A blogsitter over at The News Blog while Gillliard is in the hospital (Get well Steve!) has floated a "best science fiction/fantasy books" list that seems a bit heavy on old "hard science" dudes such as Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke. In the comments yours truly tried to add some dystopian/visionary/cyberpunk spice (including a scattering of books written after--gasp!--1980) with these suggested additions:

A.A. Attanasio - The Last Legends of Earth, Radix
Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons - Watchmen
Brian Aldiss - Non-Stop, Hothouse
Philip K. Dick - Ubik, Martian Time Slip
J.G. Ballard - The Crystal World, High Rise
Pohl & Kornbluth - The Space Merchants, Wolfbane
Bruce Sterling - Schismatrix Plus, Heavy Weather
The Strugatskys - Roadside Picnic
Stanislaw Lem - Solaris
Greg Egan - Quarantine
Greg Bear - Blood Music
Octavia Butler - Earthseed novels
Michael Swanwick - The Iron Dragon's Daughter
Doris Piserchia - Doomtime
John Brunner - The Shockwave Rider

Lem, Butler, Pohl & Kornbluth, Brunner, and various Dicks already had their indignant supporters in the comments--just tossing in this blog's two cents on those authors. Cordwainer Smith would be on the list except his best work is in the short story format. H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, and H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau are some late thoughts.

- tom moody 3-10-2007 11:59 pm

I'd swap out Rucker for Snow Crash (even if you have to condense Rucker's books into one)

Bester's Tiger Tiger (which is my #1) for Demolished Man (which ain't so good))

Props on Crystal World.

Need to read more science fiction, I do.

- j in jc (guest) 3-12-2007 8:53 pm

Tiger, Tiger is the same as The Stars My Destination (do you have a British edition?). The latter is on the News Blog list but down near the bottom. Agree it's better than The Demolished Man.

Some of my choices are polemical--the Shockwave Rider is included 'cause it's the first to introduce the concept of the computer worm and the "hacker misfit with godlike powers in the modern world." One of my back burner projects is to talk about what Brunner got right and what he got wrong in that book.
- tom moody 3-12-2007 9:35 pm

If you run into Woody Allen at one of your fancy pants New York ar teest soirees (Although I don't think he likes the modern stuff. He probably thinks your art killed your mother...a Hannah's Sisters reference.), could you ask him to do an adaptation of "The Space Merchants"? Or any of the great Fred Pohl stories like the "Midas Plague"?

Philip Shropshire

- anonymous (guest) 3-13-2007 10:09 am

I'll see what I can do. Wolfbane has already been made as something no one saw called...The Matrix. I haven't read "Midas Plague" but am very partial to his Demon in the Skull aka A Plague of Pythons, an absolute power fantasy about a radio headset that allows you to take over other people's bodies. I've also reread Jem and Man Plus again recently and they are quite depressingly good.
- tom moody 3-13-2007 10:46 am

Actually, when I was looking up some info for the Midas Plague, I did discover that a 60s BBC version of the Twilight Zone did a televised version of it. Short version: in the future when you're rich you get to consume less.

I actually have read both Jem and Man Plus. Jem I remember because a friend of mine in high school didn't like it. I finally read it like a decade later and figured out why: it's not a Star Trek ending is it? When you mate with the alien species it changes you, forever. You'll be different when you go to alien worlds...The Aliens will remake you.
- anonymous (guest) 3-13-2007 10:04 pm

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