Discussion:
Thoughts on Exploring, then, now, and way back.
(too old to reply)
a425couple
2018-05-01 02:28:19 UTC
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Exploring is a great topic and I enjoy reading about it.

I'll try to express some half formed thoughts on what
the Sci-Fi writers were expressing then (back in the 1950's,
60's and 70's), and how exploring is going on now,
and what checking out the unknown was in the way back years
of 1490s to 1812.

Well, the great old sci-fi writers like Robert Heinlein,
Arthur Clarke, Robert Silverberg, and Poul Anderson failed
to predict many of our modern developments. They predicted
increased computers and robots, but never came near grasping
how much computing and telecommunications and robots would
totally change how we pushed into the future.

Heinlein, Clark, and Anderson all have humans going out
to push exploration and boundaries.
In Heinlein's "Rocket Ship Galileo" (1947) Nobody had ever
seen or photographed the far side of the moon, and the boys
had barely laid eyes on the area of the moon that they set
their ship down on before they were landed. And suddenly,
boom, they were there!
In Clarke's "Islands in the Sky" (1952) it was man walking
on Mercury and Mars that spotted advanced life forms.
In Clarke's short story "A Meeting with Medusa" (1971)
it was a man in an 'airship' on Jupiter that spotted large life forms.
In Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama" (1973) the reader still had
the great wonder and fear, of what is behind the door, as they
open the door to go into Rama.

Whereas now, we send machines to send back reports so we
can study and study and further study a situation first.
We first landed objects on the moon in 1959.
Between 1969 and 1972 we completed 6 manned landings
on the moon so humans could walk on and explore the unknown.
Since 1971 we have sent objects to Mars.
Since 1997 we have landed rovers that have studied the
situation quite extensively.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_landing

But, we have not found any caves!!!
And really!!?!! Curiosity Rover landed in 2012,
and has only gone = Distance covered: 18.13 km (11.27 mi);
as of 11 February 2018.
(Really, get serious, Lewis and Clark generally covered
more than that in a day -- GOING UPSTREAM!!)
Yeah, I do understand the Opportunity Rover
has gone further, since Landing date: January 25, 2004,
it has covered: 45 km (28 mi) (as of 10 January 2018)
But still. Send the tiny long range drones!

We have sent spacecraft / robots all over the solar
system (and even out past it) to give us reports.
But since 1972 no man has left Earth or Earth orbit and
gone out into the universe and the unknown.

The sci-fi writers were definitely very strongly influenced
by exploration from 'way back times', like in 1760s to 1806.
They had man boldly going into the unknown to see new
and unexpected things.

About 2 years ago I got off onto a reading kick on Capt. James
Cook's explorations (1768 to 1779) and on the Lewis and Clark
Expedition (1804 to 1806).

Seriously, when Capt. Cook left on his first expedition,
in 1768, they may have known the earth was round, but a lot
of the Pacific hemisphere was totally unknown!
The mapmakers knew Tasman in 1644 had sailed eastward,
hit Tasmania, figured it was part of Australia, went around
it's southern corner and on east until he hit what we now
know is the west coast of New Zealand, then sailed north along
that coast, then off to the north before heading west
to Jakarta.

Now, the top scientists of the day, the members of the
Royal Society, had a specialty of theoretical geography.
They were sure the earth had to be balanced. Thus they
were quite confident that to counter big old Asia,
there had to be a large, capable of being inhabited,
southern continent. And it would probably fill most
of the area between the west coast of what we call
New Zealand, up north to near Tahiti, and over most of
the way to Chile. And some sensed that England / the UK
might lose it's very important American colonies
(those cheeky ones!) this area might be an ideal
replacement. So go find Terra Australis!

Well Cook sailed, with a very important first scientific stop
to go to Tahiti, to from there, time the transit of Venus
across the face of the sun (so to figure it's distance,,,
poopers, the instruments were not accurate enough for
that good theoretical discovery!).
This wiki has a good multi colored map to view.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cook

So off to find new land, he sailed south, then west,
and found the east side of New Zealand, sailed around it,
proving it was 2 fair size islands, but no continent!
So, they were firmly located! Next he went to the east coast
of Australia, and sailed north up it, firmly locating
it (and doing plenty of botany and animal and anthropology stuff).
He sailed west over the Australian north coast on home.

