Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Under The Sea

The Subsea Academy Trilogy : Undersea Quest, Fleet & City

These three books are a somewhat different form of juvenile SF.  The hero, Jim Eden isn’t a true misfit, he’s more in the mold of “Young Scientist” like Tom Swift.  He’s at the Sub-Sea Academy and gets kicked out on bogus charges, his uncle has disappeared and then even more adventures occur.  Jim’s trilogy of adventures are in Undersea Quest, Undersea Fleet, and Undersea City.  I actually only read one of these in my youth.  I found out it was a trilogy later on and collected and read the other two books. 
While these books don’t fit entirely into the theme I have been writing about they do have interesting aspects to them. 
First off, they explore the oceans, not space.  I think for a lot of sf fans skin-diving, Jacques Cousteau’s adventures, and other aspects of underwater activity became a substitute for going into space.  SF authors did that too.  Arthur C. Clarke wrote a whole bunch of books on diving both fiction and not. 
The other interesting part of this is that the books are written by Frederick Pohl, and Jack Williamson.  Two of the giants of early sf.  Frederick Pohl (Brooklyn Tech) was everything in sf from writer, fan, editor, member of the futurians, you name it.  And Jack Williamson is a writer that has many great books to his credit. 
Yet here they are writing juvenile sf.  This, perhaps, buttresses my opinion that juvenile sf is one of the core aspects of sf.  And current authors still write to that aspect and audience.  But one of the problems with current sf is that much of that audience is being lost.  To video games, etc.  Maybe they are still in the world of sf, but one of my tenets is that there is a big difference between written sf and visual sf. 
Something I will go into in a future post. 
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