The Mixed Men

The Mixed Men is a fix-up novel of science fiction short stories by Canadian-American writer A. E. van Vogt that focus on the mixed offspring of Dellian Supermen and human beings.[1] The novel's title is taken from van Vogt's 1945 Astounding SF short story "Mixed Men", which was nominated for a Retro Hugo Award in 1996.[2] The stories published in the novel were originally released between the years of 1943 to 1945 in Astounding SF,[3] with the novel being first published in a 5,000 copy printing in 1952 by Gnome Press and a 1955 Berkley Books edition under the title Mission to the Stars.[4]

The novel is an early example of "fix-up" literature where several stories are re-written to make one cohesive novel.[4]

The Mixed Men
Mixed men
Dust-jacket from the first edition.
AuthorA. E. van Vogt
Cover artistRic Binkley
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
GenreScience fiction
PublisherGnome Press
Publication date
1952
Media typePrint (hardback)
Pages223

Contents

  • "Concealment"
  • "The Storm"
  • "The Mixed Men"
  • "Lost: Fifty Suns"
  • "Is it true?"

Reception

Reception for the novel was negative, with a 1952 reviewer for the New York Times calling it a "bad parody" of science fiction and high adventure.[5] P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction (1952) found the novel to be "distinctly minor van Vogt" and that the protagonist "isn't very convincing."[6] Author Bob Shaw later cited that one of the stories in the novel sparked his interest in the science fiction genre, stating that the "reading of that first story changed the entire course of my life".[7]

References

  1. ^ Westfahl, Gary (2009). Science Fiction and the Two Cultures. McFarland. pp. 133–134. ISBN 0786442972.
  2. ^ "1946 Retro Hugo Awards". Hugo Awards. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  3. ^ The Kirkus Service, Volume 2. Kirkus Service (Kirkus Reviews). 1948. p. 1762.
  4. ^ a b "A.E. van Vogt: The Weinberg Interview (1980)". Robert Weinberg. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  5. ^ J. F. M. (Aug 10, 1952). "The Magellanic Cloud: THE MIXED MEN. By A. E. Van Vogt. 223 pp. New York: Gnome Press. $2.75." New York Times. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008), pg. BR15. Retrieved October 24, 2012
  6. ^ "The Reference Library", Astounding Science Fiction, December 1952, pp.102
  7. ^ Stableford, Brian (2007). Algebraic Fantasies and Realistic Romances: More Masters of Science Fiction. Borgo Press. pp. 25–26. ISBN 0893702838.

Further reading

External links

A. E. van Vogt

Alfred Elton van Vogt (; April 26, 1912 – January 26, 2000) was a Canadian-born science fiction author. His narrative style was compelling and stimulating, and in this way, influenced later science fiction writers, notably Philip K. Dick. He is regarded as one of the most popular, influential and complex practitioners of the mid-twentieth century, the genre's so-called Golden Age.

Children of Tomorrow

Children of Tomorrow is a 1970 science fiction novel by Canadian-American author A. E. van Vogt.

Fix-up

A fix-up (or fixup) is a novel created from several short fiction stories that may or may not have been initially related or previously published. The stories may be edited for consistency, and sometimes new connecting material, such as a frame story or other interstitial narration, is written for the new work. The term was coined by the science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt, who published several fix-ups of his own, including The Voyage of the Space Beagle, but the practice (if not the term) exists outside of science fiction. The use of the term in science fiction criticism was popularised by the first (1979) edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by Peter Nicholls, which credited Van Vogt with the creation of the term.

The name comes from the modifications that the author needs to make in the original texts to make them fit together as though they were a novel. Foreshadowing of events from the later stories may be jammed into an early chapter of the fix-up, and character development may be interleaved throughout the book. Contradictions and inconsistencies between episodes are usually worked out.

Some fix-ups in their final form are more of a short story cycle or composite novel rather than a traditional novel with a single main plotline. Examples are Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and Isaac Asimov's I, Robot, both of which read as a series of short stories which may share plot threads and characters but which still act as self-contained stories. By contrast, van Vogt's The Weapon Shops of Isher is structured like a continuous novel although it incorporates material from three previous Van Vogt short stories.

Fix-ups became an accepted practice in American publishing during the 1950s, when science fiction and fantasy—once published primarily in magazines—began appearing increasingly in book form. Large book publishers like Doubleday and Simon & Schuster entered the market, greatly increasing demand for fiction. Authors created new manuscripts from old stories to sell to publishers. Algis Budrys in 1965 described fixups as a consequence of the lack of good supply during the "bad years for quality" of the mid-1950s, although citing The Martian Chronicles and Clifford D. Simak's City as among exceptions.

