1. The Lord of the Rings*, J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea*, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451*, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun*, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz*, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big*, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle*, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man*, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination*, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape*, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer
As usual, the list is as interesting for what isn't on it as for what is.
Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.
I just got back from an enjoyable trip and I'm too tired to resume work on the Major Project, so let's do a pointless meme. Here's one Shamus found. I vaguely remember seeing this many months ago, but I don't think I did anything with it then.
In 2005, Time magazine picked the 100 best English-language novels. Mark the selections you have read in bold. If you liked it, add a star (*) in front of the title, if you didn’t, give it a minus (-). [I’ve added, if you feel totally indifferent or just can’t remember, mark it with a question mark (?).] Then, put the total number of books you’ve read in the subject line.
The Adventures of Augie March - Saul Bellow
*All the King’s Men - Robert Penn Warren
American Pastoral - Philip Roth
An American Tragedy - Theodore Dreiser
*Animal Farm - George Orwell
Appointment in Samarra - John O’Hara
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
?The Assistant - Bernard Malamud
*At Swim-Two-Birds - Flann O’Brien (it's fun, but I liked The Third Policeman better.)
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Berlin Stories - Christopher Isherwood
The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler
The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood
Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
The Bridge of San Luis Rey - Thornton Wilder
Call It Sleep - Henry Roth
*Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
?The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
*A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
The Confessions of Nat Turner - William Styron
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
The Crying of Lot 49 - Thomas Pynchon
A Dance to the Music of Time - Anthony Powell
-The Day of the Locust - Nathanael West
Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
A Death in the Family - James Agee
The Death of the Heart - Elizabeth Bowen
Deliverance - James Dickey
Dog Soldiers - Robert Stone
Falconer - John Cheever
The French Lieutenant’s Woman - John Fowles
The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing
Go Tell it on the Mountain - James Baldwin
Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
-The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Gravity’s Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon
*The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
*A Handful of Dust - Evelyn Waugh
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
The Heart of the Matter - Graham Greene
Herzog - Saul Bellow
Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson
*A House for Mr. Biswas - V.S. Naipaul
I, Claudius - Robert Graves
Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace
?Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
?Light in August - William Faulkner
*The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
?Lord of the Flies - William Golding
*The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
Loving - Henry Green
Lucky Jim - Kingsley Amis
The Man Who Loved Children - Christina Stead
Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
Money - Martin Amis
*The Moviegoer - Walker Percy
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
-Naked Lunch - William Burroughs (I never made it all the way through, but I've read enough)
Native Son - Richard Wright
*Neuromancer - William Gibson
Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
*1984 - George Orwell
On the Road - Jack Kerouac
-One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest - Ken Kesey
-The Painted Bird - Jerzy Kosinski
*Pale Fire - Vladimir Nabokov
A Passage to India - E.M. Forster
?Play It As It Lays - Joan Didion
Portnoy’s Complaint - Philip Roth
Possession - A.S. Byatt
The Power and the Glory - Graham Greene
*The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark (my favorite of all these that I've read)
Rabbit, Run - John Updike
Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow
The Recognitions - William Gaddis
Red Harvest - Dashiell Hammett
?Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles
?Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
*Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
The Sot-Weed Factor - John Barth
The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
The Sportswriter - Richard Ford
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold - John le Carré
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
?To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller
*Ubik - Philip K. Dick (a particularly odd choice; it's hardly Dick's best. Why not The Man in the High Castle?)
Under the Net - Iris Murdoch
Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry
*Watchmen - Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
*White Noise - Don DeLillo
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
This is an exceedingly arbitrary list, most interesting for what isn't on it. I can easily think of at least twenty novels that should have been included, and I'm sure you can, too.
I'd hoped that I would escape this one, but, alas, Banshee tagged me.
1. One book that changed your life: O'Neill's Music of Ireland -- Instead of just listening to the Chieftans, I began playing reels and Carolan tunes. This soon led to building hammered dulcimers, hanging out with musicians and other deplorable behavior.
2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking-Glass In my youth, I knew Carroll the way people nowadays know Monty Python and Douglas Adams. I still do.
3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
("Thompson's Guide to Practical Shipbuilding" -- Chesterton) The thicker, the better: The Norton Anthology of English Literature.
4. One book that made you laugh:
James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times.
5. One book that made you cry:
None in a long time.
6. One book that you wish had been written:
It's already written, but it needs to be compiled, edited and published: The Complete Short Stories of R.A. Lafferty
7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Anything by James Fenimore Cooper.