On his second trip, he had clearer instructions to look
to the south, and he really did, spending much time south
of 60 degrees! NO LARGE INHABITABLE land there!

On his thrird trip he covered much of the North Pacific,
he found the Hawaiian Islands, and a serious big
ocean! Through the Bering Straits, and fairly
good proof that no sailing ship Northwest Passage
existed. He contributed greatly to knowledge.

A bit later, in the US, POTUS Jefferson bought a big
hunk of land, (Louisiana Purchase) and wanted to know
what was in it, and if
there might be a water based trade route to the Pacific NW.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_and_Clark_Expedition

POTUS Jefferson consulted plenty with the top scientists
of the day as to their views about what would be found
in the journey heading west from St. Louis. No
'white man' had seen the Rocky Mountains north of Mexico
and civilization had very little idea of what would be found.

Among the opinions of the expert scientists, was that it might
be likely that they could canoe all the way up the Missouri,
and only have to carry canoes for 1/2 mile or so, before
putting them down in a tributary of the Columbia river!!!!
Well, after the expedition lost about a month of prime
travel time just getting around the Great Falls in Montana,
that didn't sound likely. So, hundreds of miles later,
and lots of pulling canoes with ropes up streams, Capt. Lewis
went ahead of the main party, and walked to the top of Lemhi
Pass, and looked to the west. Dang!! Another range of mountains!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemhi_Pass
7,373' tall.
What a grand exploration. New route, new plants, new animals,
new native American tribes.

Enough for now. I'll stop and hit send.

A few of the most worthwhile books include:

Ambrose, Stephen E. (1996). "Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis,
Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West". Simon
and Schuster, New York. p. 511. ISBN 9780684811079.

Boorstin, Daniel J. (1985) "The Discoverers, A history of man's
search to know his world and himself"

DeVoto, Bernard Augustine (1997) [1953]. "The Journals of Lewis
and Clark". Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 504. ISBN 0-395-08380-X.
—— (1998). "The Course of Empire". Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 647.
ISBN 9780395924983.

Lavender, David Sievert (2001). "The Way to the Western Sea: Lewis
and Clark Across the Continent". University of Nebraska Press.
p. 444. ISBN 9780803280038.
Joe Bernstein
2018-05-02 16:58:18 UTC
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Post by a425couple
Exploring is a great topic and I enjoy reading about it.
[snip]
Post by a425couple
Well, the great old sci-fi writers like Robert Heinlein,
Arthur Clarke, Robert Silverberg, and Poul Anderson failed
to predict many of our modern developments. They predicted
increased computers and robots, but never came near grasping
how much computing and telecommunications and robots would
totally change how we pushed into the future.
Heinlein, Clark, and Anderson all have humans going out
to push exploration and boundaries.
In Heinlein's "Rocket Ship Galileo" (1947) Nobody had ever
seen or photographed the far side of the moon, and the boys
had barely laid eyes on the area of the moon that they set
their ship down on before they were landed. And suddenly,
boom, they were there!
In Clarke's "Islands in the Sky" (1952) it was man walking
on Mercury and Mars that spotted advanced life forms.
In Clarke's short story "A Meeting with Medusa" (1971)
it was a man in an 'airship' on Jupiter that spotted large life forms.
In Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama" (1973) the reader still had
the great wonder and fear, of what is behind the door, as they
open the door to go into Rama.
Whereas now, we send machines to send back reports so we
can study and study and further study a situation first.
I'm currently (re-)reading the Lensman series, and I think what
you're seeing is the late stages of a progression.

Because in the 1934 <Triplanetary> (yeah, not then a Lensman book,
but that isn't relevant to the point here) and the 1937-38 <Galactic
Patrol>, at least, planets essentially all have breathable air, Earth-
normalish gravity, similar enough biochemistry to make getting food
doable, and so forth. Although <Triplanetary> features an
intelligent race that's explored for light-years without finding any
other planets, when Our Heroes need one, why there one is.

