What is “Forgotten”?

Thursday Thoughts on Friday Forgotten Books

Near as I can tell, this thing started with mystery writer and fan Patti Abbot on her blog Pattinase. It’s called Friday Forgotten Books, and it has spread to quite a lot of blogs run by mystery readers, fans, writers and fans of multiple genres.

I did a couple FFB reviews which appeared on Patti’s blog before launching Broken Bullhorn, and now I’m picking it up here. So beginning tomorrow, there’ll be a Friday Forgotten Book. Here. I’m sure your excitement and anticipation are nearly overwhelming.

So today I’m taking a quick look at what – to me – this “forgotten” thing means. Okay, start with the dictionary: “to fail to remember” isn’t a bad start, but that could apply to anything, especially for me, with my old brain. “omit or neglect unintentionally” is a lot better, at least for what I perceive as the purpose of FFB, and “leave unnoticed” and “fail to think of” work pretty well too. Notice none of these suggest or imply any particular quality of the forgotten object. Thus something forgotten could be mercifully so, such as the name of the worst restaurant you ever visited.

venus-cabin island cvrs

I think “to leave behind unintentionally” works a little better, as it suggests the thing shouldn’t have been forgotten, it just was, somehow. Like the title of your favorite Winston science fiction novel (Five Against Venus by Philip Latham ) or Hardy Boys book (The Mystery of Cabin Island).

So to my way of thinking, a forgotten book  – for purposes of this Friday Forgotten Book thing – is simply one that’s slipped from our memory, and it should be something that’s passably good but doesn’t have to be great. After all, the great books probably aren’t forgotten, are they?

One thing I think a “forgotten book” should be, however, is old. Not as old as me, for heaven’s sake, how could anyone remember that far back? But the book shouldn’t have been published in the last few years, which for ease of definition I define as not in this century. One more thing. I’m not one to be locked in by a lot of rules, so my Friday Forgotten Book may be of any genre and will occasionally be forgotten music or film.

Return tomorrow for my FFB #3 (the first 2 were on Patti’s blog), which will be a book I wonder if anyone out there has read.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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11 Responses to What is “Forgotten”?

  1. Patti Abbott says:

    on the train to toronto. just found out our hotel charges $21 a day for internet use so I won’t be posting tomorrow. if you ask bill maybe he can put up your link and george’s. otherwise next week. Sorry, Patti

  2. George Kelley says:

    As I posted my thirty-something FORGOTTEN BOOKS on Fridays, I started tending to recommend books that are still in-print. Recommending a book that was out-of-print and generally unavailable seemed like cruel and unusual punishment (“See, I have this really great book, but you’ll never be able to read it because nobody has a copy of it but me!”) Of the Winston SF series, I was always partial to Ben Bova’s THE STAR CONQUERORS with that great Mel Hunter cover.

  3. No problem, Patti.

    George, I only meant not recent, as opposed to so obsure no one would ever find it. Then I came across this one on the shelf, and had to make it the first one, especially since you told me “make it a good one”. Besides, there are probably hundreds of copies at 50 cents out there, though I haven’t looked. HINT: it’s half of an Ace Double.

  4. Bill Crider says:

    I’ll be glad to post a link, Rick, assuming I can remember to do it.

  5. Drongo says:

    Rick, I’m intrigued already by your choice for tomorrow. Gotta love those old Ace Doubles.

    I haven’t read many of the Winstons, but my favorite is MAROONED ON MARS by Lester Del Rey.

    I wanted to take a look at that Mel Hunter cover George mentioned, so I went over to Amazon. Nice piece of art. Interestingly, the book was priced at 605.00, which seems a trifle high. (Amusingly, they also wanted 3.99 for shipping.)

  6. Bill, if you do, great, if not, the book’ll still be here.

    Drongo, I just sent you a link I think you’ll like.

  7. George – I honestly have a hard time picking one. I loved A.C. Clarke’s ISLANDS IN THE SKY, though the cover on that one was not great, and I thought (still do) ROCKET JOCKEY is a great title. I just got what the local library had, which was quite a few but not all.

  8. Drongo says:

    You read my mind. I was wondering if there was a site on Winston, with all the covers. I had quite a good time looking at them, thank you very much.

  9. George Kelley says:

    My second favorite WINSTON SF title is Jack Vance’s VANDALS OF THE VOID. I wish someone would put together of a collection of Mel Hunter’s SF covers. I’d buy it!

  10. PAUL BISHOP says:

    You gotta love the cover in and of itself!

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