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Where No Übermensch Has Gone Before:
Rainbow Albrecht’s Space Vixen Trek Episode 17

There’s a lot going on in this cover.

2,467 words

Rainbow Albrecht
Space Vixen Trek Episode 17: Tomorrow the Stars
Smashwords, 2018

“Think of how well things have been going for America over the last two decades. So by 2008, unemployment and poverty surely will exist only in history books. With all the money available for research budgets by then, we’ll probably get technological miracles like antigravity propulsion sooner than expected.” Dr. Thornberg chuckled mysteriously; the kid certainly had much youthful optimism.

Before “YA” (young adult) fiction, before your Hunger Games and your Harry Potter, even before Tolkien, there were boy’s books — and girl’s books, as they were thought, in those benighted times, to have different interests.

The former tended to involve either astounding science (Tom Swift, or Tom Swift Jr., and perhaps most respectably, Robert Heinlein [1]), exotic travel (Tom Quest) or criminal detection (The Hardy Boys); the latter had a more sober, professional focus (training and adventures of nurses, stewardesses, actresses, etc.) but often detection as well (most famously, Nancy Drew).

Although some were auteur products, by such as the aforementioned Heinlein, or Lovecraft’s pal August Derleth (The Mill Creek Irregulars), most, including the larger series, were hack-work churned out by corporate staffs under an umbrella pseudonym: “Victor Appleton” and “Victor Appleton II” turned over 50 volumes of, respectively, Tom Swift and the later Tom Swift Jr.

As I’ve mentioned previously, although Tolkien was available in the legendary Ballantine paperbacks, I somehow never got taken up in the fad, contenting myself with the Harvard Lampoon’s parody — apparently, Tolkien approved — Bored of the Rings. [2] For some reason, I did, at a rather early age, read the Tom Swift Jr. books, most likely — as would be my wont — amassing a complete collection, although I now have none, and no memory of a single word or incident.

Despite the popularity of Tolkien among the older Catholic Right and the youngsters of the “alt-right” or whatever they call themselves now, not much has been done to colonize the important and lucrative world of YA fiction, [3] almost all of which continues to spread culture-distortion among early readers. [4]

Hence, I was more than ordinarily interested when the Space Vixen Trek series by one Rainbow Albrecht [5] was brought to my attention. Upon examination, I must say this is not really the YA fiction we need, but it may well be the fiction we deserve.

The author summarizes his work thus:

In 1978, a professor and two wacky Midwestern teenagers witness a remarkable finding through groundbreaking technology. A worldwide computer network delivers an image from their new space telescope, and they discover proof that aliens once visited our solar system.

Soon, they’re in more trouble than a gopher at a rattlesnake convention. Little did they know that these sneaky extraterrestrials are back again. They’re now using the Open Mankind Foundation Governance to prepare the world for their “New Galactic Arrangement.” Worse, they’re not the only meddlesome space critters out to subvert our unsuspecting planet.

The teens find themselves embroiled in a web of conspiracies, beginning a deplorably politically incorrect adventure through the cosmos. Who can be trusted? Which scheming aliens will spring the trap first, imposing their brand of despotism upon the world like the humans they’ve exploited before? Can the youths get back home before the history exam?

It will be clear enough to the reader that Albrecht has written a parody of YA fiction, rather than the longed-for real, dissident thing. But an author should not be taken to task for not doing what he did not set out to do, and what Albrecht sets out to do is make “science fiction (and sometimes fantasy) as cheesy as possible, and as fun as possible.” Space Vixen Trek is but one of his series, each entry (the numbers are random, of course) taking on a different genre or time period, and here we are in post-war boy’s sci-fi, along the lines of Heinlein’s Starship Galileo.

You can buy James O’Meara’s book Green Nazis in Space! here.

Specifically, the pretense is that it’s being written in 1958, sort of Peak America, but taking place in the kind of 1978 as they might have imagined — but of course, with our own hindsight. For example, the aforementioned “worldwide computer network,” the Netmungandr or “Snake”:

He typed kundalini ger,univ,stfu/astro-sterne-sirius into the terminal, invoking the Snake’s interface. The request was sent through an undersea data cable. It quickly reached the Stuttgart Technische Forschungsuniversität. A computer in STFU’s astronomy department accessed its array of disk storage units, drums the size of washing machines with stacks of whirling magnetic platters. It fetched the index information file for the specified filing folder, returning a copy. Now the screen showed a brief description and then names of picture information files.

Ozzy pressed the tab key seventeen times to an underline and selected it by pressing the ‘x’ key. “You know, someone should invent some kind of an electronic pen for this.”

Added to the Dune-like state of the Snake, which it shares with most else in this alternate timeline, is the punch line: it was invented by one Al Gore, who apparently went into tech rather than follow his father into politics.

