Recommended Genre Work with Mature/Older Protagonists

Compiled by Dawn Sabados: When Bruce Baugh requested recommendations of sf, fantasy and horror with mature/older protagonists (“Sing, o muse, of stories about people in their forties and beyond”) the harvest was plentiful.

Dawn Sabados has turned the lot into another GoodReads list she titled, in a burst of misguided enthusiasm, “A vile and cowardly ort of feces recommends mature protagonists”.

Dawn also briefly explained a couple of points in an email —

Now that I know I can only add 100 titles, I did skimp a bit. I only add three Discworld books.

Someone else will have to make the spy thriller one, though. I’m not willing to put my name on a list of stuff “as good as le Carre.”

5 thoughts on “Recommended Genre Work with Mature/Older Protagonists

  1. One obvious example would be Old Man’s War by John Scalzi which examines the issues of giving older people new bodies and how people would react to this. (They have *lots* of sex obviously)

    Another would be The Forever War by Joe Haldeman although that deals with the issue of everyone around you aging while the protagonist does not. Not really aging exactly but it’s an interesting problem to ponder.

    My third and final suggestion is The Trouble With Lichen by the late great John Whyndham. In this it is discovered a certain Lichen extends life in proportion to how much you take, and this in turn finds the protagonists agonising over the changes in society this will lead to and many problems that might arise. If you ever wanted to consider what life extension technology would do to human society then this is the book for you.

    I hope these suggestions are worth while to people. 🙂

  2. Should be a lot of late Heinlein on that list. Hey, RINGWORLD, too!

  3. @Sanford I think the idea of the list was ‘here are books that one should read’ not ‘hear are books that technically exist.’

  4. One that I meant to mention the other day was this:

    The Many worlds of Magnus Ridolph

    Magnus Ridolph is a dapper elderly gentleman who doesn’t look at all like an interstellar troubleshooter. His stories are also a deliberate contrast with sh stereotypical space opera theatrics; he solves problems with subtle intelligence and wisdom, he’s motivated by money, not justice, and quite often his clients are half the problem. It’s got both the Jack Vance satirical touch, and is a collection of unique science fiction mysteries.

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