By John Hertz: We’ll take up three Classics of SF at Loscon XLII, one discussion each. Come to as many as you like. You’ll be welcome to join in.
I’m still with “A classic is a work that survives its own time. After the currents which might have sustained it have changed, it remains, and is seen to be worthwhile for itself.” If you have a better definition, bring it.
Each of our three is famous in a different way. Each may be more interesting now than when first published.
Have you read them? Have you re-read them?
Arthur C. Clarke
A Fall of Moondust (1961)
A Hugo finalist, a kind of drama, a kind of locked-room mystery, tense, urgent, an interweaving of science and fiction where each sustains the other, this masterwork of story and verisimilitude shows what the author could do almost in monochrome. His poetry and characterization are subtle and striking.
Robert A. Heinlein
“All You Zombies….” (1959)
Is this the best time-travel story ever? The author’s best? It’s short; as for sweet, well — It could certainly be compared with the author’s own “By His Bootstraps” (1941) and Door Into Summer (1957); with Asimov’s End of Eternity (1955) and Leiber’s Big Time (1958). We’ll discuss it instead.
His three great novels — Amerika, The Castle, The Trial — were published only after his death. Here we find the Statue of Liberty bearing a sword, and before long, that desk, those glass walls. Some have called Amerika lighter, more cheerful than the other two. Ha ha.
extra ** extra
Bobbi Armbruster Special
The Island Stallion Races (1955)
The man whose books made the Black Stallion “the most famous fictional horse of the century” (New York Times) wrote one with aliens, space travel, shape-shifting. It was the first SF novel our Fan Guest of Honor read. We’ll celebrate with an extra discussion. How is Races unlike and like the SF we’re used to?