1.3.14 An Author’s Journey: 5.3, Sci-Fi Influences (Part 3: “The Big Three”)
1.3.14 An Author’s Journey: 5.3, Sci-Fi Influences (Pt 3: “The Big Three,” Asimov, Clarke, & Heinlein)
Good Morning, Everybody!
I’m starting the new year by completing a series of blogs of “must read” Science-Fiction and Fantasy authors, especially the ones who influenced me when crafting The Artifacts of Destiny.
First, “The Big Three” of Science Fiction: Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein!
Each of these writers have too many works to recount here, but if you want a short list of “must reads,” here are the ones that really made an impact on me.
Isaac Asimov’s The Gods Themselves made me realize early on in my writing career that the concept of “parallel universes” could have a plausibly scientific basis (and not rely on a simple assertion that another world exists). Most important to me, though, was Asimov’s The Foundation Series, in that Asimov wrote a tale that spanned millennia, with the fate of humanity at stake, & the Galactic Empire saved only by the efforts of Hari Seldon’s use of “psychohistory” & the “Encyclopedists.” (Also, for the Star Wars fans among you, Asimov’s planet-wide city of Trantor must have figured largely in George Lucas’s creation of the Republic’s/Empire’s capital world of Coruscant!)
As with the Foundation series, the plot in Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama centered around a potential threat to Earth’s civilization, but in this case the year’s 2130 and what initially seems a titanic asteroid resolves itself into an enormous spaceship entering our solar system; I still recall the suspense I felt while reading this book at one sitting in the public library as I waited for my father to get off work…as with many of Clarke’s stories, the author’s imagination seemed only barely contained by the typeset words on the page!
Lastly, as a teenager, Robert Heinlein’s Methuselah’s Children, Time Enough for Love, Friday, and Stranger in a Strange Land were ground-breaking works for me because they challenged some notions I had about the sci-fi genre, especially in the areas of longevity (Lazarus Long), gender expectations (Friday Jones), and philosophical questions about religion, sexuality, and societal relations (Valentine Michael Smith).
I’ll finish up my list of sci-fi “must reads” tomorrow, but in the meantime, let me know what you think of these authors and works!
Next time: Bradbury, Burroughs, Dick, Herbert, L’Engle, & McCaffrey!
Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series
Prelude to Foundation / Forward the Foundation / Foundation / Foundation & Empire / Second Foundation / Foundation’s Edge / Foundation and Earth
Isaac Asimov’s Robot Series
I, Robot / The Caves of Steel / The Naked Sun / The Robots of Dawn / Robots & Empire
Robert A. Heinlein’s works, chiefly:
The Multiverse & World as Myth Series
Methuselah’s Children / The Moon is a Harsh Mistress / Time Enough for Love / The Cat Who Walks Through Walls / To Sail Beyond the Sunset / Stranger in a Strange Land
Arthur C. Clarke
2001: A Space Odyssey
Rendezvous with Rama
The Fountains of Paradise