It’s Vintage Sci-Fi Month again! For those of you not familiar with this not-a-challenge, it runs every January and is about reading vintage science fiction (or fantasy). “Vintage” is defined as being before 1979 or your birth year, whichever is easier.
I’ll be taking the chance to talk about one of my favorite vintage comic book heroines, Mysta of the Moon.
Mysta first appeared in 1945 in the pages of Planet Comics. I think Planet Comics is a super interesting piece of media and probably would have loved it if I’d been a kid in the 40s and 50s. Each issue contained new episodes of several serialized science fiction stories. There was The Lost World, a post-apocalyptic tale set on an Earth that’s been conquered by aliens, Gale Allen, who basically led an interstellar girl gang to beat up bad guys across space, several Flash Gordon-esque heroes, and that’s just scratching the surface.
I might talk about some of the others later, but I’ll start with Mysta because she’s my favorite and I have a soft spot for moon-based heroines.
A Princess of Mars is serial fiction at its finest. Long before Netflix perfected the algorithm to keep us glued to our seats for episode after episode, Edgar Rice Burroughs had that s**t down.
Originally serialized in the magazine The All-Story in 1912, A Princess of Mars tells the story of John Carter. He’s a a former confederate soldier who, while on the run for his life, stumbles into a mysterious cave that transports him to Mars. As you do.
Once he wakes up there, the first thing he has to do is relearn how to walk, because thanks to the lesser gravity and atmospheric pressure, each step sends him shooting into the air.
Hold on. A man gets sent to another planet, and the different planetary conditions give him superhuman strength? Why does that sound familiar…
Space cops! Ray-gun fights! Space fashion! Alien divas!
I love all these things, which is why they ended up in a short story I wrote recently called Starstruck. It’s a retro sci-fi adventure that ticks off a couple boxes from my 5 Favorite Vintage Sci-Fi Tropes list and is inspired by old science fiction and pulp comics.
That’s probably why it’s such a good fit for Broadswords and Blasters, a “pulp magazine with modern sensibilities.” Their latest issue, number 12, came out yesterday, and you can read over a dozen awesome pulp stories in it. I’m super excited that Starstruck is included in their number.
Space Cadet Duke Rayburn just wants to go one day without getting criticized by his impossible-to-please superior. But when he’s assigned to protect a galactic celebrity who’s being stalked and threatened, he’ll have to do whatever it takes to keep her safe–and worry about the consequences if he survives.
Did you know January is Vintage Science Fiction month? I didn’t until I saw the hashtag on Twitter, which piqued my interest, because I love old sci-fi. You can feel the enthusiasm and energy in a lot of those old space travel stories, written in a time where mankind was just venturing beyond Earth’s atmosphere, and everyone was excited about the possibilities.
January is also great timing, because I’ve got a retro sci-fi short story coming out in Broadswords and Blasters Issue 12later this month. You might find more than one of these tropes in it. Or not. Read it and see. 😉
Are you venturing into the cold reaches of space and don’t know what to wear? No need to worry. Just pop a fishbowl over your head, and you’ll be fine.