So, Mai said: “Pauly, I really like 50s-60s Sci-Fi — Isaac Asimov and Phillp K. Dick. What should I read?” (NOTE: she didn’t actually phrase it that way, but this is my site, so I will quote you as I see fit!)
Now, I must admit to not having read anything by those authors. I did see Blade Runner and Total Recall though. That may lessen my qualifications, but I’m not going to let it stop me. I’d argue that these authors’ works would fall into the realm of “Hard Sci-Fi,” and call upon my compatriot, Forrest Karbowski, to make some recommendations in the comments section.
But anyway, recommendations for Mai and Asimov/Dick fans (Ha! Dick fans).
I’ll start broad with author recommendations: Warren Ellis and Jonathan Hickman. I’ve talked about some of their works already. Transmetropolitan for Ellis as well as Fantastic Four and The Manhattan Projects for Hickman. Those are good starts for both authors.
If you’ve already worked your way through Transmet, Ellis collaborated with J.H. Williams on Desolation Jones, the tale of a former spy living in Los Angeles and becoming like many people in Los Angeles seem to do, a private investigator. The first arc involves a search for the lost pornographic films of Adolf Hitler (This is what Wikipedia tells me right now and I’m not sure if it’s Hitler’s porno collection or if he is IN the pornos). It’s been awhile since I’ve read this comic, but I assure you I’m going to read it again right now.
Hickman-wise, check out The Nightly News, written, drawn, and info graphic-ed by Jonathan Hickman. The dude loves info graphics. Anyways, this is another thing I haven’t read in years, but it’s about a violent rebellion against the news media. I lent this out to someone and have never gotten it back, so I should probably just re-buy it. When I do, expect a post on here, as this was a comic that I bought and had shipped to several friends, I loved it so much. I also wrote to Hickman, and he wrote back a nice reply. So…support a nice guy and buy his comic.
I would also recommend a team of collaborators: Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. They started working together on Sleeper, a Superhero/Sci-Fi/Noir/Spy story about an operative acting deep cover in a super villain terrorist organization. There’s some winking at the super hero genre with villains passing the time with “origin” stories, but it feels more Tarantino than Family Guy if that makes sense to you. They’ve also done Criminal, Incognito and now, Fatale. Criminal is straight crime novel, Incognito is a bit more like Sleeper with more emphasis on Pulp and Sci-Fi heroes, and Fatale is Sci-Fi/Horror/Noir. These two are completely in-sync and continue to operate at the top of their game. A bonus if you buy the print single issues of Criminal, Fatale or Incognito; each issue contains an essay about other works within the genre that book is based in.
So, Mai, hopefully I haven’t totally wasted your time and have offered some stuff you’ll enjoy, even if they’re not on exactly the money for a Dick fan like yourself. Again, hopefully some other folks who’ve read a bit more in that genre, some fellow fans of Dick, can help open us both up to some new books.
(NOTE: I am giggling with every “Dick fan” joke I make. I am hilarious).