jjarrold (jjarrold) wrote,

Discovering SF

I first read SF and Fantasy seriously in the late 1960s. My dad had given me Wells and Verne along with a huge list of other authors, when I got fed up with children's books, but it was around 1967 when the genre really hit in a big way with me. Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, then Silverberg, Dick, Pohl & Kornbluth - and the UK paperback of DUNE appeared in 1968, which I gobbled up. There was a real sense of gosh-wow originality in Herbert's magnum opus then that can't be seen today.

Of course, I haven't yet mentioned fantasy, which is because there was very little around at that time. If you had a look at the SF section in a decent-sized W H Smiths, it consisted on one stack of books, with a few at the bottom of the stack by Michael Moorcock, with a smattering of US authors such as Andre Norton, Lin Carter and John Jakes. And of course, this was when Tolkien started to get big. Then the commercialisation of the genre really kicked off in the late 70s, with Terry Brooks, David Eddings and Stephen Donaldson...and here we are.

In many ways I'm happy that I discovered the genre when I did, since I could buy almost every book that appeared at that time - which is no longer true or desirable.

Stuff changes...

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