Throwback SF Thursday: Looking Back on 2016

I announced Throwback SF Thursday on July 14 of this year.  Just over half a year in, it has been a tremendous success and a great experience.  This will be my 22nd post, coming close to meeting my weekly posting plan.  I posted on four books from Appendix N, eight “old” books (counting one anthology of mostly older short stories), and seven retro works (both books and movies).  I’ve already been introduced to some of the greats–in just the past half year I read Robert Heinlein, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Poul Anderson for the first time.  I will join the Little Red Reviewer and Red Star Reviews for Vintage Science Fiction Month in January (I’m planning posts on The Forever War, The Demolished Man, Have Space Suit – Will Travel, and The Tritonian Ring).  I was singled out as a Top Book Blogger by the Castalia House Blog on the strength of Throwback SF Thursday.


Several of my Throwback SF Thursday posts have been quite popular.  Here are the top 5 by traffic.


Throwback SF Thursday: Women of Futures Past, edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

In my announcement post, I fingered three female pulp writers in particular I was interested in highlighting.  Lucky me that Rusch lines up C.L. Moore, Leigh Brackett, and Andre Norton right in a row for me.  After one short story by C.L. Moore, I’m sold.

Read the full post.


Throwback SF Thursday: The High Crusade by Poul Anderson

The High Crusade has a lot going for it.  Knights IN SPACE is a fun, interesting concept.  It’s well written.  It’s damned funny at times without ever belaboring the point.  It’s a standalone and quite short for a novel (the real reason I picked it to read and discuss first).  And, best of all, it’s different.

Read the full post.


Throwback SF Thursday: Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Pirates of Venus was my first Burroughs.  I inevitably came in with certain preconceptions about a guy who published dozens and dozens of books going back over one hundred years ago, who is routinely looked down upon today, and who never had any literary pretentions to begin with (“I think I love books, though God knows I am about as far from being high-brow as one can get and yet pass the literacy test.” – Edgar Rice Burroughs).  Burroughs prose isn’t the dumbed-down prose of modern YA but nor is it florid or purple.  It can, at times, be quite beautiful.

Read the full post.


Throwback SF Thursday: The Dying Earth by Jack Vance

The real main character of the stories is the setting.  The characters and stories of each short are interesting, to be sure, and the stories are cunningly interconnected (usually with one character shared from one story the next), but the setting is the star.  As is Vance’s gorgeous, redolent prose.

The Dying Earth stories were famously one of the primary inspirations for Dungeons & Dragons.  It shows not only in the magic system, which was lifted wholesale and works much better here than in D&D, but also the original vision for the atmosphere of a D&D adventure.

Read the full post.


Throwback SF Thursday: Cirsova vol. 1

In my post announcing my Throwback SF Thursday series, I mentioned that there seems to be a resurgence in interest in old-style speculative fiction.  Cirsova was front-and-center in my mind when I thought of Retro SF.  But I hadn’t read issue #1.  Now I have and I can tell you just how damn good it is.  I only sort of vaguely know what to expect from diving into the pulps, but this?  THIS is the sort of thing I want to read.  (And, frankly, it’s better than GRRM’s Old Venus, stable of SF stallions notwithstanding.)

Read the full post.

About H.P.

Blogs on books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday (speculative fiction) and Hillbilly Highways (country noir and nonfiction).
This entry was posted in Throwback SF and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Throwback SF Thursday: Looking Back on 2016

  1. Bookstooge says:

    For some reason I was thinking that the Forever War was written in the 90’s and I was about to snark on you for posting it in “Vintage SF”. Then I checked. ’74?!? man, the times they are a changing. Or at least, moving a lot faster…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s