What does seem clear is that there was something in the early lives of nearly all the published writers in the group that isolated them from their contemporaries. Blish, Pohl, Michel, Merril, and I were only children. Pohl, Blish, Wilson, Lowndes, Merril and Michel lost one parent each in childhood, by death or divorce. Wilson … Continue reading Two Science Fiction Histories
It is bloody work dashing out the poor little beggars’ brains while they look up with their big dark eyes into your face. Arthur Conan Doyle, Arctic diary entry, 3 April 1880 In February 1880, a third-year medical student from Edinburgh abandoned his studies, temporarily, to sign on as the ship’s doctor of the S.S. … Continue reading Arthur Conan Doyle In The Arctic
[D]espite Maskelyne being portrayed in popular literature as a self-seeking academic astronomer with a less-than-personable style, the stories of his interaction with the Nautical Almanac [human] computers reveals that he went to some lengths to provide stop-gap employment to mathematically inclined people, as well as providing long-term stable employment for those with families to support. … Continue reading Rebekah Higgitt (Ed.): Maskelyne
It seems a tragic thing, and one that I cannot regard without distress, that a country which can send out such delightfully worded bulb catalogues as does Japan, can at the same time unload an inferno of death and destruction on unhappy people, most of whom could not have been in the slightest degree responsible … Continue reading Peter Berresford Ellis & Jennifer Schofield: Biggles!
Ronnie was a short-legged hunchback and a social misfit; his navigation was pathetic and he was not competent even with a railway timetable. He never carried more than a sandwich, and often not even that, and was entirely dependent on the spontaneous goodwill and hospitality of keepers and shepherds. He only at any time had … Continue reading Elizabeth Allan: Burn On The Hill