Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Asimov index continued

27. Jack Williamson
Williamson, Jack pg 83
"The Metal Man," Dec 1928 Amazing, pg 83
"Marooned off Vesta, by Asimov, pg 83

28. Lester Del Rey
del Rey, Lester pg 84-86
Gandalf in Lord of the Rings comparison pg 84
Gold, Horace pg 84
del REy, Evelyn (del REy's third wife) pg 85
the life of a writer/alcoholism pg 85
Ellison, Harlan pg 86
Clement, Hal pg 86
Del REy, Judy Lynn (del Rey's fourth wife) pog 86
"The Faithful" 1st published del rey story, pg 86
"The Day is Done" - Asimov's favorite del Rey story pg 86

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I Asimov Index continued

26. Clifford D. Simak
Simak, Clifford pgs 81-82
"The Worlf of the Red Sun", Dec 1931 Wonder Stories, 1st published story of Simak pg 81
Before the Golden Age anthology, edited by Asimov pg 81
"Rule 18", July 1938 ASF, by Simak, pg 81

Asimov writes:
"He [Cliff Simak] died on April 25, 1988 at the age of 84. Heinlein, however, died less than two weeks later, so that Simak's death was relegated to second place in the minds of most science fiction readers. I felt bad about this, for although Heinlein was the more successful writer, I could not help but feel Cliff was the better man."

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Friday, April 29, 2011

I Asimov index continued

25. Lyon Sprague de Camp
de Camp, L. Sprague pgs 78-80
Campbell, John pg 79
de Camp, Catherine (de Camp'swife) pg 79
"The Isolinguals" first published de Camp story, pg 79
Naval Air Experimental Station (NAES) pg 79-80
de Camp, Lyman and Gerard (sons of DeCamp) pg 80

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

E. E. Doc Smith

From Wikipedia
Edward Elmer Smith, Ph.D., also, E. E. Smith, E. E. "Doc" Smith, Doc Smith, "Skylark" Smith, and (to family) Ted (May 2, 1890 – August 31, 1965) was a food engineer (specializing in doughnut and pastry mixes) and early science fiction author who wrote the Lensman series and the Skylark series, among others. He is sometimes referred to as the father of space opera.

Family and education
Edward Elmer Smith was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on May 2, 1890 to Fred Jay Smith and Caroline Mills Smith, both staunch Presbyterians of British ancestry. His mother was a teacher born in Michigan in February 1855; his father was a sailor, born in Maine in January 1855 to an English father.

They moved to Spokane, Washington the winter after Edward Elmer was born, where Mr. Smith was working as a contractor in 1900. In 1902 the family moved to Seneaquoteen, near the Pend Oreille River, in Kootenai County, Idaho. He had four siblings, Rachel M. born September 1882, Daniel M. born January 1884, Mary Elizabeth born February 1886 (all of whom were born in Michigan), and Walter E. born July 1891 in Washington.

In 1910, Fred and Caroline Smith and their son Walter were living in the Markham Precinct of Bonner County, Idaho; Fred is listed in census records as a farmer.

Smith worked primarily as a manual laborer until he injured his wrist, at the age of 19, while escaping from a fire. He attended the University of Idaho. He was installed in the 1984 Class of the University of Idaho Alumni Hall of Fame. He entered its prep school in 1907, and graduated with two degrees in Chemical Engineering in 1914. He was president of the Chemistry Club, the Chess Club, and the Mandolin and Guitar Club, and captain of the Drill and Rifle Team; he also sang the bass lead in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

His undergraduate thesis was Some Clays of Idaho, co-written with classmate Chester Fowler Smith, who died in California of tuberculosis the following year, after taking a teaching fellowship at Berkeley. It is not known whether the two were related.

On October 5, 1915, in Boise, Idaho he married Jeanne Craig MacDougall, the sister of his college roommate, Allen Scott (Scotty) MacDougall. (Her sister was named Clarissa MacLean MacDougall; the heroine of the Lensman novels would later be named Clarissa MacDougall.) Jeanne MacDougall was born in Glasgow, Scotland; her parents were Donald Scott MacDougall, a violinist, and Jessica Craig MacLean. Her father had moved to Boise, Idaho when the children were young, and later sent for his family; he died while they were en route in 1905. Jeanne's mother, who remarried businessman and retired politician John F. Kessler in 1914 worked at, and later owned, a boarding house on Ridenbaugh Street.

The Smiths had three children:

Roderick N., born June 3, 1918 in the District of Columbia (employed as a design engineer at Lockheed Aircraft).

Verna Jean (later Verna Smith Trestrail), born August 25, 1920 in Michigan, his literary executor until her death in 1994. (Her son Kim Trestrail is now the executor.) Robert A. Heinlein in part dedicated his 1982 novel Friday to Verna.
Clarissa M. (later Clarissa Wilcox), born December 13, 1921 in Michigan.

Early chemical career and the beginning of Skylark:
After college, Smith was a junior chemist for the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., developing standards for butter and for oysters. Smith may have served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War I, but in what capacity is not known. Smith apparently requested exemption from the draft, partly because his wife was solely dependent on him, and partly perhaps because of his service as a civilian chemist in the war effort.

On one evening in 1915, the Smiths were with visiting his former classmate from the University of Idaho, Dr. Carl Garby, who had also moved to Washington, D.C. They lived near the Smiths in the Seaton Place Apartments in Washington with his wife, Lee Hawkins Garby. A long discussion about journeys into outer space ensued. Then, it was suggested to Smith that he should write down his ideas and speculations as a story about interstellar travel. Although he was interested, Smith thought that some amount of romantic elements would be required as well—a task that he found himself uncomfortable with.

Mrs. Garby then made an offer to take care of the love interest and the romantic dialogue, and Smith decided to give it a try. The sources of inspirations for the main characters in the novel were themselves. The "Seatons" were based on the Smiths while the "Cranes" were drawn from the Garbys. About one-third of The Skylark of Space was completed by the end of 1916, when Smith and Garby gradually abandoned work on it.

Smith earned his master's degree in chemistry from the George Washington University in 1917, studying under Dr. Charles E. Munroe. Smith completed his Ph.D. in chemical engineering, in 1918, emphasizing food engineering with a thesis entitled The effect of bleaching with oxides of nitrogen upon the baking quality and commercial value of wheat flour, which was published in 1919. Warner and Fleischer instead give the thesis title as The Effect of the Oxides of Nitrogen upon the Carotin Molecule — C40H56, which is difficult to explain. Sam Moskowitz instead gives the date of the degree as 1919, which may reflect the differences between the thesis submission date, its defense date, and the degree certification date.

Writing Skylark:
In 1919 Dr. Smith was hired as chief chemist for F. W. Stock & Sons of Hillsdale, Michigan, at one time the largest family-owned mill east of the Mississippi, working on doughnut mixes.

Late in 1919, after moving to Michigan, one evening Smith was baby-sitting (presumably for Roderick) while his wife attended a movie; he resumed work on The Skylark of Space, finishing it in the spring of 1920. He submitted it to many book publishers and magazines, spending more in postage than he would eventually receive for its publication. He received an encouraging rejection letter from Bob Davis, editor of Argosy, in 1922, saying that he liked the novel personally, but that it was too far out for his readers.

(According to Warner, but no other source, Dr. Smith began work on the sequel, Skylark III, before the first book was accepted.) Finally, upon seeing the April 1927 issue of Amazing Stories, he submitted it to the magazine; it was accepted, initially for $75, later raised to $125. It was published in the August–October 1928 issues. It was such a success that managing editor T. O'Conor Sloane requested a sequel before the second installment had been published.

