the Little Red Reviewer

Announcing Vintage Science Fiction Month (again!)

Posted on: November 15, 2014

Vintage SF badge

The first snowflakes have already landed, you’ve pulled out the fuzzy socks and the heavy coats, the holiday shopping ads are everywhere, Thanksgiving is almost here.  You know what that means, right?  It’s time to start thinking about Vintage Science Fiction month!  Since 2012 I’ve dedicated the month of January to reading “older than I am” science fiction, and invited the entire blogosphere to come with me on an interstellar journey across the stars and into our own minds. We’ve met trickster aliens, ridden dragons, won wars, negotiated with hive minds  and tried to understand androids. We’ve read satire, space opera, high concept metaphysics, alternate histories and impossible futures. We’ve gone to Venus, Mars, the center of the Earth, and beyond the edges of the galaxy.   Beyond books, bloggers have talked about radio programs, movies, and TV shows.

You should come with us this year!

See that Vintage SciFi Not-A-Challenge tab up at the top of the screen? Click there to see some of the history of Vintage Scifi Month.

Let’s talk a little about the what, the how (how do you find this stuff, anyways?),  the why, and the but wait, there’s more!

The What:

Anything or anyone who created science fiction, or something speculative fiction-ish that was published (or recorded, or put on TV or the silver screen) before 1979.  It can be hard scifi, or not. Have aliens, or not.  Fantasy is OK too.  Jules Verne is perfect, so is Mary Shelley. Or maybe War of the Worlds, original Star Trek, C.L. Moore, Isaac Asimov, Andre Norton, Cordwainer Smith, Clifford Simak, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kurt Vonnegut, James Tiptree Jr, A.E. van Vogt, Frank Herbert,  I can go on forever here.

The How:

How the hell do I find crusty old books!?   More of this is still in print than you’d think. Not ready to sink $17 into the newest printing of Stranger in a Strange Land? No problem, head over to your local library or any new/used independent bookstore and get ready for an adventure in browsing!  Keep an eye out for “Daw Yellow Spines”, which are exactly what they sound like. They aren’t all pre-1979, but a lot of them are, and the cover art is usually pretty nuts.

Paperbackswap is another option as well.  And if you make a good case for yourself, I could be tempted to loan out some of my vintage titles.

Only want to read on your e-reader/kindle/tablet thing? again, no problem.  Head over to Project Gutenberg for a ton of free classics (just search for science fiction). More and more publishers are releasing e-books of older titles and finding a healthy market still exists for these titles. I recently discovered Open Road Media, an all e-book publisher.  I was pretty impressed by their collection of older stuff.  Plenty of Andre Norton, and a bucket of John Norman, the Fritz Leiber Lankhmar collection, even some Robert Silverberg, James Brunner and H.G. Wells.

 

The Why:

Why? because everything came from somewhere. Your favorite spec fic author was influenced by someone, who was influenced by someone, who was influenced by someone, and so on.   Movements and changes in what’s popular, what we wish was popular, or what we’re sick of is a reaction to what came before.   Personally, I just really like knowing what came before, it helps me understand the foundations of something that has brought so much joy into my life.  Another way to put it is that reading older science fiction is like finding an ancient city buried underneath a modern one.  You suddenly know why your city was laid out the way it was, and why some things were done different, because now you can better see what came before.   Vintage science fiction is where we came from. Those novels and short stories are the steps we took to get to where we are now.

 

and the But Wait, There’s More:

I’m looking for guest posts,  anything from book reviews, to TV show or movie reviews and/or discussions, to a cover art gallery, to why you appreciate a particular vintage author.  If you’re interested in writing a guest post, tweet me at @redhead5318 ,  or e-mail me with that same handle, but to the gmail place.

 

Are we ready to rock ‘n roll this January or what?

 

 

45 Responses to "Announcing Vintage Science Fiction Month (again!)"

Sounds like an excellent opportunity to read a chunk of the SF Masterworks I have staring guiltily at me. Count me in!

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What a cool idea! I don’t know if I could dedicate the ENTIRE month to it, but it would be fun to read a couple. I’m sure I already own a bunch, so this is a great excuse to prowl my dusty shelves:-)

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read one or two, and you are good to go.🙂 it was originally called the “not a challenge”, because i didn’t want anyone to feel pressured about anything.

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[…] like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify the species of event involved.  Remember that favourite […]

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Yay. I’m in.
Lynn😀

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“How the hell do I find crusty old books!?” You leave out shiny stones for the Crusty Old Book Gnomes, and they bring them at night, duh.

Count me in. Friends have cajoled me into reading the “classics.”

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This sounds like fun. I bought an old book at a flea market called The Lincoln Hunters by Wilson Tucker which I have yet to read. Sounds like a great excuse to finally read it.

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The Lincoln Hunters is great

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I’m looking forward to reading it.

