Thursday, July 1, 2021

Science Fiction Doesn't Exist [Part V: The Final Future]

Finally, we made it! Welcome to the final entry of this edition of our look at Fandom and its effect on culture. It's been a long ride to get here, but now it is time to wave goodbye with today's post. It is time to put this to bed.

It's a bit hard to believe there has been five posts covering this book (ten if we're including Mr. Lundwall's other book, and thirteen if we're including Mr. Goulart's work) but we have finally reached the end of the road. Don't think for a second, however, that this means our author has run out of steam. He very much has not. Today's post will be no less revealing than the others were. Remember that this was the late '60s/early '70s, when materialistic metaphysics had reached their peak in engaging mainstream thought. It was for about five seconds, and would never hit this high again, but the seers of Fandom thought they had it all in the bag.

They were very wrong, as we all now know.

Today's post is a little awkward because it consists of four chapters, the most we've looked at so far. However, the four pieces combined add up to about the length of the chapter written on "Fantasy" alone. When I say this book is edited awkwardly (or not edited at all), this is what I'm referring to. there is no internal consistency here. The last four chapters of this work are considerably shorter than the rest we have looked at. Of course, we're still going to cover them, but it is still going to come out awkward. That is just unavoidable. The book is awkward by definition.

The first chapter today, and eighth overall, is entitled "The Mass Culture Strikes!" which talks about genre fiction's appearance in other mediums aside from printed prose in the modern age. I suppose you already know what we're going to talk about. Television, movies, and a certain other pulp influenced medium that exploded when the pulps died off.

That's right, we start with the modern trash can known as comic books!

But remember, this is before they became the punchline they are today. This was back when they actually sold and catered to normal people. Back when they had appeal.

Once again, it was a totally different world back in the day.

Anyway, without further ado, let us dive into it!

"I might have given the impression that science fiction is strictly reserved for the printed word. It is not. Superman has wandered about in space and future since 1938, in company with Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon and the Fantastic Four and some fourteen thousand other curious creations of the comic strip."

They sure did. As the pulps died, comic sales only grew. I'd say one could make the case that readers eventually jumped ship from one medium to the other. Why wouldn't they? The prose scene was quickly leaving them with nothing at all to keep them there. In fact, they brag to this day about how they created a Golden Age by chasing out normal people.

Do you think Lundwall realizes any of this? That comics blew up due to the pulp audience? That they were successful because they were a reflection of the true Golden Age?

Not a chance.

"In volume, the printed word only occupies a small portion of the veritable torrent of more or less probable, intelligent or enjoyable science fiction that can be found today. Even the largest sf magazines seldom manage to climb over 100,000 copies in circulation; in fact, they are more likely to stay around 50,000. Even the sf pocketbooks, which are printed in first editions anywhere from 40,000 to 150,000 copies, seem small in comparison to the circulation of the comics. This is, of course, not unique for science fiction; every literary field.finds itself deluged under the mass of comics and TV. That comics, TV shows and films almost always are crude to the point of being idiotic, is part of the mass culture, and is surely not science fiction's fault. It has given the genre an undeservedly bad reputation in certain circles, though."

Self-awareness is at zero. Where did all those readers go? Why did they leave, and what were they looking for when they were abandoned or chased out? The answer is fairly obvious but you will never get two and two added together by a Fanatic.

What is more important is those certain circles gave them treats and rubbed their exposed belly, though. Being accepted is more important than appeasing or connecting with customers.

For instance, on Buck Rogers, one of the most important franchises in the entire genre:

"These novelettes, brought together and published in one volume by Ace Books, are justly considered classics of science fiction, not due to their purely literary merits—they are indeed very few—but because of the grand Sense-of-Wonder that pervades them. The openly racist attitude can easily be overlooked (it is the old Yellow Peril all over again, as infantile as ever before or after), and what we have is actually an sf story of merit, featuring a number of interesting scientific innovations that, in one form or another, actually are among us today: like the bazooka, the jet plane, the walkie-talkie. It is still readable, which is more than can be said about most pulp fiction of that time."

You'd think at some point the realization that the problematic scene you are trying to usurp is maybe a bit more nuanced than you first thought it was, and that maybe you should give it a bit more credit. Also, it might be built on things you were taught are problematic, perhaps taught that way for a reason. But that realization will never happen from Fanatics.

Their beliefs are set in stone, and they can never be wrong. It is the normal, mentally deficient sheep, who are wrong about everything. Sturgeon's Law says so!

It's easy to say something is popular because everyone is stupid. It is a very convenient way to think and makes you feel like a Big Man. Everyone who enjoys Bad Thing is stupid, but not big brained like you to realize how inferior they actually are.

There is something to be said about marketing, but said marketing is still appealing to a piece of human longing buried deep in the soul. These advertisers are still appealing to a particular piece of humanity that connects us--that's how they are able to even work in the first place. To throw that all away for ego boosting is exactly why so many subcultures and scenes have crumbled into the dirt over the years. Hatred for the common man always ends this way.

However, as we've discussed, this "genre" is fairly anti-human at its core. It is a direct subversion of ethos of the Adventure genre, which it is attempting to flip for its own gain. Fandom is the aberration, and the cause for much of the troubles we've had in these spaces over the past century. This is because what was once for humanity is now against them.

How else do you get this complete lack of self-awareness:

"The science fiction slant of Superman has always been strong, and this not without a cause. The creators of the figure were enthusiastic sf fans, and in sf fandom they are, in fact, known more for the fact that they did publish the first sf fan magazine, "fanzine." It was natural that they stayed within the sf field with Superman as well."

From the man who said John Carter should be banned and would have had he been gatekeeper. This despite the fact Superman borrows heavily from Edgar Rice Burroughs, a man he detests with the fury of a thousand suns.

This section is strange because Lundwall has no problems throwing heaping praise on Marvel and DC throughout this chapter (suspiciously enough) but ignoring that these stories deliberately follow on from the pulps. Without the things he hates these supposed improvements would not exist. The pulps, not his Fandom dross, is what created the American comic book industry

The very same pulps he spent these 1970s trying to erase.

"Entertaining Comics' science fiction magazines Weird Science and Weird Fantasy belong rightly among the real science fiction magazines, as they mainly published science fiction and fantasy stories in comic strip form. These comic magazines were published from 1950 to 1956, in the end as one magazine under the name Weird Science-Fantasy, using stories by Ray Bradbury and other sf writers of the time, drawn by artists like Al Williamson and Wallace Wood. They were of a remarkably high quality, compared to other comic magazines, and are now real collector's items. These magazines are, in fact, the only ones which ever have tried to inject some quality, sf-wise, in the comic field in the U.S.A. It is perhaps significant that they did not last long."

This chapter is the epitome of missing the forest for the trees. One reading the above passage could come to two conclusions. The first is that it was simply bad luck and timing that they didn't make it. The other is that the audience is stupid.

Guess which one the humanist chooses. The one that looks down on humanity, of course. Same as it ever was.

Notice how everything pure and falling in line with the genre rules is routinely rejected by the wider audience, but Fandom insists that is true quality? Those dumb goobers don't get it, which means it has tremendous value! They don't have the secret knowledge that the rest of us do. This is just sheer contempt for the audience.

Audiences know what they want, and Fandom clearly doesn't. Therefore, of course, this means Fandom should be in charge to turn a wide appeal hobby into a ghetto. It's rather insane, but this is what ended up happening after all.

When you don't gatekeep poseurs and obsessives, you eventually lose it all. The state of every single subculture in the modern day is enough to prove to you that is true.

"Among the new sf comics that now are deluging the market, Marvel Comic's curious super-heroes are the most interesting. The Amazing Spider-Man, The Iron Man, Fantastic Four, The Mighty Thor, The X-Men and all their innumerable friends, well-wishers and foes, which in their utter lack of any pretense of credibility and logic are something unique in the comic industry. The man behind all these bizarre creations is one Stanley Lieber, commonly known as Stan Lee, who now spends much time addressing university audiences. In these circles, Marvel Comics is, according to a college student quoted in Esquire, considered as "the twentieth-century mythology and (Stan Lee) as this generation's Homer.""

And this is where the majority of the modern problems with comics come from. This venerating of corporate IP and brand over storytelling itself is what led the comic industry into a tailspin of declining and increasingly perverse cape comics at the expense of everything else. It all started with turning Stan Lee into an icon instead of just a creator that is part of a larger team. You can see this by how his co-creators were treated over the years by this very industry.

Of course, Mr. Lundwall doesn't see any of this. He merely credits Stan Lee with adding much needed "depth" to these hero stories.

Perhaps that is a bit of warning bell?

Speaking of warning bells, here is a hard left turn:

"Barbarella is interesting especially from a pornographic point of view. She cohabits with robots, fallen angels and green monsters without discrimination, and is in this way an interesting departure from the usual sexless sf comic. Nowadays, Barbarella is quite passé, and her place has been taken over by even more unbiased space women with constantly battle-ready bodies, e.g. the U.S. sadomasochistic Phoebe Zeit-Geist, the French Jodelle and the Italian Satanik.

"In the nice, carefree days of yore, the heroine was abducted by the monsters; today she hunts them up and rapes them."

Men rescuing women from monsters = bad
Women hunting monsters and raping them = good

Mr. Lundwall's strange fetish crops up yet again for everyone to see. He really needs to let us know how important pornography is to storytelling. Too bad it isn't in the slightest. Adding in sex scenes to action stories always makes them better to the easily distracted.

On the subject of easily distracted, he begins talking about television, and everyone's favorite space western and Utopian nightmare: Star Trek, particularly the original series!

You won't guess his opinion on the series, because this is before Fandom realized the franchise could be used as a social engineering tool.

"The TV version of science fiction only seldom manages to reach beyond the crudest Space Opera, and it is significant that the most popular U.S. TV series, Star Trek, which has created a fandom all its own, stubbornly held to the standards current in the pulp magazines of the thirties. This despite the fact that the writers included Big Names of science fiction like Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson and Harlan Ellison. One of the programs, The Menagerie, even won a Hugo Award, a constant source of wonder to me."

Here we go! I've been waiting for Fandom's early hatred of Star Trek to rear its head (before they knew it could be used as a weapon and flipflopped) and I wasn't disappointed. It is beyond predictable, at this point. Fandom has missed the boat on every single trend supposedly related to their manufactured ghetto, and then retroactively claimed it as part of their canon afterwards. Anything to get the desired result they need for world domination.

As long as normal people don't get their Adventure stories, of course. It would be a very bad thing for audiences to be entertained instead of taught.

I would also volunteer a thesaurus to improve Mr. Lundwall's vocabulary. There are words other than "Crude" in the English language. I would posit that word appears in this book easily over 100 times, once every two pages or so. An editor would have caught that, but we already well know why they didn't.

"This description is perhaps more significant of the enthusiasm shown by Star Trek's superfans than for the actual qualities of the series. Having had the dubious pleasure of seeing a fair number of the Star Trek programs in the line of duty, as a producer at Swedish TV (I did not buy the series), I can only say that if Shakespeare were alive and kicking today, he just might find some more rewarding field to work in."

So much to unpack here. From wondering how he got to his position at such a young age, to being in a position to deny audiences a series they clearly want to watch in order to protect his ghetto, to thinking he is on the same wavelength as William Shakespeare--it's the perfect storm of pure distilled Fandom ego in one single paragraph.

This is what happens when you grease the right palms to get into the club. You can do anything to further the cause. We can only imagine how much we lost out on over the past 80 years or so because of unelected gatekeepers like Mr. Lundwall here.

If you old heads want to know why your "genre" is dead, it is because of the above. It was never a genre; it was always a social engineering tool for a cult.

