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Geek books meme...
Ripped from seawasp... Bold what you've read, strike out what you don't like, italicize what you'd like to read but haven't yet...
1. The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- Douglas Adams (All of it.)
2. Nineteen Eighty-Four -- George Orwell (Read it many years ago. Yes, important message, etc - but not enjoyable.)
3. Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley (I really dig this book.)
4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? -- Philip K. Dick (I've been meaning to read this for years and years, since I saw Bladerunner.)
5. Neuromancer -- William Gibson (Classic!)
6. Dune -- Frank Herbert (I actually have no desire to read this. Seen a couple of versions of it on the screen, not interested.)
7. I, Robot -- Isaac Asimov (I think I may have never read any Asimov...)
8. Foundation -- Isaac Asimov (Like I just said...)
9. The Colour of Magic -- Terry Pratchett (I know I've read some Pratchett, like Good Omens, and liked it, so I might try more.)
10. Microserfs -- Douglas Coupland (Another book I've been meaning to read for a while.)
11. Snow Crash -- Neal Stephenson (One of my favorites.)
12. Watchmen -- Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons (It has been so long I want to read this again, I don't remember most of it, but I know I read it in college.)
13. Cryptonomicon -- Neal Stephenson (A tome, but I liked it...)
14. Consider Phlebas -- Iain M Banks (Never heard of it...)
15. Stranger in a Strange Land -- Robert Heinlein (Don't think I've read any Heinlein either...)
16. The Man in the High Castle -- Philip K Dick (How much geek cred do I lose for saying I don't think I've read any PKD either?)
17. American Gods -- Neil Gaiman (On my Amazon Wishlist actually...)
18. The Diamond Age -- Neal Stephenson (Ok, so I've read most of his books. He's currently one of my favorite authors. Next is Book 2 of the Baroque Cycle: The Confusion.)
19. The Illuminatus! Trilogy -- Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson (Everyone should read this. ;-) Actually I've read most, maybe all, of RAW's books, fiction and non.)
20. Trouble with Lichen - John Wyndham (Never heard of this either.)

Tags: ,
I am: cold cold
Current Media: quiet office

(Deleted comment)
solipsistnation From: solipsistnation Date: November 19th, 2005 12:37 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
You wouldn't recommend CP? But it's, uh, the first one he published. I would.

Banks goes through a bunch of different views of the Culture. Since, as a society, the Culture is pretty dull (interesting, but utopian), he talks about it from the points of view of people on the edges of it-- CP is about somebody fighting the Culture. Player of Games is about somebody trying to get away from the Culture. Use of Weapons is what it is, and I shall say no more.

I'd definitely start with Consider Phlebas. I really wouldn't suggest starting with Excession at all...

And Zoner, if you want to read any PKD, just ask. (Or Banksie, for that matter.)
(Deleted comment)
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 19th, 2005 02:03 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Well, uh, could be that it's not "transhuman stuff" in the same way as Greg Egan or Charlie Stross or Bruce Sterling's typical technophile freakouts. It's not really transhumanist at all. It's a deconstruction of the standard space opera, starting with a protagonist who is pretty carefully positioned so that the debate over whether nor not Horza is a git can rage on and on forever on certain mailing lists (Sounds like you're on the "Horza is a git" side of the fence. It's not purely divided on gender lines, either) and making its way through loads of other standard SF tropes-- alien temples, laser gun battles, antigrav harnesses (that's one of my favorite scenes...), nigh-omnipotent AI, giant space habitats, and so on. And it's all told from the point of view of somebody who is fighting AGAINST the civilization the book is ostensibly about. And the whole thing is put together by Iain Banks, who has a ridiculously pointy and dark sense of humor.

But calling it transhumanist does both it and actual transhumanist writing a disservice, because it's not.
(Deleted comment)
dsrtao From: dsrtao Date: November 19th, 2005 03:21 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
It's not transhumanist, it's not deconstructionist. It's the New Scottish Invasion, which currently includes Banks, MacLeod, Stross, Reynolds and Schroeder, even though Schroeder is Canadian. Big things blowing up, reconsideration of standard tropes, and consideration for how humans fit into technologies that get away from them.

