Sunday, January 23, 2011

Free read and NYT review of 1919 radio novel Station X by George McLeod Winsor

Thanks to the industrious folks at the Internet Archive, you can read or download an old obscure novel titled Station X (1919) by a (British?) fellow named George McLeod Winsor. Set against the backdrop of an interplanetary struggle between Mars and Venus, the storyline revolves around “Station X,” an isolated British radio station located on a lonely coral island in the Pacific Ocean where intelligences from both Mars and Venus have made mental contact with members of the human crew stationed there.

A review of Station X appears in the January 4, 1920 issue of The New York Times.

Station X was republished as a serial in Amazing Stories magazine, starting with the July 1926 issue. According to the nonfiction book The Gernsback Days (2004), by Michael Ashley, Station X was the greatest radio story pulp editor Hugo Gernsback ever read.

Interesting, American science fiction author Raymond Z. Gallun read Station X as a teenager. According to Starclimber: The Literary Adventures and Autobiography of Raymond Z. Gallun (1991):
During the hot months of 1926 I made a truly important discovery. I saw a large-sized magazine displayed in the window of the local book and stationery shop. There was a picture of an enormous housefly on the brightly colored cover. And there was the name of the publication spelled out in letters of declining size, large-to-small: Amazing Stories.

I bought that issue at once, fairly gobbling its contents. I did the same with succeeding issues. Station X by G. McLeod Winsor really grabbed me. I think it was a reprint. It was about a Martian invasion of Earth accomplished by radio contact—a transfer of mind, intellect, and know-how, to the bodies of living Earthlings. It was as spooky as all get-out; you never knew which of your friends had been transformed into super-intelligent Martian monsters, who had left their alien forms back on Mars. You could only tell an invader by the amazing speed, efficiency, logic, and precision with which he worked, using the big guns of battleships far more effectively than the trained human crew ever could; and improvising super-advanced equipment from parts of terrestrial devices. But these invaders—originally from the moon—were a decadent, robber-kind; ages ago they had stolen the forms of the native Martians, and now they were bent on making another switch, to Earth forms. They had to lose. Another gentler kind of beings from Venus, who had not corrupted themselves into loss of the capacity to improve, defeated them in the end.
Looks like I should consider adding Station X to my reading list!


  1. Hi Paul,
    A short story by Edmond Hamilton - Amazing Stories (august 1940): Treasure of Mars.pdf

  2. "The Monster from Mars" by Alexander Blade in Amazing Stories (April 1948) Monster from Mars.pdf

  3. Thank you, Doc Mars!!! I'm announcing these via Twitter until I have time to do more formal blog posts. Thanks!