Why was The Golden Age of Science Fiction called a Golden Age ?

JunkMonkey

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In comics the Golden Age is 1938-1956 with the creation of many of the defining characters and tropes of the medium at a time when the readership of comics was astronomical. You had all these periodicals with Batman, Superman, Wonder woman, The Flash, The Green Lantern and so on.

I'd say it was a similar period for sci-fi with astounding sci-fi and the other sci-fi / weird fiction magazines being the crucibles for what we think of as Sci-fi, with the biggest cultural impact on thought leaders of the day like Carl Sagan and so on.

I see Golden era Sci-fi as essentially Modernist - interested in the fruits of technology and science. Post-modernist fiction of the New Wave sci-fi era of the 60's and 70's sparked an exploration of society, psychology, sexuality, the environment and drugs.

The Comic Book Golden Age became rigidly fossilised in its definition (like the Silver Age, Bronze Age and 'Modern'*) because obsessive collectors like to categorise and label things to stagnation. For many who buy them, Golden Age Comics are investment opportunities or graded slabbed hermetically sealed objects to be drooled over like Gollum's precious. Not the pulp junk entertainment they really are. I speak as a comic reader not a collector. When I have completed a run of a comic I glue the things together and bind them to make them easier to read. - BTW if anyone has a tatty copy of Kirby'sNew Gods #1 from 1971 I'm interested. Or even half a copy.

People aren't as obsessive about collecting 'SF' in such a fetishistic, or market-driven way. Pulp SF mags of the 1940s and 50s are still affordable to people interested in collecting them whereas the comic market has become much more rarefied.





* though at some point in the future another age will have to be added. 'Modern' will become 'Tin' or something or a new 'Very Modern' age will be proclaimed.
 

BAYLOR

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The Comic Book Golden Age became rigidly fossilised in its definition (like the Silver Age, Bronze Age and 'Modern'*) because obsessive collectors like to categorise and label things to stagnation. For many who buy them, Golden Age Comics are investment opportunities or graded slabbed hermetically sealed objects to be drooled over like Gollum's precious. Not the pulp junk entertainment they really are. I speak as a comic reader not a collector. When I have completed a run of a comic I glue the things together and bind them to make them easier to read. - BTW if anyone has a tatty copy of Kirby'sNew Gods #1 from 1971 I'm interested. Or even half a copy.

People aren't as obsessive about collecting 'SF' in such a fetishistic, or market-driven way. Pulp SF mags of the 1940s and 50s are still affordable to people interested in collecting them whereas the comic market has become much more rarefied.





* though at some point in the future another age will have to be added. 'Modern' will become 'Tin' or something or a new 'Very Modern' age will be proclaimed.

And in the , future the science fiction of our era will be dubbed The Teflon Non Stick Age of Science Fiction . :D
 

paranoid marvin

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Will we still have 'book art' in another 100 years? I do wonder how many physical paper books will still be being produced.

With audiobooks and Kindle and tv/movie adaptations, there are plenty of alternatives that weren't there a century ago. I wonder how things will progress in the future?
 

BAYLOR

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Will we still have 'book art' in another 100 years? I do wonder how many physical paper books will still be being produced.

With audiobooks and Kindle and tv/movie adaptations, there are plenty of alternatives that weren't there a century ago. I wonder how things will progress in the future?

Paper books might still exist in 100 years :)
 

psikeyhackr

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I like reading actual Dead Tree books. :)
They just need to make rugged tablets, solar powered with replaceable batteries. Give me that variable speed autoscrolling! My fingers don't like walking.

One day these old boots are going to walk all over those tree books. Trees are for climbing and furniture.
 

BAYLOR

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They just need to make rugged tablets, solar powered with replaceable batteries. Give me that variable speed autoscrolling! My fingers don't like walking.

One day these old boots are going to walk all over those paper books.

I like the smell of paper books which you don't get with either nook or an I Pad.
 

psikeyhackr

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Encyclopedia Britannica tends to be cat pee resistant. ;)
Yeah, the books looked fine. It wasn't until I got them home that I noticed that 5 of them in sequence smelled funny. They were in a garage with the entrance for the car open when I bought them.

Not resistant to the smell. LOL
 

psikeyhackr

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I like the smell of paper books which you don't get with either nook or an I Pad.
That should be a new built in feature. A book scent sprayer. And it would mean continuous income like selling overpriced ink cartridges for printers.
 

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