RARA-AVIS: January will be HB Speculative/Fantasic Fiction month: Denton et al.

From: Todd Mason ( Todd.Mason@tvguide.com)
Date: 01 Dec 2003

Two things to set clearly straight: that's FREDERIK Pohl, and since both titles have been mentioned, TIGER! TIGER! and THE STARS MY DESTINATION by Alfred Bester are the same novel (common UK and US titles, respectively).

As Graham Powell noted, Algis Budrys's work is perhaps the epitome of HB SF, certainly his novels of the '50s: ROGUE MOON (Gold Medal, 1959; republished by Budrys--revised?--under his own title, THE DEATH MACHINE, in 2001) being the capstone, but WHO? (Lion? '56?) being a good second (also SOME WILL NOT DIE and THE FALLING TORCH). The only Budrys book of the period I can't recommend is the slight MAN OF EARTH (Ballantine '58?), which definitely means I recommend the short story collection of the time, and the ones since. His most recent novel, HARD LANDING, from six-eight years back has been unjustly neglected. Budrys won or was up for the Edgar, iirc, for his ultragrim "The Master of the Hounds" (not to be confused with Ellison's Kitty Genovese fantasy "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" noted below).

Kim Newman's THE NIGHT MAYOR deserves mention here, an sf frame for a pastiche of hb film/fiction. His ANNO DRACULA series of novels/stories are almost by definition noirish and usually have criminous and detective aspects.

Similarly Les Daniels's "Don Sebastian" novels. I suppose this inevitably brings us to Laurel Hamilton, and less obviously to Ron Goulart's Max Kearney stories, most collected in GHOST BREAKER.

In the event anyone can find Allen Kim Lang's short fiction, particularly such items as the early '60s "Thaw and Serve," it's as relevant here as anything by Ellison. Perhaps it's not irrelevant that one was published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION when it was edited by Avram Davidson.

William Kotzwinkle's THE GAME OF THIRTY and perhaps THE EXILE are relevant here.

Daniel Galouye has been mentioned, though his work is, I fear, all out of print.

Edward Wellen, with HIJACK among others, contributed to near-future hb sf.

Directly relevant Fritz Leiber: "I'm Looking for Jeff"; "The Night He Cried"

Robert Bloch. At very least, "The Yougoslaves" or "The Weird Tailor" for bleak noirish horror; not a little else.

[mailto: owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca]On Behalf Of William Denton Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2003 7:29 PM To: RARA-AVIS Subject: RARA-AVIS: January will be HB SF month

Giving January 2004 (when the list will turn seven) an SF (the preferred term for science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, etc.) theme sounds great. I noted some titles that were mentioned and I'll add this list to the reminder:

John Barnes, KALEIDOSCOPE CENTURY (1995) Neal Barrett, Jr., THROUGH DARKEST AMERICA (1986);
   DAWN'S UNCERTAIN LIGHT (1989) Greg Bear, QUEEN OF ANGELS (1990) Alfred Bester, THE DEMOLISHED MAN (1952) Michael Blumlein, THE MOVEMENT OF MOUNTAINS (1987) Leigh Brackett's science fiction David Brin, KILN PEOPLE (or KIL'N PEOPLE) (2003) Philip K. Dick, FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID (1974);
   DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? (1968); A SCANNER DARKLY (1977) Harlan Ellison, "A Boy and His Dog" (1969);
   "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" (1973) M.J. Engh, ARSLAN (aka A WIND FROM BUKHARA) (1976) William Gibson's cyberpunk, e.g. NEUROMANCER (1984) Russell M. Griffin, THE TIMESERVERS (1985) K.W. Jeter, DR. ADDER (1984); THE GLASS HAMMER (1985); DEATH ARMS
   (1989); FAREWELL HORIZONTAL (1989) Richard Matheson, I AM LEGEND (1954) Richard K. Morgan, ALTERED CARBON (2002) Curt Siodmak, DONOVAN'S BRAIN (1942) Bruce Sterling's cyberpunk Theodore Sturgeon Jack Womack, RANDOM ACTS OF SENSELESS VIOLENCE (1993) (prequel to the
   Terraplane series)

Drop me some mail if there are any others you'd recommend. Personally, I didn't like the Brin or Morgan books, but they're very Chandlerish. I can't remember how hardboiled or noirish PKD's FLOW MY TEARS is, but if you haven't read anything by him the others are good places to start
(though A SCANNER DARKLY is near the top of his freaked-out paranoid books). Bester's THE DEMOLISHED MAN is a classic.

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