Competitions nos. 97A and 97B: results

Dyneley Hussey takes us forward from 1932 to 3932, and an arcaheological dig on the site of Piccadilly Circus, which discovers  the head and torso of a winged figure, and also a sign with some letters missing which reads UN*ER***UN*.  An interpretation of these finds from a 3932 archeological journal is asked for. One of the ‘savants of the future’ who comes near to winning, is John Benyon, which I suspect may well be a misprint for John Beynon, since the same misprint occurs elsewhere. If I’m right, this near-winner is John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris (1906-1969), who published three sci-fi novels as John Beynon in 1935, and who was already selling stories to American magazines. One of them, Planet Plane, was retitled Stowaway to Mars :

Stowaway to Mars

After a few different attempts under perms and combs of his name, he emerged as John Wyndham in 1951, with The Day of the Triffids. His suggestion in this competition was that it was the remains of a freakshow, which seems quite in keeping with his ideas.

Wyndham

John Wyndham

The winner, on good form, is the victor ludorum, Seacape. The second prize goes to Dorothy Halliday, who may be Dorothy Eveline Millard Halliday, the mother of best-selling novelist, Dorothy Dunnett. (Apologies for the heap of speculation this post.) And (‘despite his pseudonym’) a third prize is given to Strawberrynose. As it happens, there is a slip-up in the editing department, and Strawberrynose is unmasked as J.E.S. Cooper – hence the rather confusing double attribution.

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A third prize in an A competition always means something has gone wrong with B. And it has. Hussey has asked for a contents list of an anthology of unwritten poems mentioned in English Literature, e.g. a ballad on his mistress’s eyebrow (in Jaques’s speech on the seven ages of man). There are only three entrants, two disqualify themselves, leaving a half-guinea ‘second prize’ to ‘Aries‘, who has done a lot of spadework:

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