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The Weird, Fun, & Miscellaneous > Books That Changed Science Fiction And Fantasy Forever

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message 1: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 795 comments http://io9.com/21-books-that-changed-...

A very cool list of books that changed sci-fi and fantasy according to the authors.

The title says it's 21 books but apparently they're 22 since they have two #8.
I had never heard of Dhalgrenor Dangerous Visions.

The list
1) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
2) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
3) Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delaney
4) Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
5) War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
6) Foundation by Isaac Asimov
7) Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
8) Dangerous Visions, Edited by Harlan Ellison
8) Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
9) Ringworld by Larry Niven
10) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
11) Neuromancer by William Gibson
12) Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
13) A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin
14) Kindred by Octavia Butler
15) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
16) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
17) Wind-Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
18) The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
19) Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
20) The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
21) Dune - Frank Herbert


message 2: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments Only 3 women...

I've had Dhalgren recommended to me over and over again but it seems impossible to get in my library. Its always on hold even though its older (and its long) so I may have to buy it. I trust the people who recommend it to me so if you can find a copy, give it a try,


message 3: by Bryn (last edited Jul 25, 2014 05:05PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) Dangerous Visions changed me forever. :)
Though I think I met first & foremost Again, Dangerous Visions

PS. to Alicja, these anthologies had women in them, quite strongly from my impressions. :) In them Harlan Ellison championed Samuel R. Delaney of Dhalgren when he was newish, also James Tiptree Jr, who can't otherwise be on the list as she's a short story writer. He talked these two up as his greatest finds, and I thought so too.


message 4: by Gary (last edited Jul 26, 2014 03:49AM) (new)

Gary | 1472 comments I'd quibble here and there. It looks more like a favorites list than a list of books that really changed the genres. It seems like lumping science fiction and fantasy together creates a kind of muddle. Only three, maybe four (depending on the anthology) of those books really would be "fantasy" so it's rather under-represented as a genre. What about Roger Zelazny, Gene Wolfe or Michael Moorcock? Not having C. S. Lewis on there doesn't seem quite right either. It seems like Frankenstein should be on there too if one really wants to talk about changing the SF genre.

Still, it works pretty well as a bucket list. I've not read Dhalgren either, so that's going on my TBR pile along with a few others.


message 5: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments Or something like The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling? Or anything by Tim Powers like The Anubis Gates? These pretty much started the whole Steampunk sub-genre of science fiction but have no mention at all in the list.

I think I agree with Gary that its incomplete.

And of course there are so few women there when someone at least like C.J. Cherryh and Mary Shelley should have gotten a mention.


message 6: by Gary (last edited Jul 26, 2014 10:42PM) (new)

Gary | 1472 comments It's probably a little soon to have The Hunger Games on that list. The NPR quote "Dystopian fiction has been around for a long time, but the success of The Hunger Games has spawned a whole new crop of books set in a grim future where an authoritarian regime is just begging to be overthrown" doesn't sound like anything new to me. But, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

(No, we won't.)


message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 71 comments It looks to me like they're using a few too many definitions. If the question is "changed forever" it's definitely early to tell with Hunger Games and Harry Potter. If the question is "changed," definitely.

But then there's also the question of whether they changed things for writers, or for readers, or for the genre itself.
Lord of the Rings opened the doors for most of modern fantasy. We can see that in the decades of similar quests since.
I guess Harry Potter changed modern YA, and then Hunger Games changed it again, but those are marketing changes. They made it okay for adults to read YA (stupid clickbait articles to the contrary), which a lot of us did already. They made publishers look at the market in a different way. And they probably did make it possible for a whole lot of writers to get deals in their wake, since those books (and Twilight and Fifty Shades of Gray etc) kept the publishers more solvent in a lean time.


message 8: by Gary (last edited Jul 26, 2014 10:58PM) (new)

Gary | 1472 comments I suppose there's an argument to be made that popularity "changes" the marketplace itself, so something like Harry Potter might be important in that it got a generation of kids reading where they might, otherwise, be texting. A similar point could be made about The Hunger Games. However, it seems to me that's not really about "Changed Science Fiction And Fantasy Forever" so much as it is describing a trend or a fad.

So, for instance, the quote in the article about Harry Potter "suddenly every firm began accepting similar book proposals in the hopes that another diamond in the rough could be found. It's been harder than previously thought. There have been some promising books, but none that have captured the hearts and minds of millions" would seem to indicate that F&SF remain pretty much unchanged by that success.

