The Curious Case of Anthony Boucher

I woke up early this morning, as often happens because the cat has this thing abut eating. This usually means I wake up and get going for the morning. I have this tendency to fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow, but once I’m up, I’m up for good.

This morning I went downstairs and started to work on this weird story of mine. I realized I really didn’t have enough to go on, so I needed to brainstorm some more. Since I wasn’t going to actually “write” I decided that I would use my computer’s processor time to grab a recording of some old Sherlock Holmes radio programs.

Those recordings were currently in album form, sitting in cardboard boxes on the floor of my basement. There were four shows on two albums. I remember having given the albums to my dad, probably for father’s day, as a kid. We enjoyed them back in the day, and they have now come full circle. Brigid, my daughter for those who may be newish to my meanderings, had been down here a month ago or so, and showed a bit of interest in them, so I figured I would put them into a format she could use given today’s modern whiz-bang technology. I envisioned her plugging in to them as mind-candy as she walked across campus up in West Lafayette.

So I cued up the first and started up Audacity.

The show started, and I enjoyed it again…so much that I paid more attention to it than I did my own brainstorming. The shows were taped mostly in 1945, and I found the advertisements for wine and port to be as interesting as the shows, and I found the public service announcements regarding the boys overseas to be somehow important to me as I sat quietly down in my basement.

The first show ended, and I prepared to stop the recording, when among the last things I heard was “Screenplay written by Anthony Boucher.”

Really? I thought? Did I hear that right? Anthony Boucher? The Anthony Boucher of F&SF fame?


So I fired up Google and do a quick search. Indeed, this Anthony Boucher was the Anthony Boucher of F&SF fame, and mystery fame, and all sorts of other good stuff. This bothered me. I should have known this. At least I think I should have, anyway. I’ve been in or around the field for awhile now, but I still feel so empty when it comes to this stuff. Earlier this year I spent a few weeks reading nothing but short stories from the 50sm, 60s, and early 70s. I read Ed Hamiltion, and Roger Zelazny, and Clifford Simak, and several others. Still it doesn’t feel like enough.

But I listened to the next episode more closely. It was a fun show. It moved quickly, and despite being a bit “dated,” was full of little nuances and interesting bits that included logic puzzles and plays on linguistics and other such stuff. The acting was varied, but generally pretty good, and I really enjoyed the essence of story without visuals.

Anthony Boucher. Interesting. Who would have known?

I felt very connected in many different ways.

Maybe Brigid will feel the same way as she trudges across campus. Maybe she will just find the radio plays silly or quaint. I expect it will be closer to the first than the last, but you never know.

In the meantime, I’ll go back to this story of mine.

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Posted in Daily Writing, Life, Science Fiction.

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