Sunday, November 20, 2005

Geeky? Me?

'Cause about all the content I can muster over here right now is Meme-ish.

Do I think these lists have meaning? No. Breakfast has more meaning. But hey, I'm a sheep.

The Guardian's List:

1. The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
2. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
5. Neuromancer by William Gibson
6. Dune by Frank Herbert

7. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
8. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
9. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
10. Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
11. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
12. Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

13. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
14. Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
15. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
16. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
17. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
18. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

19. The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson
20. Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham

Honestly, if 1984 is just for geeks then we're all in a lot of trouble. I'm in no hurry to read any Asimov, sorry. Also, I did not realize that Neal Stephenson was supposed to be my god. (I have Cryptonomicon but it's really damn long and I'm having trouble reading novels right now.)

Christopher Rowe's List of Books for Geeks Written by Girls:

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler
Synners by Pat Cadigan
Downbelow Station by CJ Cherryh
Heritage of Hastur by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
Rats & Gargoyles by Mary Gentle
Queen City Jazz by Kathleen Ann Goonan
Slow River by Nicola Griffith
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

Life by Gwyneth Jones
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh

Golden Vanity by Rachel Pollack
Natural History by Justina Robson
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone by JK Rowling
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

I know, I know. (It gets worse, below.) I have the Goonan and the Russell somewhere. I started The Snow Queen but couldn't finish it.

Chris McLaren's List of Geek Girl Books:

The Etched City by K.J. Bishop
Bone Dance by Emma Bull
Mindplayers by Pat Cadigan
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler
Madness Season by C. S. Friedman
Ash by Mary Gentle
The Dream Years by Lisa Goldstein
Stable Strategies and Others by Eileen Gunn
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
The Disposessed by Ursula K. LeGuin
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
Intervention by Julian May
China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh
Memory by Linda Nagata
Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott
The True Game by Sherri Tepper
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

I definitely want to read the Gunn and the Goldstein. But, and I know this makes me a philistine, I am utterly perplexed by the Willis-love. I thought the book was relentlessly overrated.

Meghan McCarron's Geek Chic Girl Cred List:

Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Meh.)
The Mount by Carol Emshwiller
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
Tithe Holly Black
(Reading right now.)
Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
The Hero and the Crown Robin McKinley
The Ear, The Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snider
Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson
Orlando by Virginia Woolf

I have the Emshwiller, the Murphy, and a Winterson (not sure which one) somewhere around. I've heard good things about the McKinley and will probably read it sometime. (You have to understand, I must first walk on stacks of books and then scale a ridge of them to climb into my bed, and most of those are unread. This is not to mention the ones on the shelves and the ones in the boxes downstairs. It's a sickness.)

Back to work now.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not Vinge or Willis?

That's it.

We're through.

Your friendship privileges are revoked.

(Though, I prefer the Cat books to The Snow Queen, and Lincoln's Dreams to Doomsday Book.)

(Interesting to watch the titles slip. Books for geeks =! geek books...geek books by girls =! girl geek books?)

('s probably a marker of my own geekiness that I want to quibble with the geekiness of books on geek book lists.)

- H

11:18 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Hey, I told you I was a philistine.

With Vinge, I'm willing to be convinced.

With Willis, I've given her enough chances. I've read (or tried to read) enough of her short stories to know it ain't happening. I've got nothing against her. But I think I'm supposed to be charmed or something, and I'm not. (I made my saving throw! Hey, we're talking about geeky things . . .)

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Meghan said...

Here are my thought on Doomsday Book (specifically on the end, so if you don't wanna know, quit reading). For the first however many hundred pages I was kind of intrigued, but ultimately was wondering, why the fuck am I reading so much about these medieval people? Jesus christ, who cares what they ate for dinner. I don't care. Let's get back to that plague in the future. Oh, but I guess I'll keep reading... Oh, I kind of like them...Oh, I really do like them, those little girls are so cute... maybe it will all be okay, I bet they will -- OH NO. They're getting sick. Well, maybe they'll make it through, our heroine knows how to take care -- OH NO. Some of them are dying. Oh, not that guy! I like that guy! Her too? And her? Oh, oh sweet god, that whole family? And-And-And the priest?!-- they are ALL DEAD? But I know what they ate for dinner! I spent so much time with them and now they are all -- Oh, Connie Willis, you are a smart, evil writer. Now I will go cry.

What I'm trying to say is, that woman knows how to make you feel the deaths of her characters, and she pulls no punches. She kills them all. I don't feel a need to go devour her work, but she is smarty smart smart.

Also, we have already talked about this, but I still cannot fully forgive your L'Engel "Meh."

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Connie Willis, on the other hand, has to bring in the Blitz and the Black Death just to keep the girl cooties from crawling out of the gutter margins of her novels and taking over the whole enterprise."

--from Debra Doyle's theory of girl cooties in SF.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto on what meghan said, by the way.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

As to Doomsday Book: But, but. I didn't feel it. I was bored. I was bored by the "mystery" and I was bored by the clogged vid-phone lines and I was bored by the dying. Intellectually I get what you're saying, but I didn't feel any of it. Also, the things you were saying about the first one hundred pages ring true for me; I thought she put too much of her research into the book, to the point where I felt like the time-travel bits took place in a museum diorama.

As for the L'Engle, I was creeped out by the little boy and the constant blow-to-the-head message of Christian love. At least, I read it as Christian love, but it could just be Love Love Love Love. Which is admirable but also felt like it was being mixed into some special Kool-Aid which I could not swallow.

You may now resume telling me how I am wrong.

(Also, anonymous the fourth and fifth? Is that still Hannah, or another country heard from?)

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another country now heard from.

Fear the unknown stalkers your project has brought to your door, Friend of Elephants! Tremble at the unseen masses!

--anon 4 & 5

2:15 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Hey, I don't even know those elephants. I'm here with the hippos. Really!

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nah, that's some other, stranger country. I sign my comments. Or if I forget, I go back and read them to find out exactly how much sillier they sound outside of my head, and then discover that I forgot and add others saying, "That was me."

What I like about Willis is, she's very humane. Has a lot of sympathy for her characters even when (especially when) they're being absurd or pathetic. I find her charming, too, yeah, and sometimes wicked. But really it's that she gets me on that gut level, or that she writes on a frequency that goes straight into my brain. I think she's really, really good, but she's also really really good for me, if that makes any sense.

The Snow Queen is probably a better book than any of the ones in the Cat series and I admire it very much. It's big and impressive and smart. But I kind of imprinted on Cat. It's I guess the same sort of thing as the Willis--a story/character-truth that resonates with me. (And with Cat, I hit those books at just spot-on the right time.)

Luckily, I have to leave work now, so I can't keep talking without actually saying anything or even read back to see how much sillier this sounds outside my head. Onward!

- H

2:39 PM  
Blogger Abigail Nussbaum said...

I'm sitting on Dave's bench on the Doomsday Book question. I found it rather tedious - all these boring characters just keep doing the same thing over and over again (the lothario student charms the pants off another girl, his mother waves her Bible and worries about him catching a cold, the female archeologist worries about her flooded dig while standing in the middle of a plague zone, her boss sees professional jealousy in every action, his friend can't open his mouth except to talk about middle English dialects and so on and so forth please God make it stop) until they weren't even people anymore, and then there was the bizarre stitching of humor and tragedy - almost like two books sewn together.

I imagine that, at half the page count, Doomsday Book might have been salvageable, but as it is it's a mess.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous DavidS said...

You should really check out Pat Cadigan's Synners. One of my all time favorite Cyberpunk novels. She writes better characters than anybody in that genre.

5:24 PM  

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