skiffy fun

ix sez: You've seen the Guardian's top 20 geek novels, right?

I hadn't, but it's a good list -

The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- Douglas Adams : enh. i'm the only geek in the universe who didn't think this book was totally brilliant. i actually liked the movie better. i do want these, though..
*1984 -- George Orwell: obviously one of the most brilliant books ever written. I really like a lot of Orwell's work, actually, especially Down and Out in Paris and London and Keep the Aspidistra Flying.
*Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley : I don't really have anything to say here that hasn't been said many times before. Great book though.
*Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? -- Philip K Dick: Do they? I love you, Ridley Scott. Philip K Dick, he's an okay fellow too.
*Neuromancer -- William Gibson: A friend of mine who claims to know William Gibson said that while he was writing this book, he (William, that is) holed himself up in his apartment for months without reading or watching movies, to keep his book from being influenced by outside stories. One day, sick to death of himself and the universe he had been immersed in for a year, he decided to go see the new movie from his favorite director. That director was Ridley Scott (I still love you, Ridley Scott!) and that movie was Blade Runner and William Gibson actually had to leave the theater because the movie was too close to what he was trying to write. I have no idea if this story is true, but it is a great story nonetheless.
*Dune -- Frank Herbert: Mind-stoppingly brilliant, I have read this book more times than I can count. Every time I have found something new. Scathingly fantastic.
I, Robot -- Isaac Asimov: I haven't read this...I know, I know. I can hear you, ix!!
Foundation -- Isaac Asimov: Ditto...
*The Colour of Magic -- Terry Pratchett: Funny.
Microserfs -- Douglas Coupland
-Snow Crash -- Neal Stephenson: As noted, I really didn't like this book. I love cyberpunk and all, but this just didn't do it for me.
Watchmen -- Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons: Ick. I don't know, I just have problems with Alan Moore. I can't get into his stuff, I've tried. Maybe I should try again...
Cryptonomicon -- Neal Stephenson: Haven't gotten around to this one yet.
Consider Phlebas -- Iain M Banks: I've always wanted to read this, but haven't yet. I like I(a)in Bank's writing a lot.
*Stranger in a Strange Land -- Robert Heinlein: Grok.
The Man in the High Castle -- Philip K Dick
*American Gods -- Neil Gaiman: One of Gaiman's best, excepting his comic book work, which I just find so amazing. I quite liked 'Neverwhere' also.
*The Diamond Age -- Neal Stephenson: Love this book!
The Illuminatus! Trilogy -- Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson: enh. Just never got the point of this one. I think I read some of it, it was too faux-trippy for me.
Trouble with Lichen - John Wyndham: What, now? The only book of this list that I have completely never heard of.

I liked this list a lot, but there are a few other books that totally should be on here:

*Perdido St. Station-- China Mieville : Oh. My. God. Maybe the best science fiction novel ever written.
*The Demolished Man -- Alfred Bester: In which crime is unheard of, advertising helps a man commit murder and a telepathic detective is determined to catch him. When I first saw the previews for 'Minority Report,' I thought it was an adaptation of this book. The book is much, much, better, and does not star Tom Cruise.
*In the Garden of Iden -- Kage Baker: my new science fiction obsession. The Company hires operatives throughout history to help change the future. Almost impossible to describe. A completely lovely book.

I know there are more...thoughts?

1 comment:

ix said...

There's some history with this addition, but I can't help but mention The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. Admittedly, it's a Tetralogy wherein each novel cannot be considered separately, but any SF that has generated numerous dissertations and at least 2 separate works explaining and deconstructing it deserves mention in my opinion. Observe: http://artsweb.bham.ac.uk/jlaidlow/ultan/botns.htm