Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Slicing Deeper Into The Free Science Fiction Classic ' The City At The World's End' By Edmond Hamilton For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

Grab it Right

Imagine growing up in the 1950's midwestern America small town U.S.A. and suddenly finding that right above your heads an atomic weapon has gone off. Suddenly there's a blinding flash, and your someplace else. Not simply some place else in space but time. This is the story of a small town and its dawning relization that they're entire existence has been thrust deep into time way into the future.
The text and dialogue are quick and quite a two step of science fiction. There's lots going on here with the main male character dealing with not only the implications of what's been happening but a fight for survival as the town itself tries to cope with the dawning revelations that something extraordinary has taken place. Earth is covered with acre after acre of strangely abandoned domed cities. The sense of loneliness and weirdness in these chapters is high pulp and the novel shares many instances of things in common with William Hope Hodgeson's the Night Lands. Earth is in the throws of the far future, this is a similar location to that which is hinted at in H.G. Wells The Time Machine, the Earth has cooled, this is a dying world. There's lots of weird bits in this one for example. Mankind has spread among the stars and has been genetically modified to live in the vast interstellar distances. The aliens are in fact us.
These aliens however have far more in common with the so called primitives then they do with the citizens of the Galactic Empire. The story is great from a post apocalpytic perspective because it allows on to really get into quite a bit of cross over with out actually giving up the fight for survival on a dying Earth. The vast unexplored cities are perfect mega dungeon locations and are great for putting whatever little twisted creations you might want to throw at your players as a DM.

I remain a huge Edmond Hamilton fan and there are some issues with this book. There are plenty of 1950's mores and norms here and that has to be taken into account. This novel is ground breaking in the sense that there is a strong female star ship captain and though she falls for the male lead there's more behind this then simple sexism. 

Hamilton and Leigh Brackett are two of my all time favorite writers from the age of pulps and there's a wealth of material that can be pulled and mined from The City At The World's End. 

Edmond Moore Hamilton


I'am a huge fan of Edmond Hamiliton and he's a great pulp writer in the best of the Lovecraftian circle's tradition.
You can read more right over HERE
Wiki goes into a bit more of his background : 

Edmond Moore Hamilton (October 21, 1904 – February 1, 1977) was an American author of science fiction stories and novels during the mid-twentieth century. Born in Youngstown, Ohio, he was raised there and in nearbyNew Castle, Pennsylvania. Something of a child prodigy, he graduated from high school and started college (Westminster CollegeNew Wilmington, Pennsylvania) at the age of 14, but washed out at 17.

Edmond is credited[citation needed] as the author of the first hardcover compilation of what would eventually come to be known as the science fiction genre, The Horror on The Asteroid and Other Tales of Planetary Horror (1936). The book compiles the following stories: "The Horror on the Asteroid", “The Accursed Galaxy", "The Man Who Saw Everything" ("The Man With the X-Ray Eyes"), "The Earth-Brain", "The Monster-God of Mamurth", and "The Man Who Evolved".
His career as a science fiction writer began with the publication of the short story "The Monster God of Mamurth", which appeared in the August 1926 issue of the classic magazine of alternative fiction, Weird Tales. Hamilton quickly became a central member of the remarkable group of Weird Tales writers. 

assembled by editor Farnsworth Wright, that included H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. Hamilton would publish 79 works of fiction in Weird Tales between 1926 and 1948, making him one of the most prolific of the magazine's contributors (only Seabury Quinn and August Derleth appeared more frequently). Hamilton became a friend and associate of several Weird Tales veterans, including E. Hoffmann Price and Otis Adelbert Kline; most notably, he struck up a 20-year friendship with close contemporary Jack Williamson, as Williamson records in his 1984 autobiography Wonder's Child. In the late 1930s Weird Tales printed several striking fantasy tales by Hamilton, most notably "He That Hath Wings" (July 1938), one of his most popular and frequently-reprinted pieces.

Through the late 1920s and early '30s Hamilton wrote for all of the SF pulp magazines then publishing, and contributedhorror and thriller stories to various other magazines as well. He was very popular as an author of space opera, a sub-genrehe created along with E.E. "Doc" Smith. His story "The Island of Unreason" (Wonder Stories, May 1933) won the first Jules Verne Prize as the best SF story of the year (this was the first SF prize awarded by the votes of fans, a precursor of the later Hugo Awards). 

On December 31, 1946, Hamilton married fellow science fiction author and screen writer Leigh Brackett in San Gabriel, CA, and moved with her to Kinsman, Ohio. Afterward he would produce some of his best work, including his novels The Star of Life (1947), The Valley of Creation (1948), City at World's End (1951[4]), and The Haunted Stars (1960). In this more mature phase of his career, Hamilton moved away from the romantic and fantastic elements of his earlier fiction to create some unsentimental and realistic stories, such as "What's It Like Out There?" (Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec. 1952), his single most frequently-reprinted and anthologized work.
Though Hamilton and Leigh Brackett worked side by side for a quarter-century, they rarely shared the task of authorship; their single formal collaboration, Stark and the Star Kings, would not appear in print until 2005. In the early 1960s, it has been speculated that when Brackett had temporarily abandoned SF for screenwriting, Hamilton did an uncredited revision and expansion of two early Brackett stories, "Black Amazon of Mars" and "Queen of the Martian Catacombs"—revised texts were published as the novellas People of the Talisman and The Secret of Sinharat (1964).

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