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Rocket to the Morgue.
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Titus G
2020-05-20 04:50:16 UTC
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Rocket to the Morgue. Anthony Boucher. C 1942
What a GEM of a book.
All my early Science Fiction reading came from hardbacks from local
public libraries and I never had access to magazines nor unlimited
choice of cheap paperbacks. I suspect that the libraries with limited
budgets had their experts who concentrated on quality and I have a vague
recollection that more than 50% of the books on offer were the yellow
and black covered Gollanz (sp?) so was never exposed to pulp by the
likes of Edmond Hamilton and because I have never been involved in any
book related industry except as a reader know only the outlines of the
history of Science Fiction development. Despite that, I was still able
to appreciate the Science Fiction history aspect of Rocket to the Morgue
because of the introduction. To those with deeper background either in
reading or work in the industry, I imagine this book would be just
brilliant.

And it was wonderfully written, sophisticated and complicated, an
enthralling standalone murder mystery with many, many references to
Science Fiction elements through fictional excerpts from Hamilton-like
pulp and speculative humourous explanations of real events. Even without
awareness of the background in the introduction, this would have been a
memorable and entertaining read.

The standard book disclaimer in regard to being fictional and characters
not related to real people is included as well as a further denial in
the author's afterword which are contradicted by the introduction by F.
Paul Wilson, C 2019.
"And I bit, " said xxxxx xxxxxxx [a fictional character NOT based on
Scientology's creator]. "A good Fortean like me, and swallowing Science
as gospel."
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-05-20 05:20:38 UTC
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Post by Titus G
Rocket to the Morgue. Anthony Boucher. C 1942
What a GEM of a book.
All my early Science Fiction reading came from hardbacks from local
public libraries and I never had access to magazines nor unlimited
choice of cheap paperbacks. I suspect that the libraries with limited
budgets had their experts who concentrated on quality and I have a vague
recollection that more than 50% of the books on offer were the yellow
and black covered Gollanz (sp?) so was never exposed to pulp by the
likes of Edmond Hamilton and because I have never been involved in any
book related industry except as a reader know only the outlines of the
history of Science Fiction development. Despite that, I was still able
to appreciate the Science Fiction history aspect of Rocket to the Morgue
because of the introduction. To those with deeper background either in
reading or work in the industry, I imagine this book would be just
brilliant.
And it was wonderfully written, sophisticated and complicated, an
enthralling standalone murder mystery with many, many references to
Science Fiction elements through fictional excerpts from Hamilton-like
pulp and speculative humourous explanations of real events. Even without
awareness of the background in the introduction, this would have been a
memorable and entertaining read.
Note that there's a whole bunch of Tuckerization in the work. I had
it from Karen Anderson, back in the day, that Anson Carter was
Robert Heinlein (of course), but Carter's wife Bernice is definitely
not Heinlein's second wife Leslyn. But the partnership of the
Carters strongly references that of Edmond Hamilton and Leigh Brackett,
or Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore. The editor Don Stuart is (equally
of course) John Campell. Matt Duncan is Cleve Cartmill, and Joe
Henderson is Edmond Hamilton without a partner at the time of writing.
Fowler Foulkes is an amalgam of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle, and his son Hilary represents the entire Burroughs
estate, determined not to let their ancestor's work be reprinted
without the outlay of lots of cash. Hugo Chantrelle, the
rocketry-and-paranormal-phenomena guy, isn't any real person that
I know of.
Post by Titus G
The standard book disclaimer in regard to being fictional and characters
not related to real people is included as well as a further denial in
the author's afterword which are contradicted by the introduction by F.
Paul Wilson, C 2019.
"And I bit, " said xxxxx xxxxxxx [a fictional character NOT based on
Scientology's creator]. "A good Fortean like me, and swallowing Science
as gospel."
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Robert Woodward
2020-05-20 16:37:57 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Rocket to the Morgue. Anthony Boucher. C 1942
What a GEM of a book.
All my early Science Fiction reading came from hardbacks from local
public libraries and I never had access to magazines nor unlimited
choice of cheap paperbacks. I suspect that the libraries with limited
budgets had their experts who concentrated on quality and I have a vague
recollection that more than 50% of the books on offer were the yellow
and black covered Gollanz (sp?) so was never exposed to pulp by the
likes of Edmond Hamilton and because I have never been involved in any
book related industry except as a reader know only the outlines of the
history of Science Fiction development. Despite that, I was still able
to appreciate the Science Fiction history aspect of Rocket to the Morgue
because of the introduction. To those with deeper background either in
reading or work in the industry, I imagine this book would be just
brilliant.
And it was wonderfully written, sophisticated and complicated, an
enthralling standalone murder mystery with many, many references to
Science Fiction elements through fictional excerpts from Hamilton-like
pulp and speculative humourous explanations of real events. Even without
awareness of the background in the introduction, this would have been a
memorable and entertaining read.
Note that there's a whole bunch of Tuckerization in the work. I had
it from Karen Anderson, back in the day, that Anson Carter was
Robert Heinlein (of course), but Carter's wife Bernice is definitely
not Heinlein's second wife Leslyn. But the partnership of the
Carters strongly references that of Edmond Hamilton and Leigh Brackett,
or Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore. The editor Don Stuart is (equally
of course) John Campell. Matt Duncan is Cleve Cartmill, and Joe
Henderson is Edmond Hamilton without a partner at the time of writing.
Fowler Foulkes is an amalgam of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle, and his son Hilary represents the entire Burroughs
estate, determined not to let their ancestor's work be reprinted
without the outlay of lots of cash. Hugo Chantrelle, the
rocketry-and-paranormal-phenomena guy, isn't any real person that
I know of.
I believe that Hugo is John Parsons, a founding member of JPL, see
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Parsons_(rocket_engineer)>
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
‹-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-05-20 18:28:05 UTC
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Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Rocket to the Morgue. Anthony Boucher. C 1942
What a GEM of a book.
All my early Science Fiction reading came from hardbacks from local
public libraries and I never had access to magazines nor unlimited
choice of cheap paperbacks. I suspect that the libraries with limited
budgets had their experts who concentrated on quality and I have a vague
recollection that more than 50% of the books on offer were the yellow
and black covered Gollanz (sp?) so was never exposed to pulp by the
likes of Edmond Hamilton and because I have never been involved in any
book related industry except as a reader know only the outlines of the
history of Science Fiction development. Despite that, I was still able
to appreciate the Science Fiction history aspect of Rocket to the Morgue
because of the introduction. To those with deeper background either in
reading or work in the industry, I imagine this book would be just
brilliant.
And it was wonderfully written, sophisticated and complicated, an
enthralling standalone murder mystery with many, many references to
Science Fiction elements through fictional excerpts from Hamilton-like
pulp and speculative humourous explanations of real events. Even without
awareness of the background in the introduction, this would have been a
memorable and entertaining read.
Note that there's a whole bunch of Tuckerization in the work. I had
it from Karen Anderson, back in the day, that Anson Carter was
Robert Heinlein (of course), but Carter's wife Bernice is definitely
not Heinlein's second wife Leslyn. But the partnership of the
Carters strongly references that of Edmond Hamilton and Leigh Brackett,
or Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore. The editor Don Stuart is (equally
of course) John Campell. Matt Duncan is Cleve Cartmill, and Joe
Henderson is Edmond Hamilton without a partner at the time of writing.
Fowler Foulkes is an amalgam of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle, and his son Hilary represents the entire Burroughs
estate, determined not to let their ancestor's work be reprinted
without the outlay of lots of cash. Hugo Chantrelle, the
rocketry-and-paranormal-phenomena guy, isn't any real person that
I know of.
I believe that Hugo is John Parsons, a founding member of JPL, see
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Parsons_(rocket_engineer)>
That sounds plausible.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Quadibloc
2020-05-20 22:03:09 UTC
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Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Hugo Chantrelle, the
rocketry-and-paranormal-phenomena guy, isn't any real person that
I know of.
I believe that Hugo is John Parsons, a founding member of JPL, see
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Parsons_(rocket_engineer)>
I thought of him too when I read that sentence by Dorothy, but I'm not familiar
enough with the novel to do more than offer a tentative guess at a possibility.

