Radioactive Pottery from the Future Past

This Mound-day takes us beyond some stars, to another world with a volcano and savage primitives. And some bad travelers from Earth. But first, some literary and scientific history.

Classic Jules Verne stories, From the Earth to the Moon & Around the Moon (Wordsworth Classics)

Quotes by Tsiolkovsky

“The Earth is the cradle of mankind, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.”

“I do not remember how it got into my head to make the first calculations related to rocket. It seems to me the first seeds were planted by famous fantaseour, J. Verne.”

“First, inevitably, the idea, the fantasy, the fairy tale. Then, scientific calculation. Ultimately, fulfillment crowns the dream.”

From Space.com, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky: Russian Father of Rocketry.
Konstantin Tsiolkosky O'Neil Cylinder

I was listening to a 1950 episode of a science fiction radio show, Dimension X, on Sirius XM during my commute, and thought a plot point using uranium based color on pottery to defuse an atom bomb standoff was ridiculous. Much as I enjoy Spider-Man, it sounded crazy, like getting superpowers from a radioactive spider bite.

Since my listening to the show was interrupted by refueling, I searched for the episode online when I got home, found it on YouTube as audio over a still frame in a video format… The video was taken down, but the audio for Episode 17 is on the following list and can be played from there, https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Dimension_X_Singles. I also found something surprising during that search.

Radioactive material was indeed used to make bright colored pottery! How Radioactive Is Fiesta Ware? Would You Eat Off It?

Also, now we’re getting closer to warp drive. The theoretical basis has changed from being completely impractical due to excessive power requirements to something plausible. The first modest experiments are being done now. At an estimated 10 times the speed of light, some stars could eventually be only a few weeks away. Can we finally break the speed of light? Nasa breakthrough suggests Star Trek’s ‘warp drives’ may not only be possible – but practical.

One aspect of classic radio is how non-politically-correct it gets sometimes. In this case, alien natives are referred to as “gooks” by a stern boss from Earth. I bet you’re wondering if that insensitive fellow gets his comeuppance.

Episode 17 – The Potters Of Firsk.

First broadcast 28 July, 1950.

Stars Karl Weber, Wendell Holmes and Raymond Edward Johnson.

Dimension X was an NBC radio program broadcast from April 8, 1950 to September 29, 1951. The first 13 episodes were broadcast live, and the remainder were pre-recorded.

Dimension X was not the first adult science fiction series on radio, but the acquisition of previously published stories immediately gave it a strong standing with the science fiction community, as did the choice of well established, respected writers in the field such as Isaac Asimov, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Fredric Brown, Robert A. Heinlein, Murray Leinster, H. Beam Piper, Frank M. Robinson, Clifford D. Simak, William Tenn, Jack Vance, Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Williamson and Donald A. Wollheim.

Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts adapted most of the stories and also provided original scripts.

In this episode, ‘The Potters of Firsk’, written by Jack Vance and adapted by Ernest Kinoy, a liaison officer from Earth is caught between a steely planetary administrator and a fanatical alien cult who kidnap and murder people to use as raw materials for their sacred pottery.

Visit http://www.scifimike.com – the sci-fi blog covering audio, literature, TV & film.

The video was taken down, but the audio for Episode 17 is on the following list and can be played from there, https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Dimension_X_Singles.

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