What struck me first while I was reading the stories was the layout of the magazine. Each story has a mid to full page illustration, a review of the story, and sometimes even a drawing of the author. It was surprising to me to see a review of the story while reading the story and seeing the author or editor compare Alice in Wonderland to The Man from the Atom and how they’re similar and different and the author of The Conquest of Gola writing about the ridicule of culture. The layout is strange because instead of putting the picture of the author and the review of the story in the beginning of the story or even in the beginning of the magazine, it appears between the columns in the middle of the story. It was jarring to see these boxes of writing and drawing of authors because they took me away from the story and almost stopped me from immersing myself. I was very confused at first, but I think the reason the layout is like this is because it’s advertisement. It’s easy to imagine these pulp magazines at a newspaper stand and something a customer can only flip through a bit before being yelled at by the vendor. The illustrations are the biggest lure as the near-full page picture shows the world the story is based in,the review is on the next page or so to give the customer a deeper understanding, and the author’s picture to give them another impression on what type of person they are and stories they write.
Something that struck me while I was reading “The Man from the Atom” was the depiction of Professor Martyn, as I was immediately reminded of the Time Traveler from Wells’ The Time Machine. Both are men of great curiosity, so much so that they are ostracized within their respective communities. Of the Professor, Kirby conveys, “Ordinary men avoided him because they were unable to understand the greatness of his vision” (“The Man from the Atom” 62). He continues, “Where he plainly saw pictures and worlds and universes, they vainly groped among pictures of his words on printed pages” (“The Man from the Atom” 62). Upon reading this, I immediately though of the Time Traveler and the information the narrator gives us as we first encounter both him and his outlandish scientific experiments. Wells writes, “The fact is, the Time Traveler was one of those men who are too clever to be believed: you never felt that you saw all around him” (The Time Machine 10). In “The Man from the Atom”, it is noted that “the Professor had few friends” (Amazing Stories 62), where we see a similar likeness in The Time Machine. “The serious people who took him seriously never felt quite sure of his deportment: they were somehow aware that trusting their reputations for judgement with him was like furnishing a nursery with eggshell china” (The Time Machine 11). Both intellectual figures in The Time Machine and “The Man from the Atom” are depicted of having both wild ambitions and audience that doesn’t quite understand them, adding a curious dimension as we explore the nature of their inventions.