I vaguely remember that the later books feature non-oxygen-breathers
so presumably must get more sophisticated, but we'll see.

My point is that writers in the 1950s and onward described the next
logical step - look before you leap. Correspondingly, many of their
planets, like many real planets known to them at the time, but
*unlike* most of Smith's, needed looking first because they're
inimical to human life.

And what we're actually doing today is the next step from that - look
*long* before you leap. Partly because, if most planets *aren't*
places where we can have fun adventures without space suits, there's
really a lot less point to leaping.

[mega-snip]
Post by a425couple
â€"â€" (1998). "The Course of Empire". Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 647.
ISBN 9780395924983.
What's the author's name here?

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-05-02 17:56:44 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
I'm currently (re-)reading the Lensman series, and I think what
you're seeing is the late stages of a progression.
Because in the 1934 <Triplanetary> (yeah, not then a Lensman book,
but that isn't relevant to the point here) and the 1937-38 <Galactic
Patrol>, at least, planets essentially all have breathable air, Earth-
normalish gravity, similar enough biochemistry to make getting food
doable, and so forth. Although <Triplanetary> features an
intelligent race that's explored for light-years without finding any
other planets, when Our Heroes need one, why there one is.
I vaguely remember that the later books feature non-oxygen-breathers
so presumably must get more sophisticated, but we'll see.
Yes, like Trenco, Palain, and Zabriska.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Joe Bernstein
2018-05-03 02:39:36 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Joe Bernstein
I'm currently (re-)reading the Lensman series, and I think what
you're seeing is the late stages of a progression.
Because in the 1934 <Triplanetary> (yeah, not then a Lensman book,
but that isn't relevant to the point here) and the 1937-38 <Galactic
Patrol>, at least, planets essentially all have breathable air, Earth-
normalish gravity, similar enough biochemistry to make getting food
doable, and so forth. Although <Triplanetary> features an
intelligent race that's explored for light-years without finding any
other planets, when Our Heroes need one, why there one is.
I vaguely remember that the later books feature non-oxygen-breathers
so presumably must get more sophisticated, but we'll see.
Yes, like Trenco, Palain, and Zabriska.
Actually, I was still early in that version of <Galactic Patrol> when
I wrote that (though not *so* early that the pattern wasn't already
obvious). Not long thereafter, we're informed that the air on
Valentia isn't *quite* human-breathable, and not much later than
*that*, we get the first of two visits to Trenco in the book. I got
pretty embarrassed until it became clear that that was *the* main
exception, the rest of the book full of oxygenated-air planets again
(except the second visit to Trenco). Oh, wait, that isn't fair
either; Kinnison has to repair his spacesuit to avoid suffocating on
a planet in the Aldebaran system, which is airless, but he's doing
the repairs in an underground structure whose presumably imported air
is inimical to him..

Valentia is a trickier case. When Kinnison and VanBuskirk meet
Worsel, they're "armored" and he isn't. I didn't actually figure out
that in this context "armored" means, in part, "space suited" until
the bad-air remark somewhat later. But in between those two pages,
Our Heroes spend several days wandering around another planet in the
system where Worsel has no problem with the air, then Worsel's home
planet Valentia, in the process engaging in much effort and plenty of
combat, and without any worry about their air supply. Nor does Smith
hand-wave this; he doesn't take the trouble to *say* they have super-
duper compressed oxygen tanks that are lighter than air and can't be
punctured, because it isn't an issue, because most planets have
perfectly breathable air.

Of course, this is an evolution too. I know nothing about when it
became clear even to scientists, let alone to writers of proto-sf,
that the Solar System isn't pervaded by breathable air. I note that
as late as ??1901 or so Melies can present a trip to the Moon that
involves no breathing apparatus - but hey, that's a movie, and we all
know sf movies play fast and loose with science. But, see, I'm not
specifically making fun of Smith. His generation knew you'd need
space suits in order to operate in airless places, such as making
external repairs to a spaceship in transit. This was progress. They
presumably hadn't talked a lot about those space suits, or the whole
Valentia thing wouldn't be such a mess, but they recognised the need.
The *next* thing is to note all the discouraging results planetary
science was getting, and give up the average planet too.

