Friday, January 23, 2009

Book list

I haven't posted in the new year yet. I'm mired in a book that I am only slowly poking my way through, but I am determined to finish it before moving on. I have this horrible completist streak in me, and it is so hard to shake these kinds of things off. And since it is the second half of a two-volume novel, I have already invested some time and effort into the effort.

At the same time, I have carefully avoided the movie theatres, true to my self-pledge not to go see the remakes and revisions I noted late last year.

I considered another reasoned diatribe about what's going on at DC, but that's getting old. I find it fascinating that my pull list is growing shorter and shorter through no effort of my own.

So, I found this in my daily perusal of SF blogs; a list of the 149 science fiction and fantasy novels that "everyone must read" (, by way of SF Signal). It's a fascinating list; some novels I would not have considered science fiction or fantasy, some novels acting as prototypes for what speculative fiction will become, some novels I didn't even know existed…some novels not even novels. And it being from the UK, there feels like a decidedly English tilt to the list. I highly recommend going to the link and reading through the list, since the post actually talks about the novels and why they were included. It is of course, all opinion.

Desperate to put something in my blog before the first month of 2009 gets by, I've reprinted the list (not the discussion) here, bolding the books I've read. It's an experiment of sorts….

Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979)

Brian W Aldiss: Non-Stop (1958)

Isaac Asimov: Foundation (1951)

Margaret Atwood: The Blind Assassin (2000)

Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale (1985)

Paul Auster: In the Country of Last Things (1987)

J.G. Ballard: The Drowned World (1962)

J.G. Ballard: Crash (1973)

J.G. Ballard: Millennium People (2003)

Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory (1984)

Iain M Banks: Consider Phlebas (1987)

Clive Barker: Weaveworld (1987)

Nicola Barker: Darkmans (2007)

Stephen Baxter: The Time Ships (1995)

Greg Bear: Darwin's Radio (1999)

William Beckford: Vathek (1786)

Alfred Bester: The Stars My Destination (1956)

Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Poppy Z Brite: Lost Souls (1992)

Charles Brockden Brown: Wieland (1798)

Algis Budrys: Rogue Moon (1960)

Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita (1966)

Edward Bulwer-Lytton: The Coming Race (1871)

Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Orange (1960)

Anthony Burgess: The End of the World News (1982)

Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Princess of Mars (1912)

William Burroughs: Naked Lunch (1959)

Octavia Butler: Kindred (1979)

Samuel Butler: Erewhon (1872)

Italo Calvino: The Baron in the Trees (1957)

Ramsey Campbell: The Influence (1988)

Lewis Carroll: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)

Angela Carter: Nights at the Circus (1984)

Angela Carter: The Passion of New Eve (1977)

Michael Chabon: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000)

Arthur C Clarke: Childhood's End (1953)

GK Chesterton: The Man Who Was Thursday (1908)

Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (2004)

Michael G Coney: Hello Summer, Goodbye (1975)

Douglas Coupland: Girlfriend in a Coma (1998)

Mark Danielewski: House of Leaves (2000)

Marie Darrieussecq: Pig Tales (1996)

Samuel R Delaney: The Einstein Intersection (1967)

Philip K Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)

Philip K Dick: The Man in the High Castle (1962)

Thomas M Disch: Camp Concentration (1968)

Umberto Eco: Foucault's Pendulum (1988)

Michel Faber: Under the Skin (2000)

John Fowles: The Magus (1966)

Neil Gaiman: American Gods (2001)

Alan Garner: Red Shift (1973)

William Gibson: Neuromancer (1984)

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Herland (1915)

William Golding: Lord of the Flies (1954)

Joe Haldeman: The Forever War (1974)

M John Harrison: Light (2002)

Nathaniel Hawthorne: The House of the Seven Gables (1851)

Robert A Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

Frank Herbert: Dune (1965)

Hermann Hesse: The Glass Bead Game (1943)

Russell Hoban: Riddley Walker (1980)

James Hogg: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824)

Michel Houellebecq: Atomised (1998)

