Fans love to pay tribute to the authors they love most. This takes the form of flattery and at times, its most sincere cousin: imitation. Imitation can stray accidentally or venture boldly into parody. The works of Edward Elmer “Doc” Smith, Ph.D. attracted all of this.
The earliest instances of fan pastiche based on Smith’s Skylark and Lensman novels appeared in fanzine that have largely been lost to history. Spurred by an inquiry from the Online Science Fiction Book Club, FFE has endeavored to make these works available. For Smith enthusiasts, we hope this is fun.
Click any image for a full-screen view.
“The Skylaugh of Space” by “Omnia”
Fantasy Magazine, v3n3, May 1934 and v3n4, June 1934
“Omnia” is described in the July 1934 issue of Fantasy Magazine as “a young chap who has shown promise in the science fiction field, having already sold stories to Wonder and Amazing. Besides, he is editor of his college humor magazine…”
Fitting this description is Milton Kaletsky, frequent fanzine contributor and author of such stories as “The End of the Universe” (Wonder Stories, April 1934) and “The Beam” (Amazing Stories, September 1934).
“Whither Wollheim” by Richard Wilson
Fantascience Digest, v1n5, July-August 1938
Not strictly a Smith pastiche, but invokes his work heavily.
“Skylark Versus Thought: Sequel to Skylark by Smith & Invaders from the Infinite by Campbell” by Milton A. Rothman
Fantascience Digest, v1n6, September-October 1938
“Pielark Patrol” by Tony Strother
D’Journal, v1n2, March 1939
“The Skylark of Love” by Philia Hyghe
D’Journal v1n3, May 1939
(Identity of the author is unknown)
“Lensman on the Loose” by Al Ashley
Nova, v1n1, November-December 1941
(A full-on parody, but undoubtedly a loving one. Ashley and Smith were friends and co-founders of the Galactic Roamers club in Michigan.)
Though not so “early,” for completeness we also mention:
“Doomed Lensman” by Sybly White
Serialized in The Third Foundation beginning with n77 (the oddly-numbered premiere issue of the fanzine), 1967
Text is online here.
This appears to be an attempt at a serious addition to the Lensman saga.
Enjoy… and if you know of others, please drop us a loin.