the centauri device
I never liked that book much but at least it took the piss out of sf’s three main tenets: (1) The reader-identification character always drives the action; (2) The universe is knowable; (3) the universe is anthropocentrically structured & its riches are an appropriate prize for
the colonialist people like us. TCD tried to out space opera as a kind of counterfeit pulp which had carefully cleaned itself of Saturday night appetite, vacuuming out all the concerns of real pulp fiction to keep it under the radar of the Mothers of America or whatever they called themselves. Pulp’s lust for life was replaced, if you were lucky, by a jaunty shanty & a comedy brawl. Otherwise it was lebensraum & a cadetship in the Space Police (these days it’s primarily low-bourgeois freedom motifs & nice friendly sexual release).