Jake Arnott's "The House of Rumour"
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Author:  RobertPearson [ Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Jake Arnott's "The House of Rumour"

Hi all, I haven't been on the board here for quite some time, but expect to be back more often going forward.

Ran across this extensive review of the The House of Rumour which doesn't come up in searches as ever having been discussed here before. It appears to have some commonalities with The Astounding, the Amazing and the Unknown. Excerpt:

[Biographical sketch of Jack Parsons]:
He was also befriended by Robert A. Heinlein, whose own pecadillos included a taste for casual nudism and whose association with Parsons likely influenced the stories “Waldo” and “Magic, Inc.” (hadn't heard THAT association before).

For the scholar and fan of science fiction, the novel is impressively detailed, though Arnott rather flaunts the meticulousness of his research. This is certainly an author that knows the modern genre well, from its Golden Age scientism to its New Wave skepticism. Most amusing is his portrait of Hubbard, a reptilian manipulator and “verbal illusionist” whose career as a spinner of pulp yarns led inexorably to the Church of Scientology: “He took Jack Parsons’ arcane utopia of rocketry and the occult, and transformed it into a grotesque space-opera.” Heinlein is evoked as a complex mix of radical leftist and quasi-fascist impulses, and the meetings of his Mañana Literary Society convey a charge of nostalgia for a lost era of high-tech romanticism. In Arnott’s depiction, SF’s utopianism is both a lure and a cheat: it promises an unfettered future in space yet conspires with earthly power to produce annihilating superweapons. The corrupt, proto-Nazi Thule Society, whose membership included Rudolf Hess, is the dystopian twin of Heinlein’s whimsical salon, a “lethal parody of all [SF’s] childhood dreams of flight and space travel.”

Has anyone read this book? I'm getting a copy shortly.

Author:  mostlyclassics [ Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jake Arnott's "The House of Rumour"

Interesting! Added to my shopping list.

Thanks for finding this, RobertPearson.

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