raymond z gallun and the old solar system

A classic, thoughtful writer of the Golden Age, Gallun is hard to compare.  The haunting splendour of his best work is comparable to that of van Vogt, though perhaps more reflective.  Anyhow, Gallun's contribution to the OSS is greater than van Vogt's because of the greater number of important OSS stories which Gallun has left us.

Harlei:  I'd especially recommend Seeds of the Dusk and Old Faithful.

Zendexor:  I'm going to read those two again, certainly, but the same goes for quite a few of the others, even the unwieldy Passport to Jupiter which I found a bit heavy going...  it's nevertheless a powerful tale, one which I want to like.  That "wanting to like" the second-rank tales is generated by those first-rank Gallun stories which require no effort to like: above all, Seeds of the Dusk.

That, in my opinion, is his best story.  The best of many good ones (and indeed one of my all-time favourite science fiction stories), it is one of the few important attempts to portray intelligent plants, and it sheds an unforgettable light on both the far future Earth and the far future Mars.

matching the worlds to the stories

MercuryPassport to Jupiter (some scenes)

Earth:    (deep sea:)  Davy Jones' Ambassador;     (far future:) Seeds of the Dusk

MoonMagician of Dream Valley

MarsOld Faithful; Seeds of the Dusk; Return of a Legend;
                                      
Passport to Jupiter (some references)

AsteroidsRed Shards on Ceres

Asteroid Progenitor Planet:  see the interesting reference in Prodigal's Aura.

JupiterPassport to Jupiter

IoThe Lotus Engine

GanymedePassport to Jupiter

CometsOld Faithful

Raymond Z Gallun, "Davy Jones' Ambassador" (Astounding Stories, December 1935), "The Lotus Engine" (Super Science Stories, March 1940), "Magician of Dream Valley" (Astounding Science Fiction, October 1938), "Old Faithful" (Astounding Stories, December 1934), "Passport to Jupiter" (Startling Stories, January 1951); "Prodigal's Aura" (Astounding, Astounding, April 1951); "Return of a Legend" (Planet Stories, March 1952); "Seeds of the Dusk" (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1938)

For the "go for broke" attitude of Old Faithful, see Safety Last.

For a reference to an elf-like Mercurian in Derelict, see the CLUFFS page.

Red Planet colonists "going native" are discussed in The New Martians, regarding Gallun's 1952 tale, Return of a Legend.

The Diary entry Dark-Bright Thoughts on the Asteroids discusses Prodigal's Aura alongside Simak's Time And Again.

› Raymond Z Gallun