Where to find the 1945 Retro Hugo Awards finalists

Where to find the 1945 Retro Hugo Awards finalists

EDIT: Voting in the 1945 Retro Hugo Awards is now open (as is voting in the 2020 Hugo Awards, popular in some quarters, and the 2020 Astounding and Lodestar awards). If you are a CoNZealand member, go here and click on the link for My Membership.

Popular blog File 770 has a post by JJ on Where To Find The 2020 Hugo Award Finalists For Free Online, a useful resource for anyone wanting to start reading before the Hugo Voter Packet becomes available. But what of the 1945 Retro Hugo Awards finalists? There is unlikely to be a Voter Packet for these, so how are Hugo Awards voters to go about making an informed choice here? Fortunately, many of the works that will be on the ballot are available online, either on the Internet Archive or elsewhere. Below I have compiled links to as many of these as I could find, and provided information about whether items are in print or otherwise. If any of the links do not work, please let me know in the comments.

Best Novel

  • The Golden Fleece, by Robert Graves (Cassell & Company). Also known as Hercules, My Shipmate, this retelling of the Jason and the Argonauts story is in print and available from book stores and online retailers.
  • Land of Terror, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.). Ebook versions of this can be purchased online. It is also out of copyright in Australia, so can be read on that country’s Project Gutenberg.
  • “Shadow Over Mars”, by Leigh Brackett (Startling Stories, Fall 1944). Subsequently published as the standalone novel The Nemesis from Terra, which appears to be out of print, but the magazine it first appeared in can be read or downloaded on the Internet Archive.
  • Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord, by Olaf Stapledon (Secker & Warberg). In print and readily obtainable.
  • The Wind on the Moon, by Eric Linklater (Macmillan and Co.). In print and readily obtainable.
  • “The Winged Man”, by A. E. van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull (Astounding Science Fiction, May-June 1944). Originally serialised in Astounding, this was subsequently published as a complete novel but appears to now be out of print. It can be read in the May and June 1944 issues of Astounding Science Fiction on the Internet Archive.

Best Novella

Best Novelette

Best Short Story

  • “And the Gods Laughed”, by Fredric Brown (Planet Stories, Spring 1944). This also appears in anthologies of Brown’s work.
  • “Desertion”, by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science Fiction, November 1944). This also appears as a chapter in the novel City. If you want to read the nominated stories from City in publication order, read this third.
  • “Far Centaurus”, by A. E. van Vogt (Astounding Science Fiction, January 1944). This can also be found in general anthologies and ones of van Vogt’s work. For further details see its ISFDB entry.
  • “Huddling Place”, by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1944). This also appears as another chapter in the novel City. If you want to read the nominated stories from City in publication order, read this second.
  • “I, Rocket”, by Ray Bradbury (Amazing Stories, May 1944). A replica edition of this issue of Amazing Stories can be purchased online.
  • “The Wedge”, by Isaac Asimov (Astounding Science Fiction, October 1944). This also appears as “The Traders” in the novel Foundation. If you want to read the two stories from Foundation in publication order, read this first.

Best Series

Captain Future, by Edmond Hamilton
Written by Edmond Hamilton (sometimes using the pseudonym Brett Sterling), the Captain Future stories appeared in the magazine of the same name. Wikipedia has an overview of the series, while the ISFDB has a listing of Captain Future stories. A selection of these are available on the Internet Archive:

The Cthulhu Mythos, by H. P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, and others
The deity Cthulhu first made its monstrous appearance in H. P. Lovecraft’s 1928 short story “The Call of Cthulhu”. Subsequently much of Lovecraft’s and his associates’ work has been grouped together under the Cthulhu Mythos label. Like many of the horrors Lovecraft deals with, the Cthulhu Mythos is somewhat amorphous and it can be difficult to fix its exact boundaries. Not all of Lovecraft’s own stories are unambiguously part of the Mythos, while one can argue as to whether some of the works by his admirers are truly part of the Mythos or deviations from the true path. Wikipedia attempts a rough overview of the Mythos, while the ISFDB attempts a bibliography. Note that the Mythos remains a living tradition, with stories continuing to be published, but only those that had appeared by the end of 1944 should be considered by Retro Hugo Awards voters.

