More and more I find myself referring back to things I wrote in these episodes and it was becoming increasingly difficult to quickly locate what I was looking for. For a while, I had in mind a master index, and shortly after Episode 25 was released, I also released the first version of the Author Index to the Vacation in the Golden Age. This index has proven very valuable to me since I first created it. It lists all of the authors who have appeared in the Vacation alphabetically, and then includes the list of stories or articles in the order that they appeared with a reference to the issue and Episode. If the story was written under a pseudonym, it will appear under the author’s real name with a reference to the pseudonym. The pseudonyms do appear in the main listing, but will always refer back to the main entry. In addition, I have put in bold any titles that I rated as the best title of the issue.
I plan to add the data for each subsequent issue just before the Episode containing that information goes live. So you will note that all of the stories contained in this episode also appear in the Index. You can use the search feature in your browser to search for a specific name or title when you are on the Author Index page. Over time, I’m hoping to add some additional features to this index to make it a more useful tool, but for now, I’ve kept it pretty simple. Of course, I am open to any suggestions that you might have.
Editorial: Atomic Power vs. Coal
Campbell’s 1-page editorial this month is exactly what it sounds like: a short discussion of atomic power vs. coal as a source of energy. The numbers presented by Campbell are interesting in a historic context but I think they’ve come to be dwarfed by reality and consumption. There are two interesting items about this particular piece worthy of note:
- Campbell predicts (big surprise) that atomic power will ultimately replace the need for coal as far as generating power goes.
- Campbell does not expect our need for coal to go away because of the byproducts of its processing: tar, benzol, toluol, etc.
As Campbell says in his conclusion: “Coal’s dirty stuff–but wonderfully useful, atomic energy or not!”
There are six stories and an article in this issue: two novelettes, three short stories, and part 2 of a serial. The Rogers cover for this issue is a nice one, but not an outstanding one, in my opinion. Indeed, as you’ll see later, it is hard to say what story the cover illustration is for. Certainly not Schachner’s “Jurisdiction.” There is a nice symmetry to the image, with the spaceships leaning on one slant and the clouds on the opposite slant, but the cover does not otherwise stand out for me. Not so for Alva Rogers, who writes:
August was distinguished by one of Rogers’ finest covers, a beautiful painting of steel blue space ships nestling in their launching pads, which illustrated “Jurisdiction” by Nat Schachner.
Really? What scene in the story does it illustrate? I can’t figure it out.
Continue reading Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 26: August 1941