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Old 04-30-2011, 11:33 AM   #1
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scifi - clean, classic, 50's 60's type suggestions

Looking for classic 50's and 60's "type" scifi... Years ago I read most Heinlein, Clarke, etc. and I would re-read but I'm looking for free and cheap in eBook format. Here's my requirements:
1) No vulgarity
2) No weird religious themes
3) Just a good sci-fi story with no "agenda"
4) eBook (mobi, epub, pdf)
5) cheap, free, or public domain

Would read "modern" stuff but most won't fit into my first 3 points above. In line with #4 & #5 the source would be appreciated.

What say ye?
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:48 AM   #2
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I would think that almost all writing has some sort of "agenda", meaning a message of some sort about that writer's values, or what (s)he fears might happen if those values aren't followed. Including Heinlein and Clarke. If you don't notice the agenda, it probably means that it is one you agree with and take for granted.

As for vulgarity, what do you mean? Just sex acts? Or nudity? Or curse words? How about made-up futuristic curse words? Fracking elaborate!

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Old 04-30-2011, 11:50 AM   #3
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Wow, those are some really limiting requirements.

Off the top of my head (and I freely admit I can't absolutely guarantee no's 1, 2 or 3 since your definitions may vary from mine/others), I might recommend James H. Schmitz Hub (Telzey Amberdon) books. Baen has several available for free.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:57 AM   #4
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Wow, those are some really limiting requirements.

Off the top of my head (and I freely admit I can't absolutely guarantee no's 1, 2 or 3 since your definitions may vary from mine/others), I might recommend James H. Schmitz Hub (Telzey Amberdon) books. Baen has several available for free.
Thanks! Yep, they are limiting, that's one reason I ask for help. I've found the folks in these forums kind and helpful.

Thanks for the suggestions. I appreciate it.

Last edited by 1611mac; 04-30-2011 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:04 PM   #5
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I would think that almost all writing has some sort of "agenda", meaning a message of some sort about that writer's values, or what (s)he fears might happen if those values aren't followed. Including Heinlein and Clarke. If you don't notice the agenda, it probably means that it is one you agree with and take for granted.

As for vulgarity, what do you mean? Just sex acts? Or nudity? Or curse words? How about made-up futuristic curse words? Fracking elaborate!
RE: "Agenda" - what I mean is the author sat down with a goal to write a fun read, not that they sat down to write to push an "agenda." I simply enjoy 50's and 60's type "innocent" stories.

RE: Vulgarity - I'm a christian and I simply can't stand vulgarity and I don't want to read about sex acts. Read a '50's book and then read a modern book and I think the difference in language is apparent.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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This is a similar thread from last year:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96661
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:10 PM   #7
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This is a similar thread from last year:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96661
Great. Much appreciated. I did search but didn't find this thread... Thank you for you help.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:19 PM   #8
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I'm curious if people can come up with many modern successful examples outside of the young adult slice of SF.

That old style died out because the market shifted away from plot-is-king adventure-SF to character-driven SF, which tends to be more complex in terms of theme or "agenda" and has modern dialog (based on how most people speak today, not saying your own speech is wrong).

I imagine there exists a Christian SF sub-genre just as there is in music today. Have you Googled for that?
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:43 PM   #9
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I imagine there exists a Christian SF sub-genre just as there is in music today. Have you Googled for that?
Question:
By "Christian SF" do you mean a "Christian" storyline or a storyline that a Christian would not find objectionable.?

Comments:
I would guess that there would be many people who do not call themselves "Christian" who also like to read "clean" copy.... (no vulgary, etc.)

I'm not looking for Christian SF. Just fun reads like (using Heinlein for example) "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," "Starship Troopers", "Glory Road", "Have Spaceship, Will Travel" etc. There may have been some suggestive dialog at times but nothing like you read today!

