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Old April 1 2013, 07:05 PM   #2057
Daddy Todd
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

This was definitely A. Bertram Chandler & Arthur C. Clarke month for me -- Clarke for audios in the car/on the treadmill; Chandler for magazine & book reading.

03/01/2013 Childhood's End (audiobook) by Arthur C. Clarke
03/02/2013 The Search for Sally (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/02/2013 I'll Take Over (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/03/2013 Two-Edged Saw (The Ultimate Vice) (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/03/2013 Artifact (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/03/2013 The Beholders (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/03/2013 How to Win Friends (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/03/2013 Sister Under the Skin (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/03/2013 The Half Pair (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/04/2013 Flypaper Planet (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/04/2013 The Converts (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/04/2013 The Tie That Binds (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/04/2013 One Man's Ambition (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/04/2013 Motivation (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/04/2013 Swap Shop (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/04/2013 Ghost (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/06/2013 The Explanation (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/06/2013 Fall of Knight (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/06/2013 In the Box (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/08/2013 The Light of Other Days (audiobook) by Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter
03/09/2013 Words and Music (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/09/2013 It Started with Sputnik (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/09/2013 SOS, Planet Unknown (na) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/09/2013 The Song (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/10/2013 Why? (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/10/2013 Invasion (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/10/2013 Dreamboat (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/10/2013 Albatross (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/11/2013 Planet of Ill Repute (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/11/2013 What's in a Name? (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/11/2013 Clear View (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/11/2013 Critical Angle (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/11/2013 The Underside (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/12/2013 2001: A Space Odyssey (audiobook) by Arthur C. Clarke
03/16/2013 Spaceman's Delight (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/16/2013 The Silence (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/16/2013 To Run the Rim (na) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/16/2013 Precession (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/16/2013 No More Sea (na) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/16/2013 The Right Ingredients (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/17/2013 2010: Odyssey Two (audiobook) by Arthur C. Clarke
03/18/2013 Temptress of Eden (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/18/2013 Can Do (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/19/2013 The Outsiders (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/20/2013 2061: Odyssey Three (audiobook) by Arthur C. Clarke
03/20/2013 Familiar Pattern (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/21/2013 The Female of the Species (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/21/2013 The Idol (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/22/2013 The Magic, Magic Carpet (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/23/2013 Lost Thing Found (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/23/2013 Homing Tantalus (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/23/2013 Seeing Eye (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/23/2013 The Habit (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/23/2013 No Return (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/23/2013 When The Dream Dies (Rendezvous on a Lost World) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/24/2013 3001: The Final Odyssey (audiobook) by Arthur C. Clarke
03/25/2013 Bring Back Yesterday by A. Bertram Chandler
03/26/2013 The Genie by (ss) A. Bertram Chandler
03/26/2013 All Laced Up by (ss) A. Bertram Chandler
03/26/2013 Change of Heart (nv) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/26/2013 By Implication (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/29/2013 A Question of Theology (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/29/2013 The Long Way (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler & Susan Chandler
03/29/2013 The Winds of If (Catch the Star Winds) by A. Bertram Chandler
03/31/2013 The Hamelin Plague by A. Bertram Chandler

I continued reading A. Bertram Chandler this month, getting through the rest of his 1957 output, then reading everything from 1958-1964, with the only exceptions being a couple of stories I've never managed to lay hands on, and Chandler's first UK hardcover novel, The Deep Reaches of Space, which (along with its original 1946 magazine incarnation, "Special Knowledge") is next on the agenda.

Chandler was writing an astonishing number of stories during the period between 1956-1965, placing as many as 4 new stories a month in various SF magazines in the US, UK and Australia -- and, with reprints (because he often sold the same story to magazines in multiple market areas) he saw as many as 6 magazines with his stories in a single month.

Chandler also started working on longer stories. He was working up to novel length, after experimenting with a couple almost-novels that could easily have been expanded to Ace Double length (30,000-40,000 words.) Titles such as "SOS, Planet Unknown" and "No More Sea" may even have been cut down for magazine publication after failing to find a book publisher. "SOS, Planet Unknown", by the way, has one of the coolest covers ever to appear on an SF magazine. Just awesome.

Chandler finally began placing novel-length stories in 1961, with When the Dream Dies in Amazing (later an Ace Double as Rendezvous on a Lost World, essentially the same text, with only about a chapter's worth of expansion. The other side of this particular Ace Double was Marion Zimmer Bradley's first book, The Door Through Space.) Amazing also published The Winds of If in 1963 (the 1969 book version was Catch the Star Winds, with only cosmetic changes.) Bring Back Yesterday was Chandler's first book publication (an Ace Double, natch.) The Hamelin Plague, more of a contemporary thriller about mutant rats attempting to take over the world, was published by Monarch (who were also publishing MZB's pseudonymous "lesbian" novels -- titles such as My Sister, My Love and The Strange Women -- around the same time. Someday I need to read these.) If you're interested in what life was like on a merchant ship in the '50's, The Hamelin Plague is probably about as close as you'll ever get.

It's pretty clear that some of the Chandler stories published in this era were "trunk" stories written much earlier. "The Magic, Magic Carpet" reads like something rejected by Planet Stories in the '40's, as does "The Search for Sally." Don't bother trying to seek these out.

"To Run the Rim" and "The Outsiders" were later expanded into novels, The Rim of Space and The Ship from Outside, respectively. I've never felt The Ship from Outside had a proper ending, and I was hoping there might be a more conclusive ending to the original version. Alas, no such luck. We still have no idea what happened to Derek Calver and his crew after their experiences in the Outsider ship. (Grimes visits the Outsider ship a few years later, in The Dark Dimensions, but I don't recall that book giving any clue as to Calver's fate.)

Chandler had an interesting habit of writing multiple stories around the same idea, then selling the disparate versions to competing magazines. Thus, both "Temptress of Eden" and "Familiar Pattern" are, essentially, Prime Directive stories a decade before Star Trek came along. The first deals with human interference on an alien world; the second, with Earth as the primitive planet culturally devastated by extraterrestrials. "Familiar Pattern" is really quite brilliant, and I'm surprised it's never been reprinted.

Likewise, "The Habit" and "No Return" are tales of the first FTL ship returning to Earth, and Weirdness Ensues. They were published the same month, the first in the US (Amazing) and the second in the UK (New Worlds).

Started the month's audio with Childhood's End, which is a lot less amazing today than it was in my teens. It's one of those books all SF fans should read, if only to see how far we've come in the last 6 decades. The Light of Other Days wasn't particularly good, but at least it never got truly bad.

I can't say the same about the "Space Odyssey" quartet. 2001 is pretty darn good, especially compared to what came later; 2010 is OK, 2061 is weak and 3001 is awful. Clarke was never comfortable writing about people, especially sexual people. There is at least one groan-out-loud line in 2010, when Heywood Floyd becomes aroused by the proximity of a woman, and Clarke says Floyd "rose to the occasion." Oh FFS, Arthur, seriously? Clarke also had a hard time keeping the chronology straight in his head, misplacing events from one book to another when referred to later, and also, somehow, interpreting the gap between 2010 and 2061 as 25 years. Ahem. He also seems to have forgotten, between writing 2061 & 3001, that there was a monolith-created copy of Heywood Floyd palling around with Dave Bowman's & HAL's avatars -- no mention of Floyd's avatar in the final volume.

We also watched Season 2 of Game of Thrones this month, and even got HBO so we could watch Season 3 as it unrolls over the next couple of months.

Currently listening to Tim Powers's Declare at the gym, and reading Chandler whenever I have time.
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