Monday, July 16, 2012

A Meme Based on Someone's Choice of The Best Skiffy of the Past Quarter-Century

James Nicoll did this, and it's been ages since I did a proper list-of-books meme. I expect I will have notes (not least because my "I own it" is, in a whole lot of cases, "I haven't gotten around to buying a new copy since Hurricane Irene ate the last one").

Books read are in italics, books owned are in bold (with an asterisk if they were unwillingly deaccessioned), and books disagreed with are struck through, as is traditional for such lists.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)
  • Ender’s Game (1985)
  • *Radio Free Albemuth (1985)
  • *Always Coming Home (1985)
  • *This Is the Way the World Ends (1985)
  • Gal├ípagos (1985)
  • *The Falling Woman (1986)
  • The Shore of Women (1986)
  • A Door Into Ocean (1986)
  • *Soldiers of Paradise (1987)
  • *Life During Wartime (1987)
  • *The Sea and Summer (1987)
  • Cyteen (1988)
  • Neverness (1988)
  • The Steerswoman (1989)
  • Grass (1989)
  • *Use of Weapons (1990)
  • *Queen of Angels (1990)
  • Barrayar (1991)
  • *Synners (1991)
  • *Sarah Canary (1991)
  • White Queen (1991)
  • Eternal Light (1991)
  • Stations of the Tide (1991)
  • Timelike Infinity (1992)
  • Dead Girls (1992)
  • Jumper (1992)
  • *China Mountain Zhang (1992)
  • *Red Mars (1992)
  • *A Fire Upon the Deep (1992)
  • *Aristoi (1992)
  • *Doomsday Book (1992)
  • Parable of the Sower (1993)
  • Ammonite (1993)
  • Chimera (1993)
  • *Nightside the Long Sun (1993)
  • *Brittle Innings (1994)
  • *Permutation City (1994)
  • Blood (1994)
  • *Mother of Storms (1995)
  • Sailing Bright Eternity (1995)
  • Galatea 2.2 (1995)
  • *The Diamond Age (1995)
  • The Transmigration of Souls (1996)
  • The Fortunate Fall (1996)
  • The Sparrow/Children of God (1996/1998)
  • *Holy Fire (1996)
  • *Night Lamp (1996)
  • In the Garden of Iden (1997)
  • Forever Peace (1997)
  • Glimmering (1997)
  • *As She Climbed Across the Table (1997)
  • *The Cassini Division (1998)
  • Bloom (1998)
  • Vast (1998)
  • *The Golden Globe (1998)
  • Headlong (1999)
  • Cave of Stars (1999)
  • Genesis (2000)
  • Super-Cannes (2000)
  • Under the Skin (2000)
  • *Perdido Street Station (2000)
  • Distance Haze (2000)
  • *Revelation Space trilogy (2000)
  • Salt (2000)
  • Ventus (2001)
  • The Cassandra Complex (2001)
  • *Light (2002)
  • Altered Carbon (2002)
  • *The Separation (2002)
  • The Golden Age (2002)
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003)
  • Natural History (2003)
  • The Labyrinth Key / Spears of God
  • River of Gods (2004)
  • *The Plot Against America (2004)
  • *Never Let Me Go (2005)
  • *The House of Storms (2005)
  • Counting Heads (2005)
  • Air (Or, Have Not Have) (2005)
  • *Accelerando (2005)
  • Spin (2005)
  • My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time (2006)
  • The Road (2006)
  • Temeraire /His Majesty’s Dragon (2006)
  • Blindsight (2006)
  • *HARM (2007)
  • *The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (2007)
  • The Secret City (2007)
  • In War Times (2007)
  • *Postsingular (2007)
  • Shadow of the Scorpion (2008)
  • The Hunger Games trilogy** (2008-2010)
  • Little Brother (2008)
  • The Alchemy of Stone (2008)
  • The Windup Girl (2009)
  • Steal Across the Sky (2009)
  • Boneshaker (2009)
  • Zoo City (2010)
  • *Zero History (2010)
  • *The Quantum Thief (2010)
So I've read 40 and have owned at least 43 -- I had a lot of unread SFF, some of which had gotten stuck in the back of a double-shelved bookcase, so that number could easily have been higher. (I can only disagree with books I've read, so that number is much lower.)

And I decided not to make any notes; this list most reminded me of people that I need to read. I will note that having a list without authors really tests one's memory for SF books one hasn't read and may not have even heard of more than glancingly.

3 comments:

Nick said...

So have you not read Ender's Game or Handmaid's Tale for a specific reason?

Andrew Wheeler said...

Nick: I don't know if I have a reason for not reading each of the 60 books I haven't read on that list -- or the thousands of other books I haven't read, either. (Hell, I'm not sure if I could give you a coherent reason for some of the books I did read!)

I missed Ender's Game when I was twelve, on account of it not having been written yet, and it's never felt like a lack -- everyone in SF already knows pretty much everything that's in it, so why bother to actually read it?

Similarly, I've never wanted to read Handmaid's Tale -- I don't like dystopias much to begin with, particularly ones that give off that strong an odor of axe-grinding.

But, in both cases, it's really just that there are hundreds (thousands, tens of thousands) of books around that I'd rather read before either of those -- maybe, if I live long enough, I'll get that far down the list.

James Davis Nicoll said...

will note that having a list without authors really tests one's memory

It boggled me - it still boggles me - that there in fact people who don't keep track of authors. In this case, I guess that might be advantageous.

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