Golden Age of Science Fiction For Teens
Science Fiction and the Sciences Make Dreams Come True
Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan wrote my college astronomy text books and related materials, which I used for three quarters of study at the local state university.Those 10:00 PM - midnight classes were actually pretty much fun!
A noted chemist, Asimov produced a useful, interesting astronomy book and a large number of furutist novels as well. Most famous of these tales are likely the I. Robot and Foundation series. 21st century youth likely know the I, Robot film starring Will Smith. better than the novels, if they have read any of them at all.
While the first of the Asimov works I read was astronomy, I later read his futurist works and was more impressed with that than with the astronomy text. I wished I had known about them in high school. Therefore, I suggest them to teens today.
Not only are these unique,witty, and entertaining stories without much blood and gore, but they act as bookends for the periods of the author's life. Asimov presents a short history of each story and how it fit into the time period of the USA. One of these narratives tells about working together with the famous Robert Heinlein and L. Sprague DeCamp at the US Naval Air Experiment Station at the Navy Shipyards in Philadelphia during WWII. Imagine these three greats working together in the sciences while writing science fiction in their free time -- What a treat!
The Early Asimov: Book Two
FAWCETT CREST, 1st Printing 1974
These 14 stories are fun as well as a stimulus to the imagination. I began reading this series with Book 2 because it contains a favorite story from the author; I would have loved it as a teen!
Having first read Christmas on Ganymede as an adult, I still laugh so hard, I roll out of an armchair while reading -- I need a seat belt! Teenagers should have such fun as I in this reading.
How can I describe this story without giving away the ending? it is like a Marx Brothers Movie to be watched again and again.
On Jupiter's moon Ganymede, the local population works for the Human settlers. The Ganys are 4-foot tall ostrich-like folks (albeit with 3-fingered hands) wearing hair of long feathers and using high-pitched voices. They are called "Ossies."
They learn about Christmas on earth and demand their own yearly Christmas be provided or they will go on strike. An earthman fashions a festive tree and the Ossies hop up and down for joy while they hang their "Stockies" for "Sannyclaws" - who comes with a sleigh and eight huge spinyback warthogdeer through a hole the Ossies have knocked in the ceiling for a chimney. I won't give away the ending, but the year on Ganymede is somewhat shorter than on Earth...
This story is another favorite. Written in 1943, it fulfilled Asimov's dream to finally be published in Unknown magazine.
However, during a war related paper shortage, it was never published in Unknownand the magazine shut down. Later, when a book of a collection of Unknown stories was being put together in the 1960s, Asimov wrote the Introduction and mentioned Author! Author! At this point, the publisher gained permission to place it into the anthology. Happily, it is included in this book , along with the story about Heinlein, DeCamp, and Asimov working together for the Navy, experimenting with flight
Author Graham Dorn writes mysteries much like John Creasey's The Toffseries, but Dorn's hero is a bit shallow. The was a rich young man that helped Scotland Yard in London and served the common man. Dorn's hero has some more selfish concerns, especially when he appears in 3 dimensions in Dorn's room...
This shallow hero is Reginald de Meister (reminding us of Jackie Gleason's Reginald van Gleason III). He becomes a real live human being - and twice as annoying. Reggie takes over Dorn's life, pursuing his fiancee as well. The only way to rid himself of Reggie is to rewrite his latest de Meister mystery and bring back the passionate Latin character Sancha Rodriquez. Sancha was in love with reggie, but another woman - very bland - was engaged to the detective - even more bland in the engagement.
Reluctantsly, Dorn does the rewrite and Sancha appears in real life as well for near-mayhem. It's a lot of fun and has a happy ending.
The Early Asimov
Asimov's Book Two Stories
- Christmas on Ganymede - Can there be too much good cheer?
- The Little Man on the Subway
- The Hazing - The perfect way to end a hazing stunt.
- Not Final!
- Legal Rites - A ghost sues for the right to haunt
- Time Pussy - Fuzzy creatures stretch back abnd forth though time an dconfuse everyone else's.
- Author! Author!
- Death Sentence
- Blind Alley - Witty way through the red tape of government.
- No Connection
- The Endochronic Porpeties of Resublinated Thiotimoline
- The Red Queen's Race
- Mother Earth
Think Like a Futurist
Learning Without Pain
Asimov's book includes his biography in such as way that reading it between his short stores is interesting and fun as well. One hardly notices the learning.
The Endochronic Propreties of Resublinated Thiotimoline is actually a fake doctoral level paper that Asimov wrote in practice for his PhD dissertation. It is real-enough sounding to fool some readers, but it is unreal.
The entire list of references, typed in full detail, is full of fake journals. When this story was published, students went to libraries and requested these periodicals and copies of the articles referenced. It was much fun and as well as annoyance for the librarians. Of course, perhaps one day there really WILL be a Journal of Psychochemistry...
Isaac Asimov on The Golden Age of Science Fiction
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