• February 2019
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Don't Panic!
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Adams wrote “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, which I’m sure a few people have heard of since it got made into a movie recently. I haven’t actually seen the movie yet, and don’t plan to, my hubby saw it and said it was so-so. Anyways, the books…HHGTTG is the first in the 5 book series that spans millennial and is all about Life, the Universe and Everything.  It’s basically a satirical view of the world, that in my opinion is second to none.

The five books in order are “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”; “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe”;”Life, the Universe and Everything”; “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish” and “Mostly Harmless”.  Oh, and there is a sort of 6th book in the series, it’s called the “Salmon of Doubt”, it was published after Adams passed away, and contains a bunch of material he wrote but that hadn’t been published.

The series basically follows Arthur Dent, a pretty average human (though a little dense), through all these events that he just kind of goes through.  Much the same way that life picks most of us up and carries us along whether we were ready for it to or not.  Some of the other characters are a fellow human Trillian McMillan, Ford Prefect an alien friend of Arthur’s,  Zaphod Beeblebrox, a two headed alien who was once the President of the Galaxy, and Marvin, a depressed robot with the intelligence of 50,000 humans.

My favorite is “The Restaurant”, because he tells about how humans came to inhabit the earth, and also where Dent learns how to fly.   I’ll tell you the secret to flying: Jump at the ground, but miss.  ^^

This series I consider a must read by all sci-fi fans and non-fans alike…you’re truely missing out on a chance to get to know the human race a bit more if you don’t read these books.

Oh, one of the very first computer games I ever played was the HHGTTG text adventure, which you can now find hosted online on a number of sites.  I recommend the BBC hosted one, they’ve given it a fun face lift but it’s still the same old game.  Check it out here.  For those of you who have never played a text based adventure, you type in the command, like in the beginning you’re in a dark room, you might want to try to get out of bed first, by typing “get up” (don’t type the ” “).  Then since it’s dark in the room, try “turn on the light”.  I reccomend the BBC one cuase they’ve got a nice little this is how you play the game section.  I will say, I never managed to beat the game till I got a guide XD Text based adventures are some of the hardest and most frustrating games I’ve ever played, but sooooo addicting XD  ZORK ftw!

Compilation HHGTTG
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This is one of the more popular publications of the book. It’s hard bound in a bible-like style, it contains all 5 of the books.

Fairlady-z posted a couple days ago about Ray Bradbury in my Suggestions? post. Hopefully many of us have had to read something of Bradbury’s in an English class at some point or other, or maybe even was shown some clips from The Ray Bradbury Theater . He’s noted as being “one of America’s best speculative fiction writers of the 20th century” (wikipedia, Ray Bradbury). He’s an incredibly prolific writer having written hundreds of short stories, a dozen or so novels, and poetry and plays galore. Plus “he adapted 65 of his stories” for The Ray Bradbury Theater.

I have Bradbury Stories: 100 of his most Celebrated Tales as well as his most famous Fahrenheit 451. I really liked By the Numbers!, Colonel Stonesteel’s Genuine Home-made Truly Egyptian Mummy, Bright Phoenix and June 2001: And the Moon Be Still As Bright out of the 100 tales book. And I am very glad that we have authors like Bradbury, Huxley and Orwell because they teach us to keep an eye on the way the world is going. It’s every ones responsibility to keep our governments in check because they’re not gonna do it on there own.

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Shadowrun is an RPG (Role Playing Game) is heavily influenced by Gibson’s vision of the future, where corporations hire “shadowrunners” who are basically mercenaries for hire who have specialized skills be it hacking, magic, weaponry or sneaking. They then infiltrate rival companies and either sabotage or steal information as requested by their employer.

Very fun campaign system that makes you think on multiple levels at once because the companies have not only physical security systems but also magical/astral and online ones as well. There are also the traditional fantasy humanoids in this game as well, including Elves, Dwarves and Trolls. They are called metahumans and started appearing as magic began to reemerge into the world.

Oo, I was reading over the wiki article and they have a very good breakdown of why the world (alternate future) happened the way it did:

“The emergence of magic, the outbreak of the VITAS plagues (Virally Induced Toxic Allergy Syndrome), the Computer Crash of 2029 (caused by a complex and nearly unstoppable computer virus called “The Crash Entity”), the Euro-Wars, in which the western-European countries once fought off an invasion from neo-communist Russia and then a pan-Islamic invasion like that of 800 years ago, and the fevers for independence of Amerindian tribes, Chinese provinces, etc. left the world’s governments tumbling and falling. With the fall of the existing political structures, mega-corporations emerged as the new superpowers.” - wikipedia, Shadowrun

Very fun game and is just as fun to read up on the history (future?) of it.

