A team of astronauts is sent to the moon to rescue an alien who is
seeking help to save her dying race. They are attacked by a force of
bandit robots and discover that enemy spies are out to kill the alien.
SOS AUS DEM WELTALL
. He was specialised in illustrations for sci-fi/fantasy/horror pulp-fiction series like Perry Rhodan, Mythor, John Sinclair and so on, and he contributed works to the sci-fi Galaksija magazine (fine gallery of oldskool-sci-fi frontpages on flickr!).
Any potential for foreign vintage geek culture, like early anime or retro European comics?
You bet there is! Of all the movies this year, I am the most pumped about the upcoming adaptation of the Valérian comics. I keep on going back to this, but people who think the adventure scifi of the past was all good vs. evil were way off: Valérian was all about how most conflicts were due to misunderstandings, an inability to live and let live. It was very Star Trek in that way.
I love the German
science fiction novel series Perry Rhodan, maybe the longest running novel series in
the world. It’s fascinating because every German science fiction fan has read
it, and may even have gotten into scifi because of it, but few people admit to
liking it except as a guilty pleasure. How many people have read this series and decided to do something romantic with their lives, like becoming a scientist or wildlife photojournalist?
And from what I can read of the series, it’s absolutely
great and lots of fun. Perry Rhodan has a much cooler, Mr. Spock-like alien
sidekick, and his love interest is his sidekick’s sexy sister. So imagine if Captain
Kirk’s true love was Mr. Spock’s sister, who happened to be Gwen Stacey (oh…um…spoilers).
For a long time, I’ve championed French writer J.H. Rosny as one of the foundational figures of early science fiction. In France, Rosny and his brother are considered crucial figures for the adventure and science fiction genre - up there with Jules Verne - but they’re unknown in the English speaking world, except maybe as the guys who wrote the stone age adventure novel, Quest for Fire.
The Rosny brothers did amazing stuff: Xipehuz is a science fiction series about an invasion of earth during Babylonian times by totally incomprehensible, non-anthropomorphized aliens who’s motives we never understand and who we never truly communicate with. Because our heroes are pre-scientific, they have no frame of reference, so they never really quite grasp what’s going on. An extraordinary book.
J.H. Rosny wrote Quest for Fire, but he wrote a novel set at the end of time, the Death of the Earth. The last few paragraphs, where the last living thing on earth shuts its eyes on a dead earth forever, may be the most moving passage in all of scifi. It also features evil minerals coming to life, which, together with the silicon based life in the Xipehuz, seems to be one of Rosny’s great fears and recurring menaces.
(If I say “them” and “he” interchangeably, it’s because it’s not clear, even to many scholars, when it’s J.H. Rosny writing alone, or when it was the brothers together.)
As for anime…as a red-blooded,
whiskey drinking, meat-eating American, I was never able to understand anime,
with its spiky haired, femmy, androgynous heroes, schoolgirls, and talking
animal sidekicks. However, a crucial part of being an adult is realizing not
everything is made for you, and to let other people do their own thing and like what they like. Maybe I feel this way because I haven’t encountered the right one.
In that same vein, I’m not in the habit of begrudging anybody their taste, but I don’t entirely understand Steven Universe’s appeal. I watched an episode where he’s charmed with a Juno-style cheeseburger backpack, and it always struck me as basically being Justice Society of America, if they made Johnny Thunder the central character. I was always pleased when Johnny Thunder was replaced in the pages of the JSA with a cooler, more hardboiled character, Black Canary. I don’t hate it, I just don’t understand the appeal.
The Robot Revolt! - Johnny Bruck cover art for the 1962 science fiction novel, The Emperor Of New York, written by W.W. Shols. Number 31 in the German sci-fi book series, Perry Rhodan: Heir of the Universe.