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The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 16 August, 2016 03:16AM
The early Golden Age of Science Fiction started about the time when the Weird Tales tradition ended. John W. Campbell's and A. E. van Vogt's writings sounded very different from H. P. Lovecraft, C. A. Smith, and Robert E. Howard. Less literary? Less poetic? Less ... what? Less pessimistic? These two groups of writers appear very separate, never touched intellectually with each other, and seemed to be completely unaware of each other? A solid impregnable wall between them? Lovecraft and Smith evolved from a background E. A. Poe, et al., the others coming distinctly from Jules Verne, and H. G. Wells?

John W. Campbell wrote excellent visionary stories like "Twilight", "Night", and "Who Goes There?". A. E. van Vogt wrote "The Black Destroyer", "Discord in Scarlet" (both later included in the novel The Voyage of the Space Beagle), "The Monster", "Vault of the Beast", The Weapon Shops of Isher and others, notable for their dreamlike ecstatic sense of wonder.
Later, Arthur C. Clarke followed with Childhood's End, The City and the Stars, and Rendezvous with Rama.
They shared in common a certain optimistic view of Man's potential transformation in the vast cosmic perspective.

Lovecraft died too early, but C. A. Smith may have had occasion to read Campbell, Vogt, and even Clarke. Yet, I have not heard of that mentioned. Were they worlds apart, intellectually and emotionally? I am sure many of the latter writers's spanning ideas would have fascinated both Lovecraft and Smith.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 16 August, 2016 03:17PM
I have been a fan of the movie The Thing (1981) since I saw it for the first time, so, naturally, I read "Who Goes There?" and was very dissapointed. For my money, even the movie The Thing (2011) is much better than the original Campbell´s story.

I prefer classic horror stories to those dealing with science fiction but I really liked a half-forgotten SF novel called "Out Of The Silence" (1919) by Erle Cox.
[www.goodreads.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 16 Aug 16 | 03:25PM by Minicthulhu.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 16 August, 2016 06:34PM
The Thing (1981) is a powerful movie. (I like John Carpenter's early films, especially The Fog.) The 1951 version, The Thing From Another World, is good too, although the monster isn't very impressive. I have not seen the 2011 remake.

I thought "Who Goes There?" was well written. Working differently from the movies. The ending is especially creepy, with its devastating implication of how the alien spreads in an unstoppable way. The story has a philosophical horror tension, not present in the films.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 17 August, 2016 01:47AM
I tend to agree with you on this. While some of Campbell's works are almost the stereotypical science fiction of the era, others are powerful mood pieces (such as "Twilight"), and "Who Goes There?" lands neatly between the two poles, with many of the strengths of each.

Incidentally, the 2011 film was not a "remake", but rather a "prequel"... though it used so much of the material from the original, redone with modern effects and a new set of actors, that it could well be seen as a sort of remake. It also lacked nearly all the tension and creativity of the Carpenter film. Ah, well....

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 17 August, 2016 03:43AM
jdworth Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> While some of
> Campbell's works are almost the stereotypical
> science fiction of the era, others are powerful
> mood pieces (such as "Twilight"), and "Who Goes
> There?" lands neatly between the two poles, with
> many of the strengths of each.

I would agree. I have The Best of John W. Campbell (1976), and found most of the stories rather dry reading, mildly enjoyable. Still, even those contain some feverish visions, and I am glad to have read them.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 17 August, 2016 05:09AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Thing (1981) is a powerful movie. (I like John
> Carpenter's early films, especially The Fog.) The
> 1951 version, The Thing From Another World, is
> good too, although the monster isn't very
> impressive. I have not seen the 2011 remake.

It is not a remake of the 1981 film. At one point in the 1981 movie, Kurt Russell and his cronies fly by helicopter to the Norwegian polar station where they find nothing but devastation, dead men, a flying monstrous object of unknown origin, an ice block something had escaped from etc. The 2011 Thing describes what happened at the Norwegian Antarctic station before Russell and the others came.

