Friday, June 15

Old sci-fi

I freely confess, I love sci-fi. The good, the bad, the just plain "out-there," I enjoy reading it. Bring on the space princesses, space pirates, space weapons, stupid space slang, and space dinosaurs (usually living on Venus, for some reason)!
But I also freely confess, many of these books are not particularly good. Many of them take no time to think about basic physics in weightless enviroments, or human dialogue (a race that can travel between the stars would not have phrases like "space dementia" or use "space torpedoes." They would have much better terms for such things).
This is why I am immensely enjoying Assignment In Space with Rip Foster, originally published in 1952 (I think) as Rip Foster Rides the Grey Planet (a much better title, btw). Towards the end of the book, the heroes are on an asteroid made of a very valuable metal: they've set up controlled explosions to knock it out of the asteroid belt and toward Earth's orbit. But then the bad guys came around again and are trying to kill them and take the asteroid, so they've taken apart one of their nuclear explosives, and made mulitple bombs out of it, and guided the asteroid much closer to the sun, so the enemy cruiser can't launch its small fighters (they'll get sucked in by the sun's gravity). Now we're waiting to see if our heroes can survive the attack, survive the radiation, and blast the asteroid back into an earth-ward orbit once the attackers are gone!
I won't tell you how they get out of it (go read the dang book yourself!) but it was great, interesting, and actually pretty funny (well, the way they got rid of the bad guys was funny, anyway).
I gotta get some more in this series.

1 comment:

Marcy said...

You should read some C.J. Cherryh. I've only read some of the books in her Foreigner series and one fantasy book, but I was very impressed by the amount of thought she put into her world. First off, her aliens almost immediately made me think that she must have studied anthropology at some point. They're amazing. But yesterday I talked with an older lady at LOB about her books, and from the descriptions she gave of other series, particularly some books called Downbelow Station and Finity's End, she's also done some phenomenal things with the concepts of space exploration and settling, and generally with societies/history. I've got to read some more of her books.