There are numerous in-print anthologies of Lovecraft’s own fiction. The Internet Archive also has scans of the magazines in which some of these originally appeared, including “The Call of Cthulhu” (Weird Tales, February 1928), “The Dunwich Horror” (Weird Tales, April 1929), “The Whisperer in Darkness” (Weird Tales, August 1931), “The Music of Erich Zann” (Weird Tales, November 1934), “The Haunter of the Dark” (Weird Tales, December 1936), “The Shadow out of Time” (Astounding Stories, June 1936), “The Thing on the Doorstep” (Weird Tales, January 1937), “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” (Weird Tales, May 1941 & Weird Tales July 1941), “The Colour Out of Space” (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, October 1941), and “The Shadow over Innsmouth” (Weird Tales, January 1942).

The Cthulhu Mythos was developed and expanded by writers associated with and inspired by Lovecraft. August Derleth co-founded Arkham House to keep Lovecraft’s fiction in print; he also wrote Lovecraftian fiction of his own, including “The Thing That Walked on the Wind” (Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror, January 1933), “Beyond the Threshold” (Weird Tales, September 1941), “The Dweller in Darkness” (Weird Tales, November 1944), and “The Trail of Cthulhu” (Weird Tales, March 1944). Frank Belknap Long gave us “The Space-Eaters” (Weird Tales, July 1928) and “The Hounds of Tindalos” (Weird Tales, March 1929). Robert Bloch wrote “The Shambler from the Stars” (Weird Tales, September 1935). Robert E. Howard gave us “The Black Stone” (Weird Tales, November 1931), “The Children of the Night” (Weird Tales, April-May 1931), “The Thing on the Roof” (Weird Tales, February 1932), and “Dig Me No Grave” (Weird Tales, February 1937).

Doc Savage, by Kenneth Robeson/Lester Dent
Published under the pseudonym Kenneth Robeson, the Doc Savage stories were mostly but not entirely written by Lester Dent. Doc Savage novels appeared at a phenomenal rate, starting in 1933, with 142 having been published by the end of 1944. The ISFDB has a terrifyingly vast entry on the series, while Wikipedia has summaries of the novels. The Shadow’s Sanctum is currently publishing reprints of the Doc Savage novels.

Jules de Grandin, by Seabury Quinn
Seabury Quinn wrote a lot of stories featuring his occult detective Jules de Grandin. Wikipedia has a short overview of the series, while the ISFDB entry could be cross-referenced with the Internet Archive to source scans of the issues of Weird Tales in which the stories first appeared. Here is a somewhat random selection of stories in the series, including the first one published and the only one from 1944: “The Horror on the Links” (Weird Tales, October 1925), “The House of Horror” (Weird Tales, July 1926), “Restless Souls” (Weird Tales, October 1928), “The Corpse-Master” (Weird Tales, July 1929), “The Wolf of St. Bonnot” (Weird Tales, December 1930), “The Curse of the House of Phipps” (Weird Tales, January 1930), “The Mansion of Unholy Magic” (Weird Tales, October 1933), “Suicide Chapel” (Weird Tales, June 1938), and “Death’s Bookkeeper” (Weird Tales, July 1944).

Pellucidar, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Pellucidar stories are set inside the Earth, which in the first instalment is revealed to be hollow. At the Earth’s Core, the first Pellucidar novel, appeared in 1914, while Land of Terror, the 6th,was published in 1944. Wikipedia’s entry for the series links off to plot-summarising entries for the individual books. These are beginning to slip out of copyright, though the later ones are still not in the public domain everywhere. Readers can access the Pellucidar at these links:

If a whole novel of hollow earth adventure is too much, there were also three pieces of short Pellucidar fiction published in 1942: “Return to Pellucidar” (Amazing Stories, February 1942), “Men of the Bronze Age” (Amazing Stories, March 1942), and “Tiger Girl” (Amazing Stories, April 1942).

