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Curse You, Neil Armstrong! (Did he kill science fiction?)
Conceptual Fiction ^ | Ted Gioia

Posted on 07/18/2009 6:56:06 AM PDT by jalisco555

Forty years ago this week, science fiction writers were media celebrities—at least for a few hours. When Neil Armstrong stepped on to the surface of the moon on July 21, 1969, his “giant leap for mankind” was not just a fulfillment of President Kennedy’s promise of a lunar expedition before decade’s end. It also validated the starry-eyed dreams of a legion of pulp fiction writers.

Long before NASA was founded, the ABCs of sci-fi (Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke) and others of their profession had been chronicling the exploration of the universe in works of imaginative fiction. The moon landing was their shining moment, and the public recognized it as much as did the writers themselves. When the TV networks sought out talking heads for their coverage, science fiction writers were on the top of their list.

At the moment that Eagle landed, Arthur C. Clarke was sitting next to Walter Cronkite. Earlier that day, the writer told millions of viewers, during an interview with Harry Reasoner, that the space mission was a “down payment on the future of mankind.” After the moonwalk, Cronkite engaged Clarke and Robert Heinlein in their favorite activity— speculation about the future. The sci-fi veterans could hardly have been more optimistic. Heinlein refused to put limits on where space travel might lead. “We’re going out indefinitely,” he proclaimed.

ABC countered with Isaac Asimov and Frederik Pohl, pulp fiction veterans, interviewed by Rod Serling. Ray Bradbury, for his part, had always been more partial to Mars than the moon in his writings, and he proved to be the spoilsport of the day. Bradbury walked out on David Frost’s Moon Party, a peculiar British TV concoction which countered the news coverage of the historic events with strange entertainment, featuring everything from Englebert Humperdink to a discussion on the ethics of the lunar landing involving A. J. P. Taylor and Sammy Davis, Jr. Bradbury was so moved by the Apollo landing that he was in tears. The irreverence of Frost’s coverage was more than he could bear.

Of course, on this night Mr. Bradbury had no shortage of invitations. After leaving Frost’s “party,” he took a taxi to CBS’s studio, where the author was interviewed by Mike Wallace. “This is an effort to become immortal,” Bradbury proclaimed. How? “We’re going to take our seed out into space and we’re going to plant it on other worlds and then we won’t have to ask ourselves the question of death ever again.”

The grand predictions made that day proved premature, to say the least. Sure, the Apollo program was a success—even dodging a bullet with the aborted Apollo 13 trip to the moon, which unexpectedly turned into the most heroic chapter in the space race saga. But Apollo proved to be the end of manned lunar expeditions, and not the beginning of the age of space exploration. Who would have guessed that, after Apollo 17 in 1972, no more astronauts would travel to the moon. Here is one measure of how quickly things changed: a decade later, when people spoke of the moonwalk, they were usually talking about Michael Jackson’s dance steps.

Few people suffered from this turn of events more than science fiction writers. The whole sci-fi community should have been crying along with Ray Bradbury on July 21, 1969. As space exploration disappeared from the front pages, sci-fi lost much of its glamour and most of its readers. I would guess that half of the stories in this genre during the period leading up to the Apollo landing dealt with outer space. How could these same writers adapt to a world where rockets and astronauts had lost their luster? The authors, for the most part, stuck to their favorite plots of space exploration, but the stories rarely had the same pizzazz as before.

With the benefit of hindsight, we should probably admit that the landing of Apollo 11 was the end of the glory days of sci-fi. With the conclusion of the Apollo program, NASA became just another government agency, more bureaucratic than heroic. It is all too telling that the Challenger disaster of 1986 was the next time that rocket ships captured the attention of the general public. And the last time I encountered a space explorer on the front page, the “celebrity” in question was Lisa Nowak, the NASA astronaut who allegedly drove 900 miles wearing a diaper as part of a plot to attack a romantic rival with a BB gun. The case has not gone to trial, and Nowak has vehemently denied the news reports about the diaper. Tawdry, yes . . . but not quite up to the level of Dune or The Foundation Trilogy.

