Smith was the sole major Campbell era writer to emerge after WWII had started, with a first story not appearing until 1942. Yet he was also one of the few whose publication record doesn’t show a hiatus during the war. Not that he shirked his duty. For the last year of the war he worked for the Office of Scientific Research and Development of the National Defense Research Council, “a crash writing program to get sonar maintenance manuals to the field.”
In a late 1970s interview Smith revealed his total identification with old-school Campbellian science fiction.
One of the popular topics for discussion in the Post-War years was “Has science caught up with science fiction?”
The answer to that one is that science not only caught up with SF, but passed it in a cloud of dust and emitted spare parts that the average writer couldn’t identify, let alone use…
How can one write a good old-fashioned space opera when we have sound scientific evidence that no form of viable life can even exist on any of the Solar planets except Earth?
Anthony Boucher complained that “The book is rich in typographical errors, one of which is inspired: on page 169 the word hypo appears, fittingly, as typo.” [italics in original]
J. Francis McComas, New York Times Book Review, November 18, 1956
This is a tasty enough dish for those on a diet of pure melodrama.
Floyd Gale, Galaxy Science Fiction, February 1957
You’ll go for this if you like suspense, crackling hard-boiled dialogue and a touch of Superman.
Contents and Original Publication
• “Historical Note” (original to this volume).
• Chapters 1-25 (Imagination, March, April, May, and June 1955).
Highways in Hiding, by George O. Smith, 1956, copyright registration 15Jul56, Library of Congress catalog card 56-10475, title #57, back panel #31, 223 pages, $3.00. 4000 copies printed. Hardback, gray boards, spine lettered in red. Jacket design by Emsh. “FIRST EDITION” on copyright page. Manufactured in the U.S.A. Back panel: 36 titles. Gnome Press address is given as 80 East 11th St., New York 3.