The Shadow, by Maxwell Grant (Walter B. Gibson)
Tales of this proto-superhero appeared from 1931 onwards under the pseudonym Maxwell Grant but were mostly written by Walter B. Gibson. By the end of 1944 a vast number of Shadow novels had appeared (286 if Wikipedia is to be believed). The Shadow’s Sanctum is currently publishing reprints of books in The Shadow series.

Best Related Work

  • Fancyclopedia, by Jack Speer. The FANAC Fan History Project has scans of this encyclopaedia of 1944 fandom, as well as a hypertext version.
  • ’42 To ’44: A Contemporary Memoir Upon Human Behaviour During the Crisis of the World Revolution, by H. G. Wells (Secker & Warburg). This does not seem to be in print but readers may be able to source copies from libraries or second hand book dealers.
  • Mr. Tompkins Explores the Atom, by George Gamow (Cambridge University Press). No longer in print as a standalone book, this is available as part of Mr Tompkins in Paperback, which can be obtained from Cambridge University Press or online resellers. An edition combining the book with Mr. Tompkins Explores the Atom with Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland, another book by George Gamow, can be accessed on the Internet Archive.
  • Rockets: The Future of Travel Beyond the Stratosphere, by Willy Ley (Viking Press). This appears to be out of print, but readers may be able to source copies from libraries or second hand book dealers. It can also be borrowed from the Internet Archive.
  • “The Science-Fiction Field”, by Leigh Brackett (Writer’s Digest, July 1944). This was recently reprinted in Windy City Pulp Stories no. 13, which is readily available from online sellers.
  • “The Works of H. P. Lovecraft: Suggestions for a Critical Appraisal”, by Fritz Leiber (The Acolyte, Fall 1944). This can be accessed on FANAC.

Best Graphic Story or Comic

  • Buck Rogers: “Hollow Planetoid”, by Dick Calkins (National Newspaper Service). Originally appearing as a daily newspaper strip, this story appears not to be in print. Art Lortie has however made it available to Retro Hugo voters here.
  • Donald Duck: “The Mad Chemist”, by Carl Barks (Dell Comics). Originally appearing in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #44, this story has been reprinted but not obviously recently (see entry in Grand Comics Database). It can be read on YouTube or as uploaded by Art Lortie.
  • Flash Gordon: “Battle for Tropica”, by Don Moore & Alex Raymond (King Features Syndicate). Originally a syndicated newspaper strip, this was reprinted by Kitchen Sink in Flash Gordon: Volume 6 1943-1945 – Triumph in Tropica, copies of which can be obtained relatively cheaply from online sellers. You can read William Patrick Maynard’s review and summary here and the strip itself here (courtesy of Art Lortie).
  • Flash Gordon: “Triumph in Tropica”, by Don Moore & Alex Raymond (King Features Syndicate). This also appears in Flash Gordon: Volume 6 1943-1945 – Triumph in Tropica and William Patrick Maynard’s write-up is here. Art Lortie has again made the comic available here.
  • The Spirit: “For the Love of Clara Defoe”, by Manly Wade Wellman, Lou Fine and Don Komisarow (Register and Tribune Syndicate). This story was reprinted in Volume 9 of Will Eisner’s The Spirit Archives, which is available from online booksellers. Art Lortie has made it available here.
  • Superman: “The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk”, by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (Detective Comics, Inc.). Originally appearing in Superman #30, this story has often been reprinted (see the DC Comics Database), most recently in The Superman Archives Vol. 8 (which appears to be in print in expensive hardback). It also appears in Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Vol. 2, second hand copies of which can more cheaply be obtained. The amazing Art Lortie has posted it here.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • The Canterville Ghost, screenplay by Edwin Harvey Blum from a story by Oscar Wilde, directed by Jules Dassin (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)). This is available in two parts on Dailymotion, with the image inexplicably inverted from left to right. Part 1 and Part 2. It can also be watched uninverted on ok.ru or as uploaded by Art Lortie.
  • The Curse of the Cat People, written by DeWitt Bodeen, directed by Gunther V. Fritsch and Robert Wise (RKO Radio Pictures). This film can also be seen on ok.ru. Art Lortie has made it available here.
  • Donovan’s Brain, adapted by Robert L. Richards from a story by Curt Siodmak, producer, director and editor William Spier (CBS Radio Network). This radio drama can be downloaded or streamed from the Internet Archive. Art Lortie has uploaded it in two parts, here and here.
  • House of Frankenstein, screenplay by Edward T. Lowe, Jr. from a story by Curt Siodmak, directed by Erle C. Kenton (Universal Pictures). This can be viewed on ok.ru or, courtesy of Art Lortie, here.
  • The Invisible Man’s Revenge, written by Bertram Millhauser, directed by Ford Beebe (Universal Pictures). The Internet Archive has this available to stream or download. Art Lortie has posted it here.
  • It Happened Tomorrow, screenplay and adaptation by Dudley Nichols and René Clair, directed by René Clair (Arnold Pressburger Films). This can be viewed on YouTube.

