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  #1  
Old 03-19-2007, 04:46 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Golden Age Science Fiction Authors.

Would my fellow Dopers please provide a list of Golden Age SF Authors?
Ideally good ones?
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"He is an abomination of science that curdles the milk of all honest men!"~~One Dr Chouteh, possibly commenting on Bosda Di'Chi.Or not.
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2007, 05:21 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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The SF TImeline can keep you occupied for days.

For the Golden Age stories and authors, it's best to start with the 1930-1940 page and then work forward. The Golden Age technically starts in 1926 with the start of Amazing Stories, though, if you want to dig deeper.

You probably won't find anything more comprehensive or detailed.
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2007, 05:58 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase

For the Golden Age stories and authors, it's best to start with the 1930-1940 page and then work forward. The Golden Age technically starts in 1926 with the start of Amazing Stories, though, if you want to dig deeper.
Really? I've always heard that it began in 1939 as Campbell got up to speed (not that some stories in Astounding in 1938 weren't good also.)

The notation in the link seems odd to me, at the leastt. Why assign age names to decades when there were shifts that didn't match decade boundaries?

Asimov's anthology of stories from the 1926 - late '30s period is called "Before the Golden Age" after all.

Now, when it ended seems a bit iffier. I tend to vote for about 1943 when the main Astounding authors went off to the war, but I suppose an argument can be made for it lasting through the beginnings of F&SF and Galaxy to the great magazine crash of the late '50s.

Last edited by Voyager; 03-19-2007 at 06:00 PM..
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  #4  
Old 03-19-2007, 09:11 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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You can make just about any argument you want for the start and end of the Golden Age. It's all utterly arbitrary.

Your definition gives the Golden Age only four years. Most people would find that too limiting. And of course Asimov would define the Golden Age to begin with him: his ego was bigger than Cecil's.

It all depends on what you want to do with your definition. Sounded to me like Bosda wanted a list of good authors to read, so I tried to steer him to a listing that would include as many big names as possible. If he comes back with and says he had a different idea in mind, then I'd be happy to modify things accordingly.
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2007, 01:10 AM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
You can make just about any argument you want for the start and end of the Golden Age. It's all utterly arbitrary.

Your definition gives the Golden Age only four years. Most people would find that too limiting. And of course Asimov would define the Golden Age to begin with him: his ego was bigger than Cecil's.

It all depends on what you want to do with your definition. Sounded to me like Bosda wanted a list of good authors to read, so I tried to steer him to a listing that would include as many big names as possible. If he comes back with and says he had a different idea in mind, then I'd be happy to modify things accordingly.
Well, he should definitely read stuff from the '20s and '30s, and the list has plenty of good suggestions. One good one not on the list is "the Gostak and the Doshes" by Miles Breuer.

I've read all the Astoundings from 1938 to '46 or so, and there is a definite rise in average quality in '39 and a fall in '43-'44. Like I said, I'm not at all sure when the Golden Age ends. Of course Asimov neither invented the name or the date of the Golden Age, and I certainly don't remember any reviewers disputing it when his book came out.

So, no argument (besides the normal quibbling) about their choices, just about their odd decade naming convention.
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2007, 09:00 AM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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To me, the Golden Age started about the time Heinlein wrote "Life-Line", and ended sometime in the mid-late 1950's.
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2007, 09:00 AM
Steve MB Steve MB is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
Your definition gives the Golden Age only four years. Most people would find that too limiting. And of course Asimov would define the Golden Age to begin with him: his ego was bigger than Cecil's.
Joking aside, Asimov was defining the Golden Age as beginning with Campbell, which is a fairly widely-accepted definition.
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2007, 09:27 AM
Reno Nevada Reno Nevada is online now
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I am surprised by the lukewarm response to this question. I would have thought the Dopers would be all over it.

