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OLD CODGERS READING BACK IN TIME


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Initial post: Aug 2, 2008 10:21:05 PM PDT
I have recently been purchasing many sci-fi and fantasy books that I had read when I was younger (70s and 80s). A lot of these books I enjoyed even though I may not have fully understood the words and themes(I am nearly fifty now). Rereading them is my attempt to gain more understanding and hopefully more enjoyment from them. Is anyone else doing this? What books are taking you back into your past? It's almost like having a time machine in my mind. (thank god for online book buying!)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 12:13:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 3, 2008 12:15:18 AM PDT
I'm ordering and re-reading paperbacks and magazines from my younger days too. Nice to know that I'm not the only one with a bad case of nostalgia for one's youth. I'm also ordering music from the '60's, too.

You were young in the 70's and 80's? Amateur--I'm 59. ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 5:21:06 AM PDT
Lotte says:
Yes! I'm collecting all of Andre Norton's Witch World books I can find. I'm so glad some of them have recently been reprinted in omnibus editions. I'm referring of course to the earlier ones Ms. Norton wrote herself, not the more recent ones done with other writers as she got older.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 6:38:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 3, 2008 6:41:42 AM PDT
mostserene1 says:
I have been doing precisely the same thing, and am surprised others are too. Norton, mark clifton, alan e. nourse, heinlein juvies, etc. Many hold up very well. I'm 58.

One of the reasons, besides nostalgia, is that many of these books formed the way I view the world and so I was curious about how they did that (thinking unconventionally, etc.).

PS: Like gilbert says, you are a young codger.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 6:53:48 AM PDT
sbissell3 says:
I'm another codger, 65, who has been collecting old SciFi and re-reading it. The latest is 'The Caves of Steel' by Issac Asimov. It was the first of the 'Robot' novels, but came about 2000 years after the 'Robot' short stories. It was interesting to see the things Asimov got 'right' and the things he didn't in the 1954 'Caves of Steel' novel. Probably the biggest thing was his failure to predict the use of computers. Even 3000 years in the future he has people using slide rules! But Hind Sight is always 20-20. Whatever Asimov's predictive powers, this novel stands up very well and I enjoyed it as much as the first time I read it as a serial in Galaxy over 50 years ago!

I've also re-read recently 'Stranger in a Strange Land' by Robert Heinlein and was, sadly this didn't hold up all that well. I remember how exciting it was to have SciFi novel break the 'Best Seller List' barrier back then, but I found it to be pretty boring this time around.

I'm also re-reading 'The Stand' by Stephen King, which may not be SciFi I suppose, but I'm enjoying it.

I've collected a big series of SciFi from the 1970s and 80s and hope to be reading them this year.

Steven

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 7:38:34 AM PDT
Hey Gilbert, I recently saw a concert that included The Turtles with Flo & Eddie, Melanie, Badfinger and Eric Burdon with the Animals. Talk about going back in time. It's 1973 in my mind and I can see a...what is that? A record spinning on the turntable. Inna Gadda De what? Why is it so smoky in here?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 7:40:30 AM PDT
I don't think you can be a codger if you are still in your 40s. I'm a bow wave baby-boomer myself (you'll have to do your own math). I hear you on the fully understand stuff. I read 1984 at 12 (also Dracula): I don't think I could fully understand. The problem I have with rereading old SF is that there is too much new I want to read. Also, I'm sometimes concerned that books that were amazing in my youth won't have held up. I don't want to dim the wonder by re-reading The City and the Stars or Childhood's End and discovering that they aren't as wonderful now. I'm sure the themes still resonate but writing styles change and Clarke can be a bit dry. It doesn't surprise me that Stranger doesn't hold up. It was a book for its time. But I may revisit Witch World. Check out SFBC. They have been reissuing classics by decades starting with the 50s. The comment about the computer is true. It is always the case though in hard science fiction. Authors extrapolate and don't see a breakthrough technology like transistors or silicon chips. Computers were so new then and people were so different that it really didn't seem reasonable to expect everyone to have a computer on their desk. Alot of people didn't even have phones and TV was really new. Steven is a smidge older than me so he knows: the 50s even the early 60s was a whole different world.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 10:44:09 AM PDT
I don't really have too much problem with books seeming outdated. Among the books that I had read in the early seventies were such pulp fare as Burroughs martian series as well as doc savage, and many others. Even when I read them the first time they were rather outdated. I don't seem to have any trouble overlooking or even adapting such things in my mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 12:09:09 PM PDT
Wolflied says:
I am also am "bow wave baby-boomer" (great description, Joyce), and have found myself nostalgic for the trashy, but sometimes great, Ace doubles. I've also garnered a small collection of E.C. Tubbs' "Dumarest of Terra" series, Barry Sadler's "Casca" series, Murray Leinster's space medic books, and A. Bertram Chandler's "Grimes" books. Not to mention anything written by RAH.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 3:05:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 3, 2008 8:49:17 PM PDT
CAINPA says:
LOL Me Too. I found my old Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke copies. I have also found a slew of DVDs in bargain Bins.
I came accross episodes of Lost In Space online.
My most embarrassing purchase to date-
After I could no longer watch the episodes on line (they were removed) I bought the entire collection of Space 1999 British TV series. I am so far resisiting purchasing The Thunderbirds Collection. :-D