Best Editor, Short Form

  • John W. Campbell, Jr. was the editor of Astounding Science Fiction, of which in 1944 12 issues appeared, which can be seen here: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December.
  • Oscar J. Friend edited Captain Future, Startling Stories, and Thrilling Wonder Stories. The Spring issue of Captain Future is available on the Internet Archive. The Spring, Summer, and Fall issues of Startling Stories can also be seen there, as can the Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter issues of Thrilling Wonder Stories.
  • Mary Gnaedinger edited Famous Fantastic Mysteries, whose March, June, September, and December 1944 issues can be read on the Internet Archive.
  • Dorothy McIlwraith was in 1944 the editor of Weird Tales, whose January, March, May, July, September, and November 1944 issues can be seen on the Internet Archive.
  • Raymond A. Palmer edited Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures in 1944. On the Internet Archive one can see the January, March, May, September, and December issues of Amazing Stories and the February, April, June, and October issues of Fantastic Adventures.
  • W. Scott Peacock edited Jungle Stories and Planet Stories in 1944. No issues of Jungle Stories are available on the Internet Archive, which may be just as well, but the site does have the Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter issues of Planet Stories.

Best Professional Artist

Earle K. Bergey in 1944 provided cover art for Captain Future, Startling Stories, and Thrilling Wonder Stories. His ISFDB has links to the entries for the issues he provided covers for, where his art can be seen.

Margaret Brundage provided the cover art for the May 1944 issue of Weird Tales and to the story “Iron Mask” within that issue. If her ISFDB entry is to be believed then that is all she did in 1944.

Boris Dolgov did the cover for the March 1944 issue of Weird Tales. He also provided interior art for every 1944 issue of the magazine, including for Allison V. Harding’s “Ride the El to Doom” in the November issue, so if you browse through the links given with Dorothy McIlwraith above you will see more examples of his work.

Matt Fox did the cover for the November 1944 issue of Weird Tales. He also provided interior art for the poem “The Path Through the Marsh” and story “The Weirds of the Woodcarver” in the September issue of the magazine. For Famous Fantastic Mysteries he provided this illustration for Algernon Blackwood’s “The Wendigo”.

Paul Orban appears not to have done any cover art in 1944, but he did interior art in every issue of Astounding Science Fiction that year, including for A.E. Van Vogt’s “The Changeling” in the April issue. Check out the links given with John W. Campbell above for more examples of his work, which are typically credited simply to “Orban”.

William Timmins did all the 1944 covers for Astounding Science Fiction, apart from the July issue, so follow the links given above in Best Editor for John W. Campbell to see examples of his work.

Best Fanzine
Joe Siclari and Edie Stern of the Fanac Fan History Project have put together a Retro Hugo Awards page for Fan Hugo Materials for Work Published in 1944, with links to scanned copies of the finalist fanzines from 1944: The Acolyte (edited by Francis T. Laney and Samuel D. Russell), Diablerie (edited by Bill Watson), Futurian War Digest (edited by J. Michael Rosenblum), Shangri L’Affaires (edited by Charles Burbee), Voice of the Imagi-Nation (edited by Forrest J. Ackerman and Myrtle R. Douglas), and Le Zombie (edited by Bob Tucker and E.E. Evans).

