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04 August 2011 @ 10:25 pm
Friday Fun Stuff - Book list meme  
So NPR is doing a "vote for your favorite Science Fiction/Fantasy book" thing.

I apparently missed the nominations earlier, where they apparently got thousands of suggestions, but they've narrowed it down to "a few hundred," or more specifically 237 books and/or series. Now they want people to vote for their top ten favorites from that list, which they're going to use to construct a "top 100" list, presumably ranked, because otherwise the value of narrowing down the list by about 60% is kind of nominal.

Of course this presents the perfect opportunity for one of those "which of this stuff from this list have you read/seen/heard/done" type memes, and i don't see any reason to wait for the ordered list :)

coraa has reminded me that in the past people have usually done these lists by highlighting/bolding/italicizing different lines, but that seems like too much work for me, so i'm just putting a character or two in front of each one as appropriate. Obviously anyone else can use/create whatever system they want.

My notations:

+ = Read it
* = Read it and loved it
- = Read it and didn't like it
- Mostly as in really didn't like it, not just "it was okay" or "meh", but i'll make a few exceptions for books that were hyped a lot beforehand and then underwhelming in the experience.
And of course empty brackets mean that i haven't read it.

And since a lot of these are series:
o = Ongoing. Haven't read most of the series yet, so the judgment isn't (necessarily) final. It's a total judgment call on what cutoff point justifies using this. Certainly if i've read all but the most recent book or two i'm not going to bother.

And although i'm also not going to bother listing all the ones i'd _like_ to read given how directed this list is at my interests, i ran into enough relevant cases that i'm going to add "$", meaning i've bought the damn book but haven't gotten around to reading it yet :)

