Sabotage in Space

凯里·罗克韦尔 Carey Rockwell
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太空受袭(Sabotage in Space)简介:

The exploits of Tom Swift Jr., boy genius and inventor of nearly everything, were required reading for every starry- eyed lad of the '50s. There's a zillion of them, all printed with full- color covers directly on the hardbacks, as with The Hardy Boys, The Three Investigators, Nancy Drew, and a host of other teen series books of the era. The author, Victor Appleton II, was the name for a syndicate of uncredited writers, which I think no one would now deny, so the Tom Swift Jr. stories are vastly uneven. The Tom Swift books (without the junior) date from much earlier and most of the things in them have long since been invented. There's also an earlier series from the '40s of Rick Brant Science- Adventure stories billed as "Rick Brant Electronic Adventures" when the fascination of radio -television and electronics turned every science- minded teen into a home experimenter. The Tom Swift Jr. books, however, were right on the cusp of the '50s interest in, and fascination with space travel and the future.

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet made the move from radio to TV in 1950, just after Captain Video. Soon after, a series of seven books, ascribed to Carey Rockwell, and with Willy Ley as Technical Advisor, appeared from the same publisher that would issue Tom Swift, Jr. Willy Ley came to prominence, along with Wernher Von Braun and Heinz Haber, as the German scientists who would mastermind America's conquest of space. He's best known for appearing in three Walt Disney TV shows, the first repackaged for theatrical showing as "Man in Space".

Unlike the Tom Swift Jr. books, the Tom Corbett hardbacks were jacketed. The back cover blurb invites "Calling all boys and girls to Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and all points in outer space". Then there's this witty bit: "It's as simple as opening a book...if the book is Tom Corbett, Space Cadet." With that introduction, I expected something like Tom Swift, Jr. But it's not. Tom and his pals are cadets at the Space Academy where, when not having adventures all over the spaceways, they fall into fisticuffs with other cadets and are rewarded with guard duty. If Willy Ley was the technical advisor, there must have been a military advisor also, because the atmosphere is so well evoked, albeit as realized in some high tech future.

If you come upon a copy of this book, other than by obtaining it at collector's prices, it likely will be stamped "discarded", having once been the property of a library or school. It's not in vogue to like these books, or Tom Swift, Jr. for that matter. As a result, there's no picture on Amazon and they're long out of print. Some have been recently reprinted, but I wish those publishers had tried to evoke the '50s millieu in their cover art. There's quite a bit on Tom Corbett and '50s space- themed TV in the dazzling Space Toys book, Blast Off!, which I have reviewed elsewhere. The authors term these shows "space opera", and give SF author Robert Sheckley's explanation of the genre as "a melodramatic plot wrapped around a group of heroes". "This science fiction," he notes, "is incredibly earnest rather than ironic". As a forerunner he names E.E. Doc Smith. I don't know if Carey Rockwell is the name of an author or a syndicate, or if the other titles will stand up to this one, but I am now thoroughly addicted to the genre, which would seem to be ripe for reprint in quality editions. After Sabotage in Space, I say, bring 'em on!


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  • 太空受袭 Sabotage in Space