References in The Monster Wheel Affair by David McDaniel

compiled by Barry & Lee Gold

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Refers to


Dedication: To Ted Johnstone, for ten years of unremitting labor which put me where I am today.

McDaniel had joined LASFS as Ted [A.] Johnstone on June 21, 1956, five days after his 17th birthday. He'd picked the name out of the South Pasadena phonebook when answering a newspaper classified ad, and that led circuitously to his coming to a LASFS meeting and then to joining organized SF fandom, in which he'd participate for the rest of his life.


The tramp steamer, Paxon Merchant...

A tramp ship does not have a fixed schedule or published ports of call.


Suzie Danz, 26, American (page 25: Suzanne Danz of Chicago)



John MacKendricks, Mac (page 16, middle name Calvin)



Kurt Schneider




Literally "Thunderstorm!" Corresponds to "Gosh!"
Donner is the South Germanic version of Thor, so Donnerwetter (literally "Thunder weather") is equivalent to "Thor weather." Similar to the way an anglophone might say "Good God!" when startled by something.


Read the first letters of the chapter titles (not the section titles) down, and you'll see that they spell out (if you supply appropriate spaces) "A A WYN IS A TIGHTWAD."


Aaron A. Wyn founded Ace Books in 1952. McDaniel's initial contract with Ace provided that he got $1500 for each of his first three "Man from U.N.C.L.E." books as a work for hire, with the copyrights and all royalties going to MGM, Inc. After The Monster Wheel Affair, McDaniel got a new contract: $2,000 for each book.


"The Sailor Told Me Before He Died..."

See "The Fucking Machine": "A sailor told me before he died"


Tennessee windage

In shooting, a method of adjusting the aim of your second shot by aiming to the left (or right) of the target by the same amount as you missed your target to the right (or left) on the first shot.


Gyrojet pistol

A family of unique firearms developed in the 1960s named for the method of gyroscopically stabilizing its projectiles. Gyrojets fire small rockets called Microjets which have little recoil and do not require a heavy barrel to resist the pressure of the combustion gases, producing a weapon that is lightweight and nearly silent See Wikipedia article "Gyrojet"


Finjet, smaller version of the rocket

Gyrojet type: a miniature rocket aerodynamically stabilized in flight by fins, like an arrow.


"Caution: cigarette smoking may be hazardous to the next guy's health."

Starting in 1966, cigarette packages were required to bear the statement: "Caution: Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to Your Health."


Channel D put him in direct communication with Waverly, by way of an automatic relay station and the nearest communications satellite, where it was beamed to New York, multiplexed on an apparently innocuous carrier.

See Wikipedia "Communications Satellite"

Channel D stood for Direct and also for Distance.


Channel L

Channel L stands for Local.



See W. S. Gilbert's poem "Etiquette" which begins:
The Ballyshannon foundered off the the coast of Cariboo,
And down in fathoms many went the captain and the crew


Archie Gunderson signed on the Miyako Maru....Alexei Kropotkin shipped out... on the Duke of York. Waleed al-Fadly...."



BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation)

Ceased: 31 March 1974 (merged with British European Airways to form British Airways)



Usually a porter at a railway station, while a porter at an airport is a "skycap."


Russian T 3-A...,

more powerful than anything but our Saturn V

Not mentioned in Arthur C. Clarke's 1968 The Promise of Space, probably not a reference but something out of McDaniel's fertile imagination. and the Skylab launch, starting in December 1968 .



The Wikipedia article says this is a short, straight, rigid, hollow metal tube, usually with a small light bulb mounted at the end, about 5" long, while a rectoscope is similar but about 10" long. McDaniel seems to be thinking of a rectoscope..



a reference to a character from a series of stories written by various LA fen set in the imaginary world of Coventry.


A Fonte Sujo

The Dirty Fountain


"Zdrastvoutye, tovarich Kropotkin."

"Hello, Comrade Kropotkin."





cerveja, puta

beer, prostitute





Santa Rosalia



"They Built Themselves a Monster Wheel"

See "The Fucking Machine": "So he fashioned out a big fucking wheel,"


Nancy Brigg

an allusion to W. S. Gilbert's Bab Ballad "The Yarn of the Nancy Bell":

"Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the NANCY brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig."


first mate...Fisheye



Neu-Schloss (see page 45: He (Kurt) and Archie spoke German between themselves mostly)

literally "New-Castle" in German (see page 65)


"It's early morning in New York, and a couple hours later in Rio."

Nowadays Rio is only one hour later. Assuming Rio kept the same time as Sao Paulo in the 1960s, , it would be two hours ahead of New York. Nowadays (2015), Rio is only one hour later than NY.


North African power, hieroglyphics

references to Egypt


bird tracks

a reference to Thrush


"never take the first cab"... "or the second"

A. Conan Doyle's play Sherlock Holmes has Holmes telling Watson, "In times like this you should tell your man never to take the first cab that comes on a call—(smokes)—nor yet the second—the third may be safe!"
McDaniel was a Baker Street Irregular.


Odile, Magdalene



Willie Muller



wild German chase

twisted version of wild goose chase


The black opals are very rare and valuable. They come from only one area....