“Making a million before turning thirty was a decent addition to the family fortune. In any event, the name of this communications network hearkens back to Jǫrmungandr, the World Serpent of Norse folklore, hence the kenning ‘World Wide Snake’. It’s an abbreviation of ‘Network of Multi-National Gated Numerical Dialing Routers.’”

And there we have the second layer of time distortion: among the changes in the timeline — the Cold War blew over under Khrushchev, allowing the “NACA” space program to rocket ahead (sorry, it’s catching), Cultural Marxism is vastly underpromoted, and the Sexual Revolution is milder and more enjoyable — it turns out that Esoteric Nazism, along the lines of Miguel Serrano and the postwar novels of Wilhelm Landig, [6] is real, UFOs and Antarctic bases [7] included; which comes in handy when the aliens attack. The latter consist principally of the Raumeidechsen and the Raumartischockekraken; the former are the requisite race of space Amazons (with a secret nod to the V series) while the latter are a whole different kettle of gefilte fish. Our planet has been infiltrated for centuries, but now the time has come for the Final Battle, lest the New Galactic Arrangement be imposed.

All this seems, to this reader, to be a fine mashup of the old and new Tom Swifts, as described on Wikipedia:

Stratemeyer Syndicate employee Andrew Svenson described the new series as based “on scientific fact and probability, whereas the old Toms were in the main adventure stories mixed with pseudo-science.”

“Old Tom” does sound more like our Rainbow. Yet the later series, Tom Jr., adds other crucial elements; first, the universal reach of his adventures:

The younger Tom does not tinker with motorcycles; his inventions and adventures extend from deep within the Earth (in Tom Swift and His Atomic Earth Blaster [1954]) to the bottom of the ocean (in Tom Swift and His Diving Seacopter [1956]) to the moon (in Tom Swift in the Race to the Moon [1958]) and, eventually, the outer solar system (in Tom Swift and His Cosmotron Express [1970]). Later volumes of the series increasingly emphasized the extraterrestrial “space friends,” as they are termed throughout the series. The beings appear as early as the first volume of the series, Tom Swift and His Flying Lab (1954).

Then, the elements of political intrigue:

Tom Swift, Jr.’s Cold War-era adventures and inventions are often motivated by patriotism, as Tom repeatedly defeats the evil agents of the fictional nations “Kranjovia” and “Brungaria”, the latter a place that critic Francis Molson describes as “a vaguely Eastern European country, which is strongly opposed to the Swifts and the U.S. Hence, the Swifts’ opposition to and competition with the Brungarians is both personal and patriotic.”

But as I’ve said — and should be clear from the excerpts here — this is done for laughs. Like the 60s Batman TV show, the material is presented straight, but with a knowing wink to the more adult reader; in particular, Albrecht loves to break the fourth wall:

“Ve call it ze ‘ADD Drive’ for short. A common side Effect is to be distracted easily. Occasionally, all ze Daydreamink causes Visions. Our Engine involves [TECH].”

“Uh, whadda ya mean by [TECH]?” asked Biff.

Ozzy replied, “That’s shorthand in the screenplay where they mean for the actor to fill in some technobabble explanation.”

“Okie dokie. Got that. But why all the hullabaloo?”

“Using [TECH] explanations allows writers to help maintain suspension of disbelief while using technology as a plot device, even if it doesn’t exist yet, and might well be impossible. Just like now. The author is sending us about eight and a half light-years away, but we’ll get there in three shakes of a lamb’s tail. It’s pretty customary in science fiction. The speed of light is about 300 million meters per second, which the physics folks call c, and according to the Special Theory of Relativity, nothing goes above c. To get around that, an author or screenwriter has to invent new laws of physics to suit the plotline. So the hodgepodge of jargon is to make it seem like it could be possible. That way, Rainbow can get away with breaking the laws of physics just as flagrantly as he’s having us break the Fourth Wall.”

Actually, the level of sophistication goes beyond Batman camp, and at times put me in mind of “lovable, stupid adventures of Porgy and Mudhead” in the Firesign Theater’s “More Science High” mashup of the Andy Hardy movies and Cold War propaganda. [8]

There are lots of funny little bits, including the best Saddam Hussein cameo since The Big Lebowski; and I was delighted to find a bit of Positive Thinking deployed, albeit by the rock-stupid jock:

“If I survive SS boot camp as is, it’ll be a miracle. I certainly don’t feel like volunteering for extra pushups!”

“Okie dokie. Then step up your game. That helps too.”

“I’m a nerd. I couldn’t find a girlfriend to save my life.”

“That there’s the first problem. If you think you cain’t do something, you’re already fumbling the ball. That’s scarcity mentality; you cain’t let it innerfere. Get all that muck out of that big noggin of your’n.