I don't like Exapno Mapcase's link, which defines the Golden Age of Science Fiction as the 1920's, and the authors indicated are Cabell, Burroughs, Eddison, and the like. Those are great authors, and I definitely recommend them, but they are not representative of the Golden Age of Science Fiction.

No, the list of Golden Age Science Fiction authors is: Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke. There you go.
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:01 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is online now
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The list of Grand Masters has a great deal of overlap with the list of Golden Age Authors, though some (particularly, of the more recent names) are post-Golden Age, and the Grand Masters list omits some big names who died too soon to be included.
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:19 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Nevada
I am surprised by the lukewarm response to this question. I would have thought the Dopers would be all over it.

I don't like Exapno Mapcase's link, which defines the Golden Age of Science Fiction as the 1920's, and the authors indicated are Cabell, Burroughs, Eddison, and the like. Those are great authors, and I definitely recommend them, but they are not representative of the Golden Age of Science Fiction.

No, the list of Golden Age Science Fiction authors is: Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke. There you go.
I agree, the Golden Age starts with Campbell and is led by Heinlein, Asimov & Clarke.

It is worth adding writers like Poul Anderson, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, James Blish, Lester del Rey, L. Sprague de Camp, Gordon Dickson, Frederik Pohl, A. E. van Vogt and even Clifford D. Simak.

E. E. Doc Smith seems borderline as older than the Golden Age writers. A prior generation. His career definitely overlapped the Golden Age however.

I think Anthony Burgess came a little too late. Kurt Vonnegut does not really fit into the Golden Age and besides he is almost a category of one. Not quite Science Fiction and not general fiction. I know I am forgetting several more good candidates.

Jim
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:34 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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There are plenty of others. Even among the majors, several aren't household names today.

Jack Williamson was from the 20s and 30s, but he kept on writing through the Golden Age until his death last year. I think Edmund F. Hamilton was still writing into the Golden Age, too. Heck, so was Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Henry Kuttner, Catherine L. Moore, Leigh Brackett, Raymond Z. Gallun, Fredric Brown, George O. Smith, Raymond F. Jones. Lotsa others. Look in the anthologies Adventures in Time and Space, or the Ba;llantine/Del Rey series the Best Science Fiction Of.... series from the 1970s.
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:42 AM
Keweenaw Keweenaw is offline
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Haven't seen him mentioned yet.

Theodore Sturgeon
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:57 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
Jack Williamson was from the 20s and 30s, but he kept on writing through the Golden Age until his death last year. I think Edmund F. Hamilton was still writing into the Golden Age, too. Heck, so was Edgar Rice Burroughs.
I considered these as predating the Golden Age and thus like EE Doc Smith, not Golden Age writers. Actually, I do not know Hamilton, what did he write? I do not think Edgar would ever be accused of writing Golden Age Science Fiction, there was too little Hard Science in his fiction.

Quote:
Henry Kuttner, Catherine L. Moore, Leigh Brackett, Raymond Z. Gallun, Fredric Brown, George O. Smith, Raymond F. Jones. Lotsa others. Look in the anthologies Adventures in Time and Space, or the Ba;llantine/Del Rey series the Best Science Fiction Of.... series from the 1970s.
I'll trust you on this group. Is it safe to assume they all principally wrote short stories in the 1940s and 1950s?

Jim
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  #14  
Old 03-20-2007, 11:44 AM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Nevada
I am surprised by the lukewarm response to this question. I would have thought the Dopers would be all over it.

I don't like Exapno Mapcase's link, which defines the Golden Age of Science Fiction as the 1920's, and the authors indicated are Cabell, Burroughs, Eddison, and the like. Those are great authors, and I definitely recommend them, but they are not representative of the Golden Age of Science Fiction.

No, the list of Golden Age Science Fiction authors is: Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke. There you go.
I'm with you about them being the Big Three, but Clarke is actually a bit late for Golden Age, not doing anything really good until the early '50s.