In the interim between the astronauts with The Right Stuff and the tabloid-ish story of Lisa Nowak, readers turned to other kinds of fiction. Amazing Stories, which enjoyed circulation of 50,000 during the mid-1960s, had seen it drop to 12,000 by the time of the Challenger disaster. The magazine folded in 1995, and subsequent revivals have been unsuccessful. Galaxy, which achieved circulation approaching 100,000 under Pohl’s editorship in the early 1960s, shut down in 1980. A revival in the mid-1990s lasted only eight issues. Many other sci-fi magazines and publishers fell by the wayside during this same period.

Let’s be honest, science fiction writers are much like stock market forecasters. When their predictions come true, everyone listens. Yet when the prognostications fall flat, their audience disappears. The space race was that rare moment when these writers seemed to be on the mark. So many of their other stories—about time travel, telepathy, alien invasion, nuclear holocausts and the like— never came true (thank goodness!), but for a brief period the rocket ship tales seemed plausible. The two most powerful nations on the planet were focused on getting off the planet. The scribblers who had been dreaming about just this state of affairs looked like sages.

Successful predictions about the moon date back at least to Jules Verne and his 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon. Here Verne correctly anticipated that the United States would be the country to launch the first lunar mission, and also pinpointed that Florida would make the best launch site. He guessed the right crew size—three astronauts—and also came very close to the truth in his descriptions of the dimensions of the space capsule and the duration of the voyage to the moon. Few science fiction works have been more prescient in their anticipation of later history.

After Verne, almost every major science fiction writer tackled a moon story at some point. Lunar classics include H.G.. Wells The First Men in the Moon, Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Arthur C. Clarke’s A Fall of Moondust. Clarke’s most famous work, 2001: A Space Odyssey, also relies on the moon for a key plot twist—a large black slab found near Tycho is the first evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life, and its discovery sets in motion the rest of the story. Yet it's worth noting that, seven years before Clarke’s book, Clifford Simak developed a comparable theme and set it in the exact same crater in his whimsical The Trouble with Tycho.

When the moon became just another piece of abandoned real estate, like much of Flordia after the subprime meltdown, the psychological impact on sci-fi was devastating. Many grand predictions had been made about the future of space exploration by these visionary authors. But not one of them would have dared to make this prediction—namely, that 35 years after the Apollo program, no trip would have been made to any of the other planets in the solar system, and no one would have the gumption to send an astronaut—or even a dog or chimpanzee— back to the moon.

Science fiction is experiencing a bit of a comeback these days, but the moon plays a low profile in the renewal efforts. The literary establishment has discovered Philip K. Dick. His novels are now included in The Library of America, and he represents a striking case study in how a once scorned author can be rehabilitated. Yet it is revealing that Dick rarely needed rocket ships to work his magic. While his peers were imagining trips to the moon during the 1960s, Dick had figured out there were other ways of taking a trip— ones that came packaged in little envelopes. His “alternative reality” concepts have held up well long after space exploration became passé.

Even so, it’s hard for science fiction fans to look at the full moon every month, and write it off as a failed cause. It’s been downhill for forty years, but it wouldn't take much to turn things around. I think it’s safe to say that, if we ever sent a team of astronauts to Mars or beyond, NASA and their suppliers won’t be the only sector of the economy to get a boost. A few dreamers toiling away at their word processors might get a few more minutes of fame.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: apollo11; armstrong; moon; neilarmstrong; sciencefiction; scifi; theend
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1 posted on 07/18/2009 6:56:07 AM PDT by jalisco555
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To: KevinDavis

Perhaps your ping list would find this interesting.


2 posted on 07/18/2009 6:58:03 AM PDT by jalisco555 ("My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy" - Ronald Reagan)
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To: jalisco555

I don’t think Neil killed Sci-Fi as much as the SyFy channel did.


3 posted on 07/18/2009 7:11:28 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (thirst for absolute power is the natural disease of monarchy - Thomas Paine)
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To: BuffaloJack

I think that Sci-Fi has moved away from speculating about near & mid-term space exploration as subject matter because our scientific discoveries can & do invalidate major plot lines, rendering the movies somewhat quaint & foolish looking. Example: 2001: a Space Oddessey was revamped for the sequel, 2010 to account for several significant discoveries about the Jovian system.

