Friday, October 16, 2020

Carl Jacobi: Golden Age Space Opera Tales

Carl Jacobi: Golden Age Space Opera Tales

Carl Richard Jacobi (July 10, 1908 – August 25, 1997) was an American journalist and author. He wrote short stories in the horror and fantasy genres for the pulp magazine market, appearing in such pulps of the bizarre and uncanny as Thrilling, Ghost Stories, Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Strange Stories. He also produced some science fiction, mainly space opera, published in such magazines as Planet Stories.

He attended the University of Minnesota from 1927 to 1930, majoring in English Literature, where he began his writing career in campus magazines. He wrote of this period on Thrilling Wonder Stories (June 1939) that “I tried to divide my time between rhetoric courses and the geology lab. As an underclassman I was somewhat undecided whether future life would find me studying rocks and fossils or simply pounding a typewriter. The typewriter won.”

Space Opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology.

The term has no relation to music, as in a traditional opera, but is instead a play on the terms “soap opera”, a melodramatic television series, and “horse opera”, which was coined during the 1930s to indicate a formulaic Western movie. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, film, comics, television, and video games.

The Golden Age of Pulp Magazine Fiction derives from pulp magazines (often referred to as “the pulps”) as they were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the late 1950s. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. In contrast, magazines printed on higher-quality paper were called “glossies” or “slicks”. (Wikipedia)

The pulps gave rise to the term pulp fiction. Pulps were the successors to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short-fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many writers wrote for pulps, the magazines were proving grounds for those authors like Robert Heinlein, Louis LaMour, “Max Brand”, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, and many others. The best writers moved onto longer fiction required by paperback publishers. Many of these authors have never been out of print, even long after their passing.

Anthology containing:

Double Trouble
Doctor Universe
The Street That Wasn’t There (with Clifford D. Simak)
Assignment on Venus
Cosmic Castaway
Made in Tanganyika
The Long Voyage

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