E–pub/E–book (Astounding John W Campbell Isaac Asimov Robert A Heinlen L Ron Hubbard and the Golden Age of Science Fiction) author Alec Nevala–Lee
If you re into stuff like this you can read the full reviewIn 1963 Asimov argued that science fiction appealed to an existing type of curious reader but today it seems likely to subtly alter the way in which we all think and feelIn Astounding John W Campbell Isaac Asimov Robert A Heinlein L Ron Hubbard and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala Lee How long has this racket been oing on And why didn t anybody tell me about it sooner Heinlein to Campbell after selling Life Line in 1939 In Astounding John W Campbell Isaac Asimov Robert A Heinlein L Ron Hubbard and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala Lee There are about five consistent adult science fiction writers in the business de Camp Heinlein Hubbard van Vogt and if he ll only work at it a little del Rey In a letter from Campbell to Heinlein In Astounding John W Campbell Isaac Asimov Robert A Heinlein L Ron Hubbard and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala LeeI started reading science fiction in the 80s I never enjoyed the Hubbard stories I read in anthologies Then I found out about Dianetics His self created biography including multiple resurrections was fantastic than any of his fiction Campbell as many have observed took science fiction to another level I m a little surprised Andre Norton was omitted in this write up I learned so much about the Golden Age of science fiction from reading this book including all the weird dramas and politics and feuds and fads and obsessions It s really eye opening to see how much of the toxicity and asshole behavior in fandom and writer communities was part of science fiction from the very beginning and it s also bracing to see all the optimism and the belief that science fiction could change the world for the better This book is also a corking Essential Elements of Public Speaking (6th Edition) good read though areat story about larger than life characters who cooked up the weirdest stories they could think of and experimented with sex drugs strange psychological techniues and all kinds of weird science It has the arc of a To Kill A Mockingbird Literature Guide great literary thriller with these four men forming tight bonds and creating a whole scene and then falling apart Perhaps most fascinating is the way this book showcases the forgotten women behind these men who did most of the work and were in many ways the real brains behind the Golden Age of science fiction Update 2820 If you watched the Hugo Award ceremony or paid attention to SFF Twitter you might know thatlorifying the name of Campbell should be taken seriously The brave Jeannette Ng again delivered a beautiful speech and specifically mentioned Alec Nevala Lee since she was not the first one making a stand though she did lit the fire on Campbell Go read this book you ll The Constitution Of The Republic Of Liberia, And The Declaration Of Independence get a comprehensive pictureOriginal review 2019 I ended up liking this book than expected This is a very useful reading for those who d like toet a sense of how the science fiction world during those Golden Age and a little bit beyond As I Abandoned Doggy grow to read short stories and zines it isreat to know about Astounding and Analog and the people behind them Full review to come but I just want to say that Hubbard and Campbell were absolutely vile I won this book in a Goodreads Designing Data-Intensive Applications giveaway and would like to thank Dey Street Books and Kell Wilson Marketing Manager for the opportunity toive a nonbiased review The book I received was an uncorrected proofAs a reader of a large variety of Learning From Data genres of which Sci Fi is one I was anticipating areat read with this book which revolves around writer John Campbell and his relationshippartnership with Isaac Asimov Robert A Heinlein and L Ron Hubbard These are of course well known authors above and beyond the sci fi enreAlthough Asimov called Campbell the most powerful force in science fiction ever this is in fact the first biography of him and his name may not Ring The Bells With the bells with people that Isamov s will That needs to be rectified and I think this book will o a long way into doing s This is a well researched and compulsively readable history of how some of the major figures of the so called Campbellian Revolution which took place during the AstoundingAnalog editorship of John W Campbell and heralded the Golden Age of science fiction came together drew apart and changed the Introduction to Psychology genre in the process A longer review is available in my Looking Back at Genre History segment on the StarShipSofa podcast here First of all I cannot believe that I devoured this 500 page book in a single weekend Once I started I found myselflued to the page It is testament to Alec Nevala Lee s skill as a writer that it reads like a runaway thriller I suspect however I am an ideal reader having 101 Wire Earrings grown up with Asimov Clarke and Heinlein et al the first SF book I ever read was The Jewels of Aptor by Samuel R Delany which is probably whyenre boundaries have always appeared mutable to meIf the name Astounding does not resonate with you I honestly think your only interest in this book will be purely academic John Scalzi s Whatever blog entry of 7 August Oh Christ Not the Science Fiction Canon Again proposes there is no need to venerate writers like the trinity under Nevala Lee s microscope as they are obsolete and irrelevant There are at least two The Story of Christianity generations of adults now and twoenerations of Science on a Shoestring genre writers who didn trow up on it and fundamentally don t care about it Long چوببدستهای وَرَزیل gone are the days where a kid s first introduction to theenre was a Heinlein or Asimov novel smuggled out of the adult fiction section of
