Originally Posted by holymadness
If we compare him to his contemporaries—Raymond Chandler, Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, George Orwell, Albert Camus, Arthur Miller, Evelyn Waugh, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck—there is really no question that he was a minor, minor figure in letters at the time. Had he not popularized science fiction along with Clarke and Heinlein, I think he would be forgotten today.
He has the merit of being a visionary, but not a particularly good writer.
It's hard to be a good
writer, let alone a very good or great one. There are plenty of storytellers who lack the chops to great writers -- but are famous because they can glue you to the edge of your seat.
I think being a great visionary and storyteller is a thing in its own right -- and that a author shouldn't be dinged for lack of being a great writer.
Put another way - perhaps Vera Wang or other fashion person can't sew
at all, but he/she can design and put colors and styles together well enough that it don't matter.