Sunday, September 17, 2023

Crossover of the Week

July 20, 1963


American astronaut Magnolia Jones comes to Arkham, Northumberland in 1963 at the request of Human Protection League (HPL) agent and Women’s Royal Air Force member Mabel Peabody for a space mission to rescue Yuri Gagarin, who is being menaced by a member of the Colour Out of Space’s race. Also appearing or mentioned are: Tarooma; Dr. Maxwell Edison Gardner; Dirk McQuickly; the British Experimental Rocket Group; the Q-I, 1953; the M-76, 1956; the Q-II, 1958; Flasheart; Prof Q; Lonsdale College, Oxford; “tekeli-li!”; the magnetic anomalies in Tycho and Olduvai Gorge; Doktor Merkwürdigliebe; Zellaby; the Midwich changelings incident; an “Inventor”; Fendelman Industries; a ship from Mars that crashed to Earth under modern London five million years ago; Haven, Maine; Ivor Dare; Harriman Nelson; the “Saliva Tree Incursion” at Cottersall, Norfolk, England, in 1896; Gizhinsk; the SSRN Seaview; Captain Crane; and Peabody’s niece Jocelyn. 

Short story by Stephen Baxter in The Lovecraft Squad: Waiting, Pegasus Books, 2017. Magnolia Jones is an ancestor of the character of the same name (aka Melody Angel) from the television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, which takes place in a potential future for the CU. Tarooma and the Q-I are references to the British science fiction television serial The Quatermass Experiment. Dr. Bernard Quatermass is the head of the British Experimental Rocket Group. The Q-II and the ship from Mars that crashed to Earth under modern London five million years ago refer to Quatermass and the Pit. Dr. Maxwell Edison Gardner is Maxwell Edison from the Beatles’ song “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” revealed here to be a descendant of Nahum Gardner from H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space.” Dirk McQuickly is the Paul McCartney stand-in in the Beatles parody the Rutles, first seen in the television series Rutland Weekend Television. The M-76 is from No Man Friday by Rex Gordon. Lord Flasheart is from the Blackadder Goes Forth episode “Private Plane.” Lonsdale College, Oxford is from the television series Inspector Morse, based on Colin Dexter’s novels. “Tekeli-li!” is a phrase from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, later used by Lovecraft in “At the Mountains of Madness.” The magnetic anomalies in Tycho and the Olduvai Gorge are from Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which must be an AU, although elements of it (or counterparts thereof) have been referenced in several CU works. Doktor Merkwürdigliebe is the original name of the title character of the movie Dr. Strangelove, which ends with all of humanity being wiped out in a nuclear conflagration. However, Emmanuel Gorlier’s “A Present for Hitler” establishes that Merkwürdigliebe has a CU counterpart. Gordon Zellaby, Midwich, the Inventor, and Gizhinsk are from John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos. Fendelman Industries is from the Doctor Who serial “Image of the Fendahl.” Haven, Maine is from Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers. Ivor Dare and Professor Jocelyn Mabel Peabody are from the British science fiction comic book Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, which takes place in the then-future of the 1990s, in a world where travel to and from other worlds is common. These versions of Ivor and Jocelyn must be CU counterparts to the ones from the comic. Admiral Harriman Nelson, the SSRN Seaview, and Captain Lee Crane are from the TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which was set in the then-future of the 1970s. These must be the CU versions of the characters and ship from the show. The Saliva Tree Incursion is from Brian Aldiss’ The Saliva Tree

This crossover writeup is one of hundreds included in my book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, to be published by Meteor House! All three volumes are AUTHORIZED companions to Win Scott Eckert's Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Volumes 1 and 2!

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