Gnome Press

Gnome Press was an American small-press publishing company primarily known for publishing many science fiction classics. Gnome was one of the most eminent of the fan publishers of SF, producing 86 titles in its lifespan — many considered classic works of SF and Fantasy today. Gnome was important in the transitional period between Genre SF as a magazine phenomenon and its arrival in mass-market book publishing, but proved too underfunded to make the leap from fan-based publishing to the professional level. The company existed for just over a decade, ultimately failing due to inability to compete with major publishers who also started to publish science fiction. In its heyday, Gnome published many of the major SF authors, and in some cases, as with Robert E. Howard's Conan series (published in six books from 1950 – 1955) and Isaac Asimov's Foundation series (published in three books from 1951 – 1953), was responsible for the manner in which their stories were collected into book form.

M33 in Andromeda

M33 in Andromeda is a collection of six science fiction stories by Canadian-American writer A. E. van Vogt, first published in April 1971.

Masters of Time

Masters of Time is a collection of two science fiction novellas by author A. E. van Vogt. It was first published in 1950 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 4,034 copies. The novellas originally appeared in the magazine Astounding.

Monsters (collection)

Monsters is a collection of eight science fiction short stories by Canadian-American writer A.E. van Vogt; written during 1940 and 1950, they were assembled by Forrest J. Ackerman in 1965.

More Than Superhuman

More Than Superhuman is a collection of science fiction short stories by Canadian-American writer A.E. van Vogt, published in 1971.

Null-A Three

Null-A Three, usually written Ā Three, is a 1985 science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt. It incorporates concepts from the General semantics of Alfred Korzybski and refers to non-Aristotelian logic.

The novel is a continuation of the adventures of Gilbert Gosseyn from The World of Null-A (1945) and The Pawns of Null-A (1948).

Out of the Unknown (collection)

Out of the Unknown is a collection of fantasy short stories by Canadian writers A. E. van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull. It was first published in 1948 by Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. in an edition of 1,000 copies. The stories originally appeared in the magazine Unknown.

Quest for the Future

Quest for the Future is a science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt. It was first published by Ace Books in 1970.

A schoolteacher from the 20th century becomes involved in the activities of a group of time travelers.

Supermind (novel)

Supermind is a science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt first published in complete form in 1977 by publisher DAW Books. It is a fix-up of "Asylum," a short story first published in Astounding Science Fiction in May 1942.

The Book of Ptath

The Book of Ptath is a science fiction novel by Canadian-American writer A. E. van Vogt. It was first published in book form in 1947 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 3,021 copies. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Unknown in October 1943. The book has also appeared under the titles Two Hundred Million A.D. and Ptath.

The House That Stood Still

The House That Stood Still is a science fiction novel by Canadian-American author A. E. van Vogt, first published in 1950. It was also published under the titles The Mating Cry (1960, revised edition) and The Undercover Aliens (1976).

The Mind Cage

The Mind Cage is a 1957 science fiction novel by Canadian-American writer A. E. Van Vogt, adapted from the short story "The Great Judge" (1948).

The Weapon Makers

The Weapon Makers is a science fiction novel by Canadian writer A. E. van Vogt.

The novel was originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction from February to April 1943. The serial version was first published in book form in 1947 with a print run of 1,000 copies. It was then thoroughly revised in 1952. All subsequent printings contain the 1952 text.

The events in the novel take place approximately seven years after the events described in The Weapon Shops of Isher (1951) even though the serial was published before some of the other Isher stories contained in The Weapon Shops of Isher. The first paperback edition, part of an Ace Double, was retitled One Against Eternity.

The Weapon Shops of Isher

The Weapon Shops of Isher is a science fiction novel by Canadian writer A. E. van Vogt, first published in 1951. The novel is a fix-up created from three previously published short stories about the Weapon Shops and Isher civilization:

"The Seesaw" (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July 1941)

"The Weapon Shop" (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 1942)

"The Weapon Shops of Isher" (Wonder Stories, February 1949)

The World of Null-A

The World of Null-A, sometimes written The World of Ā, is a 1948 science fiction novel by Canadian American writer A. E. van Vogt. It was originally published as a three-part serial in 1945 in Astounding Stories. It incorporates concepts from the General Semantics of Alfred Korzybski. The name Ā refers to non-Aristotelian logic.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.