John Savard
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-05-20 22:44:17 UTC
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Post by Quadibloc
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Hugo Chantrelle, the
rocketry-and-paranormal-phenomena guy, isn't any real person that
I know of.
I believe that Hugo is John Parsons, a founding member of JPL, see
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Parsons_(rocket_engineer)>
I thought of him too when I read that sentence by Dorothy, but I'm not familiar
enough with the novel to do more than offer a tentative guess at a possibility.
Checking the book, which I happen to have at my bedside because I
was checking my data for my previous post....

It says Hugo Chanterelle "was an eccentric scientist. In working
hours at the California Institute of Technology, he was a routine
uninspired laboratory man, but on his own time he devoted himself
to those peripheral aspects of science which the scientific
purist damns as mumbo-jumbo, those new alchemies and astrologies
out of which the race may in time construct unsurmised wonders of
chemistry and astronomy.

"The rocketry of Pendray, the time-dreams of Dunne, the extra
sensory perception of Rhine, the sea serpents of Gould, all these
held his interests far more than any research conducted by the
Institute. He was inevitably a member of the Fortean Society of
America, and had his own file of unbelievable incidents
eventually to be published as a supplement to the works of
Charles Fort. It must be added in his favor that his scientific
training automatically preserved him from the errors of the
Master, His file was carefully authenticated, and often
embellished with first-hand reports."

