Saturday, February 03, 2007


I really like science fiction - if I am reading for fun, it is usually in that category (usually, not always - last book I re-read for fun was this one by Mitch Albom). 

Someone reminded me of this sci-fi fact via email yesterday referring to a recent blog entry of mine:

That's two of his older stories I've seen on the web in the last two days.  This is one of my (and Asimov's ) personal favorites.


Isaac Asimov - one of my all time favorites.  As you can see from the spines - those books have been read (and most more than once).  I first read them growing up and now that I re-read them, still enjoy the stories.  Maybe even more since I'm sure some of the adult humor didn't quite hit me as a boy.

I've recently read all of the works of a relative new comer to the sci-fi scene - Alastair Reynolds.  If your are interested in seeing if you like his style - I strongly recommend Century Rain.  I read it this summer - it is a combination "romance, sci-fi, mystery thriller" all rolled into one.

My son Alan (14, the opposite of my age 41) had exams the other week and during that week he would have some down time to fill.  So he asked me for a book to read and I gave him that one.  First day he came back - it was half read and he really liked it.  Now he is onto the rest of the series.  Sort of nice that a book like that can appeal to such a broad range of ages (either that, or I'm easily amused or Alan is really sophisticated :)

I have in my wish list on the soon to be released next book of his, Galactic North.  It'll give me something to read this summer.

 In case you are curious, I'm currently reading Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, definitely non-fiction.



Blogger William Robertson said....

I recommend "The Algebraist" by Iain M. Banks. (Not for kids - a bit strong in parts, possibly slow at first, but utterly unputdownable once it gets going. I miss that universe since finishing the book.)

I also just finished reading Richard Dawkins' latest book, which I thought was amazing. It's beautifully written, passionately argued, and strangely empowering. It's as much about about how we debate or know anything, the scientific process and intellectual freedom as it is about fundamentalism.

Sat Feb 03, 01:07:00 PM EST  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

Years ago I read "The Sensuous Dirty Old Man" by "Dr. A." As I recall, it was hilarious. A great writer can cross genres.

I tried giving Laurie my old book club edition of the Foundation trilogy when she was stuck in bed, but she never even looked at it. I think Allan (almost 11) is ready, but it's hard to compete with Harry Potter. Guess I have until July 21...

word: gxdit

Sat Feb 03, 01:26:00 PM EST  

Blogger Rachel said....

S.I Viehl. As I had told you already :)

Heinlein is my personal favorite, although I've read everything by Asimov (and hey, my mom MET him, got his autograph for me).

Here's trivia -- did you know Asimov died from an AIDS-related disease?

Sat Feb 03, 03:03:00 PM EST  

Blogger Eric said....

I was already reading your weblog with much pleasure, but my pleasure has just increased enormously. For quite a long time now I am having trouble finding any new sci-fi here in the Netherlands. In my native language there is virtually none anymore, not even translated books. All that is published here is fantasy, which can be fun, but is not sci-fi. So up to now, I had practically no source of knowing where I might find new sf or sf writers. I know amazon of course, but if you don't know what to look for, amazon is just too much. And you just gave me something to look for. If it is even close to Asimov books, I have some pleasant reading ahead of me.

Sat Feb 03, 04:20:00 PM EST  

Anonymous cephyn said....

I read Reynold's "Revelation Space" - and it stirred absolutely nothing in me. I barely remember the book. Nothing in it stuck with at all. I haven't read a Reynolds book since.

Maybe I'll give Century Rain a chance though. For hard SF space opera type stuff though, I can't recommend Vernor Vinge's Fire Upon the Deep and Deepness in the Sky books enough. I don't think I've read anything that comes close to those two.

As for classic sci-fi - I'm an HG Wells kind of guy. 8)

Sat Feb 03, 04:36:00 PM EST  

Blogger Tony said....

For sci-fi I like F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series. Each book builds on the other pretty well and the stories are fun as well.

Crisscross has a great conclusion. I've read some of his other, non RJ books as well, they're good too.

As for non-fiction, Every Else Must Fail has been, interesting, read. The Tesla biography is good. The Code Book was a good read too.

