References in The Arsenal Out Of Time by David McDaniel

by Barry & Lee Gold

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In most of his books, David McDaniel either made characters up from whole cloth or Tuckerized friends.

Here is a list of the references we have been able to identify -- Barry & Lee Gold

 

Page

Reference

Refers to

Cover

Title: The Arsenal out of Time

McDaniel's original title for the book was The Weapons of XXX. It was published in 1967, but it was mostly written back in 1966 or earlier, before McDaniel's UNCLE books. See How Arsenal Out Of Time was published .

6

Scott City, in Antarctica

Presumably named after Captain Robert Falcon Scott,a British Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, 1901-1904, and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition, 1910-1913, during which Scott and his companions died.

6

micrometer

A micrometer is either one millionth of a meter, or a caliper for measuring very small distances. A "very delicate" device for measuring something would probably be a pair of scales, similar to Figure Luckily, McDaniel had a valid poetic license.
See also Figure 1 and the following note.

6

"A civilization runs on paperwork."

As of 2017 there is a lot less paper in a typical office's "paperwork", but memos, bills, order forms, etc. must still be sent, copied, and filed, even if only in the form of bits on a rotating disk or in flash memory.

Arsenal is set the Future, but it's a Future mostly imagined in the early 1960s — and only lightly revised in 1967.

Computers were storing stuff on — well, in 1967, the IBM 360 stored data on 29 MB disk packs and the SDS SIGMA7 had 8 bit RAM. (http://www.computerhistory.org/timeline/memory-storage/)

See Note: On the Paperless Office.

6

list...crumpled and thrown in his equivalent of a wastebasket

This paper-based ship contrasts with Star Trek's paperless ship.
See Note: The March of Technology.

6

holography

This was a relatively new word in 1965, and points to McDaniel's staying up-to-date.

8

Master Computer

In 1965, Cal Tech had one "mainframe", with access limited to a few students doing projects for professors, and one ancient vacuum tube computer for upperclassmen to play with. UCLA probably had two or three. So projecting a "master computer" (implying several lesser computers) was actually projecting a bit into the future. See also Note: The March of Technology.

10

The Chairman of Terra Security Council...Piotr

Apparently the Chairman is Russian. That was daring in 1967.

11

"Have your program ready on the wire by 17:30...."
"[T]he girl handed him a sheet of paper and said, "There it is. Shall I put it on tape for you?"

If he'd been writing today, McDaniel would probably have written "on the net" or "on a thumb drive".

13

solidograph

a 3D projection of some sort

15

gun-bearer

Someone who accompanies a hunter on a safari, carrying his gun and hands the gun to the hunter when it's needed.

15

Alexander Alodian

Alexander means "protector or defender of men"


Alodian might be a variant of Aladdin, especially given the later reference to the Genie.

16

telescreen

a futuristic communicator
Note that Alexander doesn't think that it (or anything else in Lawrence's apartment) will be tapped.

17

beamer

a futuristic weapon

17

karitsu

This seems to be an invented word. Ritsu is a school of Buddhism. Ka may indicate a question.

18

"Fencing is a very good thing to know."

McDaniel had taken some fencing lessons from Joseph Vince.
http://usfencinghalloffame.com/wp/vince-joseph/

18

"radioing across the galaxy for help"

I assume they'd use some more efficient technology than radio.

19

roadwork up and down the corridors of the lower levels

Not "repairs that are done to the road" but "conditioning for an athletic contest consisting mainly of long runs."

19

midnight special

a special flight at midnight

20

packing: two suits, ten shirts, four pairs of pants and traveling cloak...all his socks and linens

There were drip-dry clothes in 1965, but nothing you'd want to wear for even a semi-formal occasion.
The traveling cloak is a bit of futuristic fashion.

20

his second pair of books....
his small library...half a dozen spools

The books are anachronistic.
The spools are futuristic. Nowadays that would either be DVDs or an iPod.

20

"Camera okay?"

Nowadays he'd take a cell phone.

20

Small trunk.

He was told on page 19 he could "bring only one suitcase." There's a difference between a trunk and a suitcase.

