Gunga Wells

Lyrics ©1980 by Jim Detry and Bill Roper
Music ©1980 by Bill Roper

I was editing the ChUSFA (Champaign-Urbana Science Fiction Association) fanzine and found Jim's poem in the contribution drawer. The lyrics are essentially all his; I just made a couple of minor tweaks. The tune was mine, although the first line is pretty much identical to Clif's "Mama Rosa's".

Melancholy Elephants and all that. Clif said it was ok.

Am                                G
You can talk about SF till you've grown both hoarse and deaf
    Am                                   E
And all the plots are sounding quite the same.
    Am                             G
But someone had to start it and it wasn't Ron Goulart, it
       Am               E              Am
Was an Englishman who's earned eternal fame.

There's a definite and fine line 'tween an Asimov or Heinlein
And stuff so bad you can't believe it sells.
They are all judged by their peers, but just wait for forty years
And see how they compare to H.G. Wells.

	Am                     E
	For it's Wells, Wells, Wells!
	  Am                            E
	A hack has done a sequel and it smells!
	Many men made contributions
	To time paradox solutions
	         Am            E            Am
	But they owe an unpaid debt to H.G. Wells.

Fine authors still are livin' like Pournelle or Larry Niven,
But even they have one unerring flaw.
A book or two they write is so padded and so trite
That it helps supply the bulk of Sturgeon's Law.

Invaders come from Mars or Man reaches for the stars.
Without a doubt it's all been done before.
I suspect the foul New Wave has him turning in his grave.
They don't write them quite like he did any more.

	For it's Wells, Wells, Wells!
	In the Bantams, Aces, Doubledays, and Dells!
	He's been so long in print
	That he'd surely make a mint,
	But he's not here to spend it, H.G. Wells.