Now this interested me, because while we know several of the Inklings (Tolkien, Lewis, and Warnie) were fond of science fiction, there's v. little record of specific titles and works they read beyond, say, A VOYAGE TO ARCTURUS. So I did a little digging and think I've now identified both work and author: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON by Edmond Hamilton. I'd initially been thrown off by the assumption that, since all the other things the Major mentions reading were books, this 'turtle-men' story must have been published in book form. Instead, it now seems that he was reading an issue of the new Scientifiction magazine AMAZING STORIES,*** founded just four years before (1926) by Hugo Gernsback. I don't know if this is the first direct proof that the Inklings (or at least one among them, and a core member at that****) read AMAZING STORIES, but it's certainly the first such evidence I've come across. And, as such, I thought worth sharing.
As for the story itself, I've located a good synopsis of it available online, thanks to GoogleBooks, which quotes it from Bleiler & Bleiler's SCIENCE FICTION: THE GERNSBACK YEARS: A COMPLETE COVERAGE OF THE GENRE ; see the entry for book #549 on pages 161-162. Here's the link:
I don't think I've ever read a book by Hamilton (who nowadays is better know as Leigh Brackett's husband than in his own right), though I'm sure I must have read some of his comic book work in reprint digests back in the day. I hope to soon remedy that lack, however, as a copy of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON shd now be on its way to me. We'll soon see how it holds up compared with, say, Gernsback's own RALPH 124C1+.
current (re)reading: THE LAST HERO  by Terry Pratchett
current audiobook: THE MOONSTONE (still)
*one question I'm still working on is whether most of the books he read during this trip were his own, as seems to be the case, or were borrowed from a ship's library (unlikely, but I'm not well enough informed about whether a passenger ship of the time wd have a misc. assortment of books for passengers to read or not). None of the books he mentions reading seem to be in the CSL Library Collection of books once belonging to CSL, WHL, their parents, & JDL now at the Wade, at least on a cursory check, but many of them are just the sort of books I wd have expected not to have survived in that collection. He does mention visiting the Shanghai Club just before his departure and returning the books he'd borrowed from its library, and shortly afterwards visits the library of the American Club, but apparently not to borrow any books from for the trip.
**v. sensibly reading the sections devoted to topics he knew a lot about, like the War, the era of Louis XIV, and the British colonial far east, and finding him wanting.
***specifically, AMAZING STORIES QUARTERLY, Fall 1929 issue
****technically, of course, Warnie was a pre-Inkling at this time, since the group hadn't started meeting yet.
P.S.: And just this evening (Sunday Apr. 17th), Janice and I saw not one but two turtles in the lake while out for a walk this afternoon. Haven't seen any in the ten years we've been living in "the Lakes" development (of which Bayview is one of ten or so parts, almost all w. amusingly inappropriate names, like "Bayview" which is not on a bay, or "Cypress Cove" which is not on a cove). Hadn't been going that way on walks for quite a while, not since they cut the mimosa down (that having been my favorite tree in the neighborhood); now I've got a good reason to stretch my legs in that direction again.
Note to self: turtles don't like peanuts, even shelled ones. Good to know.