NOTE – the Fanac Fan History Project scans of J. Michael Rosenblum’s Futurian War Digest are not great quality. However the efanzines site has transcribed copies of the zine from 1944 and other years, which can be seen here.

Best Fan Writer
The FANAC Retro Hugo Awards page for Fan Hugo Materials for Work Published in 1944 also links to examples of writing in 1944 by the fan writer finalists, who are Fritz Leiber, Morojo (Myrtle R. Douglas), J. Michael Rosenblum, Jack Speer, Bob Tucker, and Harry Warner, Jr.

And that’s it. I hope readers find this useful. Have fun reading and voting in the Hugo Awards.

Hugo Award Cat


Earle Bergey cover for Thrilling Wonder Stories, Summer 1944 (ISFDB)

Margaret Brundage cover for Weird Tales, May 1944 (ISFDB)

Boris Dolgov illustration from Weird Tales, November 1944 (Tumblr: Notes From A Superfluous Man)

Matt Fox illustration for Algernon Blackwood’s “The Wendigo”, from Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1944 (Biblioklept)

Paul Orban illustration for A.E. Van Vogt’s “The Changeling” in Astounding Science Fiction, April 1944 (SF Magazines)

William Timmins cover for Astounding Science Fiction, November 1944 (ISFDB)

More cat (Flickr)

An Irish Worldcon, Part 2: Friday

You can read the first part of my Worldcon write-up here.

Chuck Tingle Buckaroo

By now I had turned into one of those Worldcon weirdos who has a load of ribbons hanging off their name badge. These magic charms did not protect from the ministry of Satan, whose works meant that I failed to rock up to the Convention Centre in time for any 10.00 a.m. panels. Instead I tried to attend a panel in Point Square on The Continuing Relevance of Older SF (with the programme notes including works by Margaret Atwood as an example of what was going to be covered, which seems a bit strange as although Atwood is old she is a currently active writer whose latest SF novel is about to hit the shelves). However the room was full before I got near it, perhaps because the panel included both Robert Silverberg and Joe Haldemann, so I skipped off to another academic session (good iron law for Worldcons: you can always get into academic sessions and they are always worth attending). This saw Peter Adrian Behravesh looking at depictions of empowered women in the Persian fantastic, which was interesting but I did note that he was talking more about mythic tales than actual fantastic literature, for all that he was referring to written versions of the tales that named people had written in historical times. An interesting discussion could perhaps be had on where myth ends and fantasy literature begins.
The session also included a presentation by Katja Kontturi (the Ducktor), whom I had seen previously in Helsinki. Her thing is postmodernism in Disney comics, which are very popular in Europe generally and Finland in particular. European publishers produce their own Disney comics with minimal oversight from Disney’s central command, and some of these comics go in pretty strange directions. In Helsinki I remember her talking about a comic in which the characters start being attacked by the strip’s narration panels; here she discussed Mickey’s Craziest Adventures, which was published in 2016 but purported to be a reproduction of a tattered copy of a previously lost comic from 1965 found in car boot sale. The book sees Mickey Mouse and his pals enjoy the kind of adventure more commonly seen in the weirdo underground comix of that era. The description reminded me somewhat of Alan Moore’s 1963, while in some ways being more completely mental. I also found myself thinking of how surreal British kids comics could also be (and perhaps still are), which I think is something they could get away with because children have far less sense of the “normal” way a narrative should work.

A long stint thereafter on the Point Square information desk thereafter sapped my energy and left me unable to attend any further programme items. If you are one of the ten thousand people who came to the information desk asking where the Alhambra or Stratocaster rooms where then perhaps it was I who with a world weary sigh directed you out to the nearby Gibson Hotel. That these rooms were not in the Odeon complex but in the almost adjacent hotel was not something highlighted in the programme, so Worldcon attendees understandably found all this a bit confusing.

