Islands of Space

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Islands of Space
Islands of space.jpg
Dust-jacket from the first edition
Author John W. Campbell, Jr.
Cover artist Ric Binkley
Country United States
Language English
Series Arcot, Morey and Wade
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Fantasy Press
Publication date
1957
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 224 pp
OCLC 3613703
Preceded by The Black Star Passes
Followed by Invaders from the Infinite

Islands of Space is a science fiction novel by American writer John W. Campbell, Jr. It was first published in book form in 1957 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 1,417 copies. The novel originally appeared in the magazine Amazing Stories Quarterly; the text was "extensively edited" for book publication, with Campbell's approval, by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach. [1] A paperback edition was published by Ace Books in 1966. In 1973, Islands was included in a Doubleday omnibus of all three "Arcot, Wade, and Morey" novels. A German translation appeared in 1967 as Kosmische Kreuzfahrt, and an Italian translation was published in 1976 as Isole nello spazio. [2]

Science fiction Genre of speculative fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrials in fiction. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific other various innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas."

This article presents lists of literary events and publications in 1957.

Fantasy Press

Fantasy Press was an American publishing house specialising in fantasy and science fiction titles. Established in 1946 by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach in Reading, Pennsylvania, it was most notable for publishing the works of authors such as Robert A. Heinlein and E. E. Smith. One of its more notable offerings was the Lensman series.

Contents

Islands of Space is generally credited with introducing the concepts of hyperspace and the warp drive to science fiction. [3] [4]

Warp drive hypothetical and fictional faster-than-light technology

A warp drive is a fictitious superluminal spacecraft propulsion system in many science fiction works, most notably Star Trek and I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. A spacecraft equipped with a warp drive may travel at speeds greater than that of light by many orders of magnitude. In contrast to some other fictitious FTL technologies such as a jump drive, the warp drive does not permit instantaneous travel between two points, but rather involves a measurable passage of time which is pertinent to the concept. In contrast to hyperdrive, spacecraft at warp velocity would continue to interact with objects in "normal space." The general concept of "warp drive" was introduced by John W. Campbell in his 1931 novel Islands of Space.

Plot introduction

The novel concerns the adventures of four heroes: Arcot, Morey, Wade, and Fuller.

Reception

Theodore Sturgeon, reviewing the Fantasy Press edition, wrote "This is a real lousy book", faulting its lack of characterization, suspense, and plot, and a writing style "such as would dry up the purple blood of the sleaziest fan magazine". "BUT --", he continued, "Islands is a voyage far afield and a catalogue of the marvels of other-where, ... a cornucopia of technological and mechanistic matter, both real and extrapolated, poured out prodigiously and with abandon, [and] a narrative which could not occur without its science -- the purest, and almost the rarest form of science fiction." Sturgeon concluded, "It is high time and past time for [science fiction] to infuse itself with the rich hot blood of the old space-opera". [5]

Theodore Sturgeon American speculative fiction writer

Theodore Sturgeon was an American writer, primarily of fantasy, science fiction and horror. He was also a critic. He wrote approximately 400 reviews and more than 200 stories.

P. Schuyler Miller wrote that the book version "has been carefully modernized, [but] it's old-fashioned now. It is also very characteristic of the best "hard" science fiction of its day." [6] This is reportedly the first published use of the term hard science fiction. [7]

P. Schuyler Miller American writer

Peter Schuyler Miller was an American science fiction writer and critic.

Hard science fiction Science fiction with concern for scientific accuracy

Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by concern for scientific accuracy and logic. The term was first used in print in 1957 by P. Schuyler Miller in a review of John W. Campbell's Islands of Space in the November issue of Astounding Science Fiction. The complementary term soft science fiction, formed by analogy to hard science fiction, first appeared in the late 1970s. The term is formed by analogy to the popular distinction between the "hard" (natural) and "soft" (social) sciences. Science fiction critic Gary Westfahl argues that neither term is part of a rigorous taxonomy; instead they are approximate ways of characterizing stories that reviewers and commentators have found useful.

E. F. Bleiler described the original text as "Greatly overloaded with unnecessary (although at times ingenious) exposition, hence almost unreadable; weak novelistically; and clichéd in its action plot." [1]

Everett Franklin Bleiler was an American editor, bibliographer, and scholar of science fiction, detective fiction, and fantasy literature. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he co-edited the first "year's best" series of science fiction anthologies, and his Checklist of Fantastic Literature has been called "the foundation of modern SF bibliography". Among his other scholarly works are two Hugo Award–nominated volumes concerning early science fiction—Science-Fiction: The Early Years and Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years—and the massive Guide to Supernatural Fiction.

