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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Best Classic Science Fiction Book (or series) Nominations Needed

What is the best science-fiction book (or series) written before 1975?  

We're still grinding through the giants (S/F, Fantasy) since the sheer number of nominations last time around meant I needed to separate them by time frame. Yes, I know I have a long day ahead when I finally compile the results. My tightening budget means I can't farm some of this busy work out, and I'm back on the hook for it. Alas. That weekend is gonna suuuuuuuuuuuck. But I'm moving the next couple of weekends, so I'm going to have to keep doing jazz hands for now.

In the meantime, we need nominations. (Be sure to leave them on the blog and not as a comment on the social media where you saw this cross posted.)

We have two "slots" left in our more-comprehensive sci/fi and fantasy polls.  (This one and contemporary fantasy). Then we'll mix it up with some other genres.


The Rules


  1. There is a new category of nomination. It is NOT a nomination for the poll. It is an UNDERSUNG HERO nomination. Basically it is for books you think are great, tragically overlooked, NEED to be read by everyone yesterday, but maybe not necessarily the besty bestest best. I will be listing these books along with the poll results. However, if you nominate a book for our poll it will not be considered for the undersung hero list and if you shout out something for an undersung hero, it will not be counted as a nomination for the poll. (Someone else can nominate it.) Think about if you want to give a book few seem to know about a shout out or if you're tossing your fave into The Hunger Games.
  2. As always, I leave the niggling over the definition of genres to your best judgement because I'd rather be inclusive. If you want to nominate Sarah Canary (and I'd be with you on that one), you have to show your work that it's not fantasy if you want to convince others to second the nomination, nevermind to do well in the poll.
  3. Your book must be copyrighted 1975 or earlier. If it is a series, the ENTIRE SERIES must have been written before 1975.  Of course you can nominate the earliest novel in a series if you are trying to work around the rules, but not the series itself unless it's entirely published before '75. No small number of shout outs to Discworld have included only the books from the appropriate time frame. Why should we stop now? There will be other polls for newer books.
  4. You get to mention two (2) books (or series). That's it. Two. You can do ONE nomination for the poll and ONE UNDERSUNG HERO.  Or you can do TWO nominations. Or you can do TWO undersung heroes. But two is the total. If you nominate three or more I will NOT take any nominations beyond the second that you suggest. I'm sorry that I'm a stickler on this, but I compile these polls myself and it's a pain when people drop a megalodon list every decent book they can remember of in the genre. It is up to you how to divy your TWO choices. TWO.
  5. Did I mention two?
  6. You may (and absolutely should) second AS MANY nominations of others as you wish. THEY WILL NOT GET ONTO THE POLL WITHOUT SECONDS. You can agree with or cheer on the undersung heroes, but they won't "transform" into nominations unless someone else nominates that same book as "best" (and then they get a second). Also stop back in and see if anyone has put up something you want to see go onto the poll. 
  7. Put your nominations HERE. I will take nominations only as comments and only on this post. (No comments on FB posts or G+ will be considered nominations.) If you can't comment for some reason because of Blogger, send me an email (chris.brecheen@gmail.com) stating exactly that and what your nomination is, and I will personally put your comment up. I am not likely to see a comment on social media even if it says you were unable to leave a comment here. 
  8. You are nominating WRITTEN genre fiction, not their movie portrayals. If you thought Blade Runner was a spectacular movie, that's great but thought the Alan E. Nourse book was not that great except for as inspiration source material.
  9. This is probably well known by vets of this blog by now, but there will be no more endless elimination rounds. I will take somewhere between 8-20 best performing titles and at MOST run a single semifinal round. By "performing" I mean the "seconds" to the nominations. So second the titles you want even if they already have one. (Yes, I guess that would make them "thirds," "fourths," etc...) The competition on this poll might be fierce. You may have to get your friends involved. Buy them a pizza. Make it real. 

