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Old 2012-09-29, 05:41   Link #41
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
I think Rowling will have her place. Sure HP is just for fun, but I don't think we have ever seen, or for a very long while will ever see again book launches getting parties like movie and game launches. The massive hysteria that was behind Harry Potter went well beyond all the other "pulp" in this era, or possibly any era.
That is an argument in Rowling's favour, but on the flip side Stephanie Meyer and Dan Brown had high levels of publicity and fanaticism, and yet both of those are by any accounts poor writers. I don't think popularity alone is enough, though it certainly helps.

As for Rowling, I'm on the fence. I think where she goes from here will have a big effect on whether she becomes a classic. A mark against her is that she's largely read for entertainment rather then artistic reasons. But then, that didn't hold back Sherlock Holmes, did it?
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On the topic of video games and classics. I think a lot of the major games from a one to a few decades ago will be classics by virtue of basically defining their respective genres.
Probably, though the game also needs to have staying power. For instance, what will become the classic: Dune 2 or Starcraft? In terms of significance Dune 2 started the genre. However starcraft has a lot more staying power, while almost no one plays Dune 2 any more.

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Also, with that in mind. I wish to nominate Kanon or Kana Imouto for future classic literature. Assuming that the Visual Novel format doesn't die, I think they are games that really defined the utsuge genre. And I think the Visual Novel format won't die, I think it will proliferate in the near future. With tablets and smartphones, people are half expecting their print media to be interactive, and I don't think its too long before "paper" becomes interactive and most every new novel coming out will be of the visual variety.
Can't say for certain, VNs as a whole is held back by it's frequent wish fulfillment and pulpy plots. That said, that's not a hard reason. A lot of more quality VNs are held back because they move in this space, and even though they're well written they can't be understood by a mainstream audience. For instance, a big part of why Higurashi works is due to how it subverts Moe in a gruesome way. A mainstream audience will never really get that aspect of it.
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Old 2012-09-29, 11:09   Link #42
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
As for Rowling, I'm on the fence. I think where she goes from here will have a big effect on whether she becomes a classic. A mark against her is that she's largely read for entertainment rather then artistic reasons. But then, that didn't hold back Sherlock Holmes, did it?
Sherlock Holmes basically redefined and established a genre, the detective story. Plus, it helped in that it was a great inspiration for forensic science in literature, never mind it did popularized what we now believe are the basics of forensic science.

I'm not sure what Rowling has done for her genre.


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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Can't say for certain, VNs as a whole is held back by it's frequent wish fulfillment and pulpy plots. That said, that's not a hard reason. A lot of more quality VNs are held back because they move in this space, and even though they're well written they can't be understood by a mainstream audience. For instance, a big part of why Higurashi works is due to how it subverts Moe in a gruesome way. A mainstream audience will never really get that aspect of it.
It's also held back by being too much of a niche market.
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Old 2012-09-29, 11:43   Link #43
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Addressing this thread's topic : shouldn't we count ancient epics like Mahabharata and Illiad as having accomplished this very demand, or do we stick only to post-1800 stuff ?
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Old 2012-09-29, 11:51   Link #44
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From the OP:

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Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
A simple question: Which modern ( 1950 and after)authors and what books do you think ( or even hope) will pass the test of time ? Of course, some bad one might ''pass'' the test by simple popularity but most of them should be deserving one.
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Old 2012-09-29, 12:05   Link #45
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@ Aegir I could simply say than Sumeragi is right but maybe I shuld developemore my thought; the idea for this thread was to talk about author and book than might ''might pass the test of time'', or if you prefer, to become a classique. Your two examle are already classique so there's no room to question if they will be classique, they are already.
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Old 2012-09-29, 12:12   Link #46
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Agatha Christie novels are already consider classic and secondary several have been turn into movies. With the lack of creative talent in the movie biz, it won't be long till someone remake those.
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Old 2012-09-29, 12:34   Link #47
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Sherlock Holmes basically redefined and established a genre, the detective story. Plus, it helped in that it was a great inspiration for forensic science in literature, never mind it did popularized what we now believe are the basics of forensic science.

I'm not sure what Rowling has done for her genre.



