A British Science Fiction Catch Up with Philip Harbottle: Tales of Wonder, Golden Amazon and much more

Work commitments have meant I have gotten woefully behind on tuning into author and archivist Philip Harbottle’s highly recommended 1950s British Science Fiction series on YouTube, so time for a much overdue catch up, as he’s released no less than five new videocasts since Christmas!

Episodes 51 and 52 are devoted to the Gryphon Science Fiction Rediscovery Series, the latter focusing on the Golden Amazon books of legendary author John Russell Fearn, once again offering fascinating insight into these early British SF works.

His research into Golden Amazon continues in Episode 53, focusing on John Glasby’s novels.

Episode 54, titled “Tales of Wonder”, takes viewers on a thoroughly enjoyable journey of discovery, looking back at how science fiction got short shrift from British publishers, who seemed to think SF had begun and ended with HG Wells’ War of the Worlds. Philip shares copies of very early, scant examples of British SF magazines, such as Space Destroyer!, published in 1928, SCOOPS, a juvenile magazine launched by Pearson’s in 1934, and, of course, Tales of Wonder.

Released just last week is an episode that will most certainly appeal to comic fans. Episode 55, titled “Science Fiction Comic Strips”, belies the incredible content within, as Philip shares his early days as a creative spirit, recounting and sharing sight of his own early comics, which, of course would also give us one of the only records of Radio Luxembourg’s Dan Dare radio adventures.

If you only have time to watch one of these recent videocasts, then this is surely it, but Philip is so knowledgeable about SF publishing here in the UK that I would urge you to watch the other episodes presented here, too – and subscribe to 1950s British Science Fiction YouTube Channel here

Philip Harbottle is a life-long science fiction fan, regarded as a world authority on the works of John Russell Fearn, whose credits encompass writing “Garth” for the Daily Mirror, and the “Golden Amazon” for Spaceship Away (adapting Fearn’s stories).

He’s also very kindly contributed a number of synopses of early “Garth” stories to downthetubes, which we are adding as time permits.

Back in the 1950s, he adapted some of the Radio Luxembourg Dan Dare radio shows into comics at a young age – the only record of some of these tales known to exist, since very few recordings survive.

Subscribe to 1950s British Science Fiction YouTube Channel here

• Vultures of the Void: The Legacy by Philip Harbottle (AmazonUK Affiliate Link)

Philip Harbottle presents a fascinating guide to British science fiction publishing history

• Buy Across the Ages by John Russell Fearn, adapted into comics by Philip Harbottle here from Lulu

A vintage comic strip by Philip Harbottle, adapting John Russell Fearn’s much admired SF novel Across the Ages, has finally been published – some sixty years after the now renowned author and publisher drew it (Read our news item about this here)

• Books edited or published by Phil Harbottle on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

• Check out books by E.C. Tubb published by Wildside Press here

Rayguns and Rocketships by Rian Hughes, featuring many of the covers in Philip’s videocasts, is available to order now direct from Korero Press | Order it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link) | ISBN: 978-1912740048

Categories: Books, British Comics, Comics, Creating Comics, Digital Media, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, Magazines, Other Worlds, Reviews, Science Fiction

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