Islands of Space was originally published in the Spring 1931 Amazing Stories Quarterly Amazing stories quarterly 1931spr.jpg
Islands of Space was originally published in the Spring 1931 Amazing Stories Quarterly

Related Research Articles

John W. Campbell American science fiction writer and editor

John Wood Campbell Jr. was an American science fiction writer and editor. He was editor of Astounding Science Fiction from late 1937 until his death and was part of the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Campbell wrote super-science space opera under his own name and stories under his primary pseudonym, Don A. Stuart. Campbell also used the pen names Karl Van Kampen and Arthur McCann. His novella Who Goes There? was adapted as the films The Thing from Another World (1951), The Thing (1982), and The Thing (2011).

John W. Campbell bibliography

This is a bibliography of works by American writer John W. Campbell, Jr.

<i>Invaders from the Infinite</i> book by John W. Campbell

Invaders from the Infinite is a science fiction novel by American writer John W. Campbell, Jr.. It was simultaneously published in 1961 by Gnome Press in an edition of 4,000 copies and by Fantasy Press in an edition of 100 copies. The book was originally intended to be published by Fantasy Press, but was handed over to Gnome Press when Fantasy Press folded. Lloyd Eshbach, of Fantasy Press, who was responsible for the printing of both editions, printed the extra copies for his longtime customers. The Fantasy Press edition was issued without a dust-jacket. Eshbach eventually did produce a jacket in 1990 at the urging of George Zebrowski. The novel is an expansion of stories that originally appeared in the magazine Amazing Stories Quarterly.

<i>Triplanetary</i> (novel) book by Edward Elmer Smith

Triplanetary is a science fiction novel and space opera by American writer E. E. Smith. It was first serialized in the magazine Amazing Stories in 1934. After the original four novels of the Lensman series were published, Smith expanded and reworked Triplanetary into the first of two prequels for the series. The expanded Triplanetary was published in book form in 1948 by Fantasy Press. The second prequel, First Lensman, was a new original novel published in 1950 by Fantasy Press.

<i>The Incredible Planet</i> book by John W. Campbell

The Incredible Planet is a science fiction fix-up novel by American author John W. Campbell, Jr.. It was published in 1949 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 3,998 copies. The novel is a collection of three linked novelettes that were not accepted for the magazine Astounding SF. The stories are sequels to Campbell's 1934 novel The Mightiest Machine.

<i>The Bridge of Light</i> book by Alpheus Hyatt Verrill

The Bridge of Light is a science fiction novel by American writer A. Hyatt Verrill. It was originally published in the Fall 1929 edition of the pulp magazine Amazing Stories Quarterly. It was subsequently republished in book form in 1950 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 2,556 copies.

<i>The Moon Is Hell!</i> book by John W. Campbell

The Moon Is Hell! is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer John W. Campbell, Jr.. It was published in 1950 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 4,206 copies. The title story deals with a team of scientists stranded on the Moon when their spacecraft crashes, and how they use their combined skills and knowledge to survive until rescue, including building shelter from meteor showers, and creating their own oxygen from Lunar rock. The second story, "The Elder Gods" Campbell rewrote, on a short deadline, from a story by Arthur J. Burks purchased for Unknown but later deemed unsatisfactory. It originally appeared in that magazine under the pseudonym Don A. Stuart. The title of the eponymous story is generally reported without the exclamation point, although the punctuation is used for the title of most editions of the collection itself.

<i>Seeds of Life</i> book by Eric Temple Bell

Seeds of Life is a science fiction novel by American writer John Taine. It was first published in 1951 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 2,991 copies. The novel originally appeared in the magazine Amazing Stories Quarterly in October 1931.

<i>The Crystal Horde</i> book by Eric Temple Bell

The Crystal Horde is a science fiction novel by American writer John Taine. It was first published in book form in 1952 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 2,328 copies. The novel is substantially rewritten from a version that originally appeared in the magazine Amazing Stories Quarterly in 1930 under the title White Lily.

<i>The Black Star Passes</i> book by John W. Campbell

The Black Star Passes is a collection of science fiction short stories by American author John W. Campbell, Jr.. It was first published in 1953 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 2,951 copies. The book is the first in Campbell's Arcot, Morey and Wade series. The stories originally appeared in the magazines Amazing Stories and Amazing Stories Quarterly, and were "extensively edited" for book publication, with Campbell's approval, by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach.

