Discussion:
The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years by Don Wilcox - early generation ship
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a425couple
2019-11-03 16:58:44 UTC
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Here is a chance to read a nifty old one:

The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years by Don Wilcox
By Jean Marie Stine -April 1, 20144246
Thirty generations would live and die before the Flashaway reached its
destination. Could the one man who was to live on keep them to their
purpose?

click on
https://amazingstories.com/articles/voyage-lasted-600-years/
Butch Malahide
2019-11-04 00:57:39 UTC
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Post by a425couple
The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years by Don Wilcox
By Jean Marie Stine -April 1, 20144246
Thirty generations would live and die before the Flashaway reached its
destination. Could the one man who was to live on keep them to their
purpose?
click on
https://amazingstories.com/articles/voyage-lasted-600-years/
Yes, that was probably the first story on the generation ship theme, 7 months earlier (going by cover dates) than Heinlein's "Universe". To read it as it appeared in the October 1941 _Amazing Stories_ click here:

https://archive.org/stream/Amazing_Stories_v14n10_1940-10_cape1736#page/n83/mode/2up
Joe Bernstein
2019-11-04 20:41:20 UTC
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Post by Butch Malahide
Post by a425couple
The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years by Don Wilcox
By Jean Marie Stine -April 1, 20144246
Thirty generations would live and die before the Flashaway reached
its destination. Could the one man who was to live on keep them to
their purpose?
click on
https://amazingstories.com/articles/voyage-lasted-600-years/
Yes, that was probably the first story on the generation ship theme, 7
months earlier (going by cover dates) than Heinlein's "Universe". To
read it as it appeared in the October 1941 _Amazing Stories_ click
1940
Post by Butch Malahide
https://archive.org/stream/Amazing_Stories_v14n10_1940-10_cape1736#page
/n83/mode/2up
Thank you. The <Encyclopedia of Science Fiction> 2E says rather
cautiously that it's "probably" the first "genre-sf" story on the
subject. I thought the 3E might venture further, but no.

Neither cites earlier *fiction* that fits its criteria, though they
note a story featuring a planetoid used as a ship. They credit
Tsiolkovsky with the idea; his 1928 publication date, in Russian of
course, doesn't allow much time before 1940 for an earlier first
story.

Meanwhile, the May 1941 <Astounding> with "Universe" is here:

<https://archive.org/details/Astounding_v27n03_1941-05/page/n7>

and the October 1941 issue with sequel "Common Sense" is at:

<https://archive.org/details/Astounding_v28n02_1941-10/page/n101>.

I didn't remember having read these, and the ending threw me, but
much seemed familiar in other parts, and my book catalogue confirms
that I had indeed read the fixup of these two stories, <Orphans of
the Sky>. Anybody know whether that ends differently? The ending of
"Common Sense" spends about a page on how wildly improbable it is,
which would certainly encourage Heinlein to revise a decade later.

Finally, the September 1934 <Wonder Stories> with Lawrence Manning's
"The Living Galaxy", the planetoid story mentioned above:

<https://archive.org/details/Wonder_Stories_v06n04_1934-09/page/n53>

This is a very weird story indeed, sort of down-market Stapledonian.
I think Wilcox must have read it, because Manning has a central
character survive millions of years of journeying, I kid you not, and
Wilcox seems to have built his story largely around how one could try
to do something like that - not really trying to salvage Manning's
ideas, which were beyond salvaging, but anyway exploring more serious
limits. Anyway, though, one of the few stones left unturned by
Manning is the one central to both Wilcox's and Heinlein's stories,
the certainty, on the time scale of a generation ship, of significant
social change. Manning is having none of that - everyone on *many*
generation ships thinks with one mind, that of his (badly) named
billion-year survivor. So Nicholls was right both to mention and to
exclude his story.

Joe Bernstein

PS Hadn't known Nicholls was dead. I never worked with him, but am
grateful enough for the encyclopaedias to be sorry to hear it.
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Butch Malahide
2019-11-05 04:19:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Butch Malahide
Post by a425couple
The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years by Don Wilcox
By Jean Marie Stine -April 1, 20144246
Thirty generations would live and die before the Flashaway reached
its destination. Could the one man who was to live on keep them to
their purpose?
click on
https://amazingstories.com/articles/voyage-lasted-600-years/
Yes, that was probably the first story on the generation ship theme, 7
months earlier (going by cover dates) than Heinlein's "Universe". To
read it as it appeared in the October 1941 _Amazing Stories_ click
1940
Yes, "The Voyage that Lasted 600 Years" was in the October 1940 _Amazing_. Thanks for correcting my error.
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