2011-08-11 09:18 pm

NPR's Sci-Fi Book List

Bold if you've read, italicize ones you fully intend to read, underline if it's a book or series you've read part but not all of.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
22. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
23. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood

24. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
25. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

26. The Stand, by Stephen King
27. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
28. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

29. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
30. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
31. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
32. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey Never held my interest for long
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley - I don't think I finished it. I wasn't enjoying it
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien Tried - failed
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis
2011-07-22 11:23 am
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Writer's Block: FWB

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Feel like I'm using the writer's blocks to just make me post something. Without having had the experience myself, obvious potential complications

1) The benefits aren't very good and get in the way of the friendship
2) One starts thinking of it as something more than FWB
3) It's not exclusive which can be risky if eith or both are hooking-up outside of it
4) Expectations of benefits can get in the way of personal freedom. They aren't your only friend and just because they want a booty call doesn't mean you have to put out. Of course, I suppose that's an issue even in a non-FWB relationship.
2011-07-19 09:37 am
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Writer's Block: A novel idea

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Ooh.. I like this one. It has to be a book with a definite visual style, something practically unique. I'd probably choose Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan which is kerosenepunk World War I with fierce kerosene powered robots fighting bioengineered flying whales.
2011-02-24 10:56 am
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Writer's Block: Love is a battlefield

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This is a fun one.



This first song was originally designed to be a parody of Bob Dylan's music, which was very popular at the time, but it's just a great song about two people together
Stealers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle With You


On the other hand, this song is about it being my friends' wedding as this is a popular joke song that we've had play at every one so far
Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Round


This is a more recent acquisition for my collection and it's not really danceable, but during the conversation portion I'd want to fit this one in
Ray LaMontagne - Forever My Friend


The last two are selfish first our first dance song. Difficult and my wife's dress kept tripping her up
Louis Armstrong -We Have All the Time in the World


This was the last dance at our own wedding 'nuff said
B.B. King & Eric Clapton - Come Rain Come Shine
2011-02-08 02:19 pm
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Writer's Block: The winning ticket

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Hmm.. I guess paying off the house doesn't count. Once I get done setting up the college fund for my son, taking care of outstanding debts, taxes and general investing stuff, probably I'd buy the new car I've not been able to decide on for the past year.
2011-01-04 11:11 am

Jeffxandra's Book Awards for 2010

Okay, so I give awards based upon books I read in 2010, not on when they were actually released. I read 149 books (including children's & manga) last year. Feel free to pipe up on the ones you've read. I don't have a paid account so no polls. :)

Best Fiction Book I Read This Year: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Best Non-Fiction Book IRTY: The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land by Thomas Asbridge

Best Book IRTY that (I hope) Doesn't Make Me Sound Like a Pretentious Twit: Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron - by Jasper Fforde

Best Anthology IRTY: Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Best Book (Not From My Childhood) IRTY to Matt: The Runaway Mummy: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex

Best Manga/Graphic Novel: Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba

Harry Turtledove Award for "Why Am I Still Reading This?: The Full Metal Panic series by Shouji Gatou. I gave up on this one after the end of the first series. A mess of poor artwork and storytelling.

Everyone Else Loved it But I Didn't: American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham. Wasn't really bad, just ordinary.

Everyone Else Loved it But I Didn't (Sci-Fi/Fantasy): Boneshaker by Cherie Priest - I'm not actually sure everyone loved it, but it does get mentioned on popular steampunk book lists so I guess it's true. Summer action movie quality; that's not an endorsement. Try the Leviathan (admittedly more kerosene than steampunk) series instead

Author Everyone Loves Who Didn't Impress Me: China Mieville. This is a bit disingenuous because I do want to read more of his stuff, but The City & The City took a great concept and failed on the execution.

Worst Book: The Coming Economic Armageddon by David Jeremiah- Poor grasp of economics plus bad biblical scholarship equals a recipe for disaster

The full list. Manga just listed once regardless of the number of volumes )
2010-10-18 09:21 am
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Hey [livejournal.com profile] mscongeniality

Please tell me you caught Friday's Batman Brave & the Bold
2010-09-07 03:37 pm
2010-06-30 10:17 pm

Half Way Through the Year and I've Read Too Much Already

Well it's June 30th and I just finished a book. Might as well see how things are going this year