That leaves distant into-the-future space movies like the “Star Trek” series — and even there we now have cell phones, DVD Players & PDAs that mimic the functionality of the technology of the distant future. It takes some of the wonder out of watching the earlier series.

But the thing that really has killed Sci-Fi is the immorality of our present day. The best Sci-Fi stories were essentially morality plays. Not much call for that, apparently.

Finally, we do have some really great speculation about genetic research (Michael Crichton), and so forth.


4 posted on 07/18/2009 7:26:12 AM PDT by Tallguy ("The sh- t's chess, it ain't checkers!" -- Alonzo (Denzel Washington) in "Training Day")
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To: jalisco555

Fantasy killed science fiction. How that genre got lumped in by bookstores with science fiction I’ll never know.

But go to any major chain fantasy and science fiction section and over eighty per cent of the books will be fantasy.

Your best bet for sci-fi is used bookstores or the few sci-fi specialty bookstores around.


5 posted on 07/18/2009 7:28:43 AM PDT by Loyalist (Tagline redacted at the command of Mrs. Loyalist.)
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To: jalisco555
Nothing can kill good science fiction. I wish there were more Arthur C Clarke's, those who don't forget the science part.
6 posted on 07/18/2009 7:33:43 AM PDT by scottinoc
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To: jalisco555

>>>Heinlein refused to put limits on where space travel might lead. “We’re going out indefinitely,” he proclaimed

In the LONG term I’m certain he is correct. But it was also Heinlein in his Future History series who predicted that manned space flight would be abandoned for generations after early successes because it wasn’t financially self-sustaining. And it’s not and won’t be so any time in sight.

In his short stories that meant that human colonies on Mars and Venus were cut off and left to shift for themselves while the United States suffered under a religious dictatorship’s anti-science theology. In the real world we didn’t even put a base on the moon. Heinlein gave us too much credit.

But the mooks who cry about the “Temple of Darwin” probably approve. Evil science being the tool of the devil and so on and so forth you know.


7 posted on 07/18/2009 7:36:07 AM PDT by tlb
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To: jalisco555

I have always loved to read. As a kid, one of my favorite series was the Tom Swift books.


8 posted on 07/18/2009 7:38:39 AM PDT by MamaB (Heb.13:2)
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To: BuffaloJack

It hasn’t killed my science fiction (writing).
I think what killed science fiction was the endless TV shows in space, which bored the theme to death.
Science fiction is still quite easy to write. However, it simply becomes fiction with a lot of science, possibly set in the future, possibly set somewhere other than Earth.
What is driving away readers is the endless rehashing of Frank Herbert and Asimov and Niven after the interest of their stories has waned. Focus on new talent and new ideas, and they can get new readers.


9 posted on 07/18/2009 7:42:17 AM PDT by tbw2 (Freeper sci-fi - "Humanity's Edge" - on amazon.com)
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To: jalisco555
I think it’s safe to say that, if we ever sent a team of astronauts to Mars or beyond,
NASA and their suppliers won’t be the only sector of the economy to get a boost.


10 posted on 07/18/2009 7:47:43 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Tallguy

The guy that invented the flip phone said that he wanted to copy the Star Trek Communicator.

The hands free headset reminds me a lot of Uhura’s earpiece.

In one episode I saw Spock putting brightly colored squares that had data on them into a slot in the computer console. They sure looked a lot like the 3.5 floppy disks that came out in the 80s.

Just three instances of science copying Sci-Fi


11 posted on 07/18/2009 7:48:31 AM PDT by Wacka
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To: jalisco555; Rose in RoseBear; Bear_in_RoseBear; Professional Engineer; Peanut Gallery

Nothing can kill good science fiction except that lack of reading among the young. So few kids read now. However, I have noted that of children who read, the ones who receive a good science fiction book still love them.

I’m not giving up. My grandchildren, nieces and nephews still receive science fiction as gifts fairly regularly. Some of those children read the books and some don’t, but the ones who read them love them as much as I did.