"The Library Or Bookstore "library or bookstore samizdat The Kids These Days Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War got their start readingenre through the YA section and Reconstructing Gender grew up on Rowling and Collins and Westerfeld and Black and Pierce and Snicket andot their science fiction through film and TV and video ames and animation and comics as much as if not than from booksIt just so hap. “Astounding is a major work of popular culture scholarship that science fiction fans will devour” Publishers WeeklyAlec Nevala Lee has brilliantly recreated fans will devour” Publishers WeeklyAlec Nevala Lee has brilliantly recreated era A remarkable work of literary history Robert SilverbergScience fiction has been awaiting this historybiography for than half a century Here it is This is the most important historical and critical work my field has ever seen Alec Nevala Lee’s superb scholarship and insight have made the seemingly impossible a radiant and irreplaceable ift Barry N Malzberg author of Beyond ApolloAstounding is the landmark account of the extraordinary partnership between four controversial writers John W Campbell Isaac Asimov Robert A Heinlein and L Ron Hubbard who set off a revolution in science fiction and forever changed our world This remarkable cultural narrative centers on the figure of John W Campbell Jr whom Asimov called “the most powerful force in science fiction eve.
Alec Nevala-Lee Ê 1 FREE READEs cringeworthy articles like 20 Books To Read If You Want To Get Into Black Sci Fi And Fantasy 11 JuneSo what is one to do Well I think a start would to be place Nevala Lee s book on the English curriculum of every single institution on the planet where literature is taught so as to remind us of where we were how incremental our progress has been and how much further we still have to Nuskha ha-e Wafa / نسخہ ہائے وفا go It is sobering but necessary and is probably the only way that the community can exorcise its own demons the most reactionary movements in modern fandom with their deep distrust of women and minorities have openly stated We have called for a Campbellian revolution in science fiction And yet Nevala Lee argues right from the outset that Campbell deserves to be seen as Just like it says on the spine it was AstoundingAt first I wondered why he didn t just do a bio on Campbell butradually I came to see that these four lives and their work were deeply connected Still it was a bit confusing to me in spots when I had to shift my point of view from one of them to the othersThis is warts and all biography with an emphasis on the warts All of these رصف مصر guys were flawed Hubbard was the worst of course and I wouldn t be surprised if Nevala Leeets sued or harassed by his followers I was surprised and saddened to see how much Campbell was also involved in creating and spreading Dianetics as well as other pseudo scientific nonsense Heinlein and Asimov were imperfect but come out looking pretty Plumb good in comparison to those twoThere are many interesting anecdotes Here are a few of my favoritesAsimov had a nasty habit ofroping and pinching women When Asimov The Princess and the Barbarian groped Judith Merrill sheroped back The Veiled Society (DD Adventure Module B6) grabbing his cock Good for herAlfred Bester submitted a story to Astounding Campbell called him in to talk and proceeded to attempt a Dianetics auditing session on him in the busy office cafeteria Bester decided he was nutsOnce Asimov went to the home of HL Gold editor of rival magazine Galaxy Gold left the room after a short while then the phone rang and Gold s wife said it was for Asimov which was strange because no one knew he was there It was Gold calling from a different room in the house They continued their conversation by phone because he didn t like to be in the same room as anyoneAnyway Campbell had a huge influence over the development of SF and helped many authors develop their voices Many ideas in many famous stories by multiple authors were really his ideas Nonetheless don t meet your heroes They all have feet of clay The publisher sent me the hardback of this non fiction book about eight months ago I neverot around to it Now the paperback has landed on my doorstep today It s a sign Okay maybe just a sign of extra publicist attention but I m still oing to do this thing It actually does look interesting I was born during the tail end of the Golden Age of Science Fiction a period between the late 1930s through the 1950s It was doing this period that science fiction became respectable Prior to this period the majority of science fiction was distributed as pulp fiction As an young boy I cut my teeth on science fiction from the Golden Age with such authors as Asimov Heinlein and Simak The one man that did the most to such authors as Asimov Heinlein and Simak The one
