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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Where do the old books go

Trish was saying that she needed to get something to read. Aware that she has never read any Science Fiction (shakes head) I suggested that she get a copy of HG Wells The Time Machine. How can you NOT have read the Time Machine!!

I then looked for a few other books and was shocked that a number of others were out of print. One of my faves Connie Willis' Doomsday Book is out of print in the UK and even more shocking so is Arthur C Clarke's Childhood's End!! Well you can't get it via Amazon!

Many of the classic short story collections are gone and why its true many of the big name authors novels are there its frightening how many books I loved are gone. Its not only true of Science Fiction, try finding classic mysteries! Agatha Christie? ok, Conan Doyle? Chandler ? fine. anything else? hard!

I guess the young me was lucky I discovered Science Fiction around the time of Star Wars and at that time publishers were reprinting loads of old things. Now? it really is difficult.

When an author dies there back catalog is no longer deemed fashionable without new titles to piggy back on.

It will be interesting to see what titles from the 20th century are published in 50 years time.

Anyway here are some titles that I reckon anyone discovering Science Fiction ought to try. I wonder how many Diddums will agree with!

H G Wells - The Time Machine 128 pages simple short haunting.
Arthur C Clarke - Childhood's End
Fred Pohl & C M Kornbluth - The Space Merchants
Ursula K Le Guin - The Left Hand of Darkness
John Wyndham - The Day of the Triffids
Clifford Simak - Way Station
Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle - The Mote in God's Eye
Connie Willis - Doomsday Book
Alfred Bester - The Demolished Man
Isaac Asimov - The Gods Themselves
Ray Bradbury - The Martian Chronicles
Joe Haldeman - The Forever War


Anonymous said...

I once used "The Time Machine" as an analogy in a paper I wrote for a master's class. The prof liked it.

Good book.

Tricia said...

Well I'm going to give it a try; I;, in need of a change of reading :)

I have read The Day of the Triffids AND seen the film!!