Mrs. Garby was not interested in collaborating further, so Dr. Smith began work on Skylark Three on his own. It was published in the August through October 1930 issues of Amazing. (In 1930 the Smiths were living in Michigan, at 33 Rippon Avenue in Hillsdale.) This was as far as he had planned to take the Skylark series; it was praised in Amazing's letter column,] and he was paid 3/4¢ per word, surpassing Amazing's previous record of half a cent.

The early 1930s: between Skylark and Lensman:
Dr. Smith then began work on what he intended as a new series, starting with Spacehounds of IPC, which he finished in the autumn of 1930. In this novel he took pains to avoid the scientific impossibilities which had bothered some readers of the Skylark novels.

Even in 1938, after he had written Galactic Patrol, Dr. Smith considered it his finest work; he later said of it, "This was really scientific fiction; not, like the Skylarks, pseudo-science"; and even at the end of his career he considered it his only work of true science fiction.

It was published in the July through September 1931 issues of Amazing, but with unauthorized changes by Sloane. Fan letters in the magazine complained about the novel's containment within the solar system, and Sloane sided with the readers. So when Harry Bates, editor of Astounding Stories, offered Smith 2¢/word—payable on publication—for his next story, he agreed; this meant that it could not be a sequel to Spacehounds.

This book would be Triplanetary, "in which scientific detail would not be bothered about, and in which his imagination would run riot." Indeed, characters within the story point out its psychological and scientific implausibilities, and sometimes even seem to suggest self-parody. At other times they are conspicuously silent about obvious implausibilities.

The January 1933 issue of Astounding announced that Triplanetary would appear in the March issue, and that issue's cover illustrated a scene from the story, but Astounding's financial difficulties prevented the story from appearing. Dr. Smith then submitted the manuscript to Wonder Stories, whose editor, Charles D. Hornig, rejected it, later boasting about the rejection in a fanzine. He finally submitted it to Amazing, which published it beginning in January 1934, but for only half a cent a word. Shortly after it was accepted, F. Orlin Tremaine, the new editor of the revived Astounding, offered one cent a word for Triplanetary; when he learned that he was too late, he suggested a third Skylark novel instead.

In the winter of 1933-4 Dr. Smith worked on The Skylark of Valeron, but he felt that the story was getting out of control; he sent his first draft to Tremaine, with a distraught note asking for suggestions. Tremaine accepted the rough draft for $850, and announced it in the June 1934 issue, with a full-page editorial and a three-quarter page advertisement. The novel was published in the August 1934 through February 1935 issues. Astounding's circulation rose by 10,000 for the first issue, and its two main competitors, Amazing and Wonder Stories fell into financial difficulties, both skipping issues within a year.

The Lensman series
In January 1936, a time period where he was already an established science fiction writer, he took a job for salary plus profit-sharing, as a food technologist (a cereal chemist) at the Dawn Doughnut Company of Jackson, Michigan. This initially entailed almost a year's worth of eighteen-hour days and seven-day workweeks. Individuals who knew Dr. Smith confirmed that he had a role in developing mixes for doughnuts and other pastries, but the contention that he developed the first process for making powdered sugar adhere to doughnuts cannot be substantiated. Dr. Smith was reportedly dislocated from his job at Dawn Doughnuts due to pre-war rationing in early 1940.

Dr. Smith had been contemplating writing a "space-police novel" since early 1927; once he had "the Lensmen's universe fairly well set up", he reviewed his science fiction collection for "cops-and-robbers" stories. He cites Clinton Constantinescue's "War of the Universe" as a negative example, and Starzl and Williamson as positive ones. Tremaine responded extremely positively to a brief description of the idea.

Once Dawn Doughnuts became profitable in late 1936, Dr. Smith wrote an eighty-five page outline for what became the four core Lensman novels; in early 1937 Tremaine committed to buying them.

Segmenting the story into four novels required considerable effort to avoid dangling loose ends; Dr. Smith cites Edgar Rice Burroughs as a negative example. After the outline was complete, he wrote a more detailed outline of Galactic Patrol, plus a detailed graph of its structure, with "peaks of emotional intensity and the valleys of characterization and background material." He notes, however, that he was never able to follow any of his outlines at all closely, as the "characters get away from me and do exactly as they damn please."

After completing the rough draft of Galactic Patrol, he wrote the concluding chapter of the last book in the series, Children of the Lens. Galactic Patrol was published in the September 1937 through February 1938 issues of Astounding; unlike the revised book edition, it was not set in the same universe as Triplanetary.

Gray Lensman, the second book in the series, appeared in Astounding's October 1939 through January 1940 issues. (Note that the frequent British spelling "grey" is simply a recurrent mistake, starting with the cover of the first installment; Moskowitz's usage, "The Grey Lensman", is even harder to justify.) Gray Lensman (and its cover illustration) was extremely well received. Campbell's editorial in the December issue suggested that the October issue was the best issue of Astounding ever, and Gray Lensman was first place in the Analytical Laboratory statistics "by a lightyear", with three runners-up in a distant tie for third place. The cover was also praised by readers in Brass Tacks, and Campbell noted, "We got a letter from E. E. Smith saying he and Hubert Rogers agreed on how Kinnison looked."]

Dr. Smith was the guest of honor at Chicon I, the second World Science Fiction Convention, held in Chicago over Labor Day weekend 1940, giving a speech on the importance of science fiction fandom entitled "What Does This Convention Mean?" He attended the convention's masquerade as C.L. Moore's Northwest Smith, and met fans living near him in Michigan, who would later form the Galactic Roamers, which previewed and advised him on his future work.]

Dr. Smith worked for the US Army between 1941 and 1945. An extended segment in the novel version of Triplanetary, set during World War II, suggests intimate familiarity with explosives and munitions manufacturing. Some biographers cite as fact that, just as Smith's protagonist in this segment lost his job over failure to approve sub-standard munitions, Smith did as well. Smith began work for the J. W. Allen Company (a manufacturer of doughnut and frosting mixes) in 1946 and worked for them until his professional retirement in 1957.]

Retirement and late writing:
After Dr. Smith retired, he and his wife lived in Clearwater, Florida, in the fall and winter, driving the smaller of their two trailers to Seaside, Oregon, each April, often stopping at science fiction conventions on the way. (Dr. Smith did not like to fly.)

In 1963, he was presented the inaugural First Fandom Hall of Fame award at the 21st World Science Fiction Convention in Washington, D.C.] Some of his biography is captured in an essay by Robert A. Heinlein, which was reprinted in the collection Expanded Universe in 1980. There is a more detailed, although allegedly error-ridden, biography in Sam Moskowitz's Seekers of Tomorrow.

Robert A. Heinlein and Dr. Smith were friends. (Heinlein dedicated his 1958 novel Methuselah's Children "To Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.") Heinlein reported that E. E. Smith perhaps took his "unrealistic" heroes from life, citing as an example the extreme competence of the hero of Spacehounds of IPC. He reported that E. E. Smith was a large, blond, athletic, very intelligent, very gallant man, married to a remarkably beautiful, intelligent red-haired woman named MacDougal (thus perhaps the prototypes of 'Kimball Kinnison' and 'Clarissa MacDougal'). In Heinlein's essay, he reports that he began to suspect Smith might be a sort of "superman" when he asked Dr. Smith for help in purchasing a car. Smith tested the car by driving it on a back road at illegally high speeds with their heads pressed tightly against the roof columns to listen for chassis squeaks by bone conduction—a process apparently improvised on the spot.

