| || Myra North, Special Nurse |
by Ray Thompson and Charles Coll
First time travel: 24 Jan 1937
My friend Art Lortie, science fiction historian extraordinaire, pointed me toward the unassuming Myra North, Special Nurse, who ran in the daily comics from 1936 to 1941. For the most part, she was nothing more than a special nurse, but some episodes, particularly in the Sunday strips, were more fantastic than others. Art told me of the 1937 appearance of a machine that saw into the future (“The Mechanical Eye” which concluded on 28 March 1937); a later story (“The Mystic Dragon”, 10 Mar 1940 to 13 Oct 1940) finds the nefarious present-day Zero back in the time of Scheherazade and Sinbad (although it’s never said whether he’s an actual time traveler).
Art Lortie's guide and scans include 141 pages of new and reprint material from comic books, too, although I didn’t spot any time travel therein.
Now then, just visualize how important it might be if we were able to see what was happening a year from now!
| || The Sands of Time Stories|
by P. Schuyler Miller
First story: Astounding, Apr 1937
Terry Donovan realizes that it’s possible to travel through time in 60,000,000-year increments, so naturally he travels back to the time of dinosaurs and visiting aliens.
The first story, “The Sands of Time,” was under Tremaine’s Astounding editorship (Apr 1937) but the sequel, “Coils of Time,” appeared under Campbell’s (May 1939).
Incidentally, I have forgotten the most important thing of all. Remember that Donovan’s dominating idea was to prove to me, and to the world, that he had been in the Cretaceous and hobnobbed with its flora and fauna. He was a physicist by inclination, and had the physicist’s flair for ingenious proofs. Before leaving, he loaded a lead cube with three quartz quills of pure radium chloride that he had been using in a previous experiment, and locked the whole thing up in a steel box.
| || “Forgetfulness” |
by John W. Campbell, Jr. (as by Don A. Stuart)
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1937
Millions of years after mankind raised various species and sent them to the stars, one of the species returns and believes that humans have fallen into a primitive existence. And the time travel? Partway through the story, there’s a power source that goes to the end of time and cycles back to the beginning of time. In addition, Fred Galvin pointed out to me that even though it takes the aliens six years to travel to Earth, when they return to their home planet, only one year has passed, apparently a complete undoing by Seun of Rhth of the alien invasion.
The story also appeared in Healy and McComas’s seminal anthology, Adventures in Time and Space, and it was made into a one-act play in 1943 by Wayne Gordon.
In the first revolution it made, the first day it was built, it circled to the ultimate end of time and the universe, and back to the day it was built.
| || “Seeker of To-Morrow” |
by Eric Frank Russell and Leslie J. Johnson
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1937
Explorer Urnas Karin and his crew of twenty return to Venus from abandoned Earth along with the body of a man who appears to have traveled from the ancient past—and then they revive him, whereupon he tells of his invention of time travel (to the future only) and subsequent journey from 1998 to the present day.
I had set up my laboratory in the wilds of the Peak District in Derbyshire, in England, where work could be carried on with the minimum of interference. From this laboratory I had dispatched into the unknown, presumably the future, a multitude of objects, including several live creatures such as rats, mice, pigeons and domestic fowl. In no case could I bring back anything I had made to vanish. Once gone, the subject was gone forever. There was no way of discovering exactly where it had gone. There was nothing but to take a risk and go myself.