Classics of Science Fiction
by John Hertz

We’ll do three Classics of SF discussions, one story each.  Come to as many as you like. You are welcome to join in.

I’m still with the definition - A classic is an artwork that survives its time; after the currents which might have sustained it have changed, it remains, and is seen as worthwhile in itself.  If you have a better one, bring it.

Here are our three.  Each may be more interesting now than when originally published.

If you haven’t read them, try it.  If you haven’t re-read them, try that.

When re-reading, I know what’s going to happen in the story and can watch how the author does things.  For me that’s part of the fun.

TWHNDDNGNT2005Kuttner & Moore, “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” (1943)

     First published under one of the authors’ pseudonyms, it’s on this year’s Retro-Hugo ballot.  The title is from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass (1871).  Here, strange toys arrive, and the children playing with them get stranger.  Eventually we are made to wonder if children are really caterpillars, in which case they – but that would be telling.

The book-cover image is from the Internet Speculative Fiction Data Base. You can look here.

 

RCKTSHPGLL0000Robert A. Heinlein, "Rocket Ship Galileo” (1947)

     We’ve come to the 50th anniversary of July 20, 1969, when humankind first set foot on the Moon.  Decades earlier came the speculation of this book. What if someone put together a rocket ship capable of Moon travel, outside big government, big business, big everything?  How might that happen? Then what?

The book-cover image is from the Internet Speculative Fiction Data Base. You can look here.

 

 

 

CTBRTHFRST1968Fred Hoyle, "October the First Is Too Late" (1966)

     This author, also a first-rate astronomer, was famous for proposing speculations far from others’.  If you’ve seen that mad juggling troupe the Flying Karamazov Brothers, you know one of their wisecracks is “Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.”  What if that wasn’t true – if everything was happening at once?

The book-cover image is from the Internet Speculative Fiction Data Base. You can look here.