50 SF Novels You Must Read
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Author:  Pete [ Wed May 25, 2011 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  50 SF Novels You Must Read

Another list, this time by Forbidden Planet:- ... must-read/

Did a rough count and I make my tally 36.

I'd like to have seen "Venus Plus X" by Theodore Sturgeon, "334" by Thomas Disch and "Behold the Man" by Michael Moorcock included, but mostly solid.

Author:  Rolnikov [ Wed May 25, 2011 6:12 pm ]
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Only about 24 for me. There are quite a few long ones that I began but never finished, like Red Mars and The Reality Dysfunction.

Author:  Pete [ Wed May 25, 2011 6:37 pm ]
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They cheated with a few of them as well, with multiple volumes in the Aldiss, Wolfe and Vinge.

Author:  Bob Lock [ Wed May 25, 2011 8:21 pm ]
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I made 19 but many of them as you said are multiple volumes. And how-the-hell can they pick Embassytown by Mieville? It only came out in April, I'd have thought Perdido Street Station would have served better.

Author:  Chelsea_Tractor [ Wed May 25, 2011 8:57 pm ]
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Bob Lock wrote:
I made 19 but many of them as you said are multiple volumes. And how-the-hell can they pick Embassytown by Mieville? It only came out in April.

Forbidden Planet's email system has a temporal vortex in its server, so they have assurances from their own staff in 2021 that it's stood the test of time.

Personally, I've always wondered why these lists have the word "must" when "should" or even just "we recommend" is more accurate and less irritating. I mean, I have no legal obligation to read any of these (although FP tell me that I will by 2036).

Author:  iansales [ Sun May 29, 2011 10:15 am ]
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Read 38, got a further 6 on the shelves yet to read. I'd say there were a few in that list people must not read. People's admiration for Foundation, for example, continues to astound me.

Author:  StevePalmer [ Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:48 am ]
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Astounding! :D

Author:  Syd Foster [ Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

iansales wrote:
People's admiration for Foundation, for example, continues to astound me.

How glad I am to hear someone else express my own feelings about Foundation! I read it when I was only 13 or so, and I'd always loved Asimov's work until then... I think I'd read almost everything he'd written by that time (the endish of the 60s.... years later I tried revisiting a couple of stories in I, Robot, but was disappointed to find them trite and embarrassingly juvenile, which ruined my delighted memories of those little stories... which I read as a recently-juvenile 10 to 12 year old, and loved, originally!).

Anyway, I always thought perhaps I wasn't old enough for Foundation.... but I remember it as implausible and dull writing. With our modern grasp of Chaos, my intuitive understanding that a science of history could never work has been vindicated, and Foundation should be left to rest in peace as a historical brick in the palace of sf, which has risen so much higher in recent decades!

Author:  Syd Foster [ Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 50 SF Novels You Must Read

After I wrote the above I went to check the list: I've read about 33 of them (slightly lost count at the end through someone talking to me... :roll: people! Can't live with em, can't live without em! :wink: )

But some of the comments after the list! Someone actually thinks Red Dwarf should be on it... okay, I've not read the books... I enjoyed the tv program but to insist that the novelisations should go on a top 50 of all time?!

And another thing! :twisted: I've read 1984 twice, and I reckon it's the most over-rated book I've ever read! It's a simple political allegory, not a flipping great novel of any kind, let alone sf! It's not sfnal in the least! And as to "character"... there's none! Just caricatures of types... there's no humanity, just dregs... how on earth could such a situation ever develop in Britain? It's an allegory of the soviet union, back when people didn't know that Stalin's nightmare had betrayed the vision for which so many intellectuals were proselytising in the capitalist west back then. Sure nowadays we could all be plugged in to pleasure machines without our noticing.... could we? I couldn't, could you? The system buys us more subtly than 1984 ever dreamt, but still we have far more gumption and spark than Orwell's allegory allows.

I figure people still think somehow we stole a march on the literary mafia by sneaking one of "ours" into the Received Canon of the literary world.... but I doubt any of "them" see it as anything but a historical curiosity... I can't see it being called great literature by the people who read modern fiction.... maybe I'm wrong about that, but really, sf has produced so much more literary and truly great writing than 1984,
... if you ask me, Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy is far more of a proper novel than Orwell's, and the extended wrangling over the Martian Constitution provided an opportunity to construct a totally devastating critique of laissez faire capitalist american politics, far more effective and true than Orwell's one note symphony. And the same author has provided us with a gripping investigation of american lives and the way science is done, and also besieged with nonscience, in his more recent trilogy Science in the Capitol, which I truly rate as Great Literature.

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