The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #85728   Message #1592354
Posted By: Grab
28-Oct-05 - 08:48 AM
Thread Name: BS: Growing Up SF
Subject: RE: BS: Growing Up SF
If we're on the "whilst-growing-up" thing, I'd nominate Nicholas Fisk - the "Starstormer" series, plus a one-off called "Futuretrack 5". All aimed at the kid/young-teen market, but well-written and great concepts. Also the Tripods series by John Christopher. New names for this thread, I think!

To my shame, Heinlein too. I read tons of them when I was a kid, and it seemed great. It wasn't until I was about 18-19 that I realised what an utter tit he was.

Also various crap writers. Ben Bova, Greg Bear, Greg Egan, Frederick Pohl, Larry Niven, Clarke, Kim Stanley Robinson, James Herbert (more fantasy/horror than SF), David Eddings (all fantasy), Asimov,... Some had good ideas (Clarke, Robinson, Asimov), but even as a teenager I could tell that the writing was pretty damn hopeless on all of them.

For better writers, Clive Barker until it became obvious he was repeating the same story with different characters. Ditto Terry Brooks (the Shannara books were a blatant rip-off of LotR, but the first two were pretty good), and Raymond Feist started fairly well too until he descended into serial hell. Also Stephen Donaldson and John Wyndham.

I never really got Bradbury when I was younger - only more recently. His short stories were accessible ("Illustrated Man", etc.) but the novels were too much. To be honest, I don't think most kids would be able to get into it, in the same way I guess most kids wouldn't get Philip Dick.

On the "ones I wish I'd found earlier" list, I'd put Sheri Tepper and Robert Silverberg. I only got into them fairly recently, and they're both wonderful. Also Richard Matheson has some good stuff.

And for pure dumb fun, you can't beat Harry Harrison. (Not even with Terry Pratchett.) I mean who else could think up a line like "He's having his hernia removed. They're putting in a new one."? :-)