In his non-series novels written after his professional retirement, Galaxy Primes, Subspace Explorers, and Subspace Encounter, E. E. Smith explores themes of telepathy and other mental abilities collectively called "psionics", and of the conflict between libertarian and socialistic/communistic influences in the colonization of other planets.

Lord Tedric:
Dr. Smith wrote a novelette entitled "Lord Tedric", published in Other Worlds in 1952, and which was almost completely forgotten.

Much later, 13 years after Dr. Smith's death, Gordon Eklund published another novel of the same name about the same fictional character, introducing it as "a new series conceived by E. E. 'Doc' Smith". Eklund later went on to publish the other novels in the series, one or two under the pseudonym "E. E. 'Doc' Smith" or "E. E. Smith". The protagonist possesses similar heroic qualities common to the heroes in Dr. Smith's original novels and can communicate with an extra-dimensional race of beings known as The Scientists, whose archenemy is Fra Villion, a mysterious character described as a dark knight, skilled in whip-sword combat, and evil genius behind the creation of a planetoid-sized "iron sphere" armed with a weapon capable of destroying planets. As a result, Dr. Smith is believed by many to be the unacknowledged progenitor of themes that would appear in Star Wars.

Critical opinion:
Smith's novels are generally considered to be the classic space operas, and he is sometimes called the "first nova" of twentieth century science fiction.

Dr. Smith expressed a preference for inventing fictional technologies that were not strictly impossible (so far as the science of the day was aware) but highly unlikely: "the more highly improbable a concept is—short of being contrary to mathematics whose fundamental operations involve no neglect of infinitesimals—the better I like it" was his phrase.

Extending the Lensman universe:
Vortex Blasters (also known as Masters of the Vortex) is set in the same universe as the Lensman novels. It is an extension to the main storyline which takes place between Second Stage Lensmen and Children of the Lens, and introduces a different type of psionics from that used by the Lensmen. Spacehounds of IPC is not a part of the series, despite occasional erroneous statements to the contrary. (It is listed as a novel in the series in some paperback editions of the 1970s.)

Robert A. Heinlein reported that Smith had planned a seventh Lensman novel, set after the events described in Children of the Lens, which was unpublishable at that time (the early 1960s).

Smith told Heinlein that the new novel proceeded inexorably from unresolved matters in Children, a statement easily supported by a careful reading of Children. Careful searches by people who knew Smith well (including Frederik Pohl, Smith's editor, and Verna Smith Trestrail, Smith's daughter) have failed to locate any material related to such a story. Smith apparently never wrote any of it down.

On 14 July 1965, barely a month before his death, Smith gave written permission to William B. Ellern to continue the Lensman series, which led to the publishing of "Moon Prospector" in 1965 and New Lensman in 1976. Smith's long-time friend, Dave Kyle, wrote three authorized added novels in the Lensman series that provided background about the major non-human Lensmen.

Influence on science and the military
Smith was widely read by scientists and engineers from the 1930s into the 1970s. Literary precursors of ideas which arguably entered the military-scientific complex include SDI (Triplanetary), stealth (Gray Lensman), the OODA Loop, C3-based warfare, and the AWACS (Gray Lensman).

An influence that is inarguable was described in an 11 June 1947 letter to Doc from John W. Campbell (the editor of Astounding magazine, where much of the Lensman series was originally published). In it, Campbell relayed Captain Cal Lanning's acknowledgment that he had used Smith's ideas for displaying the battlespace situation (called the "tank" in the stories) in the design of the United States Navy's ships' Combat Information Centers. "The entire set-up was taken specifically, directly, and consciously from the Directrix. In your story, you reached the situation the Navy was in—more communication channels than integration techniques to handle it. You proposed such an integrating technique and proved how advantageous it could be. You, sir, were 100% right. As the Japanese Navy—not the hypothetical Boskonian fleet—learned at an appalling cost."

One underlying theme of the later Lensman novels was the difficulty in maintaining military secrecy—as advanced capabilities are revealed, the opposing side can often duplicate them. This point was also discussed extensively by John Campbell in his letter to Doc. Also in the later Lensman novels, and particular after the "Battle of Klovia" broke the Boskonian's power base at the end of Second Stage Lensmen, the Boskonian forces and particularly Kandron of Onlo reverted to terroristic tactics to attempt to demoralize Civilization, thus providing an early literary glimpse into this modern problem of both law enforcement and military response. The use of "Vee-two" gas by the pirates attacking the Hyperion in Triplanetary (in both magazine and book appearances) also suggests anticipation of the terrorist uses of poison gases.

The beginning of the story the Skylark of Space describes in relative detail the protagonists research into separation of platinum group residues, subsequent experiments involving electrolysis and the discovery of a process evocative of cold fusion (over 50 years before Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann). He describes a nuclear process yielding large amounts of energy and producing only negligible radioactive waste—which then goes on to form the basis of the adventures in the Skylark books. Smith's general description of the process of discovery is highly evocative of Röntgen's descriptions of his discovery of the X-ray.

Another theme of the Skylark novels involves precursors of modern information technology. The humanoid aliens encountered in the first novel have developed a primitive technology called the "mechanical educator", which allows direct conversion of brain waves into intelligible thought for transmission to others or for electrical storage. By the third novel in the series, Skylark of Valeron, this technology has grown into an "Electronic Brain" which is capable of computation on all "bands" of energy—electromagnetism, gravity, and "tachyonic" energy and radiation bands included. This is itself derived from a discussion of reductionist atomic theory in the second novel, Skylark Three, which brings to mind modern quark and sub-quark theories of elementary particle physics.

Literary influences on Smith's writing:
In his 1947 essay "The Epic of Space", Smith listed (by last name only) authors he enjoyed reading: John W. Campbell, L. Sprague de Camp, Robert A. Heinlein, Murray Leinster, H. P. Lovecraft, A. Merritt (specifically The Ship of Ishtar, The Moon Pool, The Snake Mother, and Dwellers in the Mirage, as well as the character John Kenton), C.L. Moore (specifically Jirel of Joiry), Roman Frederick Starzl, John Taine, A.E. van Vogt, Stanley G. Weinbaum (specifically Tweerl), and Jack Williamson.

In a passage on his preparation for writing the Lensman novels, he notes that Clinton Constantinescu's "War of the Universe" was not a masterpiece, but says that Starzl and Williamson were masters; this suggests that Starzl's Interplanetary Flying Patrol may have been an influence on Smith's Triplanetary Patrol, later the Galactic Patrol. The feeding of the Overlords of Delgon upon the life-force of their victims at the end of chapter five of Galactic Patrol seems a clear allusion to chapter twenty-nine of The Moon Pool; Merritt's account of the Taithu and the power of love in chapters twenty-nine and thirty-four also bear some resemblance to the end of Children of the Lens. Smith also mentions Edgar Rice Burroughs, complaining about loose ends at the end of one of his novels.

Smith acknowledges the help of the Galactic Roamers writers' workshop, plus E. Everett Evans, Ed Counts, an unnamed aeronautical engineer, Dr. James Enright, and Dr. Richard W. Dodson. Smith's daughter, Verna, lists the following authors as visitors to the Smith household in her youth: Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, Heinlein, Dave Kyle, Bob Tucker, Williamson, Frederik Pohl, Merritt, and the Galactic Roamers. Smith cites Bigelow's Theoretical Chemistry–Fundamentals as a justification for the possibility of the inertialess drive. There is also an extended reference to Rudyard Kipling's "Ballad of Boh Da Thon" in Gray Lensman.

