James D. Keeline|
Since I have been gathering the American Boy issues containing science fiction stories by Carl H. Claudy (and a few others), I had occasion to Google and see what web pages are out there. I will likely put together a summary of these stories for Yellowback Library, a juvenile series book magazine established in January 1981 and now issued monthly.
Juvenile series books embraces books like Tom Swift, Nancy Drew, and others lesser known. The readers were typically 8 to 16 years of age and the books had recurring characters (though not always continuing plots). In this case, Claudy is known for a four-volume series of books in blue cloth called The Adventures in the Unknown series published by Grosset & Dunlap between 1933 and 1934.
The stories themselves first appeared in American Boy as nearly novel length stories in a single issue or as many as four issues. Many other stories did not get issued in book form, however.
The first of these stories was "The Land of No Shadow" in the February 1931 issue, covering 10 pages. It features illustrations by Manning de V. Lee. Character names mentioned include Alvin Gaylord, Dr. Kurt Arronson, and the first-person narrator, Jerome Llewellyn Berkman. Alvin and Jerry are roommates and while Alvin is studious, Jerry is athletic.
The magazine version of the story was reprinted in The Year After Tomorrow (Winston, 1954) along with a couple other Claudy stories from American Boy, "The Master Minds of Mars" (1931-32) and "Tongue of Beast" (1939).
These latter two stories feature Claudy's typical protagonists, the young Dr. Alan Kane and his athletic friend, "Ted" Theodore Dolliver. He is sometimes nicknamed "mastodon" in the stories. In this dynamic, Kane is seeking answers to the world's mysteries through science. One of Ted's responsibilities was to read all of the newspapers in search of articles that would open new avenues of research for Alan.
The four books in the Adventures of the Unknown series all featured Dr. Kane and Ted Dolliver. The stories are rewritten from their magazine versions. In this case, The Land of No Shadows was the third book in the series published by Grosset & Dunlap in 1933.
All four of the books have illustrations by A.C. Valentine where only one of the Claudy magazine stories has them. In addition to a frontispiece and jacket illustration, the books have elaborately illustrated endpapers with scenes from the book. The front and back endpapers are different.
Later, four Claudy stories were adapted by DC into their All-American Comics. This title was not one of them. Instead, they were "Mystery Men from Mars" (using the book title of "The Master Minds of Mars"), "A Thousand Years a Minute" (again using the book title for time travel to the past), "The Infra-Red Destroyers" (the magazine title for a serial about invasion from Venus where the enemy cannot be seen under conventional light), and "Rescue on Mars" (a retelling of the "Return to Mars" serial).
Probably the version most likely read by your correspondent is the magazine story included in the anthology, The Year After Tomorrow (Winston, 1954) which was poised to be read by Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1952. After this, the next most likely is the book from 1933. The magazine from 1931 might be seen but only by someone who was born in the 1920s or did a lot of reading of old magazines.
I do not, at this time, have a word count for the two versions of the story. From what I have read, the book is not only lengthened, but the character names have changed and the ending has changed.
I will try to think of some other stories with a mathematical theme. My primary area is children's and juvenile books. I did make a bibliography of time travel fiction and occasionally there is a mathematical component to these. The key will be finding something you have not already heard of or found. I'll look over your classified ads to this end as I have time to do so.