MAN THAT DID THE MOST TOthat did the most to this age was John Campbell the editor of such magazines as Astounding Science Fiction He solicited novellas and short stories emphasizing the psychological development of the characters as well as technological advancesThe author provided biographies of four notables within his book John Campbell Isaac Asimov Robert Heinlein and L Ron Hubbard However the characters of these science fiction luminaries had little to admire Campbell was interested in psychology and its potential to create a new man Since Campbell was a racist homophobic and anti Semitic I shudder at what he might have evolved if his philosophy had been accepted This was why he was attracted to Hubbard who shared a similar interest Shortly after the two met Hubbard began developing a new form of psychotherapy called Dianetics Decades later his pseudoscience was repackaged as a new religion Scientology He firmly believed that if he had not iven this religion to the world there would have been social and economic chaos When Campbell broke with Hubbard Asimov knew that this split was inevitable since no movement can have two Messiahs This statement fostered my opinion that Hubbard demonstrated paranoia and narcissism to the point of megalomania Although both Heinlein and Asimov were friend of the younger Hubbard they distanced themselves from Dianetics and Scientology However each had their flaws Asimov was a chronic philanderer which resulted in divorce and estrangement from his son Heinlein referenced freuently as the Dean of Science Fiction Writers espoused militarism in many of his worksAs I said early I read several authors from the Golden Age of Science Fiction including Asimov The Foundation Trilogy and Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land However when one looks at the characters of the authors whose books I relished there is little to be desired Sometimes it is better to divorce the works from the men themselves Overall I enjoyed peeking into the lives of the authors who made science fiction popular to the eneral public which resulted in such classic literature as 2001 A Space Odyssey and the Star Wars film series Many of the early astronauts chose their careers being inspired by the science fiction of their youth Oh what these men ot up to If my mother had known what the early leaders of Science Fiction were really like she would not have been simply annoyed that I read so much of it she would have been horrified Alec Nevala Lee has revealed the truth of the John W Campbell era of Astounding Science Fiction Magazine in a hard to put down tell all. Rait of this circle of authors their work and their tumultuous private lives With unprecedented scope drama and detail Astounding describes how fan culture was born in the depths of the Great Depression; follows these four friends and rivals through World War II and the dawn of the atomic era; and honors such exceptional women as Doña Campbell and Leslyn Heinlein whose pivotal roles in the history of the The Babysitters Coven (The Babysitters Coven, genre haveone largely unacknowledged For the first time it reveals the startling extent of Campbell’s influence on the ideas that evolved into Scientology which prompted Asimov to observe “I knew Campbell and I knew Hubbard and no movement can have two Messiahs” It looks unsparingly at the tragic final act that estranged the others from Campbell bringing the Popol Vuh golden age of science fiction to a close and it illuminates how their complicated legacy continues to shape the imaginations of millions and our vision of the future itself. Pened that while I was reading this the 2020 Hugo Awards ceremony was held virtually at ConZealand While it was a technological miracle when factoring in all of the time zones involved from the UK to Europe host George RR Martin made sure that the event remained stuck firmly in the past The bone of contention was that he waxed lyrical about Lovecraft and Campbell who were both awarded Retro Hugos This was seen as a particular slap in the face to all of the attendees and indeed winnersIn one of those weirdly serendipitous moments Jeanette Ng won a Hugo in the Best Related Work category for her 2019 John W Campbell Award Acceptance Speech John W Campbell for whom this award was named was a fascist Through his editorial control of Astounding Science Fiction he is responsible for setting a tone of science fiction that still haunts theenre to this day Sterile Male White Exalting in the ambitions of imperialists and colonisers settlers and industrialists Ng adds Yes I am aware there are exceptionsAccording to Nevala Lee s Wikipedia page Analog editor Trevor uachri partially credited the critical picture of Campbell in this very book with the decision to rename the John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer as the Astounding Award in August 2019 The book has since been cited extensively for Asimov s treatment of women among many other revelationsZen Cho writes on Boing Boing There are shitty dudes out there today whose path to shitty dudehood My Political Awakening got started when they watched Isaac Asimovrope women without their consent and figured that the chuckling approval of all their peers meant that whatever doubts they might have had were probably