the Little Red Reviewer

Vintage Science Fiction Strikes Back!

Posted on: November 27, 2012

It is a dark time in the northern hemisphere.  Although Black Friday has been survived, the upcoming holiday season drives bookworms from their hidden libraries, and pursues them across the galaxy. . .

Evading the dreaded TV toy commercials, a group of bloggers led by yours truly  established a secret plan for January reading.

It will be known as Vintage Science Fiction month, and many vintage books will be read, into the far reaches of the blogosphere. .. . .

I suddenly kinda feel like watching Star Wars.  hey, the first one came out before 1979, so it’s vintage. . . right?
Ok peeps, here’s the deal: A while ago I realized I was horribly underread in the classics of Scifi.  Sure, the stuff is dated and sexist and clunky and sometimes the language is archaic, but damn if I don’t enjoy reading about Martians and black holes, and old Star Trek books and Jules Vernian adventures, and stories from back when everything was possible because no one knew what might not be possible.  The more of the stuff I read, the more I liked it, but I was so distracted by new shiny stuff that,  well, you get the idea.

So last January I hosted Vintage Science Fiction month, and a whole ton of ya’ll participated by reading Vintage-y stuff and blogging about it, and we linked it all together here.  My definition of Vintage is anything before 1979, and my definition of Scifi is pretty loose: scifi, sci-fantasy, sword and sorcery, robots, magical swords, near future, far future, pulp scifi adventure, satire, War of the Worlds, Jules Verne, Mary Shelley. . .

And guess what?  It was buckets and buckets of fun! I had the opportunity to read obscure out of print goodness, met a bunch of new blogger friends, researched some authors, worked and read my butt off, and had the best month ever! On a more serious note, I gained a deeper appreciation for books that were written in the last 30 years by reading what came before them.  From a genre-evolution standpoint, it’s truly fascinating.

Vintage SciFi month was so much fun, in fact, that I’m doing it again this year!  Same month, same channel, same badge. Start your countdown to interstellar adventure and  link to your January reviews in the comments of the Vintage Scifi tab at the top of the page.  But this time, there’s a twist.  I’ve got some surprises up my sleeves for you!

comments? questions? thoughts?  shout ’em out!

31 Responses to "Vintage Science Fiction Strikes Back!"

So, do these reviews have to be ones we’ve yet to write, or have written recently?


Sorry, I should have specified better. this is a theme for January 2013, so the reviews need to have been posted on your blog during the month of January.


Thanks for the response. I should have re-read the Jan 2012 notice, as that made it very clear. Sorry. I guess I’d better start reading something then. /tips hat


Look forward to participating again this year, rolling it in with The 2013 Science Fiction Experience, and especially looking forward to the surprises!!! I’ve been wallowing in a few classics of late, getting myself in prime mood for the January event. Glad you are doing it again. Count me in.


i think you know what one of the surprises is. 😉 I started looking forward to this a few months ago, so I knew I had to do it again.

and your SFE is always a blast too!


I’m already lamenting all the books I won’t get read during the time.


Yow, Red, what a cool project!

Vintageish, mostly forgotten now, cool for one reason or another, and probably massively unPC so be warned:

J.T. MacIntosh, THE FITTEST (obnoxiously sexist on about page two, but fabulous premise)

Anything by John Boyd but most especially THE RAKEHELLS OF HEAVEN and THE LAST STARSHIP FROM EARTH

Theodore Sturgeon, SOME OF YOUR BLOOD (you’ll guess the “surprise” ending by page fifteen, and you won’t be grossed out where you’re supposed to be, but the writing and characters hold up)

Anything by John Wyndham but especially DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (which is the best one that most like his others) or CHOCKY(which is the best one that isn’t)

Of course read the Brunner Innis-mode tetrad (STAND ON ZANZIBAR, JAGGED ORBIT, THE SHEEP LOOK UP, SHOCKWAVE RIDER) if you haven’t already, but have a look at two of his earlier ones: THE TRAVELER IN BLACK and THE SQUARES OF THE CITY

If you have by any chance never read Frederic Brown’s MARTIANS GO HOME, well, do.