12 posted on 07/18/2009 7:51:54 AM PDT by Wneighbor
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To: jalisco555; BuffaloJack; Tallguy; All
Science Fiction is soooooo over rated .

By the by, Bradbury considers himself to be a Fantasy Writer not a Science Fiction Writer— he told me that himself when I met him at a San Fernando Valley Library on March 23 of 2001.

Contemporary Science Fiction is the most anti-American of genres for the lion's share of this material is about how hellish the future will be.

I spoke with Ray on this very matter, my words:”Mr Bradbury, do you not agree that in the years since Alien and Blade Runner came out, that Science Fiction ‘Entertainment’ as in TV and Movies, has become very anti-American in its’ bleak vision of our world and our future”

He agreed with me fully.
He then stated “what is the value of the Earth(nature), the planets, the stars, if they do not have an audience to appreciate them”

Today's sci-fi(like Cyberpunk) is too negative!

Star Wars is not Science Fiction! It is Lord Of The Rings in outer-space

13 posted on 07/18/2009 7:59:06 AM PDT by Osnome
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To: oh8eleven

I do not think that the economy got a boost from Space Exploration at all. At most it redistributed the wealth thru tax & spending and pork barreling.

We got a boost to national pride, boasting rights with the Soviets..


14 posted on 07/18/2009 8:02:26 AM PDT by Osnome
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To: jalisco555
Sci Fi is dead?

Someone tell David Drake, David Weber and Eric Flint, among a host of others. I guess they are crying all the way to the bank.

15 posted on 07/18/2009 8:02:47 AM PDT by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: jalisco555

I have a friend that has been hanging around conspiracy sites lately and now he believes that the moon landings were all fake & made by the studios. Do any of you freepers know of a good site that dispels these rumors? He’s starting to teach his kids this info.


16 posted on 07/18/2009 8:08:56 AM PDT by FreeManWhoCan ("Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K.")
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To: jalisco555
Amazing Stories, which enjoyed circulation of 50,000 during the mid-1960s, had seen it drop to 12,000 by the time of the Challenger disaster. The magazine folded in 1995, and subsequent revivals have been unsuccessful. Galaxy, which achieved circulation approaching 100,000 under Pohl’s editorship in the early 1960s, shut down in 1980. A revival in the mid-1990s lasted only eight issues. Many other sci-fi magazines and publishers fell by the wayside during this same period.

I've always been a very strong believer in the magazine format for developing science fantasy writers, but I think that in the cases of these magazines, it's less a lack of people wanting to subscribe, and more poor business practices. Amazing Stories was killed by Publisher's Clearinghouse, who in one mailing tripled the number of subscriptions, and whomever was handling the billing at the time just couldn't handle the crush of orders. Galaxy... So many issues were hit and miss as editors seemed more interested in choosing stories of a particular political bent at the end.. The relaunch of Amazing Stories depended upon book chains selling the magazine, then actually paying up for it, and alas, Crown Book's demise played a heavy role in destroying the relaunch.

While those are pretty normal references as to the health of science fantasy, they're also less than useful. I do think the author of the article hit the nail on the head, it is Neil Armstrong to blame, but really not for the reason given. In the run up to the first moon landings, more homes got televisions than ever before. And let's be honest, more people watched the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation than the entire publication history of Amazing Stories. Heck, more people watched the short lived Amazing Stories television series than ever bought the magazine.

I know enough about the incomes of some in the industry to know that they are making far more now from residuals than they ever did in their original publication.

I think the most interesting thing, really, in all of this, is that the one part of the creative writing industry that is so connected to technology is also the one part that is usually so bad at utilizing it. A lot of people know about the Baen Free Library, but even myself, a long time fan of written science fantasy, I'd be stumped if you asked me where to find a site where new authors are giving their works a fly for the first time.

Really gotta finally get around to finding that out.

17 posted on 07/18/2009 8:19:04 AM PDT by kingu (Party for rent - conservative opinions not required.)
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To: Wneighbor

I still very vividly remember standing in long lines at midnight for the release of Harry Potter books. Children read, just gotta make sure you put stuff in front of them they’ll like.


