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Now that time constraints are lifted, I recommend _Days of Starlight_ by Craig Harrison (19880. It's often described as a "near-future thriller", but it's actually science fiction written in completely mainstream-accessible fashion. I don't totally approve of the way it uses the Reagan administration like Spielberg uses the Nazis, but aside from that it's excellent. More would be a spoiler.

Or perhaps later. My get and go got up and went.

What was the reason for the date limits? I still think "in print" is more important; lots of stuff written in the last decade is already out of print.

To track production. I don't know if that Scalzi's reason, but its what James is trying to figure out here.

Also, if there was _no_ new material that one could offer to newbies to drawn them in, that might mean that SF had become an isolated genre, selling only to the already faithful, like superhero comics, westerns or whatever the third example was that I had in mind when I started typing this.

Scalzi's reason was to introduce people by means of stuff which is obviously current, as opposed to the Lost Futures of say, early cyberpunk (much less the generic Lost Future of "Where is my individual jetpack and commuter shuttle to Luna?" grumbles of old SF readers like myself).

Every era has its lost futures. In fact, one of the books that I can see easily from my chair, provided I lean way over to one side and brace myself on a table while holding my head at an odd angle, is Alexei Panshin's FAREWELL TO YESTERDAY'S TOMORROWS, and it was published roughly mid-way between now and when John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding.

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