What makes a book a classic? Is it universal themes? Or readability, five, ten, twenty, a hundred years into the future? Being a fantasy fanatic, there are very few “modern classics” to pull from. J.R.R. Tolkien. Zelzany. McCaffrey.
I resisted reading Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series for decades. How many, I didn’t realize until I read the copyright notice AFTER reading the book. The book was published a few months after I was born, so it is… twenty one twice plus one. Hehehe.
The first time I remember anyone telling me about the books was while I was in college. At the time, I resisted because I was writing about dragons. I didn’t want any influences on my world building, characters and dragons. Quite frankly, I was jealous too. I *wanted* to be Queen of the Dragons!
For some reason, I never did pick up any of the Pern novels. Despite often running out of books to read, new authors to try, being bored out of my skull… You get the idea. Never. Once.
So on Saturday I was given a brief respite and ran to the book store. My brother Leonard, who has very different tastes in books than I do, highly recommended it. “You loved Tolkien. You love that Game of Thrones series. I can’t stand those types of books.”
“I guarantee you’ll like Anne McCaffrey,” he told me.
Normally I take recommendations with a grain of salt. This time I went ahead and jumped in and I am so glad I did. Because it is simply amazing. What makes it so? It’s a fairly great idea, even though I’m not sure why the Sci-Fi elements need to be in there (to be fair, there are a lot of books left to plow through, so it might actually be needed later). It reads well, even after forty some odd years (drat, I spilled the beans).
For popular fiction, or genre fiction, to become a classic though there has to be magic. An audible pop in the reader’s mind when all cylinder’s start firing and the book sets out pell mell for the finish line. It’s still kind of funny to me that I ignored this series for so long.
Yay! I have a new series by a writer who was very prolific and whose son has taken up the pen!