[PW] Quote: The Golden Age of science fiction is twelve

d-lien University of Minnesota d-lien at umn.edu
Fri Oct 16 16:48:26 PDT 2020

I can't predate 1972 so far (let alone 1957) but another 1970s
citation of some interest is by Baird Searles in his "Films" column in
much heard expression is 'the golden age of science fiction' (more or
less meaning the 1940s.  Some disillustioned science fiction prson
(could it have been Terry Carr?)  said that 'the golden age of science
fiction in twelve.'  I do not take this as a totally pejorative

Dennis Lien // d-lien at umn.edu

On Wed, Oct 14, 2020 at 2:29 PM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Adherents of the science fiction (SF) genre debate whether a Golden
> Age of creativity and exploration occurred during the 1930's, 1940's,
> 1950's, or 1960's. A fan who was asked to name the years of this
> magnificent era responded by cleverly reinterpreting the query and
> presenting the age of a child experiencing SF with fresh directness:
> The Golden Age of science fiction is twelve.
> Variant statements use the age thirteen or fourteen.
> The Quote Investigator website now has an entry on this topic:
> https://quoteinvestigator.com/2020/10/14/golden-age/
> The earliest evidence I could locate appeared in a book introduction
> by Terry Carr dated June 9, 1972. Carr credited a fan named Peter
> Graham. Knowledgeable SF fans subscribe to this list. Earlier
> published evidence or earwitness testimony would be welcome.
> In 1978 Carr stated that he heard the quotation from Graham circa 1960.
> In 1998 SF author and critic Thomas M. Disch stated that he heard the
> saying from Carr in 1964:
> In August 1997 editor Gary Farber posted a message about the saying to
> the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.sf.written. Farber credited Graham and
> suggested that the remark appeared in the fanzine “VOID” circa 1957.
> Unfortunately, Farber did not provide a precise citation.
> Scans of the fanzine “VOID” are currently available on “The Fanac: Fan
> History Project” website here.
> http://www.fanac.org/fanzines/VOID/
> I accessed the scans of issues 9, 10, 22 part 3, 23, 24, 26, and 29
> and used OCR (optical character recognition). I searched the resultant
> text and did not find the quotation. I grew tired and stopped. It is
> possible my search was inadequate, and I missed the quotation. Also,
> OCR can be faulty. Hence, searching VOID or other fanzines would be
> helpful.
> Garson O'Toole
> QuoteInvestigator.com
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