20

a small transport car that travels along the apartment house's corridors and shafts (elevator shafts?)

futuristic

21

The time was 2233

Military time: expressed as 24-hour time with no colon.

21

warp-ship

futuristic: a ship that travels interstellar distances by means of "warp drive". [Wikipedia]: introduced by John W. Campbell in his 1931 novel Islands of Space and later used in Star Trek.

22

C. P. Snow

Charles Percy Snow, (15 October 1905 - 1 July 1980) an English physical chemist and novelist. He is best known for his series of novels known collectively as Strangers and Brothers, and for The Two Cultures, a 1959 lecture in which he laments the gulf between scientists and "literary intellectuals". [Wikipedia]

22

a girl
"Yes, ma'am.", "young lady"
"playmate," "lady"

This comes across as mixed diction, as if the characters aren't quite sure how formally to address the girl, but sure she's on their social level.

23

pocket communicator

Nowadays we'd expect this cell phone-like device to take pictures. It was probably inspired by the U.N.C.L.E. communicator, not the Star Trek one.

23

travel togs

travel clothes and accessories

24

Ginger Collins...slender, described more fully on page 26: about 5 foot 7 inches, 120 pounds. Brown hair, green eyes. About 25 years old.

a reference to slender Ginger Smith? It would fit her description.

Is the last name a reference to the Dark Shadows' Collins family?

24

Lawrence T. Edwards (for the first time we learn our hero's full time)

Thomas Edward Lawrence = "Lawrence of Arabia" "In 1910 Lawrence was offered the opportunity to become a practising archaeologist in the Middle East."

25

"five g's acceleration for a period of ten minutes"

That's a lot of acceleration, especially for a passenger liner. During the Saturn V Apollo launch, the inboard (center) engine was shut down to prevent acceleration from increasing beyond 4 g.

26

near Capella

Capella is the brightest star in the constellation of Auriga, actually a star system of four stars in two binary pairs. The Capella system is relatively close to Terra, at only 42.8 light-years from the Sun.

37

Ad Astra

To the Stars, a good name for a starship.
De Profundis Ad Astra ("From the Depths to the Stars") is the motto of LASFS (the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society) to which McDaniel belonged and which he regularly attended.

60

slipped off his shoes

Are there any shoes that tie on, or do they only slip on and slip off?

65

Only a few powered vehicles passed. Almost all of them ran on wheels, an anachronism....Their replacement by ground effects vehicles had not completely taken place on Terra until after the great hiatus.

Ground effects vehicles still aren't routine in our timeline.

74

"the better part of valor"

Falstaff: "The better part of valor is discretion" (Henry IV, Part 1 Act 5, scene 4, 115-121), almost invariably quoted as "Discretion is the better part of valor,"

74

"long arm of the law"

usually the police; in this case, another government branch

82

"Can't you just sort of spray them with your beamer?"
"Not at this range. Besides, it's not continuous output. I'll run you through the checkout procedure again once we're out of here."

Nice to have a few details on how futuristic weapons work.

87

mind-block

We still don't know what this would defeat. Telepathy? Hypnosis?

95

[Rejected Scene]

In his APA-L zine McDaniel [Ted Johnstone] explained why he removed the scene. The rejected scene is at the end of this webpage.

96

Dead Wilson

Arthur Wilson "Bob" Tucker published the fanzine Le Zombie. Maybe that's just a coincidence.

96

the Sebastian Tombs

Sebastian Tombs was an occasional pseudonym used by Simon Templar, the Saint, as written by Leslie Charteris. Simon often used pseudonyms with the initals "S.T."
Inspired by this pattern, Fred Langley joined LASFS as Steve Tolliver.

98

wild surmise

Reference to "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer", by Keats:

Look'd at each other with a wild surmise —
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

101

can of breakfast in the heater

Is the heater an oven? An improved microwave that heats up cans? Something more futuristic? McDaniel never explains, just leaves it as a useful piece of future technology.

101

"Maggie's mirror.,...Tell each other how you look."

McDaniel may have made this up. Not a phrase defined or used on the Web

103

The communications and electronics cases are middle-sized....[B]oth hold short-range hand transceivers.

105 handi-talkie....

These seem to be different than the "pocket communicator" on page 23.

