms: in fact, he invented
_two_ of THE BEST WAYS TO GET AROUND. One, in the first of the ARCOT,
MOREY, and WADE stories, "PIRACY PREFERRED", was that of molecular
motion. All the little molecules in a bar of metal go madly around in
every possible direction. If you could invent, as Campbell did in the
story, an electro-magnetic vibration that would force all the mollecules
to go in the same direction, then the bar of metals would go in that
direction, since it would be them. So Mr. Campbell hooked the thing up
to his ship, and off he went to Venus, or some other planet. Well, it
_would_ work, wouldn't it, _provided_ (ah yes!) you could make all the
mollecules go into one directional flow.

And the other brainstorm was when Aarn Munro, in the MIGHTIEST MACHINE,
decided that momentum and velocity were wave formations, and therefore,
one should be able to _tune into them_! (Anyone should be able to think
up a simple theory like that.) Not a bad WAY TO GET AROUND--in a
science fiction story.

Back in 1930, or some such year, Charles R. Tanner wrote THE FLIGHT OF
THE MERCURY, in the old WONDER STORIES. In that story he told you just
how to go ahead and make an ETHERPROPELLER, provided there is such a
thing as ether, and Osmium B. The theory is: you use water screws, air
propellers, and so why not an ether propeller? Put a cork in motionless
water. Start a wave motion in the water with your hand. If the length of
the wave is greater than the diameter of the cork, the cork just bobs up
and down and stays where it is. If the lengths of the waves are shorter
than the diameter of the cork, the waves go around it, and the cork still
stays right where it is. If the length of the wave is exactly the
diameter of the cork, tho cork rides right off, in the trough of the
wave, at the same speed as that of the wave formation. Now invent an
electro-magnetic vibration--by useing the metal Osmium B--exactly the
length of a Copper atom. Make your ship of copper, putting the ether
propeller, that which causes vibration in the ether, at the end of the
ship, and presto! all the copper atoms move along in the trough of the
ether waves, at the same speed as the other waves, which is the speed of
light. And, Mr. Tanner is off for Mars, in a super-plausibly
scientifictional way.

HELL SHIP, in last year's ASTOUNDING, Arthur J. Burks put forth an idea
which had been discussed by engineers before he had ever used It. They
just didn't know how to do it. Mr. Burks did--didn't he write the story.
At least, the idea gave him more earthly benifit than it gave the
engineers. Maybe he thinks he invented it--I don't know, nor does it
matter: He used it, the idea of gravatic lines of force, forming a
spider web throughout the solar system. With the proper machinery,
which he ascribed with good attention to detail, you could crawl up
those lines of force like a spider. This idea is so plausable that it
might be placed in the same catagory as rocket propulsion, which is
fact.

THE MOTH, in this year's ASTOUNDING, contains another of those ideas of
interplanatary locomotion which I call one of THE BEST WAYS TO GET
AROUND. Don't worry, I'm not pointing to myself with pride. I just wrote
the story, Charles R. Tanner conceived the idea. He tossed it off
paranthetically one night, and promptly forgot about it. The idea----If
all objects are in motion, according to the Lorentz-Fitzgerald
contraction theory, lose length in the direction of motion, why couldn't
an artificialy produced cause instantaneous motion, why couldn't an
artificialy produced contraction cause instantaneous motion,
proportional to length-loss? Not a thing in the world against it, my
friends, all you have to do is to find a way to cause the artificial
contraction of the ship in question. Of course, in my story, I invented
a force-field----very handy when you're in a tight spot!----which caused
tho electrons to flatten out. This force acted on the ship and
everything within. Therefore, any speed up to a little below that of
light could be obtained, and that bogey man so often ignored in
scientifiction, acceleration, was disposed of at the start, since there
was nothing that had a tendancy to stay behind. There is the real
inertialess drive, which E.E. Smith talked of, but never used.

(Paranthetically: When Charles R. Tanner saw the story containing his
idea in print, he became enthused, and promptly invented and named all
machines used in the process, discovered a new and ultimate particle
called the "graviton", that which makes the proton 1846 times heavier
than the electron, and practically drew plans for the force field which
caused the contraction. When he finished we knew exactly _how_ to obtain
speeds far exceding both those of Smith and Campbell. Our inventions
were plausable, and they'd work, provided----)

I've just about reached the end of the list, though there are one or two
others that might be mentioned right here at the tail end of the
article. Jules Verne, I suppose, has to be credited with the first ship
fired from a canon, in ONCE AROUND THE MOON. Wells takes the bow for
gravity plates, which Willy Ley so neatly disposed of, only he called it
"cavorite" in THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON., and Roy Cummings used it
effectivly in AROUND THE UNIVERSE (and a hundred others). In a story in
the old WONDER Donald Wolheim put his rocket ship on a huge wheel,
rotated the wheel and flung it off into space. Fair, except that the
acceleration would be killing.

