Niall’s virtual diary archives – Sunday 16th September 2012

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Sunday 16th September 2012: 6.21pm. Link shared: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lensman_series

Packing has begun! One room out of four packed, and I'll hopefully get another two rooms done tonight as they're all my stuff rather than Megan's. Late start today - I woke at 4pm which wasn't ideal thanks to rising at 6am to drop Megan to the airport, then I couldn't get back to sleep. Definitely have to crack on with packing, as I leave for the UK again early tomorrow morning, this time to say goodbye to Megan's friends. Two days after we get back the removers take away all our stuff to Canada - scary!

The out of sync sleeping times wasn't helped by me reading the Lensman Series (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lensman_series) which I suppose is probably the first "modern" "sci-fi" series in history and was written in the 1930s and 1940s (I quotation mark modern and sci-fi, because it isn't sci-fi by any modern standard). Now, the prose in those books is brutal, the science is comically passe/wrong, and the characters about as one dimensional as you can get with lots of almost-perfect humans (as the 1930s would think them, so yes they're all white, muscly and blond with pencil mustaches) chain smoking and talking in New York 1920s gangster or pirate dialogue.

Yes, it's that bad. But the scope of the world described ... well, it's quite literally the Jedi vs Sith from Star Wars in the Vorlons vs Shadows via Telepaths conflict from Babylon 5. Or rather, Star Wars and Babylon 5 both took those respective bits pretty much wholesale from the Lensman series, as both George Lucas and J. Michael Straczynski have acknowledged. And, it has to be said, the author's attention to detail is superb - there are few plot holes, and no glaring inconsistencies throughout all five books. Oddly, many sci-fi buffs have never heard of this series despite how profoundly influential they have been, but if you can filter out the brutal prose and dialogue, they're definitely worth reading, especial as they've passed out of copyright and are therefore free of cost too.

#lensman   #starwars   #babylon5  

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