Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Dave Dryfoos: Golden Age Space Opera Tales

Dave Dryfoos: Golden Age Space Opera TalesDave Dryfoos was born in San Francisco in 1915. Graduating from Lowell High School, and after completing his lower division coursework at the University of California at Berkeley, he matriculated at the University of California’s Hastings School of Law. He was admitted to the California bar in 1936. He married in 1942 and was subsequently drafted. He spent the war as an enlisted man in the United States Army, serving in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. He earned the Pacific Campaign ribbon with three stars, among other decorations, and mustered out in 1946 with the rank of staff sergeant.

Back in Benicia, California, he rejoined his wife, Jeanne, and began writing, selling short stories to the pulps of the day. His publishing history extended over six years and more than twenty titles. He retired as assistant hospital administrator at Camarillo State Hospital in California in 1980. Dave Dryfoos died in 2003, survived by his wife of 61 years, three children, and three grandchildren.

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:

Journey Work
Seller of the Sky
Tree, Spare that Woodman
Waste Not, Want
New Hire
Uniform of a Man
Bridge Crossing

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