In Search of Wonder

In Search of Wonder❰Download❯ ➽ In Search of Wonder Author Damon Knight – Heartforum.co.uk In the decade from to Damon Knight was the outstanding critic of science fiction books His reviews were not mere statements of his personal preferences His skillful essays told why they were good or In the decade fromtoDamon Knight was the outstanding critic of science fiction books His reviews were not mere statements of his personal preferences His skillful essays told why they were good or bad.

Damon Francis Knight was an American science fiction author, editor, and criticKnight s first professional sale was a cartoon drawing to a science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories His first story, Resilience , was published in He is best known as the author of To Serve Man , which was adapted for The Twilight Zone He was a recipient of the Hugo Award, founder of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America SFWA , cofounder of the National Fantasy Fan Federation, cofounder of the Milford Writer s Workshop, and cofounder of the Clarion In Search MOBI :Ä Writers Workshop Knight lived in Eugene, Oregon, with his wife Kate Wilhelm.

In Search of Wonder Kindle î In Search  MOBI :Ä
  • Hardcover
  • In Search of Wonder
  • Damon Knight
  • English
  • 06 August 2017
  • 0911682074

10 thoughts on “In Search of Wonder

  1. G33z3r says:

    I hadn t realized when I picked this up that the critical essays reviews it contained were from the early 1950s earlier though the author added some new footnotes in the 90s A lot of the authors discussed and often dismissed have indeed faded to scifi obscurity It is interesting reading Knight s assessment of Heinlein very positive from before Heinlein wrote the novels his name is most associated with today Though in the case of Asimov, who Knight also liked, he d already written hi I hadn t realized when I picked this up that the critical essays reviews it contained were from the early 1950s earlier though the author added some new footnotes in the 90s A lot of the authors discussed and often dismissed have indeed faded to scifi obscurity It is interesting reading Knight s assessment of Heinlein very positive from before Heinlein wrote the novels his name is most associated with today Though in the case of Asimov, who Knight also liked, he d already written his defining works

  2. Michael O& says:

    In Search of Wonder is one of those books, along with the likes of Fred Pohl s The Way The Future Was and Hell s Cartographers by Brian Aldiss and Harry Harrison, that all SF fans interested in the history of the genre are told are Must Reads Not so much.First published in 1956 by author, editor and renowned critic Damon Knight, this collection of his reviews and essays was a bit of a disappointment As one of the first critics to apply the same standards of criticism to SF as to so cal In Search of Wonder is one of those books, along with the likes of Fred Pohl s The Way The Future Was and Hell s Cartographers by Brian Aldiss and Harry Harrison, that all SF fans interested in the history of the genre are told are Must Reads Not so much.First published in 1956 by author, editor and renowned critic Damon Knight, this collection of his reviews and essays was a bit of a disappointment As one of the first critics to apply the same standards of criticism to SF as to so called literary fiction , I was expecting incisive and insightful examinations of the works covered, but most of the reviews in this volume just seem like bog standard reviews that can be found in a hundred and one places today Now, this may just be because I am used to reading modern reviews at the time these reviews were written, they may have been mind blowing stuff.Each chapter begins with a few lines of introduction and then we are into the reviews or essays I would have preferred to see some comment from the author, either before or after each review, explaining why that particular work had been selected and what we could learn from the review, but no we just get the text of the reviews, and that s it.The book contains chapters on bad sf, classic sf, good sf, and half bad sf, along with individual chapters for some of the big names, such as Heinlein, Sturgeon, Asimov, Bradbury and van Vogt There are also separate chapters for anthologies, new writers new at the time, anyway and British authors The third edition has also been expanded with chapters on the Milford and Clarion writers workshops, what is sf and writing sf, along with a brief biographical section about the author when young.All in all, not a waste of reading time some of the barbed comments in some of the reviews are quite amusing , but not a Must Read by any means