AND THAT'S ABSOLUTLY ALL THE BEST WAYS TO GET AROUND. Unless there are
some of those which I haven't heard of. If you know of some, I would
like to be enlightened.

--ROSS ROCKYLYN



--THE SYMPHONIC ABDUCTION--


"I suppose you've heard about what happened to my brother Jerry?" Ray
Spencer asked me; I shook my head. "The whole family was worried about
him for a while: couldn't tell whether he had sleeping-sickness, or
what. All we knew was that he'd gone coma listening to some phonograph
records when he was alone in the house. Perhaps the intense emotional
effect of the music, plus its stentor, was the cause.

"When I returned home, he lay cold on the floor in front of the
radio-phonograph. The automatic release had shut off the record, but the
current was still on, and the volume dial was turned full strength.
Nothing I could do would rouse my brother, so--scared--I put him to bed
and called a doctor, who had him taken to a hospital for observation. No
one could determine what was the trouble, and since we couldn't afford
to keep him at the hospital indefinitely, we brought Jerry back home.
And although it wasn't exactly appropriate, I couldn't help remembering
the story of the Sleeping Beauty whenever I looked into his room and saw
him, apparently only napping.

"Then one day I heard him--still in his trance--whisperingly singing.
The indistinct notes were reminiscent of one of Chaikovsky's ballet
pieces. I tried vainly to wake him. He sighed on and on until the faint
breath of a voice softened into silence....

"When at last he did awake, I had been listening to some continental
communiques in the adjoining room, with the door open so that I could
look in on him in case of emergency. The program ended and was followed
by concert music. I don't care much for symphony, so I arose and went to
the radio to switch it off. At the same time, Jerry stirred: I heard his
bed creak. Turning to look his way, I twisted the wrong dial, and the
music thundered: my brother began to toss on his bed. Disregarding the
racket for a moment in excitement at seeing him move, I ran in to him,
shouting, shaking him a little. His hands groped, found mine, and clung
to them. Painfully he endeavored to raise himself, dropped back
perspiring and panting. Then he screamed--horribly!--as if all Hell's
devils were shovelling all Hell's coals on him, and opened his eyes, his
face taut with dread. He recognized me. In a moment I had soothed him
back to normalcy. He was perfectly all right from then on.

"Or at least we thought so. But since you're so interested in
metaphysics, get him to tell you about the vision he had during his
catalepsy. He won't feel embarrassed; he's told it to others. Just say
that I mentioned it to you." Ray had finished. Later, when I chanced
upon Jerry Spencer, I brot him up to my apartment for dinner. The meal
over, he smiled at my query concerning his comatose dream, and related:

"None in my family are as interested in music as I: my belief is that to
realize its full magic you must leave off talking--better still, listen
to it alone--and, closing your eyes, open your mind to it. Relax--forget
yourself. All of my folks poke fun at me when I sit on the floor by the
radio during the concert broadcasts, my ears close to the speaker. But
that is the only way by which I can really enjoy music. The very
loudness, blasting at my hearing, emphasizes the tone-magic,
overwhelming everything else. And sometimes, if my eyes are shut, I can
see fantastic dream worlds, fiery pageants inspired by thundrous
harmonies.

"I had never dared to turn on the amplifier as loud as I'd have wished.
My family said that it would annoy the neighbors. So that day when I was
alone at home, I thot that then was my chance, if ever, and proceeded
to play my favorite record; the first scene of Chaikovsky's SWAN LAKE
ballet, as loudly as possible. The sound was not so deafening
as--maddening, or better still, intoxicating. How I Loved it! I sat
cross-legged, eyes shut, dreaming, at last absolutely happy. More:
ecstatic.

"The first notes were like an invitation emanating from a lost
dimension, calling me, wheedling. Promising haven, peace. The call of
the unknown: not the lure of dashing adventure but of mystery, mournful
sorcery, epic splendors....

"Deep in my heart there's a sort of innate Slavic sadness which
responded to the music's plaint, and my thought traveled with the melody
effortlessly on and on. The warm darkness of my closed eyes lightened to
infinities of cold, deep-blue emptiness, through which I felt myself
gliding as the theme progressed.