<i>The Heads of Cerberus</i> book by Gertrude Barrows Bennett

The Heads of Cerberus is a science fiction novel by American writer Francis Stevens. It was first published in book form in 1952 by Polaris Press in an edition of 1,563 copies. It was the first book published by Polaris Press. The novel was originally serialized in the pulp magazine The Thrill Book in 1919. A scholarly reprint edition was issued by Arno Press in 1978, and a mass market paperback by Carroll & Graf in 1984.

<i>The Abyss of Wonders</i> book by Perley Poore Sheehan

The Abyss of Wonders is a science fiction novel by American writer Perley Poore Sheehan. It was first published in book form in 1953 by Polaris Press in an edition of 990 copies. It was the second and final book published by Polaris Press and included an introduction by P. Schuyler Miller. The novel originally appeared in the magazine Argosy in 1915.

<i>The Time Stream</i> book by Eric Temple Bell

The Time Stream is a science fiction novel by American writer John Taine. The novel was originally serialized in four parts in the magazine Wonder Stories beginning in December 1931. It was first published in book form in 1946 by The Buffalo Book Company in an edition of 2,000 copies of which only 500 were ever bound. It is the first novel to see time as a flowing stream.

<i>The Mightiest Machine</i> book by John W. Campbell

The Mightiest Machine is a science fiction novel by American writer John W. Campbell, Jr. The novel was originally serialized in 5 parts in Astounding Stories magazine from December 1934 to April 1935, and was published in book form in 1947 by The Hadley Publishing Co. in an edition of 1,200 copies. Campbell was a leading figure in the Golden Age of Science Fiction.

<i>Without Sorcery</i> book by Theodore Sturgeon

Without Sorcery is a collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories by American writer Theodore Sturgeon. The collection was first published in 1948 by Prime Press in an edition of 2,862 copies of which 80 were specially bound, slipcased and signed by the author and artist. The stories first appeared in the magazines Astounding and Unknown.

<i>The Iron Star</i> book by Eric Temple Bell

The Iron Star is a science fiction novel by American writer John Taine. It was first published in 1930 by E. P. Dutton.

<i>Drome</i> (novel) fantasy novel by John Martin Leahy

Drome is a fantasy novel, written and illustrated by John Martin Leahy. It was first published in book form in 1952 by Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. in an edition of 1,000 copies. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Weird Tales in five parts beginning January 1927.

<i>The Incomplete Enchanter</i> book by Lyon Sprague de Camp

The Incomplete Enchanter is a collection of two fantasy novellas by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, the first volume in their Harold Shea series. The pieces were originally published in the magazine Unknown in the issues for May and August 1940. The collection was first published in hardcover by Henry Holt and Company in 1941 and in paperback by Pyramid Books in 1960.

<i>... And Some Were Human</i> collection of science fiction short stories by author Lester del Rey

"...and some were human." is the first story collection by science fiction writer Lester del Rey, originally published in hardcover by Prime Press in 1948 in an edition of 3,050 copies if which 50 were specially bound, slipcased and signed by the author. The stories first appeared in Astounding and Unknown. An abridged paperback edition, including only eight of the twelve stories, was issued by Ballantine Books in 1961. A Spanish translation, reportedly dropping only one story, appeared in 1957.

References

  1. 1 2 Everett F. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years, Kent State University Press, 1998, p.52-54
  2. ISFDB publishing history
  3. J. Gardiner, "Warp Drive - From Imagination to Reality", Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, vol. 61, p. 353-357 (2008)
  4. Brian Stableford, Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction Literature, Scarecrow Press, 2004, p.168
  5. "On Hand: A Book", Venture Science Fiction , November 1957, p.82
  6. "The Reference Library", Astounding Science Fiction , November 1957, p.143
  7. Westfahl, Gary (1996-02-28). "Introduction". Cosmic Engineers: A Study of Hard Science Fiction (Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy). Greenwood Press. p. 2. ISBN   0-313-29727-4 . Retrieved 2007-10-07. hard science fiction ... the term was first used by P. Schuyler Miller in 1957
Jack L. Chalker American author

Jack Laurence Chalker was an American science fiction author. Chalker was also a Baltimore City Schools history teacher in Maryland for 12 years, retiring during 1978 to write full-time. He also was a member of the Washington Science Fiction Association and was involved in the founding of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society.

Donald Henry Tuck was a bibliographer of science fiction, fantasy and weird fiction. His works were "among the most extensive produced since the pioneering work of Everett F. Bleiler."

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.