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Hooray! I’m on board for the galactic flight!

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Count me in! I’ll be happy to do a guest post if you need it!

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Yay! I’ve actually been thinking about what I want to read in January for this. I have NEVER read Heinlein and I think it’s time to fix that. And, I found a stash of Stanislaw Lem at the local college library, so I’m going to give him a try.

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Oh, plus I have a book by the Strugatsky brothers too! Prison of Power? Something like that.

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Oh I might have one for you this year if you’ll have me. Have to think about it a bit.

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give it a good think, then send me a post.😀

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Sweeeet. I have some vintage things on my to-read list for the new year anyway, so this is pretty perfect.

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Oh, the pressure! Oh, the difficulty! How will I ever manage to find an old book, I mean, THAT old?? Say, I might just happen to have something around here somewhere. Let me look…

…wait, what’s THAT? Looks like Deathworld by Harry Harrison. Hmmm, I seem to have it in the original issues of Astounding/Analog as serialized, and in paperback, and in the Wildside e-book edition. Okay, there’s one. Maybe I’ll find something else.

Rule clarification, please: how about a sequel to a SF book written before 1979? I’m thinking of Clarke’s 2061, sequel to 2001 and 2010. 2061 wasn’t written until 1987.

And sure, I’ll do another guest post for you. You’ll have it in hand by the 5th of January or sooner.

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i know! how will you, of all people, possibly have a book older than 35 years in your house? If you’ve got a single book from before 2012 there, I just don’t know what I’ll do with myself.😉

rule clarification: me thinks I need to do an 80s month. and then a 90s month.

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Ha! Okay, no 2061 then. I’ll find something.😉

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I’ve been meaning to read some Tiptree and Russ for a while. This might be something I have to ponder…

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I’m back for another round!

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Quite ready! The books I want to read are already piling up and I know I won’t get to many of them, but hope to enjoy those I do get to. Thanks for hosting again!

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and you are hosting doing Science Fiction Experience again this year? please please please??

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Yes, I’m just waiting on permission to use the art that I want to use and I’ll be posting about it, and including this not-a-challenge as well. I have a huge pile of vintage SF to get to, and have been pulling out just a few that I am aching to read and am doing my best to save those until January.

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I hope I can join this year! I’ve missed this not-a-challenge in previous years, but I’ve got a good list of old books queued up this time🙂.

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I love this idea. Count me in! I’ve been thinking of reading some older sci fi, and Sci Fi Month has encouraged that, so this will be great. And “DAW Yellow Spines”- I used to have so many of those.🙂

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[…] 2015. As we have done the past few years, we will be coupling the Experience with Andrea’s Vintage Science Fiction Month which runs through the month of January 2015. You should take a moment now and pop over there to […]

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Sign me up for this year. I am working on putting together a “hit list” for this year’s event.

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[…] 31st, 2015. As we have done the past few years, we will be coupling the Experience with Andrea’s Vintage Science Fiction Month which runs through the month of January 2015. You should take a moment now and pop over there to […]

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January is creeping up on me but I’m prepping to participate (even though it is kinda cheating since I normally review so much vintage sf). This year I’m hoping to catch up on my Save the Sci-fi… I see three more released since I checked last week!

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Hello? This thing still on?

I’m up for this, now I’ve finally got a bit of free time. If you’re still looking for guest posts (and can stand to have me after last year) I’m sure I can knock up something at least vaguely suitable😉

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[…] on January 31.  The challenge overlaps with Vintage Sci-fi Month in January, hosted by Andrea at The Little Red Reviewer, which focuses on books written before […]

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[…] the 2015 Sci Fi Experience brought to you by Stainless Steel Droppings (which couples well with Little Red Reviewer’s Vintage Sci Fi Month in January), The 42 Challenge (read and review 42 SF things), The Daily Prophecy’s Fairytale […]

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[…] announced Vintage SciFi Month.  See the bottom of this post for an important message*. (I’ve even started reading ahead of […]

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[…] gearing up to participate in the Vintage SciFi Not-A-Challenge in January, and I’ll try to use that to hit some of the bullet points. I haven’t […]

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Sign me up. I wasn’t able to post much over the holidays but have already started on reviews/articles for the New Year.

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Fantastic! Looking forward to reading your articles!

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[…] my hands are itching to grab some classic SF/Fantasy titles that I haven’t read. I may join The Little Red Reviewer’s annual event (above) just to jump-start this […]

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[…] Stainless Steel Dropping’s 2015 Sci Fi Experience and Little Red’s Vintage Sci Fi Month are not challenges, but celebrations. I don’t need a reason beyond my own undying passion for […]

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[…] of them. I’m not making any firm commitments, but let’s see what happens. First up: Vintage Science Fiction Month, hosted by The Little Red Reviewer, in which we read and discuss pre-1979 science fiction gems. In […]

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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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