Friday, April 20, 2007

The Meme History of Genre

Even if John Klima didn't do my last meme, I still owe him a good dozen-or-so, and thus I'll do one of his. I tried not to look at his list before doing mine, but I'll go back afterward and see where we agree.

Instructions: Starting with 1890, list one book from each decade that you think represents the genre and the way it's moved from then to now.

I tried to pick the most influential and important book I could think of from each decade, rather than the one I liked the best, but that wasn't part of John's instructions; if this does attain meme status, I could see people doing it either way.

1890s1898The War of the WorldsH.G. Wells
1900s1908The House on the BorderlandWilliam Hope Hodgson
1910s1912A Princess of MarsEdgar Rice Burroughs
1920s1928"The Call of Cthulhu"H.P. Lovecraft
1930s1932Brave New WorldAldous Huxley
1940s1948Nineteen Eighty-FourGeorge Orwell
1950s1950The Martian ChroniclesRay Bradbury
1960s1961Stranger in a Strange LandRobert A. Heinlein
1970s1973Rendezvous With RamaArthur C. Clarke
1980s1985NeuromancerWilliam Gibson
1990s1996Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
J.K. Rowling
2000s2001Perdido Street StationChina Mieville

(I will note that I used the Ultimate Science Fiction Timeline to refresh my memory of what was when, and to keep from forgetting everything.)

I seem to have created an almost entirely science fictional list; that wasn't my intention, but it's the way things looked to me while I was doing the list. (I'm sure some of these would be different if I did it again tomorrow, though.)

Checking John's list, I see that we agreed on The House on the Borderlands and Neuromancer, but not otherwise. That's about par for the course.


John Klima said...

We agreed on 1984, too. your 1990s and 2000s choices were my runner's-up in those decades.

I hope that other people pick up on this since I think it's an interesting thought experiment. Maybe we can make it a panel for Worldcon or something.

I'm not planning on going to NASFIC, BTW, but I have the option of driving down since St. Louis is only about 4-5 hours from me now.

John Klima said...

That's the book 1984 by Orwell, not the year.

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