Monday, February 14, 2005

Also, today I was at Barnes & Noble, puttering around and having coffee, when I happened upon a new bio of Jack Parsons.

Strange Angel--by George Pendle, ISBN # 015100997X

Seems to be a little bit better written than John Carter's Sex and Rockets, going deeper into his childhood and literary interests, such as early sci-fi pulp mag "Amazing Stories", as well as the temper of the times he was living in. Indeed, Pendle even does a good job of making rocket science romantic and mystical (as it certainly must have been to Parsons.)

On this perusal, Strange Angel seems like a good read, with lots of background info and references to support the story. I am left with the feeling that I definitely want more than a quick skim of this book at the B & N coffee shop.

For those of you who don't know who Jack W. Parsons was, he was a rocket scientist at Pasadena's Jet Propulsion Labratory in the 40s and early 50s, when he died in a mysterious accidental explosion in his home.

He was also a Thelemite who wrote a book (which I have yet to read, unfortunately) entitled Freedom is a Two Edged Sword. He turned his home into an early hippie commune, that was much talked about in the press.

He hobb-knobbed with the sci-fi intelligentsia, authors such as Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Jack Williamson, and A.E. Van Vogt. It was his association with Elrond Hubbard, himself a pulp
fiction author at the time and the creator of Dianetics, that led to some interesting misadventures. That is all I'll tell you. Go google it, you won't be sorry.

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