Tom Swift and his Rocket Ship


Along with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew stories, I love the old Tom Swift and Tom Swift Jr. books. I did not discover the Tom Swift books until my teens but I did enjoy the few I was able to find. They did not seem to be as popular for old series teen adventure books so it was hard to find them but I might have just not looked hard enough.
These old science fiction books are a lot like the movies from the same time period. Watching or reading them now they seem like bad B movies but at the time they were people’s interpretation of the future so seemed plausibly far fetched at the time. As science fiction grew into a more mature genre it became more of the prophetic science fact than science fiction but it is fun to read how authors interpreted science of the future using the somewhat limited technological advances compared to today.
At the time of writing this story the race into space was happening but as I don’t know as much about the history of space travel in that time period I don’t know how widely available that knowledge was to the public. Certainly there was news of living beings having reached the edge of space so it is plausible that there were rumors of the advances being made readily available to inspire these stories. Human space flight would not happen for another 15 years but fruit flies made a successful trip in 1947 according to Wikipedia so these real events might have been the inspiration.

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