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Exploring Tomorrow

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Radio.

Radio series (1957-1958). The Mutual Broadcasting System/CBS Radio Network/Armed Forces Radio Network. Produced and directed by Sandford Marshall. Staff writers included John Fleming and Peter Irving. Host/Narrator: John W Campbell Jr. Announcers: Bill Mahr, Guy Wallace. The exact number of episodes is uncertain, though it is believed that 104 broadcasts were made. Episodes were 20-25 minutes in length. 24 episodes are known to survive; some may be incomplete.

This sf anthology series was aired twice per week; broadcasts continued on the US Armed Forces Radio Network well into 1959. Adapted sf stories include "The Genius Planet" (16 April 1958) from "Genius" (December 1948 Astounding) by Poul Anderson, "The Happiness Effect" (18 December 1958) from "The Happiness Effect" (November 1953 Astounding) by Raymond E Banks; "The Cold Equations" (30 April 1958) from "The Cold Equations" (August 1954 Astounding) by Tom Godwin, "First Contact" (17 January 1958) from "First Contact" (November 1945 Astounding) by Murray Leinster, and "Meddler's Moon" (21 May 1958) from "Meddler's Moon" (September 1947 Astounding) by George O Smith. Further authors whose stories were featured include Isaac Asimov and, several times, Robert Silverberg.

It does not seem that Astounding ever directly sponsored the programme despite Campbell's involvement and selection of the published stories to be adapted. He introduced and narrated each episode, and sometimes provided an afterword. Audio quality is generally poor on most surviving instalments. It is to be hoped that further episodes survive in private collections and will become available. [GSt]

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