Beyond Apollo [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Barry N. Malzberg
eBook Category: Science Fiction
eBook Description: A two-man mission to Venus fails and is aborted; when it returns, the Captain is missing and the other astronaut, Harry M. Evans, is unable to explain what has happened. Or, conversely, he has too many explications; his journal of the expedition--compiled in the mental institution to which NASA has embarrassedly committed him--offers contradictory stories: he murdered the Captain, mad Venusian invaders murdered the Captain, the Captain vanished, no one was murdered and the Captain has returned in Evans' guise ... as the explanations pyramid and as the supervising psychiatrist's increasingly desperate efforts to get a straight story fail, it becomes apparent that Evans's madness and his inability to explain what happened are expressions of humanity's incompetence at the enormity of space exploration. The novel, published by Random House as its inaugural work in a proposed new science fiction program, was controversial and became even more so when it won the first John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel. Many felt that the award, regardless of the novel's accomplishment, was an insult to Campbell (1910-1971), the great editor of Astounding Science Fiction Magazine whose name had always been synonymous with the wonder and complexity of space exploration. Campbell, some argued, would never have published a novel given an award in his name; others responded that Campbell had always honored controversy and the expansion of familiar means of thought, a category into which Beyond Apollo certainly fell. Beyond Apollo has been in and out of print in the thirty years since its publication but an edition has always been available in the USA or in one or more of the 12 European and Scandinavian countries to which it was sold.
eBook Publisher: RosettaBooks
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2002
5 Reader Ratings:
I loved the Captain in my own way, although I knew that he was insane, the poor bastard. This was only partly his fault: one must consider the conditions. The conditions were intolerable. This will never work out.
In the novel I plan to write of the voyage, the Captain will be a tall, grim man with piercing eyes who has no fear of space. "Onward!" I hear him shout. "Fuck the bastards. Fuck control base; they're only a bunch of pimps for the politicians anyway. We'll make the green planet yet or plunge into the sun. Venus forever! To Venus! Shut off all the receivers now. Take no messages. Listen to nothing they have to say; they only want to lie about us to keep the administrators content. Venus or death! Death or Venus! No fear, no fear!"
He has also had, in the book, a vigorous and satisfying sex life, which lends power and credence to his curses and his very tight analysis of the personalities at control. "We will find our humanity under the gases of Venus," the Captain will say, and then the sounds of the voyage overwhelm us and momentarily he says nothing more. I sit with hands clasped, awaiting further word.
The novel, when I write it, should find a large commercial outlet. People still love to read stories of space, and here for the first time they will learn the sensational truth....
Copyright © 1972 by Barry N. Malzberg