Six members of a civil rights group stretch out face down in an excavation for a new school on Cleveland’s east side on April 6, 1964. They sprawled out in the ditch to halt work of the big steam shovel, which dropped some dirt on the demonstrators. Police took the demonstrators to jail after they refused to move. Some other pickets were arrested after they laid down in front of a cement truck. Demonstrators say construction will “promote re-segregation” in the predominantly African-American neighborhood.
“No one man is going to discover the secret of atomic power. But you can be fairly certain of this: the discoverer of the secret of atomic power is alive on Earth today. His papers are researches are appearing regularly; his name is known.”
- John W. Campbell, Astounding Science Fiction (1938)
“Science Fiction is no more written for scientists than ghost stories are written for ghosts.”
- Brian Aldiss (1973)
“Are you in such dire straits that you must print this drivel? This story does not belong in Astounding Stories, because there is no science in it at all.”
- Cleveland C. Soper, on H.P. Lovecraft’s one story to the scifi mag Astounding (1936)
“Science Fiction in the past was by robots, for robots, and about robots.”
- Michael Moorcock
“If science fiction did not exist, I would probably read detective stories. Both kinds of imaginative writing call for the same logical, problem-solving thought processes.”
- Forrest J. Ackerman
“Over 90% of stories submitted [to Galaxy Science Fiction] still nag away at atomic, hydrogen and bacteriological war, the post atomic world, reversion to barbarism, mutant children killed because they have only ten toes and fingers instead of twelve….the temptation is strong to write, ‘look, fellers, the end isn’t here yet.’”
- H.L. Gold, Galaxy Science (1952). I love to pull this quote out when people talk about how optimistic and gadget obsessed the scifi of the past was. Did you even read it?
“Logical science fiction inevitably points to the necessity of socialism, the advance of science, and the world-state. These aims can best be reached through adherence to the program of the Communist International.”
- Donald Wollheim in Novae Terrae (1938). If you want to read more about the association of east coast scifi writers with Communism and Communist politics, read Frederik Pohl’s memoir, The Early Pohl.