Eerie Beauty Anthology

Extollager

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This thread isn't connected with a publication project.

I'd like to hear from people who have stories to nominate for an imaginary anthology of science fiction stories that possess a strange beauty. I'm not going to define what "strange beauty" or "eerie beauty" mean. The stories I'll list below are ones that I would nominate for such an anthology.

I'm thinking that one of the things that "justifies" science fiction as a genre is that it can provide us with literary experience, with imaginative experience, with feelings, that other genres can't provide just so.

My list, off the top of my head, would include:

Fritz Leiber's "A Pail of Air"

Moore and Kuttner's "Vintage Season"

Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day"

Damon Knight's "Stranger Station"

Algis Budrys's novella "Rogue Moon"

Bob Shaw's "Light of Other Days"

One way of getting at what I have in mind is that these are stories that, if they'd been really well done, could have been outstanding teleplays in the old series of Twilight Zone or Outer Limits.

Let's compile titles and after we have a bunch, maybe then, inductively, draw from them the characteristics they have in common and that might enable us to verbalize what "eerie beauty" is.
 
Interesting concept. Have moved to General Books for wider coverage albeit the names listed are certainly classics.

Cheers.
 
Wonderful thread. Strangely, the first stories I think of when you mention "eerie beauty" are the short stories of Daphne du Maurier, who , of course doesn't even fall into the SFF genres.
Otherwise, perhaps, I'd look amongst the works of Lord Dunsany whose works I've basically just started exploring.

Will report back in due course with specific stories, and thanks for those you have already mentioned. :cool: :cool: :cool:
 
Not easy, but I'll offer a couple of contributions, Extollager.

James Tiptree, Jr.: "The Man Who Walked Home"
James Blish: "How Beautiful with Banners"

I'm not sure I can defend the Tiptree as "eerie beauty", yet it was the first story that came to my mind.


Randy M.
 
Randy, both of yours came to my mind as well!

Off the top of my head:

James Tiptree, Jr.: The Milk of Paradise
Gene Wolfe: The Fifth Head of Cerberus
Theodore Sturgeon: A Saucer of Loneliness
Frederik Pohl: Day Million
Ray Bradbury: There Will Come Soft Rains
Ursula K. LeGuin: The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas
Samuel R. Delany: Aye, and Gomorrah ...
John Varley: The Persistence of Vision
Roger Zelazny: A Rose for Ecclesiastes
Edgar Pangborn: Angel's Egg
 
One way of getting at what I have in mind is that these are stories that, if they'd been really well done, could have been outstanding teleplays in the old series of Twilight Zone or Outer Limits.

I know this has come up in some other threads, but there is a plethora of such stories in the old X Minus One radio programs, including A Pail of Air. It also includes Bradbury's The Veldt, which I think should fit in this category. You can listen to any or all of them at:

https://archive.org/details/XMinus1_A
 
Randy, both of yours came to my mind as well!
[...]

I'm please with the validation. It's been years since I read either so details are fuzzy, but the impression left is of a perilous beauty, each an instance of that cosmic awe Lovecraft spoke of.

That aside, I can't believe I didn't think of the Pangborn! I reread it a few months ago for the first time in years, and still loved it. Also somewhat annoyed I didn't think of the Bradbury, Le Guin and Wolfe. The others I need to read or reread, which sounds like a pleasant chore.


Randy M.
 
Thank you... further stories of eerie beauty would be welcome too. When we have some more, we can try to deduce from the compendium what "eerie beauty" might mean.
 
Just thought of a couple more:

J. G. Ballard - The Cloud Sculptors of Coral D
Cordwainer Smith - The Ballad of Lost C'mell
 
Jack Vance - Chateau D'if
Leigh Brackett - Enchantress of Venus
Ray Bradbury - The One Who Waits

It was hard for me to find short stories like this because most of the earie beauty SF stories i have read are in novel lenght stories.
 
Just thought of a couple more:

J. G. Ballard - The Cloud Sculptors of Coral D
Cordwainer Smith - The Ballad of Lost C'mell

I would second those two. Both fantastic with that something else.

Arthur C Clarke - The Sentinel
Ray Bradbury - Dark The Were and Golden Eyed
Clifford Simak was good at this sort of thing in hos own way. One of the stories from City would do.
 
This thread isn't connected with a publication project.

I'd like to hear from people who have stories to nominate for an imaginary anthology of science fiction stories that possess a strange beauty. I'm not going to define what "strange beauty" or "eerie beauty" mean. The stories I'll list below are ones that I would nominate for such an anthology.

I'm thinking that one of the things that "justifies" science fiction as a genre is that it can provide us with literary experience, with imaginative experience, with feelings, that other genres can't provide just so.

My list, off the top of my head, would include:
<cut>

Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day"

<cut>

One way of getting at what I have in mind is that these are stories that, if they'd been really well done, could have been outstanding teleplays in the old series of Twilight Zone or Outer Limits.

Let's compile titles and after we have a bunch, maybe then, inductively, draw from them the characteristics they have in common and that might enable us to verbalize what "eerie beauty" is.

For what it's worth I remember they ran an half hour version of All Summer in a day as support to Zelig. Better than the usual TZ/Bradbury Theatre stuff. Maybe there are copies out there.
 
A few more examples of "strange beauty" came to mind recently:

Damon Knight - The Handler
Damon Knight - Masks
Poul Anderson - Kyrie
J. G. Ballard - The Drowned Giant
Norman Spinrad - Carcinoma Angels
 

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