Sam Moskowitz's biographical essay on Smith in Seekers of Tomorrow states that he regularly read Argosy magazine, and everything by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, H. Rider Haggard, Edgar Allan Poe, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Moskowitz also notes that Smith's "reading enthusiasms included poetry, philosophy, ancient and medieval history, and all of English literature." (Smith's grandson notes that he spoke, and sang, German.)

The influence of these is not readily apparent, except in the Roman section of Triplanetary, and in the impeccable but convoluted grammar of Smith's narration. Some influence of nineteenth century philosophy of language may be detectable in the account in Galactic Patrol of the Lens of Arisia as a universal translator, which is reminiscent of Frege's strong realism about Sinn, that is, thought or sense.

Both Moskowitz and Smith's daughter Verna Smith Trestrail report that Smith had a troubled relationship with John Campbell, the editor of Astounding. It is noteworthy that Smith's most successful works were published under Campbell, but the degree of influence is uncertain. The original outline for the Lensman series had been accepted by F. Orlin Tremaine, and Smith angered Campbell by showing loyalty to Tremaine at his new magazine, Comet, when he sold him "The Vortex Blaster" in 1941. Campbell's announcement of Children of the Lens, in 1947, was less than enthusiastic. Campbell later said that he published it only reluctantly, though he praised it privately, and bought little from Smith thereafter.

Derivative works and influence on popular culture:
--Randall Garrett wrote a parody entitled Backstage Lensman which Dr. Smith reportedly enjoyed. Harry Harrison also parodied Smith's work in the novel, Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers.
--Garrett also included a reference to Dr. Smith in his Lord Darcy novels; the badge of the Royal Messengers resembles the Lens, and the spell to activate one was devised by a wizard named Dr Edward Elmer.
--Sir Arthur C. Clarke's space battle in Earthlight was based on the attack on the Mardonalian fortress in chapter seven of Skylark Three.
--Steve 'Slug' Russell wrote one of the first computer games, Spacewar!, with inspiration from the space battles from the Lensman series.
--The GURPS role-playing game includes a worldbook based on the Lensman series.
--There is a Japanese Lensman anime, but it is more an imitation of Star Wars than a translation of the Lensman novels. Efforts to print translations of the associated manga in the United States in the early 1990s without payment of royalties to the Smith family were successfully blocked in court by Verna Smith Trestrail with the help of several California science fiction authors and fans.
--In his biography, George Lucas reveals that the Lensman novels were a major influence on his youth. J. Michael Straczynski, creator of the science fiction television series Babylon 5, also has acknowledged the influence of the Lensman books.
--Superman-creator Jerry Siegel was impressed, at an early age, with the optimistic vision of the future presented in Skylark of Space.
--Two members of the Green Lantern Corps are named Arisia and Eddore, and the Guardians and the Power Rings are arguably quite similar thematically to the Arisians and the Lens created by them.
--Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment and Universal Studios are in negotiation with the Smith estate for an 18-month film rights option on the series

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I Asimov index continued

24. Robert Anson Heinlein
Heinlein, Robert pgs 75-78
Campbell, John pg 75, 76
"Lifeline" Heinlein's first published story pg 76
Naval Air Experimental Station (NAES) pg 76
de Camp, Sprague pg 76
HEinlein, Leslyn (Heinlein's first wife) pg 76
Heinlein, Virginia (Heinlein's 2nd wife) pg 76
Reagan, Ronald pg 77
Wyman, Jane pg 77
Reagan, Nancy pg 77
Smith, EE pg 77
"Solution Unsatisfactory" (namecheck) pg 77
MacDonald, Anson (Heinlein pseudonym) pg 77
Double Star by Heinlein, pg 77
"The Green Hills of Earth" in the Saturday Evening Post pg 77
Destination Moon (movie) pg 78
Science Fiction Writers of America pg 78
Grumbles from the Grave, (letters Heinlein wrote to editors, publshed posthumously), pg 78

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I, Asimov index continued

23. John Wood Campbell, Jr.
Campbell, John W. Jr. pgs 72-74
MIT pg 72
Duke University pg 73
Rhine, Joseph B. (studier of ESP) pg 72
"When the Atoms Failed" (first published tory of John Campbell) pg 72
Amazing magazine pg 72
Smith, EE "Doc" pg 72
Skylark of Space (by EE Smith) pg 72-73
"Piracy Preferred" (by Campbell) pg 73
"Wade, Arcot and Morey" stories written by Campbell, pg 73
Astounding magazine pg 73
Stuart, Don A (Campbell pseudonyym) pg 73
Stuart, Dona (Campbell's first wife) pg 73
"Twilight" first story published as Don A. Stuart pg 73
"Who Goes There?" Stuart's most famous story, pg 73
Astounding Science Fiction (ASF) pg 73
Unknown (magazine started by Campbell) pg 73
Magazone of Fantasy and Science Fiction pg 74
Noucher, Anthony (editor of F & SF) pg 74
McComas, J. Francis (co-editor of F & SF) pg 74
Galaxy Science Fictioin edited by Horace Gold, pg 74
Deam drive pg 74
Hieronymus machine pg 74
Dianetics, created by L. Ron Hubbard pg 74
"Belief" Asimov story dealing with psionic talents pg 74
Analog (new name of ASF) pg 74

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jack Williamson

from Wikipedia
John Stewart Williamson (April 29, 1908 – November 10, 2006), who wrote as Jack Williamson (and occasionally under the pseudonyms Will Stewart and Nils O. Sonderlund) was a U.S. writer often referred to as the "Dean of Science Fiction" following the death in 1988 of Robert A. Heinlein.

Early life
Williamson was born April 29, 1908 in Bisbee, Arizona Territory, and spent his early childhood in western Texas. In search of better pastures, his family migrated to rural New Mexico in a horse-drawn covered wagon in 1915. The farming was difficult there and the family turned to ranching, which they continue to this day. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II as a weather forecaster.

Writing career:
Williamson discovered the local library and used it to educate himself. As a young man, he discovered the magazine Amazing Stories, after answering an ad for one free issue. He strove to write his own fiction, selling his first story at age 20: "The Metal Man" appeared in the Dec. 1928 issue of Amazing Stories. His work during this early period was heavily influenced by A. Merritt.

Early on, he became impressed by the works of Miles J. Breuer and struck up a correspondence with him. A doctor who wrote science fiction in his spare time, Breuer had a strong talent and turned Williamson away from dreamlike fantasies towards more rigorous plotting and stronger narrative. Under Breuer's tutelage, Williamson would send outlines and drafts for review. Their first work together was the novel Birth of a New Republic in which Moon colonies were undergoing something like the American Revolution—a theme later taken up by many other SF writers, particularly in Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.

Wracked by emotional storms and believing many of his physical ailments to be psychosomatic, Williamson underwent psychiatric evaluation in 1933 at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, in which he began to learn to resolve the conflict between his reason and his emotion. From this period, his stories take on a grittier, more realistic tone.

By the 1930s he was an established genre author, and the teenaged Isaac Asimov was thrilled to receive a postcard from Williamson, whom he had idolized, congratulating him on his first published story and saying "welcome to the ranks". Williamson remained a regular contributor to the pulp magazines, though not reaching financial success until many years later. He published many collaborations with the science fiction author Frederik Pohl. He continued to write as a nonagenarian and won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards during the last decade of his life, by far the oldest writer to win those awards.

Academic career
Williamson received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English in the 1950s from Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) in Portales (near the Texas panhandle), joining the faculty of that university in 1960. He remained affiliated with the school for the rest of his life. In the late 1990s, he established a permanent trust to fund the publication of El Portal, ENMU's journal of literature and art.