"TV seems to have taken a liking to Space Opera. We have Time Tunnel, Land of the Giants, The Invaders and a host of other quite similar creations. A look in TV Times shows that during a typical summer week (June 26 to July 4, 1969) the ten big TV networks showed not less than sixty-five science fiction programs, about half of them feature films of the usual horror type, with the rest Space Opera serials like Star Trek, Thunderbirds and the like. In Japan, a country almost more Americanized than the U.S.A., there is an abundance of local Space Opera super-heroes, including the grinning and samurai-swinging Kyaputen Uru-tora (Captain Ultra), who leads the Space Patrol toward new victories aided by his trusty pals Joe and Hack. Another of the popular Japanese Space Opera series, Reinbo Sentai Robin,' features the "Rainbow Space Association," composed of Captain Robin; Professor, the brain of the outfit; Wolf, B crack shot; Lily, a robot nurse; Benkei, a super-strong robot; Pegasus, a ridable robot that can operate on land, in the sky and undersea; and Bell, who has ears three thousand times more sensitive than any human being. None of these series are particularly good—to say the very least."

TV audiences have taken a liking to space opera, which of course means none of them are any good, because as we've already established there is nothing good about space opera. It is unfettered garbage because it can't be used as subversive propaganda against those inferior sheep in the audience. How often do us high priests of Fandom have to pollute and destroy what you like until you brainless zombies finally ingest our garbage instead?

Suffice to say that he is completely wrong, and time has shown him how incorrect he was. But it was always destined to end this way. Someone built on an anti-human thought process would never be able to understand what humans actually enjoy.

And yes, he did just insult the entire tokusatsu genre, Thunderbirds, and just about every TV Adventure serial ever made before the 1970s. You know, the only popular parts of his supposed genre that people enjoy. Of course he couldn't tell how influential the above material he insulted would end up being, the fact remains that this is typical for Fandom. For a group of people who pride themselves on future predictions, they are extraordinarily bad at it. Terrible. Only later do they consume it for themselves into the collective blob and pretend they were always on the Right Side Of History or some such nonsense. No one calls them on this obvious nonsense, but they should.

It isn't surprising that in the chapter on mass media that he takes the most hipster stance possible against all of it. All these industries would take some time to subvert and put out the complete dumpster fire that is today's industry.

You should be thankful. It took Fandom time to take away what you like and give you nothing in return except distorted, subverted brands and anti-social propaganda. Otherwise you might still have those adventure stories instead. Wouldn't that just be a shame.

"The real villain is, however, the movie industry, with its flood of monsters and broad-shouldered space heroes. It has done more to give the genre a bad reputation than all the literary critics in the world. Good science fiction films have been done, to be sure, but the great number of sf films are nothing but monster operas of the worst possible kind, slapped together for the benefit of malignant kids."

Once again is the question: A bad reputation with who? And why do these supposed people matter more than the people who are actually consuming the product before them? Mr. Lundwall never states why these supposed respectable types are worth appealing to in the first place over the audience that already exists. Probably because he doesn't know. He just detests normal people.

If he thinks Hollywood is this bad now, just wait until 1977. I'm sure Fandom was crying blood red tears over that one. Though, of course, they have since subverted and claimed even that for themselves, but this is what Fandom was like at the time and has always been like. They miss the boat, sink it, then ride the wreckage while pretending it is now a bigger ship that they have been riding on this entire time. It's pure delusion.

They are so out of touch that they don't even understand how film works to present a world of imagination to the viewer. But you already knew that.

Talking about the films of George Melies:

"Melies' films were pure fantasy, absurd dramas played out in a never-never land of imagination where everything could happen and invariably did. He was, in fact, a product of and the foremost filmatic example of the belief in the unlimited possibilities that the new time promised—the old magic coupled with the science of the new time to form a universe of new worlds. World War I not only put an end to Melies' own excursions into these worlds of unbridled happy imagination, it was also the source of the neo-romanticist "Gothic" horror film that, in a manner reminiscent of the written science fiction, has created the modem science fiction film."

Does this not explain the pulp hatred Fanatics have, in as concise a manner as possible? Even film shares the same roots as the pulps, which means that has to be tinkered with too. And sure enough, as we know, they did exactly that.

You see, industrialization and World War I changed human nature forever and now our standards and imaginations must change to match Neo Reality. We live in a material world now, so pretending we do not is harmful and must be fought against with all manner of deceitful tactics. Don't live in the past! Kill it if you have to.

And this is essentially Fandom's entire thesis statement as to why they created an anti-human space that would consume Wonder and Imagination throughout the 20th century. We now live in a different world--you might not realize it, but you will be educated to accept it. That is simply the way it has to be. You are sheep--they are the shepherd. They declared it so.

Existence has reached it's zenith: the 20th century. Get used to it!

"The scars left by W.W. I were clearly to be seen in the German films of the time, like W. F. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922) based on Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, in which an inhuman monster seeks world domination with the aid of volitionless victims; and particularly in Fritz Lang's classic film, Dr. Mabuse der Spieler (1922) and its sequel The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933). Dr. Mabuse is in many respects another Caligari, who seeks power through terror, the creation of fear and anarchy from which he will emerge as the undisputed leader."

Here you can see the frame being constructed. The times changed, and so should how we see the world and existence itself. How should we see this new world? Well, I'm glad you asked! Here is a pamphlet that will solve all of your ills.

Amazing that the game was always this obvious.

But, of course, Mr. Lundwall isn't done. Now he needs to make you know through his own made-up lies how evil someone he has never met is! This is very important in order to make certain people persona non grata in order to eject them from his canon.

Otherwise the sheep might discover this evil material on their own. We definitely can't have that, not when it goes against scripture.

"It has been said that these two films were aimed at the Nazis, but this is a matter of considerable doubt. Lang's wife, Thea von Harbou, who wrote the scripts for his films, was an avowed Nazi and a member of the Nazi Party, and Lang himself was on the most cordial terms with the ruling Nazi elite. Dr. Mabuse der Spieler was actually an attack on the destroyed Communist Party. As for its sequel, Goebbels suppressed it (at the same time offering Lang the job as head of the German film industry) and Lang fled to the U.S.A. to make, among other films, the classic Fury (1936)."

This is some dishonest horseshit. But you should be used to this by now. I am.

Fritz Lang had Catholic and anti-communist sentiments in his films from being raised religious and having fought Russia long before the Nazis ever existed. Of course if you don't like communists and the horrific things they've done then you must be in favor of the regime that attempted to censor you and to which you rail against in your own films. Why else do you think he left the German film industry behind instead of taking the position Goebbels offered him? Wouldn't that have been an easy take for him if he was Nazi? It's pretty damn obvious why he didn't take it, for anyone who can use a brain cell or two.

It should also be mentioned that he also divorced his wife in 1933, the very year he fled Germany after Hitler suppressed his film, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, which, by the way, is the very anti-communist film Mr. Lundwall said proves he must have been a Nazi. But you can lie all you want in order to destroy the wrong peoples' reputation. This is how Fandom works.

I told you there was no editor on this book.

But it's fine to judge other people with the power of hindsight. I can't imagine why Mr. Lang wasn't railing in public against a group of people who could have him murdered in a heartbeat. Maybe he should have written some useless Science Fiction that no one read instead while complaining about how fascist a tax policy is from his upper class urbanite apartment instead. Clearly he was a very bad man and not oppressed as the more modern western Baby Boomers!

Sorry, Mr. Lang. This is what you deserve for not writing the correct propaganda!

"The themes of the German horror film were reflected in the U.S.A. by films like James Whale's Frankenstein (1931) and, more notably, by Tod Browning's Freaks (1932), probably the most chilling horror film ever made, featuring not the usual cosmetic Hollywood monsters but real human beings, malformed and mutilated, who played the highlights of a traveling freak show. These "monsters" were portrayed as human beings, despite their appalling appearances, and the film was made with a sensitivity, almost tenderness, that lifts it high above the crude monster operas of the time. It should be noted that the film immediately was suppressed by the film company and subsequently banned in most countries until the mid-sixties. Werewolves and green monsters are one thing, apparently; the real thing must never be shown."

I don't know, Mr. Lundwall, I was just informed by you that being suppressed by the Nazis makes you a Nazi. The projection you are putting out here is very easy to read as someone attempting to enshrine your taste as the beacon of quality. A taste that is as transparent and shallow as the material you supposedly hate so much.

At this point, does it surprise anyone that he thinks ugly people are actually beautiful and beautiful people are ugly and that it is Crude to insinuate anything else?

"E. B. Shoedsack's King Kong (1933) actually conveyed glimpses of something like an understanding of this inhuman creature in its theme of "Beast betrayed by Beauty," the monster as a victim of circumstance in about the same way as an earlier Frankenstein's monster had been, but this is on the surface only. Underneath, it is Monster vs. Human, nothing more."

Which is just not as deep as monsters being beautiful and humanity being ugly, of course. If it isn't about how evil humanity is then it is Crude and therefore garbage meant to be disposed of and taken away from the blithering idiot masses. Reminder that someone let nerds like this into positions of power.

This is why spaces should be gatekept. If you don't, you lose everything to dishonest subversives with a backwards view of existence. Nothing could possibly be worse than being ruled by people who hate you.

Does it also surprise you at this point that he also completely whiffed on the appeal of King Kong, of all things? I can't imagine this being a shocking revelation.

"Aside from a few optimistic films like Alexander Korda's and H. G. Wells's Things to Come (1936), which actually offered a glimpse of hope to humanity, the science fiction film seemed to be obsessed by the destruction envisaged by the German film of the twenties. It deluged the market with monsters of the most curious kind and offered futures with no future at all, a trend that is as strong today with films like Joseph Losey's The Damned (1961) Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville (1965) and Francois Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451. The Japanese film directors like Inoshiro Honda devoted much of their efforts after W.W. II to films depicting the horrors of the atomic war, in the guise of spectacular monster films, Rhodan, Godzilla, et al."

I'm confused as to what future this war generation was supposed to be offering after they went through horrible international conflicts that broke their spirit and left them terrified that things would always be that way forever. Context isn't that hard, and it isn't difficult to imagine why that era would be thought of one as endless wars for humanity that we would always have to suffer from. When you live in a world like that, hope for the future is hard to imagine, especially when they are told by elitists such as Fandom that they weren't allowed to have escapist pulp stories anymore because they were Crude or something. This generation's options were limited.

It's actually much like today, in many ways. The only difference is that Fandom has become so bad at messaging that most everyone can see through their propaganda for what it is now, unlike their parents who erroneously thought it was a phase that would pass. This realization has allowed NewPub a foot in the door to offer counter-messaging: one of hope and imagination. Back in the 20th century that simply wasn't an option.

All the more reason why NewPub is an important landscape for creators and customers.

"Lately, there has been an interesting departure from the gloomy predictions, with films like Roman Polanski's delightful Dance of Vampires (1967), an elegant and witty parody on Hollywood monster films; and Stanley Kubrik's and Arthur C. Clarke's magnificent 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), "the first ten-million-dollar religious film," to quote Arthur C. Clarke."

How am I not surprised Mr. Lundwall is a fan of Roman Polanski. I wouldn't be surprised to learn he also spent some time in Laurel Canyon, too.

Aside from that, I think 2001: A Space Odyssey might be the most ineffective Fanatic story in their arsenal that actually achieved some level of mainstream success. The movie was popular, yes, but that was mainly for the visuals by Kubrick. As time has gone on it has lost considerable cultural cache, even in the form of parodies, and is barely remembered today. Outside of its time, it has not aged particularly well to the mass audience.

But that mainly seems to be the case with all of Fandom's darlings. Even the ones that managed some level of cultural penetration didn't really keep it for very long. Without a name like Kubrick, who is to say how long the story would have retained popularity otherwise? Especially considering it is nowhere near one of his most popular films today nor is the book spoken on much, even by Fandom itself. It is as if it just came and left.

"2001 is not the only sf film to use hard technology as the basis for metaphysical speculation, but it is surely one of the very few to even try to be intelligent and mature. Mostly, the sf films are a sorry lot, content with using the symbols of the German horror films of the twenties without the meaning, creating horror for its own sake, conveying nothing, saying nothing, meaning nothing. We have the Monster, the Hero, the Heroine. Apart from that, and a lot of gore, there is nothing to be found. No meaning, no wit, no intelligence, no nothing."

The problem with this entire speculation is that it is being spouted by a materialist who doesn't understand anything beyond the surface level, or why Gothic influence is so important to adventure fiction as a whole. Because he can only see the surface, he cannot understand the full picture. This is why allowing such people in charge was always a horrendous idea.

