The Evolution of Science Fiction discussion

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Group Reads 2014 > Which authors would you like to read from the 70's

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message 1: by Jo (last edited May 23, 2014 05:58AM) (new)

Jo | 1089 comments For the group reads I personally like having an author chosen by the group and a book chosen by the group. I read all the books and this gives me a way to read something I may not have chosen myself. For this reason (and unless people object) I would like the group to nominate who are the must read authors of the 70's (and here lets keept to 2-3). The most popular author will be then covered in the group read of the 70s. Note here I would like to go back to one decade in one month and so the 70's book will be read in August and you have up to the end of may to nominate. Looking forward to hearing the recommendations.

Nominations: Votes
Samuel R Delany 2
Harlan Ellison 3
Roger Zelazny 2
Douglas Adams 2
Larry Niven 2
Niven & Pournelle 1
Joanna Russ 1
Keith Laumer 1
Joe Halderman 1
Stanislaw Lem 1
Arthur C Clarke 1


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4027 comments Mod
While Roger Zelazny shined in the 60's, he wrote some great books in the 70's. Jack of Shadows & Doorways in the Sand come to mind immediately. I'll nominate him.


Knight of the Reading Table | 17 comments I would like to nominate Larry Niven.


message 4: by David (new)

David Merrill | 240 comments I was trying to think of all the authors that make me think of the 70's in SF. All of these authors had major novels in the 70's.

Joanna Russ The Female Man
Philip Jose Farmer To Your Scattered Bodies Go
Samuel R. Delany Dhalgren
Thomas M. Disch 334
Norman Spinrad Bug Jack Barron
Ursula Le Guin The Left Hand Of Darkness
R. A. Lafferty Fourth Mansions
Joe Haldeman The Forever War
Roger Zelazny The entire 1st Amber Series came out in the 70's

I'm not sure if I can choose just one of these authors to nominate. These are the books that impacted me the most out of all of Science Fiction. I think the 70's is my favorite decade for Science Fiction. I will have to give this some more thought.


message 5: by David (new)

David Merrill | 240 comments I realized I missed one author because I was focused on novels:
Harlan Ellison Deathbird Stories, Strange Wine, The Glass Teat


message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4027 comments Mod
I'd forgotten we were voting on Zelazny for the 60's, so I withdraw my 70's nomination of him.

Can we nominate a team? I think the Niven & Pournelle team should be included. While I like both authors, I think they teamed up to write better than either separately, e.g. The Mote in God's Eye & Lucifer's Hammer.

I agree with everyone David nominated, too. Haldeman's The Forever War was pretty defining of the 70's since I'd read Heinlein's Starship Troopers first. The contrast in attitude between the 2 is incredible since they are so similar in other ways. Ursula K. Le Guin wrote several during this decade, but The Lathe of Heaven is my favorite.


message 7: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1089 comments I'm just wondering if it's best to put them separately or not. If I leave it as Niven then if he wins you could always nominate a book by Niven & Pournelle when the time comes. If I put them separately it might be another author gets more votes when overall the votes for Niven plus Niven & Pournelle are more. Anyway, if you prefer to keep them separate it's fine by me just say.


message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4027 comments Mod
You do what you think is right, Jo. I'm good either way. Both were influential. I'm going to have a LOT of trouble making up my mind, anyway. I was a teen during this decade & spent a lot of time with SF books.


message 9: by David (new)

David Merrill | 240 comments I have to agree, Niven and Pournelle were much better together than apart. They're one of the best collaborations I've ever seen.


message 10: by David (last edited May 01, 2014 09:34PM) (new)

David Merrill | 240 comments I was just double checking myself. Bug Jack Barron was actually 1969, but he had The Iron Dream in the 70's. That was an amazing book too.

How many can I nominate anyway? Do I have to pick just one?

I think Dhalgren had the most impact on me, but it's so dang long and I just re-read it for a discussion last year. I hesitate to suggest it. Quite frankly, the ones I'd really like to nominate, I doubt anyone else will vote for-- Thomas M. Disch and R. A. Lafferty. Such a dilemma.


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4027 comments Mod
David, I wonder how many we should nominate, too. I'm sure we've got plenty, but no one has mentioned Robert Silverberg or Gordon R. Dickson. We haven't read any short stories & while Ellison is definitely the king, I've always been fonder of Keith Laumer's Bolo universe.

Too many authors, not to mention books, & not nearly enough time!


message 12: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1089 comments You can nominate up to three and I will give them one vote each. Remember we will also have a thread nearer the time where you can nominate a book you want to read.


message 13: by David (new)

David Merrill | 240 comments I have to admit, I'm struggling with this. I'm trying to pick someone whose major work happened in the 70's and who had a major impact on the field at that time. Someone who embodies the 70's for me. I'm finding as I look them up on Wikipedia, the works I think of as 70's is more that I read them in the 70's not that they were published then. The only one from my list who really fits that bill is Joanna Russ. I suppose Ellison does too, but he also has major work in other decades and has always had an impact on SF.

