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Arahant Begins: A Ricochet Silent Radio Origin Story

 

I had a most unusual wartime career. I’m from Illinois but my great-grandfathers fought for the Confederacy. A touch of rebellion and a streak of belligerence runs in the family. The Depression hit us hard. Before Pearl Harbor, I was living in a tiny, fifth-floor, walk-up apartment on the lower east side of Manhattan, taking night courses in business administration at City College. I wrote stories in my spare time and worked for a midtown publisher, Street and Smith. On December 12, the morning after Hitler declared war on the USA, a friend and co-worker of mine joined the mobs at the recruiting station near the office. Bob and I both went Navy. That was the last I saw of him for a couple of years, and they were busy years. I was a radio operator on a sub tender in the south Atlantic. The Navy trained me well. I thought I had no natural aptitude for technology. It seems ironic given how things turned out.

In September 1943, mid-winter south of the Equator, I was suddenly shipped Stateside. No explanation. Two weeks later, I reported to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and was ordered to report for tests at the Naval Research Laboratory. They had some kind of psychological screening program. I was sent to a crowded waiting room at the base hospital. The air was blue with cigarette smoke, cursing, and boredom. Waiting, waiting, waiting. To my surprise, my old New York pal Bob walked in, but that moment, before we even had a chance to say hello, a duty officer appeared with a clipboard. When it’s alphabetical, I usually go first, like I did here. He barked out, “Arahant! Asimov! Heinlein! Hubbard! Get in here, on the double!”

Ricochet Silent Radio, Conclusion: Lord Protector of the United States

 

Turn down the lights! It’s time for another Ricochet Silent Radio adventure in our ongoing series…Tales From the PIT! (Music theme intro cue)

Yes, you’ve tuned into 1954’s boldest new radio sensation. Rocket with Ricochet into the infinite horizons of the far-off world of the future. At the beginning of the 21st century, one man will uphold justice…by breaking the law! A total outsider to politics, a moody, gifted loner with a vigilante streak, has risen to power over a great continental nation. Incredible…but possible! It’s been a troubling question for republics since the times of the Caesars; what happens in those few, crucial times when saving the country from chaos seems to demand utterly undemocratic means?

Ricochet Silent Radio, Part 3: Lord Protector of the United States

 

Turn down the lights! It’s time for another Ricochet Silent Radio adventure in our ongoing series…Tales From the PIT!

Yes, you’ve tuned into 1954’s boldest new radio sensation. Rocket with Ricochet into the infinite horizons of the far-off world of the future. At the beginning of the 21st century, one man will uphold justice…by breaking the law! In parts 1 and 2, we followed the journey of John Mantle, a.k.a. Judge Mental, former spaceman, computer expert—and arrow of vengeance—whose intelligence and ruthlessness brings him to the attention of Skipsul Harrigan, deputy to the President of the United States. Mantle is press-ganged into Federal service, acting as confidential White House liaison to rich financiers and industrialists like Gregory Arahant and Jason Rudert. The country is already in a state of chaos, approaching civil war when a devastating series of events leaves John Mantle in command.

Ricochet Silent Radio, Part 2: Lord Protector of the United States

 

Turn down the lights! It’s time for another Ricochet Silent Radio adventure in our ongoing series…Tales From the PIT!

You’ve tuned into 1954’s boldest radio sensation. Rocket with Ricochet into the infinite horizons of the far-off world of the future. At the beginning of the 21st century, one man will uphold justice…by breaking the law! Last night, our story began in the distant year of 1997, with the turbulent saga of John Mantle, a young spaceman whose improvised, desperate defense of the space station against a trio of orbiting pirates returns him to Earth as a hero. Hard times and the challenge of a new national data bank call him back to Federal service, but the covert opportunity to mete out his own justice to the men who paid for the pirate raid can’t be resisted for long.

Ricochet Silent Radio, Part 1: Lord Protector of the United States

 

Turn down the lights! It’s time for another Ricochet Silent Radio adventure in our ongoing series…Tales From the PIT!

Yes, you’ve tuned into 1954’s boldest new radio sensation. Rocket with Ricochet into the infinite horizons of the far-off world of the future. At the beginning of the 21st century, one man will uphold justice…by breaking the law! Incredible…but possible! Is this a Buck Rogers fantasy, or could it be a deadly accurate prediction of America’s tomorrow? Ricochet’s imaginary network of classic radio brings you a daring glimpse into what just might be–(Theme music climax)–Tomorrow’s world!

Ricochet Silent Radio Returns to the Air: Monday 5:30 pm ET

 

Don’t touch that dial! Next week, from Monday through Thursday, Ricochet’s theater of the imagination presents Judge Mental in 1954’s strangest and boldest futuristic radio script fantasy about the beginning of the 21st century, “Lord Protector of the United States.”

It’s been a troubling question for republics since the times of the Caesars; what happens in those few, crucial times when saving the country from chaos seems to demand utterly undemocratic means? How can a total outsider to politics, a moody, gifted loner, a former astronaut and computer wizard with a vigilante streak, rise to power over a great continental nation? How dare he try to resolve its roiling race to bloodshed? There aren’t really topical questions here, just timeless ones. In next week’s story, nineteen fifty-four looks ahead almost a half century to a changed world, made richer by technology like atomic helicopters and automated kitchens. But human nature doesn’t change.

Remember, the premise is that this is a 1954 broadcast. Prophecy has limitations. Although every home in end-of-the-century America has three dimensional television, the country still has 48 states. The Dodgers never left Brooklyn. Airlines are still only gradually taking over from passenger railroads. Ed Sullivan is still on the air. Rock and roll? The women’s movement? Not even an imagined part of the world of 2000, though there’s awareness of civil rights, and a belief among all races that the country would have long since worked out those problems by then.

Ricochet Silent Radio–“Everything’s Better in Color”, Part 1: The Glistening Bodies

 

Turn back the clock to 1953, and turn down the lights! Ricochet Silent Radio brings you Richard Lincoln, Hollywood’s savviest private eye in an adventure set in the glamorous and exciting world of television. This time we go beneath the surface. Radio’s boldest program confronts truths about race and Reds, modern jazz and Madison Avenue. It’s a Tales From The Pit production that stands apart, but maybe not as far apart as you’d think. With images you can’t see and sounds you can’t hear, we’ll conjure up people who live in the same country, even the same city, but live in different worlds. With the magic of silent radio we present–

(Announcer’s voice:) “Ladies and gentlemen! By special arrangement for the first time, over the facilities of the Columbia Broadcasting System and the National Broadcasting Company! Tonight … The Ford Motor Company Fiftieth Anniversary Television Spectacular for 1953!”