Cleve Cartmill

Last updated
Cleve Cartmill
Born(1908-06-21)June 21, 1908
Platteville, Wisconsin
Died February 11, 1964(1964-02-11) (aged 55)
Orange County, California

Cleve Cartmill (June 21, 1908 in Platteville, Wisconsin – February 11, 1964 in Orange County, California) [1] was an American writer of science fiction and fantasy short stories. He is best remembered for what is sometimes referred to as "the Cleve Cartmill affair", [2] [3] when his 1944 story "Deadline" attracted the attention of the FBI by reason of its detailed description of a nuclear weapon similar to that being developed by the highly classified Manhattan Project. [4]

Platteville, Wisconsin City in Wisconsin, United States

Platteville is the largest city in Grant County in southwestern Wisconsin. The population was 11,224 at the 2010 census, growing 12% since the 2000 Census. Much of this growth is likely due to the enrollment increase of the University of Wisconsin–Platteville. It is the principal city of the Platteville Micropolitan Statistical area which has an estimated population of 49,681.

Orange County, California County in California, United States

Orange County is a county in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,010,232, making it the third-most populous county in California, the sixth-most populous in the United States, and more populous than 21 U.S. states. Its county seat is Santa Ana. It is the second most densely populated county in the state, behind San Francisco County. The county's four largest cities by population, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, and Huntington Beach, each have a population exceeding 200,000. Several of Orange County's cities are on the Pacific Ocean western coast, including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Clemente.

Fantasy genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels and video games.

Contents

Biography

Before embarking on his career as a writer for pulp magazines, Cartmill had a wide number of jobs including newspaperman, radio operator and accountant, as well as, ironically, a short spell at the American Radium Products Company. [5] Many of his earliest stories, from 1941 onwards, were published in John W. Campbell's magazines Unknown and Astounding Science Fiction . This was at the start of World War II, when Campbell found himself short of material because many of his regular writers were away on military service, from which Cartmill was exempt for medical reasons. [3]

Pulp magazine magazine printed on cheap, wood-pulp paper

Pulp magazines were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the 1950s. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. In contrast, magazines printed on higher-quality paper were called "glossies" or "slicks". The typical pulp magazine had 128 pages; it was 7 inches (18 cm) wide by 10 inches (25 cm) high, and 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) thick, with ragged, untrimmed edges.

Journalist person who collects, writes and distributes news and other information

A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.

Accountant practitioner of accountancy or accounting

An accountant is a practitioner of accounting or accountancy, which is the measurement, disclosure or provision of assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and others make decisions about allocating resource(s).

Writing career

Cartmill's writing career was undistinguished but competent. In his book A Requiem for Astounding, Alva Rogers expresses the opinion that "Cartmill wrote with an easy and colloquial fluidity that made his stories eminently readable". [6] In Fred Smith's history of Unknown Worlds, Smith praises several of Cartmill's dark fantasy stories as such as "No Graven Image", "The Bargain" and "Hell Hath Fury", describing them as "original and entertaining". Cartmill's Unknown stories, like others appearing in that publication, tend to be either humorous tales or horror stories. They deal with concepts such as ghouls, demons and Death. [7]

Dark fantasy subgenre of fantasy

Dark fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy literary, artistic, and cinematic works that incorporate darker and frightening themes of fantasy. It also often combines fantasy with elements of horror or has a gloomy, dark atmosphere, or a sense of horror and dread.

Horror fiction genre of fiction

Horror is a genre of speculative fiction which is intended to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle its readers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. Literary historian J. A. Cuddon defined the horror story as "a piece of fiction in prose of variable length... which shocks, or even frightens the reader, or perhaps induces a feeling of repulsion or loathing". It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere. Horror is frequently supernatural, though it can be non-supernatural. Often the central menace of a work of horror fiction can be interpreted as a metaphor for the larger fears of a society.