(Though to be perfectly fair we don't actually know how unlikely a
high oxygen atmosphere is, in the population of unknown size of
planets more or less Earth-sized and in more or less similar relation
to their suns. That latter population is *probably* a minority of
all planets, and oxygen atmospheres *probably* not universal even
among them, but to put it mildly we can't be sure.)

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Robert Carnegie
2018-05-03 07:31:32 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Joe Bernstein
I'm currently (re-)reading the Lensman series, and I think what
you're seeing is the late stages of a progression.
Because in the 1934 <Triplanetary> (yeah, not then a Lensman book,
but that isn't relevant to the point here) and the 1937-38 <Galactic
Patrol>, at least, planets essentially all have breathable air, Earth-
normalish gravity, similar enough biochemistry to make getting food
doable, and so forth. Although <Triplanetary> features an
intelligent race that's explored for light-years without finding any
other planets, when Our Heroes need one, why there one is.
I vaguely remember that the later books feature non-oxygen-breathers
so presumably must get more sophisticated, but we'll see.
Yes, like Trenco, Palain, and Zabriska.
Actually, I was still early in that version of <Galactic Patrol> when
I wrote that (though not *so* early that the pattern wasn't already
obvious). Not long thereafter, we're informed that the air on
Valentia isn't *quite* human-breathable, and not much later than
*that*, we get the first of two visits to Trenco in the book. I got
pretty embarrassed until it became clear that that was *the* main
exception, the rest of the book full of oxygenated-air planets again
(except the second visit to Trenco). Oh, wait, that isn't fair
either; Kinnison has to repair his spacesuit to avoid suffocating on
a planet in the Aldebaran system, which is airless, but he's doing
the repairs in an underground structure whose presumably imported air
is inimical to him..
Valentia is a trickier case. When Kinnison and VanBuskirk meet
Worsel, they're "armored" and he isn't. I didn't actually figure out
that in this context "armored" means, in part, "space suited" until
the bad-air remark somewhat later. But in between those two pages,
Our Heroes spend several days wandering around another planet in the
system where Worsel has no problem with the air, then Worsel's home
planet Valentia, in the process engaging in much effort and plenty of
combat, and without any worry about their air supply. Nor does Smith
hand-wave this; he doesn't take the trouble to *say* they have super-
duper compressed oxygen tanks that are lighter than air and can't be
punctured, because it isn't an issue, because most planets have
perfectly breathable air.
Of course, this is an evolution too. I know nothing about when it
became clear even to scientists, let alone to writers of proto-sf,
that the Solar System isn't pervaded by breathable air. I note that
as late as ??1901 or so Melies can present a trip to the Moon that
involves no breathing apparatus - but hey, that's a movie, and we all
know sf movies play fast and loose with science. But, see, I'm not
specifically making fun of Smith. His generation knew you'd need
space suits in order to operate in airless places, such as making
external repairs to a spaceship in transit. This was progress. They
presumably hadn't talked a lot about those space suits, or the whole
Valentia thing wouldn't be such a mess, but they recognised the need.
The *next* thing is to note all the discouraging results planetary
science was getting, and give up the average planet too.
(Though to be perfectly fair we don't actually know how unlikely a
high oxygen atmosphere is, in the population of unknown size of
planets more or less Earth-sized and in more or less similar relation
to their suns. That latter population is *probably* a minority of
all planets, and oxygen atmospheres *probably* not universal even
among them, but to put it mildly we can't be sure.)
It's still a long time since I read these, but...
well, you're probably right that Smith simply expected
planets with oxygen atmosphere to be common. As for
solar system atmospheres... well, Venus was imagined
to have oxygen-producing swamps and jungles - and oceans,
which do most of the work on Earth - under the
unbreaking clouds, until quite late. And IIRC we had
to send a camera probe to Mars to see that it looks
awfully like the Moon - though I think that estimates
of the density of atmosphere had already been painfully
reduced.