It's also held back by being too much of a niche market.
^
Re: Rowling -- I think she'll have a place in history. My rationale? Some may dislike the comparison, but she reminds me of Tolkein. Her vivid imagination has created a vast "world" and "system" that has resonated with a large number of people. It doesn't hurt that her writing is actually good too. I first read Tolkein when I was .. 9/10 years old? Even picking up to this day .. I'm not sure I'd say his writing was the best, but I don't think anyone would argue about his amazing imagination/creativity and that he's the father of the medieval fantasy genre..

Re: Sherlock Holmes / ACD -- If we say that .. my thought naturally goes to fiction by Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum. Would we category these as thrillers/suspense/mysteries and move on or do they have their own categories? They've pretty much defined the modern military/spy thriller.
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Old 2012-09-29, 12:46   Link #48
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Re: Rowling -- I think she'll have a place in history. My rationale? Some may dislike the comparison, but she reminds me of Tolkein. Her vivid imagination has created a vast "world" and "system" that has resonated with a large number of people. It doesn't hurt that her writing is actually good too. I first read Tolkein when I was .. 9/10 years old? Even picking up to this day .. I'm not sure I'd say his writing was the best, but I don't think anyone would argue about his amazing imagination/creativity and that he's the father of the medieval fantasy genre..
She would have a place in history, but I'm not quite sure as to being a classic. So I'm on the fence along with DonQuigleone.


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Originally Posted by willx View Post
Re: Sherlock Holmes / ACD -- If we say that .. my thought naturally goes to fiction by Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum. Would we category these as thrillers/suspense/mysteries and move on or do they have their own categories? They've pretty much defined the modern military/spy thriller.
Tom Clancy: The American Techno Thrilller
Robert Ludlum: The American Spy Thriller


One thought on Tom Clancy is that he isn't really much of a military fiction writer, despite his expertise. Yes, Red Storm Rising was a definite classic in being the first to portray post-Cold War military situations, but in terms of actually portraying battles themselves, I would rather read Arc Light (Eric L. Harry's best work with all others being "slightly" insane) or Korean military thrillers.
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Old 2012-09-29, 12:46   Link #49
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Certainly Roald Dahl, but I don' think Enid Blyton or Agatha Christie will have the staying power. Boh of them were essentially writing genre fiction, and it's rare for that to stick around for more then a generation. Roald Dahl, on the other hand, had an edge to him. His books didn't really fit into a set formula (other then the fact the adults were always horrendously cruel...). They have a similar quality to Louis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland.
Agatha Christie is the best selling novelist of all time. Her drama the Mouse Trap is the longest running play of the modern era. She started writing books in the 1920's. She has been around for way more than a generation.

Now is Agatha Christie a great literary genius, of course not. But there is something to be said about writing great genre fiction too.

Also as a fan of the Sherlock Holmes and Christie's works I will say they both have their strengths and weaknesses. Doyle and Christie have both written bad and great stories.

For me Doyle's work has stronger characters. Sherlock and Watson are way more memorable than any of Christie's characters. But as far as mysteries go, as a reader I find Christie's works more fun & engaging because I have a chance of figuring them out even with her crazy ending. It's pretty impossible to figure out the mysteries in the Holmes books, because Holmes always has knowledge we as readers don't get.


I also think Harry Potter will stay relevant. Not necessarily because of its literary importance but because of its pop culture importance. It's like the Star Wars of books.


edit: Also about Holmes vs Christie novels being made into movies...well these things are cyclical. But I would argue Conan Doyle's writing lend themselves to films more.

If you think about it, it's the characters of Holmes & Watson (not necessarily Doyle's stories) that keep getting made into films/adaptions. Of course there are straight adaptions of Doyle's works, but more often than not it's iconic characters that Doyle created that get placed into new stories & situations.

Agatha Christie's characters are not as iconic. Sure we can film the same story over & over again, but it's not really necessary. The films of her works that I've seen, didn't always capture the books either (the only one I really loved was Wilder's Witness for the Prosecution).
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Old 2012-09-29, 13:20   Link #50
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Originally Posted by MakubeX2 View Post
So, how would you guys rate Michael Crichton ? He writes a while range of subject from drama to sci-fi, always done a lot of reseach on topics in his novels on has a knack for breaking down complex subjects into something understandable.

