Sunday, 13 August 2017

Sci-Fi Sundays: Worlds of IF Science Fiction, August 1964

This cover illustration may not be striking enough to pull your attention from across the room. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, it just isn't an overwhelmingly dynamic composition or subject matter.

There's a guy patching a hole in what appears to be a giant space balloon holding atmosphere for people inside.  Not horrible, but not inspiring. As usual when this is the case, I start to look around at what was happening in the world.

As it turns out, 1964 brings us some amazing space stories, such as the "Afronauts"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9Do3dz9TR0

The US and the Soviet Union were deep in competition at this point, pushing further and further outward, with sights set on the moon. A Zambian school teacher named Edward Makuka Nikoloso, inspired by Zambia's recent independence, created the space program that he dubbed the "Afronauts" and claimed that they would be the first to the moon, beating the two super powers. 

To put it simply, they didn't have the technology, training, or funding to do anything of the sort. They lacked support from their local government and ultimately dropped their plans after the pilot of their ship, 17 year old Matha Mwambwa, became pregnant. 

Publication: Worlds of IF Science Fiction

Issue: August 1964, volume: 14 No. 4

Cover art: Fetterly from The Slaves of Gree

[caption id="attachment_540663" align="aligncenter" width="600"] by Morrow for Slaves of Gree[/caption]

Now this would have been a hell of a cover! not only is it much more intriguing, it is for the same story and by the same artist. 

The quad-globed space domicile pictured in the top immediately brings to mind a childhood toy that I enjoyed, Capsella. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLa9wZHiqxg

[caption id="attachment_540664" align="aligncenter" width="600"] by Morrow for Slaves of Gree[/caption][caption id="attachment_540665" align="aligncenter" width="600"] by Morrow for Slaves of Gree[/caption]

Wow, Morrow certainly nailed the bad guy stereotype of the era. Here's the description of this character. I suspect that Morrow skimmed this, saw the beard, horns, and mustache and just went with something familiar. 

Gree was certainly humanoid, if one could elevate the word. He was tall; taller than Jen or Fazzoool or the Overseer by perhaps a foot. His shoulders were broad, his build supple and young. But the gray strands in his curly black hair and beard showed his maturity. he wore a suit of dark material which almost certainly had precious metals woven into it. At his throat a jabot of the purest white cloth set off the short-cropped beard and his olive skin. the face was just sufficiently marked with care. The eyebrows arched up and tilted at the outer ends almost mischieviously. the eyes were very long and narrow, with full lashes and long folds of skin at the inner corners. The irises were very light gray and had black vertical slits for pupils that looked into one's soul for the slightest shadow of unworthiness. Jen Shuddered and was glad he bore no flaws. 

The nose, delicate at the bridge, swelled to a very broad base a trifle uplifted so it showed large nostrils. There was a curl of mustache above the wide, full-lipped mouth. The mouth seemed both stern and faintly smiling at the same time. The skin drew in tautly under sharp cheekbones, to a gaunt jaw that was square and outthrust under the beard.  On the head, set hair like two tree-trunks, were two horns, straight, an inch thick and five inches long, with blunt knobby ends. They were intricately carved and inset with gems, and they held Jen's eyes in fascination. 

[caption id="attachment_540666" align="aligncenter" width="600"] by Nodel for The Prince And The Pirate[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_540667" align="aligncenter" width="600"] by Nodel for The Prince And The Pirate[/caption]

I haven't read this story. At a glance, it seems like a fun bit of anachronism, mixing aliens and midievel imagery. I have to say that a jolly roger on a flying saucer makes me smile. This might be worthy of being made into a sticker. 

[caption id="attachment_540668" align="aligncenter" width="600"] by Nodel for The Prince And The Pirate[/caption][caption id="attachment_540669" align="aligncenter" width="600"] by Gaughan for Farnhanm's Freehold[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_540670" align="aligncenter" width="600"] by Gaughan for Farnhanm's Freehold[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_540671" align="aligncenter" width="300"] by Gaughan for Farnhanm's Freehold[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_540672" align="aligncenter" width="600"] by Gaughan for Farnhanm's Freehold[/caption]