Unless contradicted, Smith's space suits could include
technology to convert CO2 back to oxygen, or to extract
oxygen from a compatible but poisonous atmosphere,
or could be upgraded with these capabilities at H.Q.
between one chapter and another. While at other times,
limited air tanks are used. Should an editor ask these
questions? Or wisely stay silent since they're already
swallowing the interialess-mass business? (How much
inertialess oxygen can one Lensman carry?)

Andre Norton, (published) 1965:
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quest_Crosstime>
starts on a science expedition to a parallel timeline
where life never existed on Earth. The air is fine.
Oxygen isn't mentioned. I decided to assume that
oxygen leaks naturally from one timeline to another -
the expression "the thin wall of time" is invoked in
the book - while microbes don't. So the alternate
Earth has gradually received oxygen over several
billion years, perhaps. It should last quite a
long time for a handful of visitors!
David DeLaney
2018-05-03 10:48:02 UTC
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because most planets have perfectly breathable air.
... most human-habitable ones. It's plain nearly from the start, once we find
out about Eddore, _why_ Boskonian chains of command tend to depend on violently
non-human-friendly worlds - the Eich, the Ploorans, etc. It's not till you get
a few steps down the chain that the humanoids start showing up there.

Also note that the Palainians, which were there right from First Lensman, are
natives of a close-to-0-degrees-K environment.

So yeah, it might not have been there in the very original magazine pubs, but
by the time it got to book form there was World Diversity right alongside the
multiple "human to the limits of classification" and near humans.
Of course, this is an evolution too. I know nothing about when it
became clear even to scientists, let alone to writers of proto-sf,
that the Solar System isn't pervaded by breathable air. I note that
as late as ??1901 or so Melies can present a trip to the Moon that
involves no breathing apparatus
Dr. Doolittle in the Moon was 1928 ... but I don't remember if they _required_
the huge breathing-flowers, or if they just Halped.
(Though to be perfectly fair we don't actually know how unlikely a
high oxygen atmosphere is, in the population of unknown size of
planets more or less Earth-sized and in more or less similar relation
to their suns. That latter population is *probably* a minority of
all planets, and oxygen atmospheres *probably* not universal even
among them, but to put it mildly we can't be sure.)
Well, it's ONLY as likely as life is, if not less; without something going
against it, chemistry has oxygen combine right back into almost anything you
can reasonably make a planet out of.

Dave
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Joe Bernstein
2018-05-03 23:20:02 UTC
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[Lensman, 1930s magazine versions of]
Post by David DeLaney
because most planets have perfectly breathable air.
... most human-habitable ones. It's plain nearly from the start,
once we find out about Eddore, _why_ Boskonian chains of command
tend to depend on violently non-human-friendly worlds - the Eich,
the Ploorans, etc. It's not till you get a few steps down the chain
that the humanoids start showing up there.
Also note that the Palainians, which were there right from First
Lensman, are natives of a close-to-0-degrees-K environment.
So yeah, it might not have been there in the very original magazine
pubs, but by the time it got to book form there was World Diversity
right alongside the multiple "human to the limits of classification"
and near humans.
So you're supporting my thesis.

The magazine versions haven't mentioned Eddore at all as of the end
of <Galactic Patrol>, just as everyone who talks about the magazine
versions says. I haven't started <Gray Lensman>'s magazine version
yet so will reserve judgement on when this changes.

Essentially, then, we're seeing the change in action: Smith 1930s
insouciantly assumes oxygen everywhere; Smith 1950s knows better.
Post by David DeLaney
Of course, this is an evolution too. I know nothing about when it
became clear even to scientists, let alone to writers of proto-sf,
that the Solar System isn't pervaded by breathable air. I note that
as late as ??1901 or so Melies can present a trip to the Moon that
involves no breathing apparatus
Dr. Doolittle in the Moon was 1928 ... but I don't remember if they
_required_ the huge breathing-flowers, or if they just Halped.
The library I'm in has the Dr Dolittle books in their original
editions as opposed to the bowdlerised ones, and I've been meaning to
read them, but I wanted it to be all of Lofting, and there are no
local copies of several of his non-Dolittle books, so it's been
waiting, like so many other reading projects, until the ultra-far-off
day when I have enough money to pay those incredibly annoying inter-
library loan fees we have here.