18 posted on 07/18/2009 8:21:10 AM PDT by kingu (Party for rent - conservative opinions not required.)
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To: jalisco555

“STAR WARS” killed [hard] Science Fiction.


19 posted on 07/18/2009 8:23:10 AM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: jalisco555
Curse You, Neil Armstrong! (Did he kill science fiction?)

yes..scifi struggled mightily in the seventies after that..


20 posted on 07/18/2009 8:24:20 AM PDT by BerniesFriend (Sarah Palin-"Lord knows she's attractive" says bitter Andrea Mitchell and the rest of the MSM)
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To: jalisco555

What BS, some of the greatest works in science fiction are still to be written and many, many good ones have since the moon walk of MJ’s. LOL


21 posted on 07/18/2009 8:34:38 AM PDT by org.whodat
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To: jalisco555

Ping to read later


22 posted on 07/18/2009 8:43:22 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("I always longed for repose and quiet" - John Calvin)
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To: FreeManWhoCan
Do any of you freepers know of a good site that dispels these rumors? He’s starting to teach his kids this info.

The best starting point I've found is Clavius.

Apropos to this thread, it's named after the site of the Moon base in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and has a 2001-themed décor.

23 posted on 07/18/2009 9:12:57 AM PDT by RansomOttawa (tm)
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To: tlb
But the mooks who cry about the “Temple of Darwin” probably approve. Evil science being the tool of the devil and so on and so forth you know.

The gospel from you extreme left-wing evangelical scientist types is so cliché.
24 posted on 07/18/2009 9:22:17 AM PDT by Fawnn (ObservationalTheraPist.com and CookingWithPam.com person - Faith makes things possible, not easy.)
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To: tlb
"But the mooks who cry about the “Temple of Darwin” probably approve. Evil science being the tool of the devil and so on and so forth you know."

Not to mention those Luddites who oppose the space program because "It's not in the Constitution".

25 posted on 07/18/2009 9:34:30 AM PDT by Batrachian
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To: FreeManWhoCan
I recommend The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal ( You have to click on the 40th anniversary patch at the bottom to enter the site ... it says so right next to it :-)

There are endless sequences of video clips, e.g. for Apollo 16. My favorite is the "House Rock" sequence ( on that page. )

167:39:20 Duke: Man, it's hard under there, you know it?
167:39:22 Young: Yeah. That's why the rake wouldn't go down.
167:39:25 Duke: (Garbled)
167:39:27 Young: I'm not going anywhere. Hit it again.
167:39:32 Duke: Tony, there must be a big rock right under here.

You can't make this stuff up.

26 posted on 07/18/2009 9:40:21 AM PDT by dr_lew
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To: jalisco555
No, Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas killed science fiction. I love Star Trek very much and treasure my Roddenberry autograph, but the popularization of science fiction made it less likely that hard s.f. would be read. Publishers are in the business to make profits, after all, and fantasy novels and TV tie ins sold more books.

Not only did s.f. fandom become bigger, it became more female. The literature changed to meet female expectations; first in fanfic (Slash stories) and then when the fanfic writers became the mainstream writers.

There's a lot of information on which to write hard s.f., and there are people doing hard s.f., but the “sense of wonder” had been lessened. Why speculate on what Iapetus is like when probes photograph it daily?

How can you write about Martians when probes are regularly checking martian soil?

I am a writer by avocation. I have been writing fantasy novels because they're fun, and because my wife thinks they will sell. I hope once I poke my nose in with fantasy, I can write hard s.f.

27 posted on 07/18/2009 9:49:06 AM PDT by GAB-1955 (I write books, love my wife, serve my nation, and believe in the Resurrection.)
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To: jalisco555
As long as there is imagination, space travel will happen one day. Unfortunately it won't be in my lifetime......

A few years back I stayed one night in a B&B in Logan Ks. The owner was a real old lady who was like talking to a living history book. She related to us how as a little girl she and her family would every friday take the horse and buggy to town for groceries. She told how her father had drilled their well using a mule to turn the drill thing. Then she told how the house we were in was originally built outside of town but her dad eventually had it hauled to where it was today by mule train rolling the house along the tops of logs.

She told about what their life was like during the dust bowl days.....

