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26th Apr, 2012

Everett True
Fred Pohl points out that today is A E van Vogt's centenary.

I feel a bit sad about van Vogt, because clearly people a generation or so older than me got lots of pleasure out of his work, but I didn't at all. I read a few of his books when I was a kid, but even then I thought they were pretty rubbish. And looking again now doesn't change that view. The comparison with Weinbaum's still-valuable 'A Martian Odyssey', which Pohl makes, is telling.

But perhaps I'm being too harsh. What do you think about A E van Vogt's work?

Poll #1836368 Non-Aristotelian checkboxes

Fan of Slan?

Never heard of him (I assume it's a him) tbh
4(8.9%)
Heard of, but never actually read
4(8.9%)
I might have read something, but it didn't really stick
4(8.9%)
Awful
3(6.7%)
Bad
6(13.3%)
Mediocre
7(15.6%)
Fair
1(2.2%)
Good
3(6.7%)
Great
2(4.4%)
A badger with a gun, without a gun, or something inbetween
11(24.4%)

Tags:

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
ron_broxted
26th Apr, 2012 09:16 (UTC)
Dear Alfie Meadows...
Formulaic is a polite word. Back in the olden days we did not have much choice. All this was fields when I was a lad...
e_pepys
26th Apr, 2012 09:44 (UTC)
I reject your Aristotelian categorisation. Oh look, I can teleport!
bateleur
26th Apr, 2012 10:55 (UTC)
I have him mentally filed as someone who wrote groundbreaking things. Like many groundbreaking things, I don't really enjoy reading them and prefer focussing my attention on some of the writers standing on his metaphorical giant shoulders.

(Disclaimer: Actually the only thing of his I've read is "Empire of the Atom".)
undyingking
27th Apr, 2012 08:11 (UTC)
I'm not sure he really did write groundbreaking things, in hindsight at least. If he was a giant, no-one subsequently has seemed all that keen to stand on his shoulders.

(But yes, absolutely. Olaf Stapledon is in that category, for me.)
watervole
27th Apr, 2012 18:19 (UTC)
I read two pages of 'Last and First Men'. That was enough.

Go read Heinlein or Asimov if you want a classic writer who is still enjoyable.
sturgeonslawyer
26th Apr, 2012 15:38 (UTC)
I had to check several tickyboxes because it doesn't work that way. He was great and awful, often at the same time.
undyingking
27th Apr, 2012 08:08 (UTC)
That's why I had tickyboxes rather than radio buttons! Null-A all the way.
gbsteve
26th Apr, 2012 22:25 (UTC)
World of the Null-A. That's 15FF I'll never get back.
undyingking
27th Apr, 2012 08:09 (UTC)
Might be a collectable by now? Sell quick to cash in on the centenary.
ninthcouncil
26th Apr, 2012 23:23 (UTC)
I read the Weapon Shops books many years ago and I can remember absolutely nothing about them. Except that I obviously wasn't so impressed as to read any more AEvV afterwards....
undyingking
27th Apr, 2012 08:09 (UTC)
Mm, that was pretty much my experience, except I can't even remember what it was I read.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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