This little pamphlet came in the mail just now. It is adorable. Printed in 1933 to promote the Buck Rogers radio serial, financed by Kellogs Cereal, it introduces the reader to the world of Buck Rogers. Written in the first person and illustrated throughout, it discusses Weapons of the 25th Century, Non-Recoil Energy and Spaceship Navigation, and my personal favorite, Women Soldiers:
Equality of the sexes had been one of the developments brought about during five centuries. It was part of the education of all young girls to spend a certain amount of time in military service as well as in various industrial and mechanical activities. Naturally, most of them stayed in the kind of service to which they were best fitted (and the mechanical conveniences of the age made them practically as efficient as men in nearly all lines) unless they married. Then they adopted home-making as their career, and were subject to call for military or other service only in case of emergency.
Buck Rogers, created by Philip Nowlan, initially appeared in a short story in a 1928 issue of Amazing Stories, before being adapted into a popular comic strip in 1929. The radio program appeared four times a week from 1932 to 1947. Multiple films and television series appeared through the 1930s into the early 1980s, with some video games even being produced in the 1990s. A new monthly comic based on the character appeared in 2009. The character has been among a handful of science fiction icons to gain mainstream acknowledgement, though Buck does not enjoy the current notoriety of Star Trek or Star Wars. It’s too bad, as “all that Buck Rogers” stuff inspired many fans to explore more deeply into the genre.