Spiritual danger, theological speculation, metaphysical wonder, and philosophical musings, over existence itself, are all prepackaged with the genre. It was created by Christians for Christians about Christian notions and ideas and therefore explores Christian concepts through a Christian moral framework about the Christian universe. These stories, by definition, exist to reinforce Christian values just by being written as normal stories of good against evil or cautionary stories about straying from the path. It all already has metaphysical meaning. They don't need to spell it out.

When you divorce that meaning from storytelling yourself you are left with a makeshift philosophy built on sand that eventually crumbles to dust due to it not having any solid base aside from modern fashion. For example: 2001: A Space Odyssey is outdated and can't be used as a weapon anymore, therefore it was abandoned by Fanatics for newer scripture. It's that simple.

This prepackaged morality is why hero and monster stories are necessary to have on a base level. They were made to remind audiences that objective evil exists and it must be stopped lest the innocent are devoured by them. "Depth" doesn't have anything to do with it because it comes prepackaged in the very concept of the story itself. Adventure is a celebration of existence itself.

So yes, there is meaning to these stories. Don't let ignorant passages as the above tell you otherwise. Fanatics write their own monster stories--it is about how heroes are actually monsters and should be destroyed. It is about how ugly is really beauty and must usurp the natural order. It is about how normality is evil and depravity is actually wholesome and complete. Ask yourself what kind of creator would think this an important message to spread and why it is they sympathize with the monsters in the old stories.

It all makes sense once that realization clicks in.

"American science fiction films are, with very few exceptions, synonymous with Monsters. The slimier, the better. The cinema-goer lives happily in a curious world of vampires, zombies, werewolves, mutated giant insects, robots, androids and assorted extraterrestrials. We have masterpieces like Attack of the Giant Leeches, Earth vs. the Giant Spider, Zombies of the Stratosphere, The Creature With the Atom Brain and so on and so on ad nauseam. The film industry still revels happily in the over-simplified world that written science fiction was grateful to leave thirty years ago, and the poor cinema-goer thinks that this is the way it should be. This is decidedly not the way it should be, but try to explain that to a film producer."

Exactly. Explain to a film producer why audiences shouldn't be allowed to have stories they want and pay money for. Scandalous! They need their brains washed to bestow the correct thoughts and opinions instead. Up is down and down is up. Fandom declares it!

The above is literally what Hollywood does now, by the way, and it is why they are hemorrhaging money and rapidly losing cultural cache. If it wasn't for money from the Chinese market, they would already be gone. Leaning on nostalgia brands is all they have left.

Mr. Lundwall's ways are objectively wrong and incorrect. We can see it from what time has revealed to us. This direction has lead nowhere except off of a cliff. It is time to stop allowing Fanatics the space to run culture into the ground with their outdated view of the world and tired stories about inverted morality. The 20th century is over, and we need to act like it.

This is more or less why NewPub exists as disruption. Both audiences and creators are very aware that the old system is dead and not coming back. It is time for new ways.

Ironically enough, it is the ones who worship Change as a god that cannot see it.

Our author then goes on to insult Universal Monster Movies for pages at a time. I skimmed most of it because it was dull, repetitive, and utterly pointless. no one cares about his circular logic and edgy opinions. It would have been edited out by a proper editor.

We get it by this point--he neither accepts nor understands why audiences enjoy pulp-style stories because he doesn't understand their appeal on a fundamental level. This is what helps make this book so interminable and trying, because all it exists for is to denigrate the past (he spends the majority of the book insulting everything not made by his cultist clique) and to frame a false view on good entertainment.

The book is just a tool for the cause. Nothing more.

"When the last explosion has died out, the Hero and the Heroine stand amid the smoking remains of the Monster and the hunchbacked assistant, spreading pieces of pungent wisdom around, accompanied by the string-band. This unexpected happy ending makes the moviegoer mad with joy, and verifies once again cinema's undisputed value as the giver of good, wholesome and clean entertainment. As the advertisements so truthfully say: Go to the movies—and give your life a new meaning."

Ironic, given what this group did to the entire entertainment landscape.

Here is the key difference between the two groups: None of the above gave the audience new meaning to their lives. It reflected and reinforced things they already knew and accepted. Good is good; evil is evil. In order to maintain a just society, evil must not be allowed to spread. These movies didn't give New Meaning: they upheld the old. This is the big difference between how it is now and how it used to be.

The fact that he sees it as "new meaning" is telling for the morally dead era he lived in. The New Meaning that Hollywood has been pushing for decades since has been soundly rejected by the majority of the audience. Their attempts to change their customers has now left them with a group of people who would rather indulge in old things instead of engaging in their pale, subversive remakes and endless sequels. They destroyed themselves trying to subvert reality.

As far as chapters go, this was one of the more clueless. All it did was insult audiences for wanting certain stories and those foolish movie producers and comic book people for daring to give it to them. Who did these people think they were! Don't they know what is good for them instead? The self-proclaimed master will let them know the Truth.

Not that the next chapter is going to be any better. in fact, it's one of the worst. The ninth chapter in this book is imaginatively called "The Magazines" and is about exactly what you think it is. We finally get to the attack and reframing of the pulps.

Why it takes place so late in the book is beyond me, never mind repeating things already discussed, but it is a subject that is unavoidable to the subject. Today they would just be ignored or tossed off without a second thought. But back then? The narrative still needed spreading.

Without further ado, let us dive into it.

"Talking to a hardened old-time sf buff about the old pulp magazines is likely to induce a near-religious misting around the eyes as the great names are invoked—E. E. "Doc" Smith, Edmond Hamilton, Murray Leinster, Jack Williamson, Stanley G. Weinbaum and others of the "golden years" of Amazing Stories, Astounding, Startling Stories, Weird Tales, Thrilling Wonder Stories, et al. Often, to the accompaniment of nostalgic sighs, the sacred tablets are hauled out: the cherished magazines printed on coarse, cheap yellowed paper with its characteristic smell; the stock illustrations depicting as many hackish science-fictional situations as you could care for; the old stories; the letter columns with all the Big Names, then only loudmouthed cubs; the illustrations by Finlay; the gaudy covers by Paul, Schneeman, Wesso, Bergey and Brown. There is nothing like them, and the magic of these names are equal to those of New Orleans and Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver and Johnny Dodds for an old-timer jazz lover."

It's amazing how often he uses this argument the is summed up as Old People Like Old Things Because They're Old So They Can't Understand New Things. It's especially amazing when that's been the pushback I've gotten for any of these posts defending the pulps and calling post-1930s material an aberration on the way things were. Somewhere along the way, Mr. Lundwall's crowd became the Old People Who Can't Accept Change, especially when pulp material to this day still remains the most popular form of his concocted genre. The version of it he keeps writing off and trying to shuffle off into the inferior "Fantasy" category is the one audiences still want to this day despite being denied it at every opportunity by his clique.

So what does age have to do with any of this? That's a simple question to answer. The truth is that age has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It was a deceptive tactic young Baby Boomers used to try to dismantle their ancestor's traditions with a simple handwave. You can see it in full flowering in this book.

The hole in his argument is very obvious and the best example to disprove it is me. I didn't grow up with any of the above pulps, nor was I around when they were published, and yet I somehow enjoy it far more than Fandom's canon that they have foisted on people like me at every opportunity since I was born. It has nothing to do with Old Thing Good; New Thing Bad. That's just a cope for supposed intellectuals who can't understand universal themes or appeal. I naturally drifted to this stuff because it was exactly what I had been looking for my life, yet was denied to me being everything Fandom hated and wanted destroyed.

OldPub is filled with his badly disguised propaganda sitting on dusty and creaking bookshelves in quickly shuttering giant chain book stores; NewPub is filled with books from all across the spectrum selling increasing amounts every year, mostly all in the mold of classic pulp adventures and other abandoned styles. How can any of this be? Pulp can only be enjoyed nostalgically! That's what I've been informed by cultists like Sam Lundwall, after all!

If anything, the only one clinging to outdated ways are the very people who used the Old Vs New argument to begin with. Their nostalgia for materialistic existence, one no one really believes in anymore, has kept them small, shrinking, and irrelevant to the wider world. Ironically, they are the ones that have aged very badly.

"Indeed pulp age sf is as different from present-day science fiction as is the old New Orleans jazz from John Coltrane or the subtle lyrics of the Beatles. "True, we now have the paperbacks, and a great thing they are, too," writes Alva Rogers in a study of the pulp years of Astounding SF, "but they are not the same as the pulps, nor will they ever be.""

I'm not sure this is a comparison you want to make, especially as a Baby Boomer with an obvious Beatles bias. Nonetheless, this would be more apt if "present-day sf" was ever anywhere near the level of the Beatles' popularity, never mind the pulps, but it never was. And it is fairly clear that it never will be. The above is yet another cope.

However, it is true that paperbacks aren't quite the same as pulp magazines, and they can't be. Unfortunately, one of the casualties of the death of magazines is the smothering of the short story. It is bad enough they are taught in school as being gimmicky, shallow, and infantile, morality plays on the level of The Lottery or The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, but now a writer who wants to flex and play in this very vital form has no market to sell to.

Of all the issues plaguing the publishing world, both OldPub and NewPub, I do hope this one is eventually solved for the benefit of readers and writers. Short stories are an important literary form that shouldn't be lost, magazines or not.

"For an outsider, these magazines and the writers of the time must seem rather crude, compared with the slick and literary magazines of today, presenting writers handling the media with an increasing skill that was unheard-of thirty or forty years ago. Science fiction has indeed changed immensely since the pulp era, as has all literature, and I think it would only be fair to use a somewhat different yardstick for these admittedly crude magazines of the past, than for those published today. They are like vintage cars, which were tops in their field once-upon-a-time and still are cherished by the aficionados even though they compare very unfavorably with the four-wheeled dinosaurs of today. They show their age, but they were nevertheless instrumental in starting the science fiction field as we know it today, creating to a large degree not only its readership but its authors as well, and, of course, guiding the genre's development."

Again: What outsider? Normal people have never had any problems with pulp magazines until Fandom seized control, took their stories away, and then told everyone how Bad they were and that it is a Good Thing that they were suppressed.

The thing is, the field hasn't changed at all since the pulps. Of course, by "field" I am referring to the real field: Action and Adventure. Pulp-style adventures are what still sells the most today and have ever since they were squeezed out with the pulp magazines. As far as the real "field" goes, nothing has changed, at all. Fandom's playpen has, but it's also only shrunk over the years to the point where it is the lowest selling "genre" by far.

This is clear to anyone paying attention. All of this is a result of pushing anti-humanity at the expense of the audience.

Also, the vintage car argument has aged incredibly badly. I'm not even a car nut, but even I know that older cars remain considerably better than the overpriced cheap and deliberately limited modern rust buckets that get put out today. vintage sells better, and it's not just because of "nostalgia" and other similar shallow arguments.

"Without the science fiction pulps, we would now have no organized sf fandom, no sf conventions, no fan magazines and pretty few sf writers. I doubt if there would be much American science fiction at all."

But let's not hold that against them. 

Fandom's continued existence is mainly the fault of editors for letting Fanatics into positions of power who then deliberately blocked Adventure stories from publication. We know this is what they did. They already admit to it. There was never any organic change: it was all as artificial as their incredibly dated worldview.

Truth wins out in the end. This is why the "field" is dying.

"The beginning came around W.W. I, when the new science showed its most ugly face, and the grandiose dreams of the affluent - future became more realistic."

This is the point that keeps reappearing the most in this book--the one that WWI changed everything including the worldview of the world to become more "realistic" or whatever that means. This is what Fandom hinges their entire continued existence on.

To a certain extent, that was true. Perception of Progress had died, if not on the surface then in the souls, of the GI generation that went to war repeatedly at the start of the bloodiest century on record. But this wouldn't do for Fandom: they needed the Progress myth to be true, so they ignored the reality around them and pretended things were actually always getting better all the time. Love is all you need! It's getting better all the time! Ignore what reality taught and showed you, Reality is actually a much different and more agreeable beast! Wars are temporary, Progress is forever.

