Thursday, April 12, 2012

My "best of the year" picks: 1961

Going over Joachim Boaz's list of his "Top 11" novels from 1960s, I thought I'll produce my own. But with some differences.
  1. It won't have a "Top 11" or any numerical limit. If I liked a story, or find it noteworthy, it gets included.
  2. It's not restricted to novels & includes short fiction too.
  3. It's a mix of online & offline stuff; links included for online stories.
When compiling the list, I ran into two problems:
  1. It's taking too long. I've spent over an hour, & am still just covered 1963.
  2. List itself is growing too big. Small bites will probably be more palatable.
I hope to update this list as & when I find more entries, but I often get lazy updating such lists. This list was last updated: 12 April 2012.

List below is in order of publication - earliest first, unknown dated last. All stories originally published during 1961.
  1. [ss] Arthur Clarke's "Death & the Senator"; Analog, May: Certain heart ailments may be best treated in a zero gravity environment.
  2. [novelette] Lloyd Biggle, Jr's "Monument"; download; Analog, June: Non-violent, non-Gandhian, resistance against colonialism.
  3. [ss] Arthur Clarke's  "Before Eden"; Amazing Stories, June: A human expedition to Venus finds something that could be prelife - but its chances of survival are ruined by innocently careless actions of man, in spite of all precautions of the expedition...
  4. [ss] Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron"; download; F&SF, October: An extreme version of the idea of "equal opportunity" 
  5. [novel] Arthur Clarke's "A Fall of Moondust": Shipwreck & rescue set in an extremely exotic locale - neither land nor water, neither air nor space!
Related: "Best of" lists; fiction from 1961, 1960s.

7 comments:

Joachim Boaz said...

I'm glad you found my list interesting :)

My list wasn't supposed to be completely representative of the genre in all its variations -- but, the very nature of a list is restrictive...

Thanks for stopping by!

(not, I'm male not female -- but that name's a pseudonym so there's no way to truly tell -- hehe)

Joachim Boaz said...

*note -- sorry.

Joachim Boaz said...

I haven't been very impressed with lloyd Biggle Jr.'s novels so far, but that short story (?) Monument sounds fascinating! Have you read both versions? The novelette and short story? I'm always curious if people are more successful in the short or long format...

Tinkoo said...

"I'm male not female": Fixed. Sorry.

"Monument": ISFDB lists this novelette & its 1974 expansion into a novel. I've only read the shorter version linked above.

"Biggle": I've not read a lot by him. Liked "Monument". Didn't like "Tunesmith". If I've read any others by him, I don't even remember the titles.

Where I can get it, I normally prefer original short fiction to their later expansion into longer works. Saves time reading the padding.

Joachim Boaz said...

Hehe... I agree most of the time.

But, one of my favorite novels of all time -- Katherine MacLean's Missing Man (novelized 1975) was first a short story (1971) -- it won a Nebula. But the fleshed out one is better in my opinion. I highly recommend it. One of the best telepathy novels...

I have a review on my blog if you're curious.

Tinkoo said...

Thanks. I've not read a lot of MacLean - only a couple of stories & they weren't well done (one finished only yesterday - "Incommunicado", a novella from one of the Groff Conklin's 6-packs). Will keep looking out for "Missing Man". Thank you.

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