#11 – John W. Campbell and the Golden Age of Sci-Fi

#23 – Overpopulation and Environmental Collapse A Reader's History of Science Fiction

In the 60s and 70s, awareness of environmental issues was rising, and that was reflected in the New Wave of science fiction. Of particular note were overpopulation and pollution (leading to widespread environmental collapse). In this episode, we explore the highlights of this subgenre. Book recommendation: Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner Other books mentioned: Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi Paolo Bacigalupi interview on The Windup Girl
  1. #23 – Overpopulation and Environmental Collapse
  2. #22 – Nuclear War
  3. #21 – Apocalypse How?
  4. Writer's History #1 – Max Hawthorne Interview
  5. #20 – Philip K. Dick

John W. Campbell was the controversial longtime editor of Astounding Science Fiction who single-handedly directed the course of science fiction in the 1940s, a time that is not called the “golden age of sci-fi.” However, I argue the golden age continued through the 1950s as writers who got their start under Campbell began publishing on their own.

Book recommendation: Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement.

Robert Silverberg on the golden age.
The Internet Speculative Fiction Database’s “Most-Viewed Short Fiction.”
Cory Doctorow on Campbell.
My essay on “The Cold Equations.”

Other books mentioned:
The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle

Check out this episode!

About Alex R. Howe

I'm a full-time astrophysicist and a part-time science fiction writer.
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