Skip to main content

View Diary: Books So Bad They're Good: Octagonal Houses and the Science of Sex (114 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Sam Moskowitz, SF "historian" (4+ / 0-)

    (who might be worth a So Bad They're Good on his own merits) mentions Serviss in at least one of his books ("Explorers of the Infinite", I think).

    Have fun.

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 06:40:45 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Moskowitz was more of an editor, I thought (5+ / 0-)

      And then there was the guy with the Best Name EVER in SF:

      Groff Conklin.

      I mean, GROFF?????

      •  He was a very groff guy (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MT Spaces, Aunt Pat, RiveroftheWest, Ellid

        The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

        by raboof on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 07:41:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  As a young SF fan ... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof, Aunt Pat, RiveroftheWest, llywrch

        ... I repeatedly shook my head over the dingy things Moskowitz wrote. His recommendations of writers and stories almost always led to embarrassing hackwork -- Donald Wollheim's "Ace Doubles" actually reprinted some of the drek he praised from pre-WWII pulps.

        I was far from being a scholar, but simple things like publishing dates put the lie to a lot of his tales. So much was so wrong, even though he was friends with core "players" in magazine publishing.
        He turned into a total laughingstock, in my teenaged circle at least, when he championed Mort Weisinger as an innovator and visionary leader of Science Fiction.

        If Superman was the "backbone" of the comic book industry, as Dick Giordano insisted, Weisinger was "scoliosis," from what WE saw and read on the stands.

        Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

        by MT Spaces on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 07:41:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  From what I hear (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MT Spaces, Aunt Pat, RiveroftheWest, Ellid

          Mort Weisinger had a lot of personal problems. And that's the charitable view.

          The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

          by raboof on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 07:43:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  All I know ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raboof, RiveroftheWest

            ... is that Moscowitz and Weisinger were long-time friends.

            When Kinney bought National Periodical Publications, Mort was sent packing immediately.

            There are two volumes of Mosowitz-essays about SF writers:

            Explorers of the Infinite and Seekers of Tomorrow IMHO -- more suitable for psychologists than historians.

            My group of baby-Boomer fans knew about Edison's Conquest of Mars from the anthology The Treasury of Science Fiction Classics where it sat in abridged form among stories by Wells, Stapeldon, Verne, Bierce et al on the shelves of most public libraries.

            We weren't fooled QUITE that easily -- Sirens of Titan by Vonnegut was new and readily available. If we wanted trash, somebody always had a spare copy of Triplanetary to pass along.

            Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

            by MT Spaces on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:19:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe a future diary in this series (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MT Spaces, RiveroftheWest

              might be "SF Fan-Editors - Is It Worth Exhuming The Dreck?" , featuring Moskowitz, Lin Carter, and Darrell Schweitzer.

              The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

              by raboof on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 09:01:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Maybe, except ... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                raboof, RiveroftheWest, llywrch

                ... Carter "exhumed" Lud in the Mist and the fantasies of William Morris.

                (GAWD! His own writing was dire, though!)

                I once spoke to a never-to-be-named pro who lamented about so many former fans in his industry tending to have their visions bound and limited by what had gone before, rather than contributing ideas from the wider world.

                He acknowledged a few exceptions, but I reluctantly had to agree with his general thesis when confronted with a pile of examples.

                Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

                by MT Spaces on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 10:02:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I can easily see it (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiveroftheWest, raboof, MT Spaces

                  That's one reason I'm really, really selective about the SF and fantasy I read these days - I can spot a derivative from a mile away, and I'm poor enough that I just don't have the coin to spend on something that's a rehash.

                •  I will give Carter credit (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MT Spaces, Ellid

                  for reprinting Mirrlees,  and for rescuing Evangeline Walton from obscurity, but he also reprinted a lot of 19th century curios that should have remained curios.

                  The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

                  by raboof on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:50:03 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh YES! Evangeline Walton ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    raboof

                    ... what a wonderful storyteller!

                    The "curios" had their place in history, though.