(I'm currently working on an immense set of posts to post mainly to
the nice empty newsgroup alt.books.chesterton, on Gilbert Keith
Chesterton. I need, I think, 11 or 12 books from ILL at last count.
I think that's about as much as the pair of shoes I want and also
can't afford.)

Separately, though, Lofting was pretty pervasively a fantasist, so
he isn't even evidence of when science fiction writers noticed the
gaps in the ether, let alone when scientists did.

(It occurred to me to find out whether Wikipedia on ether would tell
me something, but if it does, I'm too tired to find it tonight.)

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
David Goldfarb
2018-05-04 06:13:36 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
The magazine versions haven't mentioned Eddore at all as of the end
of <Galactic Patrol>, just as everyone who talks about the magazine
versions says. I haven't started <Gray Lensman>'s magazine version
yet so will reserve judgement on when this changes.
I feel pretty sure that Eddore doesn't get mentioned until
_Children of the Lens_ and in fact was a big retcon.
--
David Goldfarb |"Federal Espresso: When you absolutely, positively,
***@gmail.com | have to stay up all night."
***@ocf.berkeley.edu | -- Diane Reamy
Robert Woodward
2018-05-04 16:54:13 UTC
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Post by David Goldfarb
Post by Joe Bernstein
The magazine versions haven't mentioned Eddore at all as of the end
of <Galactic Patrol>, just as everyone who talks about the magazine
versions says. I haven't started <Gray Lensman>'s magazine version
yet so will reserve judgement on when this changes.
I feel pretty sure that Eddore doesn't get mentioned until
_Children of the Lens_ and in fact was a big retcon.
I remember reading a E. E. "Doc" Smith statement to the effect that the
last scene of _The Children of the Lens_ was written before any of _The
Galactic Patrol_. This, of course, could had been a lie.
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
David Goldfarb
2018-05-05 07:50:13 UTC
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Post by Robert Woodward
I remember reading a E. E. "Doc" Smith statement to the effect that the
last scene of _The Children of the Lens_ was written before any of _The
Galactic Patrol_. This, of course, could had been a lie.
Point one: I'd like to see the quote in context.

Point two: the last chapter of _Children_ involves the Children and
the Red Lensman combining their powers to rescue Kim Kinnison from
a Boskonian trap. It doesn't mention or involve Eddore directly, and
is in fact perfectly consistent with Smith making up the Boskonian
hierarchy as he went along.
--
David Goldfarb | "You never learn until too late that everyone's
***@gmail.com | passing for normal."
***@ocf.berkeley.edu | -- Will Shetterly
Robert Woodward
2018-05-05 17:10:20 UTC
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Post by David Goldfarb
Post by Robert Woodward
I remember reading a E. E. "Doc" Smith statement to the effect that the
last scene of _The Children of the Lens_ was written before any of _The
Galactic Patrol_. This, of course, could had been a lie.
Point one: I'd like to see the quote in context.
Sorry, I don't remember where I saw it.
Post by David Goldfarb
Point two: the last chapter of _Children_ involves the Children and
the Red Lensman combining their powers to rescue Kim Kinnison from
a Boskonian trap. It doesn't mention or involve Eddore directly, and
is in fact perfectly consistent with Smith making up the Boskonian
hierarchy as he went along.
? I just checked that chapter, in the February 1948 issue of Astounding,
and Eddore is mentioned several time, including Mentor's statement that
Arisians couldn't visualize Eddorian actions very well. Of course, the
original text could had been modified before _Children_ was serialized.
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Michael F. Stemper
2018-05-05 20:39:04 UTC
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Post by David Goldfarb
Post by Robert Woodward
I remember reading a E. E. "Doc" Smith statement to the effect that the
last scene of _The Children of the Lens_ was written before any of _The
Galactic Patrol_. This, of course, could had been a lie.
Possibly inaccurate. At least, inconsistent with the text quoted below.
Post by David Goldfarb
Point one: I'd like to see the quote in context.
Point two: the last chapter of _Children_ involves the Children and
the Red Lensman combining their powers to rescue Kim Kinnison from
a Boskonian trap. It doesn't mention or involve Eddore directly, and
is in fact perfectly consistent with Smith making up the Boskonian
hierarchy as he went along.
From _Seekers of Tomorrow_[1], page 26:

"[...] he sat down and wrote an 80-page outline for a 400,000
word novel divided into four segments: _Galactic Patrol_, _The
Grey [sic] Lensman_, _Second Stage Lensman_, and _Children of
the Lens_. He actually wrote the last chapter of _Children of
the Lens_ after completing the rough draft of _Galactic
Patrol_. This outline was submitted to [F. Orlin] Tremaine, who
told him to go ahead; he would buy the entire package."

