Sunday, March 11, 2007

Me and SF

In addition to the political blogs, I like to read science and math blogs. Note the stuff on evolution over on the right hand side. Check it out. One excellent blog that I've recently discovered, and that I strongly recommend is Good Math, Bad Math, by Mark Chu-Carroll. Check it out. I'll get it up on my blog roll soon as well. As an aside, although I've only come across Mark's blog in the past couple of months, I've read him a lot in the past. I used to read the Usenet group a great deal, back in the 90's. He was quite a prolific, and knowledgeable writer on that group. When I saw a post of his, it was nearly always very much worth reading. His blog is every bit as worth reading, although a lot of it is only of interest to math and science geeks like myself.

Enough preamble. This post on Good Math, Bad Math is in response to a list of the 50 most important works of science fiction in the past 50 years (although in true math/science fashion that is apparently with a +/- unknown delta). Apparently, the list was started by PZ Myers on pharyngula. Check it out. So, I decided I'd add my comments on what I've read as well. The books, I've read are in bold.

  1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

    Brilliant work. The world would be a poorer place without Tolkien

  2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov

  3. Dune, Frank Herbert

  4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein

  5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin

  6. Neuromancer, William Gibson

  7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke

  8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick

  9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley

  10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

  11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe

  12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.

  13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov

  14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras

  15. Cities in Flight, James Blish

  16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett

    While I haven't read The Colour of Magic, I have read a lot of Prathett. He is great. Douglas Adams for fantasy. And the beauty of Discworld is that Pratchett has a huge supply of possible characters. He won't grow tired of them as I feel sure Adams did with his set.

  17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison

  18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison

  19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester

  20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany

  21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey

  22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card

  23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson

  24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman

  25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl

  26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling

  27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

  28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson

  29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice

  30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin

  31. Little, Big, John Crowley

  32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny

    Partially highlighted because I haven't read Lord of Light, but I have read, and loved, Princes of Amber. Zelazny is worth reading

  33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick

  34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement

  35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon

  36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith

  37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute

  38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke

  39. Ringworld, Larry Niven

  40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys

  41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien

    This is more of a reference work about Middle Earth than a novel. If read from that perspective (and you have any interest in that perspective) it is quite worth reading

  42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut

  43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson

  44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner

    I have started this book a few times. I have never finished it. I recall it having promise, but it never caught my attention. That actually says a lot, because I rarely fail to finish a book.

  45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester

  46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein

  47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock

  48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks

  49. Timescape, Gregory Benford

  50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Ok, that's 29 of 50, over half, close to 60%. Not a complete geek, but fairly serious.



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