1. My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon - P.N. Elrod (ed)
2. The Partly Cloudy Patriot - Sarah Vowell
3. Death from the Skies: These are the ways the world will end - Philip Plait
4. Root and Branch: Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and the Struggle to End Segregation - Rawn James Jr.
5. Taking on the System: Rules for Change in the Digital Era: Markos Moulitsas Zuniga
6. Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afganistan and Pakisatan - Greg Mortenson
7. Heavy Metal Pulp: Pleasure Model: Netherworld Book One - Christopher Rowley
8. Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry for your.. Brains - Ryan Mecum
9. Eye of the Red Tsar: A Novel of Suspense - Sam Eastland
10. The Vesuvius Club: A Bit of Fluff - Mark Gatiss
11. The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church - John Allen
12. The Crusades: An Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land - Thomas Asbridge
13. Storm Front - Jim Butcher*
14. Grave Peril - Jim Butcher*
15. Death Masks - Jim Butcher*
16. Turn Coat - Jim Butcher *
17. Changes - Jim Butcher
18. Residential Construction Management - Joseph A. Griffin
19. American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House - Jon Meacham
20. Bel Canto - Ann Patchett
21. Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman
22. Sir Apropros of Nothing - Peter David
23. The Prayer Amendment: A Satire of Southern Politics and Religion - Dennis Hale
24. New World Monkeys: A Novel - Nancy Mauro
25. Red November: Inside the Secret U.S.-Soviet Submarine War - W. Craig Reed
26. Spice & Wolf Vol 1 - Isuna Hasekura
27. Inherent Vice - Thomas Pynchon
28. The City & the City - China Mieville

* Rereads
Add on 68 (egad!) manga volumes and five children's books to get 101 total, yeesh.

Best Book I've Read So Far This Year - The Crusades
Best Fiction Book IRSFTY - Bel Canto
Worst Book IRSFTY - My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon
Worst Non-Fiction IRSFTY (also happens to be written by a guy who can probably kick my ass) - Red November
Best Manga Volume IRSFTY - Death Note Vol 12
Worst Manga Volume IRSFTY - Full Metal Panic Vol 5
2010-05-06 01:18 pm

Now this is odd

So I'm going down to visit my sister (and others) this weekend and I decided to try the increasingly unreliable Google maps, since I haven't been to visit her since she moved.


10. Follow signs for I-95 S/Richmond and merge onto Henry G Shirley Memorial Hwy 0.6 mi
11. Merge onto I-95 S 12.2 mi
12. Take exit 156 toward State Route 784 E/Rippon Landing 1.1 mi
13. Follow signs for Rest Area 0.6 mi
14. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-95 S and merge onto I-95 S 70.9 mi
15. Take exit 84B for I-295 toward


Are they ordering me to take a rest midway through the trip?
2010-04-16 03:25 pm

I asked for it

so [livejournal.com profile] charliesmum did a Shag, Marry, Cliff meme and I said, "sure, why not!"

Then she threw me a curve. )

So comment if you want to be tagged for some inexplicable reason.
2010-02-27 10:02 pm
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Writer's Block: My word

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This one's pretty easy for me. David Foster Wallace wrote with power, efficacy, and insight with a unique style to which I could only hope to aspire.

One of my favorite quotes from him is about language itself

"When I say or write something, there are actually a whole lot of different things I am communicating. The propositional content (i.e., the verbal information I'm trying to convey) is only one part of it. Another part is stuff about me, the communicator. Everyone knows this. It's a function of the fact there are so many different well-formed ways to say the same basic thing, from e.g. "I was attacked by a bear!" to "Goddamn bear tried to kill me!" to "That ursine juggernaut did essay to sup upon my person!" and so on."
2010-02-19 10:10 am

Yellow Blues

(a.k.a. and git off my lawn while yer at it!)

I tend to think of myself as open to change and advancement, and I don't want you to think that I don't like the change I'm about to discuss. It's just that it's mundane yet remarkable.

Yesterday we got our new yellow pages book. Its cover claims it's the "new greener, smaller" yellow pages, but the fact is that all three dimensions were slashed because many people don't use phone books any more. All of the information you'd find (and ore) is now available through a web search. Why go through the hassle of digging out a phone book an pouring through the pages?

It's not that I miss the old phone book for its seeming compilation of all the phone numbers in the world, country, state, larger metropolitan area, rather I miss it for being the booster seat, the climbing stool, the bridge support, the dangling cliff of my childhood.

Matt will likely never get to experience that uniquely aureolin aspect of childhood.
2010-01-04 10:58 pm

Everyone else is doing it

Okay, so I did read a good deal last year. This is (almost) all the books, including what I read to Matt and the manga.

