Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1968

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Lots of great and worthwhile stuff that I didn't manage to include; trying, as always, to hit a balance between works by notables and interesting curios.

I get to be non-anglophile this time: the Siegrfied Lenz has an austere beauty, even if I didn't manage to finish it (hate reading in German, my "native" tongue but not one I was formally trained in); I'll cast a vote for Mondiano's noir amnesia tale infused with post-war guilt.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 17 May 2021 09:49 (six months ago) link

The novel is one of the most famous in Ethiopia. It is particularly popular among those individuals who lived through the 1970s and 80's during the Derg regime, during which it was once narrated over the radio. A music video titled "Mar eske Twauf" by the award winning Ethiopian music star Teddy Afro based on this novel was released on YouTube.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 17 May 2021 09:50 (six months ago) link

(that's Love To The Grave, not Place lol)

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 17 May 2021 09:50 (six months ago) link

The only one of these I've read is La Place de L'Étoile, but I still feel good about voting for it – it's a Major Work, and fun to boot.

Definitely need to read the Baldwin!

Mark E. Smith died this year. Or, maybe last year. (bernard snowy), Monday, 17 May 2021 12:01 (six months ago) link

Has anyone read the Manuel Puig? Dalkey Archive very much wants me to...

Mark E. Smith died this year. Or, maybe last year. (bernard snowy), Monday, 17 May 2021 12:04 (six months ago) link

The ones I've read:
Rite Of Passage by Alexei Panshin - interstellar SF with strong moral dilemmas and a realistically-drawn teenage girl protagonist, unusually for the time.
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick - a very different beast from Blade Runner, one of his best.
Nova by Samuel R. Delany - can we call this proto-cyberpunk? A lot better than the previous year's The Einstein Intersection.
Outer Dark by Corman McCarthy - I much prefer McCarthy in gothic horror mode. Rinthy might be the best character name ever devised.
A Wizard Of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin - brilliantly devised and written, and maybe not even the best of the Earthsea trilogy. JK who?
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke - haven't read it in decades, suspect the film's 10xbetter.
Stand On Zanzibar by John Brunner - got 50 pages in and gave up, kind of dated I thought.
His Master's Voice by Stanislaw Lem - I love sardonic SF and wish there was more of it. The passages near the beginning about how the supposed alien message was discovered are hilariously bleak.

Corman gets my vote!

remind me not to read the comments on that one (Matt #2), Monday, 17 May 2021 12:17 (six months ago) link

I've read "True Grit" and "Chocky", and possibly "2001" but that was a long time ago. "True Grit" would get my vote, especially for the first half.

o. nate, Monday, 17 May 2021 18:52 (six months ago) link

PKD 4 Me (Earth as depleted backstreet, where it rains alla time, on junk, some of it running loose, he makes me care, story still developing)

dow, Monday, 17 May 2021 22:01 (six months ago) link

I've only read the SF stuff here, and not all of it: Dick, Le Guin, Clarke, Wyndham, Lem. Le Guin deserves a vote, the first Earthsea book is great but sets the stage for even better things, though I don't know if those are going to show up here as they're not on the wiki 'year in literature' pages. Lem is brilliant, sardonically bleak as noted above, it throws a wrench into the mechanism of typical first contact stories while deftly dealing with physics, psychology, philosophy, politics. Chocky is pretty good fun (or was when I was a kid), the bit where Chocky is a dick about the new car is almost a Lem-like moment for younger readers. (Lem: 'aliens will be incomprehensible'; Wyndham: 'aliens won't like your brand new car'.)

I was born anxious, here's how to do it. (ledge), Tuesday, 18 May 2021 07:47 (six months ago) link

1968: The Year Science Fiction Exploded

I don't know if those are going to show up here as they're not on the wiki 'year in literature' pages

I use the "category: (year) novels" lists, not the year in lit ones.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 18 May 2021 09:30 (six months ago) link

I want to try and vote for one of the later PKDs but I think it's between that and Nova as the only two I've read (I should pick up The Quest For Christa T. by Christa Wolf as I love Cassandra). PKD it is.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 18 May 2021 09:43 (six months ago) link

"A Wizard of Earthsea" and "A Fan's Notes" has got to be the starkest contrast yet between novels I really care about appearing in the same year of this poll.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 18 May 2021 11:14 (six months ago) link

Cancer Ward.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Tuesday, 18 May 2021 11:29 (six months ago) link

Is Arthur Clarke 2001 a film tie in novelisation or a reissue of the Sentinel tied to the film

Stevolende, Tuesday, 18 May 2021 11:45 (six months ago) link

It was written concurrently with the film; film and novel are both based on several different Clarke stories, including The Sentinel.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 18 May 2021 12:09 (six months ago) link

Only a few choices for me, think I'm going for one of the 'read as a kid' ones, probably Chocky.

emil.y, Tuesday, 18 May 2021 16:16 (six months ago) link

I should really read House Made of Dawn, as I've taught "The Way to Rainy Mountain" many times and love it more each time I teach it.

Lily Dale, Tuesday, 18 May 2021 17:54 (six months ago) link

House... was Required Reading in an American Studies course I took, and I know or think I know I much enjoyed it, but the PKD forces its way up front in the memory smog, even past Nove.

dow, Tuesday, 18 May 2021 23:53 (six months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 19 May 2021 00:01 (six months ago) link

Wonder if anyone else would vote for the same thing as me.

Working in the POLL Mine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 19 May 2021 00:08 (six months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Thursday, 20 May 2021 00:01 (six months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1969

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 20 May 2021 10:54 (six months ago) link


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