I read these back in the 70's (and I'm shocked at current pricing!) I'll be traveling all summer long and I'm looking for some fun reads to take along on my iPad. Doesn't have to be "the best," just cheap (or better yet free.) I've already downloaded some of the free Bean books which were suggested.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:49 PM   #10
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Ahhh... Here's a good example I just found... 99 cents
A Princess of Mars
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:56 PM   #11
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Battlefield Earth possibly? I don't recall anything overtly sexual or any rough dialog, but it's been a few years since I read it. Nor do I remember any specific agenda. It really does remind of the old-fashioned 1950s style, with lots of familiar tropes. But you do have to get past the whole "Founder of Scientology" thing first.

Bonus, Kindle edition is only $3.82. I might buy it just to reread it again.

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Old 04-30-2011, 03:02 PM   #12
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You might want to think of signing up for Phoenix Pick's newsletter. They give away a free e-book every month and their catalogue is mostly older reprints (and DRM-free), so they're probably closer to what you want.

Their current freebie, the sf/fantasy The Arm of the Stone is pretty good and fairly "clean" (maybe a bit of mild swearing I didn't notice, but not much more suggestive than mid-level Heinlein), but is kind of philosophical built around overturning a corrupt world order, so I don't know if that counts towards your points 2 or not.

They're having a 50% off with coupon sale (code in the link above) which ends today, and one you might want to pick up is L. Sprague de Camp's Lest Darkness Fall, which is a time-travel classic. de Camp was an old-school writer and this was written in 1949, so I think it'll fit in perfectly with your no explicit sex/swearing requirement. Though technically it may have an "agenda" (i.e. preventing the Dark Ages).

They've also got more old-school stuff by Edmond Hamilton and Leigh Brackett, and I've just read and can also recommend Paul Cook's Fortress on the Sun, which has very, very low incidences of swearing and sex mentions (there being a reason for the lack of the latter) and is a pretty well-written and interesting sf/mystery set in a futuristic prison camp where things are not what they seem.

Michael Flynn's The Forest of Time novella was also "clean" on both counts, though I can't vouch for the rest of the stories in his collection. But they're mostly older stuff and probably wouldn't be any worse than late-era Heinlein.
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 1611mac View Post
Question:
By "Christian SF" do you mean a "Christian" storyline or a storyline that a Christian would not find objectionable.?

Comments:
I would guess that there would be many people who do not call themselves "Christian" who also like to read "clean" copy.... (no vulgary, etc.)
On the other hand, I would guess that there are many people who call themselves "Christian" who aren't as easily offended by their reading material.

And your mention of Starship Troopers as a book without an agenda is an example of what I mentioned earlier-- a book with an agenda that you apparently don't notice because you agree with it. SST absolutely had a political agenda.
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1611mac View Post
Question:
By "Christian SF" do you mean a "Christian" storyline or a storyline that a Christian would not find objectionable.?

Comments:
I would guess that there would be many people who do not call themselves "Christian" who also like to read "clean" copy.... (no vulgary, etc.)

I'm not looking for Christian SF. Just fun reads like (using Heinlein for example) "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," "Starship Troopers", "Glory Road", "Have Spaceship, Will Travel" etc. There may have been some suggestive dialog at times but nothing like you read today!

I read these back in the 70's (and I'm shocked at current pricing!) I'll be traveling all summer long and I'm looking for some fun reads to take along on my iPad. Doesn't have to be "the best," just cheap (or better yet free.) I've already downloaded some of the free Bean books which were suggested.
I don't know how "cheap" is cheap. I recommend the works of Cordwainer Smith - 2 volumes at $6 a volume at Baen's (roughly 1300 pages worth of stories).

H. Beam Piper's works at project gutenberg. Also Planet of the Damned, by Harry Harrison also at PG.

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 04-30-2011 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:29 PM   #15
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On the other hand, I would guess that there are many people who call themselves "Christian" who aren't as easily offended by their reading material.
You sure are correct in that. We all have different things that offend us.

Quote:
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And your mention of Starship Troopers as a book without an agenda is an example of what I mentioned earlier-- a book with an agenda that you apparently don't notice because you agree with it. SST absolutely had a political agenda.
Perhaps my "no political agenda" is the wrong phrase. I don't mind a theme of politics in a book. What I don't want in my FUN reads is a book where the goal of the writer is to change people.

As info: I read a lot of non-fiction (church history, etc). When I read for fun I'm looking for just that.... fun. I hope that makes sense.
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