|The fifth and possibly|
largest Worldcon to that date
(Image via Worldcon.org)
The fifth Worldcon came to Philadelphia during a time of change and optimism for the city. The local baseball team, the Athletics, was in the process of snapping a multi-decade losing streak. The peace-time economy was providing new opportunities and prosperity to the diverse city. And the Philadelphia Free Library was experiencing an event of high psychokinetic activity that would later become known as the ‘Philadelphia Mass Turbulence of 1947.'
|Left to right, Heinlein, DeCamp and |
Asimov in at the Philadelphia Naval
Yards in 1944. (Image via Wikipedia)
|A classic that is a product|
of its time.
(Image via Wikipedia)
Canadian expatriate A.E. Van Vogt had moved to Hollywood in 1946, where he edited together his popular Slan stories into a novel that is an influential classic today. It is hard to imagine that it would have failed to make the Hugo shortlist had there been one, but since it won a Retro Hugo a few years back (for the serialized version in 1941), it is not eligible to be a contender for the 1947 Retro Hugo.
Titus Groan — the first of the Gormenghast novels — is a singularly impressive book. The setting is richly imagined, evocative, moody and alive. The language is complex and nuanced (if a little florid and rococo at times). The plot is ponderous, but well realized, and despite being unfinished because of Peake’s death, ultimately satisfying.