Nygel (see Nygel G Harrot, also here and here).
Out of our cellar:
James Blish, "On Science Fiction Criticism" IN Riverside Quarterly, Volume 3, Number 3, August 1968 (Box 40 Univ. Sta., Regina, Canada), pp. 214-217.
Although this article is fifty years old, it makes several points that need to be considered by anyone reading a Poul Anderson Appreciation blog in 2018:
in 1968, apparently, many literary critics of sf referred back to the era of Jules Verne, who had died in 1905;
however, "...science fiction is uniquely dominated by living authors, since it is based upon modern technology..." (p. 214);
the "...few dead giants..." (ibid.) that Blish lists are Verne, Wells, C.S. Lewis and Orwell;
however, sf as a modern phenomenon dates only from 1926 when the specialized magazines began;
a critic writing in 1968 should at least mention Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein or Sturgeon;
Blish also mentions Hal Clement, Lester del Rey and Don A. Stuart as authors who have imagined extraterrestrial environments;
within sf, there is wide acceptance of Sturgeon's rule that a good sf story has a human problem and solution that are dependent on the story's scientific content;
by this rule, Lovecraft and Bradbury are not sf writers;
instead, they are science-fearing Faustian fantasy writers;
routine commercial sf puts "...a few futuristic trappings..." (p. 215) on ordinary terrestrial settings and plots;
sf, uniquely, has been "...consistently judged by its worst examples." (p. 215)
There is more than this in Blish's article but that is plenty for one post.
(i) Poul Anderson is no longer living but remains significant and will surely become one of the few giants.
(ii) Blish does not mention Stapledon but nor did he claim that his short list of giants was definitive.
(iii) I remember from conversation that Blish was unfamiliar with Stapledon's Last And First Men and therefore, of course, would not comment on it.
(iv) Lewis was certainly an imaginative fantasy writer but does he not belong with Lovecraft and Bradbury rather than with Wells?
(v) Orwell is included on the strength of a single novel but Blish said elsewhere that 1984 was important for sf because it was about something: the purpose of power.
(vi) Anderson refers to Hal Clement.
(vii) Anderson's works are good sf by Sturgeon's rule.
(viii) Anderson has been accused of putting futuristic trappings on terrestrial plots. See here.