In the 1980s, he made a sizable donation of books and original manuscripts to ENMU's library, which resulted in the formation of a Special Collections department; the library now is home to the Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library, which ENMU's website describes as "one of the top science fiction collections in the world".

In addition, Williamson hosted the Jack Williamson Lectureship Series, an annual panel discussion in which two science fiction authors were invited to speak to attendees on a set topic. The Jack Williamson Liberal Arts building houses the Mathematics, Art, and Languages & Literature Departments of the university.

Williamson completed his Ph.D. in English literature at the University of Colorado in Boulder, focused on H.G. Wells' earlier works, demonstrating that Wells was not the naive optimist that many believed him to be. In the field of science, Jack Williamson coined the word terraforming in a science-fiction story published in 1942 in Astounding Science Fiction.

Later years:
In the mid 1970s, Williamson was named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America. He was only the second person to receive this honor. The first was Robert A. Heinlein.

After retiring from teaching full-time in 1977, Williamson spent some time concentrating on his writing, but after being named Professor Emeritus by ENMU, he was coaxed back to co-teach two evening classes, "Creative Writing" and "Fantasy and Science Fiction" (he pioneered the latter at ENMU during his full-time professorship days). Williamson continued to co-teach these two classes into the 21st century.

In 1994 Williamson received a World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

In November 2006, Williamson died at his home in Portales, New Mexico at age 98. Despite his age, he had made an appearance at the Spring 2006 Jack Williamson Lectureship and published a 320-page novel, The Stonehenge Gate, in 2005.

Notable works:
The Legion of Space
While attending a Great Books course, Williamson learned that Henryk Sienkiewicz had created one of his works by taking the Three Musketeers of Alexandre Dumas and pairing them with John Falstaff of William Shakespeare. Williamson took this idea into science fiction with The Legion of Space.

Desperate for money, he searched for a quick source of income. While most pulps of the time were slow to pay, the recently re-started Astounding was an exception. However, they did not accept novels, so Williamson submitted three short stories and a novelette. Learning that they were also accepting novels for serialization, he sent in The Legion of Space, which was published in six parts. It quickly became a genre favorite, and was quickly collected into a hardcover.

The story takes place in an era when humans have colonized the Solar System but dare not go farther, as the first extra-solar expedition to Barnard's Star failed and the survivors came back as babbling, grotesque, diseased madmen. They spoke of a gigantic planet, populated by ferocious animals and the single city left of the evil "Medusae." The Medusae bear a vague resemblance to jellyfish, but are actually elephant-sized, four-eyed, flying beings with hundreds of tentacles. The Medusae cannot speak and communicate with one another via a microwave code.

The Falstaff character is named Giles Habibula. He was once a criminal, and can open any lock ever made. In his youth he was called Giles The Ghost. Jay Kalam (Commander of The Legion) and Hal Samdu are the names of the other two warriors. In this story these warriors of the 30th Century battle the Medusae, the alien race from the lone planet of Barnard's Star. The Legion itself is the military and police force of the Solar System after the overthrow of an empire called the Purple Hall that once ruled all humans.

In this novel, renegade Purple pretenders ally themselves with the Medusae as a means to regain their empire. But the Medusae, who are totally unlike humans in all ways, turn on the Purples, seeking to destroy all humans and move to the Solar System, as their own world, far older than Earth, is finally spiraling back into Barnard's Star. One of the Purples, John Ulnar, supports the Legion from the start, and he is the fourth great warrior. His enemy is the Purple pretender Eric Ulnar, who sought the Medusae out in the first place, seeking to become the next Emperor of The Sun.

The Medusae conquered the Moon, set up their bases there, and went on to attempt conquest of the Solar System. The Medusae had for eons used a reddish, artificial greenhouse gas to keep their dying world from freezing. The Medusae learned from the first human expedition to their world that the gas rots human flesh, and the Medusae use it as a potent chemical weapon, attempting ecological destruction by means of projectiles fired from the Moon. Their vast spaceships also have very effective plasma weapons, very similar to those the Romulans had in a Star Trek episode called Balance of Terror.

The Legion works also featured a force field called AKKA which can erase from the Universe any matter, of any size, anywhere, even a star or a planet. AKKA was a weapon of mass destruction and the secret of it was entrusted to a series of women. AKKA was used in the past to overthrow the Purple tyranny. It was also used to wipe out most of the Medusae, though they had tried to steal the secret. When they were wiped out, the Moon where they had established their base was erased out of existence. At the end of the story, John Ulnar falls in love with the keeper of AKKA, Aladoree Anthar, and marries her. Aladoree Anthar is described as a young woman with lustrous brown hair and gray eyes, beautiful as a goddess.

Williamson next wrote The Cometeers which takes place twenty years after The Legion of Space in which the same characters battle another alien race, this one of different origin.

In this second tale, they fight The Cometeers who are an alien race of energy beings controlling a "comet" which is really a giant force field containing a swarm of planets populated by their slaves. The slave races are of flesh and blood, but none are remotely similar to humans. The Cometeers cannot be destroyed by AKKA, as they are incorporeal from the Universe's point of view and exist for the most part in an alternate reality. The ruling Cometeers feed on their slaves and literally absorb their souls, leaving disgusting, dying hulks in their wake. It is said that they do so, as they were once fleshly entities themselves of various species. Hence, the ruling Cometeers keep other intelligent beings as slaves and "cattle." They fear AKKA, though, as it can erase all their possessions.

They are defeated by the skills of Giles Habibula. Giles broke into a secret chamber guarded by complex locks and force fields that the incorporeal Cometeers could not penetrate. In it the ruler of the Cometeers had kept its own weapon of mass destruction, one that would cause the Cometeers to disintegrate. The ruling Cometeer kept this weapon to enforce its rule over the others of its kind. Once the Cometeers were destroyed, their slaves were ordered by the Legion to take the comet and leave the Solar System, and never return.

Another novel, One Against the Legion, tells of a Purple pretender who sets up a robotic base on a world over seventy light years from Earth, and tries to conquer the Solar System via matter transporter technology he has stolen. In this story robots are outlawed, as they are in Dune. The story also features Jay Kalam, lobbying to allow the New Cometeers to leave the Solar System in peace, as many people were demanding that AKKA be used to obliterate the departing swarm of planets once and for all.

In 1983, Williamson published a final Legion novel, The Queen of the Legion. Giles Habibula reappears in this final novel, which is set after the disbanding of the Legion.

An editor suggested that Williamson combine the ideas of contraterrene matter (antimatter) and asteroid mining. This brought about the Seetee (C-T) series of short stories written as by Will Stewart.

Comic strip:
An unfavorable review of one of his books, which compared his writing to that of a comic strip, brought Williamson to the attention of The New York Sunday News, which needed a science fiction writer for a new comic strip. Williamson wrote the strip Beyond Mars, loosely based on his novel Seetee Ship for several years (1952–55), until the paper dropped all comics.

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I. Asimov index continued

22. Early Sales
"Cosmic Corkscrew" - Asimov's first story written for publication. lost. pg 69
Astounding magazine, edited by Campbell pg 69
Street & Smith pg 68, 69
Campbell, John W. jr. pg 70-71
"The Callistan Menace"(Asimov story) pg 70
"Marooned off Vesta" Asimov story pg 70
Amazing Stories, published by Ziff-DAvis pg 70
Palmer, Raymond A. (editor of Amazing Stories) pg 70
Pohl, Fred (purchased Callistan Menace) pg 70
"Trends" (first Asimov story sold to CAmpbell) pg 71
"The Weapon Too Dreadful to Use" Asimov story pg 71
Columbia College pg 71

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Asimov in the News: WVU is new home to more than 600 Asimov books, items

The Daily Athenaeum: WVU is new home to more than 600 Asimov books, items
More than 600 books by renowned science fiction writer Isaac Asimov were donated to the West Virginia University Wise Library's Rare Book Collection.

