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Friday, August 01, 2008

Back to the Future

I started to read Science Fiction when I was about 14/15 I well remember reading all those old classics. This was the time of Star Wars and loads of things were being reprinted, I devoured EE "Doc" Smiths Lensman books (I'd dread to think what I'd make of them now) and Jack Williamson's Legion series etc.

I was lent a book by a classmate and enjoyed it, as time went on I couldn't remember the title or the author, just that it was set on Mars and had pyramids and there was a sequel.

So let's scroll forward to 1991, a colleague lent me a radio series on tape, that series was called Journey Into Space - the Red Planet. I was playing it to and from work and suddenly I realised THIS WAS IT! This was that book (which incidentally was written by the radio series author Charles Chilton). Oh and for anyone interested Journey into Space works best when you are lying on your bed in the dark! I kid you not very atmospheric.

Journey into Space was written in the 1950's and took a British centric view of the futre, dated it may be BUT it had one underlying virtue, it told a cracking story. It has a convoluted history and until the 1980's it was thought that all the 1950's radio versions were lost. The BBC reran all 3 series and realeased them on tapes (and I have all 3 series), I'm going to have to get them on CD no doubt as I no longer have a tape player in the car.

So lets scroll forward to Tuesday night, I was lying on my bed reading the Judge Dredd Megazine (yes a middle aged bloke who still enjoys comics sad but hey - and might I add that 2000AD and its ilk have some excellent stories and some of the content wouldn't have got published in my day!) and there was a review for a new small press comic which I checked out. This had a link to another comic which I checked out.

This was Spaceships Away which was set up to publish 1950's style Dan Dare stories. Now I've read not a single Dan Dare, so I was about to click away when I saw they were publishing a Charles Chilton Journey into Space story originally published in the Junior Express in 1956. Well I mean I had to didn't I....

So today a 44 year old man will spend what lunchtime he gets catching up on 2000AD's and reading Dan Dare stories at his desk. Ah childhood here I come.


Tricia said...

Oh my gosh - all these trips down memory lane!! And yes, I agree - these had to be listened to in the dark (but perhaps with the door open slightly so some light from another room could come in a bit!).

I can still hear the intro. words of "Journey into Space" - scary in it's own right (well it was in those days).

Lemmy and Doc seem to stick in my mind; another great programme.

Anonymous said...

I still have a stash of E.E Doc paperbacks... couldn't bear to let them go in the Big Declutter.

I don't think I've read all of them yet, that's my excuse!

Eagleseagles said...

Now I dont remember the Radio series just a bit young then! (Not my Dad's fav listening so no sneaking to the top of the stairs to listen when i should have been in bed!)
But DAN DARE! my brothers comic was it the Eagle? I loved to read Dan Dare!As it was the first story and on the front page i could always read it even when it had to be sent to him at School!

Dont know the plays but it seems I had better catch up!

Pete said...

C - Trish probably remembers it first time around - DUCKS!! Yes was the Eagle. That was before my time - well the heyday was :D

Diddums - I really enjoyed the Lensman Series books 1 - 6 when I was about 15 :D Skylark wasn't up to much but I was older.

Tricia said...

Just keep ducking and keep head very much below parapet!!

thinks - hmmm pictures... :D

Anonymous said...

you had an interesting UFO sighting over there in the last year or so, eh?

Pete said...

Leaz never!! I'm not a believer in UFO's. I think that in an infinite universe there must be something out there but I don't believe they are abducting half the population of hte US on a daily basis ;)