I was looking at the living-room bookshelves just now, and realized: Most of these authors are dead.

Specifically, these authors:

Douglas Adams
Isaac Asimov
Ray Bradbury
John Brunner
Arthur C. Clarke
Philip K. Dick
Robert Graves
Robert A. Heinlein
Frank Herbert
Ayn Rand
J.R.R. Tolkien

They were all still alive – most of them were still writing – when I started reading them. Now they’re all gone.

I don’t have favorite authors any more: people whose writing careers I follow with interest, whose forthcoming books I anticipate eagerly. Mostly, I haunt the cheap lists on Amazon and drop the occasional $2 when something catches my eye.

I can’t seem to get into the current crop of science-fiction authors. I read their books, but none of them yet has sparked the Must read all from this person obsession that directed my library-building efforts back in the 1970s & 1980s.

Why is that?