I'm not sure why I'm so keen on reading some classics, but I am. I had a hankering for some Arthur C. Clarke yesterday and hit the local public library with the intention to check out several of his books, but instead ended up leaving with more. Here's what I'm reading:
It's a Clarke-heavy reading list, but like I said, I had planned on only grabbing his books. I'm reading Reach for Tomorrow right now and it's not bad. Like Expedition to Earth, it's a short story collection. I might read Expedition to Earth after finishing this book or I might jump to The Gods Themselves. I'm more of a Clarke fan than an Asimov fan, but that's only because I've never read any of the latter's work from start to finish.
Transcendental isn't a classic yet, but James Gunn is a SF legend, so it gets a pass. I'm still amazed that a 95 year old is still writing science fiction.
Different books, same shitty picture quality. Where the books in the previous post were all military SF, these are just a mix of SF.
The "bookcase" in picture #1 is just a cheapo wheeled table I repurposed because it had shelves and I could get my hands on it, lol. The books in the second and third pictures are sitting on the headboard of my bed with the stereo and speakers doubling as bookends. The books themselves are just too tall to fit on that bookcase.
It's certainly an assorted collection, isn't it? I tend to favor SF that's more action and adventure oriented. I'm not into works that are deeply philosophical or requires a degree in physics to grok.
I think the hip and happening kids call these pictures "shelfies". I just call them terrible quality. :P
Click to embiggen.
Like I said shitty quality. My hand isn't steady, nor is the camera on my phone the best, but we do what we can, lol. Some of the names are blurry, so if you're curious about any title, just let me know down in the comments and I'll tell you what it is.
But yeah, this is all of my military SF or at least what I don't have boxed up.
I recently finished The Hammer of God and all I can say is that I love Arthur C. Clarke's books.
What's it about: Set in the year 2110, The Hammer of God revolves around the discovery by an amateur astronomer of an asteroid headed straight for Earth. Dubbed "Kali" after the Hindi goddess of death and destruction, the big space rock has the potential to wipe out life on Earth. The book follows the attempt by SPACEGUARD to prevent this by attaching a mass driver to Kali and slowly - very, very slowly - nudging it so that it'll miss Earth.
What I liked: One of the things I liked about THoG is that it didn't focus solely on the efforts of Robert Singh, captain of the spaceship Goliath and its crew to save the day. Instead, Clarke devoted a large chunk of the book to worldbuilding 22nd century human civilization and while it might at times have seemed like he was going off on wild tangents that immediately didn't seem to have any relation to the main plot, Clarke deftly tied all of these side trips together. For example, he focuses several chapters on "Chrislam", a fusion of Christianity and Islam created in the early 21st century that by the 22nd, has become the fourth largest religion on Earth. He doesn't explain any of the tenants or doctrine of the religion and you're left wondering at first as to why he devoted the two or three chapters to the religion, until near the end of the book when a fanatical faction called The Reborn sabotage efforts to divert Kali and almost wipe out mankind on Earth.
I mean, we're almost a month into 2018, but better late than never. The big thing about 2017 is that it was very much a year of science fiction. The year before last, I read only nine, but managed to raise that to fifteen the following year. More than that, SF made up fully half of the books I read in 2017, so I'm pretty well pleased with that. Let's have a look at them all:
1. Old Man's War - John Scalzi.
A re-read. Scalzi is one of my favorite SF writers and Old Man's War one of my favorite books.
2. The Ghost Brigades - Scalzi.
Yet another re-read. I was a bit meh on it the first time through, but I enjoyed it more on the second read.
3. Night Train to Rigel - Timothy Zahn.
The first Zahn book I've ever read to completion, I've had Night Train to Rigel for a long time and made several attempts in the past to read it. 2017 was the year, though, and I wish I had read it sooner. I'm going to try and read the rest of the series this year.
4. The Last Colony - John Scalzi.
Unlike the other two, this was not a re-read. I really liked how the book ended because I did not expect it at all. Going to try and read the last two books this year.
Great, now I have to get Netflix, I guess. Ugh. The book series (one of my personal favorites) was grabbed up by Syfy back in 2014, but as such things go, nothing happened with them and the rights reverted back to Scalzi. Hopefully, the same won't happen with Netflix because the books really are quite good and it would be interesting to see them adapted to screen.
But on a more serious note, this sucks. While I didn't know these forums exist until today, it still sucks because internet forums are a major source of fannish activity. I used to hang out at SF forums back in the late 90s and early to mid-00s, talking about Star Trek, the then new Battlestar Galactica, and whatever was going on with the now former Star Wars Expanded Universe. Good times.