Aldous Huxley: Brave New World (1932)

Kazuo Ishiguro: The Unconsoled (1995)

Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House (1959)

Henry James: The Turn of the Screw (1898)

PD James: The Children of Men (1992)

Richard Jefferies: After London; Or, Wild England (1885)

Gwyneth Jones: Bold as Love (2001)

Franz Kafka: The Trial (1925)

Daniel Keyes: Flowers for Algernon (1966)

Stephen King: The Shining (1977)

Marghanita Laski: The Victorian Chaise-longue (1953)

CS Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia (1950-56) (Book 1 at least)

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: Uncle Silas (1864)

Stanislaw Lem: Solaris (1961)

Ursula K Le Guin: The Earthsea series (1968-1990)

Ursula K Le Guin: The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)

Doris Lessing: Memoirs of a Survivor (1974)

MG Lewis: The Monk (1796)

David Lindsay: A Voyage to Arcturus (1920)

Ken MacLeod: The Night Sessions (2008)

Hilary Mantel: Beyond Black (2005)

Michael Marshall Smith: Only Forward (1994)

Richard Matheson: I Am Legend (1954)

Charles Maturin: Melmoth the Wanderer (1820)

Patrick McCabe: The Butcher Boy (1992)

Cormac McCarthy: The Road (2006)

Jed Mercurio: Ascent (2007)

China Miéville: The Scar (2002)

Andrew Miller: Ingenious Pain (1997)

Walter M Miller Jr: A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960)

David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas (2004)

Michael Moorcock: Mother London (1988)

William Morris: News From Nowhere (1890)

Toni Morrison: Beloved (1987)

Haruki Murakami: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (1995)

Vladimir Nabokov: Ada or Ardor (1969)

Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler's Wife (2003)

Larry Niven: Ringworld (1970)

Jeff Noon: Vurt (1993)

Flann O'Brien: The Third Policeman (1967)

Ben Okri: The Famished Road (1991)

George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-four (1949)

Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club (1996)

Thomas Love Peacock: Nightmare Abbey (1818)

Mervyn Peake: Titus Groan (1946)

Frederik Pohl & CM Kornbluth: The Space Merchants (1953)

John Cowper Powys: A Glastonbury Romance (1932)

Terry Pratchett: The Discworld series (1983- ) (A few of them)

Christopher Priest: The Prestige (1995)

Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials (1995-2000)

François Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-34)

Ann Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)

Alastair Reynolds: Revelation Space (2000)

Kim Stanley Robinson: The Years of Rice and Salt (2002)

JK Rowling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997)

Geoff Ryman: Air (2005)

Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses (1988)

Joanna Russ: The Female Man (1975)

Antoine de Sainte-Exupéry: The Little Prince (1943)

José Saramago: Blindness (1995)

Will Self: How the Dead Live (2000)

Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (1818)

Dan Simmons: Hyperion (1989)

Olaf Stapledon: Star Maker (1937)

Neal Stephenson: Snow Crash (1992)

Robert Louis Stevenson: The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)

Bram Stoker: Dracula (1897)

Rupert Thomson: The Insult (1996)

JRR Tolkien: The Hobbit (1937)

JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings (1954-55)

Mark Twain: A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court (1889)

Kurt Vonnegut: Sirens of Titan (1959)

Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto (1764)

Robert Walser: Institute Benjamenta (1909)

Sylvia Townsend Warner: Lolly Willowes (1926)

Sarah Waters: Affinity (1999)

HG Wells: The Time Machine (1895)

HG Wells: The War of the Worlds (1898)

TH White: The Sword in the Stone (1938)

Angus Wilson: The Old Men at the Zoo (1961)

Gene Wolfe: The Book of the New Sun (1980-83)

Virginia Woolf: Orlando (1928)

John Wyndham: Day of the Triffids (1951)

John Wyndham: The Midwich Cuckoos (1957)

Yevgeny Zamyatin: We (1924)

59 out of 149. Looks like my reading list just got a lot bigger.

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