Public Domain Science Fiction Pulps Library

The following suggestions for reading/writing lessons based on science fiction pulp publications were authored by a former NASA propulsion engineering manager by the name of Norm Chaffee. Norm's love of scifi pulps stimuated his interest in space leading to his NASA career. Here is his account along with his suggestions on how pulps might be employed to teach English rhetoric:

For reading exercises, I think selecting some of the older (and perhaps newer) science fiction classic short stories for reading and analyzing would be a great exercise - stuff by Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Paul Anderson, etc. and those scifi authors who were writing in the 50's and 60's and even later.

I remember as a young teen going to the drugstore with my paper route money each weekend to buy two or three of the "pulp" science fiction monthly magazines and just inhaling them! Were they great fiction? - mostly not, but they were very interesting and exciting and sure did stimulate the imagination, and I was READING!.

I think today you could teach a literature course in which science fiction "classics" of the present day (of a short story genre) could be selected as the focus of a 4 or 6 week literature study module. The instructor would use them to involve the students in a critical evaluation of the author's skills in establishing a plot line, developing believable characters, creating good dialog, etc. I'll tell you I think that many students will enjoy that exercise more than reading The House of Seven Gables and similar books. It'd be fun to do a search of contemporary science fiction literature in the short story genre to see what is available that could serve as the focus of such a writing class module. (Note: Some public domain candidates are included in the Drug Free Reading Library.)

Below are a few of the science fiction public domain pulps included in the Drug Free Reading Library which. are candidates for applying Norm's suggestions

Science Fiction Pulps for Developmental Reading

Click here for Public Domain Science Fiction Pulps Content Resources

(Suggestion: Today's developmental students often work full time jobs as well as are involved with family responsibilities. Their available time is limited. The DEH saves time in offering a digital DVD as well as a web-based library. Language skills instructors need not dispatch students to school libraries for an "on your own" novel selection. Both the on-line website or the DVD library of the DEH offer an alternate approach. The authors reviewed hundreds of "on-line" public domain novels [ficition and non-fiction], pulps, treatises, and other works. These are categorized for student review. Rather than a journey to the library, a single mouse-click opens a book for cursory review. The technique gleans books in less time and more thoroughly than the library visit.)

Background Discussion

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Science Fiction Pulps

Here are some science fiction public domain pulp novels and stories. Click on the work's name for an .htm version or on the .pdf link for an Adobe Acrobat version. Also, there may be, in some cases, a .txt version for the text to audio reader and Bookshelf applications. (Note: Either click here or install the readability program "flesh.exe" by going to the flesh readability website to measure the difficulty of each novel.)

1. Science Fiction: The Ultimate Weapon , (.pdf) ; The Undersea Tube, (.pdf); The Stars My Brothers , (.pdf) ; The Next Logical Step , (.pdf) ; The Penal Cluster , (.pdf) ; The Rat Racket, (.pdf) ; Starman's Quest , (.pdf) ; ; Pandemic , (.pdf) ; The Door Through Space , (.pdf); The Toy Shop , (.pdf) ; The Day Time Stopped Moving , (.pdf) ; The Black Star Passes , (.pdf) ; The Citadel, (.pdf); Wanted Seven Fearless Engineers, (.pdf); Flight Through Tomorrow, (.pdf); Choice of Miracles, (.pdf); Triplanetary, (.pdf);



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