Category: Readings and Recommendations

Recommended Reading List

Recommended Reading List

David Gerrold and I came up with a quick and dirty recommended reading list. Here it is.

NOTE: Some of these are short stories or other works that will be found in anthologies.

Novel (or Work) Author
Have Spacesuit Will Travel Robert A. Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land
Starship Troopers
The Door Into Summer
Time for the Stars
Shockwave Rider John Brunner
The Sheep Looked Up
Stand On Zanzibar
Cities in Flight Jame A. Blish
The Man in the High Castle Philip K. Dick
Bug Jack Barron Norman Spinrad
The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. LeGuin
The Man Who Folded Himself David Gerrold
Childhood’s End Arthur C. Clarke
Rendezvous with Rama
Ringworld Larry Niven
The Foundation Trilogy Isaac Asimov
“I, Robot”
The Naked Sun
The Caves of Steel
Lord of Light Roger Zelazny
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
October Country
The Martian Chronicles
Dune Frank Herbert
Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card
Dragonflight Anne McCaffrey
The Ship Who Sang
The Catch Trap Marion Zimmer Bradley
When Gravity Fails George Alec Effinger
More Than Human Theodore Sturgeon
Venus Plus X
The Day of the Triffids John Wyndham
The Midwich Cuckoos
The Long Afternoon of Earth Brian W. Aldiss
Dearthworld Harry Harrison
The Stainless Steel Rat
Hospital Station James White
Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman Harlan Ellison
Gateway Frederick Pohl
Not this August Cyril Kornbluth
Alas Babylon Pat Frank
Fear! L. Ron Hubbard
The Warrior’s Apprentice Lois McMaster Bujold
Martians Go Home! Henry Kutner
Who Goes There? John W. Campbell
The Stars My Destination Alfred W. Bester
The Demolished Man
The Martian Odyssey Stanley G. Weinbaum
The Wanderer Fritz Leiber
The Big Tide
Conjure Wife
Earth David Brin
Startide Rising
A Fire Upon the Deep Vernor Vinge
Seven Views of Oldavai Gorge Michael Resnick
Nightwings Robert Silverberg
Macroscope Piers Anthony
The Door Into Fire Diane Duane
So You Want to be A Wizard
Time Storm Gordon R. Dickson
Starquake Robert L. Forward
A Mission of Gravity Hal Clement
Fire Time Poul Anderson
Tau Zero
Titan John Varley
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

I ran across this book and its sequels, The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag, A Red Herring Without Mustard (and there are two more: I Am Half-Sick of Shadows and Speaking from Among the Bones) by reading an article in the The New York Times on the author who started writing when he was in his 70s. His character is an 11 year-old girl growing up on the family estate in England after the second world war, so the date is 1950 — quite a ways ago.

I was interested because Alan Bradley (the author) explained that Flavia just appeared in the middle of another book and demanded that he write her books. Good characters are like that although I will also give kudos to her perfectly dreadful older sisters.

Anyway, if you like murder mysteries and 11 year-old girls who are intrigued with poisons, then you won’t go wrong with Flavia de Luce!

Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?

Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?

I recently finished Dan Bucatinsky’s Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight? and I thoroughly loved it. I think I picked it up because Neil Patrik Harris recommended it although the title itself is enough to merit a look see.

Parenting is hard, relationships are hard and Mr. Bucatinsky makes it clear that they are no easier just because both partners are of the same sex — indeed it sometimes makes things harder.

Mr. Bucatinsky (I’ll start calling him “Dan” when I meet him and he says to do so) hits on the notion of “maternal” or as he sometimes prefers “parental” — the idea that one parent is seen by the children as the principal nurturer. I found that very interesting because I think there’s a lot of truth to it. I think we all lose a lot by not recognizing that this nurturing nature is not sex-linked or limited.

I think that for some people kids are more often endlessly fascinating while for others they are more often endlessly frustrating. (Which is not to say that those “fascinated” don’t get frustrated and those “frustrated” don’t get fascinated.)

He also talks a bit — and tastefully — about some of the dilemmas that parenthood brings. I was particuarly amused to hear that he, too, had that one panicked moment when his daughter was delayed in a public restroom, the panic of wondering if the child’s been abducted, had a major potty disaster or has simply fallen asleep — and what to do about it — is still the source of nightmares (mine was at Universal Studio Tours).

His comments on parents and his sotte voce comments on male/female attire make me realize that we may be on the bring, as a society, of a great new dialog where us poor straight guys might start seeing the far more attuned gay community as a resource — people we can talk to about fashion and meeitng women without fear of ostracism or competition.



Yay! I’ve just seen in Locus that Triptych by J.M. Frey has placed on the Lambda Awards Shortlist. (See here for full details.)

I think Triptych is an awesome book and one of the few books I’ve blurbed to date. This is what I said:

“It’s a very impressive first novel and if Ms. Frey continues to do with science fiction what she’s done in this book she might single-handedly be credited with reviving the entire genre. Bravo! Encore, encore!”