"The Pandora Principle"
written with Brinke Stevens
Short Fiction 1984 5,300 words
  • This was Part 1 of a serial — no further installments were ever published, which is a shame since Part 1 is such a fun and engaging story. It is not known how long the final work would have been, or if it was even written — my inquiries to Brinke Stevens herself have gone unanswered, so we'll probably never know.

  • Brinke Stevens is a "scream queen," an actress famous for starring in many horror movies. Forrest J. Ackerman was an enthusiastic supporter of (and often a participant in) such films. Ackerman was a friend of van Vogt's and was his literary agent for many years, so I'm assuming that she and van Vogt met through him and agreed to write a story together. Also, Brinke was the "Production Executive" for this revival of Weird Tales.

  • Owing to the incredible scarcity of this mid-80s revival of Weird Tales, and the fact that neither story was ever reprinted, "The Brain" and "The Pandora Principle" are two of van Vogt's rarest stories. (See the entry for "The Brain" for more information on this mid-80s revival of Weird Tales.)

Weird Tales magazine
1984 Fall Bellerophon Network
quarto Vol 49, No 1 76 pages $2.50

cover art by
Ro H. Kim

Table of Contents


First appearance

Illustrator Dave Stevens was a comic book artist best known for his creation of The Rocketeer. Brinke Stevens, co-author of this rare story, was married to Dave for a short time in the early '80s. (Her original name was Charlene Elizabeth Brinkman.) Even after their divorce, Brinke continued to model for Dave. The woman on both the front cover and in the internal illustration are modeled on Brinke.

1 illustration by
Dave Stevens

Cover & other images: Walwyn
Illustration image: Walwyn
Data: Walwyn