gizmoek From: gizmoek Date: November 19th, 2005 12:48 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I just finished the whole Foundation series if you have interest in reading Asimov. It works best if you read them in chronological order instead of the order in which they were written since his first few books are a little rough. I have the first book of the robot series (I, Robot) but haven't started it yet, and I also have a couple collections of his short stories and a couple of standalone books if you're interested in getting a taste to see if you'd like Asimov. I like robots and work for iRobot, so I consider Asimov required reading.
roninspoon From: roninspoon Date: November 19th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I don't believe I've ever heard anyone describe Asimov as rough. While Foundation was publishedin 1951 and one of his first fill novels, he'd been writing short scifi since something like 1939. His first collection of short stores was published a year before Foundation, and it is afore mentioned !, Robot (no relation to film of the same title). Asimov is one of the most widely published and respected authors of the 20th century and more than 10 years after his death, continues to publish.
gizmoek From: gizmoek Date: November 19th, 2005 09:18 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I read Prelude to Foundation first which was written in the late 80s, and when I read Foundation I could definitly tell that he had improved greatly as a writer. I liked Foundation but I thought some of his later books were much better. I know some people who started with Foundation and didn't get anywhere in the series because they didn't like it.
7threality From: 7threality Date: November 21st, 2005 01:53 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Interesting. Over the course of the last month or so, I've ordered and received nearly all of Asimovs SF books, starting with the Foundation series and I, Robot.

I've just finished reading Foundation, in chronological order rather than the order the books came out, and read the robot book. I then sidetracked through The Gods Themselves. I finished Robot Visions on the train this morning, and will be starting Robot Dreams on the ride home.

(Deleted comment)
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 19th, 2005 01:58 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I liked both the movie (and I've seen a couple of versions of it) and the more recent mini-series well enough, but didn't find any of the components really compelling. From what I've heard about the books they don't really sound that interesting - actually I've heard them described as 'tedious', and such.
dsrtao From: dsrtao Date: November 19th, 2005 03:23 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Those would be the subsequent books. Do try the original -- it's up there with LOTR for influence on subsequent literature.
7threality From: 7threality Date: November 21st, 2005 01:56 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
The only thing that's really tedious is book 4 (God Emporer of Dune) in which he conveys rather well the forced stagnancy of the Empire under Leto II.

The first trilogy is good, as are the pair after book 4.
jumblies From: jumblies Date: November 19th, 2005 04:19 am (UTC) (Direct Link)

Ah.. zis iz zee geek bks list fr de Guardian, thus the rather Limey slant as mostly fom over there nominated, and thus ur not having heard of som of dem. Am sure an 'merkin list will be vastly diff.

John Wyndham is a good storyteller, IM Banks iz a lee-tle dry but intriguing.

There is no Frank Herbert 'Dune' movie. You must be refering to the american movie with the same name with some similarities. Francesca Anis is a Brit though and she was in it. HAWT HAWT HAWT.

I liked Dune, but that's prolly not a reccomendation. HAR! ^_^

Philip K Dick don't seem to like human beings.
phred1973 From: phred1973 Date: November 19th, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Meh - writing Dune off based on screenplays is really unfair. The book is pretty darned good, IMHO. Give it a chance in your advancing old age. ;)

Heinlein makes some very interesting observations. I'd say anything he's written is worth a read, even if it's only read once. (BTW: the book 'Starship Troopers' is an excellent yarn - nothing like the movie's cheesiness and simplicity.)
cyber_pagan From: cyber_pagan Date: November 20th, 2005 06:52 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I don't think I know of another human being who can say they haven't read Asimov, Heinlein or Dick. And yes, geek creds are dropping rapidly. If you say you've never read Clarke, Zelazny or Niven I will only assume you don't like the sci-fi genre. Although Asimov wrote so much non-fiction, etc that he's hard to avoid.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: December 6th, 2005 07:41 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I have read Clarke - 2001 a long, long time ago. So long ago I can't remember it, I always remember the movie since I've seen that many times. I just remember it was different.

Pretty sure I haven't read Zelazny or Niven. The more I think about it, I think I did read some of Asimov's Foundation around middle school, but didn't like it so I stopped.
twipper From: twipper Date: November 21st, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)

Pratchett's Discworld

I'm currently working my way through the Discworld. These are fast, fun reads written with wit and in the later books very good social satire. The books themselves do not necessarily need to be read in the order printed in the front of Colour, but it helps; Pratchett doesn't so much as write sequels, but individual stories of a continuously growing ensemble cast. I'm paticularly fond of the Rincewind stories, as well as the City Watch stories.
darch From: darch Date: November 22nd, 2005 11:14 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Colour of Magic is something of a nonrepresentative title; the only excuse for fitting it into this list is that it was the first Discworld book. I would not choose to start there; Jingo is the one I consider a must-read, chronological considerations be damned. I contend that Pratchett is the greatest satirist of our time, in no small measure because his books are gentle and hilarious.

As for Iain M. Banks, I stand in awe of Use of Weapons. CP I found hard to get into, though enjoyable withal -- but Weapons assured Banks a stop on my monthly Other Change of Hobbit browse.