When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

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When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby Omphalos » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:13 am

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Collectively the two books by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer, individually titled When Worlds Collide and After Worlds Collide tell the story of a mission to save a small fragment of humanity from a planetary threat zooming towards Earth from the depths of space. Written in the 1930s, the books were crafted pretty well, and can be evaluated passably from a modern perspective. Part of the reason for this is that unlike many of their contemporaries they are not too off scientifically. The catastrophe and situations that arise from it were spectacularly described and very realistic feeling, the characters were all intelligent, capable and well described, and for the most part the science was pretty well done. But the books also displayed a strong tendency towards melodrama, and at every turn there was something about the female and non-Caucasian characters that just rubbed the wrong way. Wylie and Balmer did take pains to resolve some of the unfairness and prejudice before the books ended though, and considering the prevailing attitudes of the 1930s, I would have to say that they went as far as they could. There are a hundred little things I could point to in these books to prove why they are substandard and not as good as modern examples of catastrophe and post-apocalyptic literature, but the fact is that on the balance they hold up much better than lots of other modern examples. Wylie and Balmer were trail blazers. Modern authors and screenwriters are still mining these stories for fodder for their own works, and there is very good reason why; the story in these books is solid and the catastrophic elements are well constructed. Despite being dated, these books are winners...Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Re: When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby SandChigger » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:44 am

Nice, personal review. :) I saw and loved the movie version of When... as a kid and later found a copy of the book in the school library. I'm pretty sure I read it, but the movie has left the stronger impression.


(By the way, Safari shows some encoding errors with single & double quotes in the After... part of the review page. May not show in a Windows browser, tho.)
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

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Re: When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby Omphalos » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:17 pm

Hmmm. Must want me to use a <br> tag instead of closing the previous one and opening up a new one. Ill look at it later.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Re: When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby SandChigger » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:05 pm

Oh. The only problem I noticed was with the quotes. I've been trying to remember to use variants like & r s q u o ; (all squooshed together) in stuff I code by hand. I think the blog-, forum- & wiki-wares automatically convert anyway.
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

"Politics is never simple, like the sand chigger of Arrakis, one is rarely truly free of its bite."

Arrakeen is an unawakened ghola.
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Re: When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby Omphalos » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:31 pm

Ah. That's because these a-holes who write the code for all of these browsers refuse to work together on recognizing fonts. Firefox seems to be the worst. Ill put copyright symbols up in my book reviews, and everytime they update the browser the fucking thing forgets what those symbols are and gives me something like "&Lp#;" or something like that.

Its the fonts on your browser. Trust me.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Re: When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby SandChigger » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:44 pm

But ... why do the apostrophes and double-quotes look OK in the first half of the review? ;)

�They all died a million years ago. But where did they go to die?�

�Who cares?� Eliot continued his argument. �Can a ghost live a million years? I don�t believe they can. Come on in, Tony. They can�t even haunt us.

How does that look? I see lots of diamonds with question marks inside 'em. ???
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

"Politics is never simple, like the sand chigger of Arrakis, one is rarely truly free of its bite."

Arrakeen is an unawakened ghola.
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Re: When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby Omphalos » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:34 am

SandChigger wrote:But ... why do the apostrophes and double-quotes look OK in the first half of the review? ;)


Probably because they are in different fonts. I write those reviews in Word on my laptop, archive them and make edits in Wordpad from my desktop (which does not have any microsoft products on it), and then sometimes tweak them on the OBR or the blog interface (two different web pages that are mated), sometimes only changing quotation marks or apostrophes because they come up as codes on the blog. On top of that, sometimes I tweak the blog in Firefox, and sometimes in MSIE. They all have different default fonts, so its a pretty sure bet that those makrs are all in different fonts. Because the correct symbols are appearing at the top when you view the final product, I suspect that it's because I changed those marks at the top of the OBR entry so that they would appear correctly when it cross posted to the blog page. After all, its only the first paragraph or so that gets cross posted.

Confusing, no? It's taken me a while to get it myself.

SandChigger wrote:
�They all died a million years ago. But where did they go to die?�

�Who cares?� Eliot continued his argument. �Can a ghost live a million years? I don�t believe they can. Come on in, Tony. They can�t even haunt us.

How does that look? I see lots of diamonds with question marks inside 'em. ???


I see outline squares there
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Re: When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby Freakzilla » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:46 am

I see black diamonds with question marks inside. (Google Chrome)
They were destroyed because they lied pretentiously. Have no fear that my wrath
will fall upon you because of your innocent mistakes.

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Re: When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby inhuien » Sat May 01, 2010 11:23 am

It was all good with Opera.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

-Rimmer’s farewell speech
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Re: When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby Omphalos » Sat May 01, 2010 3:44 pm

I wish they would get their act together with fonts. Seem so simple, doesn't it?
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Re: When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby SandChigger » Sat May 01, 2010 5:09 pm

It's usually only a problem with the single and double quotes and special symbols, like those used in mathematical equations, Greek letters, etc. If you use HTML equivalents, there should be no problem.

Plus, that frees up the straight versions of both single and double quotes for use in a page in Javascript and PHP code. ;)
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

"Politics is never simple, like the sand chigger of Arrakis, one is rarely truly free of its bite."

Arrakeen is an unawakened ghola.
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Re: When & After Worlds Collide, by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balme

Postby Omphalos » Sat May 01, 2010 7:29 pm

SandChigger wrote:It's usually only a problem with the single and double quotes and special symbols, like those used in mathematical equations, Greek letters, etc. If you use HTML equivalents, there should be no problem.

Plus, that frees up the straight versions of both single and double quotes for use in a page in Javascript and PHP code. ;)


I know. Doesn't make it any less annoying.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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