For those who know an era before September 11th, 2001, you can see many familiarities to this line of propaganda.

"These magazines did not actually create modern science fiction—H. G. Wells, the first modern science fiction writer had already been writing mature sf for many years, and he was far from alone in Europe doing this—but whereas these authors primarily had been writers concentrating upon the impact of change on man, the new American magazines brought forth a new breed of science fiction writers. These were technicians and scientists with a negligible literary talent, who developed their theories of the probable scientific advances in literary form."

. . . This is literally what you say your supposed genre is. If it isn't about scientists telling stories involving scientific theories, then what is it? It doesn't appear that Mr. Lundwall is a scientist, so what qualifies him to write about the matter? How does this work? Who gets to watch the door and stamp the hands of the partygoers?

"The Impact of Change on Man" is not a genre, nor is it particularly Scientific. Outside of a 20th century framing this entire description is nonsense. It means nothing. There is no genre here. It doesn't exist.

The problem is that the above "negligible" writers were writing Adventure Stories that happened to involve scientific theories and advancements to solve the plot. They were normal people interested in having fun with their pet hobby of science. They were just writing normal tales, just like their predecessors always had. It is harder to weaponize Adventure for propaganda, though. This is the real reason the false label of "Science Fiction & Fantasy" was invented--to cut off Futuristic and Mythic fiction from its roots in the Adventure genre.

Why else do you think he spends so much time libeling the pulps and adventure fiction? It is very important in order to establish the battle lines. It worked, in a way, for many years. But now the façade is on the way out.

We all know this is an artificial playpen created by control freaks.

"The specialized magazines, dealing more or less exclusively with science fiction, brought a great change to the whole field. Unorthodox U.S. scientists like Hugo Gernsback and Ray Cummings, once the secretary of Edison, worked on in the time-honored Utopian tradition. They wrote stories that were far less subtle than the works of, for example, H. G. Wells, Francois Maurois or the Swedish sf writer Claes Lundin, but were typical of the new type of Scientific Romances that was to become something specially American. All this happened in the U.S. sf magazines."

There is no "Utopian" tradition these people were following. We already established they were following the much older tradition of romances, epics, and fairy tales, and myths, that had been told since storytelling began. They were telling adventure stories, reinforcing the good in humanity while decrying the bad.

Those with an inverted morality compass might object, but normal people never did. That is why they had to be taken from them.

The ones working in the "Utopian" tradition are those in Mr. Lundwall's crew: those hoping to bring about the new age where Science conquers Reality. All you have to do is teach the right lessons and the sheep will mindlessly follow.

You don't get much more Utopian than that.

"Besides these magazines representatives also appeared for fantasy, in the footsteps of the Gothic tale, e.g. the U.S. Thrill Book, which started in 1919, and Weird Tales, which started in 1923 and for many years was the starting point for many of the great names of the genre, from H. P. Lovecraft to Henry Kuttner and Ray Bradbury."

I actually wonder why he didn't mention this in his second book years later. It's a pretty important thing to note, and yet that work barely acknowledged the existence of Weird Tales or Argosy, two of the most important pulp magazines. you have to go to Mr. Goulart's book to get that information. Not a very thorough history then, is it?

Nonetheless, notice that now the above magazines and stories are now Fantasy, IE: inferior nonsense. But they were never advertised as "Fantasy" when they were printed or bought by audiences. That term didn't exist. They were weird fiction: the strange boundary between horror and adventure, and very different from the Tolkien pastiche that Fandom has described as Fantasy since the 1990s or so. Very odd how all of this so easily came together in Fandom's favor.

But it's all nonsense, anyway, so who cares? Get these inferior stories out of the way by stuffing it into the lesser category so we can get back to the Real fiction.

"At this time, Sweden had a Hugo Gernsback of its own, by the name of Otto Witt, who in practice was more Gernsback than Gernsback himself. His magazine Hugin, which appeared with its first regular issue on April 7, 1916, can with good reasons be regarded as the first attempt to make a science fiction magazine.' In the premiere issue of Hugin, Witt writes an introduction that is quite revealing of his particular brand of Sense-of-Wonder:"

I have always been struck at the amount of contempt Fandom has for Hugo Gernsback despite stealing everything from him and refashioning his inventions for their own ends. They even named an award after him, usually awarding said prize to stories nothing like the things he would have published or cared for back when he was at his popularity peak. It's an odd bit of disrespect, but that's what this "genre" was built on: an unrelenting hatred of the past. You can tell just by how Mr. Lundwall speaks about the man's work throughout this book with sneering contempt.

It is odd that a man can be so hated for succeeding and giving you a platform you never actually deserved to begin with. Perhaps it's an intense form of self-loathing. Who know? This is beginning to get a bit off topic.

Even those like Mr. Gernsback, proving that he wasn't an anomaly in his views or what he set out to do, is given the same hateful response from Fandom. Just look at what the above Mr. Witt had to say about his genre, as interpreted by our author:

"You have seen the fairyland of science. Everything in this country is a scientific romance. The forest is simple and real, the paper is the fantasy. The waterfall is trivial and ordinary; the turbine, the dynamo and the generator—they are the poems . . . And (Hugin) knows well what types of language it must use to make itself understood in our age. They are: 
The Scientific Fiction 
The Technical Causerie 
The Idea-stimulating Sketch 
The Adventure Story and 
The Scientific Fairy Tale"

Oh no, not the dreaded "A" word! That's grounds for deletion from the canon and repeated and undeserved libel forever and ever amen.

The fact of the matter is that while his definitions are a bit off (they're all still sub-categories under Adventure) they are far more descriptive than anything Fandom has come up with in the near century they've been in charge of their dilapidated ghetto.

So, of course, a very necessary handwave and uncalled for libel is needed. The narrative must be protected at all costs!

"Which seems well enough. Actually, Hugin was a rather sorry thing to behold, filled to' the gills with patriotism and a "Sweden right or wrong" philosophy that was outdated even then. Witt's propensity for obscure "scientific" innovations like the "electrolite" (a kind of super-fertilizer working with "animal electricity") that made him the target for considerable ridicule, didn't make things better. Altogether eighty-five issues of Hugin were published up to the last issue at Christmas, 1919. The literary quality was pitifully low, and Witt's sense of logic seemed to sleep around the clock (he wrote every word in the magazine himself), but the honor of having published the first sf magazine undoubtedly belongs to him."

Sleight of hand. Very good intentional attempt at being deceptive, Mr. Lundwall. This is what I have to expect after two books and ten posts.

Our author didn't tackle, dismantle, or destroy, any of the above arguments, just threw insults like a spoiled child. This is because he has no arguments to give, he just needs to discredit the wrong-thinker so you won't consider anything he wrote or did.

"Everyone hated it and it was a laughing stock, just ignore that it released 85 issues over three years" is something else from the same crowd that insists Unknown was a roaring success and a more important magazine than Weird Tales.

But Unknown could be used as a weapon against the hated "nonsense" half of their artificial genre, so it must be pushed. Hugin is a competitor so it must be buried. When you wonder why similar products get very different treatments from each other, this is always what it comes down to. Friend/Enemy distinction at work. There is nothing else to this aside from that.

It's really that simple.

Then he goes on about Amazing Stories again in what is easily the most repetitive passage in the book. but that anti-Gernsback sentiment needs to be hammered out as best it can be at every opportunity. Whatever happens: you need it implanted in your head that Fandom = good and Gernsback = Bad. Enjoy the right things! Whatever it takes to make sure Adventure is blacked out of your brain as a possibility.

"Jules Veme and H. G. Wells appeared regularly for a time, until Gernsback had managed to get together his own group of writers, mostly scientists with good imaginations but painfully lacking in literary talents. This was the beginning of the "pulp era" of science fiction, the name derived from the low-quality paper on which Amazing and its contemporaries were printed. Under Gernsback's guidance the Space Opera writers appeared, and the circulation rose rapidly to a top of 100,000 copies, according to an editorial in the September, 1929 issue."

I would say "Crude" and "lacking literary talents" might be the most repetitive phrases in this book, but are necessary to give you a specific view of the pulps from someone without much in the way of self-awareness. Whatever makes sure you know they are evil and wretched without ever reading or touching them is more important than anything else.

By the way, did you like the admittance that as soon as Gernsback included the hated Space Opera in his pages that all of a sudden sales exploded? Isn't that something?

It is easy to say that he was glomming onto trends, but the fact of the matter is that his brand of adventure stories featuring futuristic setting or imaginative technology simply appealed to the adventure connoisseur. This is what normal people wanted to read, and Fanatics mistook this attention as somehow rising interest in their own pet fetishes. It clearly wasn't, considering the pathetic state of the post-Amazing field.

"At this time, however, Gernsback had already been separated from Amazing, which now was published by Teck Publications under the editorship of T. O' Conor Sloane, another scientist, who carried on in Gernsback's footsteps with wild interplanetary adventures until 1938, when the editorial chair was taken over by a sf fan named Raymond A. Palmer. Palmer had a weakness for mysticism, and the magazine promptly became filled with stories set in Atlantis and Mu and the subterranean worlds. The latter were usually written by Richard S. Shaver, a welder who produced his stories, as facts, alleging them to be transcriptions of voices from the underworld, etc. This whole affair raised quite a furor in sf circles, but it is nevertheless reported to have raised the circulation of Amazing to a peak. In 1950, Palmer left Amazing for flying saucer magazines like Oilier Worlds and Imagination."

Who cares if it raised a furor? This is what the audience actually wanted. Regardless of whether he considered them factual in the modern limited use of the term is irrelevant. Readers enjoyed them and wanted mote. Therefore, removing them despite this clear demand shows a contempt for the readers. But as we've already established, "Science Fiction Fandom" hates, and has always hated, the readers. This is why it is dying.

"Astounding Science Fiction (now Analog Science FactScience Fiction) appeared in January, 1930. Originally tided Astounding Stories of Super-Science, it was published by Clayton Magazines under the editorship of Harry Bates until March, 1933; then in October, 1933, it was bought by Street Smith, Inc. which published it as Astounding Stories, edited by F. Orlin Tremaine. In December, 1937, the legendary sf fan, writer and editor John W. Campbell took over."

And Tremaine gets skimmed over again. It isn't mentioned as much as it should about how Tremaine is the one that built Astounding's reputation and gathered many of the best pulp writers of the time to write for the magazine. He is also the one who ran authors like Lovecraft in the pages: something his successor would never do. Tremaine is a tremendously important figure who has been completely ignored by the ghetto for decades.

This is probably because F. Orlin Tremaine is the one who did his job properly, and didn't cater to obsessives at the expense of the wider audience. The man deserves far more credit than he has ever gotten from Fanatics and people who should know better.

But that isn't as important as the myth Fandom has built itself over the importance of prophet turned heretic John W. Campbell. Therefore everything before him must be ignored and glossed over. You'll see the near messiah-like figure he is given by Fanatics just going off the next passage. As an outsider, this must look bizarre.

"Probably no other editor has influenced the science fiction field as much as John W. Campbell; he was, at any rate, the undisputed lord of the "golden years" of American science fiction. He was, and is, a man of many varied interests and one can, in fact, follow the ups and downs of these interests in the sf field as a whole."

"Undisputed?" I don't think that word means what you think it does. This is no Golden Age that he created, especially when its influence has faded to negligible levels over the years. Tremaine's work on Astounding, if anything, has more influence today.

But he will not get much more than a passing reference from any "genre" aficionados. I can't imagine why that is.

Nonetheless, Campbell created an atmosphere more potent for Fandom to survive off than Gernsback ever did. This allowed the barnacles to stick to a new hull, which they gladly did until this new ship wore out its usefulness. It truly is wild how all this works.

This book was printed in the age when Campbell was still revered as a god, however. You'll see it in many passages that would never in a million years have been written by Fandom after the 1970s. That was when he was of no more use to them. But for now? He is to be knelt in front of.