This also illustrates one problem I had; as a Midwesterner, I don’t particularly recognize this supposed Nebraska accent, and, more to the point, the attempt to carefully — painfully — render it phonetically, though true to the Tom Swift era, is a bit baffling and a bit annoying (I admit it took me a while to grok “nucyelar”). [9]

Another nicely authentic but less annoying touch is the use of apparently random italics, conveying the breathless, golly gee! excitement a schoolboy looks for in his reading matter, even if the speaker is an elderly man:

Professor Thornberg continued. “You could say that I’ve gone native. Before I got drafted into military service recently as a scout and interpreter, I taught the people there my recipes for hotdish and rhubarb pie. Their communication infrastructure is very well-developed, even beyond ours, and I was surprised to find that my contribution to their cuisine made me an instant celebrity.”

Albrecht gets around to slipping in something about almost all of our concerns, from immigration and offshoring to the lachrymose history of a certain ethnic group; if the sex were toned down a tad, it might make an excellent way to introduce such topics to our Jugend. As it is, it’s a fun read and highly recommended for Counter-Currents readers looking for some lockdown diversion.

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Notes

[1] For more on postwar pulp, see my “Pulp Puppies & Competent Men: John W. Campbell, Jr. & the Supermen of Science Fiction.”

[2] Henry N. Beard and Douglas C. Kenney, 1969; reissued in 2011, the Guardian thinks it’s still worth a read, and so do I. The covers are a good part of the legend, being hurriedly executed by Barbara Remington (d. Feb. 2020!), who, like me, had never read the books; Tolkien did not approve and insisted on changes.

[3] See my “Toward the Light: Young Adult Fiction from the Alt Right,” reviewing Carl F. Robinson’s The Moon of Twilight (iUniverse, 2015).

[4]

Harry Potter should not be approached uncritically. One should be wary of its politically correct content, especially in the character of the villains. But Harry Potter has many genuine virtues. Aesthetically beautiful, it gives an idea of what living in a real identitarian culture is like. Like the movies, the fan gatherings display a great deal of implicit whiteness. Also, like Lord of the Rings and perhaps even more so, Harry Potter is one of the few contemporary sagas we have.

— Charles Jansen, “The Metapolitics of Harry Potter.”

[5] Like Victor Appleton et. al., this must be a pseudonym, although perhaps not a corporate one. The author claims to have been “conceived and born in the back of a VW Bus” during the Summer of Love, and later “attended Woodstock (Rainbow was particularly impressed by Grace Slick’s awesome voice).” Though he was brought up “to be an environmentally conscious liberal embodying peace in the world,” he instead “became an environmentally conscious reactionary who believes in peace through superior firepower. Today, he fixes servers for a living but would prefer to be a supervillain plotting world domination on a remote volcanic island.”

[6] For Wilhelm Landig’s novel Wolfzeit zum Thule see Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity (New York University Press, 2002).

[7] “Only a credulous moron would believe that Nazi UFOs come from Antarctica. They come, of course, from the interior of the hollow Earth.” — gwood.

[8] See (or rather, hear) Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers (Columbia Records, 1970), which was actually nominated for a Hugo Award in 1971.

[9] It’s a terrible tradition that goes back at least as far as Twain, but at least Rainbow isn’t as bad as Lovecraft:

Hey, yew, why dun’t ye say somethin’? Haow’d ye like to be livin’ in a taown like this, with everything a-rottin’ an’ a-dyin’, an’ boarded-up monsters crawlin’ an’ bleatin’ an’ barkin’ an’ hoppin’ araoun’ black cellars an’ attics every way ye turn? Hey? Haow’d ye like to hear the haowlin’ night arter night from the churches an’ Order o’ Dagon Hall, an’ know what’s doin’ part o’ the haowlin’? Haow’d ye like to hear what comes from that awful reef every May-Eve an’ Hallowmass? Hey? Think the old man’s crazy, eh? Wal, Sir, let me tell ye that ain’t the wust!”

The Shadow over Innsmouth

 

2 Comments

  1. Vehmgericht
    Posted May 27, 2020 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    On the cover I notice ‘Lam’, the grey-alien like entity contacted by Aleister Crowley in the 1920’s and subsequently taken up by Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis. He is peeping out from a Lanz von Lebenfels style runic escutcheon on the centre right.

    We have already seen the batrarchian ‘Kek’ venerated in an earlier recension of the ‘alt-right’ — could it now be time to enlist the services of ‘Lam’?

    • Posted May 27, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      In this case, the aliens tend not to be too friendly, with the exception of one who decides that imperialism was the wrong way.

      As for the humans, what they need is awareness and solidarity.

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