Skip to comments.Who are today's Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein?
Posted on 02/09/2013 4:41:00 PM PST by narses
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I read a great book, recently written by old Sci-Fi great Frederick Pohl, titled “All the Lives He Led.” It was written in 2011. I was surprised Pohl was still alive.
BTW, Amazon reviewers really panned the book, but what do they know?
Well, since gearheads/racers ‘embelish’ things alot of what they ‘did back then’, I’s say half that book probably is PURE fiction ;)
I see to remember a BattleTech game or something some kids in school were doing.. I didn’t know that was part of something bigger. That was a long long time ago too
but not your half?
The author doesn’t really define what he’s looking for, does he?
No, my half was probably the WORST offenders!!! ;)
Yup, that was probably Battletech. Now that I think about it though, the GAMES may have spawned the books, not the other way around.
Either way, the books are great. They are in groups/arcs dealing with different areas/clans/aspects etc. You can read a group ‘stand alone’ with minimal overall knowledge of the series and be OK, but together, it makes Star Wars look like a Saturday morning Cartoon.
from my memory it seemed they were looking at spec’s of the Mech warriors or something
I wonder if FR would let us do a round-robin fiction thread about CW2 or just a space opera?
Yup. You built your mech, joined a clan/merc group and went into battle.
Dungeons and Dragons with Robot/powered armor.
All you ever needed to know ;)
Gene Wolfe. Conservative, Christian (Catholic). Fairly critically acclaimed, even by a lot of ‘literary elite’ types. Uses unreliable narrators to great effect, in my opinion.
John C. Wright. Also conservative and Christian (Catholic again). Younger than Wolfe, but the things I have read are much more in the golden age sci-fi realm than Wolfe. He wrote a continuation of Van Vogt’s the World of Null-A. He groups Van Vogt with Heinlein and Asimov as the ‘classic three of golden age sci-fi’ over Clarke or Bradbury because of the Astounding/Campbell connection apart from popularity.
Here’s his essay about the ‘classic three’, I thought it was interesting.
His blog is also political with a heavy conservative/Christian bent, it’s amazing Tor publishes him, he railes against the homosexual agenda which is basically a hate crime to a lot of people. I take it he is pretty reviled amongst a lot of sci-fi authors and fans nowadays who seem to have a high % of liberal or various flavours of libertarian leanings.
He probably should be looked back on like Gene Wolfe will be, but he is probably too politically incorrect today.
Freegards, thanks for all the pings on FR
So that is what they doing. Today they are probably business owners. lol
These threads don’t usually die so fast..... lots of Heinlein fans here
The guy was a hack...couldn’t write a dog food commercial.... ;)
God how did I forget this guy?
Leo Frankowski. His Conrad Starguard books were fantastic...And he was ‘one of us’.
“According to the author, most of his fans consist of “males with military and technical backgrounds,” while he likewise claimed his detractors consist of “feminists, liberals, and homosexuals.” “
For Heinlan, while I really liked “Stranger in a Strange Land” I liked “Starship Troopers” better.
These are a must read.
Cripplecreek’s Turtledove reference made me think of it. Haven t read them in years. Wish I still had them. I’d be doing it now ;)
If it weren’t the weekend this thread would be busier I bet.
I think I agree with your preference, btw.
I think I might write something tonight, probably pure crap though
You sound like you enjoy fantasy. See what you think about Markus Heitz’s stuff. And check out George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series if you haven’t already.
Heinlein has no peers. He’s the master.
It always surprises me that more Freepers aren’t published authors. Most of the ideas and actual dialog that takes place here is worlds above much of what gets published.
Then again, there’s a difference between laying out good arguments and entertaining with a good story. But many freepers have half the battle already covered.
Hell, many of us write several pages a day in posts alone ;)
and much of it is fiction too. lol
Yes, on a week day this would have over 200 responses by now.
That's so true! And the stuff they call "science-fiction" these days usually leaves the science out. I'm very "old school," and became addicted to the "hard" nuts-and-bolts science-fiction nurtured by famed "Analog" (formerly "Astounding Science Fiction") editor John W. Campbell Jr.
Campbell published some of the finest SF stories ever written, like Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations." He discovered and mentored Asimov, Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon and many other famed Golden Age writers. He also created a style of SF based on actual science often described as "speculative but plausible."
The most famous of those "hard science" yarns was "Deadline" by Cleve Cartmill. It was published in 1944, a year before the the first atomic bomb exploded. The story described all the basic steps of making a fission bomb and it set the FBI into a frenzy. They wanted to recall all the magazine's news stand copies but Campbell was able to convince them that doing so would be a big tip-off to the Axis that we were involved in nuclear research. The agency backed off.
