"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Sunday, March 30, 2014


I didn't know what to expect when I moved, but I knew I would no longer have access to all the old bookstores and thrift stores in my neighborhood.  Places I'd spent a decade or more digging in crates, scanning book spines, flipping though vinyl.  

It seemed quite possible that the Museum of Stuff would go on indefinite hiatus.  

But if you enjoy digging, you're going to find something no matter where you are.  There's a fairly unremarkable thrift store near my home, but I recently found all four sequential issues of Astounding Science Fiction (September - December 1957), featuring Robert Heinlein's juvenile novel, Citizen of the Galaxy.  

All my old science fiction magazines are in storage, but I was pleased to find these in good condition.  I always thought the cover art by H. R. Van Dongen on the September 1957 issue looked  like an aging, one-eyed Bill Murray with his hand on a Mick Jagger puppet.

I realize I'm probably the only one.

Astounding Science Fiction (September 1957)
A few weeks later, in Grass Valley, I picked up two copies of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.  One issue (February 1957) features Walter M. Miller's "The Last Canticle," the third in a series of stories that would later be published as A Canticle For Leibowitz.  The issue also contains new stories by Fredric Brown ("Expedition"), August Derleth ("The Dark Boy"), and Poul Anderson ("Journeys End").

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (February 1957)
The other issue has new stories from Alfred Bester ("Will You Wait?"), Ray Bradbury ("The Shoreline at Sunset"), and the grandfather (pun intended) of all time-travel stories, Robert Heinlein's gender-hopping "All You Zombies--").

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (March 1959)
I guess things are going to be just fine.


I feel like there should be a recording of this from either Frank Morgan or Pat Buttram, someone of that ilk.

A character in a straw hat standing on a fruit crate, a city slicker addressing rubes, reminding concerned parents and all those assembled how Dr. Winchell's Teething Syrup "softens the gums, assists dentition," etc.

A slow, steady build, right?

And then by the time we reach "Away with your Cordial, Paregoric Drops, Laudanum, and every other narcotic, by which the babe is drugged into stupidity, and rendered dull and idiotic for life," the barker should be in full Robert Preston mode, finger guns blazing, working the crowd into the kind of frenzy that only Dr. Winchell can cure.

A boon to humanity, indeed.


I was in a Nevada City a couple of weeks ago and pulled these postcards from the $1 basket by the door.

Mailed 1909

Inscibed, but unsent

Inscribed, but unsent