An 80-page outline of the four orignal Lensmen novels that did not
mention Kalonians or the Eich or the Ploorans is pretty hard to
swallow, especially since it was complete enough to sell (on spec)
a four-novel package.

[1] <http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?29541>

(I've dropped ACC from the followup groups, since you're both here
and it's off-topic there.)
--
Michael F. Stemper
No animals were harmed in the composition of this message.
Michael F. Stemper
2018-05-05 20:58:12 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by Robert Woodward
I remember reading a E. E. "Doc" Smith statement to the effect that the
last scene of _The Children of the Lens_ was written before any of _The
Galactic Patrol_. This, of course, could had been a lie.
Possibly inaccurate. At least, inconsistent with the text quoted below.
On the other hand, it is consistent with Gharlane's Lensmen FAQ:
<http://www.outel.org/decomposed/goe/LFQ1.html>

I should have thought to check that before posting.
Post by Michael F. Stemper
  "[...] he sat down and wrote an 80-page outline for a 400,000
Gharlane also differs from Moskowitz on the length of the outline,
with GoE calling it a "detailed 85-page outline".

Given Moskowitz's less-than-stellar reputation for accuracy, I'll
go with Gharlane.

Either way (80 or 85 pages), not mentioning any of the baddies in the
outline is impausible.
--
Michael F. Stemper
If you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much
more like prunes than rhubarb does.
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-05-06 01:05:41 UTC
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Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by Robert Woodward
I remember reading a E. E. "Doc" Smith statement to the effect that the
last scene of _The Children of the Lens_ was written before any of _The
Galactic Patrol_. This, of course, could had been a lie.
Possibly inaccurate. At least, inconsistent with the text quoted below.
<http://www.outel.org/decomposed/goe/LFQ1.html>
I should have thought to check that before posting.
I tried looking at that, and couldn't read it because of the
swirly green background. Maybe when my eye gets fixed;
bookmarked against that possibility.

Dammit, I miss Gharlane.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Robert Woodward
2018-05-06 04:43:52 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by David Goldfarb
Post by Robert Woodward
I remember reading a E. E. "Doc" Smith statement to the effect that the
last scene of _The Children of the Lens_ was written before any of _The
Galactic Patrol_. This, of course, could had been a lie.
Possibly inaccurate. At least, inconsistent with the text quoted below.
Post by David Goldfarb
Point one: I'd like to see the quote in context.
Point two: the last chapter of _Children_ involves the Children and
the Red Lensman combining their powers to rescue Kim Kinnison from
a Boskonian trap. It doesn't mention or involve Eddore directly, and
is in fact perfectly consistent with Smith making up the Boskonian
hierarchy as he went along.
"[...] he sat down and wrote an 80-page outline for a 400,000
word novel divided into four segments: _Galactic Patrol_, _The
Grey [sic] Lensman_, _Second Stage Lensman_, and _Children of
the Lens_. He actually wrote the last chapter of _Children of
the Lens_ after completing the rough draft of _Galactic
Patrol_. This outline was submitted to [F. Orlin] Tremaine, who
told him to go ahead; he would buy the entire package."
I don't believe I have read _Seeks of Tomorrow_; but I could be
misremembering this quote which I saw elsewhere.
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Joe Bernstein
2018-05-05 20:55:16 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
But, see, I'm not specifically making fun of Smith. His generation
knew you'd need space suits in order to operate in airless places,
such as making external repairs to a spaceship in transit. This was
progress. They presumably hadn't talked a lot about those space
suits, or the whole Valentia thing wouldn't be such a mess, but they
recognised the need.
I haven't started <Gray Lensman>'s magazine version
yet so will reserve judgement on when this changes.
Essentially, then, we're seeing the change in action: Smith 1930s
insouciantly assumes oxygen everywhere; Smith 1950s knows better.
On balance, this was unfair of me; my exact wording leaves bits and
pieces of wiggle room, but still makes my essential meaning, that
last sentence quoted, pretty clear. And the magazine version of
<Gray Lensman>, which I'm now just over halfway through, turns out to
go out of its way to stress that Smith now knew better - in *1939*.

