Free men are not equal, equal men are not free.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Futurians

Daddy Warpig is posting on the scum who called themselves Futurians at Castalia house. This jumped out at me:
The Silver Age threw away heroics and heroism, the Bronze Age threw away decency and morality, the Iron Age forged tiny cages for people’s imaginations, and the Clay Age finger painted with their own poo, for there was nothing else to throw away.
Of the "big three" who'd been considered such the last few decades, I have no Clarke remaining, not even Rama, and only a couple Asimov. Lots of Heinlein juveniles though.

Why? Because while Heinlein's characters were often frighteningly competent "men with screwdrivers", they were also often big damn heroes, sometimes hucksters, taking risks, often of the life or death variety, and going into the unknown because it was there. 

It is no surprise then that at the recent Geek Gab with Jeffro, Wright, and Razorfist, (I think it was) Wright, in renaming the big three, still included Heinlein. From the writers before that, he included A.E. Van Vogt.

My only exposure to Van Vogt in decades past was the weapon shop stories of Isher, and even there, you could tell there was something special. Perhaps the most blatantly pro-gun, pro self-defense, anti-centralized power message short of some libertarian message fic, but unlike those, poetically written. They stuck with me all of these years.

Besides horrible works with a pervasive sense of wrongness like A is for Anything, this is another reason Damon Knight is owed condemnation.

Update: I've got more coming out on Asimov tomorrow.


  1. For whatever reason, my science fiction reading was Piper, VanVogt, Norton, Leinster, Heinlein (50s/60s), and Smith's Lensmen and Skylark at the core, with less of Two of the "Big Three". Then smatterings of Asimov -- Foundation and the first Robot stories, one or two Clarke (Childhood's End I found vaguely ... immoral, and 2001/2010 were both boring and annoying ... quite a feat that.)

    I was a pulp addict in parallel with these books -- plenty of anthologies around in the 60s/70s. When the Wheel of Time slimed it's way into shelves, I pretty much gave up reading new stuff.

    Then the Puppies and Castalia happened.

  2. I like to imaging that Lloyd Bochner is playing Damon Knight in "To Serve Man".

    Makes me feel warm inside to imagine him on Richard Kiel's dinner plate.

  3. LOL... have to admit "to serve man" is a clever warning tale.

    While the Twilight Zone had some sharp storytelling, it was often dark, and the Outer Limits reboot, even more so.