John W. Campbell's Golden Age of Science Fiction

Utilizing the voices of SF’s leading writers, we spare neither praise nor criticism in a richly detailed portrait of the legendary editor, John W. Campbell, Jr. The centerpiece of “John W. Campbell's Golden Age of Science Fiction,” is James Gunn’s classic 1971 film, “Lunch With John Campbell,” while the balance of the piece is almost entirely composed of additional primary source material. This massive DVD tells the important and fascinating story of SF’s maturation, and allows for a completely flexible presentation, making it ideal for educators. It is also a “must have” for collectors and SF completists.

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Campbell was famous for his meetings with authors. Harry Harrison and Gordon Dickson fence with the great editor, relying only on their quick wits and a fifth of scotch.

You will find our interviews crisp, intimate and beautifully photographed. They feature some of the genre’s leading figures: Brian Aldiss, Isaac Asimov, Greg Bear, Ben Bova, Hal Clement, John Clute, Tom Disch, Samuel R. Delany, Philip José Farmer, James Gunn, Phil Klass (and/or William Tenn), Barry Malzberg, Michael Moorcock, Frederik Pohl, Robert Sawyer, Stan Schmidt, Robert Silverberg, Bruce Sterling, Jack Williamson and Heinlein expert, William Patterson. Sparks do fly as we present contrasting points of view.

Even writers not normally associated with Campbell could not escape his influence. Here, Brian Aldiss comes clean.

We have tried to used the interactive capabilities and the stunning image quality of this wide screen DVD to its best affect. Special features in this release include: modular and alternative playback, a selection of Campbell letters, a Campbell editorial, a slide show of Astounding covers, video of an actual Dean Drive in operation, Barry Malzberg’s reminiscences over selected Golden Age Astounding issues, a bibliography, contributor bios, “hot links” to various web resources, and a study guide.

Hal Clement (Harry Stubbs) describes Campbell’s awesome demeanor and explains how he exercised his editorial authority.

"John W. Campbell's Golden Age of Science Fiction" is the pilot program for a projected series of Interactive DVDs on the history of Science Fiction. If you are interested in ordering a copy, it is available, in both a institutional and home editions. If you want to know more, a whole lot more, feel free to download our text supplement, below. It is a 126 page e-book, with full transcripts of the DVD, plus study questions, contributor bios, an extensive glossary, two bibliographies, and a brilliant introductory essay by Astounding writer Katherine MacLean.

Campbell Links

Download the text supplement (356 kb pdf document) for “John W. Campbell’s Golden Age of Science Fiction".
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Analog is still alive and well with Stan Schmidt at the reins.
Here is a copy of John Campbell’s obituary from the New York Times.
An exhaustive bibliography of Campbell from the fabulous SF Site.,_Jr.
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