But his talents lies in mixing fact with fiction and makes everything sounds believable like what he had done with Jurassic Park, Prey and State Of Fear. So should he be placed with all-time great like Clark and Dick ?
As much as I love Michael Crichton (I particularly like State of Fear, Jurassic Park/The Lost World and Timeline), I don't think he'll be a classic - though he might be a reference in his genre, as he contributed to popularizing techno-thriller with extremely popular franchises like Jurassic Park (for those who don't know, he's also the father of the ER television series). If you concentrate on the technological cautionary tale genre, I'm certain that his name would come at the top of the list of landmark authors, since a lot of his works (even movies he directed, such as Westworld) are about (spectacularly) failed human-machine/system interactions...but his writing style, IMHO, do not highlight him as someone to be remembered like Tolkien, Orwell or even Stephen King.

Rather, what really singles him out in a crowd is his particularly thought-inducing (or controversial, in some cases) set of ideas; one of his last works, State of Fear, stirred a lot of attention (both good and bad, approving and disapproving) in the Climate Change landscape, as he was questioning a lot of the data and reasoning (IMHO he was not so much set against CC than he was against certain emergent -and potentially dangerous- ideological/intellectual trends). Of course, you don't have to always agree with him, but the amount of trouble he goes through to make his point (in SoF he even dumps a truckload of real life literary references for the reader to read and judge) is certainly admirable.

That, IMHO, is what garnered him a lot of fame - the idea of salvaging fossilized DNA and tinkering with it to revive dinosaurs (in JP, he almost subverts some potential criticisms about dinosaurs not being exactly the way he portrays them by suggesting that the dinosaurs are actually already genetically modified for the park's convenience), eco-terrorism and the climate change turning into an industry of sorts, politicized science, chaos theory predicting that Man cannot control Nature and that ecosystems are highly unpredictable, quantum mechanics showing that funky stuff can happen with certain particles, etc, etc. A lot of that was groundbreaking, cutting edge science or stuff we were uncomfortable talking about.

The problem is that those ideas are tied with current trends, technology and themes that might disappear, become common/boring or fade in the background in the decades to come (in State of Fear he even discusses an ironically similar topic, where he likens ideas to trends, which by nature rise and fall, become popular then get quickly forgotten when they fall out of context).

Books like 1984, have themes that can remain valid even decades into the future because the bottom line, the message deep beneath can transcend time. But, let's imagine, 50 years from now: will people still be highly concerned/fascinated about tampering with DNA of long-lost species? Climate change? Uncontrolled artificial intelligences and nanomachines? I can't say - because as MC said it himself in one of his books (either SoF or Timeline), people have absolutely no idea about what the future is made of.

General fears and passions, however, need not worry about that. They can remain pertinent no matter which decade or century they're applied to.
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Old 2012-09-29, 14:30   Link #51
ganbaru
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
She would have a place in history, but I'm not quite sure as to being a classic. So I'm on the fence along with DonQuigleone.
I say than it would be best to wait a fews year, maybe a generation before saying Let's wait than the initial buzz end to see if it still have enough appeal to new reader.

As for Robert Ludlum, I would say than it would bebetter if they would stop to slap his name on book years after his death. I would say if it were book than he wouldn't had finished himself but another author endded but it'S not the case.
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Old 2012-09-29, 15:02   Link #52
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
Agatha Christie novels are already consider classic and secondary several have been turn into movies. With the lack of creative talent in the movie biz, it won't be long till someone remake those.
As I said, the problem with Christie is that 99% of her works are strictly formula. When we talk about classics, that kind of things just doesn't fly. Also, she isn't really considered classic. We can't really know what will happen to her until the generation that read her works are dead, and last time I checked they're largely alive and kicking. Don't forget, that she only died in 1976, and many of her novels were written right up until her death, and so she would have been a novelist of my parents and grandparents generation.

Come 2075, I'm fairly sure that Agatha Christie will only be known for her Wikipedia entry saying she's the most prolific mystery author of all time.

Conan Doyle had a lot of original ideas. Christie only had one, and made a career out of flogging it over and over again. Classic that does not make.

