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Old 01-30-2020, 06:11 PM   #31
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This thread has caused me to seek out the 3 volume set of Science Fiction Hall of Fame books. Something about all the short stories and novellas really works for me.
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Old 01-30-2020, 06:37 PM   #32
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This thread has caused me to seek out the 3 volume set of Science Fiction Hall of Fame books. Something about all the short stories and novellas really works for me.
highly recommended
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:18 PM   #33
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highly recommended
I read the first volume (consisting of just the short stories) several years ago and really enjoyed it. So this thread has reminded me that the next 2 volumes existed. We'll see how the novellas stack up against the short stories
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:35 PM   #34
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The Strugatsky brothers deserve to be the third member of the big three sci-fi authors. And then there is Philip K. Dick.

John Wyndham wrote some ground-breaking short stories from the 30's. John Christopher was a close friend of Clarke, and wrote the brilliant YA Tripod Trilogy which may be the best YA book/s ever written.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:41 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Greg Anos View Post
meera. what we think of as science fiction is nearly 100 years old. It was born in the pulp magazines, and had different phases. I started this thread to look at authors from the "Cambrian Explosion" of the late 1930's, who published until they died.[...]
Feel free to start a different thread for that period, or later.
Many thanks for the condescending and unnecessary lecture, mate, but you are the one who failed to define your terms. Which is why I led with my own definition. And you might wanna google Mary Shelley.
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:19 PM   #36
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what we think of as science fiction is nearly 100 years old.
You could argue it's over 200 years old and that the first science fiction novel was Frankenstein.
(Admittedly, I just looked up "Science Fiction" on wikipedia and stole that from the article)
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:27 PM   #37
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You could argue it's over 200 years old and that the first science fiction novel was Frankenstein.
If you go outside English language SF, there's some interesting-sounding early Arabic SF, but I haven't read any of it.
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:40 PM   #38
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Is popularity the best judgment of quality? or interest?

How much "good art" fell by the wayside? Does that make "bad art"?

Example. There were two writers working in a classified project in world War II. One in the European Theater, one in the Pacific Theater. Both then became writers. One is a household name today, one ended in obscurity. Yet, if you read their works, I can't say that either one was a better writer.

Spoiler:
Ian Fleming (James Bond) and Eric Frank Russell


It seems to me, a thread on Old Masters of S/F should be inclusive of those writer who did good work, but fell by the wayside of popularity.

Dated? Of course! But so is Dumas, Mark Twain, and Doyle. One has to put themselves in the spirit of the times to appreciate their works. Same for the S/F magazine writers. I sort of wanted to start a conversation on that period, to compare and contrast, and maybe provide some reading tips for those looking to dip into that writing period.
Withstand the test of time is one of the definitions of classics. Of course, Ian Fleming is well know, but it's more because of the movies (James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang, Bang) than because people still read his books.

When one starts to talk about some of the Old Masters who have become less remembered there are a number of changes both from a style point of view, changes in technology and a move from short stories to novels among others. The same changes can apply to other genres as well.

I'm fond of The Worm Ouroboros, E.R. Eddison's classic. But I also understand why it's not exactly a current best seller. Certainly not like 10,000 Leagues under the Sea or The Three Musketeers, and let's not talk about the Sherlock Holmes stories or some of the Agatha Christie stories.

I tend to find it as interesting to consider why certain stories are still popular after such a long time while other stories are not.

One author that I really like who was published by Campbell was H Beam Piper. The Gunpower God/Lord Kalvin of Otherwhen was his most famous book, though Fuzzy is pretty famous as well. A number of his books have gone into PD, though Lord Kalvin of Otherwhen isn't.
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:55 PM   #39
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Certainly there can be elements of science-fiction even in ancient literature, but I think it safe to say it matured into something more easily identifiable as science fiction in the nineteenth century.

However, I was appalled to see the suggestion that "old masters" might not include authors like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells ... and lots of others, but those two in particular are indisputably old masters of science fiction.

The 1930s pulp post-pulp explosion is generally referred to as the "golden age", but it was a very definite, and limited, style of science fiction - fiction suitable to the publishing medium and audience of the time. Some authors worked well in this era and failed to evolve with the 1950s and 1960s, but some made that change with great success. The ones that made that change successfully, or that became a success into the 1950s and beyond are the ones I tend think of with greatest affection because I prefer the more substantial works that became the norm once again - reverting back to what worked before the supposed golden age.

Last edited by gmw; 01-30-2020 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:51 AM   #40
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I remember seeing the 2002 movie adaptation of The Time Machine in theaters when I was in HS, FWIW.
And The Time Machine was initially published in 1895.
EDIT: And was obviously recognizable as science fiction.

Last edited by binaryhermit; 01-31-2020 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:29 AM   #41
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A._Bertram_Chandler, Isaac Asimov, and A.C. Clarke are old standby's for good Sci. Fi. I think. Edmund Hamilton is another good one. I agree that editors had a good deal of input. From what I've read John W. Campbell was one of those editors. He helped many of the old masters get established. And of course many of them wrote in the 'pulp' era where the author got .01 a word if they were lucky. So that they had to write a lot in order to pay the rent and keep food on the table.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:30 AM   #42
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I remember seeing the 2002 movie adaptation of The Time Machine in theaters when I was in HS, FWIW.
And The Time Machine was initially published in 1895.
EDIT: And was obviously recognizable as science fiction.
And H.G. Wells great grandson Simon was the director I believe.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:32 AM   #43
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Certainly there can be elements of science-fiction even in ancient literature, but I think it safe to say it matured into something more easily identifiable as science fiction in the nineteenth century.

However, I was appalled to see the suggestion that "old masters" might not include authors like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells ... and lots of others, but those two in particular are indisputably old masters of science fiction.

The 1930s pulp post-pulp explosion is generally referred to as the "golden age", but it was a very definite, and limited, style of science fiction - fiction suitable to the publishing medium and audience of the time. Some authors worked well in this era and failed to evolve with the 1950s and 1960s, but some made that change with great success. The ones that made that change successfully, or that became a success into the 1950s and beyond are the ones I tend think of with greatest affection because I prefer the more substantial works that became the norm once again - reverting back to what worked before the supposed golden age.
I agree that Wells and Verne were there at the start. Between them they pretty much invented the genre, though Wells was softer in his science than Verne was.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:36 AM   #44
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This thread has caused me to seek out the 3 volume set of Science Fiction Hall of Fame books. Something about all the short stories and novellas really works for me.
The 1st volume is out in kindle for $11.99 at Amazon.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:42 AM   #45
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I'll have to stick up for E.E.Smith. He single-handedly create space opera.

His scale may be larger than what most people prefer, but he was different than anything before him.
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