Monday, November 25, 2013

The Winston Science Fiction Series

Winston came out with these ‘jewels’ of science fiction for the kids (or I should say…the boys) in the fifties and sixties.  They aren’t quite what you would give a kid to read these days which is what makes them that much more special.  The main premise, get a kid out into space (or something alternatively outlandish or un-Earthly), make him face adversity and survive, preferably while being brave, intrepid, heroic, intelligent and strong beyond his years.  
Apart from not giving us girls a fair shake, I just love these stories.  They are a part of another era long gone, that teenage boy dream of going out into space, before it was a reality, and showing us at the same time what a person ’ought’ to be like, forward thinking, smart, strong, brave, and an all around good person, always being selfless and thoughtful, the ideal future human (blah, blah, blah).  Misogyny aside, what a great thing for impressionable kids to aspire to? (In a Leave it to Beaver kind of way...) I really am trying not to be too sarcastic about this, they were, after all, meant to be a good thing. 
I read over a dozen of these books this year and some stories had issues that I thought were very important to consider and discuss (can you imagine some young lads in the fifties and sixties, sitting around and having literary discussions about this?)  I would like to believe that they did.  In the interest of fairness, there were only a few books that were outrightly derisive of girls, for the most part, if there were females in the stories they were a mixed bag of sensible, intelligent women who could hold up under extraordinary circumstances... it just wasn't important to mention it very often (or at all...).  I value these books because they are something special from a period of time where Science fiction was still in it's infancy, and as a series goes, they were very attractive to look at, the covers were all intriguing and very spacey.

Pretty aren't they!

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