8. One book you’re currently reading:
Tim Powers, Expiration Date.
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Gene Wolfe, The Wizard.
10. Tag 5 people.
There've been many similar memes, and most of the obvious people have been tagged already anyway, so I'm not going to call on anyone. If you want to play, go right ahead.
Appetizer: What is a word that you use that would not be considered common?
Ordinarily, I prefer the demotic to the recherché. When I do use less common terms, it's generally when I'm discussing subjects with specialized vocabularies, e.g., Japanese words in the context of anime, or botanical terms with cacti and mesembs.
Soup: What theme of calendar do you have on your wall this year?
Just two calendars this year, one ballet and one Tolkien.
Salad: What is the age span of the children in your family ... and the children in the family you grew up in?
In my own family -- not applicable. In the family I grew up in, thirteen years, if I counted on my fingers right.
Main Course: Do you care about fashion? What do you especially like to shop for?
Present-day fashion, not in the slightest. Past, future or fantasy fashions, yes (look for me at Costume-Con 25). I hate shopping. Period.
Dessert: What is the last beverage you drank?
A vast terrain filled with beautiful scenery and interesting characters. You don't trust the world. You feel they are always up to no good. Which is why you'd make a great Russian.
You want life to be simple and have no desire for riches, fame or wealth - and thats the only way your government would have it.
Grab the nearest book.
Open it to page 161.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the text of the sentence along with these instructions.
Don’t search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.
From the book that is actually next to me right now:
Clip: When reading beyond the end of the table you get the value of the last cell.
-- Reaktor 4 Operation Manual (English)
Fascinating, isn't it? Let's cheat a little. The next nearest book, The English Dancing Master, doesn't have 161 pages, so here's the specified sentence from the third-nearest book:
Kiki drank tea from her favorite teacup and tried on her old, fancy dresses in front of the mirror to her heart's content.
-- Kiki's Delivery Service, by Eiko Kadono, translated by Lynne E. Riggs (which is as good as, but very different from, the movie).
From the book I'm currently reading:
Pedestrians on Vagankovsky Lane stopped by the courtyard gates and marveled at the gaiety that reigned in the branch office.
-- The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor
You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you're re-enacting Christian theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust in zoo animals.
You are surrounded by phonies, and boy are you sick of them! In an ongoing struggle to search for a land without phonies, you end up running away from everything, from school to consequences. In this process, you reveal that many people in your life have suffered torments and all you really want to do is catch them as they fall. Perhaps using a baseball mitt. Your biggest fans are infamous psychotics.
Before I post the next round of the SF anime babes poll, I though it might a nice change of pace to determine who the cutest anime character is. There are plenty of kawaii youngsters in anime, but in my opinion there are ultimately just three choices. See if you agree, and vote for the cutest.
You scored as Babylon 5 (Babylon 5). The universe is erupting into war and your government picks the wrong side. How much worse could things get? It doesn't matter, because no matter what you have your friends and you'll do the right thing. In the end that will be all that matters. Now if only the Psi Cops would leave you alone.
It's been a while since I found a quiz worth posting. Here's one via TulipGirl:
You scored as English. You should be an English major! Your passion lies in writing and expressing yourself creatively, and you hate it when you are inhibited from doing so. Pursue that interest of yours!
I intended this poll to be an adjunct to the TexasBestGrok SF babe polls, and I therefore restricted the choices to characters from science fiction series or movies, and science fiction only. Lum may be the archetypical anime babe, but although she's presented as a space alien, her tiger skin bikini reveals that she's actually a creature of Japanese folklore, and thus belongs to fantasy, not SF.
Perhaps it's because I didn't read enough comic books in my youth, but I've never considered super-powers to be legitimate science fiction. Much as I would like to have included A-Ko, I can't quite call her an "SF" babe. (I might loosen the restrictions in a future poll.)
I set a minimum age of 18 for all candidates -- this poll is about babes, not jailbait.
While a good figure is part of babehood, it's only one qualification and not the most important. Attitude also counts, as do personality, intelligence and independence. I tried to pick candidates exemplifying a variety of approaches to babeness.
This is not intended to be the definitive poll but rather the first in a series (assuming that there is enough of a response to make continuing it worthwhile). I could have listed Major Kusanagi, Kei and Yuri, Ryoko and Aeka, Priss and Faye Valentine all at once, but what would I do for an encore? Also, there's plenty I haven't seen, and I've therefore probably missed several outstanding candidates.