Perhaps the above can help those who know about Parsons (of whom
I'd never heard before this thread) to decide whether or not Hugo
Chanterelle is him in a clever plastic disguise.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
James Nicoll
2020-05-20 23:09:15 UTC
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Has anyone read Nine Times Nine, the book to which Rocket is
apparently a sequel?
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-05-21 00:36:14 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Has anyone read Nine Times Nine, the book to which Rocket is
apparently a sequel?
I have. It's a prequel, actually. Matt Duncan (a Tuckerization
of Cleve Cartmill) is the protagonist, or one of them, and this
is the story in which he meets Concha, to whom he is married by
the time of _Rocket_.

Another Boucher mystery (note: all these mysteries were
originally published under Boucher's other pseudonym, "H. H.
Holmes") in which readers of _Rocket_ might be interested is _The
Case of the Baker Street Irregulars._ I don't know if any of
these are currently in print, but Amazon or Abebooks might have
copies.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Titus G
2020-05-21 05:15:17 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by James Nicoll
Has anyone read Nine Times Nine, the book to which Rocket is
apparently a sequel?
I have. It's a prequel, actually. Matt Duncan (a Tuckerization
of Cleve Cartmill) is the protagonist, or one of them, and this
is the story in which he meets Concha, to whom he is married by
the time of _Rocket_.
I haven't read it yet but it appears to be another locked room murder
mystery with no science fictional aspects.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Another Boucher mystery (note: all these mysteries were
originally published under Boucher's other pseudonym, "H. H.
Holmes") in which readers of _Rocket_ might be interested is _The
Case of the Baker Street Irregulars._ I don't know if any of
these are currently in print, but Amazon or Abebooks might have
copies.
Yes. Amazon does. Under the author name of Anthony Boucher. The Kindle
versions are less than $10.
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-05-21 14:46:36 UTC
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Post by Titus G
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by James Nicoll
Has anyone read Nine Times Nine, the book to which Rocket is
apparently a sequel?
I have. It's a prequel, actually. Matt Duncan (a Tuckerization
of Cleve Cartmill) is the protagonist, or one of them, and this
is the story in which he meets Concha, to whom he is married by
the time of _Rocket_.
I haven't read it yet but it appears to be another locked room murder
mystery with no science fictional aspects.
True. Some Tuckerized SF writers do appear as secondary
characters. And the howdunit is not science-fictional, but rests
on a quirk that appears in a few, not many, humans.
Post by Titus G
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Another Boucher mystery (note: all these mysteries were
originally published under Boucher's other pseudonym, "H. H.
Holmes") in which readers of _Rocket_ might be interested is _The
Case of the Baker Street Irregulars._ I don't know if any of
these are currently in print, but Amazon or Abebooks might have
copies.
Yes. Amazon does. Under the author name of Anthony Boucher. The Kindle
versions are less than $10.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Peter Trei
2020-05-21 01:43:46 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Hugo Chantrelle, the
rocketry-and-paranormal-phenomena guy, isn't any real person that
I know of.
I believe that Hugo is John Parsons, a founding member of JPL, see
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Parsons_(rocket_engineer)>
I thought of him too when I read that sentence by Dorothy, but I'm not familiar
enough with the novel to do more than offer a tentative guess at a possibility.
Checking the book, which I happen to have at my bedside because I
was checking my data for my previous post....
It says Hugo Chanterelle "was an eccentric scientist. In working
hours at the California Institute of Technology, he was a routine
uninspired laboratory man, but on his own time he devoted himself
to those peripheral aspects of science which the scientific
purist damns as mumbo-jumbo, those new alchemies and astrologies
out of which the race may in time construct unsurmised wonders of
chemistry and astronomy.
"The rocketry of Pendray, the time-dreams of Dunne, the extra
sensory perception of Rhine, the sea serpents of Gould, all these
held his interests far more than any research conducted by the
Institute. He was inevitably a member of the Fortean Society of
America, and had his own file of unbelievable incidents
eventually to be published as a supplement to the works of
Charles Fort. It must be added in his favor that his scientific
training automatically preserved him from the errors of the
Master, His file was carefully authenticated, and often
embellished with first-hand reports."
Perhaps the above can help those who know about Parsons (of whom
I'd never heard before this thread) to decide whether or not Hugo
Chanterelle is him in a clever plastic disguise.
JohnParsons was great rocket scientist, and a very weird dude. He was into Thelema and sex magic, and associated with Aleister Crowley.

There are any number Articles on him. Example:

http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/aerospace-engineering/rocketry/jack-parsons-occult-roots-jpl/

Pt
Quadibloc
2020-05-20 22:00:43 UTC
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There was a movie. Its title in English was "I Want to Live!", and it was noted
for its soundtrack music.

But the original title in French was... similar to the title of Anthony Boucher's
novel. "Acenseur sur l'echafaud"... Escalator to the scaffold.

John Savard
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