If you want to talk about classics, the works that tend to become classics are not genre fiction. To give an example, if we look at the 1500-1600 one of the most well known books was Amadis de Gaul, along with Don Quixote, it's parody. Don Quixote transcended genre, and wasn't written to any strict formula. Amadis de Gaul, while well written, was strictly formula for chivalric literature. Don Quixote is read to this day. As for Amadis? It's only known because it's explicitly mentioned by name in Don Quixote. Agatha Christie will go the way of Amadis de Gaul.
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Old 2012-09-29, 17:05   Link #53
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
That is an argument in Rowling's favour, but on the flip side Stephanie Meyer and Dan Brown had high levels of publicity and fanaticism, and yet both of those are by any accounts poor writers. I don't think popularity alone is enough, though it certainly helps.
You make a point there, but I think there is a level of sheer popularity where popularity alone can secure an author a spot in history. A criticism against Harry Potter is that children will be disappointed by the fact it "trains children and adults to expect the roar of the coliseum, a mass-media experience that no other novel can possibly provide." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301730_pf.html

The article argues that Harry Potter is an anomaly in an age where people are reading less and less fiction. Anomalies tend to get remembered.

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Probably, though the game also needs to have staying power. For instance, what will become the classic: Dune 2 or Starcraft? In terms of significance Dune 2 started the genre. However starcraft has a lot more staying power, while almost no one plays Dune 2 any more.
I think significance will matter more in the end that staying power. People studying RTS's will look back at Dune 2 since it is one of the most influential works in the genre, Starcraft will probably remembered more as an eSport than an RTS.

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Can't say for certain, VNs as a whole is held back by it's frequent wish fulfillment and pulpy plots. That said, that's not a hard reason. A lot of more quality VNs are held back because they move in this space, and even though they're well written they can't be understood by a mainstream audience. For instance, a big part of why Higurashi works is due to how it subverts Moe in a gruesome way. A mainstream audience will never really get that aspect of it.
Again, I think the way books are moving is toward VN's. Children growing up in a world filled with tablets and interactive content will probably expect all content to be interactive. If I had to choose whether regular novels or visual novels will dominate in 2112, I will choose visual novels.

Of course, that said, I'm not certain that VN's at that time will have much in common other than the format to VN's today, since VN's today are a very niche artform, made by and for a very small group of people, that is gradually getting smaller and smaller.
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Old 2012-09-29, 17:40   Link #54
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I think significance will matter more in the end that staying power. People studying RTS's will look back at Dune 2 since it is one of the most influential works in the genre, Starcraft will probably remembered more as an eSport than an RTS.
Not necessarily. The first known epic (I think) is the "The Epic of Gilgamesh", but while gilgamesh is certainly significant, it's the Iliad and the Odyssey that are considered "Classics", while Gilgamesh is simply a historical curiosity.

I think Starcraft will be the classic, because it's so refined, and is likely the best made RTS ever. Dune 2 is simply too crude, and Starcraft was just as innovative, in that it featured asymmetric but balanced factions.
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You make a point there, but I think there is a level of sheer popularity where popularity alone can secure an author a spot in history. A criticism against Harry Potter is that children will be disappointed by the fact it "trains children and adults to expect the roar of the coliseum, a mass-media experience that no other novel can possibly provide." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301730_pf.html
Something that also has to be borne in mind when discussing "classics" is that a lot of people slip into the trap of thinking that the classics we read today were the mass market entertainments of their day. Other then the occasional Mark Twain, on the whole they weren't. For one thing, many people were illiterate, and of the people who were literate, many were too poor to actually afford books at all.

If we look at the popular literature of other centuries, most of it, like today, was genre fiction, not "high fiction". I don't think our culture has regressed, but I think people read more in different ways.

Though I have to confess, I do find a lot of "dramatic" non-genre fiction to be rather dull. A lot of it is basically plots about some prostitute dying on the streets of Bohemia, or some lingering meditation on middle class mediocrity and sexual desire. I can only take so much of things trying to be profound.

I think the best literature has the light touch of genre fiction, while still having a cohesive artistic edge.

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Old 2012-09-29, 18:18   Link #55
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As I said, the problem with Christie is that 99% of her works are strictly formula. When we talk about classics, that kind of things just doesn't fly. Also, she isn't really considered classic. We can't really know what will happen to her until the generation that read her works are dead, and last time I checked they're largely alive and kicking. Don't forget, that she only died in 1976, and many of her novels were written right up until her death, and so she would have been a novelist of my parents and grandparents generation.

Most of Christie's best known novels were published before WWII. Yes she wrote books for many years, that just shows how long her career was.

If she stopped writing in lets say the 1950's would that mean we can measure her career?

Christie might have been well known to my parents, but she was also well known to my grandparents and probably my great grand parents as well. Her career itself spanned generations.

She also wasn't just prolific, but best selling!

Did Christie write literary masterpieces, absolutely not. But I would argue she is important to the mystery genre.