104

"a big evil Genii"
see page 132 for further information

nitpick: technically "genii" is the plural of a plural form of genie, which is an alternate spelling of jinnī (pl. jinn).

105

a native boy astride a scouter....

The scouter is some sort of machine, but it's not described or defined.

106

hovercar

See Wikipedia

107

"Good thing you had your cloak on—looks like it stopped one of the beams. I should've had had mine. Next time I'll remember."

So the cloaks are beam shields. More data on page 110.

108

H-E or atomic attack

H-E: High Explosive

109

hoverplane

A hovercraft isn't likely to get very high in the air, but this is science fiction.

109

owl-eyes

Night-vision goggles. In 1967 these would have been infrared goggles. The ones in use in 2017 are somewhat better, but still rely on IR. In the far future? Who knows.

110

"Luck. Most valuable single talent an agent can have."

Supposedly Napoleon Solo had this too (according to The Final Affair).

112

Colors could not be distinguished, nor print read....

Not enough light for the eyes' cone cells to function, only for the rods.

112

go-go pills

see page 120

113

radiant heat

See Wikipedia

113

"Good night, sweet private," quoted Ginger, "and flights of sergeants sing thee to thy rest."

"Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!" Horatio, Hamlet, Act V, Scene II.

123

The lurk that must be done

a twisted version of "the work that must be done"

120

not out of the woods yet

Meaning: we're still in danger

124

"Alle, alle out's in free!"

"A catchphrase used in children's games such as hide and seek...to indicate that players who are hiding can come out into the open without losing the game..." [Wikipedia]

124

'one of the heathen"

A phrase borrowed from Leslie Charteris's Simon Templar, "The Saint," who occasionally lightly spoke of his enemies that way — "the heather," "the ungodly," etc.

125

"illegal, immoral, and fattening"

This goes back at least to Alexander Woollcott's "All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral, or fattening." in "The Knock at the Stage Door" in Reader's Digest (December 1933) cited https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Alexander_Woollcott

125

"irrelevant, immaterial, and incompetent"

Legal objections to an opposing lawyer's questions or statements. Hamilton Burger's objections on the Perry Mason Show are described (in a Wikipedia article) as "chiefly comprising indignant exclamations of, 'incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial!'"

126

whim-whams

jitters, nervousness

126

"Emotional tone is going to drop...."

A reference to the Scientology "emotional tone scale." See Wikipedia

127

plasteel

Plasteel (Dune), a durable tough form of steel mentioned by Frank Herbert in his 1965 science fiction novel Dune and its sequels

Plasteel, composite of fiberglass and steel patented by automobile manufacturer Gurgel and first used in 1973. (The name may have been borrowed from Dune. Or perhaps even from Arsenal.)

130

the mass-differential detector

Futuristic gobbledegook in 1965. Robert L. Forward invented the first Mass Detector over a decade later.

133

laser range finder

See Wikipedia

133

force shield ... disintegrator

standard SF doubletalk

136

Fifteen degrees is a considerable downgrade, especially over fused and slightly bubbly granite....

15˚ is equivalent to a 27% grade. Nob Hill in San Francisco is a 22% grade (Mason St. between California and Pine). San Francisco's steepest street (Filbert between Leavenworth and Hyde) is 31.5˚. I'm surprised they kept their footing instead of just sliding down the first time they took a misstep.

138

stasis field ... stasis shell

SF doubletalk: See Wikipedia

151

"I've got the communicator working. Just made contact with the flagship."

We now find the gadget has quite a lot of range.

 

How Arsenal Out Of Time was published

In 1966-7, Dave McDaniel wrote in his APA-L zine B-Roll Negative (as Ted Johnstone), "Some long time ago, I sent a novel to Ace Books called THE WEAPONS OF XXX. It was just barely rejected, but on the strength of it, I was invited to try an U.N.C.L.E. novel. The rest of that is history. After the U.N.C.L.E books started selling well, they thought there might've been something they missed about WEAPONS and asked to see it again. This time they just barely accepted it, with a few changes—like the addition of 20,000 words of expansion, and the deletion of one particular scene. [see Rejected Scene from Arsenal Out Of Time (page 95) for further details]

Note: The March of Technology

Arsenal is set the Future, but it's a Future mostly imagined in the early 1960s —and only lightly revised in 1967.