Plus... well, OK, Heinlein. I have a real "emperor's new clothes" thing going on with Heinlein because people give him credit for all sorts of things that I just don't see having any relationship to his actual work. Frankly, people gush forth loony levels of hyperbole when it comes to his work that just doesn't bear any relationship to the actual product. From that article: "Smith is more than a character. He is prototype of an alternative personality structure. The question of whether we can remake the human personality from the ground up." Uh, no, it doesn't do that. I've read that book. It's a really shallow Marty Stu character that'd fit right into a comic book from 20 years before the novel came out and any number of adolescent wish fulfillment daydreams... plus, sex. Adding sex and making up a word ("grok") isn't the height of literary character restructuring. It's just not. I know folks really want Heinlein's work to be referential of Voltaire (seriously, I recently got that one) but inevitably they can't point to how that actually happens in the actual text, so it reads like an elaborate post-rationalization of some standard pulp sci-fi.


message 9: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments Maybe we need to come up with our own list in this group.

I agree that The Hunger Games may be popular, but even the concept of kids in a to-the-death contest isn't original (like Battle Royale).

And if we have Neuromancer, then why do we need the later Snow Crash? Don't get me wrong, I love Snow Crash, but it doesn't seem like it was genre changing like Neuromancer was.


message 10: by Gary (last edited Jul 27, 2014 10:29AM) (new)

Gary | 1472 comments Alicja wrote: "Maybe we need to come up with our own list in this group."

Fuck yeah! I mean... that sounds like an interesting thing to discuss.

For the ones that were on that list, I would agree with:

1) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
2) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
4) Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
5) War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
6) Foundation by Isaac Asimov
9) Ringworld by Larry Niven
11) Neuromancer by William Gibson
15) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
19) Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
20) The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
21) Dune - Frank Herbert

Books that really ought to be on such a list (like it or not...):

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis.
2001: A Space Odyssey by A. C. Clark.
A Wizard of Earthsea Ursula K. Le Guin.
The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

There are a few that I'd include, but that I think are kind of dark horses for such a list for one reason or another:

The Tempest by Shakespeare. OK, it's a play not a novel, but it has a wizard, spirits and magic in it (elements that appear in many Shakespeare plays) but this one is towards the end of his career, and I'd argue is representative of his work as a fantasy writer.

Carrie by Stephen King. I know it's generally considered horror and not really given its due as a psychic and, therefore, sci-fi novel, but it kicked off a whole set of writing careers. I'd argue that folks like Peter Straub and Anne Rice have very, very different careers without King coming in first.

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. Wells' War of the Worlds is already on the first list, but lightning sometimes strikes twice....

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. This is on the original list, and I'm confident it belongs there, but given that the series isn't finished yet, I think it has an asterisk on it.

What do you guys think?


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 71 comments I'd say Frankenstein and Left Hand of Darkness absolutely belong.


message 12: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments I am not sure if we should include The War of the Worlds or The Time Machine. I haven't read all those books but it seems time travel isn't really represented and it is a significant element of sci fi today. I think The Time Machine was what really spread the crossing of the 4th dimension bug and should get its mention.

And of course either The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling or The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. Like it or not, they are the inventors of Steampunk and Steampunk classics (like Neuromancer is to Cyberpunk).

I'll agree with your list (except for maybe the War of the Worlds trade for The Time Machine).

Was Conan really that influential? I think that was before my time and I never read any because it just seemed like an excuse for fur (barely)covered women and a loin cloth covered steroid junkie to get it on (an opinion based on cover art alone).


message 13: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) I think Conan & H.G. Wells were that influential, yes, if we take a history of SF perspective.
Dangerous Visions so belongs on the list, as an engine of change. Also vote for Left Hand of Darkness, Stranger in a Strange Land no matter how I feel about it, and The Martian Chronicles.


message 14: by William (new)

William Galaini (williamgalaini) | 73 comments I also think John Carter of Mars should be there. The Martian Princess books is where we get pulp from, by and large. Indiana Jones and Luke Skywalker have a lot to owe to that man.

I'm also down with Conan being on the list. I completely get the reservation of having Howard's work on there, but Conan was the first sword and sorcery series of tales that I know of, and he opened a lot of doors for Tolkien and others down the road.

