According to the Science Fiction Book Club, below is a list of the fifty most significant SF Books from 1953-2002. I’ve placed an asterix beside the ones I’ve read, which makes 28, or 56%. How many have you read?
1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien*
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov*
3. Dune, Frank Herbert*
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein*
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson*
7. Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke*
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick*
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury*
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.*
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov*
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett*
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany*
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card*
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson*
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman*
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling*
27. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams*
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice*
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny*
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement*
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke*
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien*
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut*
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson*
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein*
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks*
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford*
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer*
Library Thing is a nifty website that permits you not only to catalogue your personal library, but to see who has the same books as yours, read reviews, swap books (if you’re in the States), chat about a topic that interests you, discover new authors. So far at Library Thing, there are 105,885 members, 7,340,608 books cataloged, 1,414,098 of those being unique works.
Trying to keep the momentum going, even though I reached the 50,000 word goal early (Yea!). The writing’s slower also because the story has become a lot more complex and I have to keep more details into my head. I usually make notes but, in this case and for expediency, I didn’t.
In the meantime, and if you’re still into this story, here’s another excerpt:
Jacqueline stopped as if she were listening to something. â€œThe search on the invisible species is completed. There are fifteen species that fit all your requirements, another fifty-nine partials.â€
Holy crap. I was beginning to think that the story of the Invisible Man was a real biography. Almost seventy-five species that had an invisible feature in their makeup. Data began to crawl up on the screen. â€œHey, what are you doing?â€
â€œIâ€™m showing you the results.â€
â€œI canâ€™t read that fast. Can I hook my printer to this thing?â€
â€œOh, you wanted it printed out.â€ Jacquelineâ€™s hand snaked out of the screen, a ream of paper in her hand. Except it wasnâ€™t really paper. It was virtual paper. When I touched it, my finger passed right through it. It was, however, opaque. â€œThe paper will disappear when you close the station. Itâ€™ll reappear when you open it again. To turn a page, just wave above it.â€
â€œWhat are you doing?â€ Eve said.
I raised my head, gaped. Sheâ€™d sneaked by me anyway, and her looks just gut-punched me. Sheâ€™d grown into a woman, with all the right curves and hollows, visible even under the sweatshirt. Her hair, a lustrous brown, reached down to her butt. Her eyes seemed paler but longer-lashed. Her lips were full andâ€¦ calling out for a kiss.
If I thought I was in trouble before, I might as well shoot myself now. The only way I wouldnâ€™t be able to lust after that woman was if I was dead.
And I had to go and call her Eve. I could certainly imagine her naked and tempting me with an apple. Sharing it with me, more like. Every muscle in my body, including the most obvious, had jumped to attention.
â€œJack? Did you hear me?â€
I tried to speak. I croaked instead. Sharp pain speared my ankle. â€œOw!â€ Fred sat there, grinning his feline grin, looking innocent. I lifted my pant leg and checked the damage. Two gouges, already pearling with blood, ran from the front of my leg to over the bone ankle. Fred had swiped me. â€œYou think thatâ€™s funny, do you?â€ The scrapes began to burn. I got up for a paper towel.
His ploy, painful as it was, had worked. I was no longer in a daze. In fact, now that I looked at Eve again, she looked more cute than gorgeous to me. I looked around the desk. Sure enough, the yellow diaper bag was sitting beside me. I stayed in the kitchen, not wanting to be influenced by whatever compulsion it had for me at the moment.
â€œDid you bring that bag here, Eve?â€
â€œNo. Iâ€™ve been watching the television all that time, but I got tired of it.â€
â€œYeah, itâ€™s a pretty brainless activity, most of the time. Could you take the bag back to the bedroom?â€
She picked it up, obviously unaffected, and walked to the guest bedroom. She didnâ€™t enter, simply threw the bag on the bed. As she walked towards the kitchen she said, â€œSo, are you telling me what you were doing or not?â€
â€œI was doing some research.â€
â€œNothing important, really.â€ It looked like Iâ€™d decided not to tell her anything, after all. I strode to my desk, pushed the black button on the station. The virtual pages floated back into the screen and the station folded in on itself. A moment later, it looked like any black businessmanâ€™s briefcase. I picked it up, set it down on the floor, and began putting my desk to rights.
â€œJack, can I ask you a question?â€
â€œIâ€™m not like you, am I?â€
â€œThatâ€™s true, youâ€™re not. Iâ€™m male, youâ€™re female.â€
â€œThatâ€™s not what I meant.â€
I looked back at her. She looked so serious, so intense, so bright. I shouldâ€™ve know she would have suspected something. â€œWhat makes you say that?â€
â€œYou, Isabel, me. Not much of a sample, but the television added some information.â€
â€œIt said that to go from baby to adult, it takes at least twenty years.â€
â€œI was a baby this morning. I was a teen only a few hours ago. Now Iâ€™m an adult. But you and Isabel didnâ€™t change that fast. So Iâ€™m not like you, right?â€
â€œI guess youâ€™re right.â€
â€œYou asked me earlier if I knew what I was. I donâ€™t. But you do, donâ€™t you?â€
â€œWill you tell me?â€
I shook my head. The apartment had gone darker with nightfall and I hadnâ€™t bothered turning on any lights except the one under the kitchen cupboard but I could still see her face clearly enough. Was I callow enough to tell her she had only a few hours to live? No. I couldnâ€™t do it. But I could fudge better than anyone.
â€œYou have a condition that accelerates your growth to adulthood,” I lied. “Itâ€™s nothing to worry about.â€
â€œAre you my father?â€
This past July Zumaya Publications moved business operations from its long-time home in British Columbia to the warmer climes of Austin, Texas. In the coming year, we plan to implement a number of exciting changes, and we want to invite booklovers to join us and qualify for prizes in three special contests.
In January 2007, Zumaya will establish a new romance imprint. Our authors have come up with ten excellent ideas for a name for the imprint, and we’re interested in finding out which of them appeals the most to readers. So, we’ve set up a poll on Yahoogroups at Name That Imprint. To vote for your favorites (yes, you can vote for more than one) just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re already registered with Yahoo Groups, you can just ask to add the group to your roster. Or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/name_that_imprint/ and sign up directly.
When the poll ends on 15 December, we will enter the email addresses of the voters into a contest. Three will win a gift card worth $100, $50 or $25 provided by Zumaya authors, as well as some special personal gifts the authors are lining up as we speak; a complete list will be provided in a week or so. Not only that, we’re offering five holiday-themed ebooks â€”three for adults and two for kidsâ€”free for the duration of the poll.
So, even if you don’t read romance, come to Name That Imprint and let us know which of the names tickles your fancy.