Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Book news! Part 1

Town names streets after the Discworld. Wincanot in Somerset is not only twinned with the Discworld city of Ankh Morpork but has also named two streets after Ankh Morpok streets - Treacle Mine Road and Peach Pie Street.
That, is brilliant. I want to move there.

On a book related matter, The Guardian has done a list called 1000 books you must read before you die. They have a sci fi section, so i got interested. Here's the list and my thoughts on the books:

Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979). Some of the later books were better.

Brian W Aldiss: Non-Stop (1958) Don't know it. Mutated rats sound interesting though.
Isaac Asimov: Foundation (1951) After I tried to read the book with the crazy computer named Hal in I decided I hated Asimov.
Margaret Atwood: The Blind Assassin (2000) Really not keen on The Handmaid's tale, I do not like her writing style. Therefore have been put off reading anything else.
Paul Auster: In the Country of Last Things (1987) Haven't read but it sounds really good. And has a female protagonist. Rock on.

Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory (1984) Read when I was 16 (or thereabouts) and loved it. Skipped to the end early cos I was desperate to find out the plot twist and have never done that again. Would love to re-read.
Iain M Banks: Consider Phlebas (1987) Not interested in his SF stuff, but the boyfriend loves it.
Clive Barker: Weaveworld (1987) Isn't he a horror director?
Nicola Barker: Darkmans (2007) Set in Kent, near where I grew up. Could be worth a go.
Stephen Baxter: The Time Ships (1995) Ugh, sequel to the Time Machine. I hope he writes better than Wells.
Greg Bear: Darwin's Radio (1999) Again, boyfriend loves Bear, I haven't found any interest in him myself though.

Alfred Bester: The Stars My Destination (1956) This an SF masterworks book I think. is on my list of books to read.
Poppy Z Brite: Lost Souls (1992) Vampires and rock and roll. Sounds awful.
Algis Budrys: Rogue Moon (1960) Sounds blah.
Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita (1966) I've read this one. The second half was much much more enjoyable than the first story. If you try it, keep at it, don't lose heart too quickly.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton: The Coming Race (1871) Apparently the city of Vril-ya inspired Bovril. Not interested, written too long ago.
Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Orange (1960) Last time I tried to watch this I was meant to be high but just ended up depressed (not because of the film). I don't think I should bother.
Anthony Burgess: The End of the World News (1982) Not interested, see A Clockwork Orange.
Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Princess of Mars (1912) Burroughs has always tempted me.
William Burroughs: Naked Lunch (1959) Tried to read this. Failed.
Octavia Butler: Kindred (1979) This sounds awesome:
Butler's fourth novel throws African American Dana Franklin back in time to the early 1800s, where she is pitched into the reality of slavery and the individual struggle to survive its horrors. Butler single-handedly brought to the SF genre the concerns of gender politics, racial conflict and slavery.
Samuel Butler: Erewhon (1872) I should have read this at Uni, doing my Utopias and Dystopias module. Victorian, so i reckoned I wouldn't like the style and I picked up Ursula Le Guin instead.
Italo Calvino: The Baron in the Trees (1957) This sounds great. Fantasy about a boy living in a tree and the French Revolution. Great!
Ramsey Campbell: The Influence (1988) Horror. I don't need to read horror, or I shouldn't read it anyway....
Lewis Carroll: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) Read as a child of course. Wouldn't like it now.
Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871) As above, except I don't think I ever read it.
Angela Carter: Nights at the Circus (1984) Now Carter is good. I should read this.
Michael Chabon: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000) About comics maybe? Is it worth reading?
Arthur C Clarke: Childhood's End (1953) Maybe I meant Clarke when I commented on Asimov earlier?
GK Chesterton: The Man Who Was Thursday (1908) Hmm. Could be OK, but probably written too long ago for me.
Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (2004) Nowhere near as good as it was hyped to be. I found the experience rather frustrating.
Michael G Coney: Hello Summer, Goodbye (1975) Long summers, long winters, i'd like this. :)
Douglas Coupland: Girlfriend in a Coma (1998) Umm...no. This would be too close to the bone I reckon.
Mark Danielewski: House of Leaves (2000) Started reading, gave up. Not captured at all.
Marie Darrieussecq: Pig Tales (1996) Could be good. Could be explicitly feminist hamemring you over the head with it's ideologies. I've had enough of books like those (hello, 50% of the output of the women's press)
Samuel R Delaney: The Einstein Intersection (1967) Never heard of it.
Philip K Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) This sucks.
Philip K Dick: The Man in the High Castle (1962) I like alternate universe stuff. This could be good, but Dick is every hit and miss.
Umberto Eco: Foucault's Pendulum (1988) I studied Foucault at Uni. Bloody difficult theory and the poor translation didn't help. I doubt I will pick this up.
Michel Faber: Under the Skin (2000) "can also be read as an allegory of animal rights" That interests me.
John Fowles: The Magus (1966) Never heard of the book or the author.
Neil Gaiman: American Gods (2001) Ahh yes! Awesome, made of win, recommended, you have to buy, etc etc.a His best book.
Alan Garner: Red Shift (1973) I think I've read this. I've read a lot of his other stuff and it is excellent. Recommended.
William Gibson: Neuromancer (1984) Too hyped for me to accept.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Herland (1915) Love love love. Everyone should read. Its so..leafy.
William Golding: Lord of the Flies (1954) spit hack spit. Hate this. Hate it with a passion. Studied it at school. Fucking rubbish. I remember thinking that I had no interest in it because there was no way I was going to identify with the boys in the book. No way at all.

Parts 2 and 3 to come. I have flicked through them and ma very surprised to see there are no Discworld books in there. And no George R R Martin. I would also add in Sheri S Tepper - the margarets, or Beauty too.


Sky_of_Blue said...

Egad, Greg Bear. His books make great doorstops. ;-)

SallyP said...

Egad, I guess I'd better start reading Science Fiction, because I have read exactly THREE of the books on that list.

Egad is SUCH a fun word to say.

Sarah Benwell said...

How did you find Waiting for Godot? I saw them on the 3rd. Hope you were as starstruck, and as enthralled with performances as I was.