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Nov 27

Making lists. Come play along!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in this neck of the woods and I’m too busy/lazy to write up a review right now. I figured I’d do something fun an interactive instead.

So, here’s a little questionnaire I’m writing up for all of you lovely people to answer. Why? Because I want my to-be-read pile to be big enough to take over all the empty space in the continental United States.

Here you go. Enjoy!

1. When I say, “What are your top three favorite/best books you’ve read this year? No, they don’t have to have been published this year, just read this year.” What springs to your mind?

2. Finish this sentence: The world would be a horrible place if _____________________ wasn’t writing books.

3. If I could live in one fantasy/SciFi world, it would be _______________________ and here is the reason why: (insert reason/s).

4. What book does everyone need to stop whatever they are doing to read RIGHT NOW?

5. What is the most emotionally jarring SpecFic book you’ve ever read?

6. Name a book/author that is tragically underrated that I need to read and talk about.

7. Name a “classic” SpecFic book that I should read…. an oldie, but always goodie.

8. What soon-to-be-released book are you most excited about?

Dazzle me, my darling readers! Give me lists that make my library hate me. Let’s discuss the books we love and the reasons we love them. Let’s give thanks to the authors who spend so much time giving us the literature that has illuminated our imaginations so brilliantly.

19 comments

  1. Anne Leonard

    Most questions I’ll leave blank, but here goes:

    No.1: In the House On the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods (Matt Bell); No Country for Old Men (Cormac McCarthy — not spec fic but great book); and The Gunslinger (Stephen King).

    No. 6: The Terrorists of Irustan, by Louise Marley. http://www.amazon.com/Terrorists-Irustan-Louise-Marley-ebook/dp/B008Z58TK0/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385587301&sr=1-2&keywords=terrorist+of+irustan

    1. Anne Leonard

      I’ll add no. 5, The Road, another by Cormac McCarthy. It is an amazing book and it will rip you into tiny shreds, especially if you are a parent.

  2. SunnyReads

    I LOVE this idea. I also love lists. But I’m at work and don’t have my lists at hand, so I’ll have to check back later when I’m at home and can access Goodreads and my Book spreadsheet!! Can’t wait to see what others submit!

  3. Andrea

    fun! I’ll do the easy ones first:

    1. (as mentioned on twitter): The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White, A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan, and Sky Coyote by Kage Baker

    2. all of the above plus Jeff Vandermeer

    6. Kage Baker and Ken Liu

    7. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein.

    those were easy! i need to think about the others.

  4. Chris

    1. Not counting rereads: Lord of Darkness (Robert Silverberg); This River Awakens (Steven Erikson); American Elsewhere (Robert Jackson Bennett). In that order, best-first.

    2. Steven Erikson.

    3. Xanth, because having a magical talent would (might) be fun.

    4. Richard Adams’ Shardik. It needs more love!

    5. That’s a toughie. Probably Deadhouse Gates?

    6. Oh, I guess I already answered this in #4. Shardik. ShardikShardikshardikshardik.

    7. The original Conan stories.

    8. Courtney Schafer’s Shattered Sigil finale, The Labyrinth of Flame.

    1. Andrea

      a ha! I found my answer to #5! Shardik! I was a blubbering puddle of a destroyed human when i got to the end of that one.

  5. John E. O. Stevens

    Also at work, so answering off-the-cuff style:

    1) Zach Jernigan’s NO RETURN, Robert Jackson Bennett’s AMERICAN ELSEWHERE, and Elizabeth Hand’s BIBLIOMANCY: FOUR NOVELLAS.

    2) Ursula K. Le Guin

    3) Kim Stanley Robinson’s struggling utopia in PACIFIC EDGE.

    4) I would say Nick Mamatas’ LOVE IS THE LAW, although it is not strictly fantastika.

    5) One that has stayed with me for over 30 years: George Alec Effinger’s THE WOLVES OF MEMORY.

    6) Book: Ekaterina Sedia’s THE HOUSE OF DISCARDED DREAMS. Author: Kiini Ibura Salaam.

    7) Thomas M. Disch’s ON WINGS OF SONG.

