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Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 01:11PM
Knygatin, what further stories by van Vogt would you recommend beyond the contents of Science Fiction Monsters (Paperback Library 1965; I have a 1970 printing):

6 • The Monster Man, Sire of Slan • (1965) • essay by Forrest J. Ackerman
11 • Not Only Dead Men • (1942) • short story by A. E. van Vogt
29 • Final Command • (1949) • short story by A. E. van Vogt
48 • War of Nerves • [Space Beagle] • (1950) • novelette by A. E. van Vogt
67 • Enchanted Village • (1950) • short story by A. E. van Vogt
80 • Concealment • [Mixed Men] • (1943) • short story by A. E. van Vogt
93 • The Sea Thing • (1940) • novelette by A. E. van Vogt
119 • Resurrection • (1949) • short story by A. E. van Vogt (variant of The Monster 1948)
134 • Vault of the Beast • (1940) • novelette by A. E. van Vogt

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 02:17PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Knygatin, what further stories by van Vogt would
> you recommend beyond the contents of Science
> Fiction Monsters (Paperback Library 1965; I have a
> 1970 printing):
>

I have not read a whole lot really. I mentioned some good books earlier in this thread. Foremost I would recommend The Voyage of the Space Beagle. It contains the greats "Discord in Scarlet" and "M33 in Andromeda"! The Silkie is another very interesting book. Next I plan to read The Battle of Forever, which is supposedly very bizarre. (Many of his novels are otherwise assembled and adapted from original short stories.) Destination: Universe! is a fine collection, with stories like "Far Centaurus", "Dormant", and of course "The Monster"!

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 02:41PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Knygatin, what further stories by van Vogt would
> you recommend beyond the contents of Science
> Fiction Monsters (Paperback Library 1965; I have a
> 1970 printing):
>
> 6 • The Monster Man, Sire of Slan • (1965) •
> essay by Forrest J. Ackerman
> 11 • Not Only Dead Men • (1942) • short
> story by A. E. van Vogt
> 29 • Final Command • (1949) • short story by
> A. E. van Vogt
> 48 • War of Nerves • • (1950) • novelette
> by A. E. van Vogt
> 67 • Enchanted Village • (1950) • short
> story by A. E. van Vogt
> 80 • Concealment • • (1943) • short story
> by A. E. van Vogt
> 93 • The Sea Thing • (1940) • novelette by
> A. E. van Vogt
> 119 • Resurrection • (1949) • short story by
> A. E. van Vogt (variant of The Monster 1948)
> 134 • Vault of the Beast • (1940) •
> novelette by A. E. van Vogt

A funny thing...

I was more impressed with van Vogt's writing ability after reading The Monster, and less impressed with Asimov's after reading (trying to read) Belief.

Yet Nightfall blew me away, and maybe it still does--I'll have to find it and re-read.

This is (to me) an interesting divergence. I find that some SF stories are horribly written--truly awful, impressively so, as Vonnegut frequently tells us in his early writings--while others are really quite good. But often, even for the bad one, the speculative premise--the ideas, as Knygatin mentioned before--carry the story.

E.g., Christopher Anvil has really great command of comic expression--handles this really well in "Pandora's Planet" (just finished it last night, the short story).

Bradbury's Martian Chronicles had a certain feel to them--scope of time, place--that worked very well for me. Often in other stuff I find him a bit too sentimental (if this is the right word), or maybe he tends to raise a representative character to too great a height--makes them too important.

The POV meets a man with a load of bizarre tattoos; this maladjusted transient tells him oddball stories. So, who cares?

Then there is J. G. Ballard's Vermillion Sands. This is loaded with a sense of decadent ennui--characters are doing unimportant, narcissistic things with great earnestness. They are being observed by a cynical POV character who tends to feed--parasite-like--off of them, much akin to the way the merchants along Rodeo Dr exist.

So for both the Bradbury and Ballard stuff I like, it's all about mood established, as it often is for CAS' stuff, for me.