The things she has witnessed in her life just boggle my mind. One can only wonder what the next 100 years are going to bring........

28 posted on 07/18/2009 9:54:08 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Who's your Long Legged MacDaddy?)
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To: BerniesFriend

There are those who say that Star Wars did damage to good science fiction as well.


29 posted on 07/18/2009 9:56:32 AM PDT by jalisco555 ("My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy" - Ronald Reagan)
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To: GAB-1955

Never got into the whole fantasy genre myself. It took me three years of on and off reading to get through the Ring trilogy and I have no wish to plow through The Hobbit. Plus, every fantasy book I run into is so looong. Doesn’t anyone edit those books?


30 posted on 07/18/2009 9:59:54 AM PDT by jalisco555 ("My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy" - Ronald Reagan)
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To: tlb
Evil science being the tool of the devil and so on and so forth you know.

Yeah, because going to the moon and Mars is totally against God's will and His law...what are you talking about?

31 posted on 07/18/2009 10:02:44 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater ("Get out of the boat and walk on the water with us!”--Sen. Joe Biden)
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To: El Gato
Keep your eye on Travis Taylor for new Science Fiction. His writing chops aren't up to Weber/Drake/Flint yet, but he's coming along. Neal Gaimon's good, and Linda Naganta wasn't bad, but they're a bit too dark for me.

I wish Pournelle/Niven were younger, plus they've 'sold their souls for a pot of message.'

Anyone else have suggestions about New up-beat/postitive attitude Science Fiction authors out there?

32 posted on 07/18/2009 10:03:25 AM PDT by Right Winged American (No matter how Cynical I get, I just can't keep up!)
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To: Right Winged American

Well, me, but I have to sell that first book, the big hurdle.


33 posted on 07/18/2009 10:16:45 AM PDT by GAB-1955 (I write books, love my wife, serve my nation, and believe in the Resurrection.)
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To: GAB-1955
Freep me when you do, please.

What are you leaning toward? Mil-Sf, Space Opera, Time-switch, Social trend extrapolation, mix'n'match...?

Wish I were younger and my imaginator worked better, I think chemo's sucking IQ points here and there.

(Remember the tagline? — 'Sometimes, late at night, you can hear the brain cells die. [Eeep! Eeep! Eeep!])

 

34 posted on 07/18/2009 10:31:48 AM PDT by Right Winged American (No matter how Cynical I get, I just can't keep up!)
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To: jalisco555

As an aside, Armstrong was/is a world-class jerk.


35 posted on 07/18/2009 10:34:08 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (I AM JIM THOMPSON!)
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To: BuffaloJack
I don’t think Neil killed Sci-Fi as much as the SyFy channel did.

Why, is there science fiction on "SyFy"? What with all the horror movies, "Ghost Hunter" and other paranormal-type shows, and wrestling I must have missed the science fiction.

When they changed their name from "Sci Fi" they should have taken the opportunity to chose a more representative name; maybe "Random Crap" would have been a good choice.

36 posted on 07/18/2009 11:09:15 AM PDT by whd23
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To: Cyber Liberty
As an aside, Armstrong was/is a world-class jerk.

Really? I've never heard that before. Why do you say that?

37 posted on 07/18/2009 12:05:35 PM PDT by jalisco555 ("My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy" - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Carlucci; Zoe Brain; callisto; scottinoc; Movemout; markman46; AntiKev; wastedyears; ...

38 posted on 07/18/2009 12:49:30 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Can't Stop the Signal!)
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To: RansomOttawa; BrianInNC; gary_b_UK; Truth29; NonValueAdded; MizSterious; GreenLanternCorps; ...


A big thanks goes to Visualops for the Banner!!
39 posted on 07/18/2009 12:50:18 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Can't Stop the Signal!)
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To: Batrachian; All

Never mind the Constitution was written where our founders never thought that we would launching rockets... I put it under the science clause in the Constitution...


40 posted on 07/18/2009 12:52:59 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Can't Stop the Signal!)
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To: jalisco555

I’ve read Sci-Fi for fifty years, and still dream of writing Sci-Fi. I see the field as strong as ever, but I agree with another comment that felt a negative impact when Fantasy was lumped in with Sci-Fi. I caount the days until the next issue of Asimov, and Analog are available.