Death (personification) personification of death

Death, due to its prominent place in human culture, is frequently imagined as a personified force, also known as the Grim Reaper. In some mythologies, the Grim Reaper causes the victim's death by coming to collect that person. In turn, people in some stories try to hold on to life by avoiding Death's visit, or by fending Death off with bribery or tricks. Other beliefs hold that the Spectre of Death is only a psychopomp, serving to sever the last ties between the soul and the body, and to guide the deceased to the afterlife, without having any control over when or how the victim dies. Death is most often personified in male form, although in certain cultures Death is perceived as female.

Outside his writing career Cartmill was likely best known, at the time, for being the co-inventor of the Blackmill system of high speed typography. [8] [ dubious ]

Typography art and the craft of printing and the arranging of layouts

Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, line-spacing (leading), and letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning). The term typography is also applied to the style, arrangement, and appearance of the letters, numbers, and symbols created by the process. Type design is a closely related craft, sometimes considered part of typography; most typographers do not design typefaces, and some type designers do not consider themselves typographers. Typography also may be used as a decorative device, unrelated to communication of information.

His son, Matt Cartmill, is a Professor of Biological Anthropology at Boston University and a science writer [9] to whom Heinlein partly dedicated his 1947 book Rocket Ship Galileo . [10]

Boston University private research university in Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Boston University is a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts. The university is nonsectarian, but has been historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

<i>Rocket Ship Galileo</i> novel by Robert A. Heinlein

Rocket Ship Galileo is a juvenile science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1947, about three teenagers who participate in a pioneering flight to the Moon. It was the first in the Heinlein juveniles, a long and successful series of science fiction novels published by Scribner's. The novel was originally envisioned as the first of a series of books called "Young Rocket Engineers". It was initially rejected by publishers, because going to the moon was "too far out".

Bibliography

Short Stories

Books

John Pelan American writer

John C. Pelan is an American author, editor and publisher in the small press science-fiction, weird and horror fiction genres.

Related Research Articles

John W. Campbell American science fiction writer and editor

John Wood Campbell Jr. was an American science fiction writer and editor. He was editor of Astounding Science Fiction from late 1937 until his death and was part of the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Campbell wrote super-science space opera under his own name and stories under his primary pseudonym, Don A. Stuart. Campbell also used the pen names Karl Van Kampen and Arthur McCann. His novella Who Goes There? was adapted as the films The Thing from Another World (1951), The Thing (1982), and The Thing (2011).

<i>Methuselahs Children</i> book by Robert Heinlein

Methuselah's Children is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction in the July, August, and September 1941 issues. It was expanded into a full-length novel in 1958.

<i>X Minus One</i> science fiction radio series from 1955–1958

X Minus One was an American half-hour science fiction radio drama series broadcast from April 24, 1955 to January 9, 1958 in various timeslots on NBC. Known for high production values in adapting stories from the leading American authors of the era, X Minus One has been described as one of the finest offerings of American radio drama and one of the best science fiction series in any medium.

<i>Unknown</i> (magazine) US pulp fantasy magazine published from 1939 to 1943

Unknown was an American pulp fantasy fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1943 by Street & Smith, and edited by John W. Campbell. Unknown was a companion to Street & Smith's science fiction pulp, Astounding Science Fiction, which was also edited by Campbell at the time; many authors and illustrators contributed to both magazines. The leading fantasy magazine in the 1930s was Weird Tales, which focused on shock and horror. Campbell wanted to publish a fantasy magazine with more finesse and humor than Weird Tales, and put his plans into action when Eric Frank Russell sent him the manuscript of his novel Sinister Barrier, about aliens who own the human race. Unknown's first issue appeared in March 1939; in addition to Sinister Barrier, it included H. L. Gold's "Trouble With Water", a humorous fantasy about a New Yorker who meets a water gnome. Gold's story was the first of many in Unknown to combine commonplace reality with the fantastic.

Hiram Gilmore "Harry" Bates III was an American science fiction editor and writer. His short story "Farewell to the Master" (1940) was the basis of the well-known science fiction movie The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).

