The History of Science Fiction Literature Challenge – Update

It occurs to me that a. this challenge is taking forever, and b. on reflection, the original list of 40 might not be totally reflective of the genre. When I came up with original list, I was trying to pick out books and stories that had a reputation as a key text in the development of science fiction. Bu exploring these books, I had hoped to explore science fiction itself, and its meanings. At the moment, I’m up to book 10, 1864.

Looking at the list, it is missing some key works and authors. So it is my intention to change and adapt as I go along. I will, for example, include The Female Man by Joanna Russ (1975). I will probably go later than 1991.

Additional works to consider include:File:DownbelowStation(1stEd).jpg

  • Anthony Trollope The Fixed Period (1882)
  • Edwin Abbott Flatland (1884)
  • Hugo Gernsback Ralph 124C 41+ (1911)
  • James Blish Cities in Flight (1950)
  • Jack Vance The Dying Earth (1950)
  • Jack Finney The Body Snatchers (1955)
  • Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged (1957)
  • Madeleine L’Engle A Wrinkle in Time (1962)
  • Pierre Boule La Planete des singes (1963)
  • Andre Norton Witch World (1963)
  • Gene Wolf The Fifth Head of Cerberus (1972)
  • Kate Wilhelm Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (1976)
  • Octavia Butler Kindred (1979)
  • CJ Cherryh Downbelow Station (1982)
  • Carl Sagan Contact (1985)
  • Octavia Butler Dawn (1987)
  • Pat Cardigan Synners (1991)
  • Nicola Griffith Ammonite (1991)
  • Karen Joy Fowler Sarah Canary (1991)
  • Connie Willis Doomsday Book (1991)
  • Maureen F. McHugh China Mountain Zhang (1992)
  • Mary Doria Russell The Sparrow (1998)

Which leaves me maybe 3 or 4 titles to find to take this up to a list of 60. But let’s leave this flexible. Afterall, as the rate I’m going, this project is going to take years. I aim to get to at least 1930 by the end of 2014, which is ambitious, with other commitments. But hey, you have to set yourself goals.

And some more:

  • Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1915)
  • The Fate of the Poseidonia, Clare Winger Harris (1927, short story)
  • Orlando, Virginia Woolf (1928)
  • Lest Ye Die, Cicely Hamilton (1928)
  • Swastika Night, Katharine Burdekin (1937)
  • No Woman Born, CL Moore (1944, novelette)
  • Shadow on the Hearth, Judith Merril (1950)
  • Judgment Night, CL Moore (1952)

Thanks to SF Mistressworks and for giving me some further ideas too.


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