John W. Campbell's Golden
Age of Science Fiction
Using the voices of SFs leading writers, DMZ spared neither praise nor criticism in a richly detailed portrait of the legendary editor, John W. Campbell, Jr. The centerpiece of John W. Campbell's Golden Age of Science Fiction, is James Gunn's classic 1971 film, Lunch With John Campbell, while the balance of the piece is almost entirely composed of additional primary source material. This massive DVD tells the important and fascinating story of SFs maturation, and allows for a completely flexible presentation, making it ideal for educators. It is also a must have for collectors and SF completists.
Read a review by Paul Di Filippo of this new DVD here.
Read Trent Walters' review of this DVD here: "Who Is John W. Campbell, Jr.: Dastardly Villain? Sanctified Savior? or Just a Human Being Devoted to Science and Reason?"
An excerpt of Di Filippo's review:
"At the core of this long, multifaceted production is a relatively small seed. And that seed is a short documentary created in 1971. During that year, James Gunn, noted SF writer and critic, as well as professor at the University of Kansas, managed to capture on film John Campbell conducting a 'working lunch' with two writers, Harry Harrison and Gordon Dickson. Campbell was then barely into his sixties and still serving as the editor of Analog magazine, the renamed successor to Astounding, where he had assumed the helm in 1937, and Harrison and Dickson were pitching a concept for a novel. Gunn bookended the film with a brief opener and closer conducted by himself."
You will find the interviews crisp, intimate and beautifully photographed. They feature some of the genres leading figures: Brian Aldiss, Isaac Asimov, Greg Bear, Ben Bova, Hal Clement, John Clute, Tom Disch, Samuel R. Delany, Philip José Farmer, James Gunn, Phil Klass (and/or William Tenn), Barry Malzberg, Michael Moorcock, Frederik Pohl, Robert Sawyer, Dr. Stanley Schmidt, Robert Silverberg, Bruce Sterling, Jack Williamson, and Heinlein expert William Patterson. Sparks fly as contrasting points of view are presented.
DMZ also put together a text
supplement for this video,
available here. Teachers and scholars will find this 120-page document very
useful, as it contains the full text of the interviews and lunch with discussion questions.
Also see the new DVD imprint
of the Literature of Science Fiction Lecture Series.
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