Opal is the national gemstone of Australia. Australian opal has often been cited as accounting for 95-97% of the world's supply of precious opal. Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, is the main source of black opal, but it is also found in Andamooka and the Mintabie Opal Field in South Australia.


in the Smoke



Research Department, Mr. Simpson

a reference to Don Simpson, a LASFSian. Simpson is also one of two people Tuckerized as "Ron Cole" in "Cloak of Anarchy" by Larry Niven and Fallen Angels by Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn.


Dauringa Island

Dauringa is a reshuffling of "Guardian" and was a name used by "Doc Dauringa," a leader of the anti-Coventranian allied fans. The man behind this pseudonym turned out to be Dean W. Dickensheet.


"Round And Round Went the Monster Wheel"

See "The Fucking Machine":" "Round and 'round went the big fucking wheel"


"This Is Your Submarine—Keep It Clean."

See the sample signs found by Google Images.


Stewart Way of Westinghouse

Dr. Stewart Way did indeed work for Westinghouse and developed a numbed of interesting inventions, including turbojets.


the Coanda effect

This is real: see the Wikipedia article


General Atomics

a San Diego firm, founded July 18, 1955


yellow [as a color to repaint the submarine]

The Beatles song "Yellow Submarine" was released in 1966. The film of the same name didn't come out until 1968.



largest city of Sri Lanka


South Equatorial Current

see the Wikipedia article



These would probably black neoprene with nylon sheeting.


...a hundred feet of sea water....
The pressure was high, but if they got the surface with reasonable dispatch there would be insufficient time for nitrogen to dissolve in their bloodstreams....

Wikipedia's article on Nitrogen Narcosis doesn't mention how long it takes for nitrogen to dissolve, but does state that the symptoms for 100 feet down are "mild impairment of performance of unpracticed tasks, mildly impaired reasoning, and possible mild euphoria."


the highly pungent Kerguelen's Land cabbage

Pringlea antiscorbutica: grows on the Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Crozet, Prince Edward and Kerguelen Islands. The Wikipedia article mentions its taste but not any smell.


von Braun space station image a von Braun-type space station [Bonestell art of von Braun space station at right]



Wernher von Braun, one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Germany and the US. In 1952, von Braun published his concept of a manned space station in Collier's Weekly series of articles by himself and other scientists entitled "Man Will Conquer Space Soon!" illustrated by Chesley Bonestell and other artists.





Xerox machines weren't yet in common use. Note that there aren't any paper shredders in evidence; in the 1960s, they weren't commonly used outside of government agencies. Barry worked in a defense contractor, and "classified waste" was typically discarded in a special bin to be taken away and burned. Today, classified waste is usually taken to a hammermill.


"Chiggers, the cops."

or "Jiggers, the cops." Old slang for "Watch out, the police are coming."


all the way up to the Ultimate Computer

McDaniel devised this idea of THRUSH's organization.



the endearment and catchphrase used by sidekick Tonto to team leader "The Lone Ranger," sometimes translated as "trusty scout"


"Head for home, James...."

Urban Dictionary defines "Home, James" as --
The original saying (to the coach driver) was supposedly "Home, James, and don't spare the horses!"
(The movie one allegedly goes, "Once around the park and home, James"--said to the chauffeur.)
Dates from the mid-1800s; there was also a 1934 song with the same phrase as a title: "Home, James, and don't spare the horses" by Fred Hillebrand.


"Is There No Way Of Stopping It?"

See "The Fucking Machine":
"There was no way of stopping it."


"That couldn't just be a balloon up there?"
"Picture a balloon—like the Echo satellite, but shaped into a wheel ...."

Project Echo was the first passive communications satellite experiment. Each of the two American spacecraft, launched in 1960 and 1964, was a metalized balloon satellite acting as a passive reflector of microwave signals. Communication signals were bounced off them from one point on Earth to another


"With it(*) Thrush could -- dare I say it -- rule the world."

(*) That is, a real space station instead of the fake one.

In HELP! (1965 Beatles film), Professor Foot says, "With a ring like that I could dare I say it? Rule the world."


Captain Blood

a reference to either a Rafael Sabatinni novel about a pirate or to one of the films based on it..


"Then fire the nasty thing."

From HELP!: Clang: "Well, fire the nasty thing." (in the film, a bazooka)


falling leaf maneuver

motor off, wings-level stall, allowing the plane to side-slip in one direction, then countering the slip with rudder before a spin develops, allowing it to side-slip to the other direction, countering with rudder again, diving to exit the maneuver.


Yaound° in Cameroon

the capital of Cameroon


NASA Headquarters in Washington, Doctor MacTeague



I haven't eaten my spinach

a Popeye reference


the bird people



Oscar Wilde, "A poet can survive everything but a misprint." playing Botticelli

see Wikipedia on "Botticelli (game)"
The quote is from Wilde's The Children of Poets.


"Not so fast, you mad impetuous Russian."

"You mad impetuous boy" was first been used in the 1947 Loony Tunes cartoon (Birth of a Notion) in which a Peter Lorre lookalike is slapped by Donald Duck.


Toujours l'audace

Literally "Always audacity," more freely: "We must dare." A quote from Georges Danton, a leading figure of the French Revolution:
Il nous faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace!
We must dare, dare again, always dare!


San Juan de la Trine

??? (St. John of the Trill, Warble, Shake, Quaver). This may also be an indirect reference to "bird", and therefore to THRUSH.