WVU alumnus Larry Shaver contacted WVU in 2003 to ask if they were interested in the books he had collected by Asimov. Over the years Shaver has donated more than 600 books and more than 50 other items such as games, audio recordings, videos and wall charts, said Harold Forbes, WVU's rare books curator.

Shaver said he began collecting the books when he was in high school with his first purchase of "The Fountain Trilogy."

"I was intrigued by the covers mostly I must admit, but once I had read them, I was hooked," Shaver said.

Shaver later purchased several of Asimov's works from dealers in Australia.

After 25 years of collecting Asimov works, he ended up with more than 175 books. He then decided to upgrade his collection and started seriously collecting by seeking better editions and signed copies.

One particular book Shaver purchased was a signed first-edition of "I, Robot," which cost him $1,000 and a signed "Lucky Starr" series for around $4,000.

Shaver has found many rare and signed editions of books written by Asimov. However, there are about 20 titles in the recognized list of Asimov's works that he has not found.

"I keep looking, though," he said. "This past fall for example, I was able to obtain 54 essays that had only appeared in American Airlines in-flight magazine around 30 years ago."

Once his obsession became too large for him to take care of, Shaver decided to donate his Asimov collection to WVU, which took the entire collection unseen. Then, the

collection included more than 600 books.

When WVU asked Shaver what restrictions he had for the collection, he replied only the collection be kept together.

"I could not have been more pleased with the extraordinary work the library staff had done to not only make the collection available, but also in the restoration efforts they've made to the books themselves," he said. "That collection truly belongs to WVU Libraries, not me."

The Asimov collection, which now includes 38 signed editions, belongs to WVU and is under the care of Forbes, who has worked in the rare books room for 38 years.

When a student wants to view an Asimov book, or other rare book, they must make an appointment with Forbes. He ensures they receive a lesson on how to handle the collection.

The rare books room has rules such as no pens, cameras or scanning equipment to ensure the preservation of the books, he said.

"It's expanded the period of time that is covered in the rare books room," Forbes said. "Asimov added the 20th century ... we deliberately expanded into science and science fiction."

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I Asimov Index continued

19. Frederik Pohl
Pohl, Frederik pgs 62-64
Pohl, Bette (Frederik's fidth wife) pg 63
Kornbluth, Cyril pg 63
Galaxy magazine pg 63
GRavy Planet, the pg 63 (written by Kornbluth and Pohl)
Space Merchants, The (novel form of GRavy Planet) pg 63
Astonishing Stories (edited by Pohl in 1940) pg 64
Super Science Stories (edited by Pohl in 1940) pg 64
Astounding Magazine pg 64
Pohl, Doris (Pohl's first wife) pg 64
Campbell, John W. Jr (namecheck) pg 64

20. Cyril Kornbluth
Kornbluth, Cyril pgs 65-66
"A Maiden Fair to See" from HMS Pinafore pg 65
HMS Pinafore pg 65
Smith, George O (science fiction writer) pg 66
"The Marching Morons" by Cyril Kornbluth pg 66
Galaxy magazine pg 66

21. Donald Allen Wollhein
Wollheim, Donald Allen pg 67-66
Ackerman, Forrest J. (namecheck) pg 67
Kornbluth, Cyril (namecheck) pg 67
Stirring Science Fiction (edited by Wollheim) pg 67
Cosmic Stories (edited by Wollheim) pg 67
"The Secret Sense" by Asimov, pg 67
Tremaine, F. Orlin pg 67
Comet Stories, edited by F. Orlin Tremaine pg 67
"The Man from Ariel" by Wollheim, pg 68
Wonder Stories (name check) pg 68
"Mimic" by Wollheim pg 68
Fantastic Novels (namecheck) pg 68
Pocket Book of Science Fiction, edited by Wolheim, pog 68
Ace Books pg 68
DAW Books, founded by Wollheim pg 68
Universe Makers, The - non-fiction, history of SF by Wollheim, pg 68
Wollheim, Elsie (Donald's first and only wife) pg 68
Wollheim, Betsy (Donald's daughter) pg 68
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Asimov in the News: Isaac Asimov, Time Travel and 'The End of Eternity'

NPR: Isaac Asimov, Time Travel and 'The End of Eternity'
Science-fiction godfather Isaac Asimov published his classic time-travel novel The End of Eternity in 1955, and in a way, it's become lost in time itself over the years. Overshadowed by Asimov's famous Foundation and Robot series, The End of Eternity is mostly unknown to casual science-fiction fans. Yet serious devotees of Asimov's work consider it to be his single greatest novel.

The End of Eternity has been out of print and hard to find for a while, but that's been happily remedied with Tor Books' recent hardcover reissue and even more recent move to the various e-book formats.

The complicated plot of the book goes something like this: Our hero, Andrew Harlan, is an Eternal — a scientist operating from a tract of cosmic real estate known as Eternity. Eternity is a sort of bubble that exists outside of time and space. Or, in the metaphorical approach of the book, it's like an extratemporal elevator shaft running parallel to forward-moving Time.

Eternals can move up and down this shaft — "upwhen" and "downwhen" — getting off at stations in any century to enact Reality Changes. These changes alter the flow of human events toward outcomes producing "the maximum good for the maximum number."

As a going concern, though, Eternity has an HR problem. Despite their names, Eternals are mere humans, subject to aging in "physiotime." They age and die just like anyone else. They make mistakes. And fall in love.

Disclosing too much after this would spoil things, as much of the pleasure of Eternity comes from its old-fashioned mystery plotting. This might not be what you'd expect from Asimov, but the author actually wrote several mysteries and was a member of the prestigious Sherlock Holmes appreciation society, "The Baker Street Irregulars."

What would actually happen, the book asks, if an eternal guardian entity were forever shielding us from our own mistakes?

Still, it's safe to disclose a few story specifics. In the course of his work, Harlan falls in love with the fetching Noÿs Lambent, a beautiful aristocrat with her umlauts in all right places (writing about women was never Asimov's strong suit). Noÿs is from a century scheduled to undergo a Reality Change, which presents a dilemma for Harlan. If he effects the change, Noÿs may disappear entirely from the new Reality, or be replaced with an inferior analogue.

Eternity trades heavily in the proposal and resolution of quite a few time-travel paradoxes. This is a staple of science fiction, but here Asimov handles it with remarkable clarity. The book casually shuffles in mind-bending concepts from quantum physics and actually makes them work within the narrative, weaving in concepts like causality violations and infinite parallel universes.

Asimov never actually renders these things understandable — that would take several decades and a few doctoral programs. But he makes them appear understandable, at least until the end of the chapter. And that's the real trick, isn't it? The book employs time-travel elements to do what all good science fiction does — extrapolate scientific and social issues to various event horizons of the future.

Eternity's essential mission statement, after all, would have to be read as social engineering writ insanely large. What would actually happen, the book asks, if an eternal guardian entity were forever shielding us from our own mistakes?

It doesn't take too much lateral thinking to transpose Asimov's hard sci-fi musings into theological notions of destiny and free will. Or, going in the other direction, to matters of evolution and natural selection. If you remove adverse environmental conditions, would man keep evolving at all?

This is part of Asimov's particular genius. He is a master prestidigitator of notional misdirection. He keeps you so dazzled with the sci-fi flourishes — Temporal loops! Neuronic whips! — that you don't notice the bigger cosmic tricks he's producing from his other sleeve. It's a maneuver he uses time and time again in the Foundation and Robot books.

