Monday, November 12, 2007

Library of America SF offerings?

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I've been reading the Library of America's H.P. Lovecraft collection.

I'm having fun with it, and I'm sure the new Philip K. Dick volume is good (I've already read most of the novels in it), but I can't help but think if Library of America wants to tackle science and fiction and fantasy, there are plenty of other authors it should consider.

The most obvious omission so far is Robert Heinlein, and he deserves at least two volumes, if not three. A true Heinleinologist such as Brett Cox would be a good pick to edit the volumes, but I would think volume one could include THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS, DOUBLE STAR, THE STAR BEAST and a few seminal novellas such as "Universe," clearing the way for volume two to reprint some of the political/oddball stuff, such as STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND and STARSHIP TROOPERS.

If H.P. Lovecraft is good enough to make the cut, why not Jack Williamson? DARKER THAN YOU THINK is kind of a great novel, much better than anything Lovecraft ever wrote. A Williamson volume also could include "With Folded Hands" and some of the other better novels and stories. I'm not enough of a Williamson expert to offer many suggestions.

But I'm on firm ground with two other authors. A Roger Zelazny volume of THIS IMMORTAL, LORD OF LIGHT and MY NAME IS LEGION, with a few of the better stories thrown in (the obvious early ones like "A Rose for Ecclesiastes" and "The Dream Master," but don't forget a few later ones such as "24 Views of Mt. Fuji by Hokusai") would be a killer volume.

If we can dream of an alternate universe where R.A. Lafferty would be considered, I'd suggest the novels PAST MASTER, FOURTH MANSIONS and OKLA HANNALI, all or of most of the collection NINE HUNDRED GRANDMOTHERS and choice selections from the other story collections.

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