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06/15/2016

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About 1974 I helped build an adobe home for Kiko Harrison in White Rock while he was at the Los Alamos labs. A lovely man he was definitely a bit distracted at times when I knew him so I can see some of your points here. I'm sure the Labs have a dossier on him if you wanted to follow up. I believe he has passed a few years ago.

After reading Lindner's "Jet-Powered Couch" I can only conclude that people are pretty gullible if they'll accept at face value a work that doesn't pass the test for internal logical consistency and verisimilitude, simply based on the fact that the writer had a degree in psychology.

The "real" Kirk Allen is a fictional character, while the "fictional character" Kirk Allen is entirely imaginary and NOT based on any real works of published fiction.

Key to the supposed "true identity" of Lindner's "Kirk Allen" is the name of the purported fictional namesake -- Lindner claims that this 'coincidental' sharing of names is what BEGAN the "real" Kirk Allen's obsession and subsequent descent into delusion. The confluence of names is a key factor in the story.

Find the fictional SF series that Kirk Allen is based on and you will *supposedly* find the TRUE name of the "real" Kirk Allen as well. The clues given for the former are much easier to decipher than the latter, given that:

(1) The real Allen is said to be in his thirties while undergoing therarpy (circa 1950 +/-3 years); his first encounter with the fictional Kirk Allen's series is said to have occurred at age 12. This means that he would have to have first read the fictional "Kirk Allen series" sometime between 1926 and 1939, neatly coinciding with the pre-John Campbell era of SF.

(2) There's a fairly short list of SF *series* candidates possible in those years, even if we include comic books and strips, and YA boys' books series as well as traditional prose SF.

(3) Several times it's made a point that the fictional "Kirk Allen" isn't a single novel, but a SERIES, and the amount of detail that the "real" KA is claimed to have generated in notes, charts, diagrams, drawings and other 'fan fiction' world-building is impressive. It doesn't seem like it fits ERB's John Carter, who really is only the star of a trilogy of novels (with some much later sequels). Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon would seem more likely candidates for "Kirk Allen", but various other details given rule them out as well. It seems like Lindner really isn't too conversant with the history of science fiction, although various bits show he's at least familiar with some of it.

(4) Other details of the story tell us that the SF series Kirk Allen takes place in the future (John Carter takes place in the past), and even that it takes place in a "fanciful" (i.e. FICTIONAL) galaxy. These details aren't necessary to Lidner's story but he includes them anyway, so I'll say they're not there strictly to act as a red herring (he could simply have left such details out). By the way, isn't it interesting how Lindner can immediately punch holes in the "real" KA's star charts (which he's supposedly been working on for years over the course of his delusion), regarding the "erroneous" locations/distances between of a couple of stars -- even though Lindner admits that the charts are of a "FANCIFUL" (made up) galaxy...! And after examining them again "Kirk" agrees that they're not right? Pretty self-serving if the only point here is that the psychiatrist is too foxy to be outsmarted even by a physicist who supposedly worked at Los Alamos (it is strongly implied) -- and that IS the only point to be made... followed up by an anecdote about dueling Holy Virgin Marys that makes no logical sense either -- except to try to make the psychiatrist look all-wise.

If "Jet-Propelled Couch" had been published first in Amazing Stories or Galaxy Magazine, it probably would have been received as a unique variant on the usual take on the 'hero from Earth' as seen from the psychological perspective, and then shortly forgotten. Presented as a true account though, this story is just too full of holes.

Correction: "the pre-John Campbell ASTOUNDING era of SF" -- back when Campbell was "space opera"

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