"Each harmonic burst, every wailing echo, dominated me. My thought was
borne farther and farther like a leaf in a tempest.... There were base
chords which made my throat quiver, and tears burned under my lowered
eyelids. I felt a tingling at my shoulders, and with eyes still closed
but discerning by a sort of dream-vision, I half-consciously turned,
beheld luminous yellow--draperies?--fluttering behind me, bouying me:
like scarf-wings, whipping comet-tails.

"An instinctive transient fright gripped me, admonishing me to withdraw
from this blue region into the calid darkness from which I had come--but
the melody's urge was stronger than my feeble urge to retreat. The azure
became flecked with diamond points of light which augmented into great
white moons, and from one to another in a vast network rayed pulsing
filaments, vascular channels of fluid light.

"A stupendous chorus of clear unhuman voices, as from diamond throats,
emanated from these linked moons, of which the music which had conveyed
me was only a distorted, ghostly echo.... In tangible waves this greater
music rippled around the webbed moons, beating against me as though to
force me away on its tides I know not whither.

"Beneath me was a limitless tract of grey slime which rose and fell
torpidly as with the breathing of a somnolent subterranean thing. The
moonlight burned brightly on it, and crawling across it from some remote
place came--trees?--snaky-rooted things whose prehensile branches bore,
instead of leaves, flexible lenses.... They left behind them red trails
on the slime, and excrementory ribbons of thin blue vapor streamed from
their topmost appendages. Occasionally they paused to feed, focussing
their lenses upon the gelatinous ground, which became luminously white
under the concentrated light. The sucking mouths of the serpentine roots
absorbed this matter, and red viscosity seeped into the eaten places,
greying rapidly under the moon's effulgence, chemically affected by it.

"And the trees mated. Gynandrous, they converged in pairs or groups,
pressing close together, thrusting their limbs into one enormous
cluster, aggregating their lenses into a series of complex, compact
forms ... shuddering with a violent ardor.... From erectile
protuberances rimming the lenses ruby liquid spurted, bursting with
incandescence under the condensed moonlight.

"Spent, drooping, the trees separated, and the radiant orgasmic matter
drifted lightly down to the slime, burning fitfully as the trees moved
away indifferently.

"Apparently these flickering radiances fed, for gradually they grew,
dulling, becoming opaque, substantial----thrusting out probing roots,
developing limbs, wandering like their parents. They snailed onward out
of sight, all of them.

"Silently, a phosphorescent green river raced like a bolt of furcate
lightning over the green wastes. It was composed not of water but of
myriad tiny luminous crawling insects. A conscious river, altering its
tortuous course at will, small streams deviating from the main body and
meandering erratically, then rejoining the general current. This river's
end drew into sight, flashed under me and into the distance, leaving
fast-greying red paths on the slime.

"The moon's music assailed me; simultaneously I felt those man-measures,
which had carried me so long, cease, leaving me without a link to my own
world--helpless against the inexorable tide of the lunar melody, which,
bursting more loudly, swept me higher, through an interstice of the
circulatory web, into blue infinity. And there it left me; fading
ripples of it would lap me, but were too dissapated then to sweep me
farther.

"I floated aimlessly in the void, it seemed for ages, less a body than a
mind, aware of neither hunger nor thirst nor ill of any sort other than
a dreadful sapping weariness.

"There was no way of reckoning time, but after an eternity of loneliness
and self-boredom, I heard a glissando of mellow tintinabulations. A
troop of small stars flashed toward me like a scattered handful of
sparkling white gems, whirling in interweaving dance of enchantment,
tinkling glad clear tunes like the babbling of crystal brooks. The
joyous, youthful essence of their song so charmed me that I forgot my
weariness and vocally ventured to imitate it.

"At last they broke their circle and swept away, single-file, out of
sight, diminishing with distance.

"For awhile I hummed their song, but with every repetition it lost some
of its starry quality and gained a human-ness, earthiness,
animalism--until it impressed me no longer beautiful, and I was
silent.... Wearily the sluggish ages passed ... in the illimitable blue
solitudes....

"Eventually I heard the man-music, again like a summons--its vibrations
piercing the moon-net, receding, drawing me with it. Its power increased
with every unit of retregression, dragging me with it. Over the wastes
of slime it dragged me, all in a fraction of seconds. Wind tore at me,
racketing in my ears, drowning music of both moons and man.

"In a flash of cataclysm, of cosmic pandemonium, the moons, jostled out
of their places by my abrupt passage through the web, strained apart,
snapping their pulsant filamental arteries. White, searing drops of
blood of light oozed from the severed ducts, hissing as they fell, and
splashed on the slime, which heaved torturedly. The crawling trees
reared upon their writhing roots, flailing their lensed limbs, and the
phosphorescent rivers halted suddenly, piling into swiftly
disintegrating mounds.