The other Ballard stuff, The Wind From Nowhere, The Drowned World--these are not all that great.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 02:48PM
Thanks, Knygatin. I have The Voyage of the Space Beagle in an old Science Fiction Book Club omnibus of van Vogt called Triad. I know I've read at least most of The Voyage, but that would've been years ago, so I'll likely pick it up again.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 05:15PM
The first story in The Voyage of the Space Beagle, called "Black Destroyer", I think has the most magical and dreamy science fiction scene I have ever read. There is something just so very fundamental about that moment when space men leave their ship and step out onto a new planet. And here, further augmented, they are clad in translucent metal suits (their vulnerable bodies visible underneath), that sparkle and glitter iridescent in the sunlight. I don't know how to intellectually argue for it, but it is a scene so rich and delicious, it went straight to my tummy and then bumped right up against my heart.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 06:26PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The first story in The Voyage of the Space Beagle,
> called "Black Destroyer", I think has the most
> magical and dreamy science fiction scene I have
> ever read. There is something just so very
> fundamental about that moment when space men leave
> their ship and step out onto a new planet. And
> here, further augmented, they are clad in
> translucent metal suits (their vulnerable bodies
> visible underneath), that sparkle and glitter
> iridescent in the sunlight. I don't know how to
> intellectually argue for it, but it is a scene so
> rich and delicious, it went straight to my tummy
> and then bumped right up against my heart.

I don't know about this one, Knygatin. We agree in a lot of aesthetic areas, for sure, but the practicality of having a transparent (or translucent) is a bridge too far, for me.

I get hung up on the idea that they'd have to dress decently before stepping out of the spacecraft. I had kinda cherished the notion that future space explorers could be wearing any old thing under their suits--perhaps even wearing only week-old boxers and a t-shirt.

But this wrecks everything...

;^)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 07:17PM
Maybe the idea was that they would land on a planet, & the inhabitants would take one look and run in terror for the hills.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 09:05PM
Either of you heard of, or read, "Tales from the White Hart"?

It's a kind of stylish bar-room fantasy sub-genre where the "usual patrons" tell bizarre experiences, and every now and then a newcomer comes in and adds to the fun.

Arthur C. Clark

[en.wikipedia.org]

As a kid, I thought that this was the very pinnacle of sophistication.

How sad... :^)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 09:21PM
I was given a vintage paperback of the White Hart stories not too long ago, but haven't read it.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 11:30PM
I didn't mean that they were all naked underneath, they of course wear some kind of dress for comfort against the metal suit. But there is a dynamic sensate contrast here, between the impression of vulnerability being exposed to cold empty space and alien elements, and yet the relief of being snuggly protected after all. And further, the beauty of the suits glittering in iridescent colors as the low sun hits them. I am sorry I was unable to pass on to you this, for me, overwhelming aesthetic sensation. ... Perhaps if you reread the beginning of the tale, you will appreciate it, ... who knows.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 11:46PM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Either of you heard of, or read, "Tales from the
> White Hart"?
>
>

It was developed in inspiration from Dunsany's Jorkens tales. They knew each other (only through correspondence?). I have not read either of these series, and don't intend to. I have too much else to read.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 11:57PM
How could metal be translucent? Someone once explained that to me, but I still don't get it. It is magic.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 27 February, 2021 09:00AM
The Jorkens stories are great, great entertainment!

Read them all, twice. Try finding them for sale, however. Wow!

I found my old copy: a Ballentine Books 75 cent edition touting Clarke as "the creator of 2001: A Space Odyssey".

It's disappointingly tough going. Thinking about this collection, by Clarke, in close proximity with the Jorkens stories, by Dunsany, underlines the gulf in narrative talent between them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 27 February, 2021 10:21AM
Hmm, over 150 Jorkens stories collected in 6 volumes. Sounds like quite an undertaking. ... "Our Distant Cousins" and "The Slugly Beast" perhaps? I have access to those two.

I have enjoyed and cherished Dunsany's earlier collections.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 27 February, 2021 12:21PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hmm, over 150 Jorkens stories collected in 6
> volumes. Sounds like quite an undertaking. ...
> "Our Distant Cousins" and "The Slugly Beast"
> perhaps? I have access to those two.
>
> I have enjoyed and cherished Dunsany's earlier
> collections.


They are currently available in 3 volumes.

[en.wikipedia.org]

Here's how I did it:

[multcolib.bibliocommons.com]

Then just checked them out, one after another. There's seldom a waiting list.

Later, after I retired, I did it again. They read very quickly.

It's a pleasant way to spend a week or so.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

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