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In the past couple weeks, I have been reading science fiction short stories. In typical fashion, I have this need to be systematic and thorough, so I am choosing my stories in a chronological fashion. Obviously, I am not reading all of them, just a smattering, but here is the reading list so far:

Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall", 1835
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, 1844
Wells, H.G. “The Star”, 1897
Hamilton, Edmond. “The Man Who Evolved”, 1931
Robert Heinlein. "--All You Zombies--" 1959

I actually started with the Heinlein story, which was just bizarre and rubbed me wrong. That's when I decided I could use the benefit of historical context with the chronological approach.

The first two on the list have the characteristic overwriting typical of a lot 19th century romanticism (why use two words when twenty will do?)

The H.G. Wells story was gorgeously written, despite being a doomsday tale.

I am now into the 1930's pulp fiction, which is about as melodramatic as you'd expect.

A few quotable quotes:

It was not love, although her rich beauty was a madness to him; nor horror, even while he fancied her spirit to be imbued with the same baneful essence that seemed to pervade her physical frame; but a wild offspring of both love and horror that had each parent in it, and burned like one and shivered like the other. - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Few people without a training in science can realise the huge isolation of the solar system. The sun with its specks of planets, its dust of planetoids, and its impalpable comets, swims in a vacant immensity that almost defeats the imagination. - H G Wells

Here's my Friday poem, from back in my college days:

A woman's hands

Her hands were smooth, gentle, and able
One rested on her thigh
the other moved across the table

It made me feel secure, seeing her hands
They had a soft-spoken grace unlike a man’s

I could sit and wonder at all they’d done
When they were strong
When they were creative
When they were playful
When they were still

I could sit and wonder what it would be like
to hold one of those hands in mine.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2013 06:25 am (UTC)
Keep that list going, and I won't have to worry about a syllabus if I ever get around to teaching the Sci-Fi class!

Love the poem.
Dec. 7th, 2013 11:35 am (UTC)
Thanks, re: poem.

I am going to put together a brief blurb on each of the stories I've read so far, just to chat a bit about my impressions of it.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )