During the 1930’s Astounding Stories was the premier venue for tales of adventure and science fiction. It is a mark of the popularity of the Dr. Bird stories that from 1930 to 1932 eleven stories featuring the character appeared in the magazine as well as several other stories by the author, Sterner St. Paul Meek, writing as Capt. S. P. Meek.
Each of the stories features a remarkable threat based on some scientific principle or fact and it was the task of the doctor to thwart the threat using his superior scientific knowledge. To assist him, he could always count on the help of Secret Service Operative Carnes, and it was often Carnes who brought the problem to the doctor’s attention.
While the threats (and sometimes the solutions) may seem farfetched and unrealistic today, the background science presented was often very good and holds up well for the modern reader. As an example, there is no element, Lunium, as described in The Ray of Madness, whose radiation causes insanity, but the descriptions of quartz windows and ultra-violet spectroscopy are quite accurate.
But leaving the science aside, these are tales of adventure, with Dr. Bird and Carnes working against the likes of Saranoff and other villains who are seeking to damage the United States. They are as likely to bust down doors and shoot to kill as they are to wield a spectrascope or other scientific device.
The doctor, rather than being portrayed as the typical scientist of the era, is described as six feet tall and over two hundred pounds. More than once he pushes the smaller Carnes aside to lend a shoulder to breaking down a door.
These stories are as enjoyable today as they were in the 30’s. Resurrected Press is happy to publish The Astounding Adventures of Dr. Bird for your reading pleasure.