January was #VintageSciFiMonth for several book reviewers. It is a wonderful idea created by LittleRedReviewer
and summed up it is simply this: In January read SciFi books published before your birth year. It is a lot of fun and I’ve been joining in now for a couple of years. I actively look forward to January reading now and purchase vintage SciFi books throughout the year with this month in mind.
This year I focused upon four authors: Frank Herbert, Gordon R Dickson, Joe Haldeman, and Henry Kuttner. These four authors didn’t disappoint.
Henry Kuttner is an inspiration for David Drake. Drake is one of the finest Military SciFi authors, so when he showcases one of his sources of inspiration it is worth taking note! Kuttner’s novella Clash By Night was published in 1943 with all the fears of an atomic war and ignorance of Venus that would have been prevalent at this time. However in this brief story Kuttner brings his characters to life and lets them dance across the pages. It was fun to read and also served as a good reminder to not destroy the earth.
Joe Haldeman is famous for his masterpiece The Forever War, and rightfully so. It is incredible. However his other works are also incredibly well done and worth reading. As is his book Mindbridge which was published in 1976. I couldn’t set the book down. Talk about a pageturner! You are drawn in within the opening sequence and are desperate to know where the story goes. Telepathy, First Contact, Morality, Love, Space Travel: all are topics this master covers and does so in an engaging fashion. Mindbridge is one book you probably haven’t heard of before that you should pick up and read.
When you think of Frank Herbert you think of Dune. When I think of his Dune Saga I realize again and again that it truly is my favorite work of fiction. Yet for so long it is all I knew of Frank Herbert’s work! I use Vintage SciFi Month as a chance to explore Herbert’s other works and The ConSentiency Universe is where I explored this month. I Started with the short story The Tactful Saboteur published in 1964 in which Herbert created an interesting universe of politics, legalities, and sabotage. He continued the series in 1970 with the novel Whipping Star. As you read the novel the title actually makes a lot of sense! Frank Herbert has a way of filling pages with action but hiding the action within the dialogue. He continued the series in 1977 with The Dosadi Experiment which is the novel I am reading (and loving) right now. There is one other short story set within this universe that I hope to read soon. This universe is vastly different from Dune but contains the creativity, philosophy, and study on humanity you loved in Dune.
Last year for Vintage SciFi Month I read the first book of Gordon R Dickson’s Childe Cycle: Dorsai! It was incredible. So incredible that I had to continue the series this year and so I read the next two books in the Cycle. Necromancer was published in 1962 but was set prior to the events of Dorsai! In it you see the origins of the Splinter Cultures which are the evolutionary children of humanity spread out amongst the stars. Necromancer sets the stage and the philosophy that caries the series forward. Soldier, Ask Not was published in 1967 and takes place at the same time as Dorsai! and within its pages we see more of Dickson’s grand view of humanity’s connectivity and the shaping of our next evolutionary step. You also learn the value of faith and love in the midst of reason. I can’t wait to read further within this series.
Altogether this Vintage SciFi Month has been a lot of fun and I’ve greatly enjoyed seeing and hearing about all the books my friends are reading and discovering during this time! Thank you to all who participated and cheers to great SciFi reads! I’m already looking forward to next year’s Vintage books!