Re: RARA-AVIS: hardboiled crossovers

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 11 Mar 2002

> Are there any Westerns people would consider hardboiled?
> How about hb Science Fiction?
In SF I'm surprised to see no-one yet mention Alfred Bester's 2 classics: "The Demolished Man" & "Tiger, Tiger" (US title: "The Stars My Destination"). Both indispensable reads for anyone into popular literature of the 20th C, as well as very hardboiled. Somebody has mentioned Leigh Brackett, who has written 2 or 3 excellent hb/noir books but who is mainly remembered for her wonderful space opera stuff, much, if not all, written in a hb vernacular. Consider: "The Venus dicks were tough. They were plenty tough." You substitute Chicago
(or any other modern town) for Venus & what you have is a typical intro to a Black Mask story rather than a Planet Stories opus. Someone also mentioned Algis Budrys. Aside from "Rogue Moon", "Who?" is another rather HB-styled SF grounded in Cold War paranoia.Again, as mentioned, his short "The Master of the Hounds" is one that has to be read - one of my favourite HB/noir shorts of all time. Some of Samuel R Delany's earlier work (not familiar with later stuff) would also get a guernsey, shorts such as "Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones" as well as being a, if not the, major influence on William Gibson, would also qualify. Aside from all this there seems to be a strong connection between writers connected with the British New Wave SF scene of the 1960's & 1970's & modern noir - James Sallis being the main example but also writers such as M John Harrison whose most recent work is influenced by noir & who mentions in interviews that he's a fan of modern US noir writers.


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