Nov 222013
 

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
Godbody
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
Orn
 
The Door Into Fire Diane Duane
So You Want to be A Wizard
 
Time Storm Gordon R. Dickson
Dorsai!
 
Starquake Robert L. Forward
 
A Mission of Gravity Hal Clement
Needle
 
Fire Time Poul Anderson
Tau Zero
 
Titan John Varley
 Posted by at 14:20
Feb 262013
 

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!

 Posted by at 19:28
Dec 092012
 

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.

 Posted by at 07:31
Mar 262012
 

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!”

 Posted by at 14:01