In 1965, computers were storing stuff on — well, in 1967, the IBM 360 stored data on 29 MB disk packs and the SDS SIGMA7 accessed memory in 8-bit chunks (compared with 32- or 64-bit chunks in the late 1980s and large "cache" memories in the 1990s and later. (http://www.computerhistory.org/timeline/memory-storage/)

Gordon Moore first formulated his law in a 1965 paper, but Moore's Law was unknown outside the computer hardware field when McDaniel was writing Arsenal.

The first mass-market home computer was the Altair 8800, manufactured by MITS. Mainframes still required a medium-sized room — and a lot of air conditioning — for the CPU and attached equipment.

IBM PCs running MSDOS/PCDOS became available in 1980. A minimal mainframe computer from IBM was a box the size of a full-size desk (60"x30"x30"), with more powerful computers taking up correspondingly more space. And even these needed peripheral devices — disks, tape drives, printers, etc. — that could take up 10 times the space. (You needed space around each box so a repairman could open the panels and get at the insides.)

As of 2017 you can buy a wristwatch with 100 times more power than the fastest computer IBM sold in 1980. A cellphone has significantly more than that, and a tablet — about the size of a trade paperback book — even more. Most "professional" programming is done on desktops (smaller than a typical suitcase) or laptops (about the size of just one of the manuals for that 1965 computer).

Note: On the Paperless Office

Gene Roddenberry envisioned a ship run without physical paper in his Star Trek universe but Arsenal predated Trek. We do not know exactly when Arsenal was written, but The Dagger Affair, McDaniel's first U.N.C.L.E. book, was published in 1965. "The Cage," the original Star Trek pilot, was first shown at Westercon XIX in July, 1965, and the first episode of Star Trek didn't appear on TV until September 8, 1966. That would have been after McDaniel wrote Arsenal but before it was published (1967 copyright date).

The idea of a paperless office didn't start showing up in SF with any frequency until at least the 1980s.

Why I had to cut the "Rejected Scene"

Ted wrote: "I like this scene; tho it didn't do much to advance the plot. I thought it was kind of fun. But the editor said either you can take it out and heal the breach as best you can, or you can leave it in and I'll take it out. So I clipped it. But I still like it. And I would like to see it gets some kind of audience, so here it is."

Rejected Scene from Arsenal Out Of Time (page 95)

Background

Ginger is a Terran girl who has fallen in with out heroes en route to a planet where the natives are generally unfriendly to Terrans. Tho of terrestrial stock themselves, a severe cultural break several hundred years in the past has left the planet at a comparatively primitive level and they have blamed Terra for it. The plot thus far doesn't especially matter: just that Ginger has had a morning to kill in the main city before they leave for another part of the planet.

*******

Ginger wandered from shop to shop, checking her time once in a while, and working in the general direction of the restaurant where she was supposed to meet Lance and Alexander for lunch. Then it was almost noon, and she looked around. Her landmark, the tower of the central government building, was not in sight. She stepped into the next shop, a dressmaker's, and asked, "Pardon me, could you tell the way to the Countryman Restaurant?"

The proprietor ignored her, and she repeated the question. Then he looked up angrily. "We're closed for lunch. Flutter out."

"Don't be rude, you ape. All I want is a point in the right direction, and I'll be glad to take my business elsewhere."

"Get out of here, Terran. You'll stink up my shop."

"Any scent I could add to this foul-smelling place would be an improvement. You stench-mouthed barbarian, I'm trying to ask politely for a simple direction. The least you could do is pretend to a minimum of intelligence and tell me where to go."

He told her, shortly and succinctly, and added a suggestion as to what she could do when she got there.

Ginger yelped in shock and anger. "You sub-human inter-bred throwback! Your mother mated with a mule! Anybody who used language like that to a lady should have his tail tied in a knot and his ears clipped, and if there aren't any gentlemen on this planet to protect me I'll blasting well do it myself!"