Unknown Pleasures

Late on Friday afternoon I was freed from the information desk and had a bit of a look at the Odeon art show, which had a lot of nice stuff. However I am not really in the market for original art and do not fully trust my own taste in that regard, so I did not put down any bids for the works, though I must admit I was tempted to throw down the five figure sum being sought for the original of the cover of one of the Gollancz SF Masterworks editions of Philip K. Dick. I then wandered back to the CCD and had my picture taken in my Unknown Pleasures t-shirt next to a poster showing the uninverted image. I was a bit surprised to not see anyone else wearing that t-shirt at the whole con. OK, I know most SF fans are not mad into post punk bands like Joy Division, but the image does show transmissions from the first pulsar known to humanity, the one discovered by guest of honour Jocelyn Bell Burnell when she was a PhD student. I was wearing the t-shirt to honour her (and because Unknown Pleasures is awesome and came out 40 years ago this year) and thought more people would do the same, but they did not.

Perhaps coincidentally, Friday evening saw me sneak away from SF fandom completely to instead hang out with music fan buds who like me are members of Frank’s APA, the amateur press association for people who like music. However sacred vows of secrecy oblige me to keep to myself the astonishing occurrences that happened during our meeting.

Keep coming back to Secret Panda for more Worldcon action real soon!

Mickey’s Craziest Adventures image source (Duck Comics Revue)

More of my Worldcon pictures, not all of which are of me

Finding the other Retro Hugo finalists online

In Dublin this August the Hugo Awards for the best science fiction and related stuff from 2018 will be awarded. Dublin will also be awarding Retro Hugos for material from 1943. In a previous post I linked to where most of Retro Hugo finalists in the novel, novella, novelette, and short story categories can be found online. But what of the other categories? Sadly here things seem to be a bit more difficult, but there is still more than nothing that can be looked at online for free.

Best Graphic Story

Readers will I think struggle to find some of the finalists in this category. Jack Cole’s Plastic Man #1: The Game of Death is available in full on the Digital Comics Museum for online reading and downloading. Steve Dowling’s Garth is downloadable from the blog British Comic Compilations (the Garth 001 download contains the material from 1943).

They seem to be the only finalists readily available in full online. The blog The Wonders You Can Do has an interesting post summarising and analysing Wonder Woman #5: Battle for Womanhood (by William Moulton Marsden and Harry G. Peter), complete with some illustrations. The Black Gate blog meanwhile has an illustrated summary of Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon: Fiery Desert of Mongo. Hergé’s The Secret of the Unicorn is available in many libraries and all good bookshops; a summary with sample illustrations can be seen on Tintin.com. Your local library may also have the 1969 edition of The Collected Works of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, which contains Philip Nowlan and Dick Calkins’ Martians Invade Jupiter

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Heaven Can Wait and Münchhausen are both available in full on YouTube. The Internet Archive meanwhile appears to have Batman, Cabin in the Sky, and Phantom of the Opera. And OK.RU has A Guy Named Joe.

Better quality versions of these films may be available from commercial streaming services.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

The Ape Man, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, Der Fuehrer’s Face, and Super-Rabbit are all available on YouTube. The Seventh Victim is on Dailymotion.

That leaves I Walked With a Zombie, for which YouTube has just a trailer. It might be available from commercial streaming services.

Best Professional Editor, Short Form

Here are links to what the Internet Speculative Fiction Database lists the finalists as having edited in 1943. Have a look at each issue’s table of contents and see if it tickles your fancy. If you have infinite time, consider popping over to the Internet Archive to skim some of these issues.

John W. Campbell Jr.: Astounding Science Fiction & Unknown Worlds

Oscar J. Friend: Thrilling Wonder Stories

Mary Gnaedinger: Famous Fantastic Mysteries

Dorothy McIlwraith: Weird Tales

Raymond A. Palmer: Amazing Stories & Fantastic Adventures

Donald A. Wollheim: The Pocket Book of Science Fiction

Best Professional Artist

Samples of Hannes Bok‘s art can be seen here on the blog Monster Brains. Readers can also check out his illustrations to Robert W. Chambers’ “The Yellow Sign” in the September 1943 issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries.

