- Richard S. Shaver
Our glorious first ish - 1979
Until we were nearly finished with this year's update, we had forgotten a very important date! It was 1979 when Shavertron's first issue appeared in select mailboxes across the US of A. And how did we determine the lucky recipients? That is another interesting story. It was all thanks to Richard Shaver!
Some of you are thinking, "Okay, Toronto, c'mon! Shaver had been dead nearly four years by 1979." How true. Here's the deal: it was all thanks to our acquisition of Shaver's old mailing list. We were given the list - typed on Avery sticky mailing labels - by his widow Dottie Shaver. Anyone the Old Man felt worthy of including on those labels (personal correspondents or customers who bought a painting or rock book from him) got the first ish of Shavertron. It was photo copied back-to-back on two sheets of blue paper. Why blue? Who knows? That detail is lost even to Shavertron's editor. Most likely all but one of those issues have disappeared into the mists of time. We have one around here somewhere. Maybe. Some numbers seem to be missing entirely from our own archive! Why didn't we keep a complete set? Who would have thought this zine would persevere 30 years into the future!
Yes, this is Shavertron's 30th anniversary issue. And what are we doing to celebrate? Well, what you see is all the partying we can handle. Wish we had remembered this before we got started, but, oh well...
Helping us celebrate is saucerdom's Supreme Commander, James W. Moseley, who came away from his typewriter long enough to let us interview him again. Again? You bet - this is the third time Moseley has appeared in Shavertron, and we hope you all enjoy this interview as much as the last two. Those were over 20 years ago! Has the flying saucer mystery been solved during that time? Just as Ray Palmer told us about "The Fact" behind the saucer mystery, James Moseley talks about that "fact" in his new book, "Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist."
But we should let Palmer speak for himself about the Fact. Just below Moseley's interview, you will find Ray Palmer discussing this now famous FACT. Just don't blame us if you are still mystified!
Also, you will find a link to a major new article by your humble Shavertron editor in Earl Kemp's ezine, E*I. For those of you into pulp magazines and pulp zine art, pulp authors and history, Earl's site is a must read. The article mentioned here is titled The Man From Tomorrow ... all about our favorite Amazing Stories editor, Raymond A. Palmer and his career as the world's first flying saucer investigator. Palmer endured many pitfalls and much ridicule in his lifetime, and it has become one of our pet projects to vindicate his place in saucer (and science fiction) literature.
Now, we aren't much for joining clubs or boards, but if you haven't joined the Shavertron Forum group yet, you're missing out! During the last couple of years, this group of hardy Mystery travelers, made up of artists, authors, fans, researchers of all types and the just plain curious, has become a place for members to go for enlightenment and entertainment. We made it easier to sign up by placing a link on our contents page.
Rebounding from the dustbin of history is a former Shavertron column by old friend Ray Archer. Some readers may recall his "Rays from the U.K." Ray used to comb through Brit newspapers to find clippings geared toward the fine-tuned taste of our readers.
Our book reviews section seems larger than usual this year, thanks to great contributing authors and the editorial work of our Eastern European staff, Figbar Tobar. Figbar also volunteered a link to Lithuanian sink holes, now located on the contents page.
This is also the first issue of Shavertron where you will find moving pictures. Two mystery shorts, to be exact, by Hollywood, California filmmaker Thomas Eric Stanton. Thomas is a Shaver fan from way back, and has graciously given Shavertron permission to premier these two flicks.
Another interesting article you will find this ish, is one by long-time Shaver Mystery fan Vaughn M. Greene of San Francisco. But Vaughn was not always a fan! In fact, his current article was published in Spacewarp, a science fiction fanzine of the late 1940s. The article, "Secrets of Shaverism" appeared in 1946, and is hardly pro-Shaver. It is an interesting piece of SM history, nonetheless.
Our French doppleganger - David Hauguel - editor of Shavertron Over-blog - has helped us out with a couple of great new mastheads, for which we are eternally grateful. David has also been helping us improve Shavertron's dismal search engine rating. Apparently, no matter what search engine you use, and no matter what keywords ... like "Richard Shaver" or "The Shaver Mystery" or even "Shavertron," we end up somewhere around Page 127 on the search list. It is inspiring that anyone manages to find us at all. So it is with this issue, Ye Editor is making a feeble attempt to all fix that. Thanks, David!
Thanks, too, to Timothy Green Beckley, for contributing two obituaries for two of the Old Guard contactees; Howard Menger and Frank Stranges.
Please note the return of our links page. If you'd care to join that esteemed list, just drop us a line.
The Fine Print:
The original Shavertron was a fanzine devoted to the Shaver Mystery and the life and times of Richard Sharpe Shaver and his editor, Ray Palmer. This leaves the playing field wide open since the Shaver Mystery is rife with ufos, a race of evil weirdos living inside the earth, mind control, a high-tech Elder Race pre-dating our history, abductions, conspiracies and, of course, the sci-fi pulp zine scene of the late 1940s.
The "mystery" began in a 1945 issue of AMAZING STORIES magazine with an article titled "A Warning to Future Man." Editor Ray Palmer and writer Richard Shaver collaborated from there to bring Shaver's unusual cosmology into the world of sci-fi pulp zine literature.
The Shaver Mystery gasped its last breath when Shaver and Palmer died within two years of each other in the mid-1970s. We stopped publishing Shavertron in 1992 since most Shaver Mystery readers were gone (mostly dead) with few leftovers to take their place.
Writers like Jim Pobst, Brian Tucker, Doug Skinner, Tal, Timothy Green (Mr. UFO) Beckley , Mary Martin (The Hollow Hassle), Branton, Bill Bliss and Gene Steinberg did what they could to keep the Mystery going.
The scene eventually merged with watercooler chit-chat about UFOs, abductions and government conspiracies, all of which were a big part of the Shaver Mystery. Back in 1947, the Shaver Mystery was a bizarre topic of household conversation (probably at cocktail time). Today it's obscure sci-fi history...though it is now being rediscovered by a new circle of oddity seekers and outsider art buffs.