Computors and other conglomerata…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s C17th English expletive is ‘Ad’s heartiwounds!’ – (God’s heart wounds.)
Do try to find an opportunity to slip this into your conversation today dear reader, perhaps when your phone accidentally slips out of your hand and lands on hard concrete.

DSCN3450What the hell is this?…
Well, it’s SF 27 (Science Fiction No. 27) a 1960s British pulp science fiction novel, another Badger Book from my modest collection. As you see this one is by R.L.Fanthorpe, who was the writer of nearly all of this series as well as most of the Badger SN (Supernatural) series too.
Shall we see what the blurb on the back cover has to tell us?
‘Leinster was a scientist with rather odd political ideas. When he discovers a new super-efficient rocket projectile, he decides to publish his findings to the entire world…
East and West despatch their various expeditions and the space race ends in something like a photo-finish… a new miniature cold-war develops on the moon… What sinister power is at work? Does life still exist below the dead surface of Lunar?… Can the earth men combine against this weird scientific peril?’
Let us turn this precious but battered volume over again, and now examine the front cover. What do you think of this? A nice bit of painting isn’t it? It’s not by the usual Badger cover artist H. Fox, but by someone called… I can’t make out the signature, can you? Might it be ‘Jo cohoi’ or ‘Jacohon’? Anyway it is very nice!
The chap featured must be Leinster, discoverer of that famous super-efficient rocket projectile. Oh look, he seems to have a sun emblem on the front of his space suit, I thought for a moment it was a ‘tie-dye’ one – tie-dye space suits were probably quite popular in the 1960s… So, Leinster… what do you think he’s pondering about as he stands there on the lunar surface? He’s probably looking at that funny thing in his hand and saying, ‘What the hell is this? I don’t remember putting that in my suitcase…’ It is a very nice implement though, isn’t it? Mostly metal, but with a sausage-shaped blue glass bit with little lights in it; oh, and I see it’s got a dangerous looking spike on the end – don’t let that pointy end get anywhere near your space suit Leinster!… See how he stares at it apprehensively…
I reckon that the artist, whatever his name, initially painted Leinster’s hand without a space-glove, but then realising that it probably does get a bit chilly in the evenings up there on the moon, quickly painted some wrinkles on Leinster’s wrist to make it look more like a glove.
Let’s dip in and find some items of text to give us a flavour of the writing style dear reader:
‘He phoned for his car, and began speeding towards the buildings, where he lived, and moved, and had his being, amid the piles of concrete launching ramps, computors, and other conglomerata, so dear to the heart of rocket-site engineers…’
‘He believed in the cautious approach – slow gradual pressure. He believed that constant dripping would wear away a stone. His favourite parable was the Unjust Judge and the importunate widow. He believed that continual coming would weary anyone…’
‘Hank Finlay was fat and furious. A small rotund man with eyes like two living coals… His brain could dart this way and that like a cobra… He had blasted himself out of one Red encircling movement after another. He was a kind of living bazooka…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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