Translation of chapter two of Clark Carrados Battlefield, translated from Spanish to English by Fred Patten. The full text is omitted for reasons of copyright, but in summary:
Upon arrival at Mars, Captain Frehan dictates his report. When they explored the asteroid, they found various bits of debris including organic remains of what appear to be non-terrestrial lifeforms. When they land, the Captain and his crew are astonished to be immediately relieved of duty, sent back to Terra to await reassignment, and ordered not to speak of the incident on the asteroid to anybody.
Confused as to what he could have done wrong, the Captain investigates around but gets nowhere until he comes across a friend in a similar situation who recommends him to a Doctor Gebikov. Whoever he is.
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Why has Captain Frehan been relieved of his command? Is he in disgrace, or not? Who is Doctor Gebikov, and how can he possibly help? Be with us next week for Chapter 3 of our ever thickening plot!!
It was just as well that I forgot that there was supposed to be a theatre party last Friday to see the Savoy-Artes' production of Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Sorcerer". I was dead tired that evening and if I'd gone to see the show, I'd have slept through most of it. But I got plenty of sleep that night, so that when I was reminded of the production the next day, I was able to go to that evening's performance (the last), and I stayed awake through the whole operetta and enjoyed it all.
Len Bailes, who was in the theatre party the preceding night, gave a good capsule review of the production when he said that it was an excellent performance of one of Gilbert & Sullivan's more mediocre operettas. The production was excellent; in fact, it's the best that the L.A. Savoy-Artes has put on yet. They're getting more and more skilled, dropping the bombs from their cast, building up a fine wardrobe, and generally becoming a delight to watch, rather than being just something for the G&S completists to see because there's nothing better. I doubt that either the D'Oyly Carte company or the Lamplighters could've topped this production of "The Sorcerer". Richard Sheldon led the cast as a superb John Wellington Wells, but he was trailed closely by Lloyd Allen as Dr. Daly, the Vicar; and William Murray as Alexis was a strong third. Everyone else, including all the chorus, was more than satisfactory. They got all the mileage out of the plot that they possibly could. I'm glad that I can add "The Sorcerer" to my list of G&S seen, and particularly glad that I was introduced to it by this sparkling production.
Jean Berman -- Of the two, I prefer E. Nesbit to Edward Eager, though not by much. I think that Nesbit had a depth that Eager lacked; Eager's children always had a lot of fun and excitement, but they didn't have Adventures of the same intensity that Nesbit's children had. To put it another way, Eager handled one plot excellently; Nesbit handled it just as well, and she had other plots, besides. If you like stories of the sort that take place in 5 Children and It, then you can read either Nesbit or Eager equally well, I think -- Eager is more up-to-date, true, and he seldom gets preachy as Nesbit occasionally does (though never to the extent of interfering with the story.) On the other hand, what did Eager ever write that comes close to Nesbit's Harding's Luck and her other fantasies along that line? (For those of you who haven't read it, it's the story of a crippled London street waif of the present (the 1890's) who, in a series of dreams, goes back to a previous existence in which he lived happily as the son of a noble family in the early part of James I's reign. he is able to bring back with him to the present all of the knowledge and skills he learns in the past, and, though he would prefer to remain in his more wholesome past existence, he considers it his duty to keep returning to the present to use his new knowledge to help various people who need...well, "moral support" is the best way to put it. The book has one of the bitter-sweet endings popular in later-day Victorian literature, rather than the everyone-lived-happily-ever-after ending Eager always used.) In short, Nesbit offers a little more than does Eager, to my mind. ## The entire 5 Children and It trilogy is out in paperback from Puffin, with all of the Millar illustrations, if anybody wants to add these to his library cheaply. ## What did you think of the way that Nicholas Stuart Gray handled the same plot in The Apple-Stone? (Ruth has a copy, if you haven't read it yet.) And what do you think of Gray's other fantasies? ## And of course there's F. Anstey -- whose books Nesbit's children all read. Vice Versa, The Brass Bottle, In Brief Authority, etc. Do you know them? ## No, any films shown at the Pan-PacifiCon would certainly not have to be s-f films. In fact, I was thinking more along the lines of Cocteau's "Orpheus" or "Beauty and the Beast", "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T", Baum's "His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz" (if we can hold the '68 West Coast Ozcon in conjunction with the WorldCon and persuade Dick Martin to bring his print of "The Scarecrow" out), and possibly some foreign animation work. Either of Sellers' films that you mention would be fine, Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" would certainly qualify for showing at an s-f con (and I doubt that anyone would object much if we did show other non-fantasy Chaplin comedies), and there's always W.C. Fields. Of course, what we show will depend on all sorts of factors not yet ironed out. One thing I was hoping to get, though, is a sort of grass roots opinion of quality vs. quantity. In other words, assuming that we only have a certain amount of money budgeted for renting films, and we have a choice between one picture of high quality that costs a lot, or several pictures that are good but not quite as good, should we get the one or the many? Would you want us to try to schedule as many good films as we can get, or do you feel that this would conflict with the program and that we shouldn't try to get more than cheap, mediocre films for the benefit of those who just want to kill time when they aren't interested in what's on the program at the moment?
Dian Pelz -- It was stories about androids that I was collecting for Bill Nolan -- see the bibliography in his The Pseudo-People. (I got $10, a credit, and a free copy of the book for my work; not bad, considering it had been fun to do, anyhow.) You're right, though; there are enough "Almighty Computer" stories to fill another book.