Miraculously, Lundwall himself spells out just how Campbell was an aberration to what came before, and how his change in focus was weaponized against the past. He didn't created a Golden Age, because there was no tradition being built on. It was a mere mutation.

"From 1926 until the mid-thirties, Gernsback was the undisputed master of the sf field, and Gernsback's god was the Machine. During his reign science fiction was a matter of super science, magnificent scientific innovations that played the leading part in the stories. Heroes and villains alike were reduced to beauteously ringing voices that sang the praise of the Machine.

"Campbell changed the genre by demanding science fiction in which the effect of the innovation or the occurrence on man was the principal thing. Scientific correctness came in second place. Campbell put the emphasis on the relations between man and his environment, with environment the variable factor: What would happen if ... During the course of some years science fiction changed into something new, and the new writers who Campbell discovered and encouraged—Isaac Asimov, Clifford D. Simak, Robert A. Heinlein, A. E. van Vogt, etc.—set about spreading the message to the other magazines."

"Spreading the message," indeed. Doesn't that say it all?

This is the key to it all, folks. This is what it was always about. This is the entire game. Removing Wonder and Romance and giant scale adventures for the smaller confines of materialistic probability based on a limited scope of 20th century knowledge about existence. You are now playing with a different deck of metaphysics, a far smaller and limited one, and you never had a say in it. This is just your world now: accept it.

This passage right here explains everything Fandom has done, attempted to do, and is still doing, through their fiction and attempts to brainwash the masses. They are not just just trying to change the world to be backwards and upside down: they are trying to change you. They are trying to tweak the value of humanity relative to their understanding of the world we live in. And wouldn't you know it, if you crowned their leaders king (or a "democratic leader" or whatever fashionable politics they believe in today) they would fix it all. Isn't that just convenient?

What they are doing is weaponizing fiction. They are doing it exceedingly poorly, but it is what they are doing. All of this is just a game for control over your soul. They are trying to alter your very being. So, yes, in a way it actually is Good Vs Evil: the very thing Lundwall insists doesn't exist.

I can just imagine why he doesn't.

And they have attempted to weaponize Campbell as True Canon against the proper tradition of storytelling to this day. Mr. Lundwall himself even does this a few passages later while trying to warp another subgenre he doesn't understand: weird fiction.

"Even the old Weird Tales, which traditionally had kept itself to the horror fantasy branch of science fiction, was influenced, although the Lovecraft-school was predominant until the magazine folded in 1954. It is possible that Campbell's accentuation of man's situation in a changing world was one of the reasons for the discontinuation of Weird Tales. There simply wasn't any need for it any longer."

Yes, he did just say the Campbell was so important and holy that he killed the entire tradition of weird fiction and Weird Tales itself. You didn't read that wrong.

This is pure delusion of the worst kind, the sort only a Fanatic could believe and salivate over. John W. Campbell had zero effect on Weird Tales, just as he had on Planet Stories, which is another magazine the Campbell acolytes detested and tried to destroy back in the day. Imagine that: John W. Campbell didn't change the whole world like Lundwall claimed--some people still wanted to write and read the old styles. But the cult deluded themselves into thinking this Golden Age had changed the very world around them and everyone else needed to get with the times.

Don't worry, the Fanatics will fix those aberrations and remnants of outdated storytelling soon enough. All they had to do is weaponize this new toy against the adventure traditionalists. And that's what they did. If you lock out anything non-Campellian from the field, then everything left is Campellian in some way. Amazing how that works, no? A wonderland of creativity and imagination! This is truly Fandom's gift to the world.

For those who thought this "genre" was about free thought, I apologize. You were quite well duped. It was never anything other than a cult. Once the prophet wears out his welcome, they get a new one to replace him. This is exactly what happened with this false genre.

Also, I quite enjoy the term "it is possible" used in a book meant to explain what a supposed Hard Subject is about. Very scholarly and professional work.

Mr. Lundwall should have chatted with Mr. Goulart about the subject. All of the pulps died by the mid-1950s because the pulps as a format were over and the market was changing. Weird Tales was actually one of the last ones to go because of its loyal fanbase that kept it afloat. Believe it or not, keeping one pulp magazine in production alone while 99% of the dwindling few disappear doesn't make a whole lot of business sense. so no, John W. Campbell had nothing to do with the end of Weird Tales. Production costs did.

You would think a so-called professional and scholar in the "field" would know this.

"The circulation of the science fiction magazines rose as a result of the new trend. The genre even began to be accepted by mainstream literary critics."

No, they didn't. Pulp magazines began dipping in the late '30s, and due to WWII flatlined in the 1940s after a brief production spike because of the war. Once WWII wrapped up in 1945, you can see the plummet in plain day. It continued right where the decline had left off. There was no real increase. In fact, it dipped even lower once production returned to normal in 1947.

From the biggest producer of pulp:

The majority of sales were also from women's magazines and bigger hero pulps like The Shadow or Doc Savage. no one was rushing out to be Campbell-era Astounding in record numbers. This is delusional fanboy prattling.

And as for literary acceptance, no. Guarantee that if you browse a literature section of a book store today you will still find no Fandom drivel soiling their shelves. Because they were never accepted by the upper crust hedonists, and they never will be.

Basically, everything Mr. Lundwall just said is objectively false.

"In 1943, Donald A Wollheim, one of the front-rank personages both in sf fandom and the professional sector, edited an anthology of science fiction short stories, The Pocket Book of Science Fiction, featuring works by the "new" sf writers, which became thereby the very first science fiction anthology."

And I'm sure a Futurian was completely honest about his inclusions in the book. Remember, this is the same Donald A. Wollheim that supported the objectively dishonest book you are currently reading about right this very second. I'm not certain how you could ever trust him after that. I know I sure can't do it.

Dishonesty like this is why things like the Pulp Revolution even existed to begin with. So when you get bitten by attacking those fighting this obvious subversion you can understand why they might be a bit aggressive in response to you. This is the level of deceit we've always been dealing with, and none of it needs or deserves any defense.

Some readers and writers simply chose not to accept this charade any longer.

"World War II brought a new dimension to science fiction; with the end of the forties, social criticism became more frequent in U.S. sf magazines."

That new dimension would actually be irrelevancy. And the above is why this era has been so forgotten. If you've seen the examples Mr. Lundwall has put out and haven't wretched at least a little bit then you probably are over the age of sixty and think this is how normal fiction is supposed to be. As we've already seen, this isn't how it is.

Our author then goes on about a ton of new magazines all formed by Fandom in every western country, all of which ran stories from their cliques. I can't say anything to their quality, but since none have been reprinted by the current leaders of Fandom and have been memory-holed I can only assume they are outdated and therefore no longer good.

Apparently, that's how all of this works.

More or less every country had the same thing happen with Fanatics slipping into positions of power and gatekeeping others out. And when they didn't get in, Mr. Lundwall had to let the True Believers know there was a market to put a leash on and purge the non-believers.

"Germany has a lively sf fandom (as attested by the 1970 World SF Convention at Heidelberg), brought to life by Utopia Magazine in 1953, but to this date this fandom apparently has been unable to produce any science fiction writer of quality. The local Big Names, Walter Emsting and K. H. Scheer, devoted their efforts wholeheartedly to the type of Space Opera yams that were popular in other countries twenty or thirty years ago, and it seems likely that both book series and the few short stories produced will stay at the monster-and-blaster level. Germany's Herr Science Fiction Walter Ernsting, who more or less dictates German science' fiction, is now responsible for a kind of weekly Space Opera magazine featuring the ubermensch Perry Rhodan. These magazines sell at a rate of 300,000 copies a week, and have now been published in more than 450 issues. They have reportedly sold more than 60,000,000 copies and have now appeared in the U.S.A. as well."

Germany hasn't gotten in line yet, you see. Better fix that and make sure those sales plummet nicely. That's apparently how you build a subculture and grow a healthy scene.

By destroying it.

"The Soviet Union, as well as other East-European countries, although having a fair number of sf writers and traditions in science fiction, has not yet produced a science fiction magazine, to my knowledge."

Color me surprised. I can't imagine what could have been happening in the Soviet Union throughout the 20th century that would prevent them from writing silly science propaganda stories. Probably trying not to die, I'd assume.

"So much for the magazines. It should be added that science fiction is a pronounced short story literature, whose ideas and treatment of ideas to a large degree are best suited for the concentrated short story format—something that has been clearly shown by a great number of long-winded, verbose novels that would have been much better off with their wordage cut in half."

This is something I actually 100% agree with him on. The devaluing of the short story and its ejection from popular media has done a lot of harm to both originality and fast paced adventure storytelling. People now think 100,000 word books are the default length for storytelling, when that is very much not the case.

Taking away outlets for any story shorter than a doorstopper has drained OldPub of any creativity and new writers to this day still think they have to write in this limited mold in order to be considered "real" writers. They don't. With NewPub you can write whatever you want, and it is going to be a fantastic change when writers and audiences realize just how much more freedom they have now. There are no more straitjackets on creativity.

The future is here, and it's looking bright.

"To paraphrase Alva Rogers' observation in the beginning of this chapter, we now have the paperbacks, and a good thing they are, but the magazines are something else entirely. During the last thirty-five years science fiction has changed completely, from a crude and naïve pulp literature into a sophisticated tool for entertainment and good, intelligent speculation, developing its standards from within with very little or no help from the outside mainstream literary world. This is a magnificent feat, and the principal part of the honor belongs to the magazines. Them, and no one else."

And now it's dead.

Fat load of good any of that did.

Speaking of Fandom, we now move into the tenth chapter entitled "Fiawol!" which is about Fandom itself.

No, I didn't make that up. He really did write a full chapter on his own club--the one that destroyed their own playpen faster than any executive at a corporation or bad government mandate could. It does make sense, though: their infiltrators did slip into editing positions to gatekeep out bad-thinkers. Therefore, they are important to talk about. how else do you think we got here?

"The somewhat cryptic heading above is the most enthusiastic sf fan's war-cry when it comes to explaining the happiness of being a sf fan, and especially a sf fan in sf fandom. Translated into plain English it means Fandom Is A Way Of Life, and as a motto it isn't entirely unrealistic. This fandom encompasses the international sf movement, comprised of all sf and fantasy readers who are active and interested enough to seek contact with- like-minded people in one way or another, through amateur magazines (fanzines), clubs, letters or conventions. SF fandom is unique in the way it has grown continuously and spread over the world, since its beginning in the U.S.A. in the twenties."

Oh my land. Something tells me that this chapter is going to be one crazy time. Imagine admitting the above and thinking you are in any way neutral on the subjects discussed in this book. If I was an editor I would have left this in just for my own enjoyment.

"The main reason for this is probably the fact that sf fandom is not anything like an organization with central offices and so on. You gain entry by being interested enough to write someone a letter or subscribing to- a fanzine, and you can't get kicked out again unless you do it yourself—a not uncommon thing, called Gafia (Getting Away From It All). During the forty-plus years of sf fandom, only a couple of persons have managed to make such complete asses of themselves that they have found themselves outcasts. The sf fans are generally very broad-minded."

I'm not even sure if I can add commentary to anything being written about here. I already speculated Fandom was built on a clique of cult-like values that Must Never Be Broken, and here one of the fledglings is telling me that I was right the entire time.

Also, considering some of the scuzzy and deviant behavior we now know was going on behind the scenes, including when this book was written, it is clear how much of this was actually covering for sex pests. Somehow there are people worse than that that were worthy of being kicked out instead. Though, to be fair, that is actually very doubtful. They probably just didn't want to participate in the con orgies back at the hotel.

But I guess that wouldn't count as making "complete asses of themselves" for some reason or another. If these people can be weaponized against normal people, they should be protected at all costs. At the end of the day, it is The Cause that matters most.

"A diligent fan might rise in the ranks to BNF (Big Name Fan); an honorary title that means absolutely nothing except that he is known to a sufficient number of people, through fanzine publishing or letter-writing or whatever it might be. The fans of the thirties—now lovingly referred to as "First Fandom"—are to a great degree still active in the field as well-known writers, publishers and editors, e.g. Isaac Asimov, Donald A. Wollheim, Ray Bradbury and John Camell, who now play an important part in the evolution of the genre."

