The Man Who Walked Through Mirrors

Robert Bloch | published Aug, 1939

added Jun 6, 2024
cover Image
First Date of Publication
Aug, 1939
Original Source
Amazing Stories
Original Source Type
Magazine - Pulp
Short Story
Original Language
Kasman Review
Summary: A tongue-in-cheek story making repeated fun of the common, misleading tagline which appeared in many sci fi magazines of the day - Every Story Scientifically Accurate.

Story Tag Line: “ “Every Story Scientifically Accurate!” His tone was purest venom. “You call this stuff science? Robots and Martians and fungoid beings and opium-smoker’s visions? What if the so-called theories are mathematically correct? Does that make these stories accurate? They are fiction, not fact.” ”

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  • Vijay Fafat
    Published on

    A tongue-in-cheek story making repeated fun of the common, misleading tagline which appeared in many sci fi magazines of the day, “Every Story Scientifically Accurate”.

    Volmar Clark was a crackpot genius who had a theory about achieving access to the fourth spatial dimension through mirrors (since, “mirror images are fourth dimensional projections of three dimensional objects”) but had been rejected outright by the science community. Inexplicably, he had then written a story employing those principles, called “Fourth Dimensional Mirror”, and sent to Stanhope, the editor of a sci-fi magazine, who rejected it as being hopelessly inaccurate, scientifically speaking. So a year later, a crazed Volmar entered Stanhope’s office with an apparatus he had built and demanded that Stanhope experience the fourth dimension by looking through its eye-piece, having explained how the device worked.

    Stanhope did not believe any of it but after Volmar was carried away by security from the sanitarium from which Volmar had escaped, Stanhope peeked through the eyepiece of the apparatus…

    When he came back to his senses from his dizzying experience, he thought it was just a hypnotic, psychedelic experience induced by dizzying, spinning lenses and mirors… till he tried to read and found everything mirror-imaged, including the line, “Every Story Scientifically Accurate”, the implication being that his visual sensations had been flipped through the fourth dimension.

    Based on the author’s description, it appears to me that only the brain perceptions of Stanhope would have undergone a mirror-flip, not the rest of his body. Would have been a nice touch to speak of that but the author was aiming mainly at making fun of the tagline and the general tenor of sci fi stories being published then.