A Journey Through Ye-Old Sci-Fi

When we were at the archives, I was shocked to find out what was considered a sci-fi “magazine” back in the day. I expected a magazine much like how they currently are now, and was given a book instead. At first sight, it was anything but a typical magazine, but it did come from an earlier time. I was genuinely confused because it was weird how that’s what passed as a magazine. Pages of straight writing, no images to go along with descriptions and concepts. The book was decently sized too, which makes sense considering that it had multiple articles and stories. I probably wouldn’t read such a thing, but that’s just me.

The archive itself is a different story. Hearing the backstory on how the sci-fi content was acquired was pretty interesting. The generosity one must have to donate their life’s work of collecting is something else. The sci-fi section takes up quite a bit of the archives too. Over 4000 books and “magazines,” a lot of it old too. Just taking in the sight was nice. Some of the books I saw caught my eye, like this one book that talked about the history of gaming (something like that), or another that was on the topic of aliens (yes it sounds generic).

As I looked through some of the many books, I noticed that a lot of them were in very poor condition, likely due to time. I feared that if I so much as poked them, they would just crumble away. They were so wrinkled and…. I guess brownish from old age. It looked kind of decayed in a sense. I also noticed that most of them were all from the same publisher but I don’t exactly remember who, however that isn’t the point. Even if I wasn’t advised not to touch it, I wouldn’t have touched them anyways.

The backstory of the actual archives and the library was interesting as well. I didn’t know that the library used to be below the school, and probably wouldn’t either if I wasn’t told it. It’s a shame that the archives isn’t in a better spot, though it isn’t the college’s fault. It isn’t the best place to properly preserve historical documents and weathered literature. The higher temperature won’t do them any good, and the people with nearby offices suffer too.

My overall experience was at the archives was satisfying to say the least. I learned some interesting facts and got to delve deeper into the history of science fiction. The archive isn’t too big a place, but for what it’s worth, it holds rich history from way before my time. I’m not too fond on most literature, but I can still appreciate as well as see the merit in it. It has to be my specific cup of tea. I patiently await the next time we go back. Maybe I’ll get to skim through some of the books that stood out and caught my eye. That’d be fun to do.

The Historical Archive

I’ve been enrolled in New York City College of Technology on and off for a few years and not until I took English 2575 (Technical Writing) that I had to do a research paper on the history and development of the college. During my research I didn’t discover that the college had an actual archive of collected items from when the college started back in 1870’s. A few weeks prior to visiting the CityTech library to see their Science Fiction section, it never dawns on me that the college actually had one, I just thought it was just another row of books like the rest of the books. I visited the archive this Thursday passed, and the first reaction when walked in was it smell like an old book, but that was before I even picked one up. Other than what was collected in the archive from the college history, the Science Fiction section was the newest collection added in the past year.

The first few minutes of class the librarian (I didn’t write his name down), explained how this amazing Science Fiction collection got to our archive. When we were able view the collection up close, I have seen a few books that I would of love to read just by reading the title of the book. Because time was so limited during our first time visiting the archive, I’ll make sure to write down a few titles that I plan to read. I thought it was very generous of this private collector to bless our college with all these amazing books. I wish that the archive or library itself had more funding to place all this great work in the proper environment to preserve the collection.

During the group work, I was able to look through many version Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine that were publish as old as 1960’s to 2011. The first thing I notice about the copy from 1960’s, the magazines were printed smaller than the traditional size magazines we see today. The publishing company has continued with the same design to this day, which also include advertising AD’s on the last few pages. I believe the publisher kept the magazine the same for either historical purposes or for the fan who still read these stories. We also had time to do some research about the magazines we were looking though, and I started looking into Golden Age of Sciences Fiction. During the 1938 to 1946 Golden Age, most of these stories like Nineteen Eighty Four, I Am Legend or I, Robot were written and now they are also movies, but I believe if that Science Fiction movement on door to amazing new stories for upcoming writers to continue the beautiful work of Science Fiction.

