John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Gazzians, Marsatians and Harmonians

Early Days

Summer 1963

David Rotheram
 1. Like I did, David Rotheram (“Gob”) had fantasies of space ships and faraway planets. He imagined two warring peoples: the Gazzians, from the planet Gaz (the “goodies”); and from the planet Maz, not the Mazzians, as one might expect them to be called, but the Marsatians (the “baddies”).
 I’m not sure exactly what name I gave Gob for the Jake Lads,
[1] the “baddies” in my fantasy-world; but they and the Marsatians joined together to form the “Maz-Jakkals”.
[1] The Jake Lads are introduced in Class 4: Rainmac and the Jake Lads.
 2. Rotheram was very advanced in his reading on physics; it was he who rather disturbed me with the revelation that on Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity, one could not travel faster than the speed of light. And R.C.[2] had been doing it for years!
 The subject come up when we were watching an episode of Fireball XL5
[3] at his house: they went faster than light, and Rotheram asserted that this was impossible. I didn’t believe him—his explanation baffled me—but he insisted that it was true.
 (Incidentally, Jones hated Fireball XL5, a children’s TV series on ITV (1962–1963) which used string-puppets; he thought it was stupid.
video
On the other hand, he did like Space Patrol (1963–1964)[4] which also used puppets; I thought that that was very stupid.)
video
 I did not understand the physics of Rotheram’s assertion at the time, and just imagined it to be some kind of resistance barrier to motion akin to the sound barrier. I solved the problem for R.C. by equipping their ships with a kind of ray device that zapped the barrier away.
[2] R.C. is introduced in Class 4: Rainmac and the Jake Lads, where it means “Rainmac Crocodiles”. In “The Game” with Jones, I explained it as meaning “Rocket Corporation”; see My friendship with David Jones: “The Game”.
[3] An episode of Fireball XL5: The episode was “Faster Than Light”, with an original airdate on ATV London of 2 June 1963. I don’t know when Granada TV screened the show, though.
[4] Space Patrol: This first aired, according to IMDB, on 5 July 1963. Perhaps I was still friendly enough with Jones then to discuss this with him; i.e. I was at Stage 3, perhaps, in My dealings with Jones.
 3. Rotheram upset me a bit when I told him about Fabulisium.[5] I must have told him that it could be used in combination with other substances, and his instant and blunt, dismissive reply was to tell me that he didn’t think it could be of much use if it was so reactive.
[5] Fabulisium: See My friendship with David Jones: Fabulisium.
 4. I think it was Rotheram who told me about galaxies. Till then, the only information that I had readily to hand was what was written in the book by Ellison Hawks, The Starry Heavens [London: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., ca. 1950], which I got as a prize in Class 2 (July 1960)—page 128:
Both [the Andromeda Nebula] and the Whirlpool Nebula belong to a different class from that of the Orion nebula, which is not a spiral. It is believed that they do not consist of gas, but that they are composed of enormous numbers of stars, so far away that not even their brightest members can be distinguished. They seem to be great “Island Universes”.
—and page 131:
Some astronomers think that our Sun really belongs to the Milky Way, and that the Milky Way and all the stars we know make up a great star cluster. Others think that the stars of the Milky Way are arranged in spirals, and that the wonderful spiral nebulae — such as the Whirlpool Nebula in Canes Venatici — are other Milky Ways, composed of billions of stars. On this wonderful subject it is too early to speak more definitely as yet, and we shall have to wait until further observations can be gathered and studied before a more certain pronouncement can be made.
 Now Rotheram made it clear that our solar system was part of the Milky Way, which was one galaxy of many.
 On the strength of that, I imagined a layout of galaxies as above. Radiating from each galaxy were lines of exploration to elsewhere in the universe. It was not possible to go direct from the Milky Way to the Mory Galaxy because of a great disturbance which I probably thought of in terms of a grand version of Jones’s “space tornado”.[6] The way from the Milky Way to the Retang Way, and from the Retang Way to the Mory Galaxy, was somewhat more direct, but even so bent somewhat to avoid the “space tornado”. It may have been at this time that construction of ships from Fabulisium rendered the detours unnecessary.
[6] Space tornado: See My friendship with David Jones: The Game.
Peter Gooding
 5. At this time I was also friendly with Peter Gooding. He came from the planet Harmon and had various powers which I have now forgotten, and what is more he didn’t have to go around in a big “rubber johnny”, as Jones did.[6a] When he proposed to me that I become Harmonian, I accepted without hesitation.
[6a] See My friendship with David Jones: Sinjury.
 6. With The Apple Incident I finally fell out with Jones, and Gooding (who maintained friendly contact with him) reported to me that the AHAF[7] was busy destroying RC[7] in the war that had broken out. That was news to me; I was still Supreme Commander of RC and would have supposed that I would have been the first to know!
[7] AHAF… RC: See My friendship with David Jones: The Game.
 7. Gooding and I cruised around the universe in a little two-seater craft (two wooden-armed easy chairs pushed side to side in our back living room), and when we had nothing to do during voyages we synthesised exact copies of Beatles music using the on-board electronic equipment (mimed to records that we played). (We may be in 1964 now.) We also used his Dad’s Hillman car for the same purpose of space travel; Peter’s Dad garaged it in one of Limebrest Farm’s outbuildings near the caravan [trailer home] where they lived.

 8. Peter had read a book called The Legion of Time by Jack Williamson, which he lent to me. (I still have it.) Influenced by the book, Peter proposed that our universe be regarded as a cell in which there were “past”, “present”, “future”, and “probable future”. I could not really understand why there should be both “future” and “probable future”; either the future was set (“future”) or it was uncertain (“probable future”). There were other cells too, some resembling ours, some different from ours; and Peter mentioned “empty cells”, cells where nothing existed: no space, no time, no matter.
 9. He devised a vessel which could assume any shape we desired—even that of an amoeba! He drew a picture of it in just that form; its pseudopodia were ingesting something—an automobile, perhaps—and inside it was the matchstick figure of the pilot in a matchstick chair. It was the ultimate travelling machine; it could go anywhere, and perhaps any time, and maybe even cross the boundaries between dimensional cells.

 10. I introduced Fabulisium to Gooding; he introduced Crusherate /ˈkruːʃəˌreɪt/, not an “­ate” in the sense of “carbonate” but an element in its own right. We developed a compound or an alloy: fabulisium carbo-crusherate—which presumably was the ultimate construction material.

 11. Gooding and I imagined that the display dummies in clothes shops were real people, captured and put into suspended animation.
[8]
[8] I’m reminded of the Pan Book of Horror Stories, a copy of which Peter owned and enjoyed; see Early days with Peter Gooding (2), par.12. In one of the stories, The Horror in the Museum, the waxworks in the museum turned out to be real people, preserved in wax.


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