Though he is not popular today, A. E. van Vogt would have to be considered as a Golden Age writer, with Black Destroyer (in the same issue as Lifeline) and Slan as early standouts. And yes, I am well aware of his literary sins. L. Ron Hubbard has to be counted also as a significant Golden Age writer.

The difference between Jack Williamson and Edmond Hamilton was that Williamson was able to grow, while with a few exceptions Hamilton was stuck in the space opera mode, with a few lost race fantasies also. Hamilton wrote Captain Future stories.

And I agree with Sam. If I had to give a month the Golden Age started, it would be the issue of Astounding with Lifeline and Black Destroyer. There were good stories before that, but after it seemed I'd read half the stories in each issue in anthologies.
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  #15  
Old 03-20-2007, 11:51 AM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What Exit?
I considered these as predating the Golden Age and thus like EE Doc Smith, not Golden Age writers. Actually, I do not know Hamilton, what did he write? I do not think Edgar would ever be accused of writing Golden Age Science Fiction, there was too little Hard Science in his fiction.
By the Golden Age, Burroughs was churning out Mars, Venus and Tarzan sequels, and was well past his prime. Edmund Hamilton mostly wrote space opera, he has one really good story, called "What's It Like Out There," about a spaceman being home, which is far better than the run of his work.
Quote:
I'll trust you on this group. Is it safe to assume they all principally wrote short stories in the 1940s and 1950s?

Jim
Many of them are quite different. Leigh Brackett wrote space opera (and was married to Hamilton) while George O. Smith wrote engineering SF. He Venus Equilateral series was about a relay satellite in Lagrange position between Earth and Venus. Not bad, but a bit heavy on the vacuum tubes.

I'd say Kuttner and Moore (who were also married and wrote as Lewis Padgett) are by far the best of this lot. Moore wrote space opera before they were married, but together they had a lot of depth.

The stuff by Gallun and Jones has always been forgettable for me. I've read it, but nothing sticks.
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  #16  
Old 03-20-2007, 11:55 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Just came in to mention Cordwainer Smith - his short story collection Best Of is a favorite of mine. The Ballad of Lost C'mell, Scanners Must Die! and so many other amazing stories, with inventive twists.

Oh! And you have to read Alfred Bester - The Demolished Man, and The Stars My Destination are brilliant Golden Age Sci-fi that stand up today...
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  #17  
Old 03-20-2007, 12:19 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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WordMan, both Smith and Bester wrote in the 1950s and beyond. Smith had a couple of earlier ones (much earlier, in the case of War 81-Q), but they were effectively past the Golden Age.
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  #18  
Old 03-20-2007, 12:25 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is online now
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The Wikipedia article on the Golden Age of Science Fiction has a good list of authors.

Quote:
The Golden Age of Science Fiction, often recognized as a period from the late 1930s or early 1940s through the 1950s, was an era during which the science fiction genre gained wide public attention and many classic science fiction stories were published. In the history of science fiction, the Golden Age follows the "pulp era" of the 1920s and 30s, and preceeds New Wave science fiction of the the 1960s and 70s. According to historian Adam Roberts, "the phrase [Golden Age] valorises a particular sort of writing: 'Hard SF', linear narratives, heroes solving problems or countering threats in a space-opera or technological-adventure idiom."[1]

The saying "The golden age of science fiction is twelve", from the science fiction fan Peter Graham [Hartwell 1996], means that many readers use "golden age" to mean the time when they first developed a passion for science fiction, often in adolescence.
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  #19  
Old 03-20-2007, 12:27 PM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
WordMan, both Smith and Bester wrote in the 1950s and beyond. Smith had a couple of earlier ones (much earlier, in the case of War 81-Q), but they were effectively past the Golden Age.

I guess I always thought of the Golden Age as defined in the Wiki entry posted by BG - including the 50's...
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Old 03-20-2007, 01:02 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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If you're going to start the Golden Age with Campbell's influence then you have to date the end of the Golden Age in 1949-50, when F&SF and Galaxy magazines started. Both deliberately sought a wider range of styles, authors, and subjects than Campbell did for Astounding.