    8) It’s a tie between Nicola Griffith’d HILD and Howard Waldrop’s HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR.

  6. Vanessa

    1.’Abaddon’s Gate’ by James S. A. Corey, ‘Revelation Space’ by Alastair Reynolds, ‘Dust’ by Hugh Howey
    2.
    3. Revelation Space – two words: space travel
    4. “The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell
    5. “On the Beach” by Nevil Shute
    6. Richard Kadrey
    7. “Good Omens” by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman (I’m giggling now thinking about that book.)
    8. “Skin Game” by Jim Butcher

  7. Nathan (@ReviewBarn)

    1. Ancillary Justice, The Scar (Sergey and Marina Dyachenko), The Killing Moon

    2. Finish this sentence: The world would be a horrible place if ____Terry Pratchett___ wasn’t writing books.

    3. The Culture. You kidding, I would never want for anything.

    5. Going with The Scar again, because I am still thinking about it. Damn it was awesome.

    6. Frank Tuttle or Linda Nagata. Both need many more readers.

    8. I want The Copper Promise on this side of the pond so bad.

    Skipped a couple, sorry.

  8. L M Hughes

    Fun! :D

    1. Best 3 read this year: ‘The Name of the Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss; ‘King of Thorns’ by Mark Lawrence; ‘Red Seas under Red Skies’ by Scott Lynch.

    2. The world would be a horrible place if Steven Erikson wasn’t writing books. Or maybe Pratchett.

    3. If I could live in one fantasy world, it would be the Malazan empire, and I’d be a marine (because the soldiers are cool, the magic is awesome, and the different races are spectacular!). Or possibly the Discworld, because, well, it’s the Discworld. :D

    4. Stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and read ‘Midnight Tides’ by Steven Erikson. Or the above-mentioned ‘The Name of the Wind’ by Pat Rothfuss. No! Actually, ‘Best Served Cold’ by Joe Abercrombie. Or . . . damn, I’ll be here all day.

    5. Possibly the Broken Empire trilogy by Mark Lawrence: some of the things we learn about the main character’s childhood are pretty harrowing, and the ending is gut-wrenching.

    6. Underrated author? I’m going to say Steven Erikson (I’m a fan – can you tell?), simply because I know of so many people who dismiss his entire Malazan series after giving up on the first book, ‘Gardens of the Moon’. They’re missing out!

    7. ‘Magician’ by Raymond E Feist. Not that old, I guess, but still a classic.

    8. ‘Prince of Fools’ by Mark Lawrence and ‘Crimson Campaign’ by Brian McClellan (both not till next year, though, unfortunately!)

    Do we get to see your answers to these questions, Sarah? :)

  9. Derek

    1. Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht, King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
    2. Elizabeth Bear
    3. I’d love to sit around and play music all day at The Eolian (Kingkiller Chronicles)
    4. Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint
    5. It’s been a few years, but I remember getting that sense of “wow” in An Autumn War by Daniel Abraham.
    6. Paul Kearney. The Monarchies of God is an awesome series
    7. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman or The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
    8. The Land Across by Gene Wolfe. (Incidentally, Gene Wolfe is also a valid answer to your second question.)

  10. Angela

    1. Can I use an entire series to answer this question? Because for me, I loved the whole series right away and loved it so much that when I finished it I went back and started reading it all over again which only happens to the best books and has never happened to an entire series for me before.

    Technically the series would be considered M/M romance but I consider it more of an SF/horror/occult/paranormal police thing as the main character is a government licensed medium who happens to be a homicide detective. and gay.

    Oops I should really tell you name of the series! Psycop by Jordan Castillo Price. There are seven books in the series though the first few are actually novellas and thus the print versions bundle those together. I got them as ebooks and blasted through the whole thing in about a week or so. But it was an awesome week!

    I loved both the characterization and the world building, especially how realistic the romance felt and that it never seemed to overwhelm the rest of the plot even in the first book/novella. I also liked how the both the main character and his love interest were older than the typical, by being around 40 or so.

    (I didn’t mean to go on about this for so long!)