What about "The King of Elfland's Daughter?" I think that is the name. Should that be on the list, possibly?


message 15: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) William wrote: "What about "The King of Elfland's Daughter?" I think that is the name. Should that be on the list, possibly? ..."

I would certainly include "The King of Elfland's Daughter." I have a lot a reservations about the original list -- "forever" is a long time.

I'd also like to see the originators defend these. How exactly is "Game of Thrones" transformative? It may be getting people to read the genre, but that does not "change" anything. (Note: I've tried and failed to read the books, so I'm not saying it adsolutely does not belong, but I'd like to hear why they think it should.)

I have to say that I wonder how "The Forever War" made the list, and I'm bit surprised Lovecraft is not on it.

But really, some sort of criteria needs to be laid down for a list like this to make sense. Otherwise, it's just a popularity contest.


message 16: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) Gary wrote: "Heinlein. I have a real "emperor's new clothes" thing going on with Heinlein because people give him credit for all sorts of things that I just don't see having any relationship to his actual work..."

I like your lost much better than the original, although someone is going to have to explain why Harry Potter belongs there. Being a phenomenon is not enough.

Re: Heinlein, I do think he changed things a lot in sci-fi. Partly it was his style and tone, and while "Grok" may not work for a lot of people, but it did have a lot of impact, and it did popularize themes in sci-fi that were not common (I can’t say to what extent his ideas there were original in the sci-fi context) and exposed them to a wide audience. But I think "The Moon is Harsh Mistress" may be more deserving of a place on any such list.

In a way -- and I'm not going to go too far out on a limb to defend this -- Heinlein strikes me a bit like Hemmingway in his influence on the genre. Now I'm not a big fan of either author, but they both changed how people wrote. Even if you have never read Heinlein or Hemmingway, you have almost certainly read authors who did and were influenced by them, and that may well inform your writing without you being aware of it.

So stylistically (and to a sense thematically) I think Heinlein had a greater influence than Clarke or Asimov, whose impact was more conceptual, as opposed to stylistic or thematic.


message 17: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Anybody mentioned Professors Lewis and Tolkien yet?


message 18: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1472 comments Owen wrote: "Re: Heinlein, I do think he changed things a lot in sci-fi. Partly it was his style and tone, and while "Grok" may not work for a lot of people, but it did have a lot of impact, and it did popularize themes in sci-fi that were not common (I can’t say to what extent his ideas there were original in the sci-fi context) and exposed them to a wide audience. But I think "The Moon is Harsh Mistress" may be more deserving of a place on any such list."

He did definitely popularize many sci-fi dynamics. Or, at least, he popularized some literary dynamics into sci-fi. However, I just don't see him as a particularly original voice in that context. His work lags behind a lot of other authors (even the genre authors of SF/F) in terms of content and technique. Nonetheless, he often gets credited for his originality--and I just don't think that's warranted if one looks at what was really going on at the time.

He did have a particular talent for world building, and his style was more approachable than other writers, which is why I think he gets credit as an inventor. But, really, a lot of his themes are derivative (to be kind) of other much more talented writers. Giving him credit for bringing those things into pop sci-fi? Sure. However, he's more often credited with having invented them in the first place. For instance, amongst other things, he gets credit for inventing "social science fiction" and I just don't think that really adds up.


message 19: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Gary wrote: "Owen wrote: "Re: Heinlein, I do think he changed things a lot in sci-fi. Partly it was his style and tone, and while "Grok" may not work for a lot of people, but it did have a lot of impact, and it..."

Interesting stuff about Heinlein, Gary. He wrote *Podkayne of Mars* specifically in response to a letter to him from a GIRL who basically told him off for not including a female hero in any of his so-called "juveniles" that had been published to date. That said, I STILL haven't read any of of his "juveniles" yet EXCEPT FARMER IN THE SKY.

On another point,"What about the role of Professors Lewis and Tolkien?"


message 20: by Text (new)

Text Addict (textaddict) | 60 comments Gary wrote: "He did definitely popularize many sci-fi dynamics. Or, at least, he popularized some literary dynamics into sci-fi. However, I just don't see him as a particularly original voice in that context."

I wonder if the people making these assessments were first exposed to SF through Heinlein's juvenile novels, and that affected their judgment.


message 21: by Gary (last edited Jan 13, 2015 02:34PM) (new)

Gary | 1472 comments Amber wrote: "On another point,"What about the role of Professors Lewis and Tolkien?"

