Who said the golden age of science fiction is 12?

Not being much of a science fiction dork, I’m having hard time tracking this quote down. But I’m pretty sure I read it here, so hopefully one of you guys would know. Who was the author who said that the golden age of science fiction is 12?


Peter Graham according to the internet

*I am using Golden Age in Peter Graham’s sense “The Golden Age of Science Fiction is 12” (also the title of a David Hartwell essay); that is, the Golden Age is individual, a period of exploration and discovery.

edit: also Thomas M Disch?

I never heard that before, but I’ll bet the answer turns out to be “Sam Moskevitz.”

Yep, Peter Graham. A more precise attribution here

It has been endlessly adopted and adapted. Hall of Fame goalie Ken Dryden wrote that the golden age of everything is when you are a child, for example.


Hrm. And to think all these years, I thought it was Isaac Asimov (though I have no idea why I thought that.)

I feel confident in saying that, having grown up watching Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies, I was better off than those who grew up watching the smegging Animaniacs.

I was 12 in 1984, so yes, I can definitely agree that everything was better then.

Diamond Dave for the win.

I was 12 in 1982. That’s why I think Porky’s is the greatest movie ever made.

I was 12 in 1988, but I generally consider 1984-5 to be the Golden Age of pop culture of my youth.

I don’t want to meet the 12-year-old who thought “Meet the Spartans” was great stuff.

I was 12 in 1976. I can’t even remember the movies I saw that year. :P But Jaws was pretty awesome the year before.

Is there a corollary that the nadir of pop culture is from around when you were born to 5 or so years after? Because the 80s totally sucked.

Whatever, old man.

I think you mean “whatever, young’un’”. I was born in '74. The '80s were rad. The late '70s, however, outside the tiny bubble of emerging punk/new-wave, absolutely sucked.

I think the late 70s were an awesome time for movie. My memory was that 1977 was a key year (I was 9), but 1975 has more movies I’d watch again (and sometimes do) than any other year 75-79. And while 80-81, when I was actually 12, is strong, I think '75 still wins (though I was probably closer to 12 or older when I actually saw most of these):

Some personal favorites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_in_film#Films_released_in_1975
* Barry Lyndon
* The Drowning Pool
* The Eiger Sanction
* The Four Musketeers
* Jaws
* The Man Who Would Be King
* Monty Python and the Holy Grail
* One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
* The Prisoner of Second Avenue
* Rollerball
* Royal Flash
* The Sunshine Boys
* Three Days of the Condor

Yeah, the 70s were great but for some reason 1976 seemed kind of sucky (to my 12 year old mind at the time). I mean, there was Rocky and Network but there was also Food of the Gods and Grizzly (Jaws on land plus 1000% more gore). And in keeping with this thread’s theme, the big science fiction film of 1976 was…Logan’s Run.

When I was 12 I went to see Star Wars for the first time.

In the theater.

With my best friend.

And we had popcorn.

It was so much fun that we did it again almost every week for the rest of the summer. By the end of that summer, I was 13.

That would explain why I think Earnest Goes to Camp is a masterpiece. Also Lost Boys and Mannequin, Innerspace, Princess Bride, Robocop. Damn, movies ROCKED when I was 12! And there’s the two Dragonlance trilogies (I’m pretty sure I read them at that age).

But there’s also Teen Wolf Too,* Three Men and a Baby,* Superman IV*, also Earnest Gose to Camp, Mannequin, and they all might also explain why I don’t have a golden age. I usually think stuff coming out now is part of the golden age.

*Which I also enjoyed at the time.

I’m starting my kid on SF/Fantasy at 8. I hope I don’t break him.