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PaulHoule · 2024-03-28 · Original thread
I see overread books like Dune and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe as part of the problem, not part of the solution. Back in the 1980s there were so many "sci-fi fans" who had read Hitchhiker 20 times but never read Asimov or Heinlein or Dick or Smith or LeGunn or Pohl or...

I am a big fan of Frank Herbert's other books, particularly The Santaroga Barrier, Under Pressure, Destination Void, Eyes of Heisenberg, Whipping Star and the Dosadi books. I can't stand Dune but for some reason people read it over and over again and don't get into the rest of Herbert never mind any other authors.

I'd also blame Tor press for the downfall of sci-fi. Some of their books were groundbreaking like Ender's Game and Forge of God but because they represented a counter-reformation to the "new wave" which made Smith look cool again (great!) but really diminished the range of stories people would tell instead of expanding it. There was also the expansion of fantasy megaseries like Xanth (way too squicky for visual adaptation) and Discworld (too bad visual adaptations stopped when Pratchett passed away, but at least I can go to a Hogfather showing on the epiphany and cosplay as Twoflower)

I kinda feel about Vinge the way I feel about Niven, he didn't quite continue the promise he showed in his early career in his late career. Same with Charlie Stross, who became as bad a left wing nut (sees a fascist under every rock) as Niven was a right wing nut and gave up on the promising Eschaton series for just plain tiring series like The Merchant Princes (Xanth envy without the notes at the end about how much the author hates writing them?)

I liked the self-published We are Legion (We are Bob) which I found at the Salvation Army. Also

for a very recent book.

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