                    So sad that LC's writings were mostly worse, except for maybe Robert W. Chambers' drek -- but Clark Ashton Smith's scribblings FOR SURE. (meow)

                    Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

                    by MT Spaces on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:31:45 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  *shudder* (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MT Spaces, RiveroftheWest, raboof

                A friend of mine swears he saw Schweitzer walking up to strangers at a convention and asking them to buy one of his books after his publisher dropped him.  It was truly sad.

            •  I think I may have read those books... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MT Spaces

              Or at least a book of essays on science fiction where there was only ONE essay by a woman (Anne McCaffrey), who was assigned to write about romance (of course).  It was dreadfully dated, even for the 1970s, and man oh man was I glad when Pamela Sargent came out with Women of Wonder.

        •  MORT WEISINGER????? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MT Spaces, RiveroftheWest

          Good God.  Didn't know what.  What was next, nominating Stan Lee for the Pulitzer?

          •  'Nuff Said! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ellid

            Art by Bob Oksner

            Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

            by MT Spaces on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:03:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Looks more like Roy Thomas than Stan (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MT Spaces

              Did Stan have red hair? I don't think so ...

              The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

              by raboof on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:19:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think his hair was sandy brown (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MT Spaces

                Now, of course, what's left is gray...and we're lucky to have the old coot around.  All the other early comic creators - evidently Joe Simon lived just long enough to see a special screening of the Captain America movie a couple of years ago, but Siegel, Shuster, and Kirby were all long since passed.

              •  My guess at the time ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                raboof, llywrch

                ... was that long-time DC staffer Oksner was having some fun with "the competition."
                Thomas was notorious for wearing a ridiculous Spidey costume at various events then, self-promoting Stan sported a beard, but the blend seemed like a pretty good cover for that hilarious name.

                BTW -- I'm glad ol' Mr. Lieber is still around too, and doing cameos in comic book movies, but I also wish that prolific creators like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were publicly honored for their work too.

                If anyone cares -- When DC acquired the reprint rights for the Captain Marvel Family from Fawcett, Roy Thomas informed them that he would "have no choice but to sue" if they used the name Captain Marvel, because of Marvel Comics' character of the same name.
                If you ever wondered why DC's great reprint series was called Shazam (The Original Captain Marvel), now you know.

                Ironically, as a fan, Thomas had led the movement to keep memories of the Big Red Cheese alive.

                Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

                by MT Spaces on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:15:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Agreed about Kirby and Ditko (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  llywrch, MT Spaces

                  They did so much for comics, and they're barely remembered.  It's a damn shame that it took legal action before Kirby and Simon were acknowledged as the creators of Captain America.

                  •  I heard a history of Marvel Comics was published (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MT Spaces

                    back in December, which set forth some of the history behind the books, esp. how the artists & writers were treated/mistreated. The author had a reading here in Portland at Powell's Books.

                    By chance, did a review of that book make it to DK? If so, does someone have a link to it?

                  •  I'd wager among the general public (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MT Spaces

                    that Jack Kirby is more well known that, say, Siegel and Schuster.  And Ditko hasn't helped himself much by being a reclusive Randian crank. But, point taken. Like it or not, Stan Lee is Marvel's public face.

                    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

                    by raboof on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:26:00 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Maybe not.... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MT Spaces

                      There have been several books, including a couple of recent biographies of Siegel and Schuster, about Superman and his creators.   Ditto Bob Kane and Batman.

                      Actually, this gets me wondering...there have been dedicated, reasonably scholarly books about the history and social impact of Superman, Batman, and even Wonder Woman.  Has there been anything comparable about any of the Marvel heroes?  I can see a lot of possibilities in, say, the X-Men (especially Magneto), or my God, Captain America and other war comics in the 1940s.  I wonder if that's ever going to happen?

                •  And every few years (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MT Spaces

                  Marvel has to come up with a new "Captain Marvel" character to maintain the trademark.

                  The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

                  by raboof on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:35:16 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site