I think the key thing I got wrong is here:

"They presumably hadn't talked a lot about those space suits"

In context, for the relevant 1937 scenes of <Galactic Patrol>, this
is probably true, but by the time we get to the 1939 scenes of <Gray
Lensman> I've been reading, it's clearly false. Either Smith himself
had done a ton of working out how spacesuits would work, where they'd
be needed, and so on, or, I think much more likely, fan conversation
and writerly competition had done all that - possibly in direct
response to the Velantia (sp) mess.

Mea culpa.

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
a425couple
2018-05-02 23:41:51 UTC
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Post by a425couple
Exploring is a great topic and I enjoy reading about it.
[snip] --------------
My point is that writers in the 1950s and onward described the next
logical step - look before you leap. Correspondingly, many of their
planets, like many real planets known to them at the time, but
*unlike* most of Smith's, needed looking first because they're
inimical to human life.
And what we're actually doing today is the next step from that - look
*long* before you leap. Partly because, if most planets *aren't*
places where we can have fun adventures without space suits, there's
really a lot less point to leaping.
[mega-snip]
Thank you for your information, and your thoughts.
Post by a425couple
â€"â€" (1998). "The Course of Empire". Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 647.
ISBN 9780395924983.
What's the author's name here?
DeVoto, Bernard Augustine (1997) [1953].
wrote both =
"The Journals of Lewis and Clark". Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 504.
ISBN 0-395-08380-X.
"The Course of Empire". Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 647.
ISBN 9780395924983. copyright both 1952 and 1998

In my opinion the first paragraph of his wiki, is very
correct and informative,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_DeVoto

"Bernard Augustine DeVoto (January 11, 1897 – November 13, 1955),
American historian, essayist, columnist, teacher, editor, and reviewer,
was a lifelong champion of American Public lands and the conservation of
public resources as well as an outspoken defender of civil liberties. He
was the author of a series of Pulitzer-Prize-winning popular histories
of the American West and for many years wrote The Easy Chair, an
influential column in Harper's Magazine. DeVoto also wrote several
well-regarded novels and during the 1950s served as a speech-writer for
Adlai Stevenson. His friend and biographer, Wallace Stegner described
Devoto as "flawed, brilliant, provocative, outrageous, ... often wrong,
often spectacularly right, always stimulating, sometimes infuriating,
and never, never dull."[1]

Yes,,, at times he could be outlandish and inflammatory.
He starts "The Course of Empire" with the Spanish. And then
almost hopscotches his way through constant pushes into
the unknown. Gradually, almost inevitably, the unknown
areas of maps get filled in.

A couple excerpts, "The story of Cabeza de Vaca is incredible
and would have to be considered myth, except it is true."
"Desires translated gestures to mean that people of the
north -- had gold in bulk. The Indian pastime and expedient
of getting rid of visitors by waving them on begins here."
He entered the wilderness in Florida, came out years later
at Gulf of California - ALIVE! And telling stories about
"the cities they had almost seen."

https://www.amazon.com/Course-Empire-Bernard-DeVoto/dp/0395924987

one review
"Until his death in 1955, critic Bernard DeVoto explored a conception of
the American character rooted in the experience of westward expansion.
Unlike those who championed the civilizing graces of the agrarian
frontier, DeVoto drew inspiration from the mercenary, imperial designs
of the fur trade. The Course of Empire, the most elaborate of his
chronicles of mountain men and their impact on U.S. history,
meticulously accounts for every major Euro-American expedition and
enterprise west of the Alleghenies from the 1520s through the 1830s."

One aspect I liked, he discussed other choices of routes
quite clearly.
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