    2. Finish this sentence: The world would be a horrible place if _Ursula Vernon_ wasn’t writing books. Or doing comics either. I know that she’s better known for her children’s books. (the dragonsbreath series) or for Digger( a webcomic turned graphic novels) But her writing (she recently came out with an ebook called Nine Goblins) is really good and is a bit like early Pratchett. and her blog is a wonderful and often very funny read. She also won an award or two. Something like a Hugo or an Eisner.

    7. I seem to be on a roll with the series thing. As Roger Zelazny’s Amber series comes to mind for this question. as does Jack L. Chalker’s Rings of the Master series.

    Those seem to be the only questions that I have answers for right now, If I come up with answers for the others i’ll post those later.

  11. Anya

    1. When I say, “What are your top three favorite/best books you’ve read this year? No, they don’t have to have been published this year, just read this year.” What springs to your mind? – The Emperor’s Soul, The Bitter Kingdom, aaaaaand, something later in the list ;-)
    2. Finish this sentence: The world would be a horrible place if Brandon Sanderson wasn’t writing books.
    3. If I could live in one fantasy/SciFi world, it would be PERN and here is the reason why: dragons, duh ;-).
    4. What book does everyone need to stop whatever they are doing to read RIGHT NOW? I honestly can’t say because not everyone likes spec fic sadly, haha.
    5. What is the most emotionally jarring SpecFic book you’ve ever read? – Steelheart? That prologue…
    6. Name a book/author that is tragically underrated that I need to read and talk about. – Tammy Blackwell!
    7. Name a “classic” SpecFic book that I should read…. an oldie, but always goodie. – Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest series :D
    8. What soon-to-be-released book are you most excited about? THESE BROKEN STARS *faints*

    This was so fun <3

  12. Crystal B.

    This is a fantastic idea! Sorry I missed it the other day, so I’ll chime in late. I also haven’t written comments on your blog before, Sarah, but I did buy some photography from you about a year ago and still read everything you write. So hello!

    1. Top three favorite books I read this year (no surprises here):
    a. “Republic of Thieves,” by Scott Lynch
    b. “Steelheart,” by Brandon Sanderson
    c. “Code Name Verity,” by Elizabeth Wein

    2. The world would be a horrible place if Patricia McKillip wasn’t writing books.

    3. If I could live in one fantasy/SciFi world, it would be The Culture (Iain M. Banks) because it’s a post-scarcity society so I could have whatever I needed to live and still get to explore my dreams. It was actually hard to answer this question because I realized a lot of the SpecFic worlds I read would actually be pretty unpleasant places to live.

    4. Everyone needs to stop what they’re doing and read Terry Pratchett’s “Nation” right now. It’s my all-time favorite book. I did re-read it this year but removed it from item 1 so that I could list more books there. It’s about life, and it’s seriously good and not at all hard to read but still packs a big emotional punch.

    5. I have a tie for the most emotionally jarring SpecFic book I’ve ever read. One is “Deerskin” by Robin McKinley, and the other is “Dawn” by Octavia E. Butler. Seriously scarred by both but for different reasons.

    6. A tragically underrated author that I just discovered (yay!) is Andrea K. Host. There are two dots over that “o” that I can’t type here because I don’t know how.

    7. A classic SpecFic book: “The Warrior’s Apprentice,” by Louis McMaster Bujold. I don’t actually know that you haven’t read it, but it’s wonderful and classic space opera.

    8. An exciting soon-to-be released book that I’m excited to read is “These Broken Stars” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I trolled all my favorite review blogs to look for just the perfect book to read right now and this was it, but it’s not released until Dec 10, so I have to wait. Only early reviews are out so far so far, but it looks great! It’s about two teens deserted on the nearest planet when the luxury spaceliner they were travelling on crashes. It sounds like it could be the recipe for awful cliches, but it’s supposed to be highly original with wonderful writing, which is what I want to read right now and not in two weeks when it’s actually released.

  13. SunnyReads

    So many amazing books and authors have already been mentioned! This is such fun!!

    1. Top Three of 2013: A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time, #14) by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, The Kingdom of Gods (The Inheritance Trilogy #3) by N.K. Jemisin, and Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations #1-2) by Michael J. Sullivan.

