For many geeks, the name Ray Palmer may only seem familiar as the name of The Atom’s secret identity. If you do read this non-fiction story about this early sci-fi editor, you will probably agree with me: this guy was weird.

“He wanted people to listen, he wanted to provoke, he wanted to shock minds open– or just to shock.”

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Not that it’s a bad thing, but this science fiction pioneer– who stood four feet tall and had a hunchback– later became one of the leaders of the 50’s flying saucer movement and a great conspiracy theorist. Also, he told people he was from Mars.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

I had never really heard of Ray Palmer, but when I was looking up new book releases, this one caught my eye. I mean, this guy was a influencer of early science fiction and a fan of flying saucers. I just figured his biography belonged on our GeekyLibrary shelves.

Rating (3 stars)

Early on in this story, I was fascinated with Ray Palmer’s story and his presence during the early days of science fiction. He was the editor for the influential early sci-fi magazine Amazing Stories and his passion for the genre was obvious.

However, once he changed from a science fiction fan into a conspiracy theorist with a love of the esoteric and paranormal (not to mention a flying saucer nut), my interest in the book waned.

It was a well-written biography of a very strange and compelling individual– author Fred Nadis did a steller job. Despite this, because of my own interests and the challenge I had in finishing the book, I can’t rate it higher than 3 stars.