Monday, November 30, 2009

Words of wisdom

"Speaking of plots, we want to emphatically warn our prospective contributors against submitting interplanetary war stories. A plot submitted that simply relates a war between two planets, with a lot of rays and bloodshed, will receive little consideration. What we want are original ideas, new points of view on interplanetary exploration; new ideas regarding the activities of Terrestrials on strange worlds, and of extra-Terrestrials on earth. Read the letter from George W. Race in the "Reader Speaks" of this issue and see what to avoid.

The man who sends in a plot:
  1. That pictures people of other worlds as being just like Earthmen, and (as some authors put it) speak English;
  2. That shows our hero going to another world to rescue a fair princess from an evil priest;
  3. That shows our hero going to another world to single-handed overcome a great army; or
  4. That shows our hero going to another world to conquer a horde of strange beasts;
This man should not hope his plot will receive serious consideration. If our readers study the plots that have been written into stories, they will perceive in each one some original "slant" on interplanetary travel, or of the conditions on other worlds. That original "slant" is what our readers should strive for."

Hugo Gernsback, Wonder Stories, September 1, 1932.

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