    2. The world would be a horrible place if Brandson Sanderson wasn’t writing books. And Dean Koontz. George R.R. Martin. And Gail Carriger. And I’ve suddenly realized that many of my favorite authors are already dead and no longer writing books. Crap. Oh – And Sharon Shinn!!

    3. If I could live in one F/SF world, it would either be the world of Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince, or more likely the future as described in Margaret Weis’ space opera, Star of the Guardians.

    4. Oh jeez. Too many. Let’s go with Isaac Asimov’s Foundation. Read that already? The Stand, by Stephen King. Or Idlewild by Nick Sagan – LOVED this series..

    5. Emotionally jarring? That would have to be The Stand by Stephen King. Possibly The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. Also The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. And King’s Sacrifice (Star of the Guardians #3) by Margaret Weis.

    6. Anything by Christopher Rice. The Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. And the “Death In…” Series by M.M. Kaye (an older murder mystery series where each book takes place in an exotic locale – Kenya, Crete, Zanzibar! Not SpecFic but still fabulous!). Also I’m throwing Nick Sagan in here again because so few have heard of or read the Idlewild series.

    7. Hmmm. Anything by Isaac Asimov – I love the entire Foundation Series, and Nightfall is one of my favorites and a stand-alone novel. Also the Rama series by Arthur C. Clarke. The Gandalara Cycle by Randall Garrett is a fun take on pre-history. Also The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K Le Guin, which is fantastic (and mostly takes place in my hometown!).

    8. Upcoming books: Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. And the All Souls Trilogy #3: The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness.

  14. Steffi

    1. When I say, “What are your top three favorite/best books you’ve read this year? No, they don’t have to have been published this year, just read this year.” What springs to your mind? Inferno by Dan Brown
    2. Finish this sentence: The world would be a horrible place if jk Rowling wasn’t writing books.
    3. If I could live in one fantasy/SciFi world, it would be harry potter and here is the reason why: I WOULD NEVER NEED TO LIFT MY FINGER TO COOK NOR DO LAUNDRY NOR GET UP TO GET THE REMOTE
    4. What book does everyone need to stop whatever they are doing to read RIGHT NOW?Lolita
    5. What is the most emotionally jarring SpecFic book you’ve ever read?Subtle knife
    6. Name a book/author that is tragically underrated that I need to read and talk about.Jodi Picoult
    7. Name a “classic” SpecFic book that I should read…. an oldie, but always goodie.His dark materials
    8. What soon-to-be-released book are you most excited about? The next Dan Brown book

  15. Tim

    1. The Abominable – Dan Simmons, Embassytown – China Mieville, Blindsight – Peter Watts
    2. Dan Simmons
    3. Alison Croggon’s Edil-Amarandh. As the first real fantasy series I loved, I think nostalgia might be playing a big part in choosing Croggon’s world. I can so vividly recall places and settings in those novels, it feels as if I have actually been there. From the beautiful school of Inail, to the frozen fortress of Arkan – Da, I would love to explore it all.
    4. Hyperion/Fall of Hyperion – Dan Simmons. Some of the most beautiful writing I have come across.
    5. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes. It will change the way you view things.
    6. Patricia Mckillip. Reading her is like walking through a dream. She does not hand you answers on a silver platter, you have to work, but her writing is mesmerising.
    7. Deathbird Stories – Harlan Ellison (1975). Some amazing short stories in here, the man is a master of the form. Or Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula Le Guin. Young Adult but surprisingly deep in it’s characterization and themes.
    8. I don’t know, is there any I should know about?

  16. Ben

    1. The Etched City – KJ Bishop, Shades of Grey – Jasper Fforde, The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
    2. Neil Gaiman.
    3. Hogwarts.
    4. Heroes Die – Matthew Stover
    5. Use of Weapons – Iain M. Banks maybe? That ending, yeesh. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and The Book Thief got me right in the feels too.
    6. Matthew Stover’s Acts of Caine series is criminally under-read. Seriously. Go read it.
    7. The Iron Dragon’s Daughter by Michael Swanwick.
    8. The Magicians Land – Lev Grossman.

    1. L M Hughes

      Oh, god, The Book Thief. How I forgot about this when making my own list I’ll never know; I bawled my eyes out.

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