All the candidates are from science fiction stories. The chances are that most of you will not be familiar with them. That's okay; just pick the one who looks most interesting. (I've seldom heard of any of the women in John's polls, but that's never stopped me from voting.) The pictures are safe for work; I'm more interested in the nominees' personalities than their figures. You can vote once every day.
One of the candidates is from a sequence of series that I haven't yet reviewed, Crest/Banner/Banner II of the Stars. I'll eventually write at length about them, but I'll note for now that the three series form an unusually good war-in-space story, and I recommend them to anyone who'd rather read Robert Heinlein than watch George Lucas. (There are at least two other major babe candidates in the series, by the way, whom you might see in future polls.)
More anime fun: Anime Galleries dot net features thousands of screen captures and scans of anime and manga. There are plenty of sites with even more art, but what makes this one distinctive is that you can make a java jigsaw puzzle out of any picture there. Miyazaki is represented by Mononoke Hime (or Princess Mononoke) and Nausicaä, and there is an impressive number of pictures from Haibane Renmei; anime non-fans might enjoy these.
Fans of James Cameron might want to visit the page for Battle Angel Alita (or GUNNM) for a preview of his current project. Here's an interview with GUNNM's creator.
Four jobs you've had in your life: reporter, janitor, cook, nursery hand
Four movies you could watch over and over: None; I am just not a movie-watcher. Instead, here are four books I frequently re-read: Gene Wolfe, The Island of Dr. Death and Other Stories and Other Stories; R.A. Lafferty, Nine Hundred Grandmothers; Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; The Complete Works of Saki;
Four places you've lived: New Jersey, Virginia, Utah, Texas
Four TV shows you love to watch:Haibane Renmei; Serial Experiments Lain; Jubei-Chan: Secret of the Lovely Eye-Patch; Angelic Layer (These were all initially shown on television, so they count)
Four places you've been on vacation: Atlantic City, Pennsic, Fresno, I-70
Appetizer: When do you feel impatient?
When do I not?
Salad: How many times in your life have you had a broken heart?
Soup: Name a book you would like to see made into a movie.
If I like a book, I don't want a movie made from it. If you insist, though, I might be interested to see something based on C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry; it would depend on whether the script gets as much care as the special effects.
Main Course: If you could thank one teacher for what they taught you, who would it be and what would you thank them for?
My Restoration Comedy professor, who assigned Colley Cibber's The Careless Husband. Discovering that there really are people who study Cibber seriously cured me of any remaining desire to do graduate work in English.
Dessert: What is your favorite kind of pie?
Result: 35. Your score isn't an achievement, it just is.
Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge's Autism Research Centre have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger's report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.
My test tracked 1 variable.
How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 99% on points.
You scored 66 Wisdom, 74 Tactics, 56 Guts, and 44 Ruthlessness!
You're most simillar to Scipio in the fact that you're smart and ruthless. Scipio beat Hannibal by luring him back from Western Europe (where he was crushing legion after legion of Roman soldiers trying to gain support from local tribes) by laying seige to his home country of Carthage. Hannibal returned to defend his home and was defeated at the Battle of Zama. Ruthless, but it worked.
Scipio was the conqueror of Hannibal in the Punic Wars. He was the son of Publius Cornelius Scipio, and from a very early age he considered himself to have divine inspiration. He was with his father at the Ticino (218), and he survived Cannae (216). The young Scipio was elected (c.211) to the proconsulship in Spain. He conquered New Carthage (Cartagena) almost at once (209) and used the city as his own base; within several years he had conquered Spain. As consul in 205, Scipio wanted to invade Africa, but his jealous enemies in the senate granted him permission to go only as far as Sicily and gave him no army. He trained a volunteer army in Sicily. In 204 he received permission to go to Africa, where he joined his allies the Numidians and fought with success against the Carthaginians. In 202, Hannibal crossed to Africa and tried to make peace, but Scipio's demands were so extreme that war resulted; Scipio defeated Hannibal at Zama (202), returned home in triumph, and retired from public life. He was named Africanus after the country he conquered. His pride aggravated the hatred of his enemies, especially Cato the Elder , who accused the Scipio family of receiving bribes in the campaign against Antiochus III in which Scipio had accompanied (190) his brother. It was only through the influence of his son-in-law, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, that Scipio was saved from ruin. He retired into the country and ordered that his body might not be buried in his ungrateful city. Later he revealed his great magnanimity by his attempt to prevent the ruin of the exiled Hannibal by Rome.