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Yay Cyberpunk! What a rock’n genre, which recently has gained some popularity thanks to the Matrix movies. Gibson is considered the father of cyberpunk and coined the term cyberspace. In fact, a lot of the words that are common vernacular in respect to internet came from his books.

The first book he wrote is Neuromancer, which is the first book in his “Sprawl” trilogy. Neuromancer brought about the concept of the “console cowboy” as well as the matrix used interchangeably with cyberspace, which is “a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions.” (Wikipedia, Neuromancer) and is obviously where the Wachowski brothers got the idea.

Well this sprawl trilogy takes place on near future earth where pretty much everyone is jacked into the matrix for entertainment and education. You can also get cybernetic enhancements and a slot in your head where you can stick in a disk that lets you learn anything (sound familiar?) Also an important thing about the world is that corporations pretty much own and control everything. These corporations conduct armed and covert ops against rival companies in attempts to gain the technology they are producing. It’s a very dog eat dog world, and shows how capitalism could eventually take over everything if not kept in check.

There are also AIs which were built for several reasons, one of which is to maintain the ICE (Intrusion Countermeasure Intrusion) around corporations HQs. One of the themes of Neuromancer is that an AI is trying to get free, so that it can join it’s other half (was split in half by the government for fear of it being to powerful) and become complete. Gibson also uses these “entities” that live in cyberspace which are voodoo like deities who can affect people and data inside cyberspace, possibility even real life too.

Very fun reads which give you this gritty feeling to the world that I’ve not found in any other author I’ve read so far.

William Gibson on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_gibson

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Has written a ton of books, mostly sci-fi but some non sci-fi like a Dinotopia novel. Most of what I’ve read of his is from the Pip & Flinx series. This series is in the far future where humans have colonized many other planets and encountered several other sentient species, the two main being the Thranx and the Aann.
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The Thranx look like gigantic praying mantises, but I imagine them with more rounded segments, like an ant. AS a species they are very peaceful and were the first species we met when we began colonization. It has been so long since we’ve known them that our civilizations merged, made an entirely new language that is easier for human and Thranx alike to learn, live side by side and even have a religion together.

The Aann though have been enemies of the Thranx since long before we met either of them. The Aann are lizard like bipeds who prefer warm dry places.

Flinx is a human from a colony world named Moth that’s been settled for generations. He was an orphan and was adopted by a woman that everyone calls Mother Mastif. As he grows up in a poorer neighborhood he realizes he has “Talents” such as a sporadic telepathy, but most notably empathetic abilities. He begins searching for his parents to try to learn about the abilities and them.

The books are the journeys and encounters on the many worlds he visits. But he gets side tracked after a while by the task of saving the galaxy if not the universe from an almost invisible, but fast approaching doom from the space/darkness between the galaxies.

Very fun with very lovable characters. Pip btw is Flinxes best friend and an Alespian Flying mini dragon. The mini drag species is know for their ability to form empathetic bonds with their companions.

Fun series with great characters, oh and he’s also written a book trilogy called “Lost and Found”, is a funny, witty series that takes place in modern day, and is about a man and his talking dog. XD Very fun stuff.
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I was poking around Amazon and saw this under the sci-fi/fantasy book section so I though I’d see how many of the 100 I’ve read so far.

When I hit #16 I began to wonder if this list is just based on buyer preference or how many of each has sold. If it’s preference it’s a completely relative scale that probably won’t accurately reflect what’s considered by readers, critics and scholars as 100 best Classics, and neither will how many of each has sold because books like Fahrenheit 451 are used constantly in schools and so they sell immense amounts just for class work.

But then I got thinking some more about how to decide what’s the best of anything and I don’t think it’s possible with such a gigantically broad subject as all sci-fi titles.  You’d have to break it down quite a bit to be able to come to any sort of reckoning, because some of the original sci-fi books were revolutionary for their times but they’ve been mimicked to death and now no one likes that type of story.  Then they’re is also different types of sci-fi: far future, space operas, near future, alternative history, contemporary, and so on.

But then who do you get to pick the best?  Scholars?  Fellow Authors?  Readers?  It’s kind of a toss up cause it’s not like there is an exceptionally large body of scholars who specialize in science fiction.  Give it 50 more years and we’ll finally start seeing more classes about it in colleges and more books will become canonized perhaps, but today not so much.