While primarily famous for her saucy covers for Weird Tales, Margaret Brundage appears to have had a fairly quiet year in 1943, producing just the one somewhat tame cover then. A Google image search gives a broader look at her career.

Virgil Finlay‘s work can be seen on the covers of the March 1943 issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries and the February & May 1943 issues of Super Science Stories. Finlay is also noted for his interior art, examples of which can be seen in his illustrations for C.L. Moore & Henry Kuttner’s Earth’s Last Citadel (separately a finalist in the Best Novel category).

Unless you have been living under a stone you almost certainly are broadly familiar with the illustrations Antoine de Saint-Exupéry created for his own book The Little Prince, but if you need a refresher check out this post on the blog Faena Aleph.

J. Allen St. John‘s work can be seen on the covers of the January and February 1943 issues of Amazing Stories.

The art of William Timmins can be see on the covers of the February, June, and October 1943 issues of Astounding Science Fiction.

Fanzine and Fanwriter

FANAC.ORG is an amazing archive of fan stuff of yore. The people that run it created a portal page for fanzines from 1943 there, and there you will find links to scans of the finalists in both of the fan categories.

In case you can’t remember, the best fanzine finalists are:
Futurian War Digest, editor J. Michael Rosenblum
Guteto, editor Morojo (Myrtle R. Douglas)
The Phantagraph, editor Donald A. Wollheim
Voice of the Imagi-Nation, editors Jack Erman (Forrest J Ackerman) & Morojo (Myrtle Douglas)
YHOS, editor Art Widner
Le Zombie, editor Wilson “Bob” Tucker 

The Best Fan Writer finalists are:
Forrest J. Ackerman
Morojo (Myrtle Douglas)
Jack Speer
Wilson “Bob” Tucker
Art Widner
Donald A. Wollheim
So there you go. With voting in the Hugos and Retro Hugos closing on 31 July, this does not leave much time to research your ballot.

In the meantime, here is another picture of my cat, with SF books in background:

More cat action

edited with a link to a download of Garth and information on where Buck Rogers: Martians Invade Jupiter can be found (information provided by Ambyr), and also to correct an error in the listing of the nominees in the fanzine category.

1943 Comics and the Retro Hugos

I wrote some pieces on 1943 publications for the Dublin Worldcon blog, as a guide to people who are nominating for the Retro Hugo awards, which will be awarded at the World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin this year. One of these posts included a discussion of 1943 comics. Comics are a visual medium but I did not include images there for fear of getting Worldcon into copyright trouble. I have no such fears regarding my own blog, so here is a discussion of 1943 comics, with added images.

Comics have sometimes been a bit of a problem category for the Retro Hugos. Lots of people like comics and lots of comics were published in years eligible for Retro Hugo recognition, but many 1940s comics were extremely ephemeral, never reprinted and only read in more recent years by serious collectors. There are online databases containing scans of vintage comics now in the public domain, notably Comic Book Plus and the Digital Comic Museum, but they are a bit terrifying in the amount of material they offer. The Digital Comic Museum unfortunately does not have an obvious means of searching its database by year, but Comic Book Plus does at least allow readers to see comics published month by month in 1943. If readers start here they will see comics books whose precise 1943 cover date is unknown. Clicking on next brings up January 1943 comics, and so on. Comics here can be downloaded (after registering) or viewed online. So, trawling there might uncover comics worth nominating, but beware: many big comics of the era are still in copyright and are not included in Comic Book Plus (or indeed in the Digital Comics Museum). Batman and Superman appeared in a variety of titles and formats in 1943 but neither of them are to be found in these datasets.

One comic that is not in either of those databases, presumably because it remains in copyright, is The Victory Garden, which appeared in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #31. This sees a popular anthropomorphic duck’s attempts to grow vegetables being thwarted by some greedy crows. The Victory Garden is noteworthy as the first Donald Duck comic drawn by Carl Barks. Carl Barks also gave us The Mummy’s Ring (originally appearing in Four Color Comics #29) in which Donald and his nephews find themselves caught up in Egyptological adventures.

