Cosmos (and The Challenge from Beyond)

In 1933—34, a “round robin” novel, with each successive chapter by a different author, was published in the fanzines Science Fiction Digest & Fantasy Magazine.  I first encountered the chapters by A. Merritt and Doc Smith in anthologies of their respective works.  It so happens that Doc’s chapter is a direct sequel to Merritt’s, which made it obvious to see what was going on, & led me to suspect the existence of more stories.

As it turns out, the publication history is rather tortured.  The whole thing does not appear ever to have been published in book form, and the individual chapters appear to go under multiple alternative titles.  It was republished by in the 1970s by Forrest Ackerman, spread across nearly thirty volumes of US Perry Rhodan books.  Today, the best way of accessing it appears to be on-line, thanks to the efforts of one David Ritter, otherwise unknown to me.

I have recorded the Smith and Merritt chapters, to use as a bridge between The Moon Pool and The Skylark of Space.  I will pick up some of the other chapters from time to time as I may, but I don’t promise to do them in order.

  1. Faster than Light, Ralph Milne Farley
  2. The Emigrants, David H Keller
  3. Callisto’s Children, Arthur J Burks
  4. The Murderer from Mars, Bob Olsen
  5. Tyrants of Saturn, Francis Flagg
  6. Interference on Luna, John W Campbell Jr— HNtW 37, 2017-06-06 — For no reason I can explain, the stream broke down for more than 10 minutes in the middle of this transmission, & although it was silent live, in the recording the gap is filled in with classical music
  7. Son of the Trident, Rae Winters
  8. Volunteers from Venus, Otis Adelbert Kline & E Hoffman Price
  9. Menace of the Automaton, Abner J Gelula
  10. Conference at Copernicus, Raymond A Palmer
  11. The Last Poet and the Robots /  The Last Poet and the Wrongness of Space, A Merritt — HNtW 019, 2017-03-28
  12. At the Crater’s Core, J Harvey Haggard
  13. “What a Course!” / Course Perilous! / Robot Nemesis, E E Smith PhD — HNtW 020, 2017-03-31
  14. The Fate of the Neptunians, P Schuyler Miller
  15. The Horde of Elo Hava, Lloyd Arthur Eschbach
  16. Lost in Alien Dimensions, Eando Binder
  17. Armageddon in Space, Edmond Hamilton

There is, apparently, another round-robin to which Merritt contributed, along with luminaries such as CL Moore & HP Lovecraft, called The Challenge from Beyond.  I shall see if I can dig it up as well!