Which science fiction author is your favorite? Jules Verne or Wells?
#1
I prefer Verne since he was the original science fiction writer. Do you?
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#2
Not sure I could choose one over the other...although Verne certainly also excelled at straight adventure novels too. I'd have to know French much better
than I do to be able to read him in the original though, and really have an opinion of much value.
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#3
Do you have another that is your favorite?
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#4
My personal favorite is Roger Zelazny, but of course he's from 100 years later than Verne. From that era, my favorite would be Burroughs, although he's from the generation after them.
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#5
I don't think I've actually read anything by Verne. I have read some Wells, and enjoyed it. So, by default, I'd prefer Wells at this point. Although I agree with August, Burroughs would
likely be my final choice for this era.
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#6
Verne really holds up - I'd recommend Journey to the Center of the Earth, and see you you like that first. Smile
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#7
Was Verne really the 1st sci-fi writer?

I can't think of an alternative to offer offhand, just wondering. Strictly speaking, I don't think one can really have science fiction until one has science. I think some would nominate Frankenstein, which came along with the early-modern beginnings of what we consider to be science.

Some have proposed the oldest known work of literature, The Epic of Gilgamesh could be considered sci-fi. As far back as the 5th cent B.C. some Indian epics featured ideas of advanced technology and travel underwater and in space.

My own favorite "hard" sci-fi writer has been Larry Niven, with nods to Ursula K. LeGuin, Poul Anderson, Asimov, and yes Andre Norton.

As concerns Verne, I guess some of the magic goes when some science utilized is discredited. For example, Verne supposed the Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues Under the Seawould be powered by metallic sodium mined from a volcano that happened to have it. Basic geology and planetology has made Journey to the Center of the Earth quite improbable. Be that as it may they're imaginative and (in translation at least, pardon my nonexistent French!) well written.
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#8
Alvin Eriol Wrote:I don't think one can really have science fiction until one has science.

That's the way I've always processed it. And obviously there has to be some leap of the science involved - in other words, people in Greek and Latin and Norse epics use the science of astronomy to navigate, and the
science of medicine to heal wounds, and the science of metallurgy to make weapons...but I'm not sure that's actually science fiction. :laugh: Otherwise, Carrie Bradshaw using a laptop to write her articles, and hopping
on a subway powered by mechanical science would make Sex and the City science fiction. :jester: Although that said, technically the inventions of Daedalus in mythology would be sci-fi.

I think Frankenstein would definitely now be considered sci-fi, even if the author didn't realize that's what she was doing. Ditto for Dr. Jekyll.

Verne of course wrote plenty of non-sci-fi adventure novels too.
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#9
There is a school of thought that says that Dante's Inferno is the first true science fiction story. One of the proponents of this is Larry Niven, one of my favorite sci-fi authors.
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#10
Yep, there are a number, including the poem Orlando Furioso, and Shakespeare's play The Tempest. But most of those really are works of fantasy, since it's magic or supernatural
or spiritual powers that are in play.

I'd also put in a vote for Gulliver's Travels, since that one does indeed include a fair amount of pseudo-science, as well as the social commentary that is the hallmark of the best sci-fi.
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#11
Mordy Wrote:There is a school of thought that says that Dante's Inferno is the first true science fiction story. One of the proponents of this is Larry Niven, one of my favorite sci-fi authors.

I read Infernoland (one of his collaborations with Jerry Pournelle, IIRC) many years ago, but I never got it as sci-fi, more like supernatural fantasy with modern mechanical tropes.

If "magic" makes a story fantasy or "magical reality" instead of sci-fi, there's quite a bit of ambiguity and room for debate out there. Bear in mind Arthur C. Clarke's admonition that any sufficiently advanced technology becomes indistinguishable from magic. Fantasy and sci-fi seem to converge as they recede farther from us.

Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun cycle reads a lot like fantasy (such as Vance's The Dying Earth series which was one of the inspirations), but he avers that nothing in it is "magic" but grounded in science fiction one way or the other. Granted, I'm unsure upon what science such tropes as the teleportation mirrors are supposed to be based, but there you are.

One could conceivably make a case for Lord of the Rings and the rest of Tolkien's Arda Cycle as sci-fi, given the Great and lesser Rings, Palantiri, Silmarils, "magic swords," etc, presented as artifacts made by superhuman craft and skill and endowed with peculiar albeit science-fictionish properties.
Many Defeats & Many Fruitless Victories Memoirs Gateway
For I was talking aloud to myself...the old...choose the wisest person present to speak to...
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#12
Alvin Eriol Wrote:I think some would nominate Frankenstein, which came along with the early-modern beginnings of what we consider to be science.

And indeed, here's an article from a few years ago on that very notion! :bg:
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#13
No one ever credits Mark Twain with influencing science fiction and fantasy, and yet he did dabble in the arts. Most people will quickly think of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court but I have always viewed Tom Sawyer, Abroad as a type of science fiction. At the time the balloon trip across the world was completely improbable. They still struggle to do that today, although we do have airships.
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#14
While I do absolutely enjoy both Verene and Wells, I have a preference for Wells. His stories just appeal to my favorite scifi topics more. I must say, though, my absolute favorite SF author is Isaac Asimov.
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#15
I think I enjoyed Wells more than Verne when I was a kid but I was only exposed to Jules Verne's work through film and comic book adaptations. I don't remember reading any of his books.
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