Frederick Orlin Tremaine was an American science fiction magazine editor, most notably of the influential Astounding Stories. He edited a number of other magazines, headed several publishing companies, and sporadically wrote fiction.

Science fiction magazine

A science fiction magazine is a publication that offers primarily science fiction, either in a hard copy periodical format or on the Internet.

The first Golden Age of Science Fiction, often recognized in the United States as the period from 1938 to 1946, was an era during which the science fiction genre gained wide public attention and many classic science fiction stories were published. In the history of science fiction, the Golden Age follows the "pulp era" of the 1920s and 1930s, and precedes New Wave science fiction of the 1960s and 1970s. The 1950s are a transitional period in this scheme; however, Robert Silverberg, who came of age in the 1950s, saw that decade as the true Golden Age.


The Mañana Literary Society was an informal meeting of science fiction writers in Los Angeles, California. Hosted by Robert A. Heinlein and his second wife Leslyn at their Laurel Canyon home, the membership included authors such as Anthony Boucher, Arthur K. Barnes, Edmond Hamilton, L. Ron Hubbard, Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore, L. Sprague de Camp, Cleve Cartmill, Leigh Brackett, and Jack Williamson. The meetings took place in 1940 and 1941, until the Pearl Harbor attack resulting in the U.S. entering World War II.

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Gnome Press was an American small-press publishing company primarily known for publishing many science fiction classics. Gnome was one of the most eminent of the fan publishers of SF, producing 86 titles in its lifespan — many considered classic works of SF and Fantasy today. Gnome was important in the transitional period between Genre SF as a magazine phenomenon and its arrival in mass-market book publishing, but proved too underfunded to make the leap from fan-based publishing to the professional level. The company existed for just over a decade, ultimately failing due to inability to compete with major publishers who also started to publish science fiction. In its heyday, Gnome published many of the major SF authors, and in some cases, as with Robert E. Howard's Conan series and Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, was responsible for the manner in which their stories were collected into book form.

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<i>The Outer Reaches</i> book by August Derleth

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"Deadline" is a 1944 science fiction short story by American writer Cleve Cartmill, first published in Astounding Science Fiction. The story described the then-secret atomic bomb in some detail. At that time the bomb was still under development and top secret, which prompted a visit by the FBI.

<i>Journey to Infinity</i> book by Martin Greenberg

Journey to Infinity is a 1951 anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Martin Greenberg. The stories originally appeared in the magazines Astounding SF, Amazing Stories and Future Science Fiction.

<i>Analog Science Fiction and Fact</i> US science fiction magazine

Analog Science Fiction and Fact is an American science-fiction magazine published under various titles since 1930. Originally titled Astounding Stories of Super-Science, the first issue was dated January 1930, published by William Clayton, and edited by Harry Bates. Clayton went bankrupt in 1933 and the magazine was sold to Street & Smith. The new editor was F. Orlin Tremaine, who soon made Astounding the leading magazine in the nascent pulp science fiction field, publishing well-regarded stories such as Jack Williamson's Legion of Space and John W. Campbell's "Twilight". At the end of 1937, Campbell took over editorial duties under Tremaine's supervision, and the following year Tremaine was let go, giving Campbell more independence. Over the next few years Campbell published many stories that became classics in the field, including Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, A.E. van Vogt's Slan, and several novels and stories by Robert A. Heinlein. The period beginning with Campbell's editorship is often referred to as the Golden Age of Science Fiction.

<i>The Unknown Five</i> book by Donald R. Bensen

The Unknown Five is an anthology of American fantasy fiction short stories edited by D. R. Bensen and illustrated by Edd Cartier, the fourth of a number of anthologies drawing their contents from the American magazine Unknown of the 1930s-1940s. It was first published in paperback by Pyramid Books in January 1964. The cover title of this first edition was The Unknown 5; the numeral was spelled out on the title page and copyright statement. The book was reprinted by Jove/HBJ in October 1978. It has also been translated into German. It was a follow-up to a companion anthology, The Unknown, issued in 1963.