I'll nominate Harlan Ellison, Joanna Russ and Samuel R. Delany.

I'm nominating Delany because he really pushed the limits of Science Fiction in the 70's with Dhalgren, which was more popular outside of Science Fiction and Tales Of Neveryon which took sword and sorcery way outside its usual boundaries to look at gender and slavery.

Wow, I think I'm actually really happy with my list after all that. All three of these people really redefined what a writer could do within the parameters of Science Fiction during the 70's.


message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4027 comments Mod
I'll nominate Joe Haldeman, Keith Laumer, and the team of Niven & Pournelle as a single author, OK?


message 15: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1089 comments I can't completely make up my mind. I want to read Ursula K. Le Guin but as she is up for nomination in the current poll I will wait to see if she wins or not.

I will in the meantime nominate Stanislaw Lem as I would quite like to read The Invincible and Samuel R Delany in the hope that if he wins Dhalgren will be the winning book which is sat on my bookshelf waiting to be read!


message 16: by Hank (new)

Hank (cosciencewriter) | 5 comments Jo wrote: "For the group reads I personally like having an author chosen by the group and a book chosen by the group. I read all the books and this gives me a way to read something I may not have chosen mysel..."

How about Arthur C. Clarke's Rendeszvous with Rama?


message 17: by ~Sara~ (last edited May 20, 2014 01:11PM) (new)

~Sara~ | 8 comments I'd like to nominate Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was late 70's.


message 18: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1089 comments Hi Hank, Clare and Sara,

I think I am confusing things with this thread! For the group reads we have been having by decade a chosen author and also a book from the same decade. Here I am looking for the author you most want to read from the 70s. The top author will then be chosen and next month we will nominate a book from them and also a second book form the 70s.

I will take the author from your books and add to the list of nominated authors. Either way you can nominate the book next month. Hope this makes sense!


message 19: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (jsharbour) +1 for Ellison, Zelazny, and Adams. Familiar with their work but not read much so that would be fun.


message 20: by ~Sara~ (new)

~Sara~ | 8 comments Jo wrote: "Hi Hank, Clare and Sara,

I think I am confusing things with this thread! For the group reads we have been having by decade a chosen author and also a book from the same decade. Here I am looking f..."


Thanks Jo, perfect sense.
It was my post that wasn't very clear; I changed the comma to a dash to hopefully clear it up...

I just wasn't sure if Douglas Adams would count for this decade or the next one since The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is his only book written in the 70's - I think all the rest were in the 80's (although this is the one I would nominate as well :)).


message 21: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 895 comments Philip Jose Farmer


Knight of the Reading Table | 17 comments H.G Wells


message 23: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1089 comments There seems to be very little consensus for an author from the 1970s, and with no more than 2 votes for any one author i'm thinking next month it might be better to just nominate 2 books from this decade. We can split it 1970-1974 and 1975-1979. I will wait and see if there is a big change before the end of the month but if not i'm inclined to change to this if nobody has any major objections.


Knight of the Reading Table | 17 comments I think that is a very good idea Jo. I for one don't no much about authors from the 70's and would rather vote on books from the 70's instead.


message 25: by David (new)

David Merrill | 240 comments I didn't think we were voting yet for author. I thought we were just nominating. We seem to have a top four. Why don't we have the whole group vote on them?


message 26: by Buck (last edited May 23, 2014 04:17AM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 895 comments David wrote: "I didn't think we were voting yet for author. I thought we were just nominating. We seem to have a top four. Why don't we have the whole group vote on them?"

If we are looking to see who the most requested authors are I'll support Larry Niven and Harlan Ellison because they both have works i want to read, or reread. I'll withdraw my nomination of Philip Jose Farmer because I just finished the book of his I wanted to read.

There are so many, we could spend a year reading from this decade.


message 27: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1089 comments David wrote: "I didn't think we were voting yet for author. I thought we were just nominating. We seem to have a top four. Why don't we have the whole group vote on them?"

Maybe this is a better idea. I will create a poll at the beginning of June with the most popular.


message 28: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1089 comments One last question, as Sara mentions Douglas Adams only wrote The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Live in the 70s. As he will currently be in the poll as in the top 5 does anybody object as we will not be choosing from a body of work it will be this book? If nobody objects he will go in the poll.


message 29: by David (new)

David Merrill | 240 comments I've never read Hitchhikers Guide, but if this is the only book Adams wrote in the 70's, maybe it would make sense to handle him in the 80's and leave it open to read this for that decade? I suspect he's more representative of the 80's if this is the case. Just a suggestion. I will bow to the group mind. :)


message 30: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1089 comments Jo wrote: "One last question, as Sara mentions Douglas Adams only wrote The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Live in the 70s. As he will currently be in the poll as in the top 5 does anybody obj..."

I agree with you. If I do it like this the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy can be nominated anyway as the book for the 70s and if it doesn't win can be included as by Adams in the 80s.


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