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Old 01-31-2020, 05:09 AM   #46
Pulpmeister
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Quite a lot of those who were huge in the earlies survive today on the strength of one or two great stories.

Some of my favourite short sf stories:

Jerome Bixby: The Holes around Mars (scientifically very unsound, but fun, with a pun as a punchline)
Eric Frank Russell: Men Martians and Machines (1955: a short story collection)
Asimov: the Dead Past (if that doesn't make you pause to think nothing will)
Asimov: The Billiard Ball (who else could make a short story out of Relativity?)
Heinlein: And he Built a Crooked House
C M Kornbluth: The Little Black Bag
Pohl: The Tunnel Under the World (you don't want to find the answer to your question)
Asimov: Lenny
A Bertram Chandler: Giant Killer (unfortunately the illustration in the magazine gave away the punchline)
James Blish: Beep!
Mildred Clingerman: Letters from Laura (about as risque as you get get in an sf in 1954)
John W Campbell: Who goes There?
Arthur C Clarke: A Walk in the Dark (wonderfully scary)
John W Campbell, Forgetfulness
Van Vogt: Black Destroyer
Henry Hasse: He Who Shrank
Frederick Pohl: Day Million
Jeerome Bixby: It's a good life

Lots of others
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:24 AM   #47
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Clifford D. Simak must count as one of the Old Masters. Published from 1931 to 1986, with three Hugos and a Nebula to his credit, and the third SFWA Grand Master.

I'm particularly fond of Way Station, which won the 1964 Hugo for best novel. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to be available as an ebook in the UK at the moment.
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:49 AM   #48
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Yes, I liked Way Station, too. I have a paperback somewhere in my bookshelves.
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:40 AM   #49
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Clifford D. Simak must count as one of the Old Masters. Published from 1931 to 1986, with three Hugos and a Nebula to his credit, and the third SFWA Grand Master.

I'm particularly fond of Way Station, which won the 1964 Hugo for best novel. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to be available as an ebook in the UK at the moment.
I bought Way Station at Amazon US, and it is still available
there
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Old 01-31-2020, 07:40 AM   #50
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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.
I'm a Doc Smith fan and have his Lensmen series. He's one of the pulp writers that I mentioned. He definitely doesn't translate well into this PC age.

Pulp fiction overall had a style that transcended genre. Both the Lensman series and the Doc Savage books had a very similar feel to them.
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:17 AM   #51
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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.
My favorite H. Beam Piper book was Uller Uprising. The Sepoy Mutiny as Sci Fi.
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:30 AM   #52
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Clifford D. Simak must count as one of the Old Masters. Published from 1931 to 1986, with three Hugos and a Nebula to his credit, and the third SFWA Grand Master.

I'm particularly fond of Way Station, which won the 1964 Hugo for best novel. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to be available as an ebook in the UK at the moment.
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Yes, I liked Way Station, too. I have a paperback somewhere in my bookshelves.
I still have my paper copy of Waystation and it has been read many times over the years. I also bought the ebook when I realized it was available. I see that it is ranked #29 in Science Fiction in the Kindle Store.
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Old 01-31-2020, 01:31 PM   #53
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My favorite H. Beam Piper book was Uller Uprising. The Sepoy Mutiny as Sci Fi.
Apache
Yep, that's a good one also. That's one of his books that is in PD. I've got most of his books in paper, and the PD ones in eBook.
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Old 01-31-2020, 01:44 PM   #54
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I'm a fan of John Wyndham, I consider The Day of the Triffids his best novel and Dumb Martian and Pillar to Post his best short stories.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:50 PM   #55
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I haven't seen mentioned one of my favorites, Damon Knight.
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:34 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Pulpmeister View Post
Quite a lot of those who were huge in the earlies survive today on the strength of one or two great stories.

Some of my favourite short sf stories:

Jerome Bixby: The Holes around Mars (scientifically very unsound, but fun, with a pun as a punchline)
Eric Frank Russell: Men Martians and Machines (1955: a short story collection)
Asimov: the Dead Past (if that doesn't make you pause to think nothing will)
Asimov: The Billiard Ball (who else could make a short story out of Relativity?)
Heinlein: And he Built a Crooked House
C M Kornbluth: The Little Black Bag
Pohl: The Tunnel Under the World (you don't want to find the answer to your question)
Asimov: Lenny
A Bertram Chandler: Giant Killer (unfortunately the illustration in the magazine gave away the punchline)
James Blish: Beep!
Mildred Clingerman: Letters from Laura (about as risque as you get get in an sf in 1954)
John W Campbell: Who goes There?
Arthur C Clarke: A Walk in the Dark (wonderfully scary)
John W Campbell, Forgetfulness
Van Vogt: Black Destroyer
Henry Hasse: He Who Shrank
Frederick Pohl: Day Million
Jeerome Bixby: It's a good life

Lots of others
Here is my list of short stories from the period.

Cordwainer Smith - The Ballad Of Lost C'Mell
Cordwainer Smith - On The Sand Planet
Theodore Sturgeon - The Man Who Lost The Sea
Theodore Sturgeon - A Saucer Full Of Loneliness
Fritz Leiber - Try And Change The Past
James Blish - Surface Tension
Issac Asimov - It's A Beautiful Day
Robert Heinlein - Elsewhen
A. E. Van Vogt - Dear Pen Pal
C.L. Moore - No Woman Born
Henry Kuttner - The Two Handed Engine
Jack Vance - Rumfuddle
Eric Frank Russel - Legwork
Poul Anderson - The Sharing Of The Flesh
L.Sprague De Camp - A Gun For Dinosaur
Alfred Bester - Fondly Fahrenheit
Arthur C. Clarke - The Wall Of Darkness
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:50 PM   #57
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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.
Frankenstein was written before Verne was born. Wells was born about the time of Verne's early work.
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:21 AM   #58
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I too liked Waystation. But I found Simak's other works just didn't grab me, though I liked his kind of sad writing tone.

James Blish Cities in Fight was a classic. A real blast.

I though Philip Jose Farmer was very good. I appreciate we're moving beyond "classic", but I'd consider him classic. Obviously the Riverworld was popular and good. He kind of kicked off that whole using historical figures as characters. But I think his World of Tiers was better. Very inventive, and a rollicking good ride.

And Jackl L Chalker Well World sage. That was awesome.

I read all these books as a kid. I think one measure of a really good book is if you still enjoy as much as you did when you read it as a kid.

Last edited by Pajamaman; 02-02-2020 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:25 AM   #59
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And when one is discussing classics, one should never forget Hodgson. The Nightland still really kicks the hell out of pretty much anything else, except The Rings (which is not sci-fi). It still blows my socks off in terms of scope and story line, and the character is all by himself for 75% of the book. Remarkable.

In fact, I would nominate the The Nightland for THE GREATEST SCI-FI WORK OF ALL TIME award (so far).
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:56 AM   #60
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Clifford D. Simak must count as one of the Old Masters. Published from 1931 to 1986, with three Hugos and a Nebula to his credit, and the third SFWA Grand Master.

I'm particularly fond of Way Station, which won the 1964 Hugo for best novel. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to be available as an ebook in the UK at the moment.
It definitely was available at some point, from SF Gateway, since that's where I got mine. It had quite a lot of scannos I seem to remember, so maybe it got pulled for quality control.

A lot of the early SF masters are very dry, relying on the ideas to carry them, but Simak's book have a peculiar atmosphere that I like, and that makes them work even when the ideas are thin.
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