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Life magazine described the Shaver Mystery as "the most celebrated rumpus that rocked the science fiction world." Its creators said it was a "new wave in science fiction." Critics called it "dangerous nonsense" and labeled its fans the lunatic fringe. Whatever else the Shaver Mystery was, it became a worldwide sensation between 1945 and 1948, one of the greatest controversies to hit the science fiction genre. Today these stories of the remnants of a sinister ancient civilization living in caverns under the Earth are an all but forgotten sidebar to the historical record. The Shaver Mystery began as a series of science fiction yarns in Amazing Stories nearly 70 years ago. The men behind it, Ray Palmer and Richard Shaver, were derided and seldom understood by a fandom that did its best to sweep them under the carpet of history. Though Ray Palmer was one of the earliest and biggest names in SF fandom, credited with many firsts in his field, his fannish brethren have roundly ignored him, thanks to the Shaver Mystery. What is the truth behind these men and their "mystery"? This is the question writers and editors that promoted the Shaver Mystery try to answer as they reveal the behind-the-scenes story of the phenomenon known as "Shaverism."

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