[+o] - 1632, by Eric Flint
[ ] - 1984, by George Orwell
[+] - 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
[+] - 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
[ ] - The Acts Of Caine Series, by Matthew Woodring Stover
[ ] - The Algebraist, by Iain M. Banks
[ ] - Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan
[ ] - American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
[ ] - Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman
[$] - Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
[+] - Animal Farm, by George Orwell
[ ] - The Anubis Gates, by Tim Powers
[+] - Armor, by John Steakley
[+o] - The Baroque Cycle, by Neal Stephenson
[ ] - Battlefield Earth, by L. Ron Hubbard
[+] - Beggars In Spain, by Nancy Kress
[-o] - The Belgariad, by David Eddings
[*o] - The Black Company Series, by Glen Cook
--- (This is good if you're interested in a dark and modern take on a fantasy series. It's about a mercenary company that starts the series working for the Evil Empire =)
[+] - The Black Jewels Series, by Anne Bishop
[+o] - The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
[+] - Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
[ ] - Bridge Of Birds, by Barry Hughart
[+o] - The Callahan's Series, by Spider Robinson
[+] - A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
[ ] - The Cat Who Walked Through Walls, by Robert Heinlein
[ ] - Cat's Cradle , by Kurt Vonnegut
[ ] - The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
--- (I have read a lot of Asimov's robot short stories, and i have read a lot of Asimov's novels, but so far the twain have not met. (Or i have not met the twain?))
[+] - The Change Series, by S.M. Stirling
[+] - Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
[ ] - Children Of God, by Mary Doria Russell
[*] - The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
[-] - The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
[ ] - The City And The City, by China Mieville
[ ] - City And The Stars, by Arthur C. Clarke
[ ] - A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
[ ] - The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
[+] - The Coldfire Trilogy, by C.S. Friedman
--- (Why oh why did this get selected but not the far better "The Madness Season" or "This Alien Shore"?)
[ ] - The Commonwealth Saga, by Peter F. Hamilton
[+o] - The Company Wars, by C.J. Cherryh
[ ] - The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
[+] - Contact, by Carl Sagan
[+] - Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
[ ] - The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
[+o] - The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
[-o] - The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
--- (maybe i ought to retry this one, but i found the first book to be seriously underwhelming)
[+] - The Day of Triffids, by John Wyndham
[ ] - Deathbird Stories, by Harlan Ellison
[ ] - The Deed of Paksennarion Trilogy, by Elizabeth Moon
--- (I really liked her "Vatta's War" series, but haven't read this one.)
[ ] - The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester
[+o] - The Deverry Cycle, by Katharine Kerr
[ ] - Dhalgren, by Samuel R. Delany
[+] - The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
[$] - The Difference Engine, by William Gibson & Bruce Sterling
--- (Bought this a looong time ago, and keep not getting around to reading it.)
[ ] - The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
[+] - Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
[ ] - Don't Bite The Sun, by Tanith Lee
[+] - Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
[+] - Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
[$] - Dreamsnake, by Vonda McIntyre
[+] - The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
[+] - Earth, by David Brin
[+] - Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart
[ ] - The Eisenhorn Omnibus, by Dan Abnett
[ ] - The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
[*] - Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
--- (Hate the man (or at least his beliefs) love the book. But as long as Card was going to show up on this list anyways i wish "Pastwatch" had made it as well.)
[ ] - Eon, by Greg Bear
[-] - The Eyes Of The Dragon, by Stephen King
[+o] - The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
[ ] - The Faded Sun Trilogy, by C.J. Cherryh
[ ] - Fafhrd & The Gray Mouser Series, by Fritz Leiber
[+] - Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
[*] - The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
[ ] - The Female Man, by Joanna Russ
[+] - The Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy, by Guy Gavriel Kay
--- (Really? This isn't bad, but it's kind of meh and there are so many other better books he did that aren't on the list.)
[*] - A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
[$] - The First Law Trilogy, by Joe Abercrombie
[+] - Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
[ ] - The Foreigner Series, by C.J. Cherryh
[+] - The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
[+] - The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
[+] - Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
[+o] - The Gaea Trilogy, by John Varley
[ ] - The Gap Series, by Stephen R. Donaldson
[+] - The Gate To Women's Country, by Sheri S. Tepper
[ ] - Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
--- (Why did many less famous authors/works get entire series in the list while Pratchett just gets two individual books? Two individual books that i haven't read =P)
[ ] - The Gone-Away World, by Nick Harkaway
[ ] - The Gormenghast Triology, by Mervyn Peake
[+] - Grass, by Sheri S. Tepper
[ ] - Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon
[ ] - The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
[ ] - Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End of The World, by Haruki Murakami
[+] - The Heechee Saga, by Frederik Pohl
[+] - The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
[+] - The Hollows Series, by Kim Harrison
--- (I'm not surprised that paranormal romance made it onto the list, but i'm a little surprised that only one series did, and that this was the one that did it.)
[ ] - House Of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski
--- (Poe (aka Annie Danielewski) made an incredible album that had a couple songs that were conceptually linked to this book, but i've never gotten around to reading the book itself.)
[-o] - The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
--- (Definitely falls into the "not bad, but was seriously hyped and then the first book was rather underwhelming)
[+] - I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
[ ] - I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
[+] - The Illuminatus! Trilogy, by Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson
[ ] - The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
[+] - The Incarnations Of Immortality Series, by Piers Anthony
--- (Definite mixed feelings on this one, interesting idea, okay writing for a YA book, gets kinda sketchy towards the end, surprising no one who's familiar with Piers Anthony.)
[+] - The Inheritance Trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin
--- (No, not the one by that kid that smashed up Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, the one whose first book i just finished reading for this year's Hugo nominations.)
[+] - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
[ ] - A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
[+] - Kindred, by Octavia Butler
[ ] - The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
[ ] - Kraken, by China Mieville
[+] - The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
[ ] - Last Call, by Tim Powers
[ ] - The Last Coin, by James P. Blaylock
[*] - The Last Herald Mage Trilogy, by Mercedes Lackey
--- (Yes, this is kinda generic angsty teen fantasy with talking/psychic animal friends who will love you forever, but it's fairly well done for that genre, and it caught me at just the right age.)
[+] - The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
--- (Liked the book, loved the movie)
[+] - The Lathe Of Heaven, by Ursula K. LeGuin
[+] - The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
[+o] - The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
[*] - The Lensman Series, by E.E. Smith