As far as I'm concerned reality has mostly caught up with and in some cases surpassed the imaginative scope of that type of science fiction. The SF I've read over the past few years is mostly devoted to the "soft" sciences like sociology -- ok for those who like it but not me. I long for the days of the likes of Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, C.M. Kornbluth, Hal Clement, Murray Leinster, Poul Anderson, Alfred Bester, James Blish, Fredric Brown, L. Sprague de Camp, Lester del Rey, Fritz Leiber, Chad Oliver, Frederik Pohl, Eric Frank Russell, Clifford D. Simak, E.E. "Doc" Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, William Tenn, A. E. van Vogt, Jack Vance and many of the other "greats."
Orson Scott Card; David Drake; John Ringo;
Tom Kratman; Fred Saberhagen; Larry Niven; Jerry Pournelle;
I’m a big fan of Stephen Lawhead and (the deceased) Robert Jordan whose final Wheel of Time book just hit the shelves.
Lawhead’s Byzantium and his Patrick are, in my humble opinion, among the best books written in the last 3 decades with Byzantium the greater of the two.
Robert Jordan’s world is captivating.
I don’t need every story to describe how everything works, unless its something pretty different from the rest of them. No need to reinvent the wheel. :p
I have not read either Lawhead or Jordan (although I listened to a CD version of the first volume of Wheel of Time series and thought it was pretty good). I’ll have to check them out.
For those of you who are gamers, there was a series originating on the Playstation that I wish I was rich enough to buy the story rights for.
It was called Xanogears/Xenosaga.
Written in Japan, it was an epic story spanning 10000 years and including every bit of hard sci fi/space opers you can imagine. A lot of the background materials are out there on the net and are a story in themselves.
You had everything you can imagine built around a core of political/religious intrigue that the word ‘epic’ does no justice to whatsoever.
What was supposed to be a six game series ended at 4 (three Xenosaga, which was a re imagining of Xenogears) and the original....
Because gamers bitched it was too much like reading a book. Sales tanked and they pulled the plug. Had they marketed it to adult/older gamers, rather than teens, the outcome would likely been different.
How many kids can grasp Nietzsche wrapped in a background of Catholic lore?
When I was a kid, this was my first book.
Now I remember... Doug wrote a book too I think!
In my opinion Jack Vance beats pretty much any combo of ‘big three.’ He’s still kicking too, he’s 96. Last novel was 2004.
Here’s a fairly recent article:
these guys are probably getting kicked out of elementary schools all across America for having a dangerous imagination.
I think David Brin should be way up on the list - tied with OSC. The “Uplift Wars” series was marvelous. It had a complete eco-system and multiple alien societies completely described.
Soon, ‘Firemen’ will cleanse all schools/homes of such material.
Ray had it right. He was just a little early.
I really dug the Brin I have read. The ‘uplift scenario’ is a really great idea. John C Wright and Brin are fans of each other’s writing to my understanding, but they have locked horns on the interwebz over politics and philosophy.
Brin is much harder than Wolfe or Vance, also harder than Wright but not by as much. Did you catch him doing commentary for science channels’s Masters of Sci-fi?
Woo, new authors for reading list thread.
I love David Weber, but I will admit that I am tired of the Harrington series, but Apocolypse Troll and the Excaliber Alternative are two of my favorites.
Ryk E. Spoor and his Grand Central Arena is a wild read, too.
I am not sure if I like Kristine Rusch’s Wreck Divers series yet, I’ve read two of them, and I just don’t know yet. :)
For a good old fashion space opera series, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have their Liadan Universe set. That will keep you up until 5am reading. LOL
I just bought A Soldier’s Duty by Jean Johnson, but I haven’t started that one. The blurb and cover look interesting though.
Have you read any Dan Simmons? The first Hyperion book is basically the Cantebury Tales in space. He’s a huge Jack Vance fan as well, and contributed to the recent tribute anthology to Vance set in his “Dying Earth” setting, ‘Tales of the Dying Earth.’
Back in the day he wrote a time travel story warning of radical islam that made the rounds on FR (871 posts), it is pretty tremendous and can be read here:
As a warning about Islam, you can still download ‘Caliphate’ for free at Baen...
Give it time and we’ll all be living in a Ferhenheigt world and my collection of books will be starting the bonfire! Ray Bradbury was prophetic in his writing. Talk about a classic!
I’ve got to admit to loving Spider Robinson, his books are always littered with puns and references to other writers. I would love to find a Callahan’s type bar here in Houston. Yah, I know, he’s a little out there, but could you just imagine he conversations? :)
Beat ya to it ;)
Also Poul Anderson “The Time Patrol” is a good, in the ‘dumb fun’ sense.
Another one you will love and one of my all time faves is “Replay” by Ken Grimwood. Time travel with a Goundhog day twist.
Supposed to be a movie but keeps getting postponed. I hope they leave it alone because they will kill it.