Those two are interesting cases. Within the context of mid-20th century fantasy Brit Lit, I think those two represent two sides of the branch of "believers" or "positivists" in writing. That is, both of them were essentially endorsing their cultures in a modernistic way (as opposed to post-Modern.) Tolkien more than Lewis popularized a lot of basically Nordic mythology. Lewis popularized his Christian ethos. But I'd say their work was more referential to the ideas that inspired them rather than someone like Heinlein who more often cribbed.... They were both happy to step away from their source materials where it suited them.

I think Lewis is definitively more creative and imaginative than Tolkien. Tolkien had a command of language itself that is kind of hard to beat for any writer (any human being, for that matter) and that gave his writing a kind of depth of meaning that is hard to refute, but weirdly I think Lewis had a greater understanding than he gets credit for. Have you read Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis? There's a pretty compelling case made in that book for an underlying thematic message/reference in his work.


message 22: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) Gary wrote: "However, I just don't see [Heinlein] as a particularly original voice in that context... Nonetheless, he often gets credited for his originality..."

This is an interesting comment to me because when I became acquainted with Heinlein 40-odd years ago, I don’t recall him being considered any great font of originality. It seemed to me that people liked him for his characters and his style, which was (in the eyes of many) more vivid than Clark or (especially) Asimov, both of whom were thought to have produced more interesting and original concepts.

Now, I didn’t pay that much attention to such issues, then or especially now, but I’m wondering how much the corporate opinion of Heinlein has changed since his death, and if people aren’t casting about for achievements to justify his ‘beatification’? Heinlein never grabbed me as an author (nor did Asimov or Clarke, for that matter) so I haven’t read anymore of his work than ‘necessary’ but it certainly sound to me like people have been making his work into things it is not (and that he may well have never thought it was — I’ve read some odd reviews of, and commentary on, “Starship Troopers.”)

Gary wrote: "Tolkien had a command of language itself that is kind of hard to beat for any writer..."

I’m curious if you mean “command of language” by virtue of his being a philologist and a professor of language and literature, or as a prose stylist, or both?


message 23: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) I'm a bit surprised that neither 1984 or Brave New World made the list. I'm not sure if 1984 could be said to have "changed" sci-fi that much, though its impact on popular cultural has been immense.

Maybe a better case might be made for Brave New World, which (as I recall) introduced a lot of themes seen in later sci-fi.

Any thoughts on these omissions?


message 24: by Gary (last edited Jan 14, 2015 11:51AM) (new)

Gary | 1472 comments Owen wrote: "This is an interesting comment to me because when I became acquainted with Heinlein 40-odd years ago, I don’t recall him being considered any great font of originality. It seemed to me that people liked him for his characters and his style, which was (in the eyes of many) more vivid than Clark or (especially) Asimov, both of whom were thought to have produced more interesting and original concepts."

Have you reread him more recently? It's an interesting experience to do a little before/after thing with some of his work. The charm of Heinlein has a lot to do, it seems, with the blush of youth....

At the time he became popular (the 60's give or take a decade) I think his major pop culture appeal was that his work was embraced as counter culture, and that appears to be the major source of his legacy. That is, the "free love" aspects of his work, and the emphasis on individuality were embraced by elements of the hippie culture, and the latter day reading of his work is based on that assumption. For instance, he had relatively strong and competent female characters with advanced degrees in his stories. Thus, his work is viewed as progressive and feminist.

Of course, that was a period when nearly anything that was counter culture was embraced as progressive. Drugs, bathing, hair length, clothes (style or clothes at all) and certainly sex were all up for grabs as it were. And in many ways that experimentation had to happen, even when it went wrong; two steps forward, one step back. In retrospect, social change might have been better served with a little moderation--but at the time it's difficult to cherry pick that kind of process.

