The Defining Science Fiction Books of the 1970s
After the counter-culture self-destructed at Altamont, The Beatles broke up, and the baby boomers left college and joined the real world, the 1970s was a time of sobering up, Future Shock, recessions, The Limits of Growth, oil shortages, hostages and coming down to reality. For some reason we ceded high technology to the builders of Ringworld, Gateway, and Rama, and the genre's psychic weatherman, PKD, reported from some very bizarre locations. The seventies was a somber time for science fiction, with the decay of Dhalgren and post-modernism of Barry Malzberg. Heinlein wrote about sex rather than space, as we see the momentum of science fiction begin its shift toward fantasy. Feminism, environmentalism, and The New Age influenced science fiction writers more than outer space when we stopped going to the Moon in 1972. And most noticeably, women writers began a major assault on the SF genre in the 1970s, and continued to expand their literary territory for the rest of the twentieth century and into the twenty first.
This list comes from the essay The Defining Science Fiction of the 1970s by James Wallace Harris.