Behold the mighty cut! )

Now onto the awards

Best Fiction Book I Read This Year: 2666 by Roberto Bolano
Best Non-Fiction Book IRTY: Consider the Lobster and Other Essays by David Foster Wallace
Best Book IRTY that Doesn't Make Me Sound Like a Pretentious Twit: The Graveyard Book - by Neil Gaiman
Best Anthology IRTY: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
Best Book (Not From My Childhood) IRTY to Matt: Someone Bigger by Jonathan Emmett
Best Manga/Graphic Novel: Skip Beat - True Watchmen is probably better overall, but I had read it before.

Best Book that Made Me Reconsider the Author: Anathem by Neal Stephenson. I hated Cryptonomicon but I gave Anathem a shot and loved it. So I tried Snow Crash which was okay. I'm willing to try some more of his stuff now

Harry Turtledove Award for "Why Am I Still Reading This?: The Vatta's War series by Elizabeth Moon. She managed to make space opera dull.

Everyone Else Loved it But I Didn't: The Shack by William P. Young. I magnanimously gave it 2 stars because the author really means well. But he can't write and he can't break out of his own little christian paradigm.

Everyone Else Loved it But I Didn't (Sci-Fi/Fantasy): The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. It's okay, I suppose, but the characters did not have the style of Ocean's 11 and were all career criminals. There was no one to root for in this book.

Author Everyone Loves Who Didn't Impress Me: Charlaine Harris. Didn't read any of her novels, but several short stories were disappointing enough.

Worst Book: Kurohime Vol 1 by Kakatura Masanori - Pretty much every bad anime trope you can think of can be found here.

I didn't like it but you might: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs. I kinda knew what I was getting into with this one, not so much a mystery as a procedural and lots of gory detail. Still, I felt the setting fell flat, but if you like CSI-esque stuff, it's worth checking out.
2009-12-14 02:13 pm

Before I forget

Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] iridium_wolf, [livejournal.com profile] sirlyric, and my nephew Jonah, who doesn't actually have an LJ making this particular portion irrelevant.
2009-10-28 01:24 pm

Don't Know How I Do It

I go to a Star Wars game and end up making a Shadowrun character.
2009-10-28 10:39 am

50 books a year?

A non-LJ friend of mine set himself a goal of reading 50 books a year excluding children's books he reads to his kids. So I figured I'd go ahead and see how I'd do on that. My own goal was to read City Paper's 10 Best of 2008 which I've not quite finished, but I'm close.

In addition to the children's book exclusion, I'm also excluding manga volumes. I've read about 70 of those this year. However I am including some other graphic novels.

In order of reading

1. A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge
2. The Sunday Philosophy Club - Alexander McCall Smith
3. Penance: Relentless - Paul Jenkins @
4. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
5. Mistress of the Art of Death - Ariana Franklin
6. Friends, Lovers, Chocolate - Alexander McCall Smith
7. On Her Majesty's Occult Service - Charles Stross
8. The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
9. Tears of the Giraffe - Alexander McCall Smith
10. Consider the Lobster and Other Essays - David Foster Wallace
11. Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri*
12. Watchmen - Alan Moore^@
13. Dead Beat - Jim Butcher^
14. Proven Guilty - Jim Butcher^
15. The Annotated Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum
16. White Night - Jim Butcher^
17. Small Favor - Jim Butcher^
18. Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard - Richard Brody*
19. Turn Coat - Jim Butcher
20. Choke - Chuck Palahniuk
21. 2666 - Roberto Bolano*
22. Welcome to the Jungle - Jim Butcher @
23. Batman/Grendel - Matt Wagner @
24. Pride of Baghdad - Brian K. Vaughn @
25. Hard Driving: The Wendel Scott Story - Brian Donovan*
26. The Invention of Everything Else - Samantha Hunt*
27. The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett
28. The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
29. Mean Streets - Anthology
30. The Field Guide - Holly Black
31. The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch
32. Red Seas Under Red Skies - Scott Lynch
33. Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad - Frances Moore Lappe
34. Lush Life: A Novel - Richard Price*
35. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
36. The Shack - William P. Young
37. My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding - Anthology
38. Many Bloody Returns - Anthology
39. Backup - Jim Butcher
40. 7th Sea Player's Guide - Multiple Authors ^
41. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer
42. Blood Lite - Anthology
43. Nation - Terry Pratchett*
44. Anathem - Neal Stephenson*
45. Trading in Danger - Elizabeth Moon
46. Marque and Reprisal - Elizabeth Moon
47. Deja Dead - Kathy Reichs
48. Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
49. Achewood: The Great Outdoor Fight - Chris Onstad*@

* Baltimore City Paper's 10 Best of 2008 (9 of the 10)
^ Reread in 2009.
@ Graphic Novel
2009-09-09 12:24 pm

Grr...

Apparently there are now ads on my pages when I'm not logged in as me.

Grrr....
2009-07-14 08:04 am