Read The Universe Makers: Science Fiction Today by Donald A. Wollheim Online

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Title : The Universe Makers: Science Fiction Today
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060147273
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 122 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Universe Makers: Science Fiction Today Reviews

  • Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
    2018-09-29 14:57

    I wouldn't recommend this except to hardcore science fiction readers with a deep interest in the history of the field--and even then, I'd offer a few caveats! Wollheim was a major editor, responsible for the earliest dedicated science fiction anthologies and many titles of interest published during his stint at Ace books and then later through DAW (which he founded). He was also a young Futurian once, and wrote some stories himself. So his perspective and first-hand testimony are valuable. And he does offer a few interesting nuggets in this discussion of science fiction: I hadn't realized that Andre Norton's STAR MAN'S SON had been a bestseller in its day (Wollheim estimates it had sold over a million copies at the time of writing, 1971), nor that in the 1970s, by his reckoning, there was a roughly 80 percent turnover of mass readers of science fiction every five years. There are some other intriguing statistics and speculations, references to now mostly-forgotten writers that might benefit from another look (though most have fallen into well-deserved obscurity) and a neat breakdown of the eight main riffs on cosmogony-focused sf in chapter 9. That's about it.The writing is choppy; the organization unclear; Wollheim's knowledge of science is shaky at best; his assessment of key writers seems somewhat arbitrary and not particularly rigorous (he over-emphasizes Asimov's role, for example, in at least one way, so much so that Asimov himself expresses his disagreement in I. ASIMOV); his tone is often one of annoyance or disputation, rather than reflection or joy; and he makes constant references to Ace titles, heavily skewing the viewpoint. If his passionate but somewhat bristling survey of science fiction is in any way indicative of his personality, I can imagine he may have been a difficult man to get along with. His influence on the field remains indisputable, but he strikes me as neither reliable guide nor thoughtful observer. Take his pronouncements with a cosmic-sized grain of salt.