Home > Commentary, Quotable Quotes > Quotable Quote: Did you ever read what they call Science Fiction?

Quotable Quote: Did you ever read what they call Science Fiction?

In a letter to his literary agent H N Swanson (14 March 1953), Raymond Chandler wrote:

“Did you ever read what they call Science Fiction? It’s a scream. It is written like this:

I checked out with K19 on Aldabaran III, and stepped out through the crummalite hatch on my 22 Model Sirus Hardtop. I cocked the timejector in secondary and waded through the bright blue manda grass. My breath froze into pink pretzels. I flicked on the heat bars and the Brylls ran swiftly on five legs using their other two to send out crylon vibrations. The pressure was almost unbearable, but I caught the range on my wrist computer through the transparent cysicites. I pressed the trigger. The thin violet glow was icecold against the rust-colored mountains. The Brylls shrank to half an inch long and I worked fast stepping on them with the poltex. But it wasn’t enough. The sudden brightness swung me around and the Fourth Moon had already risen. I had exactly four seconds to hot up the disintegrator and Google had told me it wasn’t enough. He was right.

They pay brisk money for this crap?

Ray”
 

Clearly Chandler was not impressed – which is a pity: this would have made the basis of a fine SF tale, especially in the hands of such a brilliant writer.
 

Taken from Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler

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  1. December 29, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I’m impressed with the sci fi vocabulary. I’ve read solicitor’s letters that have made as much sense to me.

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