Wednesday, 17 October 2012

From Comics To Books

Having read science fiction, Jet Ace Logan as well as Dan Dare, in children's comics, I saw adult paperback novels with spacemen and robots on the covers and did not know whether I would like them. Eventually, I bought The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester and The Caves Of Steel by Isaac Asimov in WH Smith's in Penrith, Cumberland (now Cumbria) in 1962. I wanted to get two books by different authors so I did not buy Earth Is Room Enough by Asimov.

In Chapter 2 of the Asimov novel that I did get, the viewpoint character meets Robot Daneel Olivaw for the first time. No one could have suspected that decades later in readers' time and millennia later in fictitious time, Olivaw would still be around after the Rise and Fall of the Galactic Empire. I also did not suspect that another American sf author, Poul Anderson, was meanwhile writing an even longer and much better account of the rise and fall of an interstellar empire.

We also never suspected that, as well as reading prose sf, some of us would still be reading comics fifty years later. Authors who, like us, grew up with the characters have written substantial sequels to the adventures of several of the characters who already existed then.

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