Betsy Curtis: A Hunt for Illustrations

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My mother was Betsy Curtis, whose science-fiction stories began to be published in the 1950s. It's weird that it hasn't occurred to me till now to try to track down the art used to illustrate those stories, but I've been chatting with George Hagenauer recently about the possibility of locating one or more of the pieces.

Her bibliography (in chronological order) is as follows:

"Divine Right" F&SF (Sum 50) NO PIC
"The Old Ones" Imagination (Dec 50) Ramon Raymond
"The Protector" Galaxy (Feb 51) David Stone
"The Ones" Marvel Science Stories Vol 3 #3 (May 51) Lee J. Ames
"A Peculiar People" F&SF (Aug 51), HC The Best Science-Fiction Stories 1952 (Everett F. Bleiler & T.E. Dikty); The Best Science Fiction Stories: Third Series, 1953 NO PIC
"The Trap" Galaxy (Aug 53) Emsh (unsigned)
"Temptress of Planet Delight" Planet Stories (May 53) Kelly Freas
"Of the Fittest" Universe (Jul 54) H.W. McCauley, reprinted in Authentic Science Fiction #73 (Sep 56) John Mortimer
"Rebuttal" Infinity (Jun 56) [a story responding to Arthur C. Clarke's "The Star"] John Giunta (pic also used for "The Star")
"Latter-Day Daniel" If (Mar 67) NO PIC
"The Steiger Effect" Analog (Oct 68) [Nominated for Hugo Award] Leo Summers
"The Key to Out" 1970 HC, Alchemy and Academe; 1980 SC, Alchemy & Academe NO PIC
"Earth to Earth" Amazing Stories (Sep 72) Steve Harper (unsigned)
"Of Course" Amazing Science Fiction (Jun 73) NO PIC

The Old Ones

The Protector

The Ones

The Trap

Temptress of Planet Delight (clearly)

Of the Fittest (Universe)

Of the Fittest (Authentic)


The Steiger Effect

Earth to Earth


Disastronaut January 26, 2009 at 5:56 PM  

I knew your mother - as my family have a few houses down Woodcock creek - across from the County Farm site - The Charltons and Reeds place...
Anyway, I don't have any of the illustrations - but when I was attending Allegheny I used to stop out there and visit her and the cats!
she would read me her stories and tell me about all the other writers she knew... A real inspiration. I stopped the first time to see if one of the old trucks out back was for sale - and like the way she was - we ended up having a ling discussion about esoteric things, the future and just about any subject that came to mind. I will start looking too - Im in England now - but who knows there might have been a collector over this way - and also in the late summers when I visit meadville, sagerstown and that very beautiful part of the world... Jeffrey Louis-Reed. London, Uk.

Unknown January 23, 2010 at 6:03 PM  

This is Barbara C. Who lived on Craig road in the Trailer.

I kind of like to find Katy and say hi to her.

I am a grandma to 6 grand kids and the latest was a little girl born last week.

Tell Katy I still paint and fairly decent and I am not not the same person that was not so bright at one point.

You mom was a wonder to me. She helped me get through bad time as a kid. I would when I go down there from where I am would visit. Sadly I was not able to say goodbye to her.

It would have been nice to talk to her of the current state of that church which is now a called a cult.

I am out of it myself. Declared a special person. LOL.

I am south of Buffalo. I have pics under the name of bctleah on the web of paintings and pics on webshots. I hate to put a addy here for you to give katy due to spam bots.

Well I can in a way. I do put some stuff on the web via btleah.

I often use yahoo for everything. So I think that will get by the spam bots.

I hope all you guys are ok. I am playing the taxes on the land. My mom too passed but my father is still alive in an assisted living place.

Anyhow I was telling a friend about Besty and she did a search and we found your site. I searched in the past but did not find a lot but now I am finding more.

I never knew your mom was so famous. she did get most of us in the church but now no one is in it. I guess we graduated to the ability to think.

I will get a reply if you reply here. I have a google email too but different id.

Anonymous,  May 4, 2010 at 2:48 PM  

it would be cool to read Betsy's stories. i've read the jacob one she shared with me from the anthology in the 70's i think. will you make a collection of her stories? that would be cool.

Unknown May 18, 2010 at 4:36 PM  

That would be a good idea. My niece once had to do a school project on a famous person so I took her to interview Betsy not too long before she passed.

When I was young I really had no idea of who she was. I know she was a kind person who put up with me often.

I wanted to find Katy to say I am sorry for being a nasty Scientology cultie at one point in my regards on how I treated people.

I am older and out of the cult and much wiser now. I know what it is like to be not like everyone else.

I loved Betsy and I did look for her but then I did not find her so I found on the net she passed several years ago.

Too bad someone can't restore the Fountain House. I go by it when I got down as I am probably going to get the land on Craig road.

Maggie Thompson June 27, 2010 at 4:08 PM  

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you folks. It's my intention to post all Mom's published stories on this website at some point. I know she enjoyed sharing them with people - and what better way to do it than online?

Barbara June 27, 2010 at 6:20 PM  

That is ok and I will love to erad you mmom's stories. Much better than doing activism to the point I am very tried.

I am promoting on the Venus Project. and about the gulf. I saw it a few years ago and it breaks my heart of what is there now.

Tell all I said hi!

Take care.

Richard Krauss December 1, 2016 at 10:54 AM  

Hi Maggie, just ran across a story called "The Ones" by Betsy Curtis in Marvel Science Stories May 1951. It's noted on the cover as a "feature-length novel" but actually runs about 40 pages and is the first story in the digest-sized issue.

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