Two very different issues this time: Classic Science Fiction and War of the Roses. I find both issues really interesting; I am definitely a sci-fi fan and when I was researching the books for the information sheet, I was reminded of how clever the writers were. I think I’m going to give a couple of them another read…
As for the War of the Roses stamps – the detail is amazing! You will find that the information sheet has the battles in chronological order, rather than value/stamp order. Thought it might make more sense if it was presented that way.
I can’t believe it’s May already – time seems to be going so quickly! Hopefully, most of you will have had the vaccine by now. I’ve been impressed with the rollout, and with the lockdown easing gradually too, I feel things are looking on the up. Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t seem to agree – I’m sure we were in the middle of a heatwave this time last year; I’ve had to light the fire this week! At least the garden is getting a bit of a watering.
We have been very busy stamp sticking these last few weeks, what with the Queen Retail Booklet that was part of the issue that came out last year. Then there was the barcoded 2nd class stamp – this was news to us too! And finally, there was the Queen’s 95th birthday – not surprised that Royal Mail issued something, however, there is a restricted supply of machin sheets, so we have only been able to produce a very limited number of covers – please contact the office if you are interested. There is no flyer for this as we have very few numbers in stock.
Stay well and stay safe, and in the meantime, keep collecting!
Origins of Science Fiction
It could be argued that science fiction has actually been around for centuries. Ancient Indian poetry such as the Hindu epic, Ramayana (5th-4th century C) includes flying machines able to travel into space or under water. Even Greek playwright, Aristophanes has several works that include air travel to another world (c446-386 BC). Several stories within the One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights 8th-10th Cen. CE) also feature science fiction elements, such as lost ancient technologies, advanced ancient civilisations and lifelike humanoid robots!
However, the science fiction genre that we recognise today, really started in Europe in the 19th century, with Mary Shelley and then later, with HG Wells and Jules Verne. The term ‘science fiction’ actually about in 1926, by American publisher Hugo Gernsback, who initially came up with the term ‘scientifiction’; though it was Forrest J Ackerman, an American magazine editor, who coined the term ‘sci-fi’ in 1954 after he heard a radio announcer say ‘hi-fi’.
Born in 1964, as the son of Michael Turner (an aviation and motor racing artist), Graham was obviously immersed in an atmosphere of art and motor racing from an early age, but it wasn’t until he was 16 that he developed a desire to embark on a similar career to his father. Despite the best efforts of a career adviser to persuade him otherwise, Graham was determined to follow this path and enrolled on a course in Art & Design at Amersham College. Two years working for a London design studio followed, before the decision to go it alone at the age of 20.
It was probably inevitable that Graham would find himself drawn towards the world of motor racing as an inspiration for his work and so it proved, with the first ten years of his freelance career spent almost entirely painting racing cars from all eras of the sport, for clients including drivers, teams and sponsors, as well as enthusiasts and collectors keen to record their racing memories.
He still retains a deep love for motor racing, and continued to paint dramatic scenes from the sport’s history. However, realising the need to establish his father’s footsteps so closely, he decided to forge his own path and branched out into a completely different sphere, a subject that had fascinated him since childhood – medieval history.
Did you know…?
- Contrary to popular belief, Orson Welle’s radio adaptation of HG Well’s The War of the Worlds didn’t cause a nationwide panic.
- In 1974, Arthur C Clarke predicted the internet of the year 2001.
- The word ‘spaceship’ dates back 1880.
- Aldous Huxley’s 1931 novel Brave New World suggested soma, a mood-altering medicine that keeps people sane. Before 1950, antidepressants weren’t even the subject.
- The seeds of the War of the Roses were sown as far back as 1399.
- Edward IV was 6ft 4″ tall, which was incredibly tall for the time.
- The War of the Roses was initially known as ‘The Cousins War’.
- Early guns were used in some battles the war, notably 1461 Battle of Towton and also the 1485 Battle of Bosworth. It’s suspected that the devices would have blown themselves apart when fired.
- The Battle of Towton was the largest of the battles, where over 50,000 soldier fought, and around 25,000 soldiers were killed.