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Monthly Archives: March 2014
My high school years were steeped in reading from several F&SF authors. Among them, the most influential was quite probably Andre Norton. In arranging my book collection in those early days, Norton was always satisfying, because she wrote a gazillion books and I had most of them. I know three fantasy landscapes well because I wandered them so often as a young reader: Narnia, Middle Earth, and Norton’s Witch World.
A blog post I read recently used attitude towards Robert A. Heinlein as a measurement of a person’s…I’m not quite sure what, but it seemed to be connected to their worthiness to be part of the F&SF community.
I don’t care so much about that. There are problematic aspects to Heinlein’s writing, yes, and one fascinating thing about that is that they span the range of the political spectrum. But regardless of attitude, if you want to be well-read in science fiction (by which I mean you have read much of the significant material in the field and understand at a rudimentary level where it fits in relationship to other significant works), you need to have at least a nodding acquaintance with Heinlein. And if you are looking for one work that shows his range and also includes some stories that show how marvelous a wordsmith he can be, I recommend The Past Through Tomorrow: Future History Stories.