A Blast From The Past

Or, speculative fiction books and authors I read a very, very long time ago!

I’m going back in time, not quite time travelling, as I don’t intend to leave the safety and comfort of my little office sanctuary, but I do want to take about authors and books I read decades ago, that yes, I still have a fondness for. I especially want to remind people/readers of those authors who came before, as with this being SciFiMonth, everyone is mostly talking about new (to me that is) authors, and what’s coming next year. 

But no one, other than maybe me, the dinosaur from another era, is talking about the classics, or to be exact, my classics.

So, let’s get started with a few books and authors you’ve all probably never heard of let alone read … yet:

  • JOAN D. VINGE — some of you may have heard of Vinge given she has written at least one book you might recognize: THE SNOW QUEEN (1980), and the The Snow Queen quartet of books. She also penned several collections and a lot of novelizations and tie-ins, including (would you believe) Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and for the movie, Ladyhawk. Yes, hard to believe. So please, go look her up. 
  • JOHN VARLEY — Here’s another author that I grew up with, and whose work fascinated me. Varley, a Locus and Hugo Award nominee, has written a number of short story collections, but is probably best known for his trilogy of novels— Titan, Wizard and Demon—set aboard a sentient hollow world orbiting Saturn. His novel, Millennium was also made into a TV movie. Check out his novel, The Ophiuchi Hotline, which was by far his best work.
  • C.J. CHERRYH — Cherry is probably one of the most prolific SFF authors you are ever likely to read (80+ books, I think?) She has done it all: space opera, aliens, colonization, fantasy—her world building is second to none. She has created some of the best fictional universes you are ever likely to visit (via a book). For SF, try the FOREIGNER universe, THE COMPANY WARS, ALLIANCE-UNION series, or CHANUR series. For fantasy, try MEROVINGEN NIGHTS series, or the MORGAINE series of novels. 

Next week I’ll highlight three more authors for you, in the meant time, go check out these three and, enjoy!

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  1. November 19, 2018

    All of those authors are new to me and as usually, I am intrigued. Seriously, I need help I think… How can one author write so many books, 80+ is a seriously high number, I am so impressed!

    What a fun post, I love the blast from the past idea!

    • November 19, 2018

      It looks like these classic authors are new to everyone, Vera. And maybe that’s because they started their writing careers way back in the late 70s early 80s. That’s 30-40 years ago now.

      It’s kind of fun to know I might be introducing these authors to new readers. And maybe, I need to do a ‘Blast from the Past’ feature each month. 😀

      • November 19, 2018

        Please do! I love that idea – there are many wonderful authors that are getting almost forgotten and I would love to hear more of them. Great idea!

        • November 19, 2018

          Consider it done! More posts to come …

  2. November 17, 2018

    I have been meaning to read something by C J Cherryh for a long time now. I even have one of her books on my shelf. Not familiar with the other authors.

    • November 19, 2018

      I think many people have bought her work but, like you, have yet to actually read her. She has been prolific over the last couple of decades. Likewise, the other two authors are from her generation and era, also. The 80-90s.

  3. November 17, 2018

    I had no idea Vinge did the novelization for Ladyhawk, I love that movie! I’ve only read one book of hers so far, it was this super fun little space opera, i adored it. I’ve tried Cherryh a handful of times, keep bouncing off her style. it isn’t her, it’s me! if I’ve read any Varley, it’s been so long that I don’t remember.

    in January i co-host Vintage SciFi Month, i think you’ll get a kick out of some of those posts! 🙂

    • November 17, 2018

      Like Cherryh, Vinge too has written quite a few books people don’t know about, as you can see. And yes, I really enjoy her writing. But I guess you either love Cherryh or you don’t, though I suspect it depends on what book you started with. I haven’t read much of her fantasy series, because I don’t like fantasy. And she does tend to go for the series these days, and not, stand-alone books.

      Varley has had one or two novels out over the years but not much these days.

      Oh, and in my day, it wasn’t vintage, but then, I guess that makes me a classic too. 😉

  4. Cherryh has written +80 books? I don’t want to ask how old she is but wow! I haven’t heard of these authors before either but now I’ll certainly remember Cherryh 😉

    • November 16, 2018

      Ah, Cherryh is a few years older than I am, and we’re in what every one might call our Golden Years! And yes, she’s prolific. She’s written nearly every kind of SF and fantasy book imaginable.

      These are all authors who began writing careers in the 80s, and onwards. 😀

  5. November 13, 2018

    Cool list!
    These authors are all new to me <3

    • November 13, 2018

      Thanks, Norrie, I hope you find some inspiration from them, and check out some of their work (maybe, via the library). And they are probably new to you because they’re all my age group! 😉

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