Eternity also works as a futuristic thriller and is particularly effective as a straight-up mystery novel. The last 30 pages of the book move with terrific velocity through a series of startling revelations. Asimov snaps together a dozen story elements cleverly obscured throughout the other chapters. Clearly, this is where Asimov's Sherlock habit pays off.

Glenn McDonald is an arts writer and movie critic with the Raleigh News & Observer and editor of NPR's Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me Daily News Quiz.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Asimov in the News: Local students don’t want their future trashed Local students don’t want their future trashed

After reading Isaac Asimov’s “Where Does the Garbage Go?” fifth-grade students in one of Hermine Drossos’ reading groups at A.J. Smith Elementary School in Union Springs wrote to The Citizen with their worries for the future. In observation of Earth Day, The Citizen has published their letters below.

The essays have been reprinted as submitted.

Dear editor,

I am a fifth grade student at AJ Smith Elementary. I am concerned that soon we might be the last ones alive if people don’t stop littering. Also, all the animals will die. It is bad for the Earth. It is just sickening that people leave their garbage near rivers, lakes and oceans. If they go swimming there, they will smell a lot of garbage and no one would want to go there anymore. Think about the animals that live there, they could get hurt real badly. What if you were those animals and tried to survive with all that revolting garbage?

Some people don’t care about the Earth. Did you know that each person in the U.S. produces more then a half a ton of garbage each year. People should think before they throw stuff outside. We should throw away less because the more garbage we throw away, the more we pollute. We need to recycle more and stop burning stuff like plastic that will pollute the air, because it’s bad for our health. Some people dump trash next to the ocean. What about all those cool fish in the ocean? Here’s an idea, grownups and their kids could get together and figure out a way to help people and animals to be healthy.


Tyler K.

Dear editor,

Hello, my name is Jonathan Bower, and I’m a 5th grade student at AJ Smith Elementary in Auburn. I’m worried about the growing problem of garbage in our landfills. It takes 450 years for a plastic can 6-pack cover to decompose, probably not even 1 of them has! It is undetermined how long it takes for a glass bottle to decompose!

I believe that recycling as much as we can will solve the problem. We can fix old blankets and give them to the Salvation Army. Also think about not buying wrapping paper, you can recycle newspapers. We should think about using biomass, biomass waste, and water for energy not coal, nuclear, natural gas and oil. We only have 40-70 year left of focal fuel and it pollutes. It also causes global warming, so change to the good choice. We should also stop burning garbage, it releases bad chemicals in to the air. 1 last thing toxic waste is a bad idea. How about wind energy and solar? There are many ways to help the environment.


Jonathan bower

Dear editor,

I am a fifth grad student at AJ Smith Elementary and I am concerned about Garbage. I would like to know what we can do about all of this trash in the world. I am concerned because the air and the water is being piloted rate now as we sit here and speak. You and I both know that everyone like to go to the zoo. But if the air is piloted no one can go there and see all of there animals. Also if the water is piloted you can’t go to the beach and to tell you the truth I like the beach and the zoo a lot and I know my kids will too. So I would rely rely like it if everyone would stop and think, “Is this going to help or is this going heart the world?” and then find out what you think you could do with the trash. If you know something about it and then I think you are a real hero That’s why we should participate in Earth Day,

Here are just some suggestions that I think will help the world be a bettor place for everyone to live in. I think everyone should have at least one bin for their recycling in their house. So then when someone is about to go throw something away he or she will start putting it in the correct bin. I’m not sure if this is a good idea or not, but I was thinking maybe we could even make some solar panels for factories or other big baseness, because I know that sun will never give off any pollution at all. But I doknow the things we are using now will really hurt the planet a lot. Please think about everything I has said.


Anthony J. Whiffen

Dear editor,

I am an A.J. student and I am concerned that we don’t recycle things that can be recycled. For example glass can be recycled. I am also concerned about all of the litter. We are polluting the world and I don’t like it. Litter can get caught in the ditch and lead into our nearest river or lake. It can also lead into our oceans. We need water for cooking and drinking so if we had an oil spill we wouldn’t be able to drink or cook with it. Some animals can mistake litter for food like a meat package and they can die. If your cat or dog died because of you littering, wouldn’t you be sad. It is the same of other animals I am helping people clean the world by going out and picking up garbage from ditches and roads so I can change the world. It is sad that people are doing this to our community.

Litter and carry lots of germs and you can get dieses from it. Every day should be earth day. One time my sister and I went out to find and pick up garbage and fond at lot of it. It was gross. If I had 1,0000 dollars I would spend it on stuff to help the enlivenment. I read in books that some of the garbage can land in the beach. Sometimes beaches get so dirty that they have to close the beach so it can be cleaned. It sickens me that how much people litter.

There should be a law about littering and if you litter you will go to you will bet a fine. Another thing is cigarette buds are often thrown out of cars that I call cruelty and you should go to jail. If that happened their wood be a lot of people in your local jail. If a baby picks up a cigarette bud and eats it they can die.

I don’t know if people know this but cans can be worth money like 5 or 10 cents all you have to do is bring your can to a place that collets cans like the one in auburn N.Y. and if you throw all of you cans away you are throwing away your money. If I was an adult I would not want to throw away my money. Well, I am Kayla Nichols and I want to make a difference. Remember when you throw away a can you are throwing away an animals or babies life.


Kayla Nichols

Dear editor,

I am a 5th grade student at A.J. Smith Elementary. I am very concerned about garbage. The amount of garbage looks like it is growing and that worries me a lot. Pretty soon there will be no animals left and people will be getting sick. Before you know it our landfills will take up all of our room for living. Some landfills can be a big problem. I’ll tell you why. Some chemicals can leak out of the landfill into houses and factories I see more people littering. You know what that means, people are not caring anymore. That is sad.

I have some suggestion to keep garbage where I live away so my family will be safe. On Earth Day, all my cousins, aunts, uncle, and even my grandma and grandpa go out to pick up garbage. You would not believe what we picked up. There were 3 whole bags. That is sad. That shows more people do not care about animals and people around where they live. My grandma gave me this thought; you may not know that behind the pretty hills can be a mess with all the trash. It used to be pretty, but some people ruined for our animals and environment. Do you want to help the government? Around your town, city, where ever you live, if you see garbage laying around, pick it up. You can set up a recycling bin near the ocean with fish in the water and before you know it, it is filled with cans and tabs. Bring the tabs to school and the cans to a place where they recycle. You or your parents talk about the recycling bin idea and try it. You never know if it would work.


Hannah Patterson

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I. Asimov Index continued

18. The Futurians

Astounding Stories (namecheck) pg 59
Clayton Publications (namecheck) pg 59
Street & Smith Publications (name check) pg 59
Tremaine, F. Orlin, editor of Astounding pg 59
Analog Science-Fact Science Fiction (namecheck) pg 59
Science Fiction League of America (founded in 1934) pg 60
Boys High pg 60
Queens Science Fiction Club pg 60
The Futurians (their formation) pg 61

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Asimov Index Continued

16. Humiliation
Thomas Jefferson High School (Asimov did not attend) pg 49
Boys High School pg 49
Newfield, Max (one of Asimov's English teachers) pg 51
"Little Brothers" (Asimov's first published writing, age 14, Boys High School literary magazine) pg 51
"Time TRaveler" inspuired by Newfield story, pg 52
Duckett, Alfred A. (African American writer, Asimov's contemporary at Boy's High School) pg 52

17. Failure
Columbia College, part of Columbia University, pg 53, 54
Seth Low Junior College, pg 54
City College pg 54
Morningside Heights Campus, Columbia College pg 55
Columbia University, pg 55
Asimon, Juda, angina pectoris, pg 57, 58
Asimov, Stanley pg 57

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Asimov in the News: .Glu Mobile’s Men vs. Machines out now on App Store Glu Mobile’s Men vs. Machines out now on App Store
Robotics’ is possibly one of the best words to emerge out of sci-fi. An Isaac Asimov-inspired offering or not, Glu Mobile’s latest 3D game dubbed Men vs. Machines ought to get the attention of iOS device users who also happen to be sci-fi fans.

