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Perry Rhodan

Does anyone have recommendations on how (or indeed whether) one should start reading Perry Rhodan? Is it a continuous narrative where you need to know what happened from the beginning, or are there particular arcs you can jump into (and if so, which)? Or should one just start with the latest and keep going from there?

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
beamjockey
May. 2nd, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
Would you be reading it in German or in translation?

(I have no useful insights to contribute, though I was once in Forry Ackerman's house, which contained a LOT of Perry Rhodan books, among other things.)
nwhyte
May. 2nd, 2013 06:43 pm (UTC)
German, probably.
daveon
May. 2nd, 2013 09:14 pm (UTC)
I'd tend towards don't.

I read the first and hated it, didn't move on. Didn't realize how shocking it was to have actually found the first one.
bellinghman
May. 2nd, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
I read the first few in translation many many years ago, and I have to concur. There's no literary merit that I spotted, no extraordinary ideas, lousy 2-dimensional characters, and little point in it as anything other than being a reprise of old pulp SF for those people for whom pulp SF was what they grew up with and therefore loved.
inuitmonster
May. 2nd, 2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
I have never read any Perry Rhodan but have also picked up the idea that these books are not great. I have also heard that over the course of the zillion books in the series every possible SF sub-genre is featured.
londonkds
May. 3rd, 2013 06:36 am (UTC)
I would ask selenak. I have a feeling she mentioned once that the books with large round numbers are deliberate jumping-on points.
coth
May. 3rd, 2013 08:48 am (UTC)
I read the first 4 in translation once - think Skylark of Space with even less coherence or literary merit. That may have been the translation of course... But (imho) if you want a long running space opera series with a formula I'd suggest you read Dumarest instead.
nwhyte
May. 3rd, 2013 08:51 am (UTC)
Thanks. It's more that it is such a central pillar of the SF scene in a very important country, and I want to get a sense of what it's about. Not an immediate plan; still going strong with Les Mondes d'Aldébaran by Leo.
coth
May. 3rd, 2013 09:02 am (UTC)
I thought of that, but I'd already pressed the 'post comment' button. I'm monolingual, so was stuck with translation, but that was the reason I picked them up. Not sure I got any good feel for German sf from them, mind.

For an impression, I seem to recall Perry goes from piloting the first moon launch in the first book to blowing up a sun in book 4.
sashajwolf
May. 3rd, 2013 01:41 pm (UTC)
I found it too pulpy even as a nine-year-old just getting into SF, so I can't believe you'll get much out of it. Think of it as Karl May in space, and that's basically all you need to know.

If you do insist on reading them, though, one of the self-contained novels might be a good way in. You can buy them as ebooks from http://www.perry-rhodan.net/ebooks.html. You can also buy e-versions of the original magazines an arc at a time, if you want something slightly more like the original experience.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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