Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Writings of Charles R. Tanner

Charles R. Tanner (1896 - 1974) is one of the forgotten pioneers of the Gernsback Era of science fiction. His first published story, "The Color of Space", appeared in the March 1930 issue of Hugo Gernsback's Science Wonder Stories, and he went on to publish 15 more stories over the next 23 years. He is, however, not quite as forgotten as his contemporary Harl Vincent. "The Color of Space", for instance, was reprinted in Perry Rhodan #21: The Cosmic Decoy, and the first two stories of his hero Tumithak of the Corridors were reprinted in Isaac Asimov's anthology Before the Golden Age.

Furthermore, a website dedicated to Tanner, The Writings of Charles R. Tanner, can be found at http://www.charlesrtanner.com/. Here one can find complete online versions of the sixteen stories that appeared in his lifetime, as well as a seventeenth story, "Tumithak and the Ancient Word", that finally appeared in the collection Tumithak of the Corridors in 2005. There is also an online version of Tanner's 1968 poetic tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Princess of Mars, and an autobiographical sketch that accompanied his story "The Stillwell Degravitator" in the February 1941 issue of Amazing Stories.

One day, I believe, a Google search of the internet will turn up a similar website dedicated to Harl Vincent. There may even come a day when Vincent's stories will appear in a collection, or even a series of collections, and so be preserved between the covers of one or more books. When I type out one of Vincent's stories on this blog, it's with the aim of bringing those days closer.

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