Saturday, March 20, 2021

"Don't Kill Yourself Getting It"

TODAY WE FINISH up with the fifth and last adventure (that we're aware of) featuring Scott Warren of the GNS, otherwise known as the "Dateline: Mars" series, with an intrepid reporter risking life and limb to get an . . .

"Inside Story."
By Richard Wilson (1920-87).
Illustrations by Mel Hunter (1927-2004; HERE).
First appearance: Galaxy Science Fiction, June 1955.
Reprints page (HERE).
Novelette (22 pages; 3 illos).
Online at (HERE).
     "I shoulda stood in the newsroom."

The best reporters strive to get as close as possible to the story—but sometimes that can be too close . . . .
Main characters:
~ George Mercer:
  "I'm talking about an inside story."
~ Kathy Brand:
  "You'd better give up, George."
~ Scott Warren:
  "She may have a point there . . ."
~ Mogi:
  "Very fine. I catch."
~ Lane:
  "Who would listen to us? We were the forgotten men, completely cut off from the outside."
References and resources:
- "Even Mars had its silly season": From a journalistic perspective, it's a fairly common thing: "In North America the period is often referred to prosaically as the slow news season, or less commonly with the phrase dog days of summer." See Wikipedia (HERE).
- "the wave to Earth . . . The acknowledgment came immediately": Is GNS making use of faster-than-light (FTL) communications à la Star Trek? It's unclear from the text; see Wikipedia (HERE) and (HERE) and Atomic Rockets (HERE).
- "He began to peel off the suit": Spacesuits have been in SFF from the beginning of the genre; see Wikipedia (HERE) and Atomic Rockets (HERE).
- "a GN stringer at Druro": They deal opportunistically in the recherché; see Wikipedia (HERE).
- "If it isn't Deimos, it's Phobos": They might be small and far away, but they're still relatively well known to the public: "The two moons of Mars are Phobos and Deimos. They are irregular in shape. Both were discovered by American astronomer Asaph Hall in August 1877 and are named after the Greek mythological twin characters Phobos (fear) and Deimos (panic) who accompanied their father Ares into battle. Ares, god of war, was known to the Romans as Mars." See Wikipedia (HERE).
- "I'm no Typhoid Mary": Her real name was Mary Mallon; see Wikipedia (HERE) for the full story.
- "in the form of a communique": An official message: "a brief report or statement released by a public agency"; see Wikipedia (HERE).
- You can read the "Dateline: Mars" series in any order you wish, but we do recommend that you read the third story ("New Weapon") that introduces Kathy Brand's character before you read today's final tale, "Inside Story," which marks her second and last appearance: (HERE), (HERE), (HERE), and (HERE).

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