Sat Feb 03, 05:16:00 PM EST  

Anonymous patrick said....

I grew up reading science fiction. Star Wars started it. I read all I could. I loved Doc Smith's Lensman series, Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat, Asimov's I Robot and Foundation.

However it was Asimov who ended it all. I was reading "Robots of Dawn", a good way through, not much had happened, a guy was on a space ship going to another planet to investigate something and Asimov started describing how the toilet worked on the space ship. I suddenly realised that I wanted to start reading the kind of fiction where things like toilets didn't need to be explained.

Maybe it was just time, maybe it's just a very bad book, but I put it down and never picked up another science fiction book.

Sat Feb 03, 05:47:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Kirtan Desai said....

'Five people you met in heaven' is a great book. Small but good. I have read it about three times already. It's just fun to read it and it's so small you don't even feel like you are spending day and days for it. It takes no more than a few hours. wouldn't you agree?

Sat Feb 03, 07:39:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Kirtan ...

yes, absolutely, read it in one afternoon last weekend.

very fast, very light, but sort of uplifting read ;)

Sat Feb 03, 07:42:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

There is a terrific fantasy series by George RR Martin. It is a New York Times best seller. HBO is actually going to make it into a series. Each book with be one season. There will be 7 books.

PS-- don't give this to your kid without reading it first. It is very violent and has adult content. Read first and then decide if they are appropriate for your kids. Its not Tolkein's fantasy.

If you like hard science fiction I recommend Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series. Its about the colonoziation of Mars. Its very good. Projects forward to a revolt by the people living on Mars because they no longer identify with people on Earth.

Sat Feb 03, 11:07:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Francois said....

A special mention to each of his robot's novel, that are the future of our present day IT and the natural so-complex programmes our children will probably write...
And don't forget A. Van Vogh who is also a master of SF.

Sun Feb 04, 03:23:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I have been storing about 30 SCi-Fi books (more Dragon slayer type then space) for my sons to read when they get that age. Oldest one (7) is reading but is a year or 2 away. I hope at least one of them will be interested in my taste ;-)

I too re-read them on occasion although most of my "spare" time is reading technical docs,books and blogs.

Sun Feb 04, 10:01:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Paul M. Watson said....

Ah yes, Asimov is one of the best and quite timeless.

Reynolds did not do anything for me though.

Recently I reread some Alfred Bester (The Stars My Destination, brilliant SF) and got onto Jack Vance who wrote the brilliant Emphyrio.

I really recommend the SF Masterworks series.

Mon Feb 05, 07:31:00 AM EST  

Blogger (Maesse The OWL) Carlos Adolfo Ortiz Q - TheOWLO said....

Thanks God you read Isaac Asimov's novels on Sci-fiction, to me it is good knowing that, besides you know that Isaac Asimov was a very prolific writer and thinker. I like Asimov's Novels a lot, but I don't have much time to read for fun, but I have read some. Thank you for your post on blog.

Mon Feb 05, 10:07:00 AM EST  

Blogger Peter Lewis said....

After finishing Jimmy Carter's book you might like to have a look at "The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity" by Tariq Ali.

Mon Feb 05, 11:56:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Nelson said....

I really like Asimov.
I started to read him when I was a teenager (around 16) just by accident.
A friend and I started to talk about the differences we found in a movie with regards to a book ("The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury), when we watched on TV a commercial about a new book collection by Orbis (a spaniard editorial company) about SF.
We went to the closest newsstand (where the books were available) and we found the second or third book in the collection: "Caves of Steel".

Now that I leave in Canada, when I find one the books that I already own in Spanish, I tend to read them both to see how good the Spanish translation is.
Nevertheless, I enjoy Asimov a lot (with the exception of the Bible books…which are still unread).

Mon Feb 05, 02:44:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Doug C said....

Hey - I really liked those 2 short stories by Asimov you posted. These other recommendations are really interesting too. I've always wanted to get around to reading the Foundation Trilogy.

Tue Feb 06, 08:57:00 PM EST  


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