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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:29 pm 
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Today the seriesreaches the 'science fiction & fantasy novels everyone must read' and there are three parts to the list linked on that page.

Interzone influence on the list can be seen in Stephen Baxter The Time Ships, Gwyneth Jones "Bold as Love" and Alastair Reynolds' "Revelation Space" plus Eric Brown and Keith Brooke are represented by recommending and describing several entries.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:54 am 
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Wot no Ray Bradbury? !! :shock:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:05 pm 
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Bradbury's there. He's in a sidebar article on "Worst Dystopias", along with Orwell and Huxley. I have the full list here on my blog.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:41 pm 
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I missed LAST AND FIRST MEN. Some people I know prefer it to STAR MAKER. The latter has a mystical-theological ending that describes one form of CREATIONISM: INTELLIGENT DESIGN. This often repells people of scientific leanings (like myself), especially now, given the current attack on evolution and scientific cosmology. I admit though, that this ending is transcendently gorgeous and has some relevance to contemporary philosophy.
LAST AND FIRST MEN is atheistic through and through. This appeals to me. One STANDARD reason for under-valueing the book is its anti-American start. As a born American I can enjoy Stapledon's somewhat exaggerated descriptions. Only "somewhat", since much of it rings true in my ears. Moreover, it was the Americans who trashed the first attempt at progress in the book, thanks to their prudery if I remember rightly. It was the Asians, not the gringos, who attempted to advance our culture. They failed.
Another reason LAST... is often preferred is the wealth of nitty-gritty detail it provides about all the "men" it treats. STAR MAKER is praised for its spatiotemporally staggering imaginative scope, and rightly so. But close-in details are often lacking.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:09 pm 
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iansales wrote:
I have the full list here on my blog.

That's an impressive number you've read, Ian. I can only make 27 - though I have quite a few untouched on the shelf, and one or two I've read enough of to know I don't want to persevere!

Since the list includes fantasy, it would have been nice to see Theodore Sturgeon represented - 'The Dreaming Jewels' or 'More than Human', perhaps.

Interesting that Dick's 'Ubik' didn't make the list - that was the one that 'Time' magazine picked for their 100 best novels since 1923. But then I always feel the genius of Dick is dispersed across his work; it's hard to single-out one particular masterpiece. In particular I'd find it hard to pick one out of 'Ubik', 'The Man in the High Castle', 'Do Androids Dream...?', 'Flow my Tears, the Policeman Said' and 'A Scanner Darkly'. And even his patchier novels have brilliant things in them.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:03 am 
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An In Our Time episode where Melvyn and co. look at Brave New Worldand ask
Quote:
why did Huxley feel the need to write it and is it really as dystopian as we are led to believe?

Should be available as a podcast for a week here soon.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:15 pm 
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Interesting, perhaps too eclectic(?), list... and I don't thinkall of those books are notable or even recognisable as SF, anyway.

Can't accept that KSR's Years of Rice & Salt, instead of his MARS trilogy, is thought to be required reading!
:o

I've only read about 30, but have also seen film/TV versions of quite a few others -
Handmaid’s Tale
Crash
Fahrenheit 451
Clockwork Orange
Naked Lunch
Lord of the Flies
Dune (that novel's been on my bookshelf, unread, for years!) :roll:
Children of Men
The Trial
Flowers for Algernon
The Shining
Earthsea
Memoirs of a Survivor
I Am Legend
Fight Club
The Prestige
Blindness
Lord of the Rings
Connecticut Yankee…
Institute Benjamenta
Old Men at the Zoo

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