  3. Alain says:

    The first edition of this book, which came out in 1956, was made up of non fiction articles and columns Knight wrote for pulp science fiction magazines of the 1950s The second and third editions, in 1967 and 1995 have some additional texts.What I find the most stunning is that even the early material, written in the 1950s, is still relevant today, and even fresh in a way, even though the field of science fiction has changed thoroughly since then Everything Damon Knight wrote down, fifty years The first edition of this book, which came out in 1956, was made up of non fiction articles and columns Knight wrote for pulp science fiction magazines of the 1950s The second and third editions, in 1967 and 1995 have some additional texts.What I find the most stunning is that even the early material, written in the 1950s, is still relevant today, and even fresh in a way, even though the field of science fiction has changed thoroughly since then Everything Damon Knight wrote down, fifty years ago, about the nature of science fiction is still as interesting, and maybe eveninteresting as it was in those ancient times.This book, this collection of essays should be read along with the four short lectures printed up in The Science Fiction Novel in the 1950s, to serve as a contrast The four lectures, given by noted science fiction authors of the time Heinlein, Kornbluth, Bester and Bloch also try to define the nature of science fiction, while giving a critical view of the sciecne fiction novels available at that time.I think it s crucial to note that neither Knight s book or collection of essays or the four lectures mentioned above, constitute a basic introduction to science fiction and the craft of science fiction criticism They are for advanced readers who have already gone through several classic science fiction novels and short stories of the 1950s and the 1960s, in addition to current titles and who have already taken a look at critical studies of science fiction, or at the very least, histories of the literature of science fiction You need context to make something out of these two publicatons

  4. David Agranoff says:

    One major effect of doing the Dickheads podcast is that I have become muchserious about being a scholar of the genre While the title of the book suggests that it covers modern sci fi you have to realize that the first edition of this book was published in 1955 and despite editions in 1967 and 2014 the books in the genre it covers is far from modern This book first got on my radar because I was looking for background info on Editor Author Tony Boucher who wrote the introduction for an One major effect of doing the Dickheads podcast is that I have become muchserious about being a scholar of the genre While the title of the book suggests that it covers modern sci fi you have to realize that the first edition of this book was published in 1955 and despite editions in 1967 and 2014 the books in the genre it covers is far from modern This book first got on my radar because I was looking for background info on Editor Author Tony Boucher who wrote the introduction for an upcoming tribute episode When I saw what this book was I knew I had to read it The concept of this book is simple In the early days of the genre, I am talking the 30s right after Hugo Gernsback coined the term Scientific Fiction that later got shorten to Science Fiction and eventually Sci fi deep critical analysis of the genre didn t exist There were short reviews in the Amazing Stories and fanzines of the time but most came off like catalog entriesthan thoughtful reviews Enter Oregon writer Damon Knight whose most famous work is the short story To Serve Man which was turned into a Twilight Zone episode with the famous It s a cookbook twist While that is the only time Knight s work penetrated the mainstream he was a titan in the genre from the early 40s until his death in 2002 He was the founder of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America SFWA , cofounder of the Milford Writer s Workshop with author Judith Merrill and his wife Author Kate Wilham., and co founder of the Clarion Writers Workshop While he wrote hundreds of short stories and a dozen novels it is his criticism and non fiction history of the early New York writers The Futurians Reviewed here three months ago that are most exciting to me While this book is clearly not a complete history of the early 20th century Science Fiction that is the purpose it will serve at this point While heavily colored by Knight s very strong opinions, this book taught me of several dozen important works from that era that I had never heard of Several I am excited to read These are not just works of standard genre titans, although the works of Heinlein, Asimov and Bradbury are all covered That is great but what excited mewas learning about mainstream novels of the era with speculative elements and titles that came from Russian authors That is just two examples Knight has the genre of the era covered in detail I don t know how else I would have ever heard about We by Eugene Zamiatin which sounds like a Russian 1984, but it predates the Orwell novel having been banned by the Russians in the late 20s Some of the highpoints of this book include autobiographical chapters that explain how Knight joined and interacted with famous editors and writers, help to found some of the genre s most famous workshops and his method of writing his own stories His breakdowns of novels from genre classics to lost novels are brutally honest and times came off too harsh to me While I agreed with some of his critiques there were moments I found myself shaking my head as he tore classics to shreds Knight respected Bradbury for example as a writer but thought he was a joke as a science fiction writer He hated novels like Matheson s I Am Legend and was not a fan of the author who I consider to be one of the best use a typewriter.His takedown of Van Vogt s World of Null A The last book I read before this is almost as much of a classic as the novel he ripped shreds Indeed he devotes an entire chapter to the absolute homicide of Van Vogt s novel that becomes a brutally harsh takedown of tropes and themes the author used over and over This chapter is the best example of what Knight does as a critic He dissects plot holes, studies what works and doesn t about the characters and clearly was not impressed by the science This kinda cracked me up because Philip K Dick always listed this novel as one of his biggest influences Knight is really picking Van Vogt apart for many of the things Dick did constantly, like random plotting, think characters and random directions of the narrative That said Knight enjoyed PKD s first novel the Solar Lottery as was not as hard on him as some This is architectural plotting, a rare and inhumanly difficult thing and who in blazes ever expected Dick to turn up as one of the few masters of it 67 edition So Knight devotes entire chapters to Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Sturgeon, Fort, Kuttner and Moore, Blish, and Dick Histories and backgrounds on the editors are there and valuable Essays about writing workshops, symbolism, using science defining Science Fiction, writing Science Fiction really great essay and how he saw the genre going.I loved this book I think as I work through the two dozen titles I added to my good reads Want To Read shelf I think the impact of this book will continue long after I finished it I think this will be a valuable book that will remain on my shelf for reference I don t think this is a must read but for fans of the genre but for scholars or writers serious about the craft this book is pretty goddamn valuable

