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terça-feira, 28 de junho de 2016

RALPH 124C 41+: A ROMANCE OF THE YEAR 2660. Gernsback, Hugo. Boston: The Stratford Company, Publishers, 1925. Clássico da Sci-Fi.






RALPH 124C 41+: A ROMANCE OF THE YEAR 2660.

Gernsback, Hugo.


Boston: The Stratford Company, Publishers,

1925.


Livro em bom estado de conservação, capa dura em couro e papel fantasia hipnótico, lombada com leves desgastes, vide imagem, miolo em ótimo estado, com as famosas ilustrações, de certa forma, proféticas e antecipadoras de nossas realidades virtuais..., escasso, um clássico do pai da Ficção Cientifica Moderna, muito apreciado, saiba mais...


"..One of the most awkwardly written full-length science fiction works to see print. It is often startlingtly accurate, on the other hand, as a catalog of technological ideas and prophecies." Magill; Survey of Science Fiction Literature, pp 1751 - 1754. Bleiler; Science-Fiction, The Early Years.

Crawford; "333." A classic in the genre and a must in any serious sf collection. Bound in original gray cloth with lettering stamped in red. Fine in fine and bright dust jacket with two tiny tears and a hint of wear.


a very influential science fiction books by one of the fathers of modern science fiction.


One of the most prophetic books of science-fiction ever written


1st Edition. First Edition, First Printing. Octavo, pp. 294, eleven inserted plates with illustrations by Frank R. Paul. First edition. Widely acclaimed upon its initial appearance in 1911 as a serial in Gernsback's magazine, MODERN ELECTRICS, this interplanetary novel by "the father of modern science fiction" is virtually unreadable today. However, historically, its impact and the prominence of its author in the SF field, elevates it to cornerstone status in the SF genre.


RALPH 124C 41+ is renowned for its many highly imaginative technological projections. These include clear descriptions of radar, book and newspaper microfilms and microfiches, television, plant hormones, wireless transmission of power. etc...


Widely acclaimed upon its initial appearance in 1911 as a serial in Gernsback's magazine, MODERN ELECTRICS, this interplanetary novel by "the father of modern science fiction" is virtually unreadable today. However, historically, its impact and the prominence of its author in the SF field, elevates it to cornerstone status in the SF genre.

Gernsback's book is considered the true beginning of 20th century science fiction, Gernsback believed in the perpetual advancememt of mankind towards greater and greater inventions and conveniences. A true expression of his personal philosophy of man's triumph over all around him the book is largely unreadable today but remains a cornerstone of any serious science fiction collection, Gernsback originally serialized RALPH in his MODERN ELECTRICS magazine, shortly after the appearance of RALPH in book form Gernsback began AMAZING STORIES arguably one of the most successful pulp magazines ever, today we remember Gernsback with the annual HUGO AWARDS which are named after him...


Others? claims may be equally valid (Jules Verne and H. G. Wells come quickly to mind) but inventor, writer and publisher Hugo Gernsback (1884-1967) was among those dubbed the father of science fiction. Gernsback founded the first sci-fi magazine, Amazing Stories , and there are, of course, those annual sci-fi awards known as the Hugos.

The multi-talented Gernsback was also a radio and TV pioneer. The story of his famed robot character, Ralph 124C 41, was first serialized in 1911 in Modern Electrics , a magazine Gernsback launched a few years after moving to the U.S. from his native Luxembourg. Set in the year 2660, this prophetic tale introduces radar and wireless power transmission (at one point Ralph saves the heroine?s life by directing energy remotely at an approaching avalanche), along with televised phone calls, tape recorders, solar energy, synthetic foods, artificial cloth, and of course space flight. All very big at the time.


What can I say about this title? Truly a classic, quite technical even today.



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Nearly every science fiction fan knows the name Hugo Gernsback, even if only because the annual science fiction achievement awards, the Hugos, are named in his honor. The traditional view of Gernsback, as the "Father of Science Fiction" was promulgated by the late SF historian Sam Moskowitz. While it is true that Gernsback founded Amazing in 1926 and coined the term "science fiction" (as well as the earlier scientifiction), his actual long term editorial effect on the genre is open to question. Gernsback viewed science fiction as a means of inspiring future generations of scientists (which it eventually did do), but at the expense of plot and character. Gernsback's best known work of science fiction, Ralph 124C 41+, illustrates the drawbacks of Gernsback's view of science fiction perfectly.

The novel's tone is set in the opening pages. Each time Gernsback mentions a new device, he stops to explain what it does and the theory behind how it works. It is quite possible that Ralph 124C 41+ introduces more gadgets faster than any other science fiction novel written before or since. However, one of the things which sets Gernsback's books apart from the voyages extraordinaires of Jules Verne is that Verne would have incorporated a couple of Gernsback's ideas into the plot of his story and examined their effect on the society which the changes were introduced into. Gernsback seems to fling his ideas out just to see if any of his predictions will occur.

While Verne's characters frequently were stiff, Gernsback's characters have less dimension than the pages the novel is printed on. What characterization does occur is laughable, as is Gernsback's take on society. His world of the twenty-seventh century seems particularly naive, with a nebulous world government (which seems to have done away with actual surnames). Scientists are held in the awe reserved today for athletes or film stars, with the entire world knowing when Ralph 124C 41+ is going to perform important experiments as well as giving him a standing ovation (via Telephot) when he saves a young woman in Switzerland who nobody had ever heard of before (but who, of course, will become Ralph's romantic interest).

The best thing that can be said for Gernsback's writing style is that he was in desperate need of an editor and an English grammar. His prose is repetitive and basic. Although straightfoward, it is not easy to read because of the number of digressions which Gernsback throws in. Among other things, Gernsback's writing in Ralph 124C 41+ seems to adhere to all of the negative stereotypes which have been associated with science fiction since Gernsback coined the term.

Ralph 124C 41+ has frequently been called a classic. What it really is, however, is an oddity. The worst science fiction published in the 1990s is centuries beyond Gernsback as far as plot, writing style and characterization is concerned. While the novel is a goldmine for technological speculation, Gernsback could simply have written up a list of gadgets with a brief description of each and come away with something as readable with as much plot and character as he weaves into Ralph 124C 41+. While Gernsback may have been instrumental in some aspects of the establishment of science fiction (the first magazine devoted to it, the name, and supporting early fandom), the field has moved far beyond Gernsback's vision and talents in the 73 years since this book was originally published.

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