A closer reading (or, to be fair, a reading with the benefit of hindsight) shows that Heinlein was really at odds with many of the ideas that he supposedly championed, and his work presents a lot of concepts in an oxymoronic way. His storytelling is generally strong, though he does bog down on some of his philosophical ideas, and those ideas are often contradictory or outright masturbation fantasy material. Which would be fine, except they're all mixed up with a hodgepodge of more legit concepts culled from more rationale sources. But, rather than being recognized as a rather haphazard intellectual muddle of derivative ideas, the more childish and silly ideas are generally ignored or minimized by his apologists and the positive bits highlighted. Taken as a whole, his themes are pretty doubtful.


message 25: by Gary (last edited Jan 14, 2015 06:35AM) (new)

Gary | 1472 comments Owen wrote: "I'm a bit surprised that neither 1984 or Brave New World made the list. I'm not sure if 1984 could be said to have "changed" sci-fi that much, though its impact on popular cultural has been immense.

Maybe a better case might be made for Brave New World, which (as I recall) introduced a lot of themes seen in later sci-fi.

Any thoughts on these omissions?"


Both of those should be on there. 1984 is seminal dystopia fiction, and fits into the "changed forever" idea pretty neatly on that basis alone. Brave New World less so, simply by merit of the time it was published. I reread that one last year--it didn't hold up very well IMO--so if I were to pick one or the other, I'd go with 1984 before Brave New World, but I'd put either of them on that list before Kindred, even though I did enjoy that book.

I think the original author of that list kind of stumbled over the "changed science fiction and fantasy forever" premise to have missed 1984. But, then again, so did I in my cursory review of the list....


message 26: by Amber (last edited Jan 14, 2015 10:21AM) (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Text wrote: "Gary wrote: "He did definitely popularize many sci-fi dynamics. Or, at least, he popularized some literary dynamics into sci-fi. However, I just don't see him as a particularly original voice in th..."

I sure as hell was...lol.


message 27: by Amber (last edited Jan 14, 2015 10:29AM) (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Gary wrote: "Amber wrote: "On another point,"What about the role of Professors Lewis and Tolkien?"

Those two are interesting cases. Within the context of mid-20th century fantasy Brit Lit, I think those two r..."


1. IF you can call Finland's Kalevala NORDIC you're probably right. ;)

2. The book Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1..., ALSO makes a case for the Christian ethos scattered thickly throught out his works but MOST heavily in LOTR AND the SILMARILION, though these are more from the tradition of the Church of Rome than those of Professor Lewis. In fact, this book gives SPECIFIC Biblical examples for each virtue.

3. I've noticed that itoo n both Tolkien and Lewis...the occasional times they stepped away from their sources.

4. Tolkien knew languages the way both Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart knew music.

5. Nope. never heard of that book.


message 28: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Owen wrote: "Gary wrote: "However, I just don't see [Heinlein] as a particularly original voice in that context... Nonetheless, he often gets credited for his originality..."

This is an interesting comment to ..."


I prefer BOTH Heinlein and Asimov to Clarke. That said, i think you might be right about the "beatification" of Heinlein. I never could get into any of his stuff really, except the aforementioned FARMER IN THE SKY.

I think he meant both in your question about Tolkien.


message 29: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1472 comments Amber wrote: "1. IF you can call Finland's Kalevala NORDIC you're probably right. ;)"

Do Finns take exception to being lumped into the term "Nordic" these days? From an historical/literary POV, I always thought of "Nordic" as anything between the Rhine and the North Pole more or less... but I don't know what the current thinking on that might be.


message 30: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1472 comments Owen wrote: "I'd also like to see the originators defend these. How exactly is "Game of Thrones" transformative?"

It's a good question.... I don't think it is. Maybe in the "gritty" aspect of the piece? That often gets heralded as a major influence. Personally, I think "gritty" SF/F pre-dates that series by a good 30-40 years, so if anything Game of Thrones would be more a culmination than an innovation, but the difference might be too fine for such a list.


message 31: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) Gary wrote: "Have you reread him more recently? It's an interesting experience to do a little before/after thing with some of his work. The charm of Heinlein has a lot to do, it seems, with the blush of youth..."

I have not. I read some of his juveniles when I was in my teens and frankly, I felt a bit talked down to. Most of my friends were fans (and my father and older brother liked him to a degree), so I poked at his other stuff, but it did not grab me.

What we all commented on was how, in the early 70s, his books got really thick and sort of weird. This was known (officially) in my circle as his “weird and dirty-minded phase”. I tried to read a couple of these, maybe three. (Time Enough for Love was one, I don’t recall the others.) I didn’t read the parts you mention (his philosophical tracts), so I can’t comment on them being contradictory, but they certainly seemed (based on skimming) to be a hodgepodge. But the moment I hit these, I started flipping — and flipping — and flipping, until — Good Lord! — I must’ve flipped through a 1/4 inch worth of pages! Aren’t we done yet? And then I started hunting around for something to happen. And then I gave up, because when something did happen, I’d lost interest.

