What do you think Are the Best Classic Fantasy And Science Fiction Books and Stories of All Time?

  1. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    12,461
  2. althea

    althea Teetering on the edge.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    North Wales
    I like the Brian Aldiss books I read (a long time ago), but I have never come across this one. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.(y)
     
  3. Emphyricist

    Emphyricist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    48
    I am, of course, a huge fan of Jack Vance, so a large part of his output would make the list. However if I had to narrow it down, the Dying Earth series and four of his novellas: "The Dragon Masters," "The Last Castle," "The Miracle Workers," and "The Moon Moth" would all make the list. "The Moon Moth" is the only one of those that doesn't take place in a far-future, technologically regressed society, and if I had to pick just once Vance story that would be it.

    Aside from Vance, Ursula LeGuin's The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness absolutely have to make the list, as does "Flowers for Algernon" (note that I only read the novella). I'd really consider everything in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame essential reading. It was picked by the same people who pick the Nebulas, but selection was much more competitive and it was further winnowed by Robert Silverberg. Though some of the best pre-1965 SF was left out, everything in it is absolute gold. I know of no other anthology which I'd argue meets that standard, so I won't suggest any others (besides, we have a thread for anthologies).

    After that, I'd like to nominate three really unusual novels: Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke, Evolution by Steve Baxter, and The Crucible of Time by John Brunner. The first one shouldn't be controversial because it's a classic which makes a lot of best-of lists, yet it has no plot and is simply an in-depth exploration of a bizarre alien spaceship. And yet it works somehow, and works really well. I didn't really like Evolution when I first read it, since it's really a collection of linked stories with again, little plot. But it's grown on me considerably since my first reading and I'd now consider it among my favorite books. The Crucible of Time describes the lifespan of an alien species, in its own terms, without the species ever encountering humanity. It's a bold thing to do, and I felt the book had a dreamlike feel to it. I consider it far superior to his best-known and most-liked book, which frankly feels rather dated.

    I'd also like to bring up three novellas: "The Black Destroyer" by A. E. Van Vogt, "Exploration Party," by Murray Leinster, and "Turquoise Days" by Alastair Reynolds. All of these deal with alien-human interactions in interesting ways. I'll also mention L. Sprague DeCamp's "The Wheels Of If" which remains, to my mind, the greatest alternate history story ever written. Finally, I'd like to mention a few really powerful short stories which didn't make the SF Hall of Fame but I think are absolutely worth reading: "Goblin Night" by James Schmitz, William Tenn's "On Venus Have We Got a Rabbi" "Spacetime for Springers" by Fritz Leiber, "Your Haploid Heart" by James Tiptree Jr., "A Man of the Renaissance" by Wyman Guin, "The Ambassadors" by Anthony Boucher, and "The New One" by Fredric Brown. Each of these I found really striking in its own way, but since some of them have twist endings I won't reveal anything more about them.
     
    Randy M. likes this.
  4. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    12,461
    He also did a novel Frankenstein Unbound which was adapted into a film staring John Hurt. :)
     
  5. Caliban

    Caliban Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    UK
    Isn't it a loose Trilogy along with Dr Moreau's Other Island.

    Haven't read any of them mind. Mainly because I want to read the originals first and out of the 3 I've only read Frankenstein.
     
  6. Randy M.

    Randy M. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,038
    I think you're right. I've only read Frankenstein Unbound and that years ago, but I recall finding it fascinating. I'd strongly suggest reading Well's The Island of Dr. Moreau, too.


    Randy M.
     
  7. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Messages:
    972
    A Logic Named Joe by Murry Leinster
    - Chapter 2

    The really curious thing is that this story appeared in the March issue of Astounding magazine after the official February announcement of the existence of ENIAC, a secret during the war. I do not know what the publishing cycle was back then but I would think the story must have been submitted no later than January.

    Of course now the story reads like it is about Personal Computers, the Internet and Data Centers that Leinster calls 'tanks'.

    A Logic Named Joe by Will F. Jenkins | Computer History Museum

    Of course now you can download the story from a tank, I mean the cloud. Duh!

    psik
     
    BAYLOR likes this.
  8. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    12,461
    A great story ! (y):cool:
     
  9. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    12,461
    Dying of the Light by George R R Martin
     
  10. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    4,979
    My goodness, Baylor, isn't that a little too recent to be regarded as a classic?
     
  11. Galactic Journey

    Galactic Journey The Traveler

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Messages:
    107
    Yes. A thousand times yes. There's a reason my avatar is Dr. Dane.

    Galactic Journey was born just one year after she debuted, in fact...
     
  12. Galactic Journey

    Galactic Journey The Traveler

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Messages:
    107
    I'll say what I said elsewhere -- a classic just needs to be around long enough to inspire. That's why there can be instant classics.
     
  13. Bick

    Bick A Member of the Forum

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,658
    Location:
    Auckland, NZ
    No, to be a classic it needs to be deeply appreciated over a significant period of time (I would suggest by multiple generations at least). "Instant classic" is an oxymoron used by advertisers to sell a book they hope will one day be a bona fide classic.
     
    Extollager and dask like this.
  14. Galactic Journey

    Galactic Journey The Traveler

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Messages:
    107
    Fair enough. Of course, everything I read is already a classic... or never became one. So my perspective is a little different!
     
  15. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Messages:
    972
    Yeah, Star Wars was an instant classic because it moronically imitated ye olde classics.

    psik
     
    BAYLOR and dask like this.
  16. Galactic Journey

    Galactic Journey The Traveler

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Messages:
    107
    Ouch! True, but ouch!
     
  17. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    12,461
    Lucas drew inspiration from alot of sources. I think he originally wanted to do a Flash Gordon film.
     
  18. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    12,461
    Time and Again by jack Finney:cool:
     
  19. hitmouse

    hitmouse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,135
    It was very deliberate, and he talked a lot about it at the time. Much the same could be said about the obvious influences of films like Raiders of the Lost Ark.
     
  20. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    4,979
    I wish I had thought to say that, but I didn't, so I'll just agree enthusiastically.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

Loading...