Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nine Novelists: What I've Read Before

Gankutsouo - see the Alfred Bester entry below

For my Nine Novels project, I will be reading a mix of classic SF authors from the 1950s. I thought I'd share a bit about what I have read by whom from the author list. Here goes:

  • Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth - I have not read anything by them before, so The Space Merchants will be my first.
  • Theodore Sturgeon - I have not read More Than Human or anything else by Sturgeon. I hear a lot of positive things about him though from other folks in the Second Foundation reading group.
  • Leigh Brackett - I read a couple of Brackett's Skaith novels, back when I was a kid.  But I haven't read The Long Tomorrow. Brackett wrote the screenplay for The Empire Strikes BackThe Big Sleep and other films. She's the only female author in this two volume collection. The companion essay for her novel is by Nicola Griffith, another author I admire.
  • Richard Matheson - Every October/November the Second Foundation reads a horror author, and this Fall I read I Am Legend, the wonderful SF vampire novel that inspired three different movies. This Fall, I also read some of his short stories, which I really enjoyed. I am looking forward to The Shrinking Man, which I haven't read yet.
  • Robert A. Heinlein - Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky was one of the first SF novels I read, and a definite inspiration for Project Generations. I read - and loved - Starship Troopers as a kid, and read it again about a year ago. Good stuff. I also read some of the Lazarus Long stories when I was a kid. I recently read Stranger in a Strange Land for the first time, which I thought was pretty silly and superficial for something that supposedly offered a blueprint for an alternative to mainstream society. When it comes to sex and sexuality, Heinlein is no Samuel R. Delaney. I have not read Double Star, and have heard nothing about it. But I am looking forward to this one. Heinlein frequently infuruates, but he is always interesting. And no, I am not a fascist or one of their weak-willed siblings, a libertarian.
  • Alfred Bester - I am a big B5 fan, so you would think I would have read Bester by now. I mean really, what Marxist or anarchist hasn't? I am really looking forward to reading The Stars My Destination, which is an SF remake of the Count of Monte Cristo. Or rather the first SF remake of the Count of Monte Cristo, since we more recently we have also recently seen another SFnal remake, the beautiful anime Gankutsuou.
  • James Blish - I have not read A Case of Conscience, but Spock Must Die! was one of the first SF books I ever read. After Blish had the Organians deprive the Klingons of spaceflight for a good long while, I believe Paramount decided it needed some content control for Star Trek novelizations. I am looking forward to reading this classic work.
  • Algis Budrys - I have not read Who? or anything else by this author, who has the most mysterious name on the list. I've never heard anyone I know recommend or discuss his work either. So I have no idea what to expect with this one.
  • Fritz Leiber - Another Second Foundation favorite, I have read a fair amount of Leiber, including The Wanderer, the first multiperspective disaster novel (about a Big Dumb Object), and some of his short stories (mostly Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser ones) so I am really looking forward to reading The Big Time.

1 comment:

  1. I read Hard Landing Algis Burdys in MoSF&F in in my teens where he also wrote a review column. I liked it at the time.