Feature Excerpt: Rich Horton’s “Back to the Future: Modern Reprints of Classic Fantasy”

Feature Excerpt: Rich Horton’s “Back to the Future: Modern Reprints of Classic Fantasy”

centaurideviceContributing Editor and SF historian Rich Horton’s article for Black Gate 14 was on modern reprints of the best in classic fantasy and science fiction:

Orion, via their imprints Millennium and later Gollancz, took a different tack in keeping important SF in print. The SF Masterworks series, beginning in 1999, undertook to reprint the very best science fiction novels of the past century or so… a couple of story collections slipped in, including most significantly (to my mind) The Rediscovery of Man, by Cordwainer Smith, the complete stories of one of the oddest and most intriguing SF writers ever. Other interesting works… include what may be Jack Vance’s best singleton novel, Emphyrio; M. John Harrison’s cynical take on Space Opera, The Centauri Device; Michael Moorock’s colorful and louche science fantasy, The Dancers at the End of Time (always my personal favorite among his works); one of the most significant works from Russia: Roadside Picnic, by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky; and the complete “Roderick” novels by John Sladek, brilliant satire from one of the field’s best and darkest satirists.

As we wrap up the Sneak Preview of the massive 14th issue of Black Gate we’ve posted a lengthy excerpt from Rich’s article, in which he covers titles from Baen Books, the SF and Fantasy Masterworks lines from Orion, the Science Fiction Book Club, Wildside Press, and NESFA Press.

Rich’s previous feature articles for us include “Fictional Losses: Neglected Stories From the SF Magazines,” (Black Gate 11) “The Big Little SF Magazines of the 1970s,” (BG 10) and  “Building the Fantasy Canon: the Classic Anthologies of Genre Fantasy(BG 2).

The complete “Back to the Future: Modern Reprints of Classic Fantasy” appears in Black Gate 14.

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[…] as a revitalized genre, but that’s probably a largely personal choice… Perhaps, then The Centauri Device is in retrospect the key work. Harrison conceived it explicitly as “anti-space opera,” […]

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