FAQ PERRY RHODAN
Please note: Many hyperlinks in this document link to sites in German.
- Who or what is PERRY RHODAN?
Enjoyed by millions of readers worldwide, PERRY RHODAN is a science fiction series and by far the most ambitious fictional future history of humankind created to date. Following the launch of the series in Germany in September 1961, more than 3,500 novels set in the Perryverse have been published, including over 2,500 weekly serialized booklet novellas issued continuously since 1961.
- Who publishes PERRY RHODAN?
The original weekly German series is published by Pabel-Moewig Verlag GmbH based in Rastatt, Germany. Supplementary products, including merchandise and foreign language editions, are produced and distributed by independent licensees. Click here for the latest news (in German) on the series.
- When did PERRY RHODAN start?
On September 8th, 1961, with the publication of issue #1 titled Unternehmen Stardust (Enterprise Stardust) written by K.H. Scheer. Having jointly initiated the series, K.H. Scheer and Walter Ernsting (pen-name: Clark Darlton) were hoping for a run of
about 30 weekly digest-style issues. Things turned out somewhat differently: July 2009 saw the publication of PERRY RHODAN #2500, with no end in sight. The rest, as they say, is
- What's PERRY RHODAN all about?
The main story line starts in 1971 - ten years into the future at the time of writing. Perry Rhodan and three other American astronauts are the first humans to land on the moon. Soon after their landing they discover a crashed space ship. It belongs to an alien race called Arkonides. Rhodan uses the vastly superior technology of the Arkonides to prevent World War Three and politically unite Earth as Terra. Within a few years the Terrans have built their first own faster than light space ships and push into space. The universe, it turns out, is packed with intelligent races. Many of them have mastered space travel thousands of years ago and established huge empires. On one of his first trips Rhodan encounters IT, an incredibly old and powerful immortal being. Granting the Terrans 20,000 years to embark upon their cosmic destiny and bring peace to the Milky Way galaxy, IT bestows Rhodan and his closest friends with immortality. This is the beginning of a future history unique to science fiction. It pictures the long journey of mankind to the stars - and into unknown dimensions.
- Is there a writer named PERRY RHODAN?
No. Naturally, the creation of such a vast and complex fictional universe as PERRY RHODAN requires a team effort. The main storyline for the series is developed by an exposition factory consisting of anywhere between one and three members. Each issue is
then written by a member of the permanent team of authors. Over the years more than two dozen authors have participated. The current team consists of nine staff writers, occasional guest authors, plus Klaus N. Frick as editor-in-chief. The authors meet twice a year to discuss future story lines. The exposition factory, currently Uwe Anton, then turns its ideas into detailed outlines for the individual novels.
- Is there a PERRY RHODAN fandom?
You bet! Ranging from veterans who have been following the series since 1961 to the youngest of readers who are now enjoying the antics of Gucky the Mouse Beaver through children's books set in the Perryverse, fans of PERRY RHODAN are of all ages. Readers communicate regularly with the writers, and many significant turns and events in the series resulted from suggestions by readers. Many fans have been inspired to write their own stories and create entire series set in the Perryverse. Cons are held every year where readers and creators meet face-to-face and fans can snatch up out-of-print items and other goodies at dealer booths.
Click here to reach Cedric Beust's English-language PERRY RHODAN summaries.
- Are there PERRY RHODAN fan-clubs?
Sure! Currently there more than a hundred highly active fan clubs in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Among them is the PERRY RHODAN Fan Zentrale (PRFZ), which serves as a general clearinghouse for news and information and in recent years has been instrumental in organizing some of the most significant PERRY RHODAN Cons. There's even an Internet-based fan club, the PERRY RHODAN Online Club (PROC), which currently offers content in German, English, and Portuguese Both PRFZ and PROC have members from around the world. Moreover, fans get together at several locations in Germany for regular informal roundtable meetings.
- Are there foreign language editions?
Yes. In Brazil, Japan, France, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. There were also editions in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Italy and Finland. However, the latter have been discontinued.
- Are the American editions still in print?
No. However it shouldn't be too hard to find copies of the old Ace paperback edition in the U.S. in used books stores and at SF conventions. That edition was published in the 1970's by Ace Books and edited by Forry Ackerman.
After the Ace edition was cancelled Ackerman published issues 119 - 137 in English on a subscription only basis. This corresponded to German numbering 127 - 145 due to double books (1-5) and 3 skipped volumes. These were published by Masters Publishing and are known as the Masters editions.
Vector Enterprises attempted the Hefte format and tried to continue in magazine format, using modern issues. Vector published issues 1800 - 1803.
- What about other products related to PERRY RHODAN?
There are quite a few. For instance more than 450 paperbacks with spin-off novels set in the Perryverse, plus over 110 hardcover re-issue editions featuring carefully edited older issues of the weekly series, comic book editions, audio plays, as well as numerous specials such as posters, trading cards, cutaway drawing books and technical manuals, multimedia products or model construction kits. Atlan, an immortal Arkonide who become Perry's best friend after they first met in the year 2040, had his own spin-off series with 850 issues and currently has a series of novels
depicting his youth, his adventures while stranded on Earth for 10,000 years prior to Perry Rhodan's first encounter with the Arkonides, and his experiences as emperor of Arkon. For a complete listing of available products click here.
- Is there a PERRY RHODAN-movie?
Well, kind of. Perry Rhodan - SOS aus dem Weltall was shot in 1967 as a German/Italian/Spanish co-production. The low budget resulted in - even given by the standards of the late Sixties - poor special effects. Plus, the authors had only little influence on the content. In the film, Rhodan doesn't save the world from nuclear war but uses the Arkonide technology to fight a criminal gang. To learn more about the film, check out the entry at the Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0063859).
- I've heard rumors about an upcoming TV-series. Are they true?
Yes. The German production company Casascania (www.casascania.com) is working hard to bring our hero into unknown territory, the universe of television with an internationally-produced three-part mini-series for worldwide distribution. However, the TV series has not reached yet production stage. Come back for future editions of this FAQ to get the latest news.
- Are there any English language E-mail discussion groups?
Yes, there is at least one, maintained by U.S.-fan Kurt W. Allen. To subscribe, send an e-mail to Perry-Rhodan@Gjoll.com with the single word subscribe (omit quotation marks) in the subject line.