I collect “vintage” science fiction books. Most of them are anthologies from the latter part of what I consider the second “Golden Age” of sci-fi (1950-1970). Somewhere in the 1970s, fantasy entered the realm, and my interest waned proportionately. If you like fantasy-laced science fiction, that’s your choice. (I almost said, problem, but restrained myself). However, I do not.


“Back in the day,” science fiction writers were storytellers who used science as an indispensable part of their stories—but the focus was the story. It’s fun to read the stories from the 1940’s, when atomic power was all the rage. Between the real fear of the atom bomb, and the views on WWII that were undercurrents in may stories, readers get a very clear view of the perspective of many, many people throughout the world.


It’s also fun to read the scientific principles that have now been disproved. For example, in Edgar Rice Burrough’s Martian books, streetlights project light downward only. This allows both hero and villain to sneak up on one another because the entire sky above the lights remains jet black. The particle theory of light has long since been replaced by the duality of light as a complimentary pairing of wave and particles.


As I write, I sometimes wonder just how much of the science I know to be true will be ridiculed as primitive or dismissed outright as false by future readers at some future date.