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

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Top 100

So NPR did a "top 100 fantasy and sci-fi" book list as voted on by their audience.  It was picked up as a meme by a chunk of the blogosphere, including here.  At almost every site the complaint was the same - "They picked that? There's no mention of (x)!"

So here's your opportunity.  In the comments, leave your top 10 favorite fantasy and/or sci-fi novels or series.  They don't need to be in order.  Assuming this draws enough response, I'll try to combine all the responses into a real "top 100."  I think the TSM audience is a much better population sample for something like this.

I'll go first.
1.  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A. Heinlein

2.  Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein

3.  Dune - Frank Herbert

4.  The General series - David Drake, S.M. Stirling - the original quintilogy, not the three follow-ons.

5.  The Vorkosigan saga - Lois McMaster Bujold

6.  The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. I - this is cheating, but it is a book I re-read, and I went to a lot of effort to get a copy when one I loaned out never came back.  This is where I first read Flowers for Algernon, and it is by far not the best story in that anthology.

7.  The Hammer's Slammers series - David Drake

8.  The Ring of Fire series - Eric Flint & others.  I also enjoy the Dies the Fire flip-side of this universe.

9.  The Nantucket series - S.M. Stirling

10.  The Past Through Tomorrow:  A Future History - Robert A. Heinlein.  Another anthology, but this one is all Heinlein.
I discovered Sci-Fi at about age 11 - Heinlein's juveniles.  When I was 13 or so, I found The Science Fiction Hall of Fame in the school library.  That was it.  I was hooked for life.  Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and everything else Heinlein wrote followed.  Also Azimov, Clark, etc., though honestly I like Azimov's nonfiction better than his fiction.  While Larry Niven and Jerry Pournell are not represented on this list, I do love their stuff. The Mote in God's Eye and Footfall are favorites, I just don't find myself re-reading them.

This list represents the books that I re-read on a relatively regular basis - books I've literally worn out and had to replace.  I read a lot of other stuff, both fiction and non-fiction, but Sci-Fi is my preferred genre.  SF can be anything, from pulp to high literature, bodice-ripper to deepest, darkest horror.  Science Fiction is the ultimate "what-if?"

One more:

11.  Empire of the East - Fred Saberhagen.

So, what are yours?

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