*Madison is a city located primarily in Madison County in the northern part of the State of Alabama. Madison extends west into neighboring Limestone County. The city is included in the Huntsville Metropolitan Area and is also included in the merged Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 42,938.[2] Madison is bordered by Huntsville on most sides. Contents 1 History 2 Geography 3 Demographics 4 Economy 4.1 Personal income 4.2 Industry 5 Education 6 Media 7 Infrastructure 7.1 Roads 7.2 Rail and airline 8 Notable people 9 References 10 External links History Southern Railroad Depot, Madison, Alabama Madison's first resident was John Cartwright, who settled in the area in 1818. The city was originally known as Madison Station, and grew up in the 1850s around a stop of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. Madison was the site of a battle in the American Civil War on May 17, 1864, when Col. Josiah Patterson's 5th Alabama Cavalry, supported by Col. James H. Stuart's cavalry battalion and a section of horse artillery, drove Col. Adam G. Gorgas's 13th Illinois Infantry Regiment from the city. Patterson's men captured the 13th Illinois Regiment's wagon train, taking 66 prisoners. They also burned Union supplies and tore up the railroad tracks before retreating. Portions of the 5th Ohio Cavalry, the 59th Indiana Infantry and the 5th Iowa Infantry were sent in pursuit from Huntsville and skirmished with Patterson's rear guard that evening at Fletcher's Ferry on the Tennessee River south of Madison. More recently, the city has become a fast-growing suburb of Huntsville. In 1980, the population of Madison was about 4,000. As of the 2010 census the city's population is 42,938. Geography According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.7 square miles (77.0 km2), of which 29.6 square miles (76.6 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.45%, is water.[3] Madison is located at 34°42'54?N 86°44'23?W (34.715065, -86.739644),[4] primarily within Madison County. Demographics Historical population Census Pop. %± 1880 410 — 1900 412 — 1910 426 3.4% 1920 435 2.1% 1930 431 -0.9% 1940 455 5.6% 1950 530 16.5% 1960 1,435 170.8% 1970 3,086 115.1% 1980 4,507 46.0% 1990 14,904 230.7% 2000 29,329 96.8% 2010 42,938 46.4% Est. 2014 46,450 [5] 8.2% U.S. Decennial Census[6] 2014 Estimate[7] As of the census of 2010, there were 42,938 people residing in the city, an increase of 44.6% from the 29,329 residing there in 2000. The population consisted of 16,111 households and 11,770 families. The average household size was 2.65, while the average family size was 3.16. 30.8% of the population was age 19 or younger, 61.0% was 20-64, and 8.2% was 65 or older. The median age was 37.0 years. The population was 49.3% male and 50.7% female. The racial makeup of the city was 74.0% White, 14.6% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 7.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.3% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. 4.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. According to the Madison Chamber of Commerce, Madison was the fastest-growing city in Alabama as of 2010.[8] Economy Personal income The median income for a household in the city was $92,136, and the median income for a family was $111,217. The per capita income for the city was $41,490. About 3.9% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over. Industry Madison's largest employer is Intergraph, a computer software company based in Madison. They are currently working on a streetlight maintenance program. Thousands of Madison residents commute to Cummings Research Park and Redstone Arsenal in nearby Huntsville. Within the city limits, most of Madison's businesses are retail, with stores and fast-food restaurants lining US 72 to the north and Madison Boulevard to the south. Education The Madison City School System, formed in 1998, serves over 8,400 students from the city of Madison and town of Triana.[9] As of 2012, the school system has seven elementary schools serving grades K-6 (Columbia Elementary School, Heritage Elementary School, Horizon Elementary School, Madison Elementary School, Rainbow Elementary School, West Madison Elementary School, and Mill Creek Elementary), two middle schools serving grades 7-8 (Discovery Middle School, Liberty Middle School), and two high schools serving grades 9-12 (Bob Jones High School, James Clemens High School). Madison also has several private schools, including Madison Academy, Lindsay Lane Christian Academy, St John the Baptist Catholic School, and Westminster Christian Academy. Madison Elementary School is the oldest school in the system (est. 1936) Media The Madison Record[10] and the Madison County Record[11] have been newspapers for the city since 1967. The Madison weekly news[12] is also another local newspaper. Infrastructure Roads Madison is served by Interstate 565, US 72 (University Drive), and Madison Boulevard (Alabama State Route 20, and Alt. US 72) as main routes for east-west traffic. Slaughter Road, Hughes Road, Wall Triana Highway, and County Line Road are main north-south roads in the city. Rail and airline The Norfolk Southern railway has a main line and a spur running through Madison. The Port of Huntsville, an intermodal center which includes Huntsville International Airport and a rail cargo center, is just south of the city. Notable people Mike Ball, member of the Alabama House of Representatives[13] Kerron Johnson, professional basketball player[14] Walter Jones, former offensive lineman at Florida State and an all-pro at the Seattle Seahawks Robert Hoffman, actor, dancer, and choreographer[15] Bill Holtzclaw, Republican member of the Alabama State Senate since 2006.[16][17] Reggie Ragland, American football linebacker[18]
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