So what I’m getting at is I’m not gonna follow someone else’s list of what’s the best, I’m gonna read as much as I can and decide for myself ^^

I just wish they’d (the industry) would hurry up and make that electronic paper cheaper so we can do away with physical books; they take up to much darn room XD Plus, who the heck doesn’t want to be able to carry around all their books with them all the time.

  1. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury – Read & Own
  2. 1984, George Orwell – Read & Own
  3. Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
  4. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess – Seen the movie, but who hasn’t
  5. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood – Seen the movie
  6. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card - Read & Own
  7. Out of the Silent Planet, C.S. Lewis – Read & Own
  8. Frankenstein, Mary Shelly
  9. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
  10. Dune, Frank Herbert – Read & Own
  11. Speaker for the Dead, OSC – Read & Own
  12. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, Edwin A. Abbott
  13. Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
  14. Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein – Read & Own
  15. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
  16. I Am Ledgend, Richard Matheson – Are the serious?
  17. The Andromeda Strain, Michael Crichton – Read
  18. Lucifer’s Hammer, Larry Niven
  19. Hyperion, Dan Simmons
  20. The Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut
  21. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
  22. A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought), Vernor Vinge
  23. The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks
  24. Xenocide, OSC – Read & Own
  25. Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clark – Read & Own
  26. Caves of Steel (Robot City), Isaac Asimov
  27. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams – Read & Own
  28. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
  29. The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
  30. Foundation, Isaac Asimov
  31. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut – Read & Own
  32. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clark – Read & Own
  33. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin
  34. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein – Read
  35. The Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
  36. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke – Read & Own
  37. Ilium, Dan Simmons
  38. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley Read & Own
  39. A Deepness in the Sky, Vernor Vinge
  40. Ubik, Philip K. Dick
  41. The Diamond Age; Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, Neal Stephenson
  42. Valis, Philip K. Dick
  43. Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton - Read & Own
  44. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
  45. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein - Read & Own
  46. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer
  47. Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes - Read
  48. Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson
  49. Shadow & Claw: The First Half of ‘The Book of the New Sun’, Gene Wolfe
  50. Doomsday Book, Connie Willis
  51. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
  52. Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds
  53. The Dispossessed, Ursula K. LeGuin
  54. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller Jr.
  55. The Door into Summer, Robert Heinlein
  56. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
  57. Neuromancer, William Gibson - Read & Own
  58. The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham
  59. The Reality Dysfunction Par I: Emergence, Peter F. Hamilton
  60. The Gods Themsleves, Isaac Asimov
  61. The Mote in God’s Eye, Larry Niven
  62. Ender’s Shadow, ORS - Read & Own
  63. A Scanner Darkly, Philip K. Dick
  64. A Princess of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs
  65. The Uplift War, David Brin
  66. Solaris, Stanislaw Lem
  67. I, Robot, Isaac Asimov - Read
  68. The Cyberiad, Stanislaw Lem
  69. Citizen of the Galaxy, Robert Heinlein
  70. Burning Chrome, William Gibson - Read & Own
  71. Way Station, Clifford D. Simak
  72. Ringworld, Larry Niven
  73. The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells
  74. The Postmand, David Brin
  75. Time Enough for Love, Robert Heinlein - Read
  76. Startide Rising, David Brin
  77. His Master’s Voice, Stanislaw Lem
  78. Contact, Carl Sagan - Read & Own
  79. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle - Read & Own
  80. The Fountains of Paradise, Arthur C. Clarke
  81. Use of Weapons, Iain M. Banks
  82. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Philip K. Dick
  83. The Incredible Shrinking Man, Richard Matheson
  84. City, Clifford D. Simak
  85. Fiasco, Stanislaw Lem
  86. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
  87. The City and the Stars and the Sands of Mars, Arthur C. Clark
  88. Puppet Masters, Robert Heinlein - Read & Own
  89. Eon, Greg Bear
  90. The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells - Read & Own
  91. The Stainless Steel Trio, Harry Harrison
  92. The Time Machine, H.G. Wells - Read & Own
  93. Gray Lensman, Edward E. Smith
  94. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Vern - Read
  95. Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Jules Verne
  96. Have Space Suit, Will Travel, Robert Heinlein - Read
  97. The Lathe of Heaven, Ursula K. LeGuin
  98. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Mark Twain
  99. Blood Music, Greg Bear
  100. The Chrysalids, David Harrower

31/100 not bad I guess

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