And every one of them has since been ejected and memory-holed from the field. Mr. Lundwall even attempted to do that to Bradbury in this very book.

"Practically all sf writers of today come from sf fandom. They discovered it through the letter columns of the sf magazines, participated enthusiastically in the sf conventions and published mimeographed or offset printed fanzines with circulations of perhaps a hundred copies, in which they (at least sometimes) discussed science fiction, fought innumerable feuds and polished their talents until the day they were accepted in the professional sector."

Considering the state of the "field" as it was in 1971 and what it would soon become, this isn't as much of a brag as the author thinks it is. Especially when we know how thoroughly all of this will be erased in the years to come in order to make room for more up to date prophets instead. It's revisionism and purity-testing all the way down.

The industry as it was before the 1940s was a much bigger one that stretched a lot further out than what it was by the 1970s. Fandom successfully shrunk the field and built cages around the "genres" to quarantine creativity for their corporate overlords.

And it's all thanks to Fandom. FIAWOL, indeed!

"Writers, editors, etc. write regularly (and gratis) in the fanzines, participate in the discussions in the letter columns and visit the conventions as ordinary members. (There are, of course, conventions limited to professionals in the field, like the Science Fiction Writers of America's annual awards dinner.) The democracy is absolute, and there are very few signs of submissiveness toward the Big Names to be found.

"The Big Names contribute to the fanzines on the same conditions as other contributors.

"This has created a fruitful feedback system which, as Kingley Amis has pointed out, has kept most sf writers away from the ivory towers of the mainstream writers. We have an interesting example of this in the fierce debate regarding the pros and cons of the "New Wave," that is waged not between critics but mainly between writers and readers. Which, in my opinion, is the only way a debate should be handled. The writer, after all, is writing for his readers—or he should be, anyway—not for his critics."

None of this is true anymore, if it ever was to begin with. The "field" is entirely run by megacorp book publishers, their writing workshops, their editors, and their executives. There is no democracy that isn't going to end in their favor, because this is what the system was constructed to do. Just look at how SFWA can't even get Goodreads to do anything about review bombing. Goodreads was probably laughing at them the whole time they were reading their complaints. Why would they listen to these people? They have no power that the corporations don't already give them, and they can't do anything except bar non-sex pests from their organization with their typical abysmal PR skills. SFWA is quite the clown show, and it always has been.

As for Mr. Lundwall's last line, I'm just going to call it for what it is: horseshit. The readers were never taken into consideration once by Fandom. He spent this entire book explaining why it was a good thing audiences lost what they wanted and even spent space saying how they should lose the movies, TV shows, and comics, they liked, too. It was never about the readers or Fandom wouldn't have deliberately shrunk the field as small as it is.

Don't be mistaken: none of this has ever been about or for the readers. It was about warping their very minds and souls.

"The Hugo Award of science fiction is another example of the democracy of this field, whereby the readers are permitted to voice their opinions regarding the science fiction published during the past year. For once, the literary critics are equal with the readers, and the results of the Hugo votings give, I believe, a much more truthful picture of a science fiction work's impact than all the professional critics in the world."

I don't think I have to comment on any of this nonsense, since it has proven absolutely false. In fact, Harlan Ellison himself can explain how the process can be gamed for you.

In other words, there isn't any way to know who is voting for anything anymore, and they can be easily gamed by say, a multimillion dollar corporation buying votes online for their own books. Why couldn't they? Literally nothing is stopping them. And when all the nominees are conveniently from the same mega-publisher (wow, what a coincidence!) then who is to say that isn't what is going on and always has been? It isn't as if Fandom has a history with honesty. This entire book's existence is a clear indication that they don't even know what the word means.

Fandom can't just stand around giving each other backpats anymore without disruption from the outside world crashing in. Reality is here, and it is reminding you of this thing called normal human beings. Remember them? They are what matters. Not awards from cliques.

Even back in the '90s, like the above clips shows, this world was out of date. It is positively primordial today.

"Fandom started in the U.S.A. as a result of Amazing Stories and other early sf magazines. The first pronounced sf writers came from this U.S. fandom, and when this modern science fiction appeared in other countries, good science fiction was written only in one place, the U.S.A."

It's a lot easier when he makes my points for me. We had adventure stories written by normal people that were then subverted by wannabe revolutionaries to turn into an embarrassing cult based on outdated social engineering. Fandom is built on a lie, an untruth about human nature. And that is why it is currently falling apart before our very eyes.

"The beginning of this sf fandom was due to—as almost everything in modern science fiction—Hugo Gernsback's magazine Amazing Stories, notably the letter column Discussions. The mass of letters streaming into sf magazines has always been a source of wonder for people outside the field."

Can you even imagine a world where Gernsback simply didn't have a letters column? Can you imagine the degeneracy and outright insanity the world might have been spared by not letting antisocial freaks get power? It's almost impossible to imagine these days.

Hey, there's a speculative setup for you. Imagine how much different your "genre" would be without every change that came from Fandom's invasion in the late 1930s.

Actually, you don't have to imagine that, because it already exists. It is called NewPub. free of Fandom, it isn't owned by anyone, and can never be.

Mr. Lundwall then kindly informs us on the history of their cult rallies, called conventions in some circles.

"The first great' sf organization in the U.S.A., The Science Fiction League, was founded in 1934, again with Hugo Gemsback as the father; and later the New York branch of a sf-slanted organization called International Scientific Association (ISA) started planning for a national gathering of sf fans. The convention, instigated by Donald A. Wollheim, took place in Philadelphia in October, 1936, with about forty attendees. Three years later the first "World SF Convention" was held in New York, coinciding with the New York World's Fair. This "World Convention" originally was to have been sponsored by the ISA with Donald A. Wollheim as chairman. Later, due to feuds and the breaking-up of the ISA, a group of fans including Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Dirk Wylie, Robert Lowndes and Donald A. Wollheim founded The Futurian Society of New York to handle the convention. More feuds started, another group known as New Fandom appeared, and when the World SF Convention finally started on July 2, 1939, New Fandom had been given the run of the show. Far from being the unifying factor in a feud-ridden fandom, this "World" convention actually started more feuds than any other event of the time. Feuds still are common in sf fandom; they make for interesting happenings, at any rate."

I'm surprised nobody went with the name Fandom+.

In all seriousness, the above is a very charitable interpretation of what the Futurians were trying to do, but we know why he doesn't reveal what they were actually attempting and why they caused waves to begin with. There is no mention of Mutation Or Death, for obvious reasons. Why in the world would you give the game away so easily?

Very crafty.

"I do not believe that fandom suddenly has become all nice and friendly and working together toward some future goal of science fiction for everyone, but fandom has obviously matured a lot since the tumultuous prewar years."

Marion Zimmer Bradley. Walter Breen. Ed Kramer. David Asimov. Arthur C. Clarke. Samuel Delaney.

They were all alive at the time Lundwall's book was written. Most of them were probably even "active" at the time.

"In a field which has been met with precious little understanding by outside critics, science fiction fandom has created its own standards of quality."

Clearly. Too bad they aren't good ones based on reality.

"Via the fruitful feedback system between readers, writers and editors it has succeeded in transforming an admittedly crude literature into a suitable tool both for entertainment and social criticism as well as a literature of no mean literary qualities."

I quite enjoy when he outright tells everyone my claims about Fandom are completely correct. It was "transformed" just as he says it was.

"The editors of the magazines have always been predominant in influencing the development, but the readers always have known their preferences as well—and they have had the chance of making themselves heard. This is democracy to a degree that never has occurred in any other literary field, and it has given remarkable results. Whatever the faults and shortcomings of this sf fandom, it has succeeded in improving its literature throughout the years—and who can hope to do better than that?"

I almost died busting a gut laughing at this whopper. The readers never mattered, were never considered, and were a distant last place in concern for writers and editors of this cult fiction. The message came first. It always came first. The audience was always a stepping stone toward Utopia and nothing more. FIAWOL!

The "remarkable results" have led to nothing. Fandom has spent more time chasing down and tackling dissenters than they have dealing with their own sexual abuse problems. At the same time, their literature, when it isn't dry of romance or filled with perversion is coated in dated 20th century materialism propaganda meant to instruct their inferiors. Can one hope to do better than that? I'd hope so.

Finally, we reach the last chapter. It's been far too long of a ride, and i want off. With the eleventh chapter, imaginatively called "The Future" we deal with Mr. Lundwall's predictions on the future of his precious church.

Given how good this lot has historically been at predicting things, it should be quite the experience. Strap in.

"Twenty years ago, science fiction devoted itself mostly to the probable effects of man's contact with the outer world, extraterrestrial creatures and so on. Even the Moon shot was as much sf as it could be. Today the speculative element in the Moon shot is obviously gone, a story dealing with the first landing on the Moon is science fact, not fiction (at least not in the sf sense of the word), and within the next decade, stories dealing with the first Mars landing will probably meet the same fate."


That didn't happen because Progress is a lie. We are not endlessly marching towards a utopian future. That was never something that was going to happen.

"I believe science fiction will go farther out—but in a speculative rather than a distance sense. Inter- and extra-galactic voyages have been commonplace occurrences in science fiction since the days of E. E. Smith. I believe that the next decade will witness a change in the science fiction field as great as that of the preceding forty years."

"Change" is such a weird term to hedge your entire worldview on. "Devolving into deeper irrelevance" is a better one. The field by 2011, 40 years after this book's publication, would most definitely not be an improvement, and by 2021 it is all gone and over with. The playground has closed and they are in the process of digging up the swing set.

50 years after the publication of this book and the industry is completely dead. At least, OldPub is. Mr. Lundwall couldn't possibly have foreseen NewPub. Fortunately, for us.

"The traditional action-story will, of course, be with us, spreading its particular form of Sense-of-Wonder in a way that no kind of "new" sf can hope to encompass. But apart from that I see two distinct directions for science fiction, directions that, each in its own way, can enrich the genre, giving it a new vitality and a new meaning. The first is the avant-garde "New Wave" science fiction that hopefully will find its own vernacular before it drowns in its own four-letter words or loses itself in the surrealistic cathedrals of words that it has created itself. The second is the fantasy-slanted, very absurd and often very funny brand of science fiction represented by, among others, Robert Sheckley."

Well, I suppose he did sort of predict NewPub with the first sentence. He definitely didn't foresee it being what it is today, though.

The rest is an apt description of the nonsense currently being pushed in OldPub right now: bad comedy wrapped in nihilism and poorly edited verbal diarrhea about one-sided grievance politics or urbanite relationship issues between shallow people. Slim pickings these days, but that's what happens when you so narrow the qualifications for your genre that you lock out anything that travels outside the confines of the playpen. Self-inflicted injuries are hell.

You basically get what you deserve.

"One of the curious occurrences of science fiction today is the sudden rise of interest in fantasy, particularly on campuses. It started with J. R. R. Tolkien, but is rolling on with a renewed interest in Mervyn Peake, James Branch Cabell and a number of more modem fantasy writers as well. Personally, I am inclined to see this as yet another example of the attraction of mysticism—fantasy is appearing in exactly the same circles that have been embracing the Transcendental Meditation fad, among others—and if it is so, we will probably see much more fantasy coming during the next decade."

Because the "Nonsense" side of the "genre" should naturally head deeper into more nonsense and away from reality. At least, this is the implication.

He didn't foresee the sword and sorcery boom as well as Lin Carter's Ballantine Fantasy line which brought older works and styles back into the light briefly. If it weren't for the Thor Power Tool case then who knows how far this revival might have gone instead of being strangled in the crib? Unfortunately, it left us with a "genre" that is basically Tolkien pastiche built on hard materialism (disguised as "High" Fantasy, the "Low" designation is naturally the inferior one) and nothing else. Essentially the entire structure is rotted out.

But what about the magazines? Could he have foreseen what would happen to them?

