Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Man Who Stopped at Nothing by Paul W. Fairman

The Man Who Stopped at Nothing originally appeared in the November 1951 issue of Fantastic Adventures. This edition is from Armchair Fiction out of Medford, Oregon, and also reprints Fairman’s Ten from Infinity as part of this double-novel presentation. The ever increasing demand for reprints of classic pulp fiction has created a cottage industry of publishing firms using print-on-demand technology. The only complaint I have with this excellent reprint is that they only credit Ziff-Davis as the original publishers, and you are left to googling to pull out the 1951 Fantastic Adventures biblio-entry. Bibliophiles won’t like that at all. Still, it’s nice to see anything by Paul W. Fairman being reprinted. He is not as well known as many other pulp writers, but everything he wrote that I have read is of high quality. He often published under the pseudonym Ivar Jorgenson. The Man Who Stopped at Nothing is a gem, but somewhat typical of 1950s era science-fiction. When Dorn Lattimore is killed in an automobile accident he suddenly finds himself in a new plane of existence. He can see what is happening around him, but he is invisible to all but those that share this plane of existence with him. He meets Sally Williams who had drowned a few years back off Coney Island. Sally takes Dorn under her wing and helps Dorn get accustomed to his new existence. Meanwhile, a mad scientist named professor Jan Limpus who has seen too many Frankenstein films, stumbles upon the car crash that killed Dorn and he steals the body. Limpus begins working on the body in his laboratory His desire is to revive a dead body in the tradition of Doctor Frankenstein. His experiments on Dorn’s body result in Dorn flipping in and out of planes of existence. This causes some fun situations such as the moment Dorn materializes in a bathroom wall in front of a luscious babe taking a shower. To complicate matters, Dorn begins to fall for Sally. As you can tell, this is a fun story to read, sort of a cross between the stories you might see a generation later on The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. Fairman wrote many great stories, including a short story titled The Cosmic Frame which became the basis for the 1957 film, Invasion of the Saucer Men, a fan favorite to this day. I previously reviewed Fairman’s The Frankenstein Wheel, and at a later date I’ll review Ten from Infinity.

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