The Unremembered, by Paul Lohrman, appeared in the May 1950 issue of Amazing Stories. It can be read here at Archive.org.
We wrap up this issue of Amazing Stories with The Unremembered by Paul Lohrman (probably Richard S. Shaver). It’s almost short enough to have been relegated to flash status (Amazing ran many pieces of flash fiction throughout the magazine, filling up odd bits of space—I haven’t been reviewing them, because it would take an entire year’s worth of my column or more to touch on one a week).
The Unremembered is a very short love story that takes place across the vast gulf of time. While not bad, it comes across as a pale imitation of A. Merritt’s Three Lines of Old French.
A man named Adam Bane is psychologically unstuck in time; he has no real concept past, present, and future—they all just blend together for him. This has apparently landed him in some hot water with a crazy dame, who shoots him.
Back in the days of yore, Salem Mass, 1620, where Adam finds himself after being shot, a beautiful woman is tried for witchcraft and is to be executed. Adam sees this woman and feels deeply for her. And she can see him, too! Ironically, the fact that she can see him and calls out to him is used as evidence to further damn her. She’s calling out to familiars and devils and Satan himself to save her; why just listen!
There’s some swooning and sobbing and dying, and the two are united in death.
The police find Adam’s body in the cemetery, lying across the headstone of the girl executed for witchcraft.
I’m maybe sounding a bit harsh on this one, but that’s honestly the combination of the time-crunch I’m under presently and the fact that this was done so much more beautifully and movingly by Merritt. The Unremembered is a cute story, I suppose, but having seen this before, I can’t help but judge it against that. But hey, you can always read it for yourself.
Next week, I’ll be returning to my bread & butter, Planet Stories. And let me tell you, I’m as excited about that one as I was about all those great stories I was reviewing from Planet a couple years ago when I first started writing at Castalia House.
In the meantime, please check out the new Cirsova, featuring, among other great stories, an all-new Jungle Tales-era Tarzan story. And don’t forget to review Duel Visions if you’ve picked it up and read it… or pick it up and read it if you haven’t! Featuring a Misha Burnett tale too shocking even for Cirsova!