Scott Beck's Reviews > Handbook for Space Pioneers: A Manual of the Galactic Association

Handbook for Space Pioneers by L. Stephen Wolfe
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M 50x66
's review
Apr 30, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: favourites

I've had my copy of this since the early eighties.

I approached the bookshop, a small child clutching his birthday money, which itself had travelled from England to the colonial backwater of New Zealand courtesy of Her Majesty's Postal Service before being changed from mighty Pounds into rough Nu Zild Dillard's.

The money had been expressly designated for a book or books, a sentiment with which I agreed. There were misgivings about trading my precious cash for the unknown potentialities of an unknown book.

But the first book I saw was this one. Not with the cover pictured above but with bright yellow lettering against a picture of space and a spaceship. I picked it up and flicked through it but I was already hooked. As a 9yr old, what could be cooler than being a space pioneer? And this book would teach me how to do it. I'd already decided.

I made a cursory examination of the bookshop's selections and even trekked up the road to the other bookshop. Even at that young age, I knew it wasn't a great idea to buy the first thing you saw. But eventually I satisfied my urges to be careful and bought the book.

I'm so glad I did.

I devoured it as a kid, reading the stories again and again. It satisfied my preteen imagination and pointed me towards other science fiction.

I rediscovered it at about 14 years old. I didn't realise at the time but it's an excellent study of geography and the way in which environments shape societies. a great companion to Social Studies and Geography. The descriptions of the Poseidons in particular blended with aspects of the Heinleins I'd recently discovered in a heady masturbatory mix that has probably affected my sexuality on a lifelong scale.

Time went on, I went off to university and took a pile of books with me. Inevitably I discovered marijuana and spent many stoned hours rereading of alien world's.

Recently I saw it on a friend's bookshelf and was quite amazed. Even thirty years after purchase, I can still discuss minute details of the text and the different planets.

The ideas in the book have stayed with me for a long time and will last a lifetime. Everybody has some things that are just 'special to them and this book is one of mine.
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03/19/2016 marked as: read

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