|The Elf ½ (elfwreck) wrote in metametameta,|
@ 2008-06-19 23:53:00
Books I Like
It occurs to me that I almost never post recs, either for fic or canon.
I'm polyfannish; I like lots of stuff. I am disgustingly ecumenical in my tastes... while there's a limited selection of "stuff I seek out" and, these days, "stuff I will spend time reading," the category of "stuff I like" is huge and varied. But "oh, you know me; I like it all" is not really fair. Taking it as a given that I've read lots of scifi (for some values of "lots;" my reading in the last 15 years has been erratic), here's some of the books/stories that stand out in my mind:
I've been re-reading the Vorkosigan series. All of them. (I adore ebooks; I can carry 18 books around with me and swap between them at whim.) I've decided I should read the Chalion series, because I want to know if I like her writing, or I'm just enamoured of the vorkoverse. I have two fics in my head to write for the vorkoverse: an Aral/Bothari story set when Miles is about seven (complete with angst and guilt themes), and a genfic taking place in a council meeting on Vor just after Borders of Infinity. (I say this because I have some vague hope that if I mention fics aloud, I'll be more likely to write them. History doesn't show this to be true, but then again, it doesn't challenge the idea either.)
I love Pratchett. But that's such a given, in the fannish circles I run in, it's hardly worth mentioning and not worth discussing. What is worth discussing is that a great many Pagans consider Pratchett's witchcraft to be a sensible and useful depiction. (I mostly agree.) There's room for swarms of pagan/fannish crossover meta there. (Which I will not be writing tonight, that's for damn sure.)
Hamilton's novels. Sigh. I feel... cheap, admitting I like them. I like the over-the-top MarySueism; I like the smut; I like the OMG sex magikk savez da wurld! plots. In both series. I enjoy the magic better in the Gentry series; her magic/psychic/whatever theory in the AB books makes me wince. (Not enough to stop reading, though.) I note that a new Anita Blake novel came out in May; I haven't read that one yet. Other vampire novels? I enjoyed Interview just fine, and had read it years before there was a movie. I enjoyed Lestat as well, but believe it detracted from the original: IWTV stood alone, and shouldn't have been weakened by a series. Other vampire novels? No. I've read a St. Germaine novel, which I have utterly forgotten; if I've read others, I've forgotten them as well. (Diana Hunter doesn't count.)
Mercedes Lackey. I love Lackey's novels. Feel less guilty over those; I knew of her as a filker before she'd published novels. I've read lots and lots, and am sometimes annoyed that the world of Velgarth (that's where the Valdemar novels take place) isn't more popular in my corner of fandom... and sometimes not, because I've seen some of the horrific tripe that's written in the name of "fanfic" in that world. Makes saccharine Harry/Ginny stuff seem deep and meaningful, it does. Something about Velgarth screams for Mary Sues.
Spider Robinson. Anything & everything. Spider writes about hope, and that's such a delight in today's world, that I never tire of his books. The Starchild trilogy brings me to tears, and the Callahan's series makes me laugh. (And if anyone's up for a Callahan's GURPS game, let me know; we'll figure something out.)
Which reminds me of my other favorite "converted to GURPS" books: The Wild Cards series, edited by George RR Martin. A shared universe collection. Premise: in 1945, just post-WWII, an alien lands in the US. His people are genetically identical to humans, and because of this, some factions from his planet have decided to test their new bio-warfare device on earth. He tries to stop it, but fails. The Wild Card virus splashes into Manhattan and spreads on the jet stream all over the world. It causes mutations. Lots of them. 90% horrible painful death rate, 9% hideous disfiguration rate, 1% superpowers rate. (For some values of "disfiguration"--can include things like "vestigial bat wings"--and some values of "powers"--can include "can flip pages in book with telekenesis.") I adore the Wild Card series; I've got a special fondness for Captain Tripps (which shouldn't surprise anyone), Fortunato, Wyungare, and Jane Dow.
Hmm. Many of those are "light reading." Which is, these days, most of what I read; I'm busy enough between job & family that I avoid books that take concentration; I don't have enough available to enjoy them.
I love Sheri S Tepper books; I just don't have the energy to read them these days. I have read all the Lichtenberg & Lorrah Sime/Gen novels, and as much of their other stuff as I could find. (Have only found the first three Savage Empire books.) I've read some Gaiman; I will happily read more. I've read most of Octavia Butler's books, am looking for the rest, and mourned her death; she deserved to write another three dozen novels and become one of the great names in Sci-fi that everyone knows. I love Ellison's stories, but I love his commentary more; reading his The Glass Teat probably formed a lot of my opinions about television and the media.
Enough rambling, I think. What do you like to read? Not, "what books have been the most meaningful to your life"--we have metafandom stuff all over about that--but "what do you enjoy?" What books are your chocolate-chip cookies, your peanut-butter-and-jelly (an americanism, I'm told), your lemonade in the summer: sure, there's taste and maybe nutritional value there, but these are the ones you consume when you're not up for something elaborate. What do you find comfortable, rather than "best" or "most important?"
Which doesn't mean some books aren't both. But not everything is.