Sunday, July 04, 2010

Looking for new sci fi

I love books and am completely addicted to science fiction. But, I feel like I have hit the wall. I have read all of the scifi books available at our local library, except all of those knock-off Star Trek and Star Wars novels that should never have been published.
The Huxley Library is pretty good for a small town, but has a clientelle that devours Mennonite romance novels. There is a whole wall of shelves for it and two racks of sci-fi - Appalling. Every time I go I request new books to add to their collection. It is an uphill battle.

This is what I am up against:




I have reread all of the Garth Nix books until I don't even try to start at the beginning any more. I just pick up one of the Abhorsen series and flip to a random spot and begin. The next day I do the same. It takes longer to finish a book that way. It is like bootstrap reading. I am out of new Connie Willis novels also. Ursula LeGuin added some new Earthsea novels that are quite good, but I bought those. I also read the Left Hand of Darkness three times this year.

From regular fiction my standby's also seem stale. I still bring Chaim Potok's The Chosen with me when I travel (Not science fiction - more like orthodox Jewish fiction). I haven't seen anything new out of Mark Salzman recently. I really like Chabon's Amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay - about Jewish comic book illustrator's in the 50's. Some scenes were pretty racy, but beautiful writing.

I tried getting some nonfiction and branching out into the real world, but I still am hunting for something to fill the fictional part of my reading diet.

Any suggestions? I need something new to devour.

12 comments:

dawson said...

Check out my book. the stort line has yet to be done.DREAMS, a journey we would all like to take.
check it out @
dawson.aegauthorblogs.com
I think you will enjoy it

Jon said...

when in Rome do as the Romans. Try the romance novel. You never know you might like it.

Brian G. said...

It makes me ill just having the picture on my blog. I can't imagine how I would feel after reading them.

Chris said...

time to have trouble in Huxley. Get rid of those dirty books. I bet they have Chaucer, Rabelais, and Balzac!

Jon said...

You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say

Tracy said...

We have tons of those books in our library too! I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I refuse to crack one of those. I'm all for trying new things, but I have to draw the line somewhere...

Have you reread any favourites from your childhood? I love going back to A Wrinkle in Time and Ender's Game (except for the swears, which drive me nuts).

For sheer non-sci/fi entertainment, I'd suggest the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. They're actually based on the author's experiences as a kid, and they're ridiculously funny. We read a ton of kidlit around here, and we love it. I like Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series. His futuristic societies are pretty cool. Come to think of it, I enjoyed his Midnighters series too.

Bonnie said...

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart was reviewed in O magazine and sounds like it might interest you. Takes place a few decades in the future "where every interaction can be tracked and quantified by constantly updated data streams."

Anonymous said...

Brian,

Mennonite Romance? Didn't know they even had a genre for that. Good to know you are still reading science fiction. I remember you devouring heaps of Piers Anthony novels. Here are a few ideas, some of them dubious.

-THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, by Gene Wolfe. 4 volumes, beginning with THE SHADOW OF THE TORTURER. Non-traditional science fiction. The writing is sometimes modern and oblique (occasionally even frustratingly so). This would keep even you busy for awhile. It's not really one of my favorite books, and I can't say I always enjoyed reading it, but I've never forgotten it, and can quote parts of it seven years after I first read it.
-SOLARIS, by Stanislaw Lem. Traditional, brilliant SF. Tight, thematically dense. They don't make them like this anymore. Lem was a theologically serious atheist (former Catholic), deeply engaged with the most important questions.
-HIS MASTER'S VOICE, by Stanislaw Lem.
-THE IRON DRAGON'S DAUGHTER, by Michael Swanwick. First sentence is something like: "The changeling decided to plan her escape the night the children met to plot the death of their supervisor." Irresistable.
-NEVER LET ME GO, by Kazau Ishigoru. Emotionally searing novel about bioethics. Film coming in September. Beautiful trailer (Google to watch it).
-LUNAR PARK, by Bret Easton Ellis. Very non-traditional SF. Wikipedia writes, "Ellis told SCI FI Wire the book was an homage to Stephen King and comic books, and that he finished writing it in summer 2004. It is also a nominee for the World Fantasy Awards" A novel about fathers, sons, and loss. Terribly sad, but beautiful.
MEMORY, SORROW, AND THORN, by Tad Williams. Ok, I admit it, this is one of those multivolume fantasy epics that I read during high school when I should have been learning how to solve quadratic equations. But there is something about these books that I love - I have revisited them a couple of times as an adult and fallen right back into the story. First volume is, THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR.

Hope you are having a good summer, Brian.

peace,
Doug

Anonymous said...

Brian,

Mennonite Romance? Didn't know they even had a genre for that. Good to know you are still reading science fiction. I remember you devouring heaps of Piers Anthony novels. Here are a few ideas, some of them dubious.

-THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, by Gene Wolfe. 4 volumes, beginning with THE SHADOW OF THE TORTURER. Non-traditional science fiction. The writing is sometimes modern and oblique (occasionally even frustratingly so). This would keep even you busy for awhile. It's not really one of my favorite books, and I can't say I always enjoyed reading it, but I've never forgotten it, and can quote parts of it seven years after I first read it.
-SOLARIS, by Stanislaw Lem. Traditional, brilliant SF. Tight, thematically dense. They don't make them like this anymore. Lem was a theologically serious atheist (former Catholic), deeply engaged with the most important questions.
-HIS MASTER'S VOICE, by Stanislaw Lem.
-THE IRON DRAGON'S DAUGHTER, by Michael Swanwick. First sentence is something like: "The changeling decided to plan her escape the night the children met to plot the death of their supervisor." Irresistable.
-NEVER LET ME GO, by Kazau Ishigoru. Emotionally searing novel about bioethics. Film coming in September. Beautiful trailer (Google to watch it).
-LUNAR PARK, by Bret Easton Ellis. Very non-traditional SF. Wikipedia writes, "Ellis told SCI FI Wire the book was an homage to Stephen King and comic books, and that he finished writing it in summer 2004. It is also a nominee for the World Fantasy Awards" A novel about fathers, sons, and loss. Terribly sad, but beautiful.
MEMORY, SORROW, AND THORN, by Tad Williams. Ok, I admit it, this is one of those multivolume fantasy epics that I read during high school when I should have been learning how to solve quadratic equations. But there is something about these books that I love - I have revisited them a couple of times as an adult and fallen right back into the story. First volume is, THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR.

Hope you are having a good summer, Brian.

peace,
Doug

Anonymous said...

I would revise my list by excluding LUNAR PARK from it. The novel is in some ways very strong, but marred by some needlessly gratuitous writing. I read it about 5 years ago and had forgotten its negative aspects when I posted earlier. My memory of the Swanwick book is even fuzzier, but it has some of the same flaws. My strongest recommendations are for SOLARIS and NEVER LET ME GO.

-doug

Brian G. said...

Thanks Doug, I will have to hunt these down. I read Solaris and a pile of Stanislaw novels 5 or six years ago. Dense classic sci fi. I thought the movie adaptions of it were pretty interesting - both the new one and the older sixties one.

I almost had forgotten that I went through a Piers Anthony phase.

Brian G. said...

Thanks Doug, I will have to hunt these down. I read Solaris and a pile of Stanislaw novels 5 or six years ago. Dense classic sci fi. I thought the movie adaptions of it were pretty interesting - both the new one and the older sixties one.

I almost had forgotten that I went through a Piers Anthony phase.