<i>Unknown Worlds: Tales from Beyond</i>

Unknown Worlds: Tales from Beyond is an anthology of fantasy fiction short stories edited by Stanley Schmidt and Martin H. Greenberg, the sixth of a number of anthologies drawing their contents from the American magazine Unknown of the 1930s-1940s. It was first published in hardcover by Galahad Books in 1989, though bearing a copyright date of 1988, and reprinted by Bristol Park Books in 1993.

<i>The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown</i> novel by Paul Malmont

The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown is an alternate historical adventure novel written by Paul Malmont, the sequel to The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril (2007). It features real-life pulp magazine authors of the past as the heroes of adventures reminiscent of their favored genres. The book was first published in hardcover by Simon & Schuster and audiobook by Brilliance Audio in July 2011. The title is drawn from those of the magazines, Astounding Science-Fiction, Amazing Stories, and Unknown, for which his main protagonists wrote.

History of US science fiction and fantasy magazines to 1950 Science fiction and fantasy magazine history

Science fiction and fantasy magazines began to be published in the United States in the 1920s. Stories with science fiction themes had been appearing for decades in pulp magazines such as Argosy, but there were no magazines that specialized in a single genre until 1915, when Street & Smith, one of the major pulp publishers, brought out Detective Story Magazine. The first magazine to focus solely on fantasy and horror was Weird Tales, which was launched in 1923, and established itself as the leading weird fiction magazine over the next two decades; writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard became regular contributors. In 1926 Weird Tales was joined by Amazing Stories, published by Hugo Gernsback; Amazing printed only science fiction, and no fantasy. Gernsback included a letter column in Amazing Stories, and this led to the creation of organized science fiction fandom, as fans contacted each other using the addresses published with the letters. Gernsback wanted the fiction he printed to be scientifically accurate, and educational, as well as entertaining, but found it difficult to obtain stories that met his goals; he printed "The Moon Pool" by Abraham Merritt in 1927, despite it being completely unscientific. Gernsback lost control of Amazing Stories in 1929, but quickly started several new magazines. Wonder Stories, one of Gernsback's titles, was edited by David Lasser, who worked to improve the quality of the fiction he received. Another early competitor was Astounding Stories of Super-Science, which appeared in 1930, edited by Harry Bates, but Bates printed only the most basic adventure stories with minimal scientific content, and little of the material from his era is now remembered.

<i>Analog: Writers Choice, Volume II</i>

Analog: Writers' Choice, Volume II is the eighth in a series of anthologies of science fiction stories drawn from Analog magazine and edited by then-current Analog editor Stanley Schmidt. It was first published in paperback by Davis Publications and hardcover by The Dial Press in 1984.

References

  1. "Authors : Cartmill, Cleve". Science Fiction Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  2. "Pulp SF magazine's role in atom bomb". Boing Boing. Archived from the original on 2005-09-11.
  3. 1 2 Silverberg, Robert (September 2003). "Reflections: The Cleve Cartmill Affair: One". Asimov's Science Fiction. Archived from the original on 2013-06-18.
  4. "Science Fiction Writers Stay Step Ahead of Developments". Sunday Gazette-Mail. November 26, 1961. p. 52. Retrieved May 26, 2017 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  5. Silverberg, Robert (October–November 2003). "Reflections: The Cleve Cartmill Affair: Two". Asimov's Science Fiction. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06.
  6. Rogers, Alva (1964). A Requiem for Astounding. Advent. ISBN   0-911682-16-3.
  7. Smith, Fred (2002). "Once There Was a Magazine: A Personal View of "Unknown" and "Unknown Worlds"". Beccon Publications: 39, 42–3, 45–6..
  8. Smith, Curtis C. (1986-01-01). Twentieth Century Science Fiction Writers. St. James's Press. ISBN   9780912289274.
  9. M. Cartmill, A View to a Death in the Morning, pg.205 .
  10. Robert A. Heinlein, Rocket Ship Galileo, title page verso, 1971 NEL Books