The thing is Sherlock Holmes is definitely popular genre fiction too. Yes Doyle should get credit for the creation of Holmes (a new kind of detective) but we don't often study "Holmes" as literature either.
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Old 2012-09-29, 18:21   Link #56
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The problem is that those ideas are tied with current trends, technology and themes that might disappear, become common/boring or fade in the background in the decades to come (in State of Fear he even discusses an ironically similar topic, where he likens ideas to trends, which by nature rise and fall, become popular then get quickly forgotten when they fall out of context).

Books like 1984, have themes that can remain valid even decades into the future because the bottom line, the message deep beneath can transcend time. But, let's imagine, 50 years from now: will people still be highly concerned/fascinated about tampering with DNA of long-lost species? Climate change? Uncontrolled artificial intelligences and nanomachines? I can't say - because as MC said it himself in one of his books (either SoF or Timeline), people have absolutely no idea about what the future is made of.

General fears and passions, however, need not worry about that. They can remain pertinent no matter which decade or century they're applied to.
That is true for his post-JP works, but some of his early works reads like a re-telling of classics of old.

The Andromeda Strain is comparable to The War of the Worlds, Circhton admits that he based Eaters Of The Dead on Beowulf mixed with true accounts of an early Arab Embassy to the Vikings, Congo is a 20th century version of King Solomon's Mines and AFAIK everything in The Great Train Robbery is basically true and he paints Victorian England more vivid and colourfully than say Doyle. (Crichton even included quite a long passage involving a character with a 12-year-old child prostitute in that one, something that is true but most author today will shy way from mention.)
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Old 2012-09-29, 18:52   Link #57
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Yes Doyle should get credit for the creation of Holmes (a new kind of detective) but we don't often study "Holmes" as literature either.
To get credit for Holmes; of course.
For the kind of detective Holme was; no. It's good to remember than Holmes got his influence from Edgar Allan Poe.
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Old 2012-09-29, 19:02   Link #58
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To get credit for Holmes; of course.
For the kind of detective Holme was; no. It's good to remember than Holmes got his influence from Edgar Allan Poe.
I admit I am ignorant when it comes to Dupin (I believe that is Poe's detective correct?). But from what I understand Holmes was quite a different type of detective.

I wouldn't mind being more enlightened though.
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Old 2012-09-29, 19:10   Link #59
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Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
A simple question: Which modern ( 1950 and after)authors and what books do you think ( or even hope) will pass the test of time ? Of course, some bad one might ''pass'' the test by simple popularity but most of them should be deserving one.

If I had to choose only 3 modern authors from the US and UK ( than aren't already considered as classique) I would say Lawrence Block, Neil Gaiman and Iaim Banks. For the french one I am tempted to say Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre but the only reason reason they aren't classique is because it's beem not enough time.

What is your list ?
That's a long list Ganbaru.
I'll cover the ones that I view as the most likely candidates of SF, Fantasy, and Horror, that--in my humble opinion--will stand the test of time from 1950 onwards.
You'll note that I don't have Stephen King on this list because I don't think his books will last as horror novels. Methinks he'll be relegated to the contemporary drama/fiction category.

Heinlein (most of his catalog, but Star Ship Troopers has the most sticking power)
Asimov (Foundation, I may hate the story because of its horrible dialogue and 1 dimensional characters, but it was a major work of hard SF and that is undeniable)
Clarke (2001, and Rendevous with Rama)
Ursula Le Guin
Poul Anderson
Michael Moorecock
Larry Niven (ringworld has been imortalized by Bungie's Halo)
Alfred Bester (The Stars My Destination)
Philip K. Dick (specifically "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep")
William Gibson (Neuromancer)
Clive Barker (hellraiser, Imagica)
J.R.R. Tolkien
Ann Rice (Interview With the Vampire)
Craig Spector
Dean Koontz
L. Ron Hubbard (Yeah I know...don't even say it , but unfortunately he'll be remembered for years to come)
Fred Saberhagen
Ian Douglas
Tad Williams (Swords of Shenara are practically classics now)
Stephen R. Donaldson (Chronicles of Thomas Covenant)
Frank Herbert (Dune mostly)
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Old 2012-09-29, 20:00   Link #60
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While I'm not much of an avid reader as I was used to be, I can think of one author who I think actually is quite prolific and probably will stand a test of time.

Phillip Pullman
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