• May 2018
    M T W T F S S
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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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Anyone have any favorite authors or books they like to recommend? I’m always interested to find some more stuff to read :D Any genre, fantasy, sci-fi, non-fiction, mystery you name it.

I realized that since I’ve only been writing about authors and books I like the only thing I’ve been saying about them is “they’re good”.  Which means everything I’ve written about is good, so there’s been nothing saying it’s not good.  But the thing is I just don’t feel like writing about books I didn’t like, cause they just don’t interest me. 

Here goes, but its hard trying to remember the names of some I didn’t like…oh I found this one in my office and took it to the gym with me one day while I was riding a bike and wow, I could not get into it.  It felt like it was written by someone with poorer writing skills then me. XD  The name is Blackstaff, a Forgotten Realms novel by Steven E. Schend.  I got through 60 pages and have not picked it back up.  It’s been on a shelf since I got here over a year and a half ago and no one knows where it came from, and it’s been sitting there since long before I arrived XD

 The thing is, I’ve never been able to get into any of the Forgotten Realms novels, I’ve read 2 or 3 now but they never really left much of an impact.  I’m not really sure why but they just felt blah to me.  I like playing D&D Forgotten Realms based adventures but I don’t know much of anything about its lore.  But I’ve known lots of people who really enjoy the series so I guess it’s just my tastes is all.

I don’t watch the news as much as I should so I didn’t know he had died
this March until a few days ago. It’s very sad to hear that he’s gone
now, Rendezvous with Rama was the first Science Fiction book I read. I
don’t remember how old I was, but I remember the sense of exploration it
filled me with, which started me on my quest to read as many “classic”
sci-fi writers as I could. Unfortunately though, the public library in
my town had a dismally small sci-fi section and an even smaller fantasy
one. yay censorship… But because of the lack of newer fiction I ended
up reading a bunch of older works like War and Peace and 1984.

Let’s see, besides Rendezvous with Rama I’ve read Childhood’s End, Rama
II, 2001, and The Garden of Rama, but I still haven’t read the last
installment of the Rama novels. I keep forgetting to grab it while I’m
out. XD

Arthur C. Clark on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Clark

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I stopped at the thrift store around here and today was $1.00 for a bag of books day!  I think I bought the store out of their entire selection of fantasy and sci-fi books XD  I got a whole bunch of new authors to check out, I can’t wait! ^^

Let’s see, David Weber, Tad Williams, C.J. Cherryh to name a few.  And I found 10 Writers of the Future books going back to 1985, I hit the jackpot XD  Oh and a Contemporary American Short Stories book with 23 stories in it.  Yay!

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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He’s the author of The Golden Compass, which I’m sure a fair few people have seen. I wasn’t very happy with the movie though, and wished they had made it a 3hr movie, maybe 3 and a half so that the whole thing didn’t feel so rushed, like Star Dust.

But the books are incredible. I really like his take on the soul, consciousness and our connection to others. I also really love steampunk, which in my opinion is a completely under appreciated genre. But unfortunately most of the movies in the genre didn’t do so well, like Wild, Wild West.

So my recommendation is to read the books if you didn’t like the movie, and read them if you did ^^
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I haven’t read anything by her for a while, but I’ve re-read several of her book. The first books of hers I read were the Dragon Prince trilogy. It’s the first of two trilogies that complete the series, the second is called the Dragon Star trilogy. The books in order are The Dragon Prince, The Star Scroll, Sunrunner’s Fire, then Stronghold, The Dragon Token and lastly Skybowl. It’s a pretty epic series like the Wheel of Time, but not similar in writing or anything, just in the feel of the mammoth plot.

The characters are very well rounded and even the bad guys you kind of come to empathize with because of the detail she goes into. But that doesn’t in any way make what they do acceptable, it just makes their actions logical, or at least you can see how they came to their decisions. I’ve read some books that had a really weird feel cause the author wasn’t very good at character detail and background, so when a character did something it felt weird because you knew nothing about them to be able to know if they would or wouldn’t have realistically done it. But then there are some authors like Robert Jordan who can bog you down in to much detail, the books are still good, but who really cares if the old abandoned farm house has some moss growing in a corner, it’s not relevant to the plot. Sure some people say that’s nice, it allows you to get in the world more, but as far as I’m concerned the best authors in the world can paint you a vivid picture with very few words. Kurt Vonnegut for instance, none of his books are long at all, but the amount of info that he conveys is immense.

The world is very detailed with an interesting magic system. I’ve found I like new or different takes on magic, I find it very appealing and refreshing. This one, the mages have elemental control, but their power is obtained through the sun, moon and stars. But the most commonly used is the sun, hence Sunrunners. The description of how it’s used is that they can travel on the suns rays to communicate and to look at things far away. The only limitation is cloud cover, if your path is inadvertently cut off from where their mind is to their body your mind is lost or essentially their consciousness. And the description of them weaving the sunlight creates this incredible stained glass window image in your head.
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The series of hers that is my favorite is called the Exiles. Though the third book hasn’t been published yet. This series also has an interesting magic system and lore. I’m personally big on mythology and lore of ancient cultures so I appreciate when an author puts some time into theirs.

The first book is called The Ruins of Ambrai, and it follows 3 sisters who don’t their sisters at first. There is so much that goes on that it’s kind of difficult to sum up in a paragraph or two. XD The second is The Mageborn Traitor and the third, The Captal’s Tower. But the third book isn’t out yet.

I recommend both series, especially The Exiles.
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For anyone who doesn’t know about the electronic paper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_paper is this really cool stuff that they make newer e-book readers out of that mimics paper print in that it’s not stressful on the eyes like a normal monitor/CRT/LCD is, in fact it’s supposed to be as easy to read as a book. This technology is welcome news to my eyes cause I like many others suffer eye fatigue from staring at a computer screen all day. It gets so bad sometimes that my eye starts twitching, which is really frustrating and annoying. One time it go so bad I was having trouble even focusing on stuff that wasn’t even on a computer screen. That’s one of the things that’s been holding me back from getting an e-book reader, is because of the strain it can cause. I like reading a book to give my eyes a chance to relax from 12+ hrs on a computer a day.

I just read up on e-paper and from wikipedia it seems there are only a couple with the “true” e-paper; the Kindle and the iRex iLiad. I’m not sure if all the others are “true e-paper” or not but I’ve know a couple people who’ve owned e-book readers and the one they said they liked the least was the Sony PRS-500 Portable Reader System. They didn’t like the select functions and they didn’t like the battery life.

Anyone know of any they’d recommend?

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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