30's and 40's Science Fiction and Fantasy

I’ve been reading a lot of this stuff lately, and I was wondering how many you people had read or heard of. Run an optical member over this list; I’ve included some titles (some of which I’ve read) to jog your memory if it’s necessary.

<li>A.E. Van Vogt (Slan, The World of Null-A)
<li>C.L. Moore (Northwest Smith)
<li>E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith (The Lensman series)
<li>Fritz Leiber (A Canticle for Leibowitz, Conjure Wife)
<li>Fredrick Pohl (Drunkard’s Walk)
<li>Robert E. Howard (The Conan Chronicles)

Ring any bells?

I think I have heard of Lensman before…but thats about it.

Edit: Nope, wait, that was something else. nevermind.

There was an anime on Smith’s Lensman series, but it didn’t follow the literature very closely (surprise, surprise).

[Edit]Slight grammatical heresy. Do not be alarmed. [/Edit]

I can’t say they do.

The only old science-fiction author I read is the master himself: Jules Verne.

What, no H.G. Wells? No Alfred Bester?

You’re deprived, Nul. Just deprived.

Originally posted by Kraken
[b]What, no H.G. Wells? No Alfred Bester?

You’re deprived, Nul. Just deprived. [/b]

I’ve been planning to read Wells, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. There’s too many books too read and too little time to read them. Even for antromorphised concepts, such as myself.

The oldest science fiction book I’ve ever read is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, although it wouldn’t be considered that today.

I’ve read Verne and Wells, but that’s pretty much it for old sci-fi…

I’m not sure if Ender’s Game is sci-fi, but it’s still kick ass.

Orson Scott Card. Yes, Ender’s Game is sf.

I don’t know how old, but I’ve heard that Issac Asimov is good. I, Robot is a classic.

Card also wrote Animal Farm, did he not? While not, sci-fi, again, it kicks ass. :stuck_out_tongue:

No, that was George Orwell. Orwell wrote a really great sf novel, Ninteen Eighty-four. Animal Farm, well, I don’t think of it as much more than allegory.

But Orson Scott Card has written quite a bit of science fiction over the years. I don’t know any of his books off the top of my head, though.

Dammit. I forget my authors. :stuck_out_tongue:

Animal Farm, when originally written, referred to the Soviets and Russia.

Originally posted by Cala
[b]Dammit. I forget my authors. :stuck_out_tongue:

Animal Farm, when originally written, referred to the Soviets and Russia. [/b]

True enough, though the book was also a broader political commentary. Orwell loved to preach about the evils of this system or the other.

And Ender’s Game is my favorite book.

I’ve read Wells and Verne, but other than that the oldest stuff I’ve read would be Lovecraft, which is circa 1920’s.

Long live Lovecraft!

Oh wait… Nevermind.

The problem with liking HP Lovecraft is that, while on one hand, you can finish most of his work in a relatively short period of time, on the other hand, his work can be damnably hard to find.

And 20’s sf is also very good, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to get my hands on much except Lovecraft, which I don’t consider to be horror, but just paranoid science fiction. C.L. Moore comes close to the same thing. He was published mostly in Wierd Tales, which is fitting, but it’s still science fiction for the most part, despite the reputation of Weird Tales for publishing Horror.

If you like Ender’s Game, you oughta read the other 3 in the series. Take place about 3,000 years later. Damned good read. There’s also a du/trilogy (not sure which) in the Ender line. Not sure of the name.

You don’t consider Lovecraft horror? Many would refer to him as one of the progenitors of the genre as we know it today. Of course, the Cthulu Mythos (I think that’s how it’s spelled, been awhile) does have massive sci-fi roots. And really, a lot of the works the universe has spawned delve into almost sci-fi exclusively. I love the Burrowers Beneath myself.

Still, Lovecraft’s works stand the test of time well.

I think it’s “Cthulhu,” but I could be wrong.

The things that Lovecraft wrote about aren’t really that scary in and of themselves, but his style is as mentally dominating and menacing as the Eldritch Horrors which lurk in his stores. That was the part about reading Lovecraft that scared and compelled me; in the reading of stories like Dreams in the Witch House, the development of the story, the words themselves, consumed my conscious mind, and I could not control the feverish urge to press into the tale until it was finished. The story had control of me, and mercifully I was released at the end. But I plunged immediately into the next story I could find in order to feed my growing addiction. It wasn’t really the story, but rather the power of Lovecraft himself, that induced that feeling of horror for me.

So I find the structure of the stories to be sf/adventure, but the horror comes from reading the story.

If you weren’t affected by Lovecraft in the same way I was, it’s understandible that you might classify his work differently.

I got Call of Cthulhu collection of short stories in paperback. He’s not so much horror as that he can get under your skin and make you look behind you when you’re in a dark room. Read The Colour Out Of Space for a good example of how he writes ‘horror’. Call itself was not as mentally freaky as, say, The Rats In The Walls, which stays atmospheric throughout.

Get this.

For me sci-fi is still ruled by people like Larry Niven and Ian M Banks. Anyone who hasn’t read the Culture novels should go and pick them up now.

Also, if you can get your hands on them - it’s hard - the Berserker series by Fred Saberhagen are cool. Machines intent on destorying all humanity were born with him.

I’m reading some Saberhagen at the moment as well (Berserkers and the first triad of the Books of Swords), as well as C.J. Cherryh, and I’ve got plenty of Stephen R. Donaldson, Stephen Gould, Frederick Pohl, Peter F. Hamilton, Louis McMaster Bujold, Greg Bear, Dan Simmons, Michael Moorcock, Harry Harrison and Kim Stanley Robinson, all sf and fantasy. But pioneering work like Moore and Van Vogt cannot be ignored. Larry Niven will have to wait untill I reread Ringworld and find a copy of Man-Kzin Wars II, unfortunately.

My Lovecraft collection is in its infancy, consisting of only At the Mountains of Madness and The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (the Del Rey publications, the ones with the spectacular Michael Whelan cover art), and I plan to get The Lurking Fear and The Call of Cthulhu eventually.