Anything by Clfford Simak but most especially CITY, ALL FLESH IS GRASS, and THE GOBLIN RESERVATION

If you haven’t, now’s the time: Bester’s THE STARS MY DESTINATION, Miller’s A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ, Asimov’s THE CAVES OF STEEL and THE NAKED SUN

And absolutely anything by Andre Norton or Poul Anderson from before 1970, but especially the cycles of stories surrounding THE ZERO STONE and THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS, respectively.


dated? sexist? massively unPC? obnoxious predictability? I’m totally unPC and get a complete kick out of reading unPC stuff. it’s my guilty pleasure.

GOBLIN RESERVATION is high on my list, as it’s the December pick for my local SF book club, and I’ve got CITY, AND THE ZERO STONE as well. CANTICLE is excellent, and it’s always a good time to be reading Asimov’s Robot trilogy.

TRIFFIDS and STAND ON ZANZIBAR keep coming up high on the recommended list, so i need to secure copies of both of those.

the next best thing to Vintage month is the planning-what-to-read part!


As I did last year, I argue with your definitions, but it’s your party, I’m just here for the cake. I’m looking forward to your intend to read list…


yes, I know, I remember. 😉

and the cake is the best part of the party.

my intend-to-read list keeps growing, and it’s going to break my heart to cull the list.


Sign me up please! I’m away to pick my reads…
Lynn 😀


I believe the Best of Cordwainer Smith qualifies and, since you pointed me toward him…I’m in!


What a great excuse to read some of the books on my Women in SF&F list!


LeGuin, Brackett, Norton, I know there is plenty more.


[…] Vintage Science Fiction Strikes Back! […]


[…] It’s Vintage Science Fiction month again at Little Red Reviewer, so head over there and get your geek on! […]


OK, I’m down: now I got to go decide what vintage SF I should read in January. There’s so many candidates….


it’s getting tough for me too, I keep finding more books that I want to read. I can’t possibly limit myself to 6 or 8, but I know that’s all i’ll be able to get thru in january. too many choices!!


Totally participating in this!


😀 you are gonna have a blast!


[…] January 1st 2013 will be here before we know it and that momentous date will not only kick off a brand new year but will also signify the official start date of The Science Fiction Experience 2013 (details soon). This will be my 6th year hosting this two-month reading event that celebrates the joys of science fiction in literature and film/television. In addition January 1st marks the start of the second annual non-challenge hosted by Andrea (Little Red Reviewer), The Vintage Science Fiction Month. […]


I joined Carl’s Sci-Fi Experience last year and was sorry I didn’t join your Vintage Sci-Fi month. So, I’m in! Now I have to gather my books. 😀


Yay! I am thrilled to have you along! What’s wonderful about Carl’s SFE is that it runs 2 months, so if you don’t get everything read in January that you had planned to, it can bleed into February no problem. 😀


I was already stacking up books for the Sci Fi Experience…and it occurred to me I’ve got a fair amount of pre-1979 in there. So I’m excited to join in over here too. 🙂


[…] Red Reader is hosting Vintage Sci-Fi Month in January. Vintage is anything written before 1979. I have more than a few of those that I picked […]


Fortunately there’s lots of vintage science fiction in my TBR pile already. THis will work nicely with the TBR Double Dog Dare. Count me in!


excellent! thanks for joining in, and two birds with one stone never hurt! 😀


[…] Vance tonight.  January is Vintage Science Fiction month – as sponsored and encouraged by Little Red Reviewer on her blog.  This is the second Vance novel I have read.  Big Planet was first published in 1957 by […]


[…] Vintage Science Fiction Strikes Back! ( […]


[…] review is part of Vintage Sci-Fi Month; not that I needed an excuse to read vintage science […]


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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