Cleve Cartmill

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]

Cleve Cartmill
BornJune 21, 1908
Platteville, Wisconsin
DiedFebruary 11, 1964 (aged 55)
Orange County, California

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]

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]

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]

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]

Bibliography

Short Stories

  • Oscar, Unknown Worlds (February 1941)
  • Deadline, Astounding Science Fiction (March 1944)
  • No Graven Image
  • The Bargain
  • Hell Hath Fury

Books

  • The Space Scavengers (Major 1975).
  • Prelude to Armageddon (Darkside Press, 2003). Edited and introduced by John Pelan.

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. ^ a b 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 publication – free to read
  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

External links

Cartmill

Cartmill is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Cleve Cartmill (1908–1964), American writer

Matt Cartmill, American evolutionary anthropologist

Tom Cartmill (born 1965), English painter

Cleve (given name)

Cleve is a given name. Notable people with the name include:

Cleve Benedict (born 1935), American retired politician

Cleve Bryant, college football quarterback, athletics administrator and former head coach at Ohio University

Cleve Cartmill (1908–1964), American science fiction and fantasy writer, best remembered for a short story investigated by the FBI

Cleve Gray (1918–2004), American abstract expressionist painter

Cleve Jones (born 1954), American AIDS and LGBT rights activist

Cleve Moler (born 1939), American mathematician and computer scientist

Deadline

Deadline(s) or The Deadline(s) may refer to:

Time limit, a narrow field of time by which an objective must be accomplished

Deadline (science fiction story)

"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.In 1943, Cartmill suggested to John W. Campbell, the then-editor of Astounding, that he could write a story about a futuristic super-bomb. Campbell liked the idea and supplied Cartmill with considerable background information gleaned from unclassified scientific journals, on the use of Uranium-235 to make a nuclear fission device. The resulting story appeared in the issue of Astounding dated March 1944, which actually appeared early in February of that year.

By March 8 it had come to the attention of the Counterintelligence Corps, who saw many similarities between the technical details in the story and the research currently being undertaken in great secrecy at Los Alamos. Gregory Benford describes the incident as told to him by Edward Teller in his autobiographical essay "Old Legends":

Coming three years later in the same magazine, Cleve Cartmill's "Deadline" provoked astonishment in the lunch table discussions at Los Alamos. It really did describe isotope separation and the bomb itself in detail, and raised as its principal plot pivot the issue the physicists were then debating among themselves: should the Allies use it? To the physicists from many countries clustered in the high mountain strangeness of New Mexico, cut off from their familiar sources of humanist learning, it must have seemed particularly striking that Cartmill described an allied effort, a joint responsibility laid upon many nations. Discussion of Cartmill's "Deadline" was significant. The story's detail was remarkable, its sentiments even more so. Did this rather obscure story hint at what the American public really thought about such a superweapon, or would think if they only knew?

Talk attracts attention, Teller recalled a security officer who took a decided interest, making notes, saying little. In retrospect, it was easy to see what a wartime intelligence monitor would make of the physicists' conversations. Who was this guy Cartmill, anyway? Where did he get these details? Who tipped him to the isotope separation problem? "and that is why Mr. Campbell received his visitors."

Fearing a security breach, the FBI began an investigation into Cartmill, Campbell, and some of their acquaintances (including Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein). It appears that the authorities eventually accepted the explanation that the story's material had been gleaned from unclassified sources, but as a precautionary measure they requested that Campbell should not publish any further stories about nuclear technology for the remainder of the war.

Campbell, in the meantime, had guessed from the number of Astounding subscribers who had suddenly moved to the Los Alamos area, that the US government probably had some sort of technical or scientific project ongoing there. He declined to volunteer this information to the FBI.

Dimension 4

Dimension 4 is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Pyramid Books in February 1964.The book collects four novelettes by various science fiction authors. The stories were previously published from 1942-1958 in the science fiction magazines Astounding Science Fiction and Nebula Science Fiction.

Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales

Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales is an anthology of science fiction short stories and poems edited by Isaac Asimov and Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Collier Books in 1963 and reprinted in 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1976, and 1978; a later reprint was issued by Scribner Paperback Fiction in August 1997. The book has been translated into Italian.The book collects fifty short stories and two poems by various science fiction authors, together with two introductions, one by each editor. The pieces were previously published from 1941 to 1962 in various magazines, not only of science fiction and other.

Hell Hath Fury

Hell Hath Fury can refer to:

The second Darkplace episode of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

A short story by Cleve Cartmill

Hell Hath Fury (anthology)

Hell Hath Fury is an anthology of fantasy fiction short stories edited by George Hay, the third of a number of anthologies drawing their contents from the classic magazine Unknown of the 1930s-1940s. It was first published in hardcover by Neville Spearman in October 1963.The book collects seven tales by various authors, together with a preface by the editor.

Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories 6 (1944)

Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories 6 (1944) is the sixth volume of Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories, which is a series of short story collections, edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg, which attempts to list the great science fiction stories from the Golden Age of Science Fiction. They date the Golden Age as beginning in 1939 and lasting until 1963. The book was later reprinted as the second half of Isaac Asimov Presents The Golden Years of Science Fiction, Third Series with the first half being Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories 5 (1943).