91 comments:

  1. I nominate A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and Dune by Frank Herbert.

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  2. Undersung Hero: The Stars My Destination (A.K.A. Tyger! Tyger!) by Alfred Bester

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  3. 1984 by Orwell

    (PS: My ioS content blocker, 1Blocker, blocks reading or writing comments here. I've disabled blocking on this site, natch, but maybe folks looking to figure out how to comment here might want the tip.)

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    1. Irony: Of course, they won't be able to read it if they need it. *headdesk*

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  4. I nominate the Earthsea trilogy. Yes I know she wrote more of them years later, but the original trilogy is within the timeframe.

    Undersung hero: the Stars novels by Andre Norton.

    --SHutch

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  5. I nominate 1984 AND Dune (at least the first book, if not a few of the series in part)

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  6. I'm going the classics route this time - I nominate Huxley's Brave New World and Stanislaw Lem's Solaris.

    (I hope other folks nominate some Bradbury? please? This was a rough one for me to narrow down to my two nominations.)

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  7. Replies
    1. seconded for the third time. ;)

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    2. Clicked over just to see if this got a nod. I just started it and I'm enjoying it so far- though I have to admit that it's a little confusing. But that might be because I'm listening to it and audiobooks are still newish to me.

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  8. I nominate Asimov's Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, Foundtion and Empire, Second Foundation). For 30 years it was only a trilogy and, as a trilogy, it won a Hugo in '66, so I feel justified in nominating all 3 books.
    I'll also nominate The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham.

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  9. I nominate "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress" by Heinlein

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  10. I nominate "Ringworld" by Larry Niven

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    Replies
    1. I second this and have voted it my fave as well

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  11. The Dead Lady of Clown Town by Cordwainer Smith-Unsung Hero and The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin for best novel.

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  12. Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death

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  13. Unsung hero: The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner

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  14. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

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    Replies
    1. Seconding the Martian Chronicles

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    2. Seconding. I'll second anything by Ray Bradbury.

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  15. Nominate the "Dragonriders of Pern" By Anne McCaffrey

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  16. Do androids dream of electric sheep, by phillip k dick

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  17. I can't believe no one's nominated the very first piece of sci-fi: Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), so I have to nominate that one.

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  18. Ringworld - Larry Niven. This book and the follow-up Ringworld Engineers opened my eyes to a vast and marvelous future among the stars....I have read thousands of SF novels and count these among my very fave.

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  19. I know it’s a children’s series, but for unsung heores, I nominate:

    The White Mountains trilogy by John Christopher

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    Replies
    1. Applauding John Christopher and the importance of reaching out to the emerging Sci Fi readers.

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  20. Best SF Before 1975: Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

    Undersung Hero: Davy by Edgar Pangborn

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  21. From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne
    The Time Machine by HG Wells

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  22. My second unsung hero: Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut.

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  23. More than human - Theodore Sturgeon

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    Replies
    1. I read this only last month, and I'll second it.

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  24. For me top is Flowers for Algernon with 1984 and Brave New World as a joint second

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  25. Nominating "A Canticle for Liebowitz" by Walter M. Miller.

    Unsung hero: "Memoirs of a Survivor" by Doris Lessing.

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    Replies
    1. Seconding canticle! Can't believe I forgot that one; stole it off my dad's bookshelf when I was a kid!

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  26. Going with the classics: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

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  27. unsung hero... the chrysalids by john wyndham

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  28. Undersung hero: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov

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  29. "Rendezvous with Rama" by Arthur C. Clarke.

    Undersung: "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman.

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  30. Undersung is probably Nonstop by Brian Aldiss.

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  31. Chthon by Piers Anthony for undersung.

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  32. Everything by Philip K Dick but specifically ‘Ubik’ because ‘A Scanner Darkly’ was ‘77

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  33. Nominating A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller, and The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

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  34. War Of The Worlds by HG Wells, & Day Of The Triffids by John Wyndham

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  35. The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake.

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  36. THE ICE PEOPLE by Rene Barjavel! One of my all time faves!

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