This one looks promising but fail to deliver I'm afraid. It's another of the mystery-that-isn't-a-mystery stories. With a somewhat gruesome explanation. Although it may look like Doc goes to Jurassic Park, this one is just a rather umimpressive tale of murder and stolen gold. Yawn. - | - July 29, 2003 02:32 AM
This was one of those stories where there is no "real" mystery, no mysterious dinosaur egg that might have hatched and is presently wreaking havoc somewhere. Either Dent lost faith in the kinds of stories he used to write for Doc or the editors decided to revamp Doc and downplay the fantastic elements in this story. Which is a shame, of course. Dent had no problem sending Doc to a land FILLED with dinosaurs in The Land of Terror. I think really what was happening was that it was now 1940 and not 1933. Life was quickly becoming real and there wasn't any room any more for the kind of high adventure stories that brought Doc Savage his legion of readers in the 1930s then later in the 1960s and onwards. Oddly, this was the same time that Astounding Science Fiction was taken over by John Campbell Jr. who was grooming writers such as Asimov, Heinlein, Sturgeon, Leinster, Padgett, Simak and A.E. Van Vogt. Campbell made all of his SF writers write plausible science fiction, stories that made sense according to how science operates. There were no dinosaurs in Campbell's magazines. Not one. Sad. Anyway, you can see in The Awful Egg the decline of one kind of Doc Savage and the rise of another. The latter is not as cool as the former.
But don't get me wrong. Waxing nostalgic for 1933 is only the fool's delight. I'd go back there only in a time machine, to snatch a bunch of mint-condition pulps then return to my humble abode with real treasure. But I won't wax nostalgic for that, either. - | - May 29, 2005 05:10 AM