--- (This is definitely one of those "great for its time" series. The over the top 30's-50's pulp that started the whole space opera thing. Probably the second most credited source as the inspiration for Star Wars after the Hidden Fortress. Was probably kind of progressive given the time it was written in, but it's kind of hard to tell now.)
[ ] - The Liaden Universe Series, by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
[ ] - The Lies Of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
[+] - Lilith's Brood, by Octavia Butler
[ ] - Little, Big, by John Crowley
[*] - The Liveship Traders Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
[+] - Lord Of Light, by Roger Zelazny
[+] - The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
[+] - Lord Valentine's Castle, by Robert Silverberg
[+] - Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
[ ] - Lud-in-the-Mist, by Hope Mirrlees
[ ] - The Magicians, by Lev Grossman
[ ] - The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
--- (Huh, i _just_ heard of this series recently and was thinking of checking it out.)
[ ] - The Man In The High Castle, by Philip K. Dick
[ ] - The Manifold Trilogy, by Stephen Baxter
[+] - The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
[+] - The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
[ ] - Memory And Dream, by Charles de Lint
[+o] - Memory, Sorrow, And Thorn Trilogy, by Tad Williams
[ ] - Mindkiller, by Spider Robinson
[$] - The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
[ ] - The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
[*] - The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
[+] - Mordant's Need, by Stephen Donaldson
[+] - More Than Human, by Theodore Sturgeon
[+] - The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
[ ] - The Naked Sun, by Isaac Asimov
[+] - The Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy, by Robert J. Sawyer
[-] - Neuromancer, by William Gibson
--- (This is the "classic" of cyberpunk that i could just never get into. Something about the writing style maybe.)
[ ] - Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
[*o] - The Newsflesh Triology, by Mira Grant
--- (Go Seanan McGuire!!! +)
[ ] - The Night's Dawn Trilogy, by Peter F. Hamilton
[ ] - Norstrilia, by Cordwainer Smith
[ ] - Novels Of The Company, by Kage Baker
[-] - The Number Of The Beast, by Robert Heinlein
--- (Not a big fan of Heinlein's later work. Or at least i didn't really like this one, and was given the impression that the rest of his later work was similar.)
[*] - Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
[*] - On Basilisk Station, by David Weber
[+] - The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
[+] - Oryx And Crake, by Margaret Atwood
[+o] - The Otherland Tetralogy, by Tad Williams
[+o] - The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
[+] - Parable Of The Sower, by Octavia Butler
[ ] - The Passage, by Justin Cronin
[ ] - Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson
[+] - Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
[ ] - The Prestige, by Christopher Priest
[ ] - The Pride Of Chanur, by C.J. Cherryh
[ ] - The Prince Of Nothing Trilogy, by R. Scott Bakker
[+] - The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
[*] - Rainbows End, by Vernor Vinge
[+] - Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
[ ] - Replay, by Ken Grimwood
[$] - Revelation Space, by Alistair Reynolds
[ ] - Riddley Walker, by Russell Hoban
[+] - The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
[+] - Ringworld, by Larry Niven
[ ] - The Riverworld Series, by Philip Jose Farmer
[ ] - The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
[+] - The Saga Of Pliocene Exile, by Julian May
[+] - The Saga Of Recluce, by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
[ ] - The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
[ ] - The Sarantine Mosaic Series, by Guy Gavriel Kay
[ ] - A Scanner Darkly, by Philip K. Dick
[ ] - The Scar, by China Mieville
[-o] - The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
--- (I can't remember if i finished the first trilogy, or just the first book, but in either case i had not interest in going further than that. It just seemed very dull and generic to me.)
[ ] - The Shattered Chain Trilogy, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
[ ] - The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
[ ] - The Sirens Of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut
[-] - Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
[ ] - Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
[+] - Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
[+] - The Snow Queen, by Joan D. Vinge
[+] - Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem
[ ] - Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
[ ] - Song for the Basilisk, by Patricia McKillip
--- (She gets one book on the list and it has to be one i haven't read? What about "The Riddle-Master" trilogy?)
[*] - A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
--- (I'm actually planning on starting "A Dance With Dragons" tonight. The series is starred as long as you don't mind everyone dying. And the possibility that the author will die before ever finishing it. I guess it's just a question of which is going to outlive the other? =P)
[ ] - The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis
[$] - The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
[+o] - The Stainless Steel Rat Books, by Harry Harrison
[+] - Stand On Zanzibar, by John Brunner
[ ] - The Stand, by Stephen King
[+] - Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
[ ] - The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester
[*] - Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
[ ] - Stations Of The Tide, by Michael Swanwick
[+] - Steel Beach, by John Varley
[+] - Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
[*] - Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
[-o] - The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
--- (I loved the first book, even if it was a little generic. The sequels got progressively more "meh" as he tried to shoehorn a series into a world originally designed for a single book. I apparently gave up at just the right point, before the books turned into Ann Rand diatribes.)
[+o] - The Swordspoint Trilogy, by Ellen Kushner
[+] - The Tales of Alvin Maker, by Orson Scott Card
[*] - The Temeraire Series, by Naomi Novik
[+] - The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
[+] - Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay
--- (Not my favorite of his psudo-histories, but definitley better than the Fionavar Tapestry books above.)
[ ] - Time Enough For Love, by Robert Heinlein
[+] - The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
[+] - The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
--- (Decent, but incredibly depressing)
[*] - To Say Nothing Of The Dog, by Connie Willis
[ ] - The Troy Trilogy, by David Gemmell
[ ] - Ubik, by Philip K. Dick
[+] - The Uplift Saga, by David Brin
[*] - The Valdemar Series, by Mercedes Lackey
--- (See the comments about the Last Herald-Mage series above. Not even sure why they gave it two different entries)
[ ] - VALIS, by Philip K. Dick
[ ] - Venus On The Half-Shell, by Kilgore Trout/Philip Jose Farmer
[+] - The Vlad Taltos Series, by Steven Brust
[*] - The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
[ ] - The Vurt Trilogy, by Jeff Noon
[+] - The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
[ ] - The Watchmen, by Alan Moore
[ ] - Watership Down, by Richard Adams
[ ] - The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
[ ] - Way Station, by Clifford D. Simak
[ ] - We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin
[+] - The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
[ ] - When Gravity Fails, by George Alec Effinger
[ ] - Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
[+] - Wild Seed, by Octavia Butler
[+] - The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi
--- (Actually in the process of reading this one right now)
[ ] - World War Z, by Max Brooks
[ ] - The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Edison
[+] - The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
--- (Not exactly bad given what they're meant to be, but if you've read a couple you've pretty much read them all. Which is probably good because you've probably only got a few years in your teens when they're going to seem especially interesting.)
[ ] - The Yiddish Policeman's Union, by Michael Chabon

