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galacticjourney ([personal profile] galacticjourney) wrote2017-08-25 09:37 pm

[August 25, 1962] Two Gallons of Adventure, Extra Pulp (Ace Double: F-147)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]


by Gideon Marcus

Science fiction is often profound. It provides cautionary tales; it explores thorny social issues that are difficult to discuss without metaphor; it glimpses the future.

But much of the time, science fiction is just an escape, a genre ripe for stories of adventure. The vast frontiers of space or under the sea or the frozen arctic wastes have been the setting for countless such tales since the dawn of the Pulp Era.

The prolific Andre Norton had made this type of story her stock in trade. Whether set in a fantasy world, an historical setting, or in a far-flung galactic tableau, her works typically feature a young man gallivanting in a rough-and-tumble environment, surviving by virtue of wit and physical exertion.

American publishing house, Ace Books, also makes this fare its bread and butter. They are perhaps best known for their "Ace Doubles:" For 45 cents, you get not one, but two short science fiction novels. These are often novelized serials from sf magazines. Occasionally, they are purpose-written pieces. Some are subjected to unfortunate edits to cram them into the 250-page format. In short, Ace is something of a bargain-basement venue -- the pulps of the book world, if you will.

Ace and Norton are, therefore, something of a match made in heaven. The recent Ace Double, F-147, features two Norton pieces back to back, one reprint novel and one new novella. While it's nothing to write home about, it will keep you entertained on a long round-trip car, boat, or plane ride.



(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)