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The Blind Spot   By:

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The Blind Spot opens with the words: "Perhaps it were just as well to start at the beginning. A mere matter of news." Suppose I use them in the same sense:

A mere matter of news: The first instalment of this fabulous novel was featured in Argosy All Story Weekly for May 14, 1921. Described as a "different" serial, it was introduced by a cover by Modest Stein. In the foreground was the profile of a girl of another dimension ethereal, sensuous, the eternal feminine the Nervina of the story. Filmy crystalline earrings swept back over her bare shoulders. Dominating the background was a huge flaming yellow ball, like our Sun as seen from the hypothetical Vulcan splotched with murky, mysterious globii vitonae. There was an ancient quay, and emerging from the ultramarine waters about it a silhouetted metropolis of spires, domes, and minarets. It was 1921, and that generation thus received its first glimpse of the alien landscape of The Blind Spot and the baroque beauty of an immortal woman of fantasy fiction.

The authors? Homer Eon Flint was already a reigning favourite with post World War I enthusiasts of imaginative literature, who had eagerly devoured his QUEEN OF LIFE and LORD OF DEATH, his KING OF CONSERVE ISLAND and THE PLANETEER. Austin Hall was well known and popular for his ALMOST IMMORTAL, REBEL SOUL, and INTO THE INFINITE.

Then came this epoch making collaboration. When Mary Gnaedinger launched Famous Fantastic Mysteries magazine she early presented THE BLIND SPOT, and printed it again in that magazine's companion Fantastic Novels. These reprints are now collectors' items, almost unobtainable, and otherwise the story has long been out of print. Rumour says an unauthorised German version of THE BLIND SPOT, has been published in book form. There is another book called THE BLIND SPOT, and also a magazine story, and a major movie studio was to produce a film of the same title. However, here is presented the only hard cover version of the only BLIND SPOT of consequence to lovers of fantasy.

Who wrote the story? When I first looked into the question, as a 15 year old boy, Homer Eon Flint (he originally spelled his name with a "d") was already dead of a fall into a canyon. In 1949 his widow told me: "I think Homer's father contributed that middle name" the same name (with slightly different spelling) that the Irish poet George Russell took as his pen name, which became known by its abbreviation AE. Mrs. Flindt said of Flint's father: "He was a very deep thinker, and enjoyed reading heavy material." Like father, like son. "Homer always talked over his ideas with me, and although I couldn't always follow his thoughts it seemed to help him to express them to another it made some things come more clearly to him."

Flint was a great admirer of H. G. Wells (this little grandmother schoolteacher told me) and had probably read all his works up to the time when he (Flint) died in 1924. He had read Doyle and Haggard, but: "Wells was his favourite the real thinker."

Flint found a fellow thinker in Austin Hall, whom he met in San Jose, California, while working at a shop where shoes were repaired electrically "a rather new concept at the time." Hall, learning that Flint lived in the same city, sought him out, and they became fast friends. Each stimulated the other. As Hall told me twenty years ago of the origin of THE BLIND SPOT:

"One day after we had lunched together, I held my finger up in front of one of my eyes and said: 'Homer, couldn't a story be written about that blind spot in the eye?' Not much was said about it at the time, but four days later, again at lunch, I outlined the whole story to him... Continue reading book >>

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