The Fog is a great movie. Speaking of John Carpenter, he is my favourite director; I really enjoyed In the Mouth of Madness, Prince of Darkness and They Live. What a shame he has not been active too much lately.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Ken K. (IP Logged)
Date: 26 August, 2016 01:31AM
There actually is some overlap in the two groups. Henry Kuttner, C. L. Moore and Fritz Leiber were members of both camps (admittedly, Leiber is more of a "second-generation" Weird Tales writer. But he did actually corresponded with HPL, as did other SF writers like James Blish and P. Schuyler Miller).

Who Goes There? may well have been influenced by At The Mountains of Madness. And Campbell's story in turn influenced Van Vogt's The Vault of The Beast, which bears some uncanny similarities to The Call of Cthulhu. The Circle of Influence rotates eternally...

It's a shame that Lovecraft died before getting the chance to correspond with John W. Campbell. Both were great letterhacks who liked nothing better than to debate a topic through the medium of the USPS!

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 26 August, 2016 05:35PM
Ken K. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> as did
> other SF writers like James Blish and P. Schuyler
> Miller).

I don't think HPL and Miller corresponded. He describes himself as a fan in "Let's All Jump on H.P.L.", but doesn't mention any correspondence.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 26 August, 2016 06:24PM
Ken K. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's a shame that Lovecraft died before getting
> the chance to correspond with John W. Campbell.
> Both were great letterhacks who liked nothing
> better than to debate a topic through the medium
> of the USPS!


That is how it is, there must finally be a break, a stop for each individual, when the soul's operation through the given body is done. It is all set, and destined. However, through the intellectual tensions and points of mutual enrichment in their separate writings, there is still a "dislocated" dialog, potentially continued, that will either lie dormant for an indefinite period, or can be picked up, developed, and come to fruit, through the minds of others.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Ken K. (IP Logged)
Date: 28 August, 2016 12:13AM
My mistake--Miller corresponded with Robert E. Howard, not HPL. Thanks for catching my error!

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 7 November, 2016 07:54PM
Some of the greatest and most genuine weird, supernatural moments I have ever experienced in literature, is the way van Vogt, Campbell, and also Clarke, describe future machines, self-repairing, self-reproducing machines. It truly is haunting, and gives a sense of awe and wonder of actually looking into the future. Seemingly a spiritual experience. Quite unique.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 8 November, 2016 03:40PM
Well, I'll go on with my small monologues here on the dark eldritch site. It's rather enjoyable. Like drifting alone in the abyss of space, with a quiet, loyal audience of some hundred or so ever present spirits, who rarely utter a word.

Anyway, the foremost stories I know of, telling of those haunting future machines, would be The Voyage of the Space Beagle, The City and the Stars, "Twilight", and "Night". ("Night" I finished half an hour ago. I don't think it was quite up to the same high quality as the small masterpiece "Twilight", but even so, very interesting.)

What the hell is this?! "Bismuth". It was mentioned in Campbell's story "Night".
[www.bismuthcrystal.com]

Good night, and good luck to you with the USA elections.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 10 May, 2017 11:46AM
I find the novels by Van Vogt that I have read lately, to be badly written. Painfully so. I had to force my way through the last one. These books are:

The Weapon Shops of Isher
The Weapon Makers
The World of Null-A
The Pawns of Null-A


There are stimulating ideas in the books, but these are not presented in well described or colorful ways. And the books are inflated with social and political intrigue, which I find deadly boring; events are just stacked onto each other, without any seeming planned structure, and there is much repetitive back and forth going between locations. Uugh! Sometimes he sparkles with some inspired idea or exciting weird situation, but then just cuts it off in the next chapter and continues the boring intrigue instead, without form, color, or detailed locations (I am used to the fine painterly writing of CAS and Jack Vance!), leaving the visuals quite flat and empty. Vogt has said that the reader should fill it in himself, but I can hardly accept that as an excuse. It is frustrating, because he is able to make detailed description on some occasions, when in the mood for it. The Pawns ... was probably the most boring and badly written book I have ever read.