This volume was originally published by DAW books in December 1981.

Journey to Infinity

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.

Materials science in science fiction

Materials science in science fiction is the study of how materials science is portrayed in works of science fiction. The accuracy of the materials science portrayed spans a wide range – sometimes it is an extrapolation of existing technology, sometimes it is a physically realistic portrayal of a far-out technology, and sometimes it is simply a plot device that looks scientific, but has no basis in science. Examples are:

Realistic case: In 1944, the science fiction story "Deadline" by Cleve Cartmill depicted the atomic bomb. The properties of various radioactive isotopes are critical to the proposed device, and the plot. This technology was real, unknown to the author.

Extrapolation: In The Fountains of Paradise, Arthur C. Clarke wrote about space elevators - basically long cables extending from the Earth's surface to geosynchronous orbit. These require a material with enormous tensile strength and light weight. Carbon nanotubes are strong enough in theory, so the idea is plausible; while one cannot be built today, it violates no physical principles.

Plot device: An example of an unsupported plot device is scrith, the material used to construct Ringworld, in the novels by Larry Niven. Scrith possesses unreasonable strength, and is unsupported by physics as it is known, but needed for the plot.Critical analysis of materials science in science fiction falls into the same general categories. The predictive aspects are emphasized, for example, in the motto of the Georgia Tech's department of materials science and engineering – Materials scientists lead the way in turning yesterday's science fiction into tomorrow's reality. This is also the theme of many technical articles, such as Material By Design: Future Science or Science Fiction?, found in IEEE Spectrum, the flagship magazine of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

On the other hand, there is criticism of the unrealistic materials science used in science fiction. In the professional materials science journal JOM, for example, there are articles such as The (Mostly Improbable) Materials Science and Engineering of the Star Wars Universe and Personification: The Materials Science and Engineering of Humanoid Robots.

Mañana Literary Society

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.

Rocket to the Morgue

Rocket to the Morgue is a 1942 American locked room mystery novel by Anthony Boucher (originally published as by "H. H. Holmes", Boucher's frequent pseudonym when writing mysteries or writing about mysteries, and the pseudonym of a 19th-century American serial killer).

Science in science fiction

Science in science fiction is the study of how science is portrayed in works of science fiction. It covers a large range of topics, since science takes on many roles in science fiction. Hard science fiction is based on engineering or the "hard" sciences (for example, physics, astronomy, or chemistry), whereas soft science fiction is based on the "soft" sciences, and especially the social sciences (anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, and so on).

Likewise, the accuracy of the science portrayed spans a wide range - sometimes it is an extrapolation of existing technology, sometimes it is a physically realistic portrayal of a far-out technology, and sometimes it is simply a plot device that looks scientific, but has no basis in science. Examples are:

Realistic case: In 1944, the science fiction story Deadline by Cleve Cartmill depicted the atomic bomb. This technology was real, unknown to the author.

Extrapolation: Arthur C. Clarke wrote about space elevators, basically a long cable extending from the Earth's surface to geosynchronous orbit. While we cannot build one today, it violates no physical principles.

Plot device: The classic example of an unsupported plot device is faster-than-light drive. It is unsupported by physics as we know it, but needed for galaxy-wide plots with human lifespans.

The Best of Science Fiction

The Best of Science Fiction, published in 1946, is an anthlogy of science fiction anthologies edited by American critic and editor Groff Conklin.

The Outer Reaches

The Outer Reaches is an anthology of science fiction stories edited by August Derleth. It was first published by Pellegrini & Cudahy in 1951. The stories had originally appeared in the magazines Fantasy & Science Fiction, Astounding Stories, Blue Book, Maclean's, Worlds Beyond, Amazing Stories, Fantastic Adventures, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Galaxy Science Fiction or in the anthology Invasion from Mars.

According to Derleth, the stories were selected as "favorites" by the authors involved, who provide short explanations for their choices. P. Schuyler Miller, although noting the stories "aren't all deathless prose," characterized them as "examples of the editor's good taste in writers and the authors' good taste in the difficult job of screening their own writings."

The Unknown Five

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.

The book collects five tales by various authors, together with an introduction by the editor. All are from Unknown but the Asimov piece, which had been slated to appear therein in 1943 but was not then published due to the demise of the magazine.

Weapons in science fiction

Strange and exotic weapons are a recurring feature or theme in science fiction. In some cases, weapons first introduced in science fiction have now been made a reality.[1] Other science fiction weapons remain purely fictional, and are often beyond the realms of known physical possibility.

At its most prosaic, science fiction features an endless variety of sidearms, mostly variations on real weapons such as guns and swords. Among the best-known of these are the phaser used in the Star Trek television series, films and novels and the lightsaber and blaster featured in the Star Wars movies, comics, novels and TV series.

In addition to adding action and entertainment value, weaponry in science fiction sometimes become themes when they touch on deeper concerns, often motivated by contemporary issues. One example is science fiction that deals with weapons of mass destruction.

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