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 7:43:24 PM PDT
June 22, 1963 was the best day of my life. I had run out of stuff to read, so I walked down to a nearby Goodwill. Somebody had dumped a whole collection of SF and fantasy dating back to 1947!! I made 3 trips with a cardboard box to get them. A week later the Mountain View library gave me 107 sf mags and 9 sf books! Talk about happy!!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 8:09:02 AM PDT
All right Walt, I confess a fondness for Chandler's Grimes Books and actually still have 2 "doubles" and want to fill out the rest. In fact I was going to reread them but want to start at the beginning. And let's not forget Ensign Flandry. There, are y'all happy? I have also started the Sector General books, though I don't remember them at all. I'm having trouble with them though because the new doctor is so very prejudiced and closed-minded towards the military folks he even has trouble treating them. My cheap book fix always came from the Symphony Book Fair, a charity book sale with immense numbers of really cheap books. It's been running in New Orleans since the mid-60s at least and I could get there on the bus. It was heaven. :) As for outdated, it really depends on the books. Dated is really more the use of language in many books or lack of action. Burroughs and his ilk are always readable once you put your head in the right place. Even the old "boy did they get this wrong" SF is readable in the hands of a master (oceans on Venus?). It's what passed for hard SF back then when the gee whiz factor is all it had and it doesn't work anymore that can be hard to wrap your head around. But, okay, you're right, they can still be a lot of fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 7:32:16 PM PDT
I should be getting my Proffesor Jameson books soon (as well as my Doc Smith Lensman books). Only thing is some of these books are like artifacts. If you treat them like you did as a kid they will fall apart in your hands. (thank god for hot glue!)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 8:34:45 PM PDT
Old codgers, heh ... I started my 73rd orbit of the sun on July 9 ...

Y'all would drool at the SF collection that I started on 1947 -- a paperback compilation by Orson Welles, "Invasion from Mars", the 2nd novel release by Galaxy, Clifford D. Simak's "Empire" (and yes! is 'handle with care'.) Every novel Robert A. Heinlein every wrote. SF Book Club releases, including Kurt Vonnegut, Jr's "Player Piano" ... anthologies from August Derleth, Groff Conklin, and others ...

But I stuck with the genre through 50s dystopian trend, the 'New Wave' and the cyberpunk variation (one I particularly recommend is John Brunner's "Shockwave Rider", 1968 if I recall.) Four large plastic crates hold most of my prizes, reserved for my son.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 11:22:07 PM PDT
Thanks, Dad. ;-)

(Wishful thinking...)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 2:38:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 5, 2008 2:40:24 AM PDT
Oh man....memories....I remember picking Citizen of the Galaxy off the shelf of my junior high library in '65. And I was lost forever. I devoured every scifi book there. Lester del Rey, Heinlein, Clark, Norton. I haven't stopped.

My greatest regret was from a couple of years ago. My girlfriends father passed away. She'd told me he read scifi...what she didn't mention was that he collected. I went over to help clean up, and walked into a room that had shelves filled with scifi and fantasy on all 4 walls, top to bottom...on the floor, in stacks, in boxes...falling off a table. She had to physically drag me from the room. and I heard the next day that her mother had sold it all to a stranger for less than a couple of hundred... He had pristine scifi mags from the 30's!!!!! They let me pick 4 books, one was an Ace copy of Norton's 'Daybreak 2250'. I read it in jr high as StarMan's Son. And speaking of the Norton's Witch World books, thats what my girlfriend got. She let me re-read them a year ago. What a delight.

For myself, I recently completed getting all the Sanctuary book series edited by Asprin from the late 70's. Those are great fun and have almost all the classic fantasy writers represented.

oh the memories....lol and btw I'm 57.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 3:16:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 5, 2008 3:18:37 AM PDT
I can't remember the author of a particular scifi short story. It was set on Mars or Venus. The main character, an ex rocket pilot, saw a sand sculpture of a beautiful winged woman. He later found out that if a person runs into a particular plant or something on this world, that it turns them into what appears to be a sand sculpture. There is a huge reward for the person who finds a way to preserve the "sculptures". He wins this and gets a ship to search for the world of the winged woman. Does anyone remember the author?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 3:22:34 AM PDT
I can't remember the author of a particular scifi short story. It was set on Mars or Venus. The main character, an ex rocket pilot, saw a sand sculpture of a beautiful winged woman. He later found out that if a person runs into a particular plant or something on this world, that it turns them into what appears to be a sand sculpture. There is a huge reward for the person who finds a way to preserve the "sculptures". He wins this and gets a ship to search for the world of the winged woman. Does anyone remember the author?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 3:18:15 PM PDT
Joyce

Are you a member of the SFBC? They have all the Grimes books available in 7 or 8 volumes.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 3:19:33 PM PDT
Old codgers. I wonder if "codger" comes from "coffin-dodgers?"

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 3:31:13 PM PDT
One of my favourites is Hawksbill Station. I just recently ordered a copy off of ebay. It was a lot for being such an old book, but it's worth it....at least, to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 11:25:19 PM PDT
Ever hear of abe books? They have hawksbill for $1.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2008 9:15:27 AM PDT
Joe Haldeman says:
As another 65-er . . . wish I had time to read more old stuff. Recently re-read A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ, and really loved it. Will be teaching it next semester.

Joe

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2008 7:38:59 PM PDT
Dick Johnson says:
At 62, I guess I fit in with the Codgers (I prefer the big "C"). I recently re-re-re-...read Philip Wylie. If he somehow escaped your reading - start with Triumph. I also discovered an very old copy of Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. I remember reading it when it first came out (1954???).

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2008 9:39:07 PM PDT
Thanks all. I am starting to feel younger every day! I guess I'm not so worn and beat up after all. It's an honor to be among the codgers after all! I wonder what the kids think of this discussion? I have a stack of twenty books that the average printing date is between 1955 and 1965 waiting on a stand next to the cold tv set (haven't been watching much lately with all this reading).
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  146
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Initial post:  Aug 2, 2008
Latest post:  May 10, 2014

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