Edmund Cooper er en af de der klassiske sf-forfattere, som har listet sig ind på mine reoler med flere titler – men som jeg ærligt talt aldrig har fået læst noget af. Men forleden sprang “Jupiter Laughs” ud i den ventende hånd og meldte sig frivilligt til at ledsage mig på de daglige togture.
Det er en novellesamling 1979 – men for at være ærlig føles det nok lidt ældre. Vi drager til Mars og finder hemmeligheden om vores egen oprindelse, en professor lader sin computer arbejde med sin søn og kommer til at fortryde det og så videre – det er gerne fortalt med et glimt i øjet, men måske også nok lidt forudsigeligt og ikke synderligt komplekst.
Men det fik mig da til at google forfatteren, for hvorfor ikke fylde lidt mere på om ham, når nu der alligevel står flere af hans bøger og venter. Det er lidt af en rutsjebanetur – især gennem denne side om forfatteren.
Til at starte med slår han fast, at alle hader franskmænd (eller i al fald franske scifi-film):
According to the jacket notes in Unborn Tomorrow a French film was made of one of his short stories but in reality the film was American and called The Invisible Boy (1957 also known as S.O.S Spaceship) based on Brain Child (1956) and featured the second appearance of the character Robbie the Robot. EC was embarrassed by having his name associated with this movie, which he called “one of the worst science fiction films of all time” so he said the film was French apparently in order to conceal his association with it.
Senere viser han sig at være meget gammeldags – men måske også kedeligt moderne på sådan en “de dybeste afgrunde af internettet”-måde:
On Cooper and Women: He said that the central characters in Transit, All Fools Day and The Uncertain Midnight were all “pseudonyms” for himself and that this was why American reviewers (“because there are so many women reviewers”) called him a male chauvinist pig. He also said that he was not against the emancipation of women but that the average woman had a cranial capacity 125cc less than that of a man; “let them have totally equal competition…they’ll see that they can’t make it…I just don’t think they can compete on the same terms” As evidence he cited the lack of “good” female mathematicians, scientists and composers; “They’ve gone back home to wash the dishes and produce children.” However, EC did then go on to say that this was a “very simplified” version of what he felt – that he loved women, did not want to subjugate them and that “I’d lay every attractive woman in the world if I could.”
Der henvises, tror jeg, til dette interview:
Jim: As individuals, the characters in many of your books lack the identity of singular people, and seem to be morerepresentative of mankind in general Why is this?
Edmund: Well, it’s legitimate of you to say that they lack, as it were, a great deal of variety; most of them are similartypes, though there are one or two who do have this variety.Richard Avery in Transit; Matthew Greville in All Fools’ Day; John Markham in The Uncertain Midnight – are all,basically, the same kind of character, the same kind of matrix. It’s got to be perfectly obvious to anyone that the personhe knows best is himself. I know myself best, so I’m afraid that these are all pseudonyms for myself. They’re how Ithink I might react given the dreadful, intriguing, funny, banal, or bizarre situations these characters find themselves in.It’s easier to put my reactions down, than invent a character and put his reactions down. There are a lot of masqueradingEdmund Coopers in my novels, which is why, frequently, American reviewers call me a male chauvinist pig.
Coopers brug af sig selv i fiktion fører så i en cirkel tilbage til første kilde og denne bid:
On Cooper’s Interests: EC described his interests in 1971 as “chess, philosophy and wine.”1 Obviously, EC drank excessively and many of his characters share this trait. Perhaps the greatest drinkers in his books were those in Five to Twelve (1968), Kronk (1970) and the character Commander James Conrad from the Expendables series (1975-76).
Edmund Cooper døde af alkoholisme i 1982.