41 posted on 07/18/2009 12:56:33 PM PDT by devane617 (Republicans first strategy should be taking over the MSM. Without it we are doomed.)
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To: jalisco555
When Neil Armstrong stepped on to the surface of the moon on July 21, 1969, Everyone else can wait for the 21st, if they want to. I'll be celebrating the 20th like I always have.
42 posted on 07/18/2009 12:58:22 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Obi-Wan Palin: Strike her down and she shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.)
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To: FreeManWhoCan; All

Have him find a way talk to Buzz Aldrin personally..


43 posted on 07/18/2009 1:00:07 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Can't Stop the Signal!)
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To: Wneighbor
Nothing can kill good science fiction except that lack of reading among the young. So few kids read now.

Exactly. The '50s were a golden age of science fiction because there were so many kids reading. At the peak, were something like 10 or 15 science fiction magazines buying short stories and novellas. Kids read more then because they didn't have video games, internet, 300 channels of cable TV, etc.
44 posted on 07/18/2009 1:02:05 PM PDT by irishjuggler
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To: whd23

> “Random Crap” would have been a good choice.
Totally agree !!!


45 posted on 07/18/2009 1:08:12 PM PDT by BuffaloJack (thirst for absolute power is the natural disease of monarchy - Thomas Paine)
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To: jalisco555
I agree, Neil Armstrong killed science fiction... It was a huge disappointment to me when he proved that there were no Barsoomian maidens on the moon... Oh, wait. That was Mars. Well, it doesn't matter. Why waste my time reading fictional books if there aren't any beautiful maidens on Barsoom?

Mark

46 posted on 07/18/2009 1:15:37 PM PDT by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: KevinDavis
"Never mind the Constitution was written where our founders never thought that we would launching rockets... I put it under the science clause in the Constitution..."

Do you oppose the space program because "it's not in the Constitution"?

Would you abandon space to our enemies, the Chinese and the Russians? Does it not matter to you that the future is in space and if we abandon it then we have no future as a nation? Do you really want the universe colonized by others while we Americans (we would not deserve the name) stay home in the cradle because we where to cheap, or too backward, or too afraid to go?

I would like to believe that the same drive that caused our ancestors to leave Europe and colonize a new world still exists within us, because if not, then we're finished as a people. We would have no future worth speaking of, and America would be, eventually, a footnote in history. Do you want to join that side of the argument that would relegate our once-great nation to being a footnote, or would you rather say that we as Americans have the will and the strength and the courage to lead our kind in the greatest adventure of all.

If we turn our backs on the future then we'll have no future.

47 posted on 07/18/2009 1:17:40 PM PDT by Batrachian
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To: jalisco555
Even so, it’s hard for science fiction fans to look at the full moon every month, and write it off as a failed cause. It’s been downhill for forty years

Wrong.

Our space craft have gone into the solar system, taking images and collecting date never before seen, data never imagined...In addition to modern optical telescopes and digital imaging, which has provided us historic, stunning data and images, since the Apollo missions.

Who would have believed we'd see images like this of another planet, just years after the Apollo mission?

Clouds above the rim of "Endurance Crater" in this image from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. These clouds occur in a region of strong vertical shear. The cloud particles (ice in this martian case) fall out, and get dragged along away from the location where they originally condensed, forming characteristic streamers. Opportunity took this picture with its navigation camera during the rover's 269th martian day (Oct. 26, 2004). (NASA/JPL)

48 posted on 07/18/2009 1:20:31 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Batrachian; All

You asking the wrong person... I think that NASA is the only Government agency (besides the military), has given us the biggest bang for our buck...


49 posted on 07/18/2009 1:22:18 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Can't Stop the Signal!)
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To: Osnome
I do not think that the economy got a boost from Space Exploration at all. At most it redistributed the wealth thru tax & spending and pork barreling.

We also had important improvements, not only to technology, but to our daily lives as well.

For instance,

Mark

50 posted on 07/18/2009 1:25:47 PM PDT by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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