Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ten Formative Books/Stories

This is for GBE2Prompt 44

1. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
As the first sf book I ever read, it stands out the most in my mind.

2. Pawn of Prophecy, by David Eddings (The first fantasy novel I ever read. It took forever for Dixie, the woman who got me hooked on reading to decide that I was able to read well enough to read this book, and thus borrow it.)

3. Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
A couple years back I was able to snag of copy of this children's book for free. This was one of my favorite books, and I think the first I checked out of a library.

4. "The Ballad of Lost C'mell" by Cordwainer Smith
I love this story. Loved it before I really understood, or thought about the point the author was trying to get across. (The story is basically about a VIP who deliberately works with an underground civil rights movement to force a change in laws and restrictions governing “animal people.” Humanoids descended from various kinds of animals.) I cry at the ending just about every time I read this, even though the ending isn't a particularly sad one.

5. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
I loved this book mostly for the character descriptions. Which is possibly a silly reason to like a book, but there it is. This book used to make me cry at the end every single time.

6. "Eyes of Amber" by Joan D. Vinge
Guy trying to figure out the morals of first contact and an alien trying to figure out the "demon" she considers an ally. Haven't read or seen this story in a long time, but I really liked it.

7. Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I did not like the tv show because I vastly preferred the books as a child. When I was older however, I started having problems with attitudes toward minorities as portrayed in the books. Also, I think Laura’s Pa is an incompetent dumbass. (Still they are extremely formative, and I loved them to pieces when I was a kid.)

8. Leviathan's Deep by Jayge Carr
Interesting novel. The book was mostly about feminism, racism and imperialism. The cover of the paperback edition is extremely stupid and inaccurate. There is a very *clichéd relationship between the alien female protagonist and a male human prisoner, then a later a somewhat “mirroring” abusive relationship between the same female alien (who is imprisoned) and one of the imperialistic human types.

9. Enemy Mine, by Barry B. Longyear
The movie was horrible, the novella and sequels are amazing. Enemy Mine is about two soldiers from opposite sides of a war eventually becoming friends. One of them is human and the other is an alien. When the alien dies giving birth, the human, Willis Davidge, raises the child. What I love the most about this story is that it’s about someone who doesn’t really have a direction in his life, finding one.

10. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
For a long time, I had an intense addiction for post nuke/end of the world type novels and stories. If it was post nuke I read it, whether it was a "mens adventure" or science fiction. Rebuilding civilization themes are still really cool to me.

*By clichéd I mean that often you have a male protagonist and a female of high rank who has literal power of life and death over the male protagonist. And the male protagonist will be snarky and for some reason the high ranking female will fall in love, especially if the high ranking female is an “Amazon.” This is almost never done in a way that I find believable.