His short stories have been much more essential and enjoyable.

I am still on a quest to find the Van Vogt novels that are pure concentrated weirdness and loony joy, that he is so famous for. Without dull ambitions for excess drama filler.

The Voyage of the Space Beagle is the best book I have read so far. It was concentrated with interesting things. Slan was alright too, albeit with some filler.

However, I must give some important credit to the Null-A books, which seem very ambitious in their intention. They focus their interest on psychology and the future development of the human mind. I have actually been much helped by this non-Aristotelian way of thinking, that gives importance to intuitive subconscious thinking, evaluating reality with all senses, and NOT acting in a situation just on rushed emotions or from rational clumsy deduction. Thanks to these books I have developed and widened my perspective, and have managed to avoid some bad decisions, and made better ones, by tuning in more sensitively before acting.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 August, 2017 05:20PM
I think Mission to the Stars is, so far, my favorite Vogt novel next after ...Space Beagle. It has some mind-boggling giant machines of future mankind.
I think Lovecraft was very right in saying, that the only thing that makes life worth living, is the ability to escape from it, into imagination and artificially constructed harmonies of color, form, and philosophical thought.

I have just read the first chapter of Vogt's The War Against the Rull, and, in a dialogue between alien and human, an intelligent and devastating argument is presented against the pathetic posturing of humanity. If it is not counter-balanced in the following chapters, I may as well kill myself.
I believe Lovecraft would have found the ideas very interesting (But not the prose itself, which is mediocre at best.).

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 01:06AM
Link: GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI: 1934–1963
This page has a long list of novels from the period. It says, " ... Science fiction’s “Golden Age” dates to John W. Campbell’s 1937 assumption of the editorship of the pulp magazine Astounding. By my reckoning, however, Campbell and his cohort first began to develop their literate, analytical, socially conscious science fiction in reaction against the 1934 advent of the campy Flash Gordon comic strip, not to mention Hollywood’s innumerable mid-1930s Bug-Eyed Monster-heavy “sci-fi” blockbusters that sought to ape the success of 1933’s King Kong."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26 Feb 21 | 01:45AM by Knygatin.

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

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 1 March, 2021 01:49PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> It was developed in inspiration from Dunsany's
> Jorkens tales. They knew each other (only through
> correspondence?).

They met once, at Dunsany's Kent residence Dunstall Priory. Clarke has described how Dunsany hand-corrected his copy of The Charwoman's Shadow in his presence.

Re: The Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 1 March, 2021 02:19PM
I'm working thru the White Hart stories. They are oddly distasteful without much in the way of aesthetic or humorous compensation when compared to the Jorkens stories.

Jorkens belongs to a private club in the UK. He is somewhat disreputable--a sort of a better educated, more sophisticate, less shopworn W. C. Fields. He is always trying to cadge drinks, and he tells a story when he gets one.

He has one other member who wants to trip him up, and there's a kind of constant push-pull competition, with Jorkens--because he plays dirty, essentially--coming out on top mostly.

The club itself seems almost laughable, with privileged but essentially undistinguished, but harmless, members relying mainly on ideas of class and status for any sense of worth. Dunsany is inviting us to laugh at them in the same way the Marx Bros invite their audience to laugh at the wealthy in their films.

However, with White hart, these are academics in a chosen bar. They are mean-spirited and supercilious and petty, and are looking for ways to prey on new visitors to the bar by simply making them look like fools. There's no real invitation to laugh at the "regulars", so the general feeling I get is "What a sorry bunch of jerks!".

Interestingly, one of the stories, "Silence, Please", seems to me to anticipate the conceptual design of the Bose noise cancelling earphones.

[www.bose.com]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"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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