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Aging Science Fiction

I'm the kind of reader who goes back to their favourites over and over again. Usually, I own the books and it is only a matter of dusting the book off and finding a place to read in quiet. So I thought I would treat myself the other day with Anne McCaffrey. She is one of the authors that got me into reading back in the day with her Pern series. But since it was so long ago that I read most of her books I don't actually own many of her books. I have Restoree which I think I've read about a dozen times - at least according to Goodreads I have - so I thought I would go to another old faithful her Tower series. And I hated it. I struggled with the series. The plot is all over the place. The romance is sudden with no telegraphing of feelings. There is no foreshadowing of the big baddies at all and two books in the series have almost exactly the same plot. I was almost crushed. This is my hero. Anne is the queen of science fiction. I had to step back and have a think about it all. Yes, there are some of her books which are marvellous but there are others that didn't age very well.

She isn't the only one that has books that didn't age well. I remember reading some of Sharon Green books. Yeeeeah, let's just say some of her older science fiction books are very problematic. In that case, it was a blazing case of the overall sexism touching books written by women as well.

Then of course you get the older science fiction books that have technology that would never exist or wouldn't work in this day and age.

I'm glad to say there have been some pioneers that have tried to fix some of the issues with science fiction and Anne was one of them. (her tower series doesn't reflect that very well) because you see the reason I loved Anne back in my childhood was because she almost always had a romantic subplot in her books. This is before the Golden Age of Science Fiction Romance that we have today where you can find anything your heart desires when it comes to romance in your science fiction.

I've been thinking about getting a masters in creative writing but I keep getting stuck on different things. Like that there are so few professors out there who teach genre fiction and lately I've been thinking about the problem of learning how to write well from older writers. Because they weren't always the best. Like Anne's plot in the Tower series, I can see all the holes. I even know how she could fix it. I want to learn from more modern authors or at least authors who are timeless (if that is even possible). But I thought I would explore this idea. Especially since I've been re-editing and fixing up my science fiction series - Model Humans.

But in the meantime, I think I'll read Restoree again just to feel good about Anne again. Or maybe the Harper series.


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