The Basic Bookcase
The Third Shelf: Awakenings (190072)
06 July 1999
We'll assume that each of these books is 20mm thick (about 0.79"), thus fitting 36 books on this shelf. Since virtually all of them are available as paperbacks, and 72.0cm (28.3") is narrower than ideal for a real bookshelf, 36 books should fit comfortably.
These books all saw print before the end of the Apollo program in December 1972. They are almost all American and British science fiction. As a group, they reflect the optimism that went along with the space program. As the space program limited itself, however, so did science fiction in the mid-1970s; fantasy was not yet a viable commercial publishing category.
Some of these books don't hold up very well, such as Heinlein's "future history." Nonetheless, a speculative fiction writer should be familiar with all of them, because they have all had significant (if often unconscious) influence on more recent work in the field.
Work by some of these authors also appears on other shelves. I encourage anyone who likes these books to read more by the same authors.
And, without further ado . . .
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