A lot of my friends still like Heinlein, and so does my older brother, but personally, I still feel kinda “flipped off”. So I’m gonna leave it at that. ;-)


message 32: by Owen (last edited Jan 15, 2015 08:38PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) Gary wrote: "Both of those should be on there. 1984 is seminal dystopia fiction, and fits into the "changed forever" idea pretty neatly on that basis alone. Brave New World less so, ..."

Good point. Don't know why that did not occur to me. (Maybe because I haven't read much dystopian fiction. As a side note, one reviewer said our series was set in a dystopian future, and my reaction was "Huh?" I had to ask Jordan if we'd really created a dystopian setting. She didn't think so, but thought it reasonable that other people would. So maybe I'm a bit out to lunch on that genre.)

I read Brave New World for a class. They talked about it's place and impact. I'm ashamed to say I don't recall much of what they said, or of the book itself. I remember 1984 better.


message 33: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1472 comments It does seem that one person's utopia is another person's dystopia.... :-)


message 34: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Gary wrote: "Amber wrote: "1. IF you can call Finland's Kalevala NORDIC you're probably right. ;)"

Do Finns take exception to being lumped into the term "Nordic" these days? From an historical/literary POV, I ..."


Ah...you meant it as a geographic description rather than ethnic. Sorry.


message 35: by Amber (last edited Jan 14, 2015 05:47PM) (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Owen wrote: "Gary wrote: "Have you reread him more recently? It's an interesting experience to do a little before/after thing with some of his work. The charm of Heinlein has a lot to do, it seems, with the blu..."

TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE was meant to have been one of his "adult" novels as oppposed to is "juveniles" like PODKAYNE OF MARS or FARMER IN THE SKY.


message 36: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1472 comments Amber wrote: "Ah...you meant it as a geographic description rather than ethnic. Sorry."

NP. I had a Finnish student in a class about a year ago, and we talked a bit about the Winter War and the isolation of his country from the rest of Europe. He might be the one Finn who felt that way, but it was still interesting stuff.


message 37: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) | 156 comments Oh my God... Hunger Games is listed before Dune??? Who compiled this list? Accessible YA books that rip off Battle Royale do not rival one of the premiere stories that made people take science fiction seriously!


message 38: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) Gary wrote: "It does seem that one person's utopia is another person's dystopia.... :-)"

Pretty much hit the nail on the head there.


message 39: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) Amber wrote: "TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE was meant to have been one of his "adult" novels ..."

Most certainly. I think it stands in contrast to his earlier adult work, such as The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, which a lot of people seem to consider his best book.


message 40: by Amber (last edited Jan 15, 2015 12:47PM) (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Gary wrote: "Amber wrote: "Ah...you meant it as a geographic description rather than ethnic. Sorry."

NP. I had a Finnish student in a class about a year ago, and we talked a bit about the Winter War and the i..."


Cool.

Matthew: AMEN!

Owen: Won't be tackling THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS until I finish both PODKAYNE OF MARS and FARMER IN THE SKY. I somehow lucked into getting a FIRST EDITION hardcover copy of that one. *BG*

For a bit of laughs, here's an ERB:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yis7...


message 41: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) | 156 comments Amber wrote: "Gary wrote: "Amber wrote: "Ah...you meant it as a geographic description rather than ethnic. Sorry."

NP. I had a Finnish student in a class about a year ago, and we talked a bit about the Winter ..."


Oh, I definitely recommend MOON. I read and loved it, and just about everyone I have spoken to who claim they otherwise cannot stand Heinlein swear that this book is a great read. I too need to get on FARMER though, which I hear is another book the Heinlein bashers loved.


message 42: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments I don't know if I like PODKAYNE yet...only on page 8... .

Why do you think FARMER is one of the few Heinlein books his bashers actually like, Matthew? Just curious.


message 43: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) | 156 comments Amber wrote: "I don't know if I like PODKAYNE yet...only on page 8... .

Why do you think FARMER is one of the few Heinlein books his bashers actually like, Matthew? Just curious."


No idea, that just was something I heard from some of the same people who said they liked MOON, but not him.


message 44: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Ah.


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