The title entails players to embark on a retro journey as they struggle for continued existence against the evil robot army G.E.A.R, headed by dictator Eisenberg. It boasts of 3D visuals in an industrial ‘steampunk’ style. This game is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices based on iOS 3.0 or later versions.

“We know that both hardcore and casual gamers want the ability to play games with their friends,” commented Giancarlo Mori, Chief Creative Officer at Glu. “Along with state-of-the-art 3D graphics and gameplay, Men vs. Machines brings a dynamic social experience to mobile gaming.”

Users can invite their Facebook or Game Center friends to form an alliance in order to protect the world and defeat attacking hordes of G.E.A.R. machines in a gripping encounter. The title features a wide variety of mechanically powered artillery and several inventive armor types for shielding players.

The Men vs. Machines app is available for download through the iTunes App Store free of cost.

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I Asimov Index continued

14. Science Fiction
Amazing Stories - pg 42, 43
Gernsback, Hugo, editor of Amazing Stories pg 43
Science Womder Stories and Air Wonder Stories (name check)
Wonder Stories (namecheck) pg 43
"The Universe Wreckers" by Edmond Hamilton, pg 43
Hamilton, Edmond, pg 43
"Uncertainty" by John W Campbell, pg 44
Campbell, John W pg 44
Skidmore, JW (sf author) pf 44
characters Posi and NEga, pg 44

15. Beginning to Write
Namechecks on pg 46
Nick Carter
Frank and Dick Merriwell
namechecks on pg 47
Bunny Brown and his sister Sue
Bobbsey TWins
Darewell Chums
Roy Blakely
Poppy Ott
Hardy Boys
Nancy Drew
Rover Boys
The Rover Boys on the Great Lakes
The GReenville Chums at College (Asimov's first story, began at age 11 - lost)

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I. Asimov Index Part 4

9. Bookworm
Anti-gambling - pg 29-30
Asimov, Stanley (Asimov's brother) pg 30

10. School
Olivier, Laurence pg 32
PS 202 grammar school pg 32
Martin, Miss (5th grade teacher) pg 33
Gowney, Miss (6th grade teacher) pg 33

11. Growing Up
Clothing styles pg 34-35

12. Long Hours
Great Depression pg 36
Candy store history 36-38

13. Pulp Fiction
Amos n Andy (radio program, name check) - pg 39
Argosy (pulp magazine, name check), pg 39
Blue Book (pulp magazine, name check), pg 39
The Shadow (pulp magazine, name check), pg 39
Doc Savage(pulp magazine, name check), pg 39
Spider (pulp magazine, name check), pg 39
Secret Agent X (pulp magazine, name check), pg 39
Agent 5 (pulp magazine, name check), pg 39
G-8 and his Battle Aces (pulp magazine, name check), pg 39
racism, use of and reason it faded away of in pulp fiction pg 41

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Monday, April 11, 2011

I. Asimov Index Part 3

8. Library
Asimov, Judah (Asimov's father) pg 23-24
Illiad, The pg 24
Bryant, William Cullen (translator of the Illiad) pg 24
Odyssey, The pg 24
Shakespeare, William pg 24
Tempest, The pg 24
A Comedy of Error
Much Ado About Nothing
Henry IV, Part i
Romeo and Juliet
King Lear
all namechecks, pg 25
Edison, Thomas (namecheck) pg 26
Dumas, Alexandre 26
The Three Musketeers 26
Atherton, Gertrude, author of The Jealous Gods (pg 26)
Alcibiades pg 26
Davis, William Stearns, author of The Glory of the Purple pg 26
Leo III (the Isaurian) pg 26
van Loon, Hendrik pg 27
Duruy, Victor pg 27 (namecheck)
St. Nicholas (children's mafazine_ pg 27
Davy and the Goblin (similat to Alice in Wonderland) pg 27
Dickens, Charles pg 27
Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby (namechecked) pg 27
Sue, Eugene - author of The Wandering Jew, and The Mysteries of Paris pg 27
Samuel Warren, author Ten Thousand a Year pg 27
Oily Gammon - villain in Ten Thousand a Year

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

I. Asimov Index Part 2

5. Religion
Asimov, Judah pg 11-12
Orthodox Judaism pg 12-13
Asimov, Janet pg 14
plot suggestion for Black Widowers pg 14

6. My Name
Asimov, Anne pg 15
Jewishness pg 15-18
Weinbaum, Stanley G. (just a namecheck) pg 16.
Schachner, Nat (SF writer, namecheck) pg 16
Atlanta Jewish Times (newspaper) pg 17
Jaret, Charles - Georgia State University sociologist pg 17
Singer, Isaac Bashevis pg 18

7. Anto-Semitism
Jewishness pg. 19-23
German-American Bund pg 20
Coughlin, Father Charles (anti-Semetic Catholic priest) pg 20
Lindbergh, Charles (anti-Semetic aviator) pg 20
Wiesel, Elie (Holocaust survivor) pg 21
John Hyrcanus of Judea pg 22
Davidson, Avram (science fiction writer) pg 22
Book of ruth pg 22
Ezra (from the Book of Ruth) pg 22

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

I, Asimov Index, Part 1

Isaac Asimov wrote two volumes of Autobiography, culminating with the year 1979. And these books have an index!

He had intended to write a third book, after 20 years or so had passed, but by the time those years had passed, he was deathly ill with AIDS (brought on by a tainted blood transfusion) and could not do so.

He had written a series of memoirs - which merely expanded on things he'd said in his biographies, but this time, revealing more of his inner thoughts.

This book was publshed as I. Asimov, and it has no index.

So, I'm going to make an index for it - dealing with the hardcover version, and I'll share it here. (Eventually I'll turn it into an alphabetical PDF which people can dowload.)

1. Infant Prodigy?
Asimov, Judah (Isaac's father). Pg 2
Asimov, Robyn (Asimov's daughter) Pg 3
Asimov, Gertrude (Asimov's first wife) Pg 3
Blugerman, John (Asimov's brother-in-law) pg 3

2. My Father
Asimov, Judah (Asimov's father) pgs 5-6
Petrovichi, Russia (birthplace of Asimov's father) Pg 5
Aleichem, Sholem (Yiddish storyteller) pg 5
Berman, Joseph (Asimov's mother's half brother) pg 5

3. My Mother
Asimov (nee Berman), Anna Rachel (Asimov's mother) pg 7-8
Berman, Isaac (Asimov's mother's father) pg 7
pchah (food prepared by Asimov's mother) pg 8
Blugerman, Gertrude pg 8
Asimov (nee Jeppson), Janet (Asimov's 2nd wife) pg 8

4. Marcia
Asimov, Marcia (Asimov's sister) pg 9-11
Asimov, Anna pg 10
Repanes, Nicholas (Marcia's husband) pg 11
Asimov, Janet pg 11

1. Infant Prodigy

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Photobook: Asimov Hails A Cab

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