Good memories never dies

My visit to  a new world of a science fiction was interesting. Visiting the science fiction archives was an amazing experience where i feel i can spend countles of hours reading magazines and book without getting boring. I wish i could stay longer because there is something.special about that place that i can’t describe it like a magic place where you can feel a strong energy atmosphere.  There was a book that caught my attention during my visit in the archives. There is was this book call “Be my enemy” i wish i could read more than just the hard cover it looks interesting like the book calling my name maybe because i love so much about fiction, or sci-fi stories.

the golden age was a great period. when i thought of the golden age,i believe that gave a great impact on the sci-fi community. giving the best stories. after i did a little research about it . this was my The Golden Age of Science Fiction — regularly perceived as the period from the late 1930s through the 1950s was a time amid which the sci-fi increased wide open of numerous great sci-fi stories were distributed. Ever, the Golden Age takes after the “pulp” of the 30s, the pulp was recognize as a era were sci-fi stories were printed out on cheap material and have different designed like monsters spaces ship and more giving life to different stories.

A impressed collection of sci-fi books and magazines. every time i thought of the word archives i thought on old document that no one see untill they need it, but looking at this science fiction archives changed my mind. looking at this huge collection of magazines and books, i understand the meaning of having archives. it’s not just to have a bunch of documents or files in a place. it’s because those documents has value and meaning for the new generation that will take over. i admire the work and time that this person put into to save all those magazines and books.


The Expriences and Research I Gain in the Archive

The visit to the science fiction archive was a new experience for me. Although I have been in and out of the library I have never heard of an archive or visited one before. Now that I understand that an archive is where historical document are kept and preserve. It makes it more interesting for me when I visit the library, but an appointment is needed. The only draw back of the archive is that it’s badly positioned in the library. Throughout the visit we learned about the history of the archive and the content of the archive. We also did some research in the archive to help us understand more about the history of science fiction.

In the first half of the class we were presented with the historical background of the science fiction archive. The archive was donated from anonymous donor. What stood out to me was the person life works of collecting all of the science fiction work was just given away like that. If it was me who did that I would of sell it for some profit. Nonetheless it was the person hobby to collect these science fiction article, and he/she enjoyed it. It is really a great collection of work. If it wasn’t for the donor we wouldn’t have had an archive to research about science fiction. I have also learn that it was a great deal moving all those article of science fiction from one side of the country to another required.

We researched as a group about our science fiction magazine. The first thing I notice about the magazine was that they are different from the magazine of today. The research provided  information about what the book was made of, “pulps.” They where cheap wood paper that was used to print the magazines. It was also known as the “pulp era”(1896-1950s), since science fiction articles was very popular, to keep up the demand they were made with cheap materials (pulps). The pulp era correlate with the golden age of science fiction, the period was from 1938 to 1946. World War II (1939-1945) was a great affect on the golden age of science fiction. The golden age of science fiction left an impression in history. The result of my research was confirm when I went into the archive and found an enourmous amount of science fiction magazines, books, and many more.

The science fiction archive is enormous, one shelf was filled with the same author and there are many different author. The name of these author are really  intriguing, seeing that people from around the world with their different ideas of science fiction. Sadly we were limited by time and did not get to see the full extend of the archive. We hope to return to explore more of the archive.

The visit to the archive greatly improve my understanding of what science fiction as a genre is.  It made me more curious about the history of science fiction and the different types of science fiction out there.

Whats considered old will always be new to those who haven’t seen it yet.

The historical archive was what I expected and more, over 4,000 books of science fiction wow. When we first entered into the room with the seating I remember thinking to myself, where are all the books? Then I saw the door and was eager to go inside, I was excited to see the magazines, what the art work was like and the style of writing that was used. When I finally got my hands on some books I began to thoroughly inspect it. While Feeling the paper and its thickness and smelling the oldness of the paper, it made me think of the old dusty box of books that have been hidden in my basement for like 10 years. When I was younger I had my own little archive of Sci-Fi books. I was obsessed with the Goosebumps, and A Series of Unfortunate Events, and some other things that I can’t really remember. So seeing these books really brought me back to my childhood.