The proprietor started back, disconcerted, as a slender brown-haired fury advanced menacingly, green fire shooting from her eyes and blue flames from her tongue. "I tried being polite to you, you moldy spawn of a dungheap, and if you don't understand it when a lady addresses you, I'll try to communicate on your level. Where in the noun is the adjective Countryman Restaurant, you sniveling evolutionary accident?

In general, Ginger considered it bad policy to shout. But her temper got the better of her usual good nature, and her voice did rise a little. The proprietor lost his nerve and in sudden panic reached for a weapon. The first thing his hand touched was the arm of a clothing display dummy, and he seized it by the round end.

"Now look, lady," he said, holding the bare wooden arm defensively before him, "I'm a peaceful man. If you'll just go quietly on your way I'll forget those things you said. Otherwise, I'll have to call for the police."

"You adjective adjective coward," Ginger spat. "Call the police because I stopped and politely asked directions? Is there a law in this adjective city against getting lost? Tell — me — how — to — get — to — the — Countryman — Restaurant — and I will leave here immediately and pray I never see your sinful bloated face again!"

She took another step forward, and the man, finding himself backed to the wall, thrust out defensively with the arm he held. Ginger grabbed it, and found herself in a wooden handshake at twice arm's length from her opponent. "Attack me, will you!" she flared, and poked him in the stomach with the shoulder end.

He yelped, caught his breath, and started to shout, "Police! Help!"

Ginger shoved the wooden arm at the man again, and he grabbed it as she let go. She pulled the scarf from her hair, and started screaming as she tore the sleeve of her blouse and dove for the floor. "Police!" she screamed. "Police!"

Two burly men burst in the door of the shop and before the proprietor could speak she wailed, "This man is a sex maniac! I just stopped to ask directions, and he attacked me! Look, he tore my blouse! And she burst into hysterical tears.

The policemen scowled at her, and looked at the little man who stood, opening and closing his mouth helplessly, with a wooden arm clutched in his hand like a club. "Willy, what the fout[1] came over you? You're a happily married man — and she's a Terran! Didn't you recognize her as one!"

"But I... I didn't do anything...."

"He's insane," sobbed Ginger. "I thought he was going to... to... And you came in and saved me," she finished, looking up at the slightly senior of the two officers. He softened just a little, against his will, and knelt beside her.

"Look, lady. We don't especially like Terrans here, but we have to protect them too. Now, this looks kind of funny, so let's not let it go any farther. Willy, give the Terran a couple of shells for the damage to her blouse, and that'll be the end of it. And lady, I suggest you stay out of trouble in the future. Some of the boys aren't as easy-going as me."

Ginger looked up at him with big, wet, grey eyes full of pain and frightened innocence. "Yes, sir," she said. "And could... could you help me get to the Countryman Restaurant? I'm supposed to meet my brother there."

"Countryman?" Why, that's only a couple of streets away from here. We can drop you off there. Come on."

Will counted off two small bills and watched her depart thankfully. Now he knew why he'd always been afraid of Terrans.

The police car stopped beside the Countryman, and Ginger stepped out. "By the way, lady, we'd appreciate it if you didn't start an incident about this. If you've got to tell your brother, keep it kind of quiet."

"Oh, I will, officer. And thank you so much. With police like you protecting me, I'll always feel safe in this city."

"He frowned slightly. "Please don't, lady. You won't be." And the car pulled away. Ginger waved after it, then permitted herself a secret and terribly smug smile as she turned and went into the restaurant."

-30-

That's the scene. Understand, Ginger isn't usually that bad; she was just sort of edgy under the circumstances. And incidentally, it is not true that I got the idea for this from the method of fighting used by a femme-fan of similar disposition: it was purely coincidental.


Chem lab balance scales

Figure 1 Balance beam scales

The scales shown above will be accurate to perhaps 5 or 10 milligrams. A serious chem lab will use scales that also have an adjustable chain of known (and constant) density. The user can turn a knob to move the chain up and down and get accuracy down to 0.1 milligram, or about half the weight of a single 1" long strand of black hair. I suspect this might meet McDaniel's criterion of a "very delicate" measuring instrument.

[1] Fout: Ill-defined but derogatory ejaculation, noun, or adjective, almost always the first: Fancyclopedia 2.