Buku Pulp Icons: Erle Stanley Gardner and His Pulp Magazine Characters by Marks Jeffrey
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Pulp Icons: Erle Stanley Gardner and His Pulp Magazine Characters by Marks Jeffrey

Author:Marks, Jeffrey [Marks, Jeffrey]

Language: eng

Format: mobi

Published: 2013-09-26T16:00:00+00:00

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Pulp Icons: Erle Stanley Gardner and His Pulp Magazine Characters by Marks Jeffrey

Science Fiction

Gardner wrote a handful of science fiction mysteries for Argosy in the early 1930s. John W. Campbell, the long-time editor of Astounding Science Fiction firmly believed that the two genres could not be commingled. He felt that any crime could be solved simply by adding a futuristic invention that would mechanically unravel the crime.

While some authors have proved Campbell wrong over the years, Gardner’s stories use some of the familiar adventure plot aspects of Gardner’s previous works, along with a few new twists. While touted by some as an example of the breadth of Gardner’s abilities, in reality, these novelettes are merely mysteries or adventure stories with scientific details thrown into the plot or used for character motivation.

 

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Pulp Icons: Erle Stanley Gardner and His Pulp Magazine Characters by Marks Jeffrey

Author:Marks, Jeffrey [Marks, Jeffrey] , Date: July 4, 2019

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Author:Marks, Jeffrey [Marks, Jeffrey]

Language: eng

Format: mobi

Published: 2013-09-26T16:00:00+00:00
Science Fiction

Gardner wrote a handful of science fiction mysteries for Argosy in the early 1930s. John W. Campbell, the long-time editor of Astounding Science Fiction firmly believed that the two genres could not be commingled. He felt that any crime could be solved simply by adding a futuristic invention that would mechanically unravel the crime.

While some authors have proved Campbell wrong over the years, Gardner’s stories use some of the familiar adventure plot aspects of Gardner’s previous works, along with a few new twists. While touted by some as an example of the breadth of Gardner’s abilities, in reality, these novelettes are merely mysteries or adventure stories with scientific details thrown into the plot or used for character motivation.

In “The Human Zero,” Gardner takes a familiar theme, a kidnapped millionaire and a crooked banker and throws in details about the temperature absolute zero to create a science-fiction yarn. Gardner does the same thing with “A Year in a Day,” a story about invisibility and acceleration.

The stories work as adventure yarns, but the inclusion of the scientific details feels like an afterthought more than an organic part of the story. As such, the stories were less than successful as science-fiction, but were still similar enough to his other works that they were successful as Gardner stories.

An incident in Gardner’s own life inspired his story “Monkey Eyes.” He tried a bit of hypnotism, as he called it, with a monkey. The monkey reacted, stopped its organ grinding show and went to Gardner, clinging to his leg. Gardner was embarrassed by the animal’s attention and the stares of others, but the incident became the seed for a story about people who were somewhere between men and monkeys in terms of evolution.

“Rain Magic” developed around a kernel of truth. Gardner had been out in a camp wagon for several days when he ran across an old prospector. The man told Gardner an outlandish story of giant ants and sleeping sickness and walls of gold. Gardner co-opted the story, after the lawyer in him had the prospector sign a release, and added some details to the story’s plotline, but left it essentially unchanged.

Gardner claimed without embarrassment that after the story was written, he did some research on the story’s setting and found many of the details regarding the location to be true. It made him believe what he had previously dismissed as the ramblings of the man he’d met in the desert.

“The Man with the Pin-Point Eyes” reads more like one of Gardner’s western stories, set in Mexicali, but deals with reincarnation. The man with the pin point eyes, as he is described through most of the story, greets the narrator and tells him personal details that few would know about the narrator. This makes the narrator want to learn more about the man with the pin point eyes. They go to a house where the man tells him about transporting himself back hundreds of years and his knowledge of a rich lode of gold.

“New Worlds” was one of Gardner’s final science fiction stories.

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