Kenneth Buhner is quoted by our author as writing:

"As to why I think (a fantasy magazine) is needed these days, I see the disarray into which the sf magazines are falling and feel that fantasy will be the medium in which what we sf people have been for so long trying to do can be successfully carried on. There is also a tremendous interest in fantasy at the present time, not just in sword and sorcery, and this probably stems in part from a rejection of scientific materialistic values, due to the obvious and many times rammed home reasons even the Sunday color magazines are aware of. I think that many of the values being rejected are still capable of viable use in the present world and in the future; but they need to be restated and this is where fantasy can come in with fresh methods of presentation, new slants and a whole modem and up-dated format of entertainment. The messages will then continue to get through . . . I'm all for the modem world and whilst I deplore a great deal of what is being done and allowed to be done, and omitted, in the name of progress, I am still completely convinced that the values of the past cannot all be tossed aside—the old baby and the bathwater syndrome again—and that examples of conduct and thinking will indicate where we need to look for guidance of and from the future."

This is a very reasonable assessment about a field falling apart under his feet, though I doubt he realized that much at the time. He was two steps from realizing that it was the very scientific materialism that he champions that is what had choked the landscape dry.

Until that finally goes, you will only slip deeper into irrelevance.

Mr. Lundwall returns:

"The "New Wave" is, of course, another offspring of Hermann Hesse's mysticism, only as yet more crude and lacking the understanding of the symbols used. The "New Wave's" brand of mysticism is known as "inner space," and J. G. Ballard, one of the "New Wave's" most well-known advocates, and the author of a number of brilliant excursions into the universe of mystical experience, as early as 1962 stated his aims as:

"I would like to see more psycho-literary ideas, more meta-biological and meta-chemical concepts, private time-systems, synthetic psychologies and space-times, more of the remote, sombre half-worlds one glimpses in the paintings of schizophrenics, all in all a complete speculative poetry and fantasy of science."

Mr. Lundwall responds to Mr. Ballard's hopes as such:

"In other words, a denunciation of the real world, a return to the abstract, the incomprehensible, the metaphysical."


This is the exact same thing that could be said about your secular humanism beliefs based on play pretend morality given to you by the people who gave you the Food Pyramid.

You think you understand "The Real World?" Spare me.

"Ballard has, together with his fellow "New Wave" writers, been subjected to fierce criticism from the old sf garde who do not think this is science fiction. I do not agree with this wholeheartedly, as the "New Wave" is a sign of change within the field, and if the field is incapable of change it would surely be extinct before long. However, it is certain that few "New Wave" writers have found their vernacular; instead they retreat into some land of impotent absurdity that says nothing, conveys nothing and means nothing."

"Meaning" is not a synonym for "social engineering," Mr. Lundwall. Meaning that merely rehashes points found in your textbooks and peer works, points that you mindlessly agree with on a metaphysical level despite never questioning them on a deeper level yourself, also "says nothing" at all. It's just rehashing and parroting what you were told by your fellow cultists. Which is already what about 95% of his well-loved stories already do.

It really is just a bunch of projection. I would rather have self-awareness, personally. It would sure beat hearing the same points over and over again.

"There is also a marked rise in the use of obscenities in the "New Wave," which strikes me as completely unnecessary."

Compared to the pornography Mr. Lundwall salivated over throughout this book, a swear word or two is nothing.

"Now, I am far from being a prude. I was born and reared in a country where tolerance toward sex in all its forms is considered important. I consider myself open-minded as far as sex is concerned. Yet I find it curious, to say the very least, the way certain "New Wave" writers can't write three words without using one or two obscene words. Frequent use of obscenities might shock some people, but in the long run this is more childish than effective."

From someone who thinks describing sticks going into holes is fascinating reading. He probably shouldn't read any of the modern books from OldPub, either. I'm sure what they put out is somehow different. It is the cult releasing them, after all. Though I guess if you like pornography, suffering through some f-bombs might be worth the dopamine hit.

Editor Samuel Mines is then quoted about bad language as saying:

"I expect this in low intelligence and crude tastes. When I find reasonably well-educated individuals afflicted with the same compulsion I am forced to either of two conclusions: that they are so immature they are still trying to impress by shock value, or they are in need of therapy. Look it up in a good psychiatric textbook—Tourette's syndrome is well-known to psychiatrists: The obsessive need to employ obscenities in speech ... I am not arguing for a lily-white phoniness in writing. I'm for realism, not euphemism. I'm not shocked by four-letter words. I simply think they debase our style and our level of expression. I'm complaining about the needless overdone vulgarity which some writers without taste apparently think is realism."

Whoosh again.

Writing about porn isn't crass or immature, but saying too many four letter words is. This is what happens when you base your morality system off of perverts pretending to be distinguished highfalutin revolutionaries. You get lost going up your own rear end.

"The "New Wave" science fiction is filled with a general sense of defeat, a wish to turn away from the hard realities of this world, and perhaps this obsession with vulgarities is just one result of this. It does not make for great literature, though, and it certainly does not take the sf genre forward. This, of course, also goes for all the literary tools that have led this "New Wave" into a dead end with no way out."

No, I'm fairly certain Fandom already did that. The "New Wave" writers were the most successful in the medium since the pulps for a reason. That you can't see why is proof that you don't get it, have never gotten, and never will get it. Which is why you and the rest of the Fanatics never should have been allowed any power to begin with.

Stanislaw Lem commented on the "New Wave" writers:

". . . [New Wave writers] feel that all the "realism" in "serious" sf was but a myth gone to the dogs and that there should be a change in the future, but they do not know how to effect such a change, and therefore eagerly seize upon such literary paradigms as surrealism, which is only an indication of their intellectual poverty. For new things require new forms and surrealism has already become a historical factor in the stream of art."

This really shouldn't be hard, but apparently it is.

They did this because materialist propaganda wrapped in moral lectures led their "field" into a dead end. Because you threw away any link to the past they were lost as to what to turn to in order to move forward. Their existence and perceived faults is purely on Fandom's existence. you are the ones who made them what they are.

The then-upcoming "New Wave" writers didn't agree with that dead end direction so they took a hard left turn away from it. Any "intellectual poverty" they might have is due to you cutting off the past from them. It isn't like writing stories about how coupons rule the future is stimulating material, much as you pretend it is because of the Friend/Enemy distinction. The "New Wave" writers just wanted to write stories, not propagandize. This isn't complicated or difficult to understand. But these writers didn't follow the tradition that ejected all previous tradition, which is a faux pas for some reason. Therefore there must be something wrong with these youngsters.

The amount of undeserved ego from the old guard is rather impressive.

Mr. Lundwall continues:

"Outside England and the U.S.A., the sf writers are naturally far less sophisticated, and most local Big Name sf writers actually belong more to the pulp era of sf than to the present-day field."

Don't worry, your cult will soon be on the way to making sure that the audience is forbidden from having their stories. It's all about the audience unless the audience wants the wrong thing, right? Fandom failed at a lot of things, but at least they managed that much to destroy good things. And we are all poorer for their sad existence.

"In all these East European countries there exists a more or less pronounced sf fandom, and now and then local fanzines have found their way through the Iron Curtain. It is all in the beginning stages as yet, but I am certain that the next decade will see East Europe taking new initiatives in the sf field. The U.S.A. will without doubt hold its position as the country where most sf is published, but I would not be surprised if Europe within the next ten or twenty years takes the lead in high-quality science fiction."


"Science fiction is in rapid change, as everything is now. This is quite natural, and it is as natural that this development shouldn't be taken quietly by the old-time sf buffs, many of whom have been active since Hugo Gernsback started his first sf magazine, and now regard the new trends with ominous mutterings. There is still much talking about the "good old days," with which is meant the "golden" forties, and this is certainly very human and nothing to be surprised about. The revolutionary has an unhappy tendency to grow stiff with time and regard the ideals of his own youth as the apex of all development, spending the autumn of his life reminiscing about the good days of yore and complaining of the lousy times of today. The "Angry Young Men" of Britain are a typical example of revolutionaries who have become good, reactionary members of the Establishment. Bertrand Russell was one of the very few who managed to keep his intellect open to the end; but he was considered a very, very curious man."

Ironic. Too bad the current revolution is not be on his side.

Also, everything Mr. Lundwall said is wrong and was proven backwards with the passage of time. It is this lot obsessed with "Change" that has ironically held fiction back from its full potential by diluting genres, focusing on degeneracy over all else, and deliberately preventing tradition from taking root in younger generations. Every bit of ego-boosting in this book is unearned and was soon shown to be baseless at best and outright false at worst.

The "field" hasn't evolved, unless you call collapsing into an open grave evolving. In which case, it is doing a bang up job!

"That the science fiction readers and writers should be different in this respect would obviously be to hope for the impossible. Those who weren't fifteen years old when E. E. Smith wrote his thundering Space Operas, with the mile-long space ships and the spectacular machines, have great difficulties in finding anything interesting at all in them. A reader of today who doesn't have his mind filled to the bursting point with nostalgia can only observe that most of the pulp sf was terrible literature, that the love interest was taken directly from the sugar bowl, that the science was idiotic and the dizzying views hardly more than backdrops, sea stories on a cosmic level."

It still sold better, which is what matters. It sold better because it was what audiences always wanted, and it was taken from them. When they lost it, they moved to other mediums. Fandom didn't win anything except a corpse of an industry they've been playing in for far too long, one whose stink has hit everyone clearheaded enough to take a look at their surroundings.

And here is where the above Baby Boomer "nostalgia" argument falls apart. I'll say it as many times as I can to dispel this false argument made by dishonest cultists. It is one that needs to finally be crushed so we can finally move on as an intelligent species.

I did not grow up with E.E. Smith. I did not grow up with Space Opera. I did not grow up with pulps. Such things were deliberately kept out of print by Mr. Lundwall and his cultist pals who seized editor positions they never should have had. My generation has no nostalgia for these things you loathe and which to dismiss so very badly. We are essentially everything you hoped us to be.

And yet when I discovered this stuff existed, I took to it like a duck to water. It was everything I had been wanting to read since I was a kid, but couldn't because of Fandom blocking it from access to people like me. There is no nostalgia involved in any of this. These are stories I always wanted to read when these hacks were forcing me to read Fanatic approved drivel on the school curriculum instead. Talk about backfiring badly.

That's right: despite all of Fandom's hard work, and having absolutely no nostalgia for these stories, I still preferred them over what they were force-feeding me. This is what leads me to believe that the pulps are a very frightening thing to people like Mr. Lundwall for more reasons than them being "bad" or "dangerous" or whatever nonsense they say. They are frightened because of the unlimited possibilities they offer readers instead of the limited moralizing Fandom wishes you to take in like a good dose of medicine instead. There is no nostalgia argument--it's just deceit.

These aren't so much competing genres or eras, but entirely different worldviews. When they erased the pulps, they were erasing competition, in more ways than one. And now that many have found out what they were denied, the remnants are working twice as hard attempting to bury them or buying up their old names to converge and insult the legacies instead.

It isn't going to work. Pandora's Box is already opened.

"The science fiction of today is incomparably more sophisticated, and while the sf of today stands on foundations laid by the sf of the thirties and the forties, we should understand that what was good then must not necessarily be good now. In the same way, the sf of thirty years hence will probably be completely incomprehensible for those of us who grew up with the sf of today. And no doubt we will complain about the superficiality of the genre and dream back with tear-filled eyes to the "golden" sixties or seventies when there still was Sense-of-Wonder to be found."

Not even close! Just about everything about this passage turned out to be wrong. It's always a good thing seeing the intellectually infantile "nostalgia goggles" argument get blown up by real world experience. Sorry, that's never been true! Accept that your new junk just sucks.

It sure makes people feel like they are smart and special when in reality they don't understand their fellow man whatsoever. This is why such people become Fanatics, after all. Normal people have no use in being Fanatics. They actually have lives, you see.

