The Amnesia Helmet
by F. Brett Cox
Edited by Jonathan Strahan
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 28 January 2013
Buck Rogers came to the Rialto Theater in Clarksville, Illinois, when Marlena was eleven years old and her brother Johnny was nine. Flash Gordon had been the highlight of summer before last and they couldn’t wait for the new adventure. The fact that Flash and Buck were the same person made it even better. No worries about whether or not they would like Buck. The great movie star Mr. Buster Crabbe, who had played Flash, was playing Buck, so Johnny and Marlena were certain the new hero would not disappoint. (First Paragraph)
Eclipse Online is a free, online publication. No subscription or sign-up is required. A story is released by Editor Jonathan Strahan every first and fourth Monday of the month and they stay around for a while. Check them out. Each new story will be reviewed separately. The sixth one, "The Amnesia Helmet" by F. Brett Cox, was posted on January 21, 2013.
Marlena Cantrell is 11 years old when she goes to see the first chapter of the new serial Buck Rogers at the Rialto Theatre in Clarkesville, Illinois. That would make it 1939. Marlena, her brother Johnny and their friend Pete are big fans of Buster Crabbe from when he played Flash Gordon. They are delighted with the new serial. Marlena is especially fascinated by Buck's girl friend, Wilma, who wears pants like a boy.
She is even more fascinated by Killer Kane's amnesia helmet which can make someone forget who they are and do anything they are asked to do. Her father had been delivering supplies to a beauty shop and a couple of the dryers had been too small. Her father just kept them in the garage so she uses one of them to make her own amnesia helmet. It seems to work on Johnny and Pete. Then, she gets her mother, who has been very sad lately, to try it.
What's great about this story is all the things that are going on that are only hinted at, all very subtly done. This was a real triumph for Cox.
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