AE Van Vogt

clovis-man

Prehistoric Irish Cynic
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#21
I've liked most of what I've read of his. But the cobbled together nature of The Weapon Shops Of Isher didn't do much for me. I'm beginning to think that his short stories, in and of themselves, were often his best work. When he tried to expand them, they sometimes lost focus, e.g., "The Great Engine" morphed into The Changeling. I just read "Vault of the Beast" in his short story collection, Away and Beyond. I found it to be absorbing and sharply drawn.

Interestingly, this story was supposedly inspired by John Campbell's Who Goes There? If so, I find myself wondering if, in turn, James Cameron ever read Van Vogt. Some of the scenes in the story could fit wholesale into Terminator II.

Sorry for rambling.
 

Ashley R

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#22
So I've been reading a bit of Van Vogt lately, and I have to say, I'm quite enjoying what I've read, Future Glitter was a really enjoyable dystopia. Slan, well, I think it goes without saying that it's an unrelenting thriller. Yes, I just said that.

I feel he doesn't get as much respect as he should. It's true what they say: he was Philip K. Dick before Philip K. Dick. A lot of his prose actually sounds like PKD.[snip]
Damon Knight basically shredded Van Vogt in the sixties, quote:

"In a series of reviews for various magazines, he became famous as a science fiction critic, a career which began when he wrote in 1945 that Van Vogt, ...is not a giant as often maintained. He's only a pygmy who has learned to operate an overgrown typewriter. After nine years, he ceased reviewing when a magazine refused to publish one review exactly as he wrote it."

URL: Damon Knight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Funnily enough I re-read Van Vogt, but can't remember the last time I read Damon Knight.
 
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#23
Funnily enough I re-read Van Vogt, but can't remember the last time I read Damon Knight.
Basically the same - I've been endlessly entertained by dozens of van Vogt books and have read him within the last year and I read a couple of Knight books a decade or more ago that did nothing for me and have never been impressed in my anthology readings. And, in the Irony Department, Knight and van Vogt were awarded the SFWA Grand Master award (later renamed the "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award" because he founded the SFWA) in consecutive years.

I've liked most of what I've read of his. But the cobbled together nature of The Weapon Shops Of Isher didn't do much for me. I'm beginning to think that his short stories, in and of themselves, were often his best work. When he tried to expand them, they sometimes lost focus, e.g., "The Great Engine" morphed into The Changeling. I just read "Vault of the Beast" in his short story collection, Away and Beyond. I found it to be absorbing and sharply drawn.
Agreed. I've said before and will continue to say that I hope someone releases the collected first phase van Vogt fiction in its original magazine form someday. I have almost all of it but not all and it's scattered everywhere and inconvenient to track down. Some of his "fixups" work great but some don't and, either way, there's intrinsic interest to me in the original forms.

Interestingly, this story was supposedly inspired by John Campbell's Who Goes There? If so, I find myself wondering if, in turn, James Cameron ever read Van Vogt. Some of the scenes in the story could fit wholesale into Terminator II.
Yep - I've said before that if Ellison could sue T1 (I mean, Ellison sues everybody, but I mean successfully sue them) and van Vogt was able to sue Alien for "Black Destroyer", I don't know why van Vogt didn't try to sue T2. With the Campbell-to-everyone-including-van-Vogt pipeline, this was Campbell's preferred methodology but Cameron has to be liable to suspicions of plagiarism. But it makes a great movie, anyway. (Similarly, I've never seen it but there seems to be more than a passing similarity between Avatar and "The Word for World Is Forest".)
 

clovis-man

Prehistoric Irish Cynic
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#24
(Similarly, I've never seen it but there seems to be more than a passing similarity between Avatar and "The Word for World Is Forest".)
I've said before that Avatar is a bald-faced rip-off of Poul Anderson's "Call Me Joe".

I promise to get back on topic.
 
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#25
I like AE Vogt. I have read his books when I was very young and re-read and re-read many times. I particularly liked his Weapon Shop series. Now I have them on my epub.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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#26
Destination Universe is a terrific anthology of his stories.(y)

Voyage of the Space Beagle one chapter Black Destroyer was one of the inspirations for the movie Alien.(y)
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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#27
Ive read Slan . This may be a strange thing to say, but it was bit like reading a Philp K Dick Novel. Storywise it has that kind of weirdness.
 

Robert Zwilling

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#29
I like rereading Vogt's books. I think Vogt and Bester were pounding on the same doors. Just reread Universe Maker not so long ago, it was falling apart, glued it back together, I'm that cheap. Some of it was dated. The consequences of drunk driving were apparently no concern of his.

It's the ideas in a book that give me enjoyment, illumination, pause of thought, that's what I read for, not the characters, not the style or whatever grammatical pathway it follows. And if a writer writes Mary lamb a had, then obviously I won't be able to read it. A plot change every 800 words is okay, if it makes the story more interesting for me, I'm for it.

There are many kinds of reading impediments, like everyone I got my own. I'm not educated enough to have my mind stop and auto correct what it spots, because I just can't see it. I unknowingly skim right over it. For a well written story, if there are no great ideas in it for me, and the plot resorts to characters suddenly not paying attention so a slip up that wouldn't have happened happens so the plot can advance, that isn't going to keep my attention. And the personal emotional baggage I can always do without, something that Vogt also managed to do. I feel he did cover global emotional aspects and that's enough for me.
 

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