Generation Spaceship Short Story Review: Chad Oliver’s “The Wind Blows Free” (1957)

Initial note: This is the inaugural post in a series of vintage generation ship short fiction reviews. You are welcome to read and discuss along with me–all of the stories I’ll review will be available online–as I explore humanity’s visions of generational voyage!

Next up: Clifford D. Simak’s “Spacebred Generations” (variant title: “Target Generation”) in the August 1953 issue of Science-Fiction Plus (Internet Archive link).

I’ve compiled a helpful list on the theme.

(Bob Layzell’s cover for the 1980 edition of A Sea of Space (1970), ed. William F. Nolan)

4.5/5 (Very Good)

Chad Oliver’s “The Wind Blows Free” (1957) first appeared in the July 1957 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, ed. Anthony Boucher (Internet Archive link). Despite the simple premise, Oliver’s powerful delivery and imagery reaffirmed my love for generation ship stories and their common tropes: generational change, the science of survival, the architecture of arks Continue reading

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XXII (Cooper + Wilhelm + Kornbluth + Merril)

I was so impressed with C. M. Kornbluth’s masterful collection The Explorers (1954) that I picked up a copy his 1958 collection A Mile Beyond the Moon (I own the hardback first edition but I prefer Powers’ cover below).  Also, recently inspired (again) to read more 1960s works by female authors I bought a collection of three novellas by Merril and a 1963 collection of shorts by Kate Wilhelm.  Wilhem and Merril aren’t always top-notch but worth a read (and in Wilhelm’s case, a second chance — I enjoyed Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (1977) but I’m still not convinced it was Hugo/Nebula quality work).

Cooper’s Seed of Light (1958) is considered one of his more mature works — to the chagrin of some of his fans who prefer his more “pulpish” works — but my obsession with generation ships was my real motivation to add it to my collection.

One short story, a novel, and one of the novellas take place on generation ships!

A nice haul — a mixture of lesser known works by some famous figures.

Enjoy (the covers)!

1. Daughters of Earth (1968), Judith Merril (MY REVIEW)

(Robert Foster’s cover for Continue reading