Basil Davenport’s Invisible Men
Beaumont, Bradbury and Gold
By Jeff Baker
More stories form Basil Davenport’s 1960 anthology “Invisible Men.” The anthology which exposed me to a bunch of stories from the pulp days (and earlier) and became something of an influence on my own writing.
“The Vanishing American” by Charles Beaumont. One of my favorite stories by the author best known for his “Twilight Zone” scripts. This story was omitted from the fine Beaumont collection “Perchance to Dream” but is available elsewhere. The story touches on familiar Twilight Zone territory: the little man in an office job; the ordinary everyday setting and then the touch of strangeness that Beaumont specialized in.
“Invisible Boy” by Ray Bradbury is quintessential Bradbury; the implication of witchcraft, the hint of Halloween, the young boy character. Stirred together in a heady brew.
“Love in the Dark” by Horace L. Gold. Back in the 1970s I’d never heard of Gold, the editor of Galaxy Magazine and a fine writer. This story is another of my favorites in the anthology and was reprinted with an explanation of how it came to be written, in Gold’s collection “The Old Die Rich.” Livy Ransom has a strange feeling that someone is watching her undress at night. What follows is a delightful blend of sci-fi and whimsy. (“Long blue hair and wide blonde eyes?”)
Two tales of invisibility and mystery in the next installment.