Tuesday, April 07, 2009

So It's Come To This (Part 2)

A big thank you to everyone who posted comments on my idiosyncratic list of what I consider to be essential SF works. It's given me a lot of food for thought - I'm certain that a second list, just as good, could be constructed from alternates. And why not? Mine is a fairly personal snapshot, and by no means definitive.

After due consideration, I've decided to add the following titles:

Herland CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN 1914
The Shockwave Rider JOHN BRUNNER 1975

I confess that I haven't read Herland, but it's commonly agreed to be an essential early feminist utopia and fits in with the pedagogic 'themes and echoes' side of the list. A lot of people came out for Brunner, which is pretty heartening considering most of his work is currently OOP. Rather than the people's favourite, Stand on Zanzibar, or Jagged Orbit, which both have considerable merit, I've gone for The Shockwave Rider, which is even more prescient than the first two.

I'll post my list of Fantasy and Horror titles tomorrow.

2 Comments:

Blogger Keith Ferrell said...

Fine choices, and considering the OOP point, buyers looking for SHOCKWAVE in the used and antiquarian stores should be aware that of the initial editions, the paperback is complete, while the hardcover was "edited" close to incoherence with, according to Brunner, characters removed wholesale, no explanations given. Not sure if this is true of any but the American editions, but that first (and, I guess, only) American hardcover was a mangled text.

April 07, 2009 10:31 PM  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

That's a good but depressing point, Keith. I believe that Stand On Zanzibar and Jagged Orbit are (or were) still available in the UK, as Gollancz Masterworks editions. Maybe they'll consider The Shockwave Rider one day...

April 08, 2009 8:38 AM  

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