Dulltown, UK: Today’s carefully selected adjectives are: peevish, suffruticose, ratheripe, hoity-toity, dowf, palingenetical, and chubby.
Oh dear! This looks cheerful doesn’t it?
Yes, it’s another tatty old 1960s British pulp science fiction novel, a Badger Book, from my modest collection. I see that it is by Bron Fane (all science fiction writers should have very strange names!) one of the many pseudonyms of Robert Lionel Fanthorpe, who wrote virtually all of the Badger science fiction and supernatural novels. (RLF)
Shall we have a look at the blurb on the back cover and what could be in store for us should we venture inside:
The strange thing about THE END was that nobody expected it… The pessimists had been wrong. No atomic war. No nuclear destruction. No fall out. No radioactivity. Disarmament had brought universal peace and sanity. Co-existence had become a reality – not an idealist’s dream.
Then disaster struck. The desperate weather forecasts were beginning. The ice was THE END.
Hm… So what about this cover painting on the front? I don’t think it’s by the usual Badger cover artist Henry Fox, but it is quite good isn’t it? I’m not sure whether the that shape on the left is a great big wave of water with the wind taking the spume off the top of it, or whether it’s just more of that solid ice – doesn’t really matter does it? I do like the hint of optimism in that there are some yellow lights glowing in the top rooms of the skyscraper though, and that these three people have something to head towards. I just quickly glanced at the first page and I reckon that these struggling souls might be Jim Donovan, his wife Sally, and young fresh-faced Tony Martell. I think Jim might be shouting through the gale, ‘Hoy!… Tony!… Fancy carrying my wife for a bit? She weighs a ton!…’ I hope when they finally get to the base of the tower the folks snug inside will be in the mood for answering the doorbell… By the way, and I could be wrong here, but Mrs Donovan appears to have her hair dyed pink, or is that just a nice rainproof hood to match her gloves? Gosh, it really does look quite slippery underfoot out there, I hope they are all wearing sturdy footwear.
Shall we thumb through these crumbling brown-edged pages and look for some items of text to give us a feel of the writing style dear reader?
‘Jim Donovan was a tall, grey eyed, whispering giant, whose broad shoulders seemed somehow less aggressive, because of their scholarly stoop…
Tony Martell, his fresh-faced young assistant, looked up questioningly from the logarithm charts with which he was completing the calculation Jim had given him…’
‘Sally Donovan was several years younger than Jim. She was a luscious auburn-haired girl, with a figure of a modern Venus. Yet for all her glamour – a glamour which she managed to retain in the cold and impersonal atmosphere of an astronomical laboratorl (sic), she had an extremely keen and vivacious mind…’
‘They looked in amazement at the colossal red-brown thing, as broad almost as it was tall, with rippling muscles, scarcely concealed even by the thick hair…
It must have weighed a thousand pounds. It put an enormous hairy hand out in greeting…’
‘… but on a parallel time track.
“Exactly,” said the scientist, “An infinite number. Now in one set of time sequence the earth was destroyed and we were the last set of human beings alive on earth. But in another set that star went a completely different way… but never came near us…
That skyscraper we saw didn’t exist in our world. It existed in another time track…’
By the way, this adverting page appears in all Badger Books: