SF by non-genre writers

Astro Pen

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Star of ill Omen by Dennis Wheatley.

He was an occult writer but made this fairly successful venture into Sci-Fi
 

Avelino de Castro

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Which books that qualify as science fiction or speculative fiction, written by authors who did not consider themselves SF genre writers, would you consider worth reading? Let's stick to:

(1.) Authors who were not part of the US and UK science fiction scenes. So mainstream US and UK authors, yes, but also authors whose reputation was established in other genres (mysteries, westerns, etc.)

(2.) Books that were published during the era of SF classics, so books up through the 1970s (the decade when SF began to gain some respectability in mainstream culture, with both college courses in SF and SF writing workshops becoming common - and the decade when Hollywood made SF acceptable mainstream entertainment). So books that were at least a little bit of a risk for their authors, professionally, and books that publishers went out of their way to distinguish from all that SF stuff ("This is more like literature, folks!").

Obvious recommendations would be Brave New World, 1984, and The Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent PLanet; Perelandra; That Hideous Strength). But what else?

I'll start by recommending two books by Jack Finney: The Body Snatchers (which has an ending I like better than any of the movie version endings) and Time and Again. Both are superb SF novels, even if Finney wasn't one of "our" writers.
Mark Twains A Connecticut Kid in King Arthurs Court comes to mind.
 

Ravensquawk

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Um, Steve Allen.
The Steve Allen.
The comedian.
Would you be a conscientious objector, or would you be one of the sheeple going along with The Public Hating?
I know the answer, statistically, with mob pyschology.
And I am afraid of you. With good reason.
 

Toby Frost

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According to Wikipedia, there was an American comedian called Steve Allen who wrote a collection of short stories called The Public Hating, along with a lot of other books.
 

Toby Frost

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Would Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton count? A lot of his stuff feels on the edge of SF.
 

Randy M.

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Steve Allen was the first host of The Tonight Show, the show later famous in the U.S. for being hosted by Johnny ("Heeeeeere's Johnny!" which may explain a scene in The Shining for non-U.S. citizens) Carson for about 3 decades. Allen was a quick wit, his brand of humor along the lines of Groucho Marx but usually less acerbic, more genial.

Randy M.
 

Guttersnipe

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"The Sound Machine", "William and Mary", and "The Great Automatic Grammatizator" by Roald Dahl; in any event, his short stories tend to be non-genre.
 

hitmouse

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"The Sound Machine", "William and Mary", and "The Great Automatic Grammatizator" by Roald Dahl; in any event, his short stories tend to be non-genre.
He also wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, as well as pure fantasy like The Magic Finger, the BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, the Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar etc. In fact apart from some adult short fiction, and the risque My Uncle Oswald, he did not write much non- sf/ fantasy. Danny Champion of the World was a bit of an exception for his children’s fiction.
 

Guttersnipe

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He also wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, as well as pure fantasy like The Magic Finger, the BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, the Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar etc. In fact apart from some adult short fiction, and the risque My Uncle Oswald, he did not write much non- sf/ fantasy. Danny Champion of the World was a bit of an exception for his children’s fiction.
I should've said "apart from children's books" and/or "fantasy" as well.
 
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RLBeers

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A lot of Heinlein's work delves into the same arena as Allen, who in my opinion was a very talented writer. The Public Hating is every bit as relevant today as 1984 by Orwell. Nuff said.
 

Extollager

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"The Public Hating" by Steve Allen
Anyone who wants to be socially responsible, do self-examination, and not be a sheeple would appreciate it, I think.
The majority of people will be the haters in the story.
I see that editors like Judith Merril and Martin Greenberg thought well of this story, which, so far as I remember, I've never heard of -- so I'll get this from the library. But please be cautious about writing in such a way as to prompt political discussion, which Chrons policymakers don't permit -- in general, for the good of the place, I think; it has been nice to be able to come here over the past year or so and not have to negotiate a lot of bile. Thank you, again, for pointing out this story to me/us.
 

The Scribbling Man

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Pierre Boulle wrote Planet of The Apes, but wasn't exclusively known as a science fiction author. He also wrote Bridge Over The River Kwai.

Robert Louis Stevenson - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In 1920's Russia, Yevgeny Zamyatin wrote We, a highly controversial dystopian novel. It was banned, but he smuggled it out of the country and was subsequently blacklisted.

Flatland by Edwin Abbot, if it counts, written by a mathematician, unsurprisingly.

Mary Shelley's The Last Man, if it hasn't been mentioned. A significant, but lesser known, work in apocalyptic literature.

I would assume everyone knows H.G. Wells, but just thought I'd point out that although he is a big name in laying the foundation of science fiction, he was not primarily a science fiction author. He wrote many "normal" novels.
 

Brian G Turner

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Let's try to remember to comment on posts, not posters, please. Also, let's not introduce current politics in the discussion either as well, thank you. :)
 
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