By James Davis Nicoll: Side project. I am going to recruit some young people I know to read and react to a selection of SF’s canon, the classics people my age are sure people their age should have read. It’s inspired by this Facebook comment by Adam-Troy Castro:
Nobody discovers a lifelong love of science fiction through Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein anymore, and directing newbies toward the work of those masters is a destructive thing, because the spark won’t happen. You might as well advise them to seek out Cordwainer Smith or Alan E. Nourse — fine tertiary avenues of investigation, even now, but not anything that’s going to set anybody’s heart afire, not from the standing start. Won’t happen.
So my question to your commentariat is: which dozen works should I pick.
They should be considered core works. I’ve arbitrarily selected 1980 as the cutoff date: it is mid way between us now and WWII.