Yak Attack

A place to unwind and spend some time yakking.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Do I get a prize...

... because I read the number one pick on the top 100 "must read" sci-fi book list? Jed, at FreedomSight, has read 17 of the 100 books. Cutter, over at Wadcutter, read 21 of the list picks. Neither have picked up Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, however.

After perusing the list, I've read four of the books on it.
1. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
49. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
51. 1984 by George Orwell
I do feel somewhat redeemed, however, that I've partially read several books on the list, including 61. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and 85. A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

I talked Tee into checking out 34. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card from the library. How could you not when the librarian told you, "It's the best damn book I've ever read,"and then covered her mouth in horror, because she used a pseudo-swear word while talking to a 12 year old, in front of his mother? [note: Tee disagreed with the librarian]. Also, I've purchased for him 27. War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells and 39. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne.

Obviously, I'm not a huge reader of sci-fi, but I do read the genre sometimes. Here are some sci-fi books I've read that I really enjoyed, but didn't make the list: Animal Farm by George Orwell, Jennifer Government by Max Barry, The Third Twin by Ken Follett, Jurassic Park and Timeline by Michael Crichton and all the books that Madeleine L'Engle has written.

So, what's my prize???


At 11:12 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I've probably read about half of those books. It's hard to classify some as sci-fi ("Brave New World" and "1984", particularly). Your choice, "Animal Farm", is another great book which is hard to call sci-fi. Interesting that one Edgar Rice Burroughs book is on the list. He's the creator of "Tarzan" but not many people know he wrote a whole series of books about a Martian civilization and one or two about a civilization on Venus. The first hard-bound book I ever read as a kid was a sci-fi book by Burroughs called "The Chessmen of Mars". It was a gift from my father.

But what about your prize? Hmm. Well, how 'bout a suggestion for another book you should read? "The Age of Spiritual Machines" by Ray Kurzweil. It's not quite sci-fi but rather a look into the future by a guy who is a real high tech inventor and futurist. Here's a link to a web site about Kurzweil. But you probably want a book about gardening. Oh well ... :)

At 9:09 AM, Blogger lewlew said...

Mark, I agree with you that 1984 and Brave New World aren't your typical sci-fi books. Since they made the list, that's why I included Animal Farm, with the heavy use of anthropomorphic animal characters and all. I don't consider Frankenstein much of a sci-fi book either, so in reality, my tiny group of books I've read from the list is rather un-sci-fi, isn't it? =)

I thought Edgar Rice Burroughs' name looked familiar. I couldn't connect the name to a book, though, until I read your comments.

Another book I've read, but isn't quite sci-fi, but could be considered sci-fi-ish, is Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Very interesting book, nothing like the candy-coated Broadway play.

Thank you for my prize! I'll definitely check Kurzweil's book out. Lew uses several products that Kurzweil had some hand in creating the technology for. He's a musician, and several of this favorite toys involve music synthesis.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Mark said...


Obviously there's no end to the books we could recommend to each other. But, after seeing Cat's Cradle on the list, I couldn't resist mentioning other books by Vonnegut. If you've never read any of his stuff, here's a link to one of his short stories that will take 5 minutes to read and will give you a taste of his style.

/literary pedant mode off

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Gospazha said...

I'd have put Moon is A Harsh Mistress on that list, too, but a bunch of my sci-fi reading is not on that list. As it is, I've got 7 of the books on there - #5, 34, 40, 51, 61, 63, 85, and 98. Flowers for Algernon is more of a short story or novella, though.

At 9:39 PM, Anonymous jed said...

Your prize, should you wish to claim it, could be your pick of of up to 5 sci-fi books from my collection, with the proviso that they're duplicates, and you have to wait until I get them all unboxed so I know whether I have any duplicates. Sometime within the next few months, I should have them all back on shelves ... I hope.

You know how to ping me.

Mark, I knew about Burroughs Sci-Fi long before I knew he created Tarzan, but then I was reading Heinlien in 3rd grade back when ... well, nevermind how long ago that was, but Tarzan was played by Ron Ely on TV.

At 11:08 PM, Blogger Mark said...


Your comment brings back memories of Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan) and Buster Crabbe (Flash Gordon). Though Flash was a cartoon character, I remember the movie serial with the sputtering rocket ships and the death ray of Ming the Merciless. I can still taste the Tootsie Rolls I ate in the movie theater when it cost 5 cents to get into a Saturday matinee. That makes me a real antique.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger lewlew said...

Mark, Harrison Bergeron is a chilling, well written short story. I read Vonnegut's Bluebeard a long time ago. Rosie read Slaughter House 5 this year, but she didn't like it. I might have to give it a go.

Jed, I had to look up Ron Ely. I didn't know who he was. When his tenure as Tarzan ended, I was learning how to crawl =). I don't remember any tv stuff until about 1972, and then it was mostly muppety memories and Romper Room.

Okay, a question about ping-- I thought that's what describes what happens when you click on a website, it pings your IPS. What else does ping mean? I looked it up, but didn't find any other definition.

gospazha-- what would be on your list, after Moon is A Harsh Mistress?

At 8:00 PM, Anonymous jed said...

Well, the first thing you should do is read this small commentary on The Story of Ping. Then, ignore all the techno-speak about what a "ping" is in the world of internet protocols, unless you really care about the technical stuff, and fast-forward to the more generalized usage of the term (slightly deviant from it's original sense), which is to use any available means of communication to let someone know you'd like to get in touch, e.g. TCF PM.

At 10:57 AM, Blogger lewlew said...

More to read....alright, I'll read it =). Also, please forgive my reversal of ISP to IPS. I hate it when I do stuff like that.


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