The Defining Science Fiction Books of 1950s

Awesome post for any sci-fi lover to read!

Auxiliary Memory

1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s

In 1963, when I was 12, science fiction began imprinting on my brain, so that science fiction from the 1950s is how I define the genre.  All science fiction novels I’ve read in the succeeding fifty years are measured against those stories I  first discovered in my early teens.  That’s why I so completely understand the statement, “the Golden Age of Science Fiction is 12.”  Younger generations of science fiction fans have since imprinted on science fiction via television shows like Star Trek, or movies like Star Wars, and even later forms of the genre that I don’t even understand like comics and video games.  Science fiction is very hard to pigeon-hole because its so radically different from generation to generation.  For me, science fiction is defined by certain books I first read in 1963, 1964 and 1965, and most of those were…

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~ by Shanna Gilkeson on April 6, 2013.

2 Responses to “The Defining Science Fiction Books of 1950s”

  1. I love your post regarding science fiction. Growing up, I was mystified by my parents’ book collection. The book-filled shelves of our family room in my childhood house was always an adventure for my brother and I. One thing my Dad always had to offer from their collection was his vast array of science fiction novels. Looking back on some of the books I was introduced to makes me wonder if science fiction will ever be as good as the classics. I mean, how can anyone beat the original “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” or “A Wrinkle in Time?” Do you think the science fiction of the future will ever be as good as the old school writing?

    • I wish I could take credit for the post; it is a reblog from someone else I follow.

      As to your question about sci-fi of the future being as good as the classic stuff, my answer is pretty useless: yes and no. As our technology changes and as our society changes, so must our science fiction. Science fiction reflects the social, political, and technological climate of the time period in which it was created. For example, a recurring theme during the cold war was invasion by the “other”. Science fiction has also reflected public fears of new technologies — Frankenstein was written just as electricity being harnessed and Darwin’s theories of evolution were being published, for example. As new advances and new threats challenge our culture, science fiction will be there to take them on…but it will never be “the same,” because in hindsight, whatever came before will be remembered fondly as incredibly innocent or ahead of its time.

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