"The Cataaaaa"
Short Fiction 1947 5,700 words


A strange creature at a freak show turns out to be far more than it appears...

  • This story's title is sometimes printed with a varying number of A's at the end. (There should be 5.) A perfectly understandable mistake, all things considered.

Included In
The Best of A.E. van Vogt: Volume 1 1979
The Best of A.E. van Vogt    [British] 1974
The Far-Out Worlds of A.E. van Vogt 1968
The Worlds of A.E. van Vogt 1974
Fantasy Book magazine
1947 July Fantasy Publishing Co.
bedsheet Vol 1, No 1 44 pages $0.25

cover art by

Table of Contents

Back Cover

Back Cover Close-Up 1

Back Cover Close-Up 2

First appearance

Like some other issues of Fantasy Book, this issue had an alternate cover. I've been unable to find an image for it. Can anyone supply me with one?

This issue is especially famous for containing Andre Norton's first published science fiction story, "People of the Crater," under the name Andrew North.

Illustrator Charles McNutt is better known as Charles Beaumont, a horror writer who contributed to The Twilight Zone and wrote the screenplay for The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao.

This, the first issue of the rare Fantasy Book magazine, is so tall and wide that scanning it proved quite challenging. After several unsatisfactory attempts I finally had to resort to doing the front and back covers in a piecemeal fashion and then stitching the images together. Owing to this difficulty, I've included the interesting back cover in two forms — as a smaller stitched-together image, and as the two original high-resolution images where the text is easier to read. After reading those tantalizing descriptions of books for sale, I found myself adding a few titles to my shopping list!

Incidentally, according to the seller I purchased this from, this copy of Fantasy Book #1 was once part of Forrest J. Ackerman's collection. Of course, this was probably just one of a few dozen copies he had lying around in his attic, but still I think that's pretty neat.

1 illustration by
Charles McNutt

Cover & other images: Walwyn
Illustration image: Walwyn
Data: Walwyn
Marvel Science Stories magazine
1950 November Stadium Publishing
pulp Vol 3, No 1 132 pages $0.25

cover art by
Norman Saunders

(no illustration images available)

illustrations: 1

artist: unknown

  Data: ISFDB
Adam magazine
1973 July
format: ? issue number: ? pagecount: ? price: ?

cover artist: unknown

Date from Yutaka Morita.

Virtually nothing is known about this one-off appearance in, of all things, a men's magazine. Anybody know more about this?

Cover image: Axelsson Data: Morita
Skyworlds magazine
1978 May
format: ? Vol 1, No 3 pagecount: ? price: ?

cover artist: unknown

A bit bewildering, this. Previously, I had been able to confirm the existence of only a single issue of Skyworlds, November 1977. However, Yutaka Morita recently confirmed the existence of this issue, and supplied the volume and issue number.

  Data: Morita