Spaceship Away Part 27 Summer 2012.

Get your 1950s style spaceship out, it’s time to join Captain Dan Dare in the latest edition of ‘Spaceship Away’. Oddly, in the opening part of Tim Booth’s story, Parsecular Tales’, he only makes a brief appearance as he’s off on a mission to the Asteroid Belt. It is Hank Hogan who is introduced to a combined unit of alien species who are working on a teleportation device and a faster-than-light spaceship. Although I’m not too sure about bringing such modern things into the world of Dan Dare, having seen the inventor, I share Hogan’s sense of worry.

A great proportion of the text is devoted to artist Bruce Cornwell, who died in March 2012, aged 92, which was missed in their last issue, other than a footnote, as it was already being printed. Not only are there tributes but a final interview from him about aspects of his career. Cornwall’s work not only graced Dan Dare, where he was responsible for many of the cut-out illustration, but also contributed similar things to ‘The Dalek Annuals 1964-65’, as well as a host of other work.

Charles Chilton’s ‘Journey Into Mystery’ story continues with Jet Morgan and his team crashlanded on the Moon and the discovery of a potential conqueror of the Earth waiting for them.

A fascinating take is ‘Thoughts That Kill’, using a 1939 tale by John Russell Fearn, the only full-time British SF writer at the time, it is translated into a six-page comicstrip by Ron Turner. Done purely as an experiment, I hope they continue. There isn’t much British SF comicstrip material available from that period, but adapting SF stories from that period will get a similar sensibility to match the period of Dan Dare.

Speaking of whom, look at Diego Valor, Spain’s answer to Dan Dare, translating his material by Jeremy Briggs is another article that should need further investigation and see other European countries take on the good captain.

While briefly teaching, Frank Hampton circulated the plot of ‘Amberlint’ to art colleges to encourage artists into comicbook art has a two-pager to show how the opening went. One can only hope that there is enough fan reaction to see what happens next.

Finally, the Garth story, ‘Finality Factor’ is continuing apace with Garth and his allies seeking to rescue the princess. If anything, showing what Dan Dare’s flat looks like seems a bit of a come-down in comparison.

However, all that really reveals is that there is so much in this forty page that you can’t help being impressed by all the work that is done. It is well worth you paying a few pounds for a look-see if you’re interested in period space drama and the people who created it.

GF Willmetts

August 2012


(pub: Spaceship Away. Rod Barzilay, 8 Marley Close, Preston, Weymouth, Dorset DT3 6DH, UK. 40 page A4 glossy stock magazines. Price: £ 7.95 (UK) inc p&p, 3 issues for £21.50 (UK) inc p&p)

check out website: http://spaceshipaway.org.uk


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.