March 17, 2005

Another Book Meme

Don kinda sorta tagged me with this book meme:

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be?
Ayn Rand's Anthem, hands down. Just read the opening paragraph to grok why:

IT IS A SIN TO WRITE THIS. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws. The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. May we be forgiven!

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Yes. Eowyn in Lord of the Rings, undoubtedly; maybe the cyborg artificial person Friday in the eponymous book by Heinlein.

The last book you bought was...?
Calculating God, by Robert Sawyer

The last book you read was...?
Calculating God, by Robert Sawyer

What are you currently reading?
Six months' worth of back issues of Analog, The Man-Kzin Wars X: The Wunder War (short stories by other authors based in Larry Niven's Known Space universe), and The New Strong-Willed Child by (shudder) James Dobson.

Five books you would take to a desert island...
1. Some sort of How Stuff Works/Simple Machines book so I can make all kinds of cool Gilligan's Island inventions. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll finally get around to reading all of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
2. Lucifer's Hammer, by Niven and Pournelle (SF, post-apocalyptic survivalism, rebuilding civilization. . . a textbook for being stranded on a desert island).
3. Goedel Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter. A wonderfully unique literary offering, virtually impossible to describe. I would recommend that Rob read it as soon as he's done reading the Wolff Bach book.
4. Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Every re-reading brings new rewards, so this is a natural choice.
5. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Heinlein. (More full-power rugged individualism to keep me going).

I won't tag anyone else with this, but please trackback here if you are moved to contribute your own book lists.

Posted by JohnL at March 17, 2005 10:51 PM

Heinlein came close for me: I thought about "Time Enough for Love" and "Glory Road" on my list. "Godel Escher Bach" is definitely a book for Robbo. I've never read "Lucifer's Hammer" but I probably will now.

Posted by: The Colossus at March 18, 2005 06:44 AM

You should definitely read Lucifer's Hammer. It reads a lot like a Tom Clancy book, so be sure to set aside a few hours for when you get to the part where you can't put it down!

Some of it is dated (a few of the characters are Soviet astronauts), but I can't think of many howling anachronisms in this 30-year old story.

Posted by: JohnL at March 18, 2005 08:03 AM

Would you really call Friday a cyborg? I don't remember her having any mechanical enhancements, besides her courier pouch.

Working on my book meme.

Posted by: owlish at March 18, 2005 10:29 PM

She is an artificial person (I went and did an Amazon "search inside the book" search on "artificial").

Posted by: JohnL at March 18, 2005 11:12 PM

"Artificial Person", or AP, in the book "Friday" was the derogatory term used for clones produced in a laboratory. Friday, the woman, was a clone who had been genetically enhanced to be a superwoman, better hearing and vision, genius IQ but mentally stable, ultra fast reflexes, much stronger than the average human.

There were cyborgs in the book also, but Friday wasn't one of them. The government was trying to put cyborgs in place as pilots of semi-ballistic passenger liners and the pilot's union was fighting it.

I just re-read the book a couple of months ago. :-)

Posted by: Eric at March 20, 2005 11:49 PM

Yup, that's what I remembered.

My book meme post is here.

Posted by: owlish at March 21, 2005 09:33 AM

I stand corrected, then. It's been a number of years since I read "Friday." I've updated the post.

Posted by: JohnL at March 21, 2005 09:45 AM
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