Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Monday, April 10, 2006

MORE Books!!

Via Heinleinblog, here's a list of 100 Science Fiction Books You Just Have to Read:
1. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke *
2. Foundation by Isaac Asimov *
3. Dune by Frank Herbert *
4. Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
5. Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein *!
6. Valis by Philip K. Dick
7. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
8. Gateway by Frederick Pohl
9. Space Merchants by C.M. Kornbluth & Frederick Pohl
10. Earth Abides by George R. Stewart *
11. Cuckoo’s Egg by C.J. Cherryh
12. Star Surgeon by James White
13. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
14. Radix by A.A. Attanasio
15. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke *!
16. Ringworld by Larry Niven *!
17. A Case of Conscience by James Blish *
18. Last and First Man by Olaf Stapledon
19. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
20. Way Station by Clifford Simak
21. More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
22. Gray Lensman by E. E. “Doc” Smith *
23. The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov *
24. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
25. Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock
26. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
27. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells *
28. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
29. Heritage of Hastur by Marion Zimmer Bradley
30. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells *
31. The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester *
32. Slan by A.E. Van Vogt
33. Neuromancer by William Gibson *!
34. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card *!
35. In Conquest Born by C.S. Friedman *
36. Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
37. Eon by Greg Bear *
38. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey *
39. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
40. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein *!
41. Cosm by Gregory Benford
42. The Voyage of the Space Beagle by A.E. Van Vogt
43. Blood Music by Greg Bear
44. Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
45. Omnivore by Piers Anthony *
46. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov *
47. Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement
48. To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer
49. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
50. The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold
51. 1984 by George Orwell *!
52. The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
53. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson *
54. Flesh by Philip Jose Farmer
55. Cities in Flight by James Blish *
56. Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
57. Startide Rising by David Brin *
58. Triton by Samuel R. Delany
59. Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
60. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
61. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury *!
62. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller *
63. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes *!
64. No Blade of Grass by John Christopher
65. The Postman by David Brin *
66. Dhalgren by Samuel Delany *
67. Berserker by Fred Saberhagen *!
68. Flatland by Edwin Abbot
69. Planiverse by A.K. Dewdney
70. Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward *
71. Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh
72. Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
73. Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein *
74. The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis *
75. Forever War by Joe Haldeman *!
76. Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison
77. Roadside Picnic by Boris Strugatsky & Arkady Strugatsky
78. The Snow Queen by Joan Vinge
79. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury *!
80. Drowned World by J.G. Ballard
81. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
82. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson *
83. Upanishads by Various
84. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
85. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams *!
86. The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin *!
87. The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
88. Mutant by Henry Kuttner
89. Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
90. Ralph 124C41+ by Hugo Gernsback
91. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
92. Timescape by Gregory Benford
93. The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
94. War with the Newts by Karl Kapek
95. Mars by Ben Bova *
96. Brain Wave by Poul Anderson
97. Hyperion by Dan Simmons *
98. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton *!
99. Camp Concentration by Thomas Disch
100. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

(* indicates that I've read it, ! indicates that I heartily recommend it.)
The link takes you to the list that's hyperlinked to short synopses of the actual works.

Well, perusing this list I see that I've read (carry the one...) 41 of the recommended 100. I notice that some of these are short-stories or novellas (unless the authors went back and made full-length novels of them, as I know Orson Scott Card did with Ender's Game). Some of these I know I've read, but couldn't give you a synopsis without checking the link. Some of them still burn brightly in my memory. Some of these I've read quite recently. For example, I finished The Earth Abides (#10) just last Friday. I picked it up in Barnes & Noble a couple of weeks ago on a whim. James Blish's A Case of Conscience I read about six months ago. I picked it up in the local used book store.

Many of these books, I'm afraid, have suffered somewhat from age. The Earth Abides was published in 1954, and it's an interesting look into the worldview of the time, but some of the scenes jangle from being fifty years old. The Gray Lensman (#22) is classic space-opera - and just not my style. But most of these, I'll bet, hold their own, regardless of age. I never tire of re-reading DUNE (#3), or Starship Troopers (#5). Everyone, I'm sure, has some argument with some selection on the list. Mine is with Dhalgren (#66). I really shouldn't say I've read it, since I quit about 2/3rds of the way through. My brother got to the next to last page and quit.

Whatever people see in it eludes me.

I would have put The Moon is a Harsh Mistress on the list LONG before The Puppet Masters (#73). I've read pretty much everything Heinlein wrote, and IMHO Mistress is a far better and more important work.

Now, if I'm going to recommend one book for someone with little to no experience in Science Fiction, it's going to be an anthology of short stories and novellas - The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. I. It contains Flowers for Algernon, (#63) and 25 other superlative pieces, most by authors mentioned above. Thankfully, it's back in print again (as I hug my 1970 edition hardcover copy.)

One thing I can say, I need to read some more of Philip K. Dick. All I've read of his work is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the novel that inspired the film Bladerunner.

In case you haven't noticed, I love Science Fiction.

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