So there's a couple books that i'm not 100% sure if i've read or not, and if i spent longer thinking about it i'd probably end up moving a few more from "like" to "love," but overall it looks like the totals are

Loved: 20
Liked: 97
Disliked: 10
Own But Not Read: 7
Not Even Touched Yet: 103

So i've read at least parts of just over half of the books/series.

(And yes, i realize it isn't quite Friday yet (for us left coast types anyways) but i figured i might as well post this a little early so anyone else who felt like playing as well would have some time to do their own list. =)
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Steuardsteuard on August 5th, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
All that, and no link to the original list or voting page? (Having found it, I find it funny that the writeup begins with a mention of Earthsea when nothing from that series made the list.)

The list is very odd, as you've noted, in its inconsistency between listing individual books vs. full series. That makes me pretty dubious about the whole thing: did they not have any editor who could normalize the entries somehow? (I mean, why list The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun separately, but the Foundation series as a block? Why list Dragonflight rather than the original trilogy or the whole Pern corpus? And what the heck is up with listing just two scattered Diskworld books? Not that I object to Small Gods being one of them...)

My experience with Piers Anthony is that most of his series start with an interesting idea, but he has no clue what to do with it. (Xanth in particular eventually got so amazingly dull and repetitive that I finally realized that some sci-fi/fantasy isn't worth reading. That was an important transition in my teenage years. :) )
DonAithnendonaithnen on August 5th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, i re-checked the list itself a half-dozen times to make sure i hadn't missed anything, and then totally forgot to proof-read the intro section =P

I remembered to add the link this morning, presumably just shortly after you failed to find it and went looking on your own, sorry =P
Kirin: FetchQuestkirinn on August 5th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
I've only actually read somewhere around 30 of the entries in the list... I am a bad book nerd. Though some are series that I've read several of. But I was also helped out by Gaiman appearing like 5 times. Speaking of which, you should read some more Gaiman. ;)