Saturday, January 28, 2017

Perry Rhodan: The Planet of the Dying Sun.

Despite my best intentions, time gets away from me. We’ve got two job searches going on in Psychology this semester and I’m on both sub committees. Reviewing applicants, meeting about them, doing phone interviews, etc, has filled up every spare moment I might have had to blog, or write. But, finally, here is a blog post.

I mentioned previously that I was going to make this year, at least in part, of reading series books. In this regard, I just finished “The Planet of the Dying Sun, #11 in the Perry Rhodan space opera series. This is a German series, which started in 1961 in Germany’s equivalent of a pulp magazine. There is something like 3000 books in this series, and more in a Spinoff series called “Atlan.”  In the USA, Ace books published the first 126 books, between 1969- and 1978, as well as a few Atlans. They’ve been phenomenally popular in Germany. Wikipedia indicates they reached 1 billion in sales by 1986.

I've only read half a dozen of the series. Most I’ve enjoyed, but I found “The Planet of the Dying Sun” to be extremely weak. It didn't engage me at all. After looking through my records I see that the ones I've liked were written by K. H. Scheer. My favorite so far has been Fortress of the Six Moons, not coincidentally, the first in the series that I read.

“The Planet of the Dying Sun" was written by Kurt Mahr, although from what I understand an original draft of the work might have been done by Scheer. Mahr was the pen name for Klaus Otto Mahn. Mahr/Mahn apparently wrote a bunch of the Rhodan titles and I have a couple more of his around here. However, at the moment, I’m thinking that I'll probably give those a miss and stick with the Scheer ones.

The most memorable thing about this book was the opening "letter" from Forry Rhodan. Forry was Forrest J. Ackerman, who contributed imaginary “fan letters/editorials” to some of the early books in the series. I'll quote a brief passage that made me arch an eyebrow and laugh. In speaking of Perry Rhodan, the letter reads: "He is a true super-Homo Sapiens, the representative of the Man of the Future, to show our present day Hippies, long haired defeatists, and their friends that the future of Earth is in the stars, not in drugs or in plain sex and pleasure!"


As a long-haired scientist myself, I thought this was laying it on a little thick. I guess Forry wasn’t a fan of the hippie movement.

20 comments:

Cloudia said...

Interesting! Politics and personal views are often expressed in the pulpit of fiction. Good luck with the work labors

James Reasoner said...

I read the first 25 or so Ace paperbacks, in order, and enjoyed them to varying degrees, but it's been at least 15 years since I read one and I doubt if I'll ever get around to doing so again.

oscar case said...

I don't think Forry was too far off in his letter. I don't recall reading any of these books.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I steer clear of series. Afraid to sink so much time into one author.

Shadow said...

Nope, he surely doesn't like hippies, hee heee hee

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, indeed, although not always so blatantly.

James, Yeah, I think the time for me to really enjoy these are past.

Oscar, like any other human movement, the hippie movement was complex, with some good and some bad. I certainly have the long hair, though.

Patti, there is definitely a story arc in these books. they're not quite standalones, and that might be part of the reason I didn't enjoy this one so much.

Shadow, Well, he didn't at least. I wonder if he ever changed his mind.

David Cranmer said...

3000 books! I would be intimidated to even begin a series of that magnitude.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, I'm with David. I didn't know German writers were so prolific. Half the population seems to have penned one, so to speak. I'd like to sample some of this series.

Charles Gramlich said...

David, well I didn't know it was that long when I started, but I certainly don't plan to read all of them.

Prashant, they're probably worth reading a few.

the walking man said...

dude probably only liked the missionary position as well. I resent books that actually have a good start and lose it 100 pages in. Gah! The writer loses his focus and his reader.

Wait! Hire me. I have no training or experience but I am magnificent, trust me, magnificent, like something you've never seen before, truly stupendous in front of a rom full of impressionable people.

DIOberto said...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Perry Rhodan #11, The Planet of the Dying Sun (1972)
http://perryrhodanreadingproject.blogspot.com.br/2011/05/perry-rhodan-11-planet-of-dying-sun.html
Short summaries, notes, comments, and so forth about my reading the English translation of the German pulp space opera series Perry Rhodan.

Jenny Baranick said...

Looks like Perry Rhodan is going to take the fun out of everything.

jodi said...

Charles-You are my favorite long haired, hippy writer. Did you know that Mark finally chopped off his ponytail?

Erik Donald France said...

That is a pretty saucy letter. Maybe he was "just being playful" . . .

I do like series, and interconnected books, within the limits of time and space . . .

Good luck interviewing and all ~ !



Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, yes, getting into a book and then having it turn lame is like buying a lemon of a car.

DIOberto, extensive notes. I'll have to check some other entries out.

Jenny, those Germans eh? :)

Jodi, so I may be the last long hair around.

Erik, Forry was a crazy dude from what I understand. Anything is possible.

Riot Kitty said...

No plain sex, eh? Maybe he's just kinky ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

Riot kitty, from what I've heard he was. but who knows for sure

sage said...

Don't apology for not posting--that's also been me. You really do find obscure books and series to explore.

Danny Tagalog said...

Yuck. Sounds like too much admin! Hope the storm has been weathered. . .

Charles Gramlich said...

Sage, one of my pleasures

Danny, its starting to ease up