Ever since Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Or, The Modern Prometheus, SF has been dishing out a variety of gloom and diets of catastrophe. The refreshed version of my A Science Fiction Omnibus offers a modest selection. Well, it is not all gloom; there is also fine satire, such as William Tenn's Liberation of Earth, and the comedy of Katherine Maclean's The Snowball Effect. There are also magisterial stories that it is difficult to classify, such as Eric Frank Russell's Sole Solution and Ward Moore's Lot... You know the names of all these authors, of course. What, you don't? I have known and enjoyed many of them for decades, in all their variety... But I do see that a wall much like the Great Wall of China has been erected against SF — although H.G.Wells has escaped the general banishment. It is a shame, for the authors are so different one from another, so disconcerting, so thought-nourishing. So despairing, so optimistic... There could be something most of us are missing.It's one of those things, isn't it, the forgotten classic we hold dear to our hearts. Authors you just wish had achieved more, had possibly become Greats. In fact, many a time have we Solaris editors taken the afternoon off to scour second hand bookstores, to see what's there in those dusty corners of the science fiction and fantasy sections. (Did we mention we were book geeks?)
So, I wondered if there'd be a decent list of great SF writers that had fallen off the radar. Rather unpredictably (in this office, at least), I'd put forward Michael Coney, as a weaver of fine SF tales. He had this wonderful ability for stating the genuine human sociological implications. A real ideas man, who never lost his focus on what stories are about: people.
Come on, throw some names forward in the comments section. Let us neglect no longer. Which authors do you wish were not forgotten?