I Remember Lemuria
By Richard S. Shaver
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Publication Date: 1948.
About The Book: Richard S. Shaver was a welder in the early 1930s in a Ford factory in Wisconsin. He later claimed that this was where he first started hearing the voices; voices warning him of vast caves under the earth, in which lurk the dero: prehistoric, devolved cannibals who prey on our minds with ancient super-science. Also in the mix: lost continents, hollow planets, starships the size of a moon, titanic god-like races of beings, and ... sexy aliens. It all started with one magazine: Amazing Stories, and its editor, Ray Palmer.
In 1944, Shaver wrote a story which was the genesis of I Remember Lemuria. This was later reworked by Palmer into the first story in this book. It was published in the March 1945 issue of Amazing (as I Remember Lemuria!). It was carefully triangulated by Palmer as both fiction and 'non-fiction,' and letters poured in from people who had seen or been abducted by 'deros'. There were over twenty sequels set in the Shaver universe, published between 1945 and 1948. The Return of Sathanas, the second novella in this book, appeared originally in November 1946. The book edition, titled I Remember Lemuria (dropping the !) was published in a now very rare edition in 1948, not to reappear in print until Adventures Unlimited reprinted it in 1999.
Some fans were appalled at the exploitation of Shaver's tall tale, a drama which was played out in the letters page of Amazing. Finally in December 1948, Palmer was pressured by management; Shaver was banned from the magazine, and Palmer quit as editor of Amazing Stories in solidarity. Shaver maintained to the last that his story was true. He remained friends with Palmer until they both died in 1975.
Taken at face value, this is a pretty good pair of late Golden Age sci-fi stories, albeit with more footnotes than one would expect in the genre. The writing (or editing) is punchy. The plot drives the story, rather than the need for constant exposition, as is too often the case in texts like this. However, the real importance of these texts is historic. The Shaver mythos had a huge tacit influence on 1950s and successive UFO belief systems. For instance, Shavers' 'Nor,' blonde demigods from outer space, suggest the 'Nordic' aliens of UFO lore. The tunnels of the dero became subterranean alien bases. Embedded in this short science fiction story were many of the themes which would later become accepted UFO canon.
About The Author:
Richard S. Shaver (1907 – 1975) was an American writer and artist.
He achieved notoriety in the years following World War II as the author of controversial stories which were printed in science fiction magazines (primarily Amazing Stories), in which he claimed that he had had personal experience of a sinister, ancient civilization that harbored fantastic technology in caverns under the earth. The controversy stemmed from the claim by Shaver, and his editor and publisher Ray Palmer, that Shaver's writings, while presented in the guise of fiction, were fundamentally true. Shaver's stories were promoted by Ray Palmer as "The Shaver Mystery". During the last decades of his life, Shaver devoted himself to "rock books" — stones that he believed had been created by the advanced ancient races and embedded with legible pictures and texts. He produced paintings based on the rock images and photographed the rock books extensively, as well as writing about them. Posthumously, Shaver has gained a reputation as an artist and his paintings and photos have been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere.
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