21 October 2011

Alien with a Familiar Face

A follow-up to Monday's post.

Watching what I could of The 27th Day, I was struck by the self-described "alien from outer space". He seemed so very familiar, yet I couldn't quite place him. I now know that "The Alien" was Arnold Moss, perhaps the most English man to have been born and bred in Brooklyn. An actor and cruciverbalist, I would have seen Mr Moss in many of the television shows I watched during my first decade: Star Trek...

The Monkees...


I won't pretend to have completed one of his crosswords.

Though Moss doesn't get much screen time in The 27th Day, he steals the show – as reflected in this 1957 issue of Urania.

The Italian science fiction magazine published Mantley's novel twice – in translation and unabridged – thus giving it considerably more attention than it ever received in this country.

While the Germans were equally enthusiastic, it appears that it was the British who were the most keen. Over a four year period, they published two hardcover and two paperback editions, including this 1958 issue from Beacon (not to be confused with the American publishers of the unjustly neglected Orrie Hitt):

Collectors may be more interested in the 1961 Four Square edition, which features cover art by Josh Kirby of Discworld fame:

For my money, the most interesting is El 27° Dia, the 1957 Spanish language edition from Muchnik of Buenos Aires:

John Mantley, the only Canadian author I know to have been published in Argentina. I could've learnt something from him.

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