I was so surprised to see advertisement for cigarettes in numerous books. During the time period the books were published cigarettes were like the it thing and were seen as healthy so I can understand its placement. But in modern times you’re unlikely to flip the page of a best-selling novel and find adverts for cigarettes. In magazines, you’ll probably find an advert opposing the use of it. The concept of having page full ads sporadically place throughout a book is an out dated thing. But every book in the archive had ads that had nothing to do with books. Books seemed to replace the use of television a little bit more then compared to now, so the best way to advertise was in books I guess.

One thing I noticed way how interactive the books were. At the back of each was always something linking the readers to something else. Whether it be the follow up story or a website to further the discussion with the author, or something as simple as a subscription. The books seemed to be more than just books, they weren’t something you just pick up, read, and put down. They were like the links of a chain link fence, each part connected to another part, to another, to another, eventually making a web of stories that intertwine and feed off of each other. They consumed the role of modern day television shows that go on and on, starting with episodes that eventually lead to multiple seasons.

The fact that the anonymous donator managed to keep everything so organize and under such great condition is astonishing to me. My little archive is a hot mess and it only consists of maybe 100 to 150 books, and this guy had 4,000, kudos to him. The science fiction archive visit allowed me to physically hold pieces of history. I got the opportunity to hold literature that was decades older than me, some older than my mom, which is amazing. The visit even rekindled my obsession I had as a child, maybe in like 50 years I’ll donate some old goosebumps books I have lingering around.

Browsing through the Archives of Old, Old, Interesting, and Old Books

Visiting the library archive is refreshing compared to staying in class during a lesson.  Not only was the change of scenery was nice, but so was looking through the books and magazines of the science fiction archive.  It was interesting to know that these books are so old, that I wonder if the contents of the books was recorded online on the internet so that it would not be lost despite its physical source.  Also, more people will be able to have access and read the contents of these old books without having restricted access to the Archives in City Tech.  Though, I understand why access to the Archives is so limited, since the books are old and that either there were probably no reproduction copies or that the original copies are held as historical artifacts.  Those original books really grabbed my attention when I saw them.

The pulp Science Fiction books has some very interesting and eye-catching covers.  This is probably intentional as, despite being printed out like a book, they were magazines meant to grab people’s attention so that people will buy them.  The magazines I looked at, Analog Science, has some amazing space artwork that depicted what I can imagine people decades ago imagining the amazing future and the advancements of technology.  I started out to read the first thing written in the book to get an idea of what it’s about, and the introduction, extending to 2 pages before having me to skip to the end of the magazine to continue reading, was very engaging.  It put forth to me interesting ideas and concepts I did not think of like, for example, how unlikely it is to convince people through reason, unless force is used, compared to using “magic”.  People are normally set in their beliefs in a way that using their beliefs, whether that be priests, magic, voodoo, etc, can easily help solve a problem compared to trying to logic against them.  Paraphrasing the book, it’s like trying to convince an Amish family to use computers, despite how easy and convenient they are, unless force is used in a way such as separating Amish children from their parents and making them go to school with such technologies, stamping out their old understanding.  These books are a lot less depressing and peaked my interest, though that could also be attributed to its age as it was written during an optimistic point of time, unlike not unfortunately.

The books were graciously donated to the college by a collector of Science Fiction literature.  Feeling the paper and looking at the color, the books definitely show their age.  Skimming through some of them, I observed that some tell interesting stories that makes me think, while some are just as depressing as 1984.  This makes me wish I could go back to the Archive to look at more of these books, and possible read some of them a bit to expand my limited view of science fiction to better understand it, or at least find more books in this genre fitting to my tastes.

