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September 9th, 2009, 03:51 PM
Hi I'm new here. First a little foreshadowing. I've always been an avid reader. After returning from the Vietnam War I found myself reading a lot of SF (I wonder why?). I read many classic's in the 70's. There is one book that particularly connected with my state of mind. I don't remember the title nor the author. I read it between 72-77. I believe the story revolved around a pair of astronauts sent on a mission to a distant planet. Slowly the isolation of outer and inner space drives the astronaut/s mad. I don't remember any more details, but the story spoke perfectly to my own experience of war induced isolation, stress, and madness. It took me a long time to realize my inner/outer experience was normal given the circumstances. Well, any help in finding the book would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

September 11th, 2009, 04:00 PM
There is a short story called "Bulkhead" by Theodore Sturgeon (I think) which might do for that. Isolated astronaut on long space trip can talk to the only other person on the ship through an intercom, but cannot see him because he is on the other side of a bulkhead. They both go bonkers, and the protagonist has some sort of catharsis if I remember rightly. On his return to earth it is revealed that he has in fact been talking to himself all the time, and that there was no-one else on the ship.

At least 20 years since I read this so the details are a bit hazy.

September 11th, 2009, 07:29 PM
See my reply to this question on the main SF board.

September 12th, 2009, 01:29 PM
I appreciate the help. I did some research and found that the author published work this in 1955 in Galaxy magazine. So the story would have been 20 years old when I read it. I found a web site dedicated to the author and read the synopsis of 'Bulkhead'. I doubt however that this was the book, but I could be wrong. I am certain that the book I read was published as a paperback SF novel not a short story. I read a lot, so I would have noted mentally that I was reading a dated SF novel but as you probably already know great works are never dated. Your description is close but in the fog I seem to remember that there was a murder involved, again I could be wrong. Thanks for the effort on my behalf, I'll continue to follow up on your lead

April 19th, 2010, 05:49 PM
This rather sounds like Beyond Apollo by Barry N. Malzberg.

May 19th, 2010, 10:35 AM
This rather sounds like Beyond Apollo by Barry N. Malzberg.

I read this book in the early 70's after returning from two combat tours of Vietnam. If anyone is interested in understanding what it was like for some of us Veterans to return Stateside, only to find out in horror that 'home' we dreamed about every day was as alien to us as the hellhole we left. A fantastic book that I get to read again and reflect just how lucky I am. Thanks to all on the forum.

May 19th, 2010, 10:42 AM
Found the book on Amazon used for $.99. I should have it by Friday. I will post a follow-up if anyone is interested after I reread it.

May 19th, 2010, 12:36 PM
And SF often reflects the times it's written in. I'd be interested to read if the books managed to maintain its relevance, blackhawk. Well done on finding a copy for $.99, though! That's about 60p here. Sounds like a bargain!