"Security Check" by Arthur C. Clarke is a charming short story. The first printing was in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, June 1957. I bought my own issue. The problem is there are no illustrations and I remember illustrations:

  1. Hans Muller's (the protagonist) workshop/warehouse, possibly a clearstory.
  2. The table with space opera paraphernalia: an alien city diorama, a section of a spaceship, and a raygun. The spaceship fuselage was a 2/3 or 3/4 pipe with scale crew. As I recall, there was a mistake visible in that model: a spaceman (the word 'astronaut' hadn't been invented) in his pressure suit, 'floating' on an umbilical, INSIDE the hull.
  3. A standard 1950s flying saucer on the yard.

They were pen & ink or ink & wash drawing. I have no idea who the artist was.

The story was reprinted circa 1958(?), possibly in a rotogravure Sunday supplement or a pulp magazine like Colliers or Redbook.

I want the second illustration. It is burned into my memory. Where can I find it?

  • According to the ISFDB, Arthur C. Clarke's "Security Check" was first published in The Evening News (London) for January 13, 1956, and reprinted in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, June 1957.
    – user14111
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 2:25
  • The online OED has four citations for "astronaut" antedating the 1956 publication of Clarke's "Security Check"; the earliest is from 1928. I guess the word was popularized by the American space program.
    – user14111
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 2:36
  • I think it may have been one of the Clarke short stories published in the UK weekly magazine Speed&Power around 1974 ( though isfdb doesn't mention this magazine ). I think all the stories published in it were illustrated. Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 19:40


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.