misplaced Those dudes don t Wenn lieben weh tut ... get a pass because they learned from a bad example set by their community and its leaders but they might have been diverted from their path to shitty dudehood if they d had better examplesIf you think this is an academic argument only a story broke on Twitter in June about allegations of sexual misconduct at conventions levelled against SF writers Myke Cole Max Temkin Sam Sykes and Warren Ellis A direct repercussion of this was Vault Comics cancellation of a series by ColeI suppose the big elephant in the room is whether or not all of this can be laid directly at the door of Asimov et al Scalzi again There are still people in our community who knew Campbell personally and many many others one step removed who idolise and respect the writers Campbell took under his wing And there are people and once again I raise my hand who are in the field because the way Campbell shaped it as a place where they could thrive Many if not most of these folks know about his flaws but even so it s hard to see someone with no allegiance to him either personally or professionally point them out both forcefully and unapologetically They see Campbell and his legacy abstractly and also as an obstacle to be overcome That s deeply uncomfortableIn his Acknowledgements Nevala Lee uotes Algis Budrys It s becoming increasingly obvious that we need a long objective look at John W Campbell Jr But we re not likely toet one This is exactly what Scalzi refers to in the above uote in that in many ways the community is still too close to Campbell Ng echoes this sentiment as wellNevala Lee attempts to position himself as an ideally situated observer so he can deliver a devastating warts and all portrait of Campbell as objectively
as possible Yes it is horrifying to read but far than outrage my overwhelming feeling was sadness It is indeedpossible Yes it is horrifying to read but far than outrage my overwhelming feeling was sadness It is indeed how Campbell s concept of the perfect man sic the eponymous hero of SF empowered by science and optimism who strode through the pages of every writer from Clarke to Asimov Heinlein Herbert EE Doc Smith and many others could ultimately morph into something so twisted and narrow mindedAnd here Nevala Lee makes no bones about the fact that Campbell due to his position and influence could have had a lasting influence on shaping the future of the enre and
Its Community If Only Hecommunity if only he have broken the shackles of his own prejudices Neither Heinlein Hubbard nor Asimov are spared One soon realises this is a pretty horrible bunch of people to begin with despite the fact that they were particular products of their age and cultureNevala Lee also states My reatest hope is that this book will inspire a larger conversation about the history of science fiction And this brings me back to Scalzi s comments about the importance or lack thereof of the SF canon I feel privileged in being of that The Desert King (Throne of Judar generation who not only read and revered the writers that Nevala Lee dissects but to have seen theenre transform to include major new talent like Nnedi Okorafor NK Jemisin Ann Leckie Yoon Ha Lee and Kameron Hurley among many many others I don t count Le Guin and Butler here as they are part of the old New WaveYes of course it has taken way too long for women or anybody else who is in any way different for that matter to receive the recognition they are due And the right wing anti diversity Sad Puppies campaign at the 2013 Hugos not to mention the appalling treatment of Kelly Marie Tran by Star Wars manbabies when The Last Jedi was released in 2017 show that many of these problems unfortunately seem to be endemic to the community though not the enre itself I would argueI first read about GRRM s torpedoing of the 2020 Hugo Awards when Tade Thompson announced on Twitter that he was uitting SF in disgust The author of Rosewater winner Awards when Tade Thompson announced on Twitter that he was uitting SF in disgust The author of Rosewater winner the 2019 Clarke Award for Best SF Novel went on to explain that his SF fandom was his most problematic Of course all of this has to be seen against the backdrop of the BlackLivesMatter and MeToo movements not to mention the Covid 19 pandemic and an increasingly fractured world And I don t think it really helps matters either when BuzzFeed publish. R” Campbell who has never been the subject of a biography until now was both a visionary author he wrote the story that was later filmed as The Thing and the editor of the roundbreaking magazine best known as Astounding Science Fiction in which he discovered countless legendary writers and published classic works ranging from the I Robot series to Dune Over a period of than thirty years from the rise of the pulps to the debut of Star Trek he dominated the enre and his three closest collaborators reached unimaginable heights Asimov became the most prolific author in American history; Heinlein emerged as the leading science fiction writer of his eneration with the novels Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land; and Hubbard achieved lasting fame and infamy as the founder of the Church of Scientology Drawing on unexplored archives thousands of unpublished letters and dozens of interviews Alec Nevala Lee offers a riveting port.