"The rain of light blood thinned and ceased: the moons dimmed and
plunged earthward, lusterless. As they touched the tempestuously tossing
slime, it shrieked stridently, deafeningly--_cosmically_! An outcry
voicing all life's inherent dread of the horror of pain and death, which
arose from all sides, like an auditory vise, tightening upon and
crushing me. The blue chaos was wiped away by utter blackness; the
shriek weakened, ceased.

"I opened my eyes, shut them--dazzled by daylight, and opened them
again, but cautiously. My brother Ray was standing over me, shaking me,
calling my name ... AND IT WAS I WHO HAD SCREAMED!"



as i remember----

[Illustration]


As I remember, August Derleth wrote, a time back: "My personal favorite
of the Lovecraft stories is THE RATS IN THE WALL, followed by DUNWICH
HORROR, COLOUR OUT OF SPACE, THE OUTSIDER, WHISPERER IN DARKNESS." H.P.L.
liked MUSIC OF ERICH ZANN as well as anything he did, COLOUR next.
Donald Wandrei is busy in St. Paul writing plays and shorts. "My average
day brings me anywhere from ten to fifty letters that must be answered."

As I remember one night in Coney Island found seven strange looking
fellows, fans and authors, crowded into a car for a posed picture. Ross
Rocklynne, freshly freckled by a New Yawk sun, at the steering wheel,
Jack Agnew at his side with Mark (I'm makin' my mark in pulps) Reinsburg
and immediately in back of Rocklynne a fellow with too much hair, a tan
that would make an Ethiopian blush, and teeth, Bradbury, augmented by
the humorously verbose Erle Korshak, the professorly nice Bob Madle and
one V. Kidwell. I recall also a night at Mort Weisinger's home during
July with Rocklynne, Ackerman, Morojo, Hornig, Binder, Schwartz, Darrow
and again Bradbury. A picture was taken that night and the only ones
with decent smiles were Ackerman and the under-done personality who
edits this magazine. Hornig looked strangely thoughtful with his hand to
his chin, Mort had a cigarette drooping from his lip and Darrow,
Schwartz and Binder all were lost in profound contemplation of the
little birdie which Mort's brother held. I remember also a night on
Central Park, a stag night, when it was raining convulsively and Binder,
Bradbury, Hornig, Rocklynne and Darrow all clambered into a rocking boat
and swished out onto the glittering water, yodeling popular tunes at the
way-way top of their corny contraltos. Binder has a pleasing bath-tub
baritone, while Hornig can imitate a frog at the drop of a body. Darrow
was strangely silent, but that man Bradbury and Rocklynne set up such a
howl that the Park authorities came out in a submarine, thinking that
the Loch Ness monster had turned up again. This was all settled when
someone pulled the plug and everyone drowned peacefully.

Going way back in the cobwebs I seem to recall a letter arriving at an
Eastern post-office addressed to Mars. It was returned marked:
Insufficient Postage.

As I remember Charlie Hornig wrote, on January 9th: "On Tuesday,
February 20th, 1940, I'll be in Los Angeles. I will write for Futuria
Fantasia, but my rates are 12 cents a word, before acceptance. I haven't
seen GONE WITH THE WIND yet, but if I stop off to see it on the road,
expect me two days later than heretofore planned. If I walk it, expect
me at the city limits on the R car-line, Whittier, the same time of the
morning, only about 18 months later. I'll bring my overcoat and shovel
along for the annual sun showers and orange blizzards." And later, from
Hornig: "I liked the latest issue of Futuria Fantasia very much,
especially the page of conventional descriptions over which I laughed
myself sick and silly. The note about Bradbury and the mask and the
blonde in the Paramount is the funniest thing I've ever read in a
fan-mag."

I seem to remember being at someone's house not so long ago and glancing
thru a thick manuscript under submission to John W. Campbell. I seen to
remember that the author was Robert A. Heinlein, member of our LaSfl.
And the other day that story popped up in Astounding as a Nova, "IF THIS
GOES ON--" And it seems to me that here and now Bob should take a bow
for a swell story. And thanks to Campbell for providing it with a Rogers
cover and Rogers interiors. OMEGA----

       *       *       *       *       *

    _COMING in MAY_

    "DARKNESS AND DAWN"

    FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES

    MARCH

    15¢

    "BLIND SPOT"

    THE IMMORTAL
    HALL _and_ FLINT
    FINLAY





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