  5. Viktor says:

    I read the 2nd edition from the mid 60 s.Definitely a time capsule of where SF criticism was back in the day, when whether or not a certain story was SF or fantasy was Real Important Much time is spent on that topic and on bashing A E van Vogt about the head and shoulders Richard Matheson and Judith Merrill takethan a few shots too A story s biggest sin is often one of not being SF the way the reviewer thinks SF should be A little of this argument goes a long way with me, and there s I read the 2nd edition from the mid 60 s.Definitely a time capsule of where SF criticism was back in the day, when whether or not a certain story was SF or fantasy was Real Important Much time is spent on that topic and on bashing A E van Vogt about the head and shoulders Richard Matheson and Judith Merrill takethan a few shots too A story s biggest sin is often one of not being SF the way the reviewer thinks SF should be A little of this argument goes a long way with me, and there s quite a lot of it herein He has much love for Heinlein and reviews several of his juveniles He often makes negative comments about an author s physical appearance These are particularly of the pot calling the kettle black variety Go ahead and google pics of Mr Knight All in all, Damon Knight has his likes oops I mean damon knight yes he used to use the small letters in his name and dislikes like any other critic Unfortunately, his opinions make him come off as a very bitter and small minded man

  6. Tim says:

    Very interesting read and I liked it very much It has a bit of a time capsule feel to it The reviews and analysis were written back in the day and it is interesting to hear, for example, how there were two camps at one time one that thought only SF written before 1935 was any good and the other that thought only SF written after that was any good From where we sit now it is almost a what s the difference kind of thing.Anyway, if nothing else it a great source for finding some very forgot Very interesting read and I liked it very much It has a bit of a time capsule feel to it The reviews and analysis were written back in the day and it is interesting to hear, for example, how there were two camps at one time one that thought only SF written before 1935 was any good and the other that thought only SF written after that was any good From where we sit now it is almost a what s the difference kind of thing.Anyway, if nothing else it a great source for finding some very forgotten works that shouldn t be I am walking away with a list of titles to try and track down, many by authors I know well but that these titles slipped by me.This book is for the serious golden age SF reader If names like Leiber, van Vogt, Kornbluth, Blish, and Pratt don t ring a bell, then you may quickly get lost Otherfamous names with serious staying power like Heinlein, Bradbury,and Sturgeon get their own chapters as well.Come to think of it, if you can t name Damon Knight s most famous story, then this may not be the book for you

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