"John W. Campbell, one of the old guard who hasn't lost his Sense-of-Wonder, even though he has been working in the sf field since 1930 and has been one of the outstanding editors of sf since 1937, gives some poignant comments to this phenomenon in the preface to a tear-dripping book about Campbell's magazine Astounding. The book is written by Alva Rogers, who holds to the view that the pulp Astounding of the thirties and the early forties truly was of the "golden" age of science fiction. It is a sentimental book, a nostalgic look back at the author's youth—something that the author admits in a foreword. Campbell tears the nostalgic mood to pieces with obvious delight in his preface. The grand finale is worthy of reproducing; and it will also form the end of this study in science fiction:"

This is the final quote and passage in the book, and it might be the most important since Mr. Lundwall hinges his entire incorrect worldview on it. This is fairly important to take in. He also reveals a few things about John W. Campbell that certain folks will not want to accept, especially those that thought he was ever on anyone's side other than Fandom's. He wasn't.

Pay attention to this, hard bros. Campbell is not on your side, and he never was. John W. Campbell was a subversive, and he was proud of that fact. He was proud being an aberration on a much longer tradition that existed before him.

Here Mr. Campbell finishes Mr. Lundwall's entire thesis for him:

"So what about the Great Old Authors (please remember that 1940 was almost a quarter century ago)? Well, they're convinced that they already know how to write and aren't gonna be told what they should write by that dictatorial, authoritarian, uncooperative Campbell. They aren't going to sell their immortal birthright to Great Authorhood for any mess of dollars! And granted that the Sense of Wonder is gone, in large part, because the Old Fans are old now. But the Great Old Authors are old, too! Most of them got their scientific' orientation back in the early thirties, and they've been running on it ever since. How many of them are in contact with actual research work being done today—and getting the feel for the major direction of science now? Who's done any extrapolation of the possibilities of super conductive systems, for instance?

"They know that science fiction is about rocket ships —so they persist in using rocket ships in stories of the centuries-hence future, when it's perfecdy obvious the damn things are hopelessly inefficient and impractical as useful transportation. And the Great Old Authors will not recognize that we've already told these stories; that we've already exercised our Sense of Wonder wondering about those ideas.

"Will somebody tell me why the Great Old Authors will not get off their literary tails and consider something new? They hate me for shoving new concepts and new ideas at them—and damn me for their lack of Sense of Wonder!

"The world rolls on and we either roll with it or get left behind to mumble about the Good Old Days. If you think science fiction is getting dull, it just possibly could be you. And I've got a pretty good idea of what's wrong but I don't know anything that can be done about it.

"I don't know of anybody who's growing any younger."

And that's how the book ends, with a rant by John W. Campbell that is entirely incorrect about the nature of reality, the appeal of the fiction he usurped, and the point of fiction itself. It is actually quite amazing, not only how wrong it is but how so many people stick up for the man to this very day. All for what? I can't tell.

Here he is attacking the very people attempting to enshrine his own changes into scripture and he's already being a good cultist and trying to toss his own work off to feed the beast of Change tearing through his career. It is fascinating stuff. Outright stupid and juvenile, but fascinating nonetheless. Once again, The Cause outranks the audience in importance.

Meanwhile, the people in his artificial "field" today show him even less respect. Now he has been completely unpersoned as an inhuman monster who must never be talked about. That's fine, though. Remember, this is the space he created.

He wanted this to happen:

So, the question becomes: was any of this worth it? Was destroying tradition for a gaggle of antisocial freaks who wish to destroy and overturn society worth the trouble? I can't see how it was, especially considering its already in the process of being forgotten.

Was the destruction of wonder fiction for the cause of hardcore materialism worth it? Was the cargo cult playpen worth it? Was the sheltering of so many perverts and criminals worth it? Was the abandonment of rock solid foundation in tradition for the equivalent of a five second fad in the history of humanity worth it? Was having your entire legacy erased in less than a decade worth it? Was chasing untold numbers of people away from reading worth it?

Somehow I'd bet he'd tell you that it was. This is how deep the conditioning goes.

But there was a fever in the 20th century. It was a disease that caused people to write books like this, and others still to publish it. You can't convince me it wasn't some kind of brain bug which turned people so frothing mad for such a dull cult. Future generations are going to look back and see this as the weird cult that it is. Because it is as stupid as it was pointless.

Despite that, we still have to ask why one of the leading voices in the field would write something like this for the book we just covered:

"Lundwall presents both a history of science fiction and a commentary. He covers it in all its aspects: books, magazines, comics, fans and fandom, juvenilia, series characters, and literary giants . . Reading him is educational, stimulating, and exciting. I commend this book to everyone who reads science fiction or who wants to know more about it." —DONALD A. WOLLHEIM

This is insanity. And yet, this is "Science Fiction" as they insist it is. A propaganda tool meant to sell you on a view of existence that is as shallow as it is irrelevant in today's landscape. The secret is that it was outdated then, hence the plummeting sales and dwindling cultural cache, but Fandom was a lot better at hiding it at the time. They aren't so much anymore.

What this means is that we can openly say what so many of us are already thinking and have begun thinking over the last few years of Fandom's public implosion. None of this real, and none of this matters in the slightest, because "Science Fiction" doesn't actually exist, and it never did. What you are looking at is a co-opting of Futuristic and Mythic Adventure fiction to use as a social engineering tool and a weapon against those who would enjoy escapist fiction: normal people. It is a competing religion for boring people.

There is no future for this "genre" because it isn't a genre. It's a tool. It's also out of date and has no relevance to the modern day. It's long since reach its expiration day, which is why it is currently imploding and on its way to death.

We don't live in that era anymore.

All that said, what would I say about Mr. Lundwall's book? Do I recommend this? Does it top his second release? Is it worth reading as a curiosity? The answer to all those questions is a very simple one word response. No.

This work is inane, rambling, poorly edited, hateful, uninformative, outdated, and a complete waste of time. The only reason I read it was due to requests, and only because I knew I could write a series of posts like this for you to read. Otherwise, this book has no value at all and will soon be deservedly forgotten as it falls back into obscurity.

And that's basically all I can say about this.

Science Fiction & Fantasy is a weapon used against you for the goal of a select packet of anti-social rejects who hate you and wish to enslave their lessers. It isn't real, it never was, and its entire existence is framed around a mindset that almost no one even has anymore. In other words, it's completely artificial, and it is dying, just as Fandom is.

However, we do not require their frames or their platforms anymore. e live in the world of NewPub where anyone can publish anything, no gatekeepers needed. There is nothing for a Fanatic to take control of as they stew in their own pits of self-loathing as their corporate overlords collapse around them. Good riddance to Fandom. We have something better.

This has been quite the ride, and I thank you for joining me on it. We now bid farewell to Mr. Lundwall forever as we turn to focus on the important things. Fandom is over, OldPub is done, and their world is crumbling. That era is finished.

We have a whole new world open to us. Let us not waste the opportunity we were given to experience the wonder of it all for ourselves. That is, after all, why we even exist at all.


  1. The mention of King Kong is interesting, because I came to the conclusion a while back that, for all the greatness of the film itself, Denham's point of view on Beauty and the Beast is profoundly subversive--and is, indeed, of a piece with the Fandom worldview you've been identifying here. Instead of Beauty learning to love the Beast and look past appearances, thus redeeming them both from their burdens and bringing them to joy, Denham reads it as the Beast being seduced by Beauty's appearance and thus brought to destruction--in line with Fandom's "ugliness is beautiful, beauty is ugly, humanity is the real monster."

    (And in between the original and the Denham view falls Disney's animated film, but analyzing that's a whole other topic that merits a wiser pen than mine.)

    1. I think Lundwall's point of view was that it wasn't subversive enough for him. Probably because it wasn't as blatant about the message of "beauty killing the beast" which is already a play on the traditional pulp style of the same happening.

      To be honest, he probably just wanted more nudity.

  2. One thing that I'm doing as of today is dumping "SFF" and associated terms and taking up "Futuristic Adventure Fiction" and "Mythic Adventure Fiction" as descriptors!

    Thanks again, JD! Another great analysis, and a great set of reference articles.

    (Maybe you should write a book ... . Nah. That'd be cruel to yourself.)

    1. Thanks for reading!

      I hope to be leaving the author in the rearview mirror for the foreseeable future. I really don't want to read anything that terrible again.

  3. His criticism of Buck Rogers in the passage near the beginning of your article is incredible. He claims they have no literary merits, but evoke a great sense of wonder -- and then the only good thing he has to say about it is that it had some good sciency predictions! He exposes his ignorance so thoroughly there in that one passage: getting that true sense of wonder IS a literary skill. The stories he's denigrating were largely good, entertaining adventures. That was their goal. Their goal was not social engineering, so that's the real problem he has with them. He all but gives that away by admitting the "science" was the best part. So if pulp adventure fiction was fun and wondrous, and even had science acceptable to the great Mr. Lundwall, what exactly was the point of so-called "hard science fiction"? Oh right, friend/enemies again.

    Congrats for making it through. I've found this series extremely enlightening. It's confirmed suspicions I've had about this stuff for years. Thank you!

  4. Hey, this book wasn't a complete waste. By looking up authors Lundwall hates, I've found new reading material! And it's actually good! Indie authors try so hard to carry on the cult tradition, I've had a hard time finding new pub scifi that wasn't also dreadfully woke. Space opera is all I want. Any recommendations? Maybe that ought to be a blog post. :-)

    1. Edmond Hamilton and E.E. Doc Smith are definitely the big names for space opera. Brian Niemeier and Jon Del Arroz are both modern writers putting out fun works in the genre.

      One of the best I've read is "The High Crusade" by Poul Anderson. Definitely worth reading today.

  5. What I find funny is how many people currently tell me it's nostalgia goggles making the original Star Wars movies seem so much better than modern fare when stuff like this exists to prove that 100% wrong, given that the nostalgia goggles argument was being used in the very stuff Star Wars was an homage to.

    1. It's always been a lazy argument made by consumers who just want an excuse to mindlessly scarf anything dumped on their plates.

      I'm just glad we're seeing more pushback to it these days, especially with how obviously bad so much of this stuff is now. Everyone can see the game for what it is.

  6. As an old school Trek fan, I was blissfully unaware of the original dislike Tru-fans had of the show. I guess that demonstrates just how insular fandom can be. We original Trekkers were so busy enjoying what we loved that we didn't even notice there was a world of organized fandom that didn't include what we loved.

    On the other hand, I did notice a bit of snobbery from Trek fans when Star Wars began to become the giant that it is. It was a "Trek is science fiction, Star Wars is just space fantasy" thing. Of course the distinction was silly, as both franchises exist on the same level of unreality. For a while there, Trek fans were indulging in the same illogic that this author was.

    1. There's something about this particular area of entertainment that attracts people who need to be elevated above the common riff raff. It's a shame they were ever catered to to begin with.

      The worst mistake those like Gernsback ever did was give these types power and a platform.

  7. Lundwall speaks well of Bertrand Russell, and calls him open-minded. Russell was a Fabian; all he was open-minded to was imposing '1984' on the human race. Here is ANOTHER Fabian, George Bernard Shaw, describing what these people actually want:

    Listen to the whole video, as usual--monsters, all. Lundwall is just another varietal.

  8. Congratulations on getting through this slog and thanks for taking the time to expose the things you learned.

  9. What are your thoughts on the term "Scientific Romance" (coined in 1845 and more heavily popularized when Jules Verne came on the scene?

    1. It's a solid moniker but too limiting to be an actual genre title, in my opinion. The word "science" is just far too loaded with implications for the contents.

    2. Isn't "science" a pretty broad and loose term, though? It encompasses geography, oceanography, engineering, biology, botany, genetics, psychology, chemistry, astronomy, ornithology, meteorology, hydrology, zoology, paleozoology, and even cryptozoology, among many others.

      For instance, "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Seas" is largely about engineering (the science behind the creation of the Nautilus) and oceanography (exploring the deep). "Journey to the Center of the Earth" has a heavy focus on geography, with some paleozoology thrown in (the discovery of dinosaurs and the like living in the interior of the Earth).

      "Science", to me, generally implies the search for knowledge about the universe or the things in it. Its primary implications, to my mind, are curiosity, wonder, and the willpower to seek out the unknown and probe its secrets.

    3. Fair enough. I just consider it adventure and romance.

  10. John C. Wright recently wrote an interesting blog post on the topic of science fiction, fantasy, and whether there's a distinction.

    Someone in the comments even mentioned your blog posts on the subject: