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Books that are very underrated?

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  • Books that are very underrated?

    Any books that you think are hidden gems?

  • #2
    Or even books that are a bit underrated.

    Comment


    • #3
      People writing TV tie-ins are often not seen as 'real writer' so let me nominate Terrence Dicks. https://www.newstatesman.com/culture...med-my-stammer. This collection is soon to be published volume 1 volume 2 I already own 9 of these 10. n recent years there has been a lot more recognition of what he did for children's writing. He was a craftsman with prose whose art lies in the apparent artlessness. We should not forget his colleague Malcolm Hulke either.

      Comment


      • #4
        Off the top of my headf?

        Fiction?

        Eric Frank Russell's, Wasp

        Norman Spinrad's, The Iron Dream

        Thomas M. Disch's, Camp Concentration

        Flann O'Brien's, The Third Policeman

        Keith Roberts,´ Pavane




        Non/Fiction?

        Herman Pleij's, Dreaming of Cockaigne

        Fantasy lands were the SF of the Middle Ages, from Brendan's Voyage to Eldorado, by way of Carnival.


        Richard Trench
        & Ellis Hillman London Under London


        A fascinating social & technical history of London from the underneath.


        Armchair subversion starts with a good book.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Pietro_Mercurios View Post
          Off the top of my headf?

          Fiction?

          Eric Frank Russell's, Wasp

          Norman Spinrad's, The Iron Dream

          Thomas M. Disch's, Camp Concentration

          Flann O'Brien's, The Third Policeman

          Keith Roberts,´ Pavane




          Non/Fiction?

          Herman Pleij's, Dreaming of Cockaigne

          Fantasy lands were the SF of the Middle Ages, from Brendan's Voyage to Eldorado, by way of Carnival.

          Richard Trench
          & Ellis Hillman London Under London


          A fascinating social & technical history of London from the underneath.

          Armchair subversion starts with a good book.
          Damn. This is why I like this forum. I get such weird recommendations that I'd never of heard of otherwise.
          Last edited by Peacefulpie; 04-02-2021, 01:04 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Peacefulpie View Post
            books that are a bit underrated.
            There are three novels i know that might fit that classification :

            The Reproductive System by John Sladek

            Moderan
            by David R. Bunch

            The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg.



            Mwana wa simba ni simba

            The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom

            Comment


            • #7
              I would like to add The Legion of Time by Jack Williamson. A lot of Williamson's books are available as e-books but for some reason this one, which has been described as 'the single best science fiction adventure ever written' isn't. I first came across it when it was mentioned by John Gribben in a book on quantum theory. He saw it as one of the best examples of an alternative world story, pointing out that the science is ahead of it's time anticipating Everett's many worlds theory by a matter of months. I once thought it may have influence Mike in writing 'The Sailor on the Seas of Fate' but he assured me this is not the case. The same book by John Gribben also mentioned Pavane as another example of the genre. In fact Roberts does not use quantum theory but cyclical history to get his alternate world. Pavane is a great read. Anthony Burgess included it on his list of the 99 best novels from 1939 to 1983. He thought it worthy to stand with Joyce, Orwell, Nabakov etc . It's an interesting list here

              Comment


              • #8
                I think some of the listed offerings are not so hidden or even underrated (and one somewhat overrated), but all (well, maybe not the overrated one) are worthy of recommendation.

                I offer:
                • Volkhavaar by Tanith Lee
                • Mustapha and His Wise Dog by Esther Friesner

                Comment


                • #9
                  Jeff Noon's Vurt (which I think has a certain Cornelius Chronicles influence in there?.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Piers Anthony has some genuinely good stuff, though can be tricky to find given the amount of in-it-for-the-money stuff he's mass produced over the years.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rothgo View Post
                      Piers Anthony has some genuinely good stuff, though can be tricky to find given the amount of in-it-for-the-money stuff he's mass produced over the years.
                      I've heard that some of his books are quite misogynistic and pedophilic so I've not really wanted to read him lol

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Peacefulpie View Post

                        I've heard that some of his books are quite misogynistic and pedophilic so I've not really wanted to read him lol
                        I had to check Piers Anthony's Wikipedia entry, for that. However, I do have a couple of his books in my SF collection, Omnivore & Macroscope, both originally published in the late Nineteen Sixties.

                        I thoroughly enjoyed, Macroscope
                        . I read it decades ago, when I was quite a bit younger. I found it a bit of a mind blower and a blast to read. It was nominated for the 1970 Hugo Awards, but it had been an excellent year for SF and was amongst some extremely stiff competition, eventually losing out to, Ursula K. LeGuin's, The Left Hand of Darkness.

                        As to his later, more controversial, output, I really don't know enough to be able to comment.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Peacefulpie View Post

                          I've heard that some of his books are quite misogynistic and pedophilic so I've not really wanted to read him lol
                          Though Macroscope and a few other early works might be worth checking out, by my understanding, "some" is probably quite the understatement. It seems time has dealt quite severely with most of his later work. Tales are rife of older readers attempting to re-read his works and finding the Suck Fairy had absolutely savaged the stories. Younger generations seem much less likely to put up with his handling of sexuality, gender roles, pedophilia and rape.

                          At any rate, Pratchett seems a much better occupant of the comic fantasy niche once held by Anthony's Xanth.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I was thinking of Macroscope and Of Man and Manta. I think the first Xanth story still works, the rest a slide into awfulness. And the less said about the Space Tyrant the better. So yes, perhaps "some" was overselling it!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rothgo View Post
                              I was thinking of Macroscope and Of Man and Manta. I think the first Xanth story still works, the rest a slide into awfulness. And the less said about the Space Tyrant the better. So yes, perhaps "some" was overselling it!
                              I dunno, man. Spend a few minutes at the google running searches on "spell for chameleon rape trial" and you may become another victim of the Suck Fairy's Brutal War on Piers Anthony.

                              That said, maybe the story he got into one of the Dangerous Visions still works. Even if hindsight says it's something of a mission statement for his later works. At least the DV venue meant he was supposed to be pushing boundaries and writing leading edge spec-fic.
                              Last edited by Heresiologist; 04-14-2021, 08:21 PM.

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