10 August 2010

Recommendations from the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide - Science Fiction Novels

I picked up a copy of the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guides 100 Must Read Science Fiction Novels. Here are quite a few of it's recommendations:
  1. Brian Aldiss - Hothouse
  2. J.G. Ballard - Super-Cannes & Drowned World
  3. Stephen Baxter - Moonseed
  4. Poul Anderson - Tau Zero
  5. Alfred Bester - The Demolished Man & The Stars My Destination
  6. James Blish - A Case of Conscience
  7. C.M. Kornbluth - The Syndic
  8. Algis Bundrys - Rogue Moon
  9. Lester Del Ray - Police Your Planet
  10. Pat Cadigan - Synners
  11. Jake Womack - Ambient
  12. John Campbell - The Collected Short Stories
  13. A.E Van Vogt - The World of Null-A
  14. Harlan Ellison - From the Land of Fear (features the story "Soldier" which was made into Terminator)
  15. Harry Harrison - Make Room! Make Room! (filmed as Soylent Green)
  16. K.W. Jeter - Dr Adder
  17. Ursula K. Le Guin - The Left Hand of Darkness & The Dispossessed
  18. Stanislaw Lem - Solaris (I saw the 2002 film recently and hated it...)
  19. Maureen F. McHugh - China Moutain Zhang
  20. David Brin - The Postman
  21. Walter M. Miller - A Canticle for Leibowitz (I've read essays on and tributes to, but never the actual story...)
  22. C.L. Moore - Black Gods and Scarlet Dreams (a collection of shorts apparently)
  23. Richard Morgan - Altered Carbon
  24. Frederik Pohl - Man Plus
  25. Tanith Lee - Biting the Sun
  26. Joanna Russ - The Female Man
  27. Robert Sheckley - Immortality Inc
  28. Lucius Shepard - Life During Wartime
  29. John Shirley - City Come A-Walkin'
  30. Cordwainer Smith - Norstrila
  31. Vernor Vinge - A Fire Upon the Deep
Notice how a few of these books are actually short story collections? Fuckwits. Mostly, the recommendations were either books I've already read, or the worst examples of populist rubbish, media tie-ins (ugh) and really old crap that barely scrapes in as SF (fricken Frankenstein is one of them.)

Just remembered and want to note down, I am trying to get to reading the following, even though I have 4 books open with bookmarks, and am also in the middle of two short collections (Eclipse Two edited by Jonathan Strahan and Moonstories by Elizabeth Moon):
  • Lois McMaster Bujold - The Vorksagian series (on my iPod atm, just got the newest book and need to catch up by 3 books that I haven't read yet.)
  • Robert J Sawyer - Hominids (serialised in Asimov's or analog, I have this but haven't read it yet, I was trying to find cover images to go with the text files that i have of these editions.)
  • Connie Willis - The Doomsday Book (I've gotten this out a few times, but never gotten to reading it. Connie is great though.)
  • Frederik Pohl - Gateway and sequels (The HeeChee series, which I read years and years ago, totally loved and can't remember any of except that it has something to do with Venus? I remember very clearly reading a short story recently in a big fat Collected Works volume of F. Pohl in which a destitute spacer makes the most of a bad situation, saves the baddy even though he is a prick and discovers a Hee Chee artifact that changes his life forever. And he wins the girl, I'm pretty sure.)
On that note, I am going to head home. I wasn't going to stop  to write today, but I wanted to return the stupid guide book and had forgotten to write the books that i wanted to read down, so I did. You just read it. Ha!

PS - I hate it when someone is writing a short story, and then wraps it up really quickly but leaves me feeling like I must have missed something that made it make sense, so I read it again, but I didn't miss anything. The writer just wrapped up too quickly and all of the hints at deeper meaning went nowhere. Fuck. That really shts me off.