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Slan made me fall in love

Updated on November 10, 2014
GollyGearHope profile image

Hope Saidel is co-owner of Golly Gear, a bricks-and-mortar and online shop featuring fun, affordable and practical small dog products


with Science Fiction, that is!

Slan was the very first "grown-up" science fiction book I read. I was lucky to have a mother who adored books and reading. She taught me that I could never, ever be bored as long as I had a book to read. I could go anywhere, be anyone, at any time, past, present, or future. When I was about eight years old she gave me her copy of Slan by A.E. Van Vogt to read.

I loved it and never looked back. I still devour science fiction and still visit my old favorites from the "Golden Age" of science fiction.

I hope you'll love Slan, too!

I'm delighted that Slan is still in print - it was originally published in 1946 in serial form in the Science Fiction magazine Astounding.

I've re-read Slan many times over the years and it holds up well. It's definitely a product of its time - but that doesn't mean it's not relevant today.

Slan: A Novel
Slan: A Novel

How will we treat the next step in the evolution of humans?


Science Fiction isn't about "them" out "there"

My love of science fiction continues - so much so that I took every college course I could on the topic.

I learned that Science Fiction isn't about aliens out in space - it's always about people here on Earth, because that's all human beings know. Even our wildest imaginings are constrained by our reality - but we can dream!


There are only three premises

All science fiction addresses one of three premises:

1 - What if?

2 - If only....

3 - If this goes on....

Tiny little sentences that encompass the entire world and all of space, time and imagination.

I'm always surprised and delighted by the creativity of science fiction writers. I've tried most of the sub-genres of science fiction; cyberpunk, dystopian, alien invasion, space exploration, etc. and there are books in each that I've thoroughly enjoyed.


The "Golden Age" of Science Fiction

The "Golden Age" of science fiction was from about 1938 to 1946 - before my time, and probably yours. I was lucky enough to have a mother who introduced me to some of these classics.

During this time there was an explosion of publications, books and magazines, exploring the new genre of science fiction.

While all fiction represents its own time, science fiction allowed writers to explore ideas, society, and politics from a different perspective. Some Golden Age novels hold up to modern times better than others, but many still have lessons we can learn.

It was during this era that Isaac Asimov developed his Three Laws of Robotics in "Caves of Steel," the first book featuring robot R. Daneel Olivaw.

Now that we have robots, wouldn't it be a good idea if we incorporated Asimov's 3 Laws?

© 2013 Hope

Who was your first? - Science Fiction author, that is!

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    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      This sounds terrible but i've always loved watching science fiction but not reading it!

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      You know, I don't remember who my first was! Wait. Yes, I do. Jules Verne. My favorite story, probably of all time, was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. And I'm trying to remember what Slan was about, because I have read it. I have read hundreds of science fiction books. But I totally lost interest with the current crop. I keep wondering if Squids read E.E. "Doc" Smith, because he talked about lensmen. I loved reading about their abilities.

    • SusanRDavis profile image

      Susan R. Davis 4 years ago from Vancouver

      Robert Heinlein

    • David3142 profile image

      David3142 4 years ago

      I remember getting a copy of Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton when I was quite young and I loved it (despite most of the maths and science references going over my head at the time). I've always enjoyed Isaac Asimov as well.