Pulps prove there’s no place like earth

“Tyrant and Slave-Girl on Planet Venus.”
Now that’s a saucy title for a science-fiction story if I ever heard one.
The story, as you see, first appeared in “10-Story Fantasy,” a pulp that (no surprise here) promised readers ten thrilling stories of fiction in every issue.
“Tyrant and Slave-Girl” is credited to John Beynon, but according to this blog, its really written by John Wyndham. That’s a name you might recognize if you’re a die-hard sci-fi fan. You see Beynon is the man who penned “The Day of the Triffids,”  the novel and the movie about killer plants. (Sure it’s old, but give it a try if you haven’t.)
Anyway, you can read “Tyrant & Slave-Girl” in a 2003 collection called “No Place Like Earth.” Like “Beynon,” the story got a new name somewhere along the way: “No Place Like Earth.” Yep, it is actually the title piece of the book.
In regard to the art on this 1951 pulp masterpiece, the one thing I want to point out is just how generic this illustration really is. Sure, it fits perfectly with the title, but it can also be used in any re-arrangement of the characters.
Red robe guy could easily be the woman’s valet, for example. Green cape guy could be the cruel tyrant. Is this on Earth or Venus? Fantasy or Sci-Fi? And who’s to say which one of these guys is Venusian?
Sure, the woman is obviously  the victim here. But those guys? Well, they can be anyone the editor of the pulp needs them to be, especially since they’re standing in a blank background.
All you have to do is let the readers fill in the details with their imaginations. 


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