Wonder Woman and Plastic Man have appeared separately in two 1943 comics that have received some praise. Plastic Man and the Game of Death (by Jack Cole for Quality Comics) sees the stretchable superhero take on a death cult, Japanese spies (with the usual problematic stereotyping) and cowboys in a series of bizarre adventures. Meanwhile in Battle for Womanhood (by created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter for All-American Publications and appearing in Wonder Woman #5) Wonder Woman faces up against Dr. Psycho, who attempts to undermine the US war effort by creating a spectral George Washington who warns against the employment of women in war industries. Dr. Psycho’s motivation seems to be straightforward misogyny rather than axis-sympathies, with this villainous genius wanting to reverse the gains women have achieved in American society. Marva, his wife, is bound to him by his hypnotic powers and he is keen to reduce all women to a state of servitude, something Wonder Woman is keen to prevent (although she is briefly enslaved by Dr. Psycho herself). As befits Marston’s feminist views, the story ends with Dr. Psycho’s defeat and Marva freed to receive a message of female empowerment.

Newspaper strips were an important part of the comics firmament in 1943. The year saw the conclusion of the Flash Gordon series Fiery Desert of Mongo (by Alex Raymond for King Features Syndicate).

Two Buck Rogers strips concluded this year, Martians Invade Jupiter and Mechanical Bloodhound (both by Dick Calkins for National Newspaper Syndicate); these were subsequently collected as Volume 9 of the Buck Rogers In The 25th Century: Dailies.
The Brick Bradford newspaper strip On the Throne of Titania, created by Clarence Gray and William Ritt for the Central Press Association, finished its run of more than two years in 1943. Like Flash Gordon, Brick Bradford started life as a Buck Rogers knock-off before embarking on his own travels through both time and space, eventually becoming better known in Europe than in the USA. As well as the daily strips, Gray and Ritt also produced a weekly Brick Bradford strip for the Sunday newspapers, with The Men Of The North and Ultrasphere both finishing in 1943.
1943 also saw the conclusion of the Sunday newspaper strip John Carter of Mars, adapted by John Coleman Burroughs from his father’s books and distributed by United Feature Syndicate. The strip was less successful than Rice Burroughs’ novels and was sadly cancelled in midstream in March 1943; readers never did get to see Dak Kova’s prize).
A more popular newspaper strip in 1943 was Prince Valiant, created by Hal Foster for King Features Syndicate. Readers may have encountered Fantagraphics’ reprints of Prince Valiant, volume 4 of which includes stories from 1943. Little Orphan Annie (by Harold Gray, for Tribune Media Services) was also widely read.
In 1943 as now comics were not just being published in the Anglophone world. In Nazi-occupied Belgium, Hergé was writing Tintin comics, with Secret of the Unicorn published in book form by Casterman and its sequel Red Rackham’s Treasure serialised in Le Soir. Unlike some other Tintin titles, neither of these deal particularly with science fictional or explicitly fantastic themes, yet there is a strange outlandishness to all of Tintin’s adventures that could slide them into Hugo eligibility.

Another noteworthy Belgian comic of 1943 is Le Rayon U (translated much later into English as The U Ray) by Edgar P. Jacobs (more famous for his subsequent Blake & Mortimer comics). Le Rayon U appeared in the pages of Bravo and is a fantasy/science fiction tale in the Flash Gordon mould, which it was produced to replace, as the US entry into the war meant that Flash Gordon comics could no longer be imported into Europe.

image sources:

The Victory Garden (The Disney Wiki)

The Mummy’s Ring (Pencil Ink)

Battle for Womanhood (The Wonders You Can Do: Doctor Psycho: One of Wonder Woman’s Vilest Villains)

Flash Gordon & Desira (Black Gate: Blogging Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon, Part Nineteen – “Fiery Desert of Mongo”)

Brick Bradford (Comic Art Fans)

John Carter of Mars, the final episode (The Daily Cartoonist: First and Last – John Carter of Mars Comic Strip)

Prince Valiant (The Comics Journal)

Tintin & co. land on an island (Tintin official site: Red Rackham’s Treasure)

Le Rayon U (Cool French Comics)