Reflective Blog#8: City Tech Science Fiction Archive

In class on 4/6/17, we went to the library and explored an archive that had various works of science fiction. That archive is known as the City Tech science archive. I thought that in class when we got to go to the library and have the class take place in the science fiction archives was interesting. I thought that it was interesting because it is the first time in my college life that I have seen some sort of archive inside a college or even rather a library actually. Also even though the area seem a little bit smaller, there was a lot of pieces of works and books of science fiction and it was some works that dates to years back as well.

When we started, we got to learn about how the archive was formed. It was a funny story because they expected shipments of the science fictions works on a certain date but it came earlier than expected. It was interesting how they got the works from a person who was a science fiction enthusiast from California which means that the books were in boxes and they were many of those. It took them many weeks to get all of that sorted out but eventually they finished it.

As we continued on, we were introduced to what was called “magazines”, which were little books of science fiction stories. They were old versions of stories that were written many years ago and they got that old book smell as well. The magazine I got was called “Analog Science Fact Fiction” and we got like three or four different versions of those types of books. I noticed that even though the titles were similar, they seem to contain many different science fiction stories within each magazines. I seen that the author by the name of George R.R Martin wrote one of the stories that was inside one of those articles. The story was called “The Plague Star” which was written in 1985. I found that it was interesting that this particular author wrote a story in one of these magazines because I know that this was the same person who wrote Game of Thrones.

When I got to explore the archives with my group, it was a good experience because I got to see some of the various works of science fiction that was contained in there. I observed that some of the books were in a certain kind of plastic that is usually used to help preserve the books. Also they are used because some of the books are in fragile conditions where they can be ruined more easily if they are used in a manner that would cause that. When I was exploring the archives I seen a book that had a picture of a monster or creature that might have been or looked like Nosferatsu and I remember that character from a classic movie I had seen once in highschool. Also there are a lot if other interesting works written by many great authors during the years.


Class Today, Th 4/6, in Library: Visit to the City Tech Science Fiction Archive

Hi everyone!

Just a friendly reminder that today, as a class, we are visiting the City Tech Science Fiction Archive. Therefore, we won’t be meeting in our normal classroom (N806); instead, we will meet outside the library, 4th floor of the Atrium. Aim to get there a few minutes early, but please make sure that you are there no later than 4pm, so that we can head into the library together. If you get there late and we have already gone inside, ask one of the librarians to direct you to the “archive” on the 5th floor of the library, and you will find us there.

A friendly reminder that you will be writing a reflection blog on your visit to the archive (due by Sunday, 4/9), the exploration of the SF magazines you did there, and on the collection as a whole, so remember to take notes during class and take photos if you’d like, to include in your posts. You should also spend some time learning more about the collection on the City Tech Science Fiction Archive OpenLab site (which documents the collection via images and text) and this short video about the collection.

See you all soon 🙂

Introduction on Lawrence

Name is Kahlil Lawrence, prefer being called by my last name or L for short. I found it more simple to go by my last name since I started working after graduating out of high school, because I hate explaining on how to pronounce my first name.

Took a whole year off from college after I graduated, Because I didn’t know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Should’ve said this in class while being put on the spot, but I don’t really freestyle like that. I’m very found of music. I wish to be a producer (like the rest of the borough filled with upcoming rappers and producers.) , however don’t have the currency to do it and maintain my lifestyle that I am living. This is why I chose to go into Radtech as a major, it’s simple to me as just a job but not something I want to do for the rest of my life, so I might as well take something I have to do to & do what I want to do.

Recently I’ve been traveling lately to New Hampshire and Pennsylvania with other college friends last summer and this past winter break to get away from New York. We haven’t decided on the next location for our venture, but I Hope it keeps going in the future. I would like to travel to different countries other than where my parents originated (Jamaica).

This semester I want to have a better liking and understanding for science fiction. Up to this point I feel science fiction is a more philosophy type way of thinking which isn’t really my strong suit. Fingers crossed that this semester enhances my mental and I gravitate to science fiction. I’m out of things to say.