Rediscovered: The Self-Driving Car in 1963

I pretty much knew doing the little article on David (Kavin’s World) Mason for the new Bill Breiding zine would rekindle my interest in researching that largely forgotten San Francisco writer. Stumbling across my file of info from the early 1980s, however, was a matter of pure chance.

Dumb luck.

But I had it in hand the last time I chatted on the horn with my frequent co-conspirator Brian Leno, and read off to him otherwise unknown factoids. Then Brian jumped on the net and pursued the leads.

Turns out we have discovered two additional porn novels, both released under a pseudonym. Amazing what a good clew can lead to!

Plus Brian poked around for links to the handful or so of short stories Mason did for the fiction mags of the era, and connected me to the sf/horror yarn “Road Trip” from the January 1963 issue of Worlds of If — if interested, check it out. Only a couple of pages long, kind of like a Twilight Zone episode.

You could glance at it if only to see how accurate Mason’s prognostications about self-driving cars were, back when a few of the big cars on the road still sported vestigial fins.

Spoiler: truly prescient.

I guess the Change Winds have blown through, and what was science fiction fifty-seven years ago is now everyday reality.

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