Both Bester's "The Demolished Man" and Smith's "The Game of Rat and Dragon" were originally published in Galaxy. Campbell wouldn't have touched them.

The boundaries are utterly arbitrary, as I said. You can make a case for the 50s as part of the Golden Age, as a transition period out of the Golden Age, or as the beginning of a Silver Age when a new group of writers either came into the field or, like Bester and Frederik Pohl, started flourishing after being of second-tier importance.

But if you want to live with Campbell, you have to die with Campbell. He and Astounding were never the same after real competition entered the field with equally strong personalities like Anthony Boucher and Harold Gold and their magazines.
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  #21  
Old 03-20-2007, 02:33 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Kuttner wrote the short story "Mimsey Were the Borogroves," which is totally excellent and is the basis of the movie The Last Mimzy, which is being released on Friday.

I JUST finished Philip Wylie's 1951 The Disappearance, which I thought was top-notch. And a co-worker loaned me some lovely vintage late-'50s paperback originals by John Wyndham, including The Kraken Wakes, Re-Birth, and Trouble with Lichen.

No wonder I opened this thread.
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  #22  
Old 03-20-2007, 02:53 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
If you're going to start the Golden Age with Campbell's influence then you have to date the end of the Golden Age in 1949-50, when F&SF and Galaxy magazines started. Both deliberately sought a wider range of styles, authors, and subjects than Campbell did for Astounding.
And both offered a breath of fresh air, which I'm sure helped in their success. As I said, the late '40s Astoundings were no where near as good as the early '40s ones.
Quote:
Both Bester's "The Demolished Man" and Smith's "The Game of Rat and Dragon" were originally published in Galaxy. Campbell wouldn't have touched them.
Bester had a number of stories in early '40s Astoundings, but nothing of the quality of "The Demolished Man." Smith flourished in the late '50s and early '60s, and I'd say he's later than any reasonable definition of Golden Age.
Quote:
The boundaries are utterly arbitrary, as I said. You can make a case for the 50s as part of the Golden Age, as a transition period out of the Golden Age, or as the beginning of a Silver Age when a new group of writers either came into the field or, like Bester and Frederik Pohl, started flourishing after being of second-tier importance.

But if you want to live with Campbell, you have to die with Campbell. He and Astounding were never the same after real competition entered the field with equally strong personalities like Anthony Boucher and Harold Gold and their magazines.
It depends if you want to define Golden Age as good stuff or as Campbellian good stuff. Boucher/McComas F&SFs are my favorite run of magazines. I think I like them better than the Gold Galaxys just because I'm a bit too young to get the full impact of the satire. I agree that either was far better than the Astoundings of the period.

And we shouldn't forget the smaller markets which would publish stuff too far out for the big three - like Farmer's early work, for instance.
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  #23  
Old 03-20-2007, 02:57 PM
Myron Van Horowitzski Myron Van Horowitzski is offline
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Originally Posted by WordMan
Just came in to mention Cordwainer Smith - his short story collection Best Of is a favorite of mine. The Ballad of Lost C'mell, Scanners Must Die! and so many other amazing stories, with inventive twists.
Nitpick: it's "Scanners Live in Vain."
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Old 03-20-2007, 03:14 PM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myron Van Horowitzski
Nitpick: it's "Scanners Live in Vain."
I knew it was wrong, but couldn't recall the right title and was too lazy to look it up - you da best Myron!
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:16 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase

It all depends on what you want to do with your definition. Sounded to me like Bosda wanted a list of good authors to read, so I tried to steer him to a listing that would include as many big names as possible. If he comes back with and says he had a different idea in mind, then I'd be happy to modify things accordingly.
Mapcase, you are so on target!

Many thanks!
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