Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Science Fiction Classics

This week's Gorillas Riding Dinosaurs was about Science Fiction Classics:
You might think that a book full of classic science fiction would be a natural subject to talk about in a column concerning adventure fiction, but I actually reconsidered it a couple of times. While I love robots, aliens, spaceships, and laser guns, I’m not someone that real science fiction fans would want to let into their club. Gimme Star Wars and Flash Gordon; you can keep your Asimov and Clarke over there. An anthology of the "classics" of scifi is likely going to need some serious spicing up to keep me interested. Fortunately, Science Fiction Classics has a full rack.

There are a couple of reasons that the anthology is appropriate for this space. First, it’s Volume 17 in Eureka’s Graphic Classics series. That means that there’s no way it’s going to be anything less than excellent in terms of how stories are selected and presented. Editor Tom Pomplun’s got the selection formula figured out and he’s great at executing it. He always has at least one, hugely popular story that everyone knows (War of the Worlds, for instance), but then he fills the rest of the book with lesser known material by a mixture of authors. The result is always surprising. Hans Christian Andersen and EM Forster aren’t exactly renowned for their scifi work, for example. And even writers who are – like Jules Verne – are represented by